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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.
When you hear the term expression inside of After Effects, it's referring to a scripting language, where you can create complex animations with different scripts. But in this video what we're going to do is learn how to apply expressions just using the pick whip. So if you're familiar with using the pick whip in parenting, the process is going to be remarkably similar. The advantage is the fact with Expressions you can apply the control of parameters to control other parameters. So as opposed to one whole layer controlling another layer, you could say have the rotation of one layer control the position of another. So that's why we're starting with this very basic example. And once we learn how to apply the expressions between these two objects, then we're going to go ahead and apply an expression in this composition and use the Z position of this logo to rotate through a bunch of colors for the background of the his graphic.
So let's go ahead and select the basic expressions composition, and get started by opening the different transform options for both layer two and layer one. So, I'm going to open up layer two and just make sure transform is open, and then in layer one, for the circle, let's go ahead and select the circle and press p to open the position parameter for that layer. I know this is a shape layer, but we're expressly just going to be dealing with the position parameter. We want the rotation of the square layer to be determined, by the position of the circle on its y axis.
So, we'll start by applying the expression to the child, so let's select the rotation parameter of this square just by clicking on the road rotation. And then, you can go up under Animation and choose Add Expression. Once we do that, notice we have a very similar looking little curly Q icon to the parent curly Q icon, called the pick whip. So, if we click on the pick whip here in our rotation, we can specify anything in this composition to control that rotation.
So, I could say, the scale is going to control the rotation or the position. But that wouldn't make much sense, so what I'm going to do is Map it to the y-parameter only of the position data for the circle layer. So point your Pick Whip right up at the number 360 here for layer one and let go. Now it's written out the full script required to create that link between the two parameters. Now in order to set this parameter, just click anywhere outside of this scripting area. So I'm just going to click up here. Now it was successfully applied, and I can tell that because. The rotation parameter was set to 1 and that's because the value on the Y axis for the orange circle was 360, which has a direct one to one relationship with degrees, 360 degrees is one full rotation.
So now, if we were to animate the position of the orange circle on the Y axis It would adjust the rotation of the square accordingly. Now you could apply this, you know, to the x parameter or, you know, apply it to some of the other parameters inside of your composition. The point to understand this video is that you can apply it to any of the parameters just by using the (UNKNOWN). Now if you need to disable an expression at any given time, you can either click this little equal button, which will just enable or disable. Or you can select the parameter and go up under the animation menu and choose remove expression.
That will get rid of it completely. Now let's go ahead and see if we can apply that logic to our working project. At the H+ expression project, so if you don't have it opened go ahead and double click on the H+ composition comp, and all select layer 1, the sea move layer. If you press P to open up the position parameter here, you can see that I've got X, Y, and Z. And if we scrub through the timeline, you can see the Z actually moves back and shoots out. Now I want this move on the Z axis to control the colour of the background. So the background is being created by layer nine, this colourize option. If I turn it off and on we can see that's what's actually creating that deep greenish blue colour.
Now since we're going to be dealing with time. Specific parameters togther. Let's go ahead and maximize the timeline by pressing the tilda key on your keyboard. Now, I want this layer color to go ahead and rotate a bunch of diffetrent colors based on the z position. So, in order to do that, I'm going to apply an effect. If you go up to the effect pulldown with layer 9 selected, I want you to go to color correction. And choose colour balance key levels saturation or HLS.
Now if you press E with your keyboard, that will open any effects applied to that layer. If we open the colour balance layer you can see we have the hue. Now I want the hue to start at zero. But the position for the Z move is already set at 265. So I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen here but let's go ahead and go with it. Select the hue parameter for hue level saturation and go up under animation and choose add expression. So we want to hue to be colored by the Z parameter of the Z move.
So let's go ahead and click and drag on that, and have it point at the z parameter. Now we need to set this, so I'm just going to click outside of that light grey area, and that's been set. Now we can press the tilde key again so we can see our project. And as you can see, it's already rotated to a different colour. If you go ahead and click and drag with your current time indicator, good, you can see that it actually kept the proper colour and then only started to rotate through the colours once the object started moving on the Z axis.
This is exactly what I wanted to create. So, lets go ahead and watch a RAM preview. Now, this concludes our little whirlwind tour of how to apply expressions using the pick whip. I encourage you to continue exploring how to use this tool by applying expressions to anything and everything.
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