School of Motion

System Requirements for After Effects Animation Success

  • By Ryan Plummer
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Thinking of Enrolling in Our Animation Bootcamp Course? Read This First...

Ready to kickstart your motion design career by investing in your continuing education? Smart choice! But which SOM course is right for you?
If you're already comfortable in Adobe After Effects and can create basic animations and work in projects with precomps, Animation Bootcamp's the next logical step.
Before you enroll, it's best to be sure you have all the hardware and software you'll need to succeed in our hardcore animation training — and beyond.
Use this guide as a checklist to prep for future animation mastery.
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What is Animation Bootcamp?

Knowing how to do something in After Effects is great, but knowing what to do is even better.
Taught by our founder and CEO Joey Korenman, our six-week intensive, interactive Animation Bootcamp course will teach you how to create beautiful, purposeful movement, no matter what you're working on.
You'll learn the principles of animation, and how to apply them; and you'll gain access to our private student groups and receive personalized, comprehensive critiques from professional artists.
You won't believe what you can create!

Animation Bootcamp Software Requirements

The majority of your work in Animation Bootcamp will be completed using After Effects; Adobe Animate (formerly known as Adobe Flash Professional) will also be used.
So, if you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, all you'll need to do is ensure you've downloaded the latest versions of the After Effects and Animate apps.
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There are a few other apps and tools you may download as well to assist you in your work.
REQUIRED
  • Adobe After Effects CC (13.0 or Higher)
  • Adobe Animate CC (15.1 or Higher)
SUGGESTED
TOOLS AND SCRIPTS (Not Required)

Animation Bootcamp Hardware Requirements

The program that requires the most processing power in Animation Bootcamp is After Effects, so if your computer runs After Effects without issue you'll be able to run the rest of the applications as well.
To run After Effects, you'll need a 64-bit processor (CPU) and at least 8GB of RAM (Adobe recommends a minimum of 16GB of RAM).
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THE CPU
Most modern CPUs can run After Effects, but if your CPU is only 32 bit, you'll need to replace it.
To find out whether your computer will suffice, follow these steps:
If your machine runs on macOS...
  1. Click the Apple icon in your system's top navigation menu
  2. Click About This Mac
Below the operating system version and computer model name you’ll see your processor.
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If the processor is an Intel Core Solo or Intel Core Duo, it’s 32 bit only. Here are the 64-bit Intel processors Apple has used in the Mac:
  • Core 2 Duo
  • Dual-core Xeon
  • Quad-core Xeon
  • Core i3
  • Core i5
  • Core i7
If you use Windows 10 or 8.1...
  1. Select the Start button
  2. Select Settings > System > About
  3. Open About Settings
  4. At the right, under Device Specifications, see System Type

If you use Windows 7...

  1. Select the Start button
  2. Right-click Computer
  3. Select Properties
  4. Under System, see the System Type
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THE RAM
After Effects uses a lot of memory, especially when creating and retrieving previews in your compositions. So, along with a fast CPU you'll want to make sure that you have a lot of RAM.
Adobe's minimum requirement for After Effects is 16GB, and they recommend 32GB for better performance. Of course, the more RAM you have, the more smoothly After Effects will run.
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Buying a New Computer for Animation Work? SOM Recommends...

Computers can vary greatly, and more expensive doesn't always mean more effective. Plus, with so many professional and consumer uses for computers, finding or building the best CPU for what you do can be tricky.
Fortunately, we've done the research for you.
WINDOWS COMPUTERS FOR AFTER EFFECTS
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For professional animators, buying a pre-built computer from a consumer manufacturer is often not the best bet; even great gaming rigs can fail when put to the After Effects test.
That's why we rely on the experts.
Puget Systems has conducted extensive research on modern hardware, establishing effective benchmarks specific for After Effects users.
America's number-one custom computer builder also teamed up with School of Motion to build the ultimate After Effect computer:
APPLE COMPUTERS FOR AFTER EFFECTS
If you're a Mac user, the Pro lineup (e.g., the iMac Pro or Mac Pro) is recommended for optimal After Effects processing; however, it is possible to complete Animation Bootcamp on a MacBook Pro, or potentially even a MacBook.
As with a Windows machine, the most important factor for a Mac is the memory — the more RAM the better — and some MacBook Pros only come with 8GB of RAM.
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Puget Systems completed a comparison of the high-end Apple options, as well, also comparing Macs to some of the Windows-based options available on the market.

Need More Technical Info?

Still not sure which system to select? Our support team is available 24/7 to assist you with your questions, whether they're related to Animation Bootcamp or not.

Need Help Speaking MoGraph?

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RAM only one of the terms you need to better understand? No problem.
As the world's leading online motion design school, it's our mission to not only provide elite training but serve as your go-to source for everything MoGraph. That's why we offer free tutorials and web series, as well as downloadable ebooks designed to inform and inspire.
One of these free ebooks, The Essential Motion Design Dictionary will help you learn the lingo (RAM included), making it easier for you to collaborate with others and search for help online.
Download this helpful resource today:
Collection

The Essential Motion Design Dictionary

Download Now

Ready to Enroll?

Now that your computer is prepped for After Effects, it's time to decide which SOM course to take.
As you know, if you're already comfortable in Adobe After Effects and can create basic animations and work in projects with precomps, Animation Bootcamp's the course for you.
If you're a beginner, there's After Effects Kickstart.
In After Effects Kickstart — taught by Nol Honig, founder of The Drawing Room, regular Motionographer contributor and award-winning professor at Parsons School of Design — you'll learn how to use After Effects through real-world projects.
In six weeks you'll be trained. No experience required.
But wait, there's more.
We have a number of courses on 2D and 3D animation, all taught by the top motion designers in the world. 
Pick the course that's right for you — and, no matter which course you choose, you'll gain access to our private student groups; receive personalized, comprehensive critiques from professional artists; and grow faster than you ever thought possible.