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Building the video panel

From: After Effects Apprentice 15: Creating a Sports Opening Title

Video: Building the video panel

In this chapter you will build the video panels that appear in our 3D world. Each one of these videos will be treated in their own pre-comp, and these panels will also be used later to create reflections in the main comp. You will notice that each video panel has a grid of 50x50 pixels which exactly matches the floor, and this grid is applied on top of the video and then a block dissolve transition brings on the video. Because we're using a grid structure, we'll create each pre-comp as a square pixel comp, even though the videos inside the comps will be non-square pixels.

Building the video panel

In this chapter you will build the video panels that appear in our 3D world. Each one of these videos will be treated in their own pre-comp, and these panels will also be used later to create reflections in the main comp. You will notice that each video panel has a grid of 50x50 pixels which exactly matches the floor, and this grid is applied on top of the video and then a block dissolve transition brings on the video. Because we're using a grid structure, we'll create each pre-comp as a square pixel comp, even though the videos inside the comps will be non-square pixels.

So let's get started with the first video panel which is of the skater. I will select the MyPrecomps folder again and then select Composition > New Composition. I will call this comp Skater. And for the size, I'd like to make it a multiple of 50 pixels. The closest I can get to with the 720x486 video is a square pixel size of 650x450. Just like the other pre-comps, this will also be a square pixel comp, a 29.97, but I think the duration could be a little bit shorter. Let's just make it 5 seconds long. And I will just change the background color back to black.

I will click OK. And in the Sources folder, inside the Movies subfolder, find the Skater movie and then add it to the pre-comp. Notice I've dragged the movie to the timeline so that the movie will be centered in the composition. Because the movie is a little taller than the comp and slightly wider, you can actually move it a little if you want to recenter it. As you're moving the movie, if you hold the Command+Shift keys on Mac, or Ctrl+Shift keys on Windows, the movie will snap to the edges of the comp.

I am just going to leave the movie centered for now. We can always move it later. And now let's add the Grid Effect to the movie. Now, you might be inclined to select the movie and apply the Grid Effect. I don't recommend you do that simply because you may want to recenter the movie later and that would move the grid. I will undo. So let's select Layer > New > Solid, and this will be our grid solid. And it's defaulting to the width and height of the comp, so I don't need to click the Make Comp Size button. I will just click OK.

For this example, I don't need to set the color of the solid to any particular color. I just select Effect > Generate > Grid, and this is the same effect you saw earlier. For the color of the grid, I will set the color to black. And because we don't need to do anything fancy with the Blending mode, we can use the Color parameter to set it to the color that we need. Now to make a 50 pixel by 50 pixel grid, I will select Size From and set it to Width slider, just like we did before. And set the Width value to 50, and that will set the width and the height to 50 pixels.

However, I am having a little problem here because I am seeing half a grid on the top and all around the sides. The reason for that is that the grid is being drawn from the center outwards. That's based on the value for anchor which is the first parameter in the Grid Effect. But this is easy to fix. I will just change Anchor to 0, 0 for X and Y, and that will place the anchor at the top left-hand corner of the comp and then the grid will be created horizontally and vertically from that anchor point.

Of course, we don't want the grid to be quite this obvious. I'd like it to be thinner. So let's change the Border value to, say 2, and if that's still too opaque for you, you have an Opacity slider here, so you can knock down the opacity. Or you could also set the feather values. If I twirl down Feather and change the Width and Height to 1, that will ever so slightly soften the line and make it a little less obvious. So feel free to tweak out the Grid Effect to taste, although do leave the Width at 50 pixels.

If you see anything you like as you work through the tutorial, you can save it as a preset as you go along. In the next movie, we'll add the block dissolve to make this video transition on.

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This video is part of

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  1. 3m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 17m 38s
    1. Building the grid floor
      8m 48s
    2. Creating a radar sweep
      5m 13s
    3. Adding lightning
      3m 37s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. Building the video panel
      4m 34s
    2. Using the Block Dissolve effect
      3m 52s
    3. Stylizing the footage
      2m 15s
    4. Duplicating precomps
      3m 37s
  4. 21m 22s
    1. Importing Illustrator files
      5m 47s
    2. Working with paths and masks
      4m 54s
    3. Animating the Stroke effect
      4m 20s
    4. Tinting the event names
      2m 42s
    5. Wiggling the rings
      3m 39s
  5. 33m 35s
    1. Starting a new composition
      1m 48s
    2. Spotting music
      5m 55s
    3. Building the floor
      5m 27s
    4. Adding a video panel
      3m 40s
    5. Creating a reflection
      7m 47s
    6. Adding the dial
      4m 7s
    7. Arranging the frame
      4m 51s
  6. 9m 22s
    1. Setting up the final pose
      4m 28s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      4m 54s
  7. 14m 39s
    1. Adding a text layer
      5m 16s
    2. Using text animation presets
      3m 16s
    3. Customizing the preset
      6m 7s
  8. 6m 56s
    1. Adding a Spot light
      3m 41s
    2. Casting shadows
      3m 15s
  9. 12m 7s
    1. Improving consistency
      2m 43s
    2. Adding a 2D background
      4m 29s
    3. Tying up loose ends
      4m 55s
  10. 20m 37s
    1. Overview of Main Comp 2
      3m 32s
    2. Grouping layers
      4m 39s
    3. Animating the swivel
      9m 2s
    4. Assembling the final comp
      3m 24s
  11. 25m 56s
    1. Adding a transition
      7m 0s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a filmic glow
      4m 0s
    4. Increasing the motion blur
      4m 2s
    5. Retiming a video source
      7m 34s
  12. 13m 4s
    1. Exploring render settings
      2m 48s
    2. Outputting for archiving
      1m 15s
    3. Outputting anamorphic widescreen DV
      1m 57s
    4. Creating a 4:3 center-cut version
      2m 31s
    5. Outputting for web
      2m 23s
    6. Exploring components for editors
      2m 10s
  13. 12m 49s
    1. Creating the inner ring
      5m 19s
    2. Creating the outer ring
      3m 9s
    3. Creating the text ring
      4m 21s

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