Adding a video panel
Video: Adding a video panelNow that we have our floor in place, let's put something on top of it. So let's just say this Skater panel layer. Again I am going to use the shortcut Command+Forward slash on Mac, Ctrl+Forward slash on Windows, to add to the composition. If your Current Time Indicator is at the very start of the comp, it may be difficult to see the layer clearly because the block dissolve hasn't really brought it on yet. Go ahead and scrub that Current Time Indicator a little bit later until you see the entire layer. Again, it enables 3D layer switch. Since we do want the wall to stay upright there's no need to flip its X dimension, but I do need to change its height so that it sits nicely on that floor.
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This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
- Building a 3D world
- Working with layered Illustrator files
- Synchronizing to music
- Using text animation presets
- Rendering strategies
- Working with widescreen video, including 4:3 center cut and safe area considerations
Adding a video panel
Now that we have our floor in place, let's put something on top of it. So let's just say this Skater panel layer. Again I am going to use the shortcut Command+Forward slash on Mac, Ctrl+Forward slash on Windows, to add to the composition. If your Current Time Indicator is at the very start of the comp, it may be difficult to see the layer clearly because the block dissolve hasn't really brought it on yet. Go ahead and scrub that Current Time Indicator a little bit later until you see the entire layer. Again, it enables 3D layer switch. Since we do want the wall to stay upright there's no need to flip its X dimension, but I do need to change its height so that it sits nicely on that floor.
I am going to type P to reveal its position and Shift+A to also reveal its Anchor Point. The Position parameter actually tells you where the Anchor Point of a layer is. Anchor Points default to the very middle of layers. If I want the bottom of this layer to sit on the floor this might require a little bit of math to see what the correct position is, or you can move the Anchor Point to a more convenient position to make your math easier. To do that I'm going to right-click on the Anchor Point value, choose Edit Value and say, "Show me the Units as a percentage of this source." Now that I have this I can say, "Well, keep the X centered inside layer but put the Y at the very bottom of the layer, 100% of the Y value of this source." When I do so, now you'll see the layers has redrawn with the Anchor Point at the very base of that layer.
Once I have done this, now it makes it very easy for me to say my Grid Floor's Y position is at 400. Let's go ahead and set the position of my Skater panel also to 400, and now it'll sit precisely on my floor. If you're having trouble visualizing that, feel free try one of the alternate camera views. Right now I am looking from the default camera, which is the Active Camera, in which you can choose a Custom View 1 to view your wall from the side. And now you get a better idea of how that wall is sitting on your floor.
Now just like we pushed the radar and the gridlines further back in space, it looks like I might want to do the same with this wall, because right now it's a bit crowded towards the front of the composition. So I'll go back to Custom View 1, and I can either grab its Z axis arrow and slide it manually back in the world. Maybe I want those grid lines like right around there, or go ahead and scrub its value down here in the Timeline panel, which is, frankly, the way I prefer to work. I think I would like it to be one of those gridlines, looks like right around there is good, typing a precise value position of 500, and it lines up with one of those grids.
However, I am noticing that it's straddling one of the gridlines going in this dimension. So I think I am going to slightly scrub it to X value until one of those block dissolve holes is nicely centered on one of our grid squares. Now change back to the Active Camera, so I get another perspective on this, then you need to scrub it this way a little bit, like right around there. By putting the Skater panel further back in Z, you'll see we made it smaller, and now I have the entire thing framed inside our display. And to make sure it is framed, I am going to bring up the title and action safe areas.
And indeed, I am seeing that the entire panel is inside action safe. It won't be cropped off by the bezel of the TV. I can turn this off, or I can also use the keyboard shortcut of pressing the apostrophe key.
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