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Creating variations

From: After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

Video: Creating variations

I've decided that rather than creating unique frames for each of my extra videos, I'm going to save some time by reusing this one master frame. The first thing I'm going to do is select this one frame I've made and give it its own composition. That way, it'll be easier to find and edit and have changes to it rippled throughout the rest of my project. The problem is, I didn't think of this ahead of time, but that's no problem. I'm going to right-click on extra frame, and choose Pre-compose. Pre-compose is your ability to go back in time and create a comp chain you should have created if you knew ahead of time what you were doing.

Creating variations

I've decided that rather than creating unique frames for each of my extra videos, I'm going to save some time by reusing this one master frame. The first thing I'm going to do is select this one frame I've made and give it its own composition. That way, it'll be easier to find and edit and have changes to it rippled throughout the rest of my project. The problem is, I didn't think of this ahead of time, but that's no problem. I'm going to right-click on extra frame, and choose Pre-compose. Pre-compose is your ability to go back in time and create a comp chain you should have created if you knew ahead of time what you were doing.

So I'll go to Pre-compose, give this a new name like Extra Frame Master. Let's go ahead and open up that New Comp so we can look at it and click OK. Now if I tap the Shift Key, you'll see that that Extra Frame Master is used in Extra Video 1 and still looks the same as it did before. Perfect! I'm going to twirl up this Intermediate Comps folder just to save some space. Now let's go ahead and create extra video Pre-comps for my remaining pieces of video.

I had four of these I wanted to create, so I'm going to duplicate this three times, one, two, three, After Effects will automatically add incremental numbers to the end of duplicates to let you know what you're doing. Let's open up Extra Video 2. It looks exactly the same as Extra Video 1, but it's not a problem. I'm going to select my Extra Frame Master Pre-comp. Type R for rotation and flip it around 180 degrees. And now I have a different looking frame even though it's based off my one original frame.

We need to replace this video as well. Think of replacing with this movie a Stress Test and I quickly glanced and noticed that it's 25 frames a second. These days when you can get stock footage from international websites, you may be getting things created in a different country than your country with different frame rates. No problem, I'll open up the Interpret Footage Settings for this particular piece of footage and conform its rate to 23.976, our final delivery rate. This is not so much different than 25 that I'm going to notice a big difference, but by conforming the frame rate, I'm going to get a one for one frame match from input to output and I won't have any stuttering or staggered motion. I'll click OK.

I have a Stress Test, my new video selected in the Project panel. Jogging, my old video selected in the Timeline panel, hold Cmd+Opt+/ or Ctrl+Alt+/ and After Effects will replace my video for me. And there's my new video layer in that frame. Open up Extra Video 3, I need to create a different variation this time, so I think I'm going to use scale for this variation. Press S, turn off the aspect ratio lock or Constraint Proportions and scale it just in the X dimension.

And there's my new variation there. Select the jogging video. Select my next target to replace it with perhaps this physical therapy video, it's already at 23.976, no problems. Cmd+Opt+/ or Ctrl+Alt+/, the video has been replaced. I see this new video is longer, so I'll just drag out its layer bar longer, so I have more video to play with later on. Open up Extra Video 4, same routine, select my Pre-comp layer, press S for scale, turn off Constraint Proportions.

This time I'm going to flip it vertically in the Y dimension and I have yet another variation on my frame. Select the jogging layer to replace, select -- oh, what's left here, blood pressure. At 23.976, Cmd+Opt+/ or Ctrl+Alt+/ to replace that video into nice long video that can drag out and almost covers my entire 25 seconds. Now that we've equated unique compositions for each of our extra videos, in the next movie, we'll go about replacing our placeholder solids with these Pre-comps and do a little bit more tweaking on that extra video frame.

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