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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.
Earlier in this training series, I mentioned how you can animate every property in After Effects the same way you animate position, scale, opacity and all that stuff. And I just wanted to show you here how to animate effects, very similar to what we've already seen. I'm going to hold the Spacebar down to center this California text in our screen so this is kind of the focus here. And I'm going to select the Banner Behind California layer, and I'm going to go to the Effect Controls panel so that we can see stuff here that we have applied. We've applied Hue/Saturation effect here and also a Ramp effect.
Now at first this may look very chaotic to you, but after a while, you'll start to recognize that pretty quickly. We can see on the far left we have these little arrows. So, I'm going to click this to collapse those properties. We're not changing anything here. We're just basically making it a little bit more organized. So, as you can see here, we have two different effects applied to this layer. And you could apply as many effects on top of one another to a given layer as your RAM can handle. You want to open up the Ramp effect again by clicking the little triangle to the left of its name to open up its properties there. And we're going to be adjusting and actually animating a property of this Ramp effect. But before we do that, I want to show you this real quick.
We've talked about how the Eye icon is kind of like the visibility controller for a layer. Well the fx icon here is the visibility controller for effects. So, if I click this, I will turn off the Ramp effect. So, this is what the Ramp is doing. Ramp is basically a very simple gradient. So, this is off, and this is the effect on. Likewise, you can see the effect of Hue/Saturation by clicking the fx icon. There is the before and the after And actually, with the Ramp effect, the Hue/Saturation effect is pretty much worthless.
If you ever want to turn off the visibility of all effects at once, applied to the layer, then you can come down here at the Timeline panel. And if you're looking at the Switches view, you can actually click on Toggle Switches/ modes to go back and forth. And if you're looking at the Switches view where you see all these little doohickeys here, then you could click this icon here, the fx icon in the layer in the Timeline panel, and that will turn off all effects at once. This is great to see like a before and after like with Color Correction, for example, or if you're wanting to work in one layer has tons of really processor-intensive effects, you can turn them all off while you're working just by clicking that icon.
Now we've seen what this effect looks like without Ramp. It looks like this. And with Ramp, it looks like this. So, there's this value here called Blend With Original. If it's 0% then it's completely the Ramp that we're seeing. As we increase this value, we are basically fading out the Ramp effect. So, what I want to do is start out with this dull and bland and at 100.0%. And then what we're going to do is we're going to Blend With Original reduce this value so the Ramp effect kind of fades in, so it looks like there's a light coming from the bottom of his California banner.
So, as before, we want to end at 0, so I think this might be a good spot right there to end it. So, I'll go ahead and at about 2 seconds 17 frames, somewhere around there, I am going to go ahead and click the Stopwatch for Blend With original it 0%. So, again, the three components to animation: we click the Stopwatch, move in time, then change the value. So, we've already clicked the Stopwatch. Now I am going to move earlier in time, and maybe there. And then we'll animate this up to 100%.
So, again, if I were to click this layer and press U, so we can see all keyframes, we have the value at 100%, which means the Ramp is completely off, and then it kind of fades in here. So, I'm going to now look at this and press the Spacebar to get a preview, and now that that's loaded into RAM, it looks great. Let's watch it again. So, let's go right there, beautiful. It adds a nice little effect. It just kind of fades in a little from the bottom there. That's beautiful.
So, the point is, is that all of these effects properties, every time you see a Stopwatch, that is After Effects' way of telling you, "Hey you could animate me. I change over time, if that's what you want." Now the purpose of this chapter to is to show you kind of like a big showcase of effects, that's not to go super in details. You might not be animating them that much. But still keep that in mind that every time you see a Stopwatch that property is animate-able.
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