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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
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Animating growing vines


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After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Animating growing vines

One of the most common uses for After Effects' Paint arsenal is to create these cool growing vines, this type of effect, sometimes you'll see it with vines or ink spatter or whatever, but basically the effect is done pretty much the same way. It's really a beautiful ornate effect, and it's not super hard, although it is little time-consuming. So, here's what we're going to do. We have one vine, because actually in the final result, one of the things that makes this look a lot more ornate and beautiful than it really is is you animate one vine and you just duplicate it a bunch of times.
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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

Animating growing vines

One of the most common uses for After Effects' Paint arsenal is to create these cool growing vines, this type of effect, sometimes you'll see it with vines or ink spatter or whatever, but basically the effect is done pretty much the same way. It's really a beautiful ornate effect, and it's not super hard, although it is little time-consuming. So, here's what we're going to do. We have one vine, because actually in the final result, one of the things that makes this look a lot more ornate and beautiful than it really is is you animate one vine and you just duplicate it a bunch of times.

So, it seems like you have tons of crazy stuff going on and really you've animated one vine, but duplicated it like three times. So, it seems like you have tons of stuff going on, but really you don't. So, one of the things that you need to do before this trick is to break up one vine into a series of layers. So, for example, in Illustrator, I cut this up so that there is a main vine and then there is one offshoot there, an offshoot there, an offshoot there, and a fourth offshoot there. The same trick that we're going to apply to the main vine, you'll need to apply on your own to each of these offshoots.

Again, it is time-consuming, so we're not going to go through this whole entire project. It probably take a good, I don't know, 30 minutes or so, maybe longer to do this. But you'll get the idea of how to do this on your own. Actually, I'm going to take up the visibility of that bottom layer as well. So, we're just going to select the Main Vine and we're actually going to use a painting feature of After Effects that we haven't covered so far and that is an effect called Write-on, with a W. So, I'm going to apply Write-on to this vine and first you'll see this Brush Position value. So, I'm going to click the effect control point for this and then click right at the bottom of this effect.

By default, the Brush Size is a very tiny two pixels. So, click and drag this to the right to resize this stroke so you could see this value. There we have our paint and make sure you're at the first frame. What we're going to do is click the value for Brush Position,and we're going to move in time a little bit and then move Brush Position a little bit. Again, you want to make sure that the stopwatch is clicked for Brush Position. Otherwise you will not actually be creating a long paint stroke; you'll just be moving one little paint dot around.

So, again, the key is to move in time and continue to paint this entire vine. Now the paint here works kind of like the Brush tool that we saw before. Where we're now painting with this color on top of our layer. So, the key to this trick really is in this Paint Style dropdown at the bottom. So, right now, we're painting On the Original Image. That's the default setting. You could also paint On Transparent, which is what we saw with the paint settings as well, where we could get rid of the layer and just have our paint. But what makes this effect unique and special is this value down at the bottom, and that is Reveal Original Image.

That will make it so it doesn't matter what the color of the Write-on paint is. You'll actually be using the paint to reveal the image. So, basically what you would be doing is be moving in time, changing the value, and revealing the vine that is there. Now, one of the things that you'll want to do-- and I want to take Paint Style back to On Original Image for a moment. We need to change Brush Time Properties from None to Size. The reason why is that we're going to need to animate the size of the brush. As we go up this vine, you'll notice that it gets smaller and more treacherous, like a mountain road.

And then at the top, it curls. It gets very small. So, we're going to want to be able to animate Brush Size. However by default, Brush Size, when you animate it, and let's say I take this down is going to change the brush size for the entire stroke for everything that we've drawn so far. But actually we don't want that. We want this to be big and then to taper and get smaller towards the end. So, the way that this happens is by changing Brush Time Properties to Size so that as we move in time, as we continue to change the value, and then we animate Brush Size. Actually let me back up and we'll start there. Click the stopwatch for Brush Size and then I move in time.

Now, because I've animated both Brush Size and I've changed Brush Time Properties to Size, then when I change the Brush Size it only changes the current spot's brush size and not the brush size of the entire stroke of everything that we've done. So, that is essentially the trick. We paint on the entire vine and then we change the Paint Style to Reveal Original Image, so that we are uncovering whatever we want to reveal, and then we do that to each of these vines and then we duplicate that whole vine. Now you can see that I did that via pre-composing.

So, if I double-click this, you could see my vines are all animated here. Here's what that looks like. Then I duplicated those precomps, added some Glow, scaled them, flipped them a little bit, changed them so they staggered in time a little bit, and then put them together, and you have this really beautiful vine animation.

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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