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In this course, Trish and Chris Meyer introduce a series of creative tools inside Adobe After Effects. The centerpiece is Paint, where Trish demonstrates how to use the Brush, Eraser, and Clone Stamp tools to draw on a layer, remove portions of it, or repeat elements around a composition. These tools can be used for artistic purposes as well as to repair problem areas in footage. Chris shows off the Puppet tools for distorting layers, and the incredible Roto Brush, introduced in After Effects CS6, which allows you to separately define foreground and background elements so that you can replace backgrounds and selectively add special effects.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
I'm still in the first composition. I selected the layer, and selected a Effect > Remove All. That removes the paint effect and starts over with a clean slate. I will select the Brush tool and then in this movie we're going to cover the options for Duration including Single Frame and Custom. I'll cover the Write On option in the later movie. So set the Duration pop up to Single Frame. I have a pretty large brush here, so let me just change it to something very small and any color will do by the way.
I will press the Home key and that will set the current time marker to the beginning of the comp and just make the little stroke there. Now I'll twirl down the paint effect in the time-line, and Brush number 1 is a single frame in duration. To see this better I'll the press Semicolon (;) that's the shortcut to zoom in as far as possible. Now you'll see stripes in the timeline indicating individual frames. I can press Page Down to advance one more frame and you'll notice my first stroke is no longer visible, it's only showing on the first frame, let's make another stroke Page Down again and make another stroke.
Now since I'm right handed taking my hand off the mouse to use Page Up and Page Down, is little awkward. Instead I'm going to use the shortcuts 1 and 2. When I use 1 and 2 and that's on the normal keyboard, pressing 1 will go back in time and pressing 2 will go forward, so let's go forward one more frame. I'll press 2 and now I can keep my right hand on the mouse or the pan and press 2 every time I want to advance another frame, I'll press 2 again and this time I'll set the duration from single frame to custom.
The default is to use one frame, so click on this and change it to however many number frames you like, let's say it's two. Now when I create a stroke each stroke will ask for two frames and not only that when I press two to advance to the next frame it knows how many frames I have the custom value set to. Now I can quickly add strokes pressing 2 to advance to the next custom frame that I want to paint on, and again you can change this to however many number of frames you want to paint on, let's say I do with the three and we'll just do a couple more here.
Let me just set the work area, I'll go to 1 second press N on the keyboard and that sets the work area to end of the current time, so let's cover few options for RAM Previewing. When the time line is selected and I press 0 on the keypad, it'll RAM preview the Composition panel and that's the default. Likewise the Comp panel could also have been selected. Notice that when the Comp panel is previewing the work area is always honored, but let's say, I was painting and the Layer panel was forward.
When you press RAM Preview the preview plays back in the Layer panel, but it doesn't honor the work area. What I like to do is turn on this switch for Always Preview This View. You'll find these switches at the bottom of the Composition panel, and the bottom of the Layer panel and these of course are mutually exclusive. If I talk along the Always Preview This View for the Comp panel, it turns off the switch for the Layer panel and vice versa, so let say I turn it on for the Composition panel.
I will press Home to return to 0 and I add another stroke, when I RAM preview, it previews the Composition panel that way I can see my paint strokes in relation to all the other layers. If you're going to use this feature by the way, be sure to turn it off before you move on to another composition. Always Preview This View doesn't mean just inside this comp. It means any time you RAM preview this will be the comp that'll start previewing even if another comp is forward or another comp in a nested chain of comps.
So while that's a handy feature, I don't like to leave it enabled, you might just want to get in the habit of bringing the time line forward when you RAM preview and that'll show you the animation in the Comp panel by default. In the next movie, we'll cover the Modes pop-up and the Channels pop-up.
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