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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
Now it seems like there's always more than one way to complete a task inside of After Effects. And creating compositions is no different. So when you're first getting started, sometimes all the options for creating compositions can be a little overwhelming. Well, I have a tip for you. When you first start using After Effects, you might want to try and create your compositions using external footage. For example, a video clip. Video clips are great because they actually give you a resolution to work at. And this way you can make sure any graphics that you create will automatically match the settings of that video.
So to show you what I mean, let's import some video into our project. Just double click down here in the open area of the project panel to open your import file dialogue box. And make sure you navigate in your footage folder for your exercise files To the video folder, and let's import the Stair Rundown movie. You can just double click to import and you should see the Quiktime file sitting in your project panel. Now with the file selected, look up to the top of the project panel and you can see it has a framerate, has a duration, a pixel size, audio settings.
It has all the things necessary required to create a comp. So to create a comp from this, all you have to do is click on the file and drag it down to this little icon that looks sort of like a filmstrip next to the letters 8 bpc. When I let go, boom. I've created my first composition, and it already has the comp. settings and the overall duration, and the frame rate. Now, just because I've imported this and created the composition, doesn't mean I can't go back and change my comp settings. Say for example, I have this large video clip that I want to work at 1280 by 720. Well, you can adjust your comp settings really quickly by pressing Cmd + K or Ctrl + K on the PC to open up your composition settings. Lets look at the preset options.
If you click on the custom pulldown, you can see we have Web options, Standard Definition options for the Americas or for Europe. Then we have HD options and of course film options. Now, I'm going to change this to a 720 setting HDV HDTV 720 29 97. When I click OK the composition size is changed but the video size is not. Compositions are independent of any of their layers in the fact that the layers.
Are just contained inside of the comp. Now, when I chose this preset, it also changed the frame rate. And since my video was 23, 9, whatever, I'm going to go ahead and click on the pull down and choose 23, 9, 7, 6. Now, there are a couple other options I want you to look at here, resolution, start timecode, duration, and background color. The start timecode is 0 based on our video clip. But if you have a video camera that shoots video footage directly digitally, you can add timecode for that file. And then if you create a comp from that file, you'll get a different starting timecode.
Sometimes that throws people off when they're first getting to know After Effects. So if you ever see this time setting and it's got a crazy number. You might want to open your comp settings and change your start time code to zero. Now the duration is automatically the default of the video file. Now since I want to create a 10 second title loop, I'm going to change the duration to 10.00 and you notice here in my time code settings, I've changed the duration. Now, I can adjust the background color for the composition, but since the video is taking up the full screen, not going to worry about that for right now.
Go ahead and click OK. Now if you notice, if I scroll out by leaving my mouse over the Comp window and just scrolling with my scroll wheel, you can see I have my control handles and my video footage is much larger than my Composition window. Now when you go to render a project or create a video file. Any thing that's inside of this area you're going to actually see but this area on the outside is sort of backstage if this was an actual stage none of this extra area is going to get cut off.
But since this footage is larger than my comp settings if I scrub my play head down here. We can see, okay there I've got a runner. I can go ahead and move my clip around and I could animate this if I want to add a little bit more drama to the scene. Well, we've imported footage and created a composition from it. How do you create a composition just straight from scratch? You can press Cmd + N or Ctrl + N on the PC, to open up the dialogue box. Or you could just go to Composition > New Composition. This way, we could create a completely new, blank composition. Now, one thing I want you to notice.
When we create a new composition, it's automatically going to use the settings that we had set up, the last time we created a composition. So my custom preset was 1280 by 720 and 23976 frame rate. That's exactly what my comp settings are set to right now. So if you ever change your comp settings, the next time you go to create a new comp setting Just remember that the new options will be propagating this box. So I click OK, we have a blank container. Now there's one last way to create compositions, and that's from duplicating an already existing composition.
So if we open our AAA_Compositions folder, double-click on the dedication folder and as you can see I already have a graphic built here. Now let's say I have a client that says, okay? I want one that says Dedication and one that says Determination. You can keep the same background. Like, oh okay. Great, I'll select the Dedication column and go up to Edit and choose Duplicate or just press Cmd + D or Ctrl + D on the PC. Now with Dedication 2 in the comp panel, since it's highlighted, I can press Return on my keyboard to rename it.
And let's call it Determination, there we go press Enter. And if we double-click our new Determination comp, now we can come into our text layer here, for Layer 4, and just double-click and say determination. If I could spell that would be wonderful, there we go. All right, so quickly and easily, we've created compositions using three different methods. The first one will assure that you can actually match your graphics to any video footage that you're working with.
The second one is just starting from scratch. Just remember, it's always going to remember the last time you've created a comp and use those settings for the default settings the next time you create a comp. And then the last way is great if you're creating different versions of a graphic. You can just duplicate a version of composition and then make your changes accordingly.
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