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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.
In this chapter, we're just going to jump into After Effects and get comfortable with it. We're going to start by going through this little project here, and here is what the completed project will look like. (Video Playing) (Female Speaker: You just can't beat Hansel and Petal. (Video Playing) (Female Speaker: I love this place. I absolutely love it!) Very nice little commercial for Hansel and Petal there, and we're going to go through that in this chapter. But before we even we jump into that, I wanted to give you one little movie where we look at the entire workflow in After Effects, just to give you some reference for where you are in the process.
The first step is, basically, we bring in elements from our hard drive, and we bring those into the Project panel here. Now we'll talk more in depth about the Project panel, as well as every step along the way, deeper as we go through this training series. But I just want to get you acquainted, so you have some frame of reference for what's going to be going on in this chapter. So, after we bring things into the Project panel, we bring them into compositions inside our projects and add these elements to our compositions. We can see the elements of our composition in the Timeline panel, which is where my little mouse is floating around now here.
We do most of our work on our layers. We animate our layers. We move them in time here in the Timeline panel. We could view the results of our work in the Composition panel up here, the Viewer. We could also add effects from the Effects & Presets panel. After Effects comes with this huge library of cool effects that do everything from color-correcting to adding lightning to distorting. There's just hundreds of things. So, after we're done fiddling with our stuff, then we render it - or in other words, we output it to a movie file format or to an image or an audio file.
But basically, we need to get all of these layers into some type of format that other people can view. That might be in a form of video for a commercial or something like that. So, again, the three things you need to remember about the After Effects workflow is that we, number one, bring stuff in, number two, we mess with it and adjust it, fiddle with it, and number three, we output it. Now, armed with that information, we're ready to jump into our projects. Let's go!
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