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In this installment of After Effects Apprentice, Chris Meyer focuses on ways to edit and enhance layers in After Effects. Through a series of Quizzler challenges and Idea Corner examples, Chris shares alternative ways to employ modes, sequencing, and adjustment layers, while special sidebar movies cover the subjects of creating seamless loops, animating effects points, understanding pixel aspect ratios, and employing Brainstorm to explore the variety of different looks that effects can create. The course also covers tricks for enhancing boring footage and tips for converting scans into moving sequences. Exercise files are included with the course.
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 Online Training Library®.
So let's pull together some of the things you've learned in the last few movies and use them altogether. I am going to open up comp 03c-Sequence - trim*starter. Here I have a fun sequence of flowers, different tulips. Let's say that I want to create a nice animation where I fade from one flower to another and that they're all on the screen for the same amount of time. Each individual flower has the same duration. Maybe I am matching it to music or whatever. I'll set all my layers and remember to make layers start at a particular time, you may have to move the current time indicator there and press the left bracket down to have them all join there, or you just go ahead and press Option+Home, Alt+Home on Windows, to send them all at the same time.
Now I've got them all starting at the same time. Maybe I decide the duration should be 5 seconds. Now you have to be careful about how time counts in After Effects. The first frame is time zero. So that I go to time 5:00, I actually have duration of five seconds and one frame, because I'm basically counting zero twice. Time zero and time 5 zero. If I want exactly 5-second duration I need to go from zero to time 4.29 at 30 frames a second.
Now that I've got the current time indicator at my desired duration, I hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, and press the right bracket to trim the layers, rather than move them. Now they're all the same duration. I'll right-click, choose Keyframe Assistant > Sequence Layers. I want to Overlap,\. They are full frame, they obscure each other. So I'll pick the Dissolve Front Layer option. Click OK. And now I've got a nice sequence fading from flower to flower where each gets the same amount of time on screen.
Simple, fun, looks nice. And by the way, in the next chapter inside this lesson, we'll be talking more about how to handle sequences of still images such as this.
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