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Expression Session

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12
WKS
Spring 2022 Registration begins in
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DESCRIPTION

Expression Session will teach you how to approach, write and implement expressions in After Effects. Over the course of 12 weeks, you'll go from rookie to seasoned coder.

Registration Starts
extended Registration closes

Mar 7, 2022

1:00 pm

UTC

April 3, 2022

4:59 pm

UTC

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Classes Start

Apr 4, 2022

1:00 pm

UTC

As soon as you register
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Reserve your spot for $349
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Reserve your spot for $349
HIGHLIGHTED FEATURES
Exercises & Project Files for Every Lesson
In-Depth Feedback from Professional Designers
Verified Credential Upon Course Completion

Student Testimonial

"This course made me understand After Effects functionality in a completely different way and opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities for me. Nol and Zack break down the basics of expression coding in such a fundamental way that you leave the course confident in your ability to create, understand, and break down others' code. It helps with rigging, speeding up your workflow, and making some of the seemingly impossible possible. I highly recommend it." - Alae Newington, Fall 2019

Course Instructor

Zack Lovatt & Nol Honig

Between the two of them, Nol Honig and Zack Lovatt have a combined 30 years of experience in the field of motion design. As a freelance technical director for some of the biggest studios in the world and the creator of After Effects tools like Explode Shape Layers and Flow, Zack brings the technical expertise necessary for the subject of expressions. As the creative director for The Drawing Room and distinguished teacher at the Parsons School of Design, Nol brings his years of industry experience and teaching know-how to the table. The combination of their two skill-sets (often referred to as “Zol”) is a force to be reckoned with.

INSTRUCTOR'S CLIENTS INCLUDE:

Course Overview

WEEK NUMBER

Meet your classmates, get comfy with the course format, and learn some basic expression principles. You'll also have a challenge to complete, if you're up to it.

What you’ll Learn
  • What Expressions can (and can't) do.
  • The basic lingo of expressions.
  • How and where to apply your code.
week start

Apr 4

*

assignments

1 Project

run time

6 Hrs

Learn to control time, like a wizard! You'll also get comfortable setting up controls for your expressions, looping things, wiggling them, and more.

What you’ll Learn
  • Different looping methods
  • The ins and outs of the wiggle() function
  • How to manipulate text layers
week start

Apr 11

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

We'll get into using variables, working with properties, creating flexible rigs, and giving yourself lots of control over your expressions. Feel the power.

What you’ll Learn
  • How variables work
  • How to reference & manipulate properties
  • The value of valueAtTime()
week start

Apr 18

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

It's time for your first Focus Week, a reprieve from new lessons to catch up on coursework. You'll also learn that math is totally not scary. Well, maybe a little.

What you’ll Learn
  • How to not fear math
  • Useful trigonometry
  • Oh my! Here comes Pi!
week start

Apr 25

*

assignments

0 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

Meet linear(), your new best friend. This week we'll get into the concept of mapping one set of values to another, plus you'll learn all about randomness.

What you’ll Learn
  • How to randomize things
  • Using linear() to map values
  • Automating multiple elements
week start

May 2

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

This week is all about manipulating data, and automating various layout tasks. You will be building powerful rigs this week using all of the skills you've learned so far.

What you’ll Learn
  • Manipulating strings
  • Automating layouts using code
  • Working with CSV and JSON files
week start

May 9

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

This week is another Focus Week, giving you time to catch up if you need it. You'll also learn about automation options for Motion Designers who can code.

What you’ll Learn
  • How far can you take automation?
  • Examples of MoGraph Automation
week start

May 16

*

assignments

0 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

This week we get into coordinate space transforms. Sexy, I know. You'll also learn how to use markers and loops to trigger animations in your project.

What you’ll Learn
  • Converting to / from comp, world, layer space
  • Basic usage of loops
  • Triggering animation with markers
week start

May 23

*

assignments

2 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

It's the final countdown. Use all of your new expression skills to complete a challenging fake-UI project. This one will push your code to the limits. Godspeed.

What you’ll Learn
  • How to plan out a big project
  • Creating master project controls
  • Advanced expression techniques
week start

May 30

*

assignments

1 Project

run time

6 Hrs

The final 3 weeks of class are Extended Critique. You can use this time to catch up, complete your final project, then turn it in for critique.

What you’ll Learn
  • Extended Critique Period

week start

Jun 6

*

assignments

0 Projects

run time

6 Hrs

COMMUNITY

Don't Learn Alone

Our student community is welcoming, diverse, and growing rapidly.

Build Your Network

Connect with Industry Pros

Celebrate with Your Peers

Tuition

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Pay all at once
$997
Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.
Pay all at once
$997
$897
Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.
Registration opens
Mar 7, 2022
for the Spring 2022 Session.
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FAQs

What software do I need?

Required Software

  • After Effects CC 2019 (16.0.1 or Higher).
  • Recommended Software
  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 (20.0.0 or Higher).
  • Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 (23.1.0 or Higher)

What are the prerequisites?

We recommend that you have an intermediate level of skill with After Effects and feel confident in the software. Check out After Effects Kickstart and Animation Bootcamp before taking this course on. One to two years of industry experience is recommended but not required before taking this course.

What is the course format?

All of our courses are taught completely online through prerecorded lesson videos, podcasts, and handouts. Engage from anywhere in the world on your own schedule.

Students typically receive homework assignments twice per week. Lessons open at a specific time with a soft deadline of the following day. If you don’t finish, don’t sweat it! We have built in Focus Weeks and Extended Critique weeks at the end of the session where students have extra time to work on any assignments they choose.

All student work is critiqued by our highly trained Teaching Assistants. School of Motion TA's are professional motion designers with real life experience in the industry.

During the course you will be invited to a private classroom that contains all of the Teaching Assistants and students in your session. This is a great tool for connecting, asking or answering questions, sharing thoughts or insights, and winning cool contests!

What will I learn?

Expressions are lines of code that can be used to create all kinds of automations and tools right in After Effects. Some of these can be generated by visually linking, or Pickwhipping, different properties to each other and others need to be written out like a short computer program. By the end of this course you will have all of the foundational knowledge you need to be able to write, understand, and use Expressions in After Effects to improve your workflow.

How much time do I need to commit?

You can expect to commit at least 15 - 20 hours per week on course material. The lesson videos are 1-2 hours in length. There are13 assignments total. Typically assigned on Mondays and Thursdays with soft deadlines the next day. We have designated weeks with no lessons or assignments built into the schedule so that students can keep up the pace of the course.

12 Weeks of Expression Session

  • Week 1: Orientation Week
  • Week 2: Lessons and Assignments
  • Week 3: Lessons and Assignments
  • Week 4: Focus Week (no new assignments or lessons this week)
  • Week 5: Lessons and Assignments
  • Week 6: Lessons and Assignments
  • Week 7: Focus Week (no new assignments or lessons this week)
  • Week 8: Lessons and Assignments
  • Week 9: Lessons and Assignments
  • Weeks 10 - 12 Extended Critique (no new assignments or lessons this week)

Will I Need Plugins or Scripts?

Nope! Everything you need to have to complete this course comes in your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

What will I be capable of after Expression Session?

Expressions are lines of code that can be used to create all kinds of automations and tools right in After Effects. Some of these can be generated by visually linking, or Pickwhipping, different properties to each other and others need to be written out like a short computer program. By the end of this course you will have all of the foundational knowledge you need to be able to write, understand, and use Expressions in After Effects to improve your workflow.