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In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.
So, now that we've imported some stuff into our project, we're now ready to add it to a Composition. So, open up the Video folder to reveal the assets here. Now, a moment ago I referred to this as stuff, generically, which is not the technical term. Typically, in After Effects, we refer to anything that you bring into the Project panel as assets or footage. So, in the real world, footage refers to video, but in After Effects, even if it's a still image, it's footage. If it's audio file, it's footage. If it's a Photoshop document, Illustrator document, it's all footage.
Again, the term asset is also a synonym for this as well. So, either/or. That's what I'm referring to. So, what I'm going to do here. I want to grab the PRECOMP background, just click and drag it down to the bottom of our layers here. That becomes the background. It's just as easy as that. Now actually, it didn't go where I wanted it to go. So, what I'm going to do is just grab it and drag it down to the layer stack, until I get a solid black horizontal line below everything else. So, I should see this layer at the bottom.
I should see this flower here above it. If you're not seeing that, you could also click and drag or scroll to about the 3 or 4 second marker here to be able to see the flower a little bit better and the background underneath it. We're also going to add the video to our Timeline. Simply, grab PRECOMP video and drag it until you get a horizontal black line above the H and P text 2 layer. Let go, and now that layer has been added above all the others.
You'll notice also that this video has some black in it that covered up what was already there. For now, you don't have to worry about anything other than the process of dragging and dropping stuff from the Project panel into the Timeline. In the next movie, we'll talk about working with layers a little bit more, moving them around in time and in stacking order.
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