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  • Discount code ADOBEMAX2021 confers a 50% discount off the list price of one (1) Adobe Certified Professional exam per person. Offer applies only to exams delivered by Certiport through Pearson VUE’s OnVUE remote delivery service. 
  • Offer starts on October 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM Pacific and expires on November 22, 2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Customers must use the discount code during this window but can schedule the exam up to one year in advance. All exams scheduled per this offer must be delivered by November 22, 2022 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Click here for instructions on scheduling an exam.
  • Local taxes may apply.   
  • Offer may not be redeemed for cash, credit, or refund.  
  • Adobe Certified Professional exams through OnVUE are not available in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan. 
  • Additional terms and conditions may apply. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

After Adobe MAX, turn inspiration into certification.

Use code ADOBEMAX2021 at checkout to save 50% when scheduling an Adobe Certified Professional exam through Certiport’s new OnVUE remote testing solution.

To register for an exam, visit the OnVUE tab in your Certiport candidate portal.
For support, please contact Certiport.

Terms and Conditions

keyboard_arrow_down
  • Discount code ADOBEMAX2021 confers a 50% discount off the list price of one (1) Adobe Certified Professional exam per person. Offer applies only to exams delivered by Certiport through Pearson VUE’s OnVUE remote delivery service. 
  • Offer starts on October 26, 2021 at 12:00 AM Pacific and expires on November 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Customers must use the discount code during this window but can schedule the exam up to one year in advance. All exams scheduled per this offer must be delivered by November 8, 2022 at 11:59 PM Pacific. Click here for instructions on scheduling an exam.
  • Local taxes may apply.   
  • Offer may not be redeemed for cash, credit, or refund.  
  • Adobe Certified Professional exams through OnVUE are not available in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan. 
  • Additional terms and conditions may apply. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

After Adobe MAX, turn inspiration into certification.

Sign up to be notified when our special discount on online exams goes live on October 26. In the meantime, don't forget to register for the free, virtual Adobe MAX 2021.

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Adobe Certified Professional in

Visual Effects & Motion Graphics Using Adobe After Effects

Show what you know.

Validate your knowledge of Adobe After Effects, the industry-standard tool for video compositing, motion graphics design, and animation.

Adobe has worked with creative industry experts and the test design specialists at Certiport to identify the skills and concepts that are critical to using After Effects effectively in a professional context.

The resulting 50-minute exam is integrated with the After Effects application, allowing for an authentic assessment of job-ready skills.

150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience is recommended.

Review the available versions and languages

This certification will become available on June 15, 2021

Exam guide

The exam objectives are outlined below alongside sample items from CertPREP Practice Tests and relevant resources. All key items are examples of exam topics and do not comprise a comprehensive list.

This guide is based on the 2021 version of Visual Effects & Motion Graphics Using Adobe After Effects. For 2018-2020 versions of the exam objectives, please visit Certiport.

1. Working in the Visual Effects and Motion Graphics Industry
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This objective covers critical concepts related to working with colleagues and clients as well as crucial legal, technical, and design-related knowledge.

CertPREP Practice Tests sample items

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1.1  Purpose, audience, and requirements

Official guidelines

  • 1.1 Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing visual effects and motion graphics projects.
  • a. Determine whether content is relevant to the purpose, the audience, and their needs.
  • i. Key Terms: client goals, target audience, demographics, accessibility, etc.
  • b. Identify requirements based on how the video will be delivered, distributed, and/or consumed.
  • i. Key Terms: Email file size limits, compression, codec and architecture, input and output file formats, aspect ratio
  • ii. Key Concepts: Select the correct codec and architecture based on format and delivery requirements

Resources & Tutorials

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1.2  Communication and project management

Official guidelines

  • 1.2 Communicate with colleagues and clients about project plans.
  • a. Demonstrate knowledge of techniques for communicating ideas about project plans with peers and clients.
  • i. Key Terms: Pre-production: planning, shot list, script writing, storyboarding, design compositions or sketches, style guides, and animatics
  • b. Demonstrate knowledge of basic project management concepts. 
  • i. Key Terms: project specifications, milestones, deadlines, deliverables, and file types

Resources & Tutorials

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1.3  Copyright, permissions, and licensing

Official guidelines

  • 1.3 Determine the type of intellectual property rights, permissions, and licensing required to use specific content.
  • a. Identify legal and ethical considerations for using third-party content.
  • i. Key Terms: Creative Commons, public domain, intellectual property, derivative work, commercial use, attribution, work for hire, fair use/fair dealing
  • b. Identify when and how to obtain permissions to use images, audio, or footage.
  • i. Key Terms: model release, location permitting, property release, rights, permissions, licensing
  • ii. Key Concepts: permission to use an image is separate from permission to use a person’s face or a restricted location, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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1.4  Key terminology

Official guidelines

  • 1.4 Demonstrate an understanding of key terminology and tools related to digital audio and video.
  • a. Demonstrate knowledge of digital video and audio terminology.
  • i. Key Terms: frame rate, aspect ratio, title/action safe zone (areas), image and video resolution, file formats, video and audio codecs, pixels, rendering, monitoring audio
  • b. Demonstrate knowledge of how color is represented in digital video. 
  • i. Key Terms: white balance, bit depth, and working color spaces (RGB, CMYK, YUV, HLS).
  • ii. Key Concepts: Choosing the right color space
  • c. Understand and use key terms related to video and audio post-production.
  • i. Key Terms: editing, transitions, audio levels, waveforms, effects, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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1.5 Principles and best practices

Official guidelines

  • 1.5 Demonstrate knowledge of common animation, visual effects (VFX), and design principles.
  • a. Demonstrate knowledge of common animation terms and principles.
  • i. Key Terms: easing, squashing, stretching, anticipation, staging, straight-ahead action and pose-to-pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arc, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, appeal, etc.
  • b. Demonstrate knowledge of standard compositing techniques.
  • i. Key Terms: lighting, color, scale and perspective, working in 3D space, rotoscoping, masking, blending modes, match moving, etc.
  • c. Define common cinematic composition terms and principles.
  • i. Key Terms: aspect ratio, rule of thirds, foreground, background, color, tone, contrast, cropping, depth of field, field of view, etc.
  • d. Identify general design principles and guidelines for motion graphics.
  • i. Key Terms: space, line, shape, form, color, texture, emphasis/focal point, unity/ harmony, variety, balance, alignment, proximity, repetition, rhythm, scale, movement, negative space, gestalt, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

2. Project Setup and Interface
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This objective covers the interface setup and program settings that assist in an efficient and effective workflow, as well as knowledge about importing digital assets for a project.

CertPREP Practice Tests sample items

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2.1 Projects and compositions

Official guidelines

  • 2.1 Create and modify projects and compositions.
  • a. Choose appropriate project settings to meet requirements.
  • i. Key Concepts: project location on drive(s), folders with media assets, VideoRendering and Effects (GPU), etc.
  • b. Create and modify compositions to match the delivery requirements.
  • i. Key Concepts: frame rate, resolution, duration, dimensions, aspect ratio, presets, adjusting the work area, background color, naming compositions, composition from footage, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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2.2 Application workspace

Official guidelines

  • 2.2 Navigate, organize, and customize the application workspace.
  • a. Identify, navigate, and manipulate elements of the After Effects interface.
  • i. Key Concepts: menus, toolbars, panels, navigating, and zooming, search within panels, etc.
  • ii. Key Panels: Project panel, Timeline panel, Composition panel, Preview panel, Effects & Presets panel, Effect Controls panel, Layer panel, etc.
  • b. Customize and manage workspaces.
  • i. Key Concepts: using/switching workspaces; showing, hiding, nesting, and docking panels; Workspace panel, shortcuts, menus; customizing, saving, and resetting workspaces
  • c. Configure application preferences.
  • i. Key Settings: Appearance, Auto-Save, Grids & Guides, Media & Disk Cache, Memory, Previews, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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2.3 Non-visible design tools

Official guidelines

  • 2.3 Use non-visible design tools in the interface to aid in video workflow.
  • a. Controlling and working with the timeline and media.
  • i. Key Concepts: panning, zooming, playing, pausing, keyboard shortcuts (spacebar, mouse wheel, etc.), timecodes, current time indicators (playhead), etc.
  • b. Use markers.
  • i. Key Concepts: composition (timeline) and layer (clip) markers
  • c. Use guides and grids.
  • i. Key Concepts: title/action safe zones (areas); adding, removing, locking, and unlocking guides; setting color; hiding and showing guides and grids; using snap or align options; rulers

Resources & Tutorials

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2.4 Importing assets

Official guidelines

  • 2.4 Import assets into a project.
  • a. Import media from various sources.
  • i. Key Concepts: compatible files, importing layers from Photoshop (.psd) and Illustrator (.ai) files, Adobe Dynamic Link, understanding that all files are linked, dragging and dropping, image sequences
  • b. Manage assets/footage in an After Effects project.
  • i. Key Concepts: finding, replacing, and reloading linked media files; interpretingfootage; organizing assets using folders, placeholders, metadata, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

3. Organizing Video Projects
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This objective covers composition structure such as layers and managing composition structure for efficient workflow.

CertPREP Practice Tests sample items

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3.1 Timeline panel

Official guidelines

  • 3.1 Use the Timeline panel.
  • a. Recognize the different types of layers in the Timeline panel.
  • i. Key Layer Types: footage, text, solid, shape, camera, adjustment, light, null object, and pre-comp
  • b. Use the Timeline panel to manage layers.
  • i. Key Concepts: quality and sample; adding, deleting, locking, unlocking, renaming,and reordering layers; managing labels; using switches and modes; etc.
  • c. Manage multiple layers in a complex composition.
  • i. Key Concepts: pre-composing, parenting, null objects, render order, synchronizing/aligning audio with visual effects, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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3.2 Opacity, blending modes, track mattes, and masks

Official guidelines

  • 3.2 Modify layer visibility using opacity, blending modes, track mattes, and masks.
  • a. Adjust a layer’s visibility.
  • i. Key Concepts: hiding and showing layers; solo, shy, and mute layers; blending modes, opacity
  • b. Create, apply, and manipulate masks and track mattes.
  • i. Key Concepts: layer masks, track mattes, tools for creating masks

Resources & Tutorials

4. Creating and Modifying Visual Elements
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This objective covers core tools and functionality of the application, as well as tools that affect the visual appearance of composition elements.

CertPREP Practice Tests sample items

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4.1 Core tools and features

Official guidelines

  • 4.1 Use core tools and features to create content.
  • a. Create visual elements using a variety of tools.
  • i. Key Concepts: solids, shape layers, and creating shapes from vector layers
  • ii. Key Tools: Shape (e.g. Rectangle, etc.), Pen, and vector editing (e.g. Add Vertex, etc.) tools
  • b. Place assets into a composition.
  • i. Key Concepts: asset placement, temporal (timeline) position, spatial (coordinates)position, layer stacking order

Resources & Tutorials

Find more Trainings and resources for similar topics on helpx.adobe.com or at the Adobe Education Exchange

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4.2 Text

Official guidelines

  • 4.2 Create, manipulate, and animate text.
  • a. Create text in a composition.
  • i. Key Concepts: point text, paragraph text, adding a path to text
  • b. Adjust character settings.
  • i. Key Settings: font, size, style, kerning, tracking, leading, horizontal and vertical scale, etc.
  • c. Adjust paragraph settings.
  • i. Key Settings: alignment, indentation (e.g. Indent left margin, etc.), paragraph spacing, and left-to-right text direction.
  • d. Animate text.
  • i. Key Concepts: apply and adjust preset animations.

Resources & Tutorials

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4.3 Adjusting footage

Official guidelines

  • 4.3 Adjust footage for use in compositions.
  • a. Adjust layers using a variety of tools.
  • i. Key Concepts: moving, sequencing, trimming, and splitting layers; setting In and Out points in the Footage panel

Resources & Tutorials

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4.4 Modifying Media

Official guidelines

  • 4.4 Modify digital media within a project.
  • a. Transform visual elements in the composition. 
  • i. Key Terms: scaling, rotating, flipping, moving, fitting to, etc.
  • b. Change the speed of a video clip.
  • i. Key Concepts: time remapping, time stretching, creating freeze frames. changing speed, time reverse

Resources & Tutorials

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4.5 Manipulating digital video

Official guidelines

  • 4.5 Manipulate digital video.
  • a. Use basic auto-correction methods and tools. 
  • i. Key Tools: stabilization and color correction.

Resources & Tutorials

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4.6 Effects and presets

Official guidelines

  • 4.6 Add and modify effects and presets.
  • a. Apply and adjust a video effect or preset to a layer.
  • i. Key Concepts: adding and adjusting video effect properties in the Effect Controls panel and timeline
  • b. Use 3D space to modify composition elements.
  • i. Key Concepts: X,Y, and Z axes; two-dimensional objects in three-dimensional space; cameras; lighting; animating objects
  • c. Create composites.
  • i. Key Concepts: keying, opacity, masking effects, mattes and alpha channels
  • d. Apply and modify effects and presets on multiple layers.
  • i. Key Concepts: adjustment layers and animation presets

Resources & Tutorials

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4.7 Keyframes

Official guidelines

  • 4.7 Create and modify keyframes for motion graphics.
  • a. Apply and adjust transformations using keyframes.
  • i. Key Concepts: keyframing the transform properties, motion paths, spatial and temporal interpolation, using the Graph Editor
  • b. Animate effects using keyframes.
  • i. Key Concepts: keyframing in the Effect Controls panel and timeline

Resources & Tutorials

5. Publishing Digital Media
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This objective covers saving and exporting compositions or specific assets in multiple formats.

CertPREP Practice Tests sample items

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5.1 Preparing compositions

Official guidelines

  • 5.1 Prepare a composition for publishing and archiving.
  • a. Check a composition for errors and verify specifications.
  • i. Key Concepts: hidden layers, animation timing, audio levels, resolution, title safe area, work area, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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5.2 Exporting

Official guidelines

  • 5.2 Export digital video to various file formats.
  • a. Export frames.
  • i. Key Concepts: exporting one or multiple frames, file formats, file names, exportlocations, layered Photoshop files, etc.
  • b. Export a composition.
  • i. Key Concepts: exporting to Premiere Pro, file formats, video codecs, file locations, exporting for more than one target screen size or playback device, exporting in multiple formats, etc.
  • ii. Key Tools: Render Queue, Adobe Media Encoder, etc.

Resources & Tutorials

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