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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
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Creating markers


From:

After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Creating markers

Markers are a way for you to create notes for yourself or if you work in a team to make notes for other people on your team, so you know where things are happening. We saw this earlier in the training series in the beginning when we did this Hansel and Petal ad and I put these little comp markers here. That's what these are in the Work Area bar here, and you could put notes on them if you want, or you could just have the marker there if you'd like, and they indicate certain things like the "Filigree Core & Stem Start Here," and the "Stem Tips Start Here." So they are marked in time, so I know later on that this is what's happening at that particular time.
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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 markers

Markers are a way for you to create notes for yourself or if you work in a team to make notes for other people on your team, so you know where things are happening. We saw this earlier in the training series in the beginning when we did this Hansel and Petal ad and I put these little comp markers here. That's what these are in the Work Area bar here, and you could put notes on them if you want, or you could just have the marker there if you'd like, and they indicate certain things like the "Filigree Core & Stem Start Here," and the "Stem Tips Start Here." So they are marked in time, so I know later on that this is what's happening at that particular time.

Now there's actually two different types of markers: there are markers for the layer, and there are markers for the entire composition. Now we'll talk about why you'd want both in just a moment. When I go back over to this Clip05- tahoe clip, and this is a very long clip. If we click here in the Project panel to see this clip, this is 19 seconds long, which is actually really long, and nobody wants to look at one solid clip for 19 seconds. Your eyes just get fatigued. You would want to use bits and pieces of this but not one solid cut of this for 19 seconds.

So, what I might want to do is go through and get the juiciest bits. Let's say, for example, there is like the start of the trick right about there. So, what I am going to do is select this layer and I could go to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and then choose Add Marker. That's a little tedious though, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to hit the Asterisk key on the numeric keypad, and that will add a layer marker. This little marker right there, and then I'll move out in time and wait until the Snow Boarder lands the trick. Boom! Right there. And then I want to press the Asterisk key again for when the trick ends.

So, I could double-click on these layer markers. I'll double-click on that one. And I'll just say Trick Start and then click OK and then I could double-click on this one and click Trick End. Now while we're in this window, let me explain this really briefly. The Time is where the marker is going to be placed and you could actually choose to have a Duration for the marker. This is a little bit advanced, so I actually never use this Duration value. There's this Chapter and Web Links area. This is also something that I don't use very often, but with certain formats mostly QuickTime, you can embed certain information, such as the chapter or a URL.

So, if somebody is playing the video in QuickTime, QuickTime will recognize a web link and then can launch a browser and go to a certain web page. So, let's say you have like a video for a commercial product and somebody is watching it and when they get to the end of the video, you want their web browser to launch to take them to your web page to see your product, you can do that there, but they have to be viewing it with QuickTime, and this is not something that's typically done very often. It's not very popular, and there's also a Flash Cue Point. So, if you work with Flash and you're going to export this as an FLV, you could set this up as an Event or a Navigation Cue Point to be used by Flash later.

You could even set up a parameter name and value here for this Cue Point as well. For now, I'm just going to go ahead and click OK so that this says Trick Start, Trick End, and I could go through this footage and go to when the next trick starts, maybe like right here and add another marker, etcetera. Now another cool thing about marking footage is that this works when you're previewing footage as well. So, if I hit the Spacebar key and I was previewing and then once this slide stopped I could hit the Asterisk key again and it would make another layer Marker there. Usually, what it do is I RAM preview footage and if I have like an audio track, a lot of times I'm syncing my motion graphics to an audio track and so I'll RAM preview while I am listening to the music and then I hit the layer marker, that Asterisk key, when there is certain beats in the music or something.

And I can use this a guide while I am editing to make cuts happen at certain times or certain like animation bits to happen with those triggers using those layer markers as kind of like cues for what's going on. Now I mentioned that there are two different types of markers. There are layer markers, which we've been looking at, and also xomp markers, which we saw on the Hansel & Petal Ad comp. So, what I can do is to create a comp marker is go over here to the shield on the right-hand side of the Timeline panel. Click and drag this over to the left. As you can see, we have a number on these by default. Now we could double-click these to put a comment in it.

You could see the Composition Marker dialog box. It was just like the Layer Marker dialog box. But if we leave them as they are, then they are numbered. What's cool about these, they create kind of navigation points. If you don't rename them they become numbered comp markers and if I push 1 on the main area of the keyboard I jump to the first comp marker and 2, I jump to the second comp marker and so on. Now you might be wondering, why would I ever want to use layer markers as opposed to comp markers? Well here's the deal folks. If I click and drag on my layer to move it, then the layer markers come along for the ride.

I would not want to put the Trick Start, Trick End and all that kind of stuff because then if I move this layer, then those comp markers are still going to stay there, but the layer markers are going to move with it. So, the difference between layer markers and xomp markers as far as workflow goes is that you put layer markers on things that are specific to that layer. And then you put comp markers for that overall program. So, let's say for example you are working on a project for a client and they said, "Okay, at two seconds and 13 frames in, we want music to come in, and we want to see these graphics.

We want to see like the name of our company." So, you might want to go to 2 seconds and 13 frames right about there and then I would put a comp marker there because this is something that's going to affect the entire program not just one layer. So, again, layer markers define content on that particular layer and comp markers define content or important points for the entire composition. Now again, because you can double- click on these and add whatever comment you want, they become great sticky notes. So, you could put notes to yourself or if, again, you going to pass this on to somebody else, you might be able to put something like, "Hey, on this frame, I was thinking doing such and such," and as you could see this dialog box is huge.

You could put a huge comment to somebody in there. So, you can give them a basic idea of what's happening. Or let's say you're about to close out work for the day, and you don't want to forget where you are, but you do want to clock out and go home and relax a little bit. So, you make a comment that says, Okay! This is what I was thinking about doing blah blah blah, whatever. So, when you come in to work the next day, you know where you were in the work process. You don't have to start from scratch again. Markers are perhaps the best way for you and the other people you work with to be familiar intimately with your project.

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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