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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
Shape layers are a little bit different than layer solids with masks. They give you a little bit more flexibility so to show you what I mean, let's go ahead and create a shape layer. Make sure you have the hand comp active I'm just going to double click on the hand comp here in my project panel and I don't have any layers selected down here in the layer panel. That's important because when I grab my shape tool I want to make sure I have the ellipse tool here. When I grab this, as long as I don't have any layer selected, this will automatically create a shape.
Now if you click and drag, I want to create a circle just like this one but with a shape layer so you can see some of the added benefits. So let's go ahead and click and drag and then I'll hold down Shift as I start to drag. Now, let's make it roughly the same size, and I'm going to grab my selection tool here so I can go ahead and move this to be roughly in the same spot. If you look to the right side of your toolbar, notice we have some options for our shape layer. By default, I have a fill, and I have a stroke. Now, the fill is black, so what I want to do is click on the black fill, and I'm going to grab this eye dropper here under the shape fill color.
going to click on that and I'll click on my blue for my other logo and then click OK. So now they match that way. There is a Stoke option as well and I want to increase the size of the stroke. I'm just going to click on the number here and drag it towards the right. Okay, so that looks pretty close, a 9 point stroke. Now there's 1 other thing making adjustments in these 2 panels. Yes, I can adjust the colors but if I hold down the alt or the option key and click, I can cycle through different fill types. Like here, I could fill with a gradient or I could fill with a radial gradient. And I get control handles here.
So let me go ahead and make this radial gradient come on out to the edges. And if I want to make a change to the color to the gradient, I'm going to go down to my timeline panel and, here from my colors, I'm going to click on edit gradient. Now I'm going to move this out of the way just so we can see our original blue layer. I'm going to select this color down here in the lower right corner. The top will allow me adjust the opacity and the lower part will allow me to adjust the color. So I'm going to click on the black color option here. Now I'll grab my eye dropper again and click here on the blue section of our circle.
Now when I click ok you can see I have a gradiant applied. I think thats slightly more interesting then the blue option that we have. So as you can see, when I created the shape layer I had a couple of different options. Notice I automatically added the circle. And so if I press w to grab my rotation tool, it'll automatically rotate around the the circle of the layer solid. So you don't have to worry about it's position amongst a layer. It just automatically has its own parameters that you can easily control in the layer panel.
So let's look a little more closely at the timeline. I'm going to go ahead and click and drag up. Just to give us a little more space. Notice We have a shape layer. It's shape layer one. We have an ellipse. We have an ellipse path. And we have stroke options. And then we have our gradient fill options. So if I go and close the gradient fill options, notice we have transform options. If I click on this, this is where I can adjust the position or the scale or the rotation. Those are still completely separate from the layer, overall. If I go and select the transform options for the shape layer, now you can see I have my anchor point and the size of the overall layer. So, if I try and adjust the rotation here, notice it's rotating around that anchor point.
So lets undo. Most of the time when I'm working with shape layers I animate this specific parameter that I'm dealing with. So if I'm dealing with this one ellipse I can go ahead and make the adjustments to its transform options. You can have more than one shape on a shape layer and as a matter of fact you can add more parameters to the shape layer as well. So let me go ahead and make this a little bit smaller So you can see exactly what I'm talking about. Let's scroll with out scroll wheel down a little bit to the ellipse section.
See where it says Contents and Ellipse? If you see the contents area, there's a flyout that says add. This is the same fly out that we have up here in our Shape Layer options. So let's go ahead and click on either one and instead of adding another shape, what I want to do is add Pucker and bloat. What this'll give me is a set of options. If I open my timeline down here, I can open up those options. And if I drag to the right, it makes it bloat; if I drag to the left, it makes it pucker.
So I could animate these. Notice I have the keyframe parameter. If you ever add anything that you don't want to a shape layer go ahead and select the parameter and then press delete. Now, there is one last thing that I think is really cool about shape layers and that's adding repetition. So, go back up to the add parameter and will add a repeater. Now, I'm not going to animate any of this right now but if we scroll down in the timeline. Notice the repeater options just above the transform options. If we open that, I have parameters for copies. So let's click and drag and increase the number of copies. Notice now I have many many copies.
If I click and drag on the offset option, it allows me to control how those copies move through the scene and offsets it. So, if you want to have a circle look like its popping up into the scene like this, all you have to do is animate the offset property. Now, there are transform options for my repeater as well, and we can open those options in here. So, as you can see, it can get rather complicated, rather quickly in terms of dealing with shape layers, because you can create.
So many different things within an individual shape. But once you understand the base function of creating a shape layer, with a fill and a stroke, you can go ahead and build on that, and pretty much the world is your oyster.
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