YouTube Doesn’t Care About After Effects Beginners

Jun 10, 2021


Yes, YouTube is such a powerful tool, but it can be tricky. Especially when you’re a beginner and you’re a bit lost and not sure what the learning process should look like. I was just like you. I’ve seen literally hundreds of After Effects tutorials and here are my thoughts about them.


For the record: it’s my point of view based on my long, bumpy relationship with the platform. You may have a different experience. 


Okay, so what exactly should you be aware of while browsing YT tutorials?


YT is still a social media channel. The algorithm’s and Youtuber’s goal is to keep you watching as long as it can.


Unfortunately, I noticed that rarely any Youtuber cares about users enough to show a specific way to pick up a skill. 


Youtubers can say that they are happy to see you, grateful for watching their video, but the truth is they also really like the money or views that your presence brings.


Creators earn through YT ads (for example these annoying in-stream videos in the middle of the main video) or through partnerships with brands (affiliates) or selling their own products (After Effects tutorials, but outside of YT).


Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s fine! People should earn big bucks for doing an awesome job. I applaud that.




We can’t forget that money runs almost 99% of YT channels (especially in the video industry).


So that means that the creator is not your personal teacher.


They can’t tell you if you’re making progress or not and (probably) won’t help you with a tricky project you’re working on.


Also, Youtubers aren’t able to personally interact with every single user watching them. Sometimes they don’t want to, but in most scenarios they don’t have this much time to do so. 


Imagine a channel with 1M subscribers. Have you seen a Youtuber who reads and answers every comment he gets? Doubtedly. But don’t forget to subscribe ;)


We’re getting close to the second issue with YouTube:


YT doesn’t really care about you (no feedback, no teacher’s support, no community) 


Yes, you can search for “After Effects quick start in a 20 minutes” video, but what’s next? How do you know what you should learn as the next step to make learning as frictionless as possible?


You probably won’t get any support in the comment section (full of trolls and spammers) or any specific feedback from the author.



Wouldn't you prefer to have a closed Facebook group with people like you, who are trying to learn After Effects and have direct contact with the author and the community?


In this case an After Effects course would be thousands times better than a random YouTube tutorial.


Tip: So if you’re looking for a course, check if they have a community you can join and support each other. Not only can you ask questions but sometimes even land a job or two in one of these groups.


Using YT I always felt that it was a quite mediocre learning tool. Powerful, if you know exactly what you are looking for, but not adapted to teaching the basics. 


I feel that learning anything without any feedback and help in the beginning is extremely hard and frustrating.


Course > YouTube tutorials

I tried both ways and, for me, of course - a course almost always wins. 

And I’m not writing this as an author of a course, by all means - get a different one, if you prefer their material. I’m writing this as someone who’s been through the learning process and the investment always paid itself off a few times over, especially if you take into account your hourly rate.


I remember, for a while I kind of went on a tutorial spree - watching every single one that I could find - probably even too much, instead of taking the time to practice actual effects. I wished they were more to the point and explain WHY like this, not only WHAT I should do.


I’ve seen literally hundreds of After Effects tutorials that would easily sum up to at least 100 hours, if not more. Not all of it was a time well spent. Especially if you add up all those “like, subscribe, follow and comment” antics you have to see in every video.


To sum up - YouTube is an awesome tool, but only if you know what you’re looking for!

If you’re looking for a specific effect, YT is an awesome resource. You type in “Easy Morph transition after effects” in the youtube search bar and there you have it - an awesome tutorial made by none other than yours truly. 


But what if you don’t know what to look for?


I’d recommend finding a course tailored to filmmakers, where you’ll meet people like you, beginners who want to learn After Effects and you’ll get feedback you deserve from the author.

Have you ever tried to learn anything on YouTube as a beginner? What did your journey look like? 

Let me know in the comments below.


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