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In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.
In this video, we're going to stylize some of our footage. We're actually going to make it look kind of sketchy, not in a bad way but actually a good way. Now to get started, let's make sure we have our Sketchy project open, so double-click your Sketchy comp in the Project panel. And if we select Layer 1, most of the time when you apply effects, you just select the layer and go up under Effect, then apply the effect. But one of the tips I can recommend, especially if you're not sure exactly what piece of footage you're going to be using, is to actually use an Adjustment layer instead of applying the effects directly to your video layer.
So let's start by going up under Layer, and choose New > Adjustment Layer. Now with the Adjustment layer selected, if you know you're going to create something stylized, it's always a good idea to just do your due-diligence and go up under the Animation menu, and browse some of the presets because chances are, there's probably a preset that's pretty close that you could modify. Now let's go in the Image-Creative folder, and within here, if it takes a second to load, don't panic, it will load.
But you could scroll through and browse some of the different options. Notice when you select the file, it pops up over in the preview on the right-hand side. Now if it were animated, you would see a previewed animation. Now as I click up to Bloom or Colorize, you can see there really isn't anything that looks particularly sketchy. So I'm just going to the Command+Tab and jump back into my After Effects. So from within After Effects, let's start by choosing a base effect.
So with the Adjustment layer selected, go up under Effect, and I know I want to stylize my footage, so let's start by looking in the Stylize section; kind of makes sense, right? Well if we browse through here, we can look, and sure enough, there is one called Find Edges. So let's see what that looks like by choosing it. And yes, I've created something that looks kind of sketchy. If we scrub through the timeline here, let's see exactly what this is looking like. And while this looks pretty cool, when we get towards the end, notice as we look in the top of our comp window, you can see some of the sketch lines are different colors.
So I like this but I want them to be black and white. So let's go back up under Effect, and go to Color Correction because we're trying to change the colors, and since I want it to be black and white, let's actually go to the Black & White effect. Now when we apply that, we have an order of effects. So we have Find Edges first and then Black & White next. Now if we toggle Black & White on and off by clicking this FX button in the Effects Control panel, make note of which lines are what color.
So notice, this greenish color or whatever is kind of cyan actually. So when we turn Black & White back on, I could adjust the Cyan setting down to just bold up that color a little bit. Now I could sit here and keep tweaking, but I think this is pretty decent for now. Now as we scrub through, I am slightly bothered by the fact that these edges are so jagged. Now just to make sure that they're jagged, I always recommend scrolling to 100% magnification, and full resolution, so you can check out what you're looking at.
And it's true, I just don't like how jagged these lines are. So I'm going to go up under Effect, and add one more. If we go to Blur & Sharpen, we can add the Fast Blur. It's just a quick way to add a blur without having to bog down your system with the render time. So I'm going to bring my Blurriness just a tiny bit up. Here we can set it around 2.0. Now when we scroll back out and scrub through, you can kind of see it's just added a nice softness to the layer. Now I like the sketch look, but I don't want it to be on white.
I do want it to be applied to the video somehow. So in order to mix our effects with our video, we can now adjust the blend mode of the Adjustment layer. So if your switches and modes aren't up, just right-click anywhere in the gray area and make sure that you have your modes enabled. Okay. Now let's change the mode from Layer 1, from Normal to Multiply. When you choose Multiply, any white pixels will get knocked out. Now if you look here, you might get a little confused because this looks white.
Well if we turn off the Visibility of our Adjustment layer, you can see the original source as bright white as well. So, don't panic. Everything is working just perfectly. Now an interesting thing is going on here. We have effects that are applied to our Adjustment layer. But now, since we have a blend mode applied, our background layer is also a part of this treatment. Now what I want to do is add a slight glow to everything in the scene. Let's see what happens if we apply the glow directly to the Adjustment layer.
If you go up to the Effect panel, and go to Stylize, we can choose Glow. Now the default settings of Glow seem to be relatively okay, but honestly, how can you tell? You can't really see what's going on here. So let's actually select the Glow effect in the Effects control and press Delete. Now let's add an Adjustment layer. Let's go up to Layer > New > Adjustment Layer. The reason I want to add an Adjustment layer is because I want this effect to be applied to both my effects in the Adjustment layer, and the background color that it's mixing with.
Now we can go up under Effect, and since I just applied the glow, I can just go right here to Glow to apply it. The last effect you applied is always going to be the first option up here in your Effects panel. Now you can see I'm getting some glow out on the Color Channels as well as my stylized sketch. Now notice in my Glow settings, I could adjust my Glow based on the Alpha or the Color Channels. I do want to do the Color Channel, and if we crank the Threshold down, it's going to intensify the glow, and if we bring it up, it's going to soften the glow.
So let's bring it up to around 65, and we could adjust the radius out if we really want to soften it or bring it down for lesser glow. The intensity is just that, just how intense of a glow you're going to have. So let's leave that at 1, and you can definitely continue to click through the different options and further explore Glow. But I hope you can see how making adjustments to stylizing your video with Adjustment layers actually creates something a little bit more versatile and flexible because you not only have control within the effects themselves, but also between the layers and the blend modes.
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