Building the video panel
Video: Building the video panelIn 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.
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This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
- Building a 3D world
- Working with layered Illustrator files
- Synchronizing to music
- Using text animation presets
- Rendering strategies
- Working with widescreen video, including 4:3 center cut and safe area considerations
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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