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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
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Adjusting comp resolution


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After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Adjusting comp resolution

As much we love our dear beloved computers, sometimes they just can't keep up with all the stuff that we throw at them in After Effects. So, in this movie, I want to give you a couple of tips in how to work with After Effects when your computer is really struggling to get the job done. The first one is the Composition panel magnification dropdown here on the left-hand side. We can choose which magnification we want. The smaller the resolution, let's say we got 25%, the easier it's going to be for your computer to process what's happening. And especially when you're dealing with HD and now with the Red Camera, we have 2K and 4K files becoming very commonplace, this can really help you out.
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  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
8h 39m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the After Effects workflow
  • Precomposing footage
  • Explaining the basics and beyond of animating
  • Creating glows, patterns, textures, and more with effects
  • Color correcting footage
  • Working with text
  • Manipulating video playback speed
  • Masking objects and shape layers
  • Removing backgrounds with keying
  • Compositing multiple pieces of footage
  • Integrating After Effects with the rest of the Creative Suite
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Chad Perkins

Adjusting comp resolution

As much we love our dear beloved computers, sometimes they just can't keep up with all the stuff that we throw at them in After Effects. So, in this movie, I want to give you a couple of tips in how to work with After Effects when your computer is really struggling to get the job done. The first one is the Composition panel magnification dropdown here on the left-hand side. We can choose which magnification we want. The smaller the resolution, let's say we got 25%, the easier it's going to be for your computer to process what's happening. And especially when you're dealing with HD and now with the Red Camera, we have 2K and 4K files becoming very commonplace, this can really help you out.

With After Effects, if it's shrunk down really small like this, After Effects doesn't have to actually render every single pixel and you want to make sure that when you are zoomed to a small resolution like that, that you do set this to Auto. If it's not, then you could have it set to and inadvertently to say something like to Full, for example. And what this is going to do is it's going to render every single pixel. Even though we can't see it, we are only seeing 25% of the pixels, if this is set to Full, it means that it's going to render every single one of those pixels even though we can't see them.

So, if we leave this set to Auto, then you could see that it's set to Quarter automatically, so it's only rendering a quarter of the pixels anyways and so things go much more efficiently. By the way, in this Magnification dropdown, you also might want to try checking out Fit and Fit up to 100%. If you choose Fit up to 100%, it will make sure that you can see the entire video. For example, we are looking at this 86.3%, and as we resize our panels then it automatically resizes our view of the composition. By the way, if we select Fit other than Fit up to 100%, then if we keep stretching this above 100%, then it will resize accordingly and get extra blocky.

So, I usually set this on Fit up to 100%. You want to be careful though when you get to one of these like weird fractional values, like 80.2%, oftentimes you can see these little problems with the resolution, something with like the video card or how it's processed. But it makes things very blocky sometimes. I shouldn't say very blocky, but you definitely see along the edges that that's not as crisp as it would be. If we were going to take this to something like 50% or even 100%, things will look much more smooth. So, again Fit up to 100% is great. It's very dynamic.

But again, the downside is that the quality is not perfect. Now, the other thing you could do in this Resolution dropdown here is to force this to a lower resolution. So as we talked about, the correspondence between the zoom factor and then the quality, but even when we were zoomed in, let's say to 100%, we could also take this resolution dropdown to a Quarter. And again, that will render every fourth pixel and it does make it look a little bit blocky. But it's amazing how much faster After Effects can render this footage when you drop the quality down.

Now oftentimes, like when you're dealing with animation timing, like a ball bouncing or characters moving, you don't really need to see things perfectly. You are not like look looking for like a pixel-by-pixel perfect view. You just kind of want to get a sense of the animation, the timing. And again, if you are dealing with the 2K footage or 4K footage or even if you're working with HD and your computer is having a hard time with it, you can go to this dropdown. You can even choose Custom. And you could choose the Custom resolution so you could render every, let's say, 10 pixels horizontally and every 10 pixels vertically, which creates a very blocky image.

But again, when you're zoomed out you could still tell what's going on and it allows you to just preview your video so much faster. Now, of course, this is not ideal. And before you do a full render of something, especially if you have effects applied, you want to preview things at full resolution just to make sure that you have got all of your virtual i's dotted and t's crossed. But this can help you definitely while you are working if your computer is chugging along.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: In the "Creating a fireball" movie in Chapter 6, the author showed how to make a fireball. Unfortunately, it all centered around a blob layer that he made without showing how to make a blob layer. How does one go about creating a blob layer like the one used in the video?
A: To create a blob layer, make a shape layer using the Pen tool. Animate the anchor points over time to make it move. These concepts are reviewed in depth in Chapter 4, "Learning to Animate."
Q: In the Chapter 5 video "Understanding precomposing," the exercise file provided does not seem to match up with the file the instructor uses. My file does not include a "Biker Body" layer. Is there an error in the exercise file?
A: Unfortunately, the exercise file originally distributed for this chapter was incorrect. A new file was issued in February 2011. If you downloaded the exercise files prior to then, you can download the corrected file on the Exercise Files tab of the course page.
Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

 
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