After Effects CC Essential Training
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3D foundations


After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: 3D foundations

I've found the best way to learn 3D is to dive right in. In this video, we'll create a Cinema 4D file, but we're not going to get hung up on a lot of the technical stuff just yet. The over arching goal of this video is to get comfortable with just how simple it can be to create 3D from inside of After Effects. In that process, we'll learn how to create, view, and position 3D objects in the scene. All the while, learning some of the key terms most commonly used in the 3D production process. If we look a our project, you can see I have a composition, 3D Foundations and it has no layers.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 36m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 27s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
After Effects
Ian Robinson

3D foundations

I've found the best way to learn 3D is to dive right in. In this video, we'll create a Cinema 4D file, but we're not going to get hung up on a lot of the technical stuff just yet. The over arching goal of this video is to get comfortable with just how simple it can be to create 3D from inside of After Effects. In that process, we'll learn how to create, view, and position 3D objects in the scene. All the while, learning some of the key terms most commonly used in the 3D production process. If we look a our project, you can see I have a composition, 3D Foundations and it has no layers.

So let's get started by creating a Cinema 4D layer. Go up under Layer > New > MAXON CINEMA 4D File. Now we need to specify where we need to save the file. I recommend saving it somewhere next to your After Effects project. I'm going to save mine in the Exercise Files, next to Chapter 8, in the Cinema Projects folder. I'll call it Foundation. Now you'll probably see a file already saved with the same name, you can go ahead and save over the file. With Cinema open, I know you have the urge to click through all the different parts of the interface.

But in order to get a quick start, I'm going to go ahead and just start you through certain parts of the interface. Since we're all coming from the Adobe world, I'm going to start creating our 3D models with a tool that's similar to the Pen tool. You can create splines inside of Cinema 4D using some of these different tools. So let's come up to the top corner area here. This toolbar is the creation toolbar, and in here is where we go to create any new objects in our scene.

So if we click on the second button and hold, You'll see I have six different kinds of path tools. These are all different spline tools. But the one we'll probably be most familiar with is the bezier tool. So let's go ahead and choose that option. Now with the bezier tool active, you'll notice its name popped up here in the attributes panel. And before I just start clicking willy nilly in 3-D Let's go ahead and click in the upper right corner to bring up our fore view.

These other views are orthogonal views. They'll make sure that I stay in the true, 2D plane. Let's choose the front view by clicking the same box in the upper corner. To create a shape all we have to do is click and move and click and move. If you click and drag, you can draw out handles just like with the pen tool in After Effects. So I'm going to create a basic shape. Now, unlike in After Effects, I'm not going to click right back on the first point. After we started clicking on the splines, the attributes panel down here on the right updated. And now we have some of these options under the object section for our spline. You want to select close line so that they way the path stays closed. If we go ahead and switch our views by clicking the corners again, lets orbit around what we've created.

The next tool over in our port is the Orbit tool. So you can see I've created a perfectly flat line. Now I can create 3D geometry from this relatively easily using a nerves extrusion. So the term nerves stands for non uniform rational baselines. Don't worry there's not a quiz later just remember that with nerves objects you can take paths like this and create 3D. So I'm going to go to this third button here and click and hold.

Let's choose extrude NURBS. With Extrude NURBS active in the Object panel, now I can click on the spline and drag it up on top of the name for extrude NURBS, making sure that I have an arrow pointing down. When I let go, now I've created my first 3D shape. If you click on the extrude nerves object in the object manager, notice now I have options down here in the attributes manager. If we look at the movement section, go the third area over, and just click and drag on the double arrows. Let's drag up.

Now, if I go and orbit around my scene, you can see I've created a rather thick 3-D object. It's very abstract, but it's there. Now a centrist things in the scene,you can go ahead and click the pen behind tool, which is the third one over, and if I want to zoom in and out I can click The zoom tool. We've seen how to create splines/g. We've seen how to create extrude nodes from those splines. There's another way to create geometry inside of Cinema 4D and that's using primitive objects. Now since we're in a 3D space, if I want to create a primitive object it's going to appear right here in the center of the scene. This area is called the origin.

So, anytime you go to create a new object, it's probably wise to move the old one out of the way. I'm going to go to the upper left corner of our interface, and here we have 4 tools that will help you position and select any objects in your projects. So this tool with the 4 arrows, let's click on it, and it's our move tool. So I can click and drag directly on the control handles for the objects. Or if I click on the object I can freely move around the scene. If I click on these angles here, see these corners, they'll allow me to move on a plane.

Now to more clearly see how I'm moving I'm going to go to the four up view and now I'll click back on that plane and move around and here you can see in the top view. I'm not moving anywhere along the Z axis, I'm just moving up and down and around. I want to move this out of the way so I'm going to click on the Z axis this time, and just move this down out of the view of our camera. Well, relatively, it'll still peek out in the corner though. To create a nerves object, we'll go back up to our creation tools and click and hold on the Q.

Notice these are a bunch of different nerve objects we can create. Let's start with a cube. When we add a cube to the scene, let's go ahead and change back to Perspective. Now, with the Move tool, I can quickly and easily just move the cube. Now, if I go back and grab my Selection tool, there are some extra handles I can grab with my primitive object. I can do that while I'm in Object Mode. So over here in the left, these are different selection modes for your interface. So if we click the top one, I get Object Mode or Model Mode.

This will allow me to click on my model as a whole. Now, if I click and drag on anyone of these golden axes, this little golden box here, it'll allow me to change the size or the dimensions of. Of my primitive objects. If we go back under 4 view, here you can clearly see I've created this kind of skinny box. Now if I want to make more changes I can select the cube in the objects panel and the attribute panel will update. And I can do something like fill it. This will round the edges of my cube box so I have a little bit more of an organic shape kind of like a bar of soap. Now, the third form of modelling you'd probably be familiar with inside of Cinema, is polygon modelling.

Now, most objects we can create either with splines or cubes, and along the spline option, we can even extrude illustrator splines. I'll show you how to do that late in the chapter. If we go to the cube object right here, when I go ahead and click around, I'm just positioning in the scene, but notice it's one smooth object. If we go to the display options here in our viewer, I could switch it to (INAUDIBLE) shading lines, and it shows me the actual lines required to create this geometry. But what if I just wanted to select only one small part of the geometry? Well, I could covert this to editable, that's the name of the process. If we click this button in the upper left corner, it'll change our object from a primitive object into a polygon object.

Now if we look in the upper right corner of our interface, under objects. You can see the triangle, that's letting me know it's a polygon object. So now if we come back over here to our selection tools, I can click here, on the polygon tool and any polgygon face that I roll over with my selection tool, it will allow me to select. If I'd rather select edges, I could do that and roll over the edges. Or points wherever the edges intersect. I'm going to go back to polygons and just click on this first big polygon and pull it out. Notice when I pull it out I've changed my geometry but everything is sort of still stuck together.

Once you have different polygons or NURBS, you can actually smooth things out using a thing called hyperNURBS. I'm going to hold down the Option key and then click on this third button. When I click on that it's going to smooth out the shape that I created using a hyperNURBS object. This is kind of a blend between both worlds but it actually gives me. Beautiful amount of control. If I want to view the scene as though it were rendering, I would click the render button in the top center of the scene.

Now the last thing about 3D are textures and since we've already covered a lot of ground up to this point, I'm going to click create and just load a material preset. If we go to light under materials, we could choose ice and snow, and I'm going to choose this ice cracked option. Now if I want to apply that to my object, I can just click it and drag it, and then go ahead and render it, and you can see I've created a very interesting 3D shape. When you first get started in 3D, there are three modes of modeling.

We have, the splines/g, and then we extrude those with nerves, and then we can convert those into polygons, though we don't have to. And we could also smooth any of those out using hyper nerves. So, now we've had a quick whirlwind tour I think you're ready to move on and actually worry about some of the nuts and bolts. If you want to see your project inside of After Effects all you have to do is click save in CINEMA, then when you jump back into After Effects it will go ahead and update and show you the scene.

And since 3D is slightly more render intensive than a standard After Effects project by default, our 3D object is going to be shown to us in kind of a wireframe mode. If you want to see the full resolution, you need to go to your CINEWARE Effect Control panel, and change the Renderer from Software to Standard Final. It'll take a second to render, but once it does, now you can see we've successfully brought our 3D object back into After Effects.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .

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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
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