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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
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Creating animation without presets


From:

After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Creating animation without presets

And now we are going to look at manually animating properties. And this is kind of a complex topic. Once you get the hang of it, it's actually very easy. And everything in the After Effects animates the same way, whether you are animating something like fading in or moving from side to side, or you are animating some component of an effect or whatever; everything animates the same way. So, once you get the Zen of After Effects animation, if you will, then it's really, really an easy program because everything, again, animates the same way. But this isn't the time or the place really to get into that.
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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

Creating animation without presets

And now we are going to look at manually animating properties. And this is kind of a complex topic. Once you get the hang of it, it's actually very easy. And everything in the After Effects animates the same way, whether you are animating something like fading in or moving from side to side, or you are animating some component of an effect or whatever; everything animates the same way. So, once you get the Zen of After Effects animation, if you will, then it's really, really an easy program because everything, again, animates the same way. But this isn't the time or the place really to get into that.

We are going to save that for a little bit later on in the training series, a couple of chapters down the road. So, for now, just kind of follow along with me just to get the overall feeling of the way animation works. So, I am going to select the filigree stems layer. That's layer 10. I am going to click this little stopwatch here next to Transition Completion, and I am going to click and drag on this property until it reaches 100. The next thing I am going to do, and by the way, I am at 3 seconds and 7 frames in, so basically, 03:07 and if you wanted to move your Current Time Indicator to get there then you can follow along exactly with me, but it doesn't have to be exact.

I am going to move to the right, basically a little bit further in time, maybe about a second so that it says 04:07. The next I am going to change this value to where we want it to end up, to 0. So, basically the stopwatch says, "After Effects remember what I am about to tell you." So, then it will animate on if we scrub the Current Time Indicator. So, you could see these stems animating on. It's very cool. Now just for practice, let's do the same thing with the filigree stem tips layer.

So, let's go out to about here in time, and that's about 03:17. So again, scrub your play head, your Current Time Indicator, till you add about 03:17. If you are a little bit above that, like 3:19, 20 or a little bit behind that like 3:14, 15, it doesn't really matter, not for this example, anyways. So, I am going to go ahead and do the same thing here where I am going to click the stopwatch for a Transition Completion, drag this value up to 100%, move in time out to about another second, so about 04:17 this time and click and drag on Transition Completion the value to about 0%.

By the way, if you have a Photoshop background and you are new to After Effects, this concept of how you click and drag on values, this is referred to as a scrubby slider. And many Photoshop users that don't know After Effects don't know this, but in Photoshop, you can do this all over the place. So, if you are going to change a layer's opacity or some other value, maybe a text size or something, you could put your cursor over a value, and you get this icon indicating that you can scrub left and right, which is really great for getting instant live feedback for what you are doing.

So, now, if we back up a little bit and scrub our Current Time Indicator, you could see that we have both of these cool, little objects rotating on, which is really cool. I love the way that looks - really easy as well. One thing that I don't particularly like about this is that both of these objects are animating on in the same way. They are both going counterclockwise. It's kind of interesting that the description of the Wipe is clockwise in both things. It says it's clockwise, but really, it's going counterclockwise because we are doing it backwards.

So, what we are going to do is go to the filigree stems layer and change the Wipe type in this dropdown, just click this, and choose Counterclockwise. So, now when they animate on, they animate on in opposite directions. If you want the other one to go clockwise, the other one to go counterclockwise, feel free to change that as you please. But for now, this is what we got - pretty sweet. Now, one another thing I want to do while we are talking about this is kind of like extra credit. We have this video here that comes on the beginning. Let's go ahead and turn on the visibility of this layer by clicking this Eye icon for that layer.

As we move in time, the layer fades to black, and then it just stays black. It covers up all the work that we did, so you can see this bar is on top of everything. So, we can't see what we have here because of that video layer. So, let's move in time to when it fades to black, and that's about two seconds and ten frames in - and we'll explain timecode a little bit more in the next chapter, but for now, just scrub this until it says 02:10. Then I am going to open up this layer by clicking the little arrow next to it. Click the arrow next to Transform to open that up, and these are the basic animation properties of a layer.

Again, we are going to talk about this very in-depth in a couple of chapters down the road, but for now, just know that we are going to adjust the Opacity parameter. So, I am going to click this stopwatch for Opacity. I am going to move in time ever-so- slightly, just one frame, maybe two frames, just kind of one little notch over and then drag this down to 0. If you did this correctly, you should have two little diamonds here right next to each other. You might have to zoom in by clicking these little mountains. We'll talk about what those diamonds mean and what they indicate a little bit later on.

But for now, just know that we have taken this video layer and faded it out so that our other animation can continue, which is pretty awesome. So, if you've been following along, congratulations now on being a full-fledged animator and being able to bring something to life from scratch. It feels pretty good, doesn't it? I love 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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