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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
I found that usually whenever I color correct one piece of video footage, I'll end up having to add the same correction to all the other pieces from that same shoot. And while sure, that makes sense, it doesn't make the process any less annoying. And that's really where saving your corrections as presets can come in and save the day. But as a designer, saving color presets is yet another way you can expand your graphics toolkit to again avoid having to always start from scratch every time you want to create a specific color look. If you've never seen a Color Finesse before, stop! Go back and watch the previous video in this chapter.
But for now, let's go ahead and apply some adjustments in Color Finesse, and I'll show you how we can save that as a preset to add to any of our projects in the future. Before we get started, let's actually look at what's going on in the scene. I'm just going to scrub through the scene to give you a general idea. As you can see, we have our Falls footage, and then I have this King Wave Kayaks logo that appears in the scene. Now most of the time when I apply color correction directly to footage, I do just that, apply it directly to the footage. But since this actually has somewhat of a graphic build on top of it, what I like to do is create an adjustment layer.
So that layer will contain the adjustment, and I can choose exactly what part of the graphics I'd like to actually layer the effect on. So to show you, let's go up under layer choose New and Adjustment layer. With Adjustment layer 1 selected, press Return on your keyboard, and let's just call this ColorCorrect. Now we're ready to actually apply the effect. So go up under Effect and under Synthetic Aperture, launch SA Color Finesse 3.
And let's just open the Full Interface. So make sure to click the Full Interface button in your Effects Control palette. To quickly make an adjustment, let's jump right to the Gallery. So in the Gallery section, make sure your Settings Preset for the system is open and let's look at the Gels. Under the Gels, I want you to look at this Rosco Cinelux folder. In here if we click on each one of these different options, you can see a slightly different tint to the footage, and what I want to do is apply this Straw effect.
So to apply any preset, all you have to do is just double-click. I think that looks kind of cool as far as mixing the graphic in with the background, but what I want to do is create a slightly more vintage look. So let's wash out this background. If this isn't already selected in your window, go to Curves and select RGB. In the RGB section, you'll notice when we applied that effect there were adjustments made in the red, green, and blue channels. In order to washout this scene, go ahead and click on this handle in the lower- left corner for your master levels, and just drag it up to the left.
So now, I've kind of applied a slightly more vintage look to the scene. Now obviously, I could sit here all day and continue applying different effects and looks and that sort of thing, but let's just say this is exactly what I want and I want to be able to do this to any footage that I bring into any future projects. So what we need to do is actually save this as its own preset. So the easiest way to save a preset is to come right down here to the lower-left corner and click the Save button. What's going to happen? It will give me the option to save the corrections as a specific setting.
So by default, it will save it as untitled preset. So let's rename this Vintage and I'll just put _01. You can save it to whatever folder you're actually building your little graphic library in. I'm going to go ahead and save mine to my AE-Projects folder for Chapter 6. So, Vintage_01 in my AE- Projects folder for Chapter 6. Let's go ahead and save that. With the effect saved as a preset, we can go ahead and click OK, and you can see that the adjustment has been applied to this adjustment layer.
So we'll get to loading a preset in just one second. I want to show you why I created these color effects specifically on an adjustment layer. It just gives me the flexibility to choose exactly which layers are going to be affected and which ones aren't. So to see the color correction actually happen on the footage and not affect the color of the logo, go ahead and drag it down to the bottom of the scene. And now you can see our logo is popping right off to the background, but honestly, it doesn't really look that integrated.
I think I'll go ahead had move that back up to the top of the page, but to show you how to apply a preset, let's go ahead and just delete our Color Finesse effect. Just select it in your Effects controls and press Delete. If you want to apply a preset to any future projects, go ahead and make a new adjustment layer. Go up under Effects and reapply your Color Finesse filter, and then in here all you have to do is click this Load Preset button.
With the Load Preset button selected, I can go ahead and choose my AE-Projects folder, and sure enough, here is my settings file. So when I click Load, it will automatically load that back up onto its new specific adjustment layer that I just created. While saving color presets isn't particularly hard, remember that most of the time, even after you've applied your preset, you'll want to skim through your footage just to double-check that the effect is doing what you intended it to do.
Because obviously, when you apply a preset to different footage, if it was shot for a different day and had different color settings, the presets don't particularly account for each of those different variables. So make sure to just double-check after you apply any of your presets, but by all means, have fun continuing to build your motion graphics toolkit.
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