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Channel modes and other settings

From: After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet

Video: Channel modes and other settings

In this movie, we'll cover some options for the Channels pop-up and the Modes pop-up by adding some colorful eyeshadow to the mask's eyes. I'll start by setting up my workspace. First I'll remove the paint effect that will delete all the strokes I've created in the previous movie. I'll press the semicolon (;) shortcut and that will zoom all the way out. You may have to that twice depending on where you're at. Then I'll double-click the work area to reset the work area to the entire length of the composition. I'll also want to zoom in on these eyes.

Channel modes and other settings

In this movie, we'll cover some options for the Channels pop-up and the Modes pop-up by adding some colorful eyeshadow to the mask's eyes. I'll start by setting up my workspace. First I'll remove the paint effect that will delete all the strokes I've created in the previous movie. I'll press the semicolon (;) shortcut and that will zoom all the way out. You may have to that twice depending on where you're at. Then I'll double-click the work area to reset the work area to the entire length of the composition. I'll also want to zoom in on these eyes.

The Selection tool is currently active so I'll press and hold down the Z key and that will give me the Zoom tool. I'll click a few times to zoom in and when I release the Z key, it will return to the last tool that I was using. Then I can press the Spacebar to pan around and center, and you can even zoom in a little further just so we can see what we're doing. I'll select the Brush tool as before and let's check a couple of our settings over here. Let's make sure the Duration is set to Constant, then if we press Home, our strokes will exist for the entire length of the composition.

I also want to pick a smaller brush, in this case, I'll just select the brush from the Brushes panel, let's say the 27. That looks like it should work, and let's compare the differences between setting channels to RGB and Alpha and RGB only. We will explore the Alpha Channel option in a movie later in the lesson. So for now, let's select the default RGB plus Alpha, and since we're going to paint some eyeshadow, let's pick a color that might look good. We'll click OK.

So I'll paint one simple stroke around the top of the eye, and notice that pink color is also drawing inside the eye. In other words, it's extending the RGB channels and extending the Alpha channel. You can see that if you toggle on the Transparency grid and you can also see it by toggling on the Alpha channel. So here you can see when I was painting the pink it was adding white to the Alpha channel. So let's undo because we don't want to actually extend the Alpha channel.

To return to the RGB channels press Option or Alt and click on the Show Channels pop-up again. Now let's set the Channels pop-up to RGB only. Now when I paint the color is drawn only on the RGB channel, and that looks more correct to me at least. But let's say I didn't want this pink color to be drawn, so obviously on the image I wanted to use a Blending mode. And remember we have all of these Blending modes to choose from, but let's say I forgot to set to Blending mode before I started painting.

Well fortunately, everything you do in After Effects with a Paint Stroke can be edited in the timeline. In the timeline, click the arrow to the left of Paint, and then you'll see Brush 1 and it also has a twirly. When I expand Brush 1 it reveals a few options for Path, Stroke Options, and Transformations, and every individual brush stroke you create have all of these options available. Let's just give the timeline a little bit more space as we twirl these down.

Inside the Stroke options are most of the settings that you see inside the Paint and Brushes panels. And you notice here, I can even set the Channels with a stroke after the fact. So earlier, when I had drawn it as RGB and Alpha I could have simply changed the stroke here in the timeline, I didn't actually have to draw it again. The same goes for the Blending mode; once I have the stroke drawn, I can change the Blending mode for any existing stroke. For this stroke I think a mode like Color should work pretty well, that will add the Hue and Saturation of the pink color but use the luminance of the existing layer.

And at this point, you might find you don't even like this color. Well, fortunately, I can also change the color after the fact as well. Let's say I'd like to use more of lavender color, and of course you can change lots of other options including the size, the angle, the hardness, and so on. Further down, the Opacity value can be very useful because you may not want the color to be quite that strong, and you can also animate opacity to make the color fade in or fade off. In fact, you can animate all of these parameters.

In the next movie we'll cover animating the stroke using Start and End. The next set of options Transformations, look if you control over the Anchor Point, Position, Scale, and Rotation of each individual stroke. You'll notice the Anchor Point is placed at the beginning of the stroke. Unfortunately, it's not possible to edit the shape of the path; even though it's a vector stroke it has no handles or points. However you can animate the Path parameter to interpret between different shapes.

Simply turn on the stopwatch for this point in time, go later in time, make sure Brush 1 is selected and draw a second stroke and the two paths will interpolate between the first keyframe and the second keyframe. You should be pretty familiar with transformations. If you're free to have a little fun play around with those options and when you're done, let's create a second brush stroke. I'll pull this down a little, and this time since we know what blending mode we like we can select the blending mode before we start painting. You'll notice that the color in the Paint panel is the original pink color.

Now I've noticed, I've made a classic mistake. I mentioned before that if you have a Brush selected, it's so easy to replace your first stroke when you go to make a second stroke. So keep an eye on this, it's not too late to just simply Undo, press F2 to deselect the stroke and then go and create a new stroke. Of course at this point, I will probably want to select the Color and the Opacity from the first stroke and paste them to the second stroke. Select the second brush and paste.

In the next movie, we'll add some color to the lips and I'll show you how to animate on the stroke.

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