Create a Simple Demo Reel from Stills

  • Go to AE > Composition > New Composition, use the Preset HDTV 1080 24
  • You can switch the timecode unit between seconds and frames by ctrl (WIN) or cmd (MAC) – clicking on the timecode
  • At > After Effects CC > Preferences > Import you can change the default length of the Still Footage before import
  • Import your videos and still footage, drag it into the composition
  • To automatically distribute the layers, select them beginning at the bottom and then hit > Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Sequence Layers, manually cut or stretch the duration of the footage, use the shift key to snap elements
  • Manually adjust the position, scale or rotation of your footage by dragging it in the composition window. To change the transformation values of your layers numerically select the layer, hit P for position, S for scale, R for rotation, T for transparency or click on the little triangle before the layer number and drag the values left or right
  • To make your layers fade in and out select them, go to the Effects & Presets panel and open > * Animation Presets > Behaviors and double click on Fade In+Out – frames (or – msec if you prefer to work with seconds).
  • In the Effect Controls panel you can change the Fade In and Out Duration manually. If you want to apply this customized duration also to other layers select the modified Fade In+Out effect together with the Solid Composite effect in the Effect Controls panel, then go to the Effects & Presets Panel, from the Options Menu select > Save Animation Preset, specify a name and save the .ffx file. For the animation preset to appear in the Effects & Presets panel, it must be saved in the Presets folder. Animation presets that you create are saved by default in the Presets folder located in My Documents\Adobe\After Effects CC (Windows) or Documents/Adobe/After Effects CC (Mac OS).
  • Once you are finished with editing, with the Composition selected hit > Composition > Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue, apply a preset there like Match Source – High or Medium bitrate and hit the Start button.