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In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.
Now that we've pre-rendered all the elements for our project, all we need to do is just import them into a new project and output our final build. To get started let's just double-click in the Project panel. If you navigate in your Exercise Files folder to the Footage folder, there is a 07 folder called Pre-Renders. If we double-click that folder, we can open the Track_Desk folder, and in here we have our Track_Desk_OUT TIFF Sequence as well as our Track_Desk_Shadow sequence.
Now if we select the Track_Desk_OUT sequence we can select TIFF Sequence and when I click OK or Open, I get an option for the Alpha channel. This is just telling us that After Effects doesn't necessarily know. So make sure Premultiplied is selected and make sure that this color is black. If you've never changed this color before, it should be black so you should be fine. When you Click OK it will get imported into your Project panel. Let's double-click back in the Project panel again and just scroll down until we get to our Desk_Shadow_OUT.
Now notice I don't need to select the first image as long as I save TIFF Sequence. When I click Open notice at the top of the Interpret Footage box, it's saying frame 0 to 205. So again let's make sure the Alpha channel is set to Premultiplied and click OK. As I'm looking at this I can tell, okay, I've got my image sequence and when it's selected up here at the top in the Project panel, notice After Effects assumed that it was 30 frames a second which is incorrect.
So we need to right-click on the image sequence, go to Interpret Footage, and under Main, let's change that from Assume this frame rate of 30 to Assume this frame rate of 23.976. Notice when I type that in it says Base 24 non-drop. Now I'm going to press Enter on my keypad to set that interpretation. Let's do the same thing for Track_Desk_OUT. Right-click, go to Interpret Footage, and choose Main.
Again, choose the frame rate at 23.976 and press Enter. Now let's import our back plate which is just the background video. So double-click and navigate back to your Footage folder and in your Footage folder you want to choose Video, and choose this Desk_1080 movie. When we click Open, notice it's already imported and it is the proper frame rate. So let's use this as the basis for our final comp.
Drag the QuickTime File down to the Create Comp button in the bottom of the Project panel, and our comp has started creation. Notice right here this number. This number is being created by the timecode that was present on the QuickTime when it was captured. If this bothers you, you can go to your Composition Settings and under the Start Timecode let's just change this to 0. I'm going to select everything and change it to 0, so when I click OK now we know exactly when the start of the comp is.
Let's add our shadow layer on top of our first layer, and there we go, we can see it, and we can drag our last sequence in on top of everything. Now this looks horrendous, but that's just because we haven't adjusted the blend mode for Layer 2. So select Layer 2 and make sure Switches and Modes are enabled. If they aren't, just right-click anywhere in this gray area, go to Columns and make sure that Modes are enabled. Change the blend mode from Normal to Multiply.
When you choose Multiply, it knocks out any of the white pixels and replaces them with transparency. Now any of the darker pixels will automatically get added to the scene. If we start scrubbing through the scene, we should see things refresh. This comp isn't moving particularly quickly on the refresh so I'm going to click the Fast Preview button in the lower right corner of the comp viewer and change it to Adaptive Resolution. Another thing you can do is just select the comp and make sure you're on the right renderer, but notice we don't have any 3D layers.
So we don't really need to do that. Now as you can see our logo looks like it is in the scene. If you want to make it look a little bit more like it's in the scene, you can change the transparency. Now with long names like this on these two layers, I'm just going to drag to make the source name a little bit larger by clicking on this little icon, and let's rename our Track_Desk_OUT. We'll call this Title. I just selected the layer and press Return, and then here let's rename Layer 2, press Return.
We'll call this Shadow. Now to add a little bit more realism we can select our Title layer and press T to open its Opacity and change it down to about 80%, and then we'll be able to see through that layer just a little bit. If we zoom in here you can start to see the back part of the wood actually popping through, and now it's time to do one last little thing to make this blend in to the background. That's add an Adjustment layer, and we're going to add a slight vignette over all of the layers.
So to do that, go up to the Layer menu, choose New > Adjustment Layer, and now we can apply the vignette by using one of the presets. So if we go up to Animation we can choose Browse Presets. Go to the Image - Creative folder and in here, if you scroll down to the bottom there's a setting for Vignette Lighting. If you click on the thumbnail to load a preview it may take a second, but you will see a preview in the upper right-hand corner.
To apply our preview to the Null Object all we have to do is double-click. It will take a second to refresh the scene, but now notice we have this kind of brightness in the middle of the scene. Let's change our magnification from 50% to Fit Up to 100%. It may take a second to redraw the scene, but if we toggle the visibility you can see before and after. Not only is this help to sort of blend into the scene, but it's added a little bit of contrast and pop as well as detail and focus to this specific area.
So now we're ready to render and eventually look at our final QuickTime output. So to add this to the Render Queue I'm going to go up to Composition and choose Add to Render Queue. Since I'm not using this to put into another edit and I just want it to be a small file, I'm going to click on my Output Module where it says Lossless and instead of outputting an animation QuickTime I'm going to go to my Format Options and choose H.264.
I'll leave its Quality set very high and click OK and then click OK. Now we can specify our output area. I'll click on Not yet specified and sure, why don't we go ahead and put it right here in the Footage folder and we'll call this kinetEco and Save. So I'll see you when this is done. All right, now that it's finished, navigate to your Finder to find the file and let's go ahead and check out what we've created.
(video playing) So check it out. We took our logo from an Illustrator file, took it into After Effects, extruded it into three dimensions, created lights, rendered pre-pass renders, brought those back in, did our compositing effects, and did our final output after putting a slight vignette on our scene. It takes a few steps to create some cool graphics, but I think you can see that the reward is well worth the work.
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