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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
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Applying layer styles to text


From:

After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Applying layer styles to text

Layer styles are a fantastic feature of After Effects that allow you to add cool effects to not just text, but any type of layer, and we will see this at work. I should preface this by saying that layer styles can be used in a way that's too overdone. So, make sure that you're very careful and artistic about your choices. The layer styles here that we are going to be talking about are just like we find in Photoshop. So, to access them, I am going to select the Hansel layer, right-click on it, and on any layer you are going to have this Layer Styles option when you right-click on the layer.
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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

Applying layer styles to text

Layer styles are a fantastic feature of After Effects that allow you to add cool effects to not just text, but any type of layer, and we will see this at work. I should preface this by saying that layer styles can be used in a way that's too overdone. So, make sure that you're very careful and artistic about your choices. The layer styles here that we are going to be talking about are just like we find in Photoshop. So, to access them, I am going to select the Hansel layer, right-click on it, and on any layer you are going to have this Layer Styles option when you right-click on the layer.

And these are all the effects that we can add. So, we could for example add Bevel and Emboss, which creates kind of like this three-dimensional look to our text or whatever the layer is by giving it like a highlight and also shadows, which we can't really see because it's black text, but it does give it this kind of chiseled look. We can also add more effects to this. We can right-click on this and go to Layer Styles and choose Drop Shadow to add a very simple drop shadow. You could right-click and continue to add another effect, let's say an Outer Glow. Now, we typically wouldn't have an Outer Glow and a Drop Shadow on the same object at the same time, but just to show you that you can't stack these effects up.

Let's say we are going to adjust the Outer Glow. Let's go down into the layer here and we could open up Outer Glow and you could see all of the layer styles. We have Drop Shadow here and Bevel and Emboss, and you could open them to get their options. And let's say for example that we want to change the color. So, here for the color of the glow, I can click the eyedropper and maybe go to a brighter color of pink, like the background, and we could increase maybe the spread. As you can see, it becomes kind of like a thicker stroke almost around it. We can also increase the size. And now that the size is bigger, I might dial back the spread a little bit.

So, we just have like this faint soft glow behind the text. It might just be a little bit of too much. We can dial back to the opacity a little bit, just click and drag on the Opacity for that layer style for that Outer Glow. And none of the other attributes like the Drop Shadow or the Bevel and Emboss are affected. But it makes it stick out a little bit, which is just kind of cool. Also, the Outer Glow and all these layer styles have their own independent visibility controls, so I can click the eye icon and see it before and after. And so it is a very subtle effect, but it does make a big difference without it and I think it looks better with it. So, you can see tons of cool opportunities for cool effects here, but also you can probably see how it can easily be overdone.

I am going to go to actually the background layer. First, I am going to unlock it by clicking the lock icon for layer 16 here and I am going to right-click on this, and I'm going to choose a layer style. I am actually going to add a gradient overlay. This is going to put a gradient over our layer. This is kind of like the Ramp effect,so you might be saying, "Well, we have already done that. Look, what's the big deal?" Well, the cool thing here is if we open up Gradient Overlays options in the layer area, then we could get to the options for the gradient. And what I'm going to do actually is change the blend mode, which will change the way that this gradient blends in with the background.

Again, we haven't quite talked about blend modes yet. We will, but for right now just go take this dropdown from Normal to Overlay. And so now the darkness is making the background darker where the black was, and the bright areas of the gradient, the white part, is making the bottom part of our background a little bit light. Here is this really nice dark to light overlay or enhancement of the background. I actually might want to flip that, so we can come down here to the Reverse option and it says Off. Just go ahead and click it once to make it On, so it's flipped so now the gradient goes from bright at the top to dark at the bottom.

Kind of a nice effect here. Now again, it might be a little bit too much of an effect, so we could take down the opacity of the effect as we see fit. And now the brights are not as bright and the darks are not as dark, but still looking pretty cool I think. So, again, there's that, and we could take the visibility off of the Gradient Overlay to see the before, and just all standard, top to bottom. And then there is the after, with a slightly brighter top and slightly darker bottom. I like that effect a lot. So, oftentimes when I want to give a background some character or maybe just some text some character, just bring it to life, so it's not just this solid flat color, layer styles, if used appropriately, could be a great way to do that.

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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