After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache

Before you start in After Effects, The first thing I want you to do is go down here to the fourth option. Now let's just to the previous section.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache

Before you start in After Effects, it's important to understand some key preferences. Now in this video, it really doesn't matter what project you currently have open, because, like I said before, we're going to actually just jump into preferences. So to get to your preferences on a Mac, you need to click on the word After Effects. Under Windows, you need to go to the Edit menu,. So I'll go to my preferences, and we'll start with the General setting. The first thing I want you to do is go down here to the fourth option. Make sure to select Default Spatial Interpolation to Linear.

This'll help when you're actually setting up your first sets of key frames. Sometimes if this Spatial Interpolation isn't set to Linear, you'll see these weird drifts happen. So I've found, it's just better to leave this on when you're first getting started with After Effects. And if you're unfamiliar with spatial interpolation, don't worry about it. We will definitely be getting to that when we get to key framing and animation. Now let's just to the previous section. In here, there's a button for GPU Information. If you click on that, if your system has an Nvidia graphics card, and one of the supported GPU accelerated graphics cards, you can enable ray tracing to actually be processed on the graphics card.

That really only matters if you're working primarily in the After Effects ray-tracing engine. And we won't be doing that for quite a while. So if you don't have this, don't sweat it. After Effects will still work perfectly well without it. But if you have one of the supported graphics cards, it can move things along more quickly, if you're working a lot in the ray traced renderer. Let's go to the display setting. In here, let's enable Hardware Accelerate for the Composition, Layer and Footage Panels. If you have a relatively modern computer, this option should be perfectly fine to enable.

Under the Import section if you find that you're working with a lot of still images, you can set a default duration for each still. By default when you import a still image, like a jpg or a tiff it will import and be the duration of the composition. If you want, you could just have it set up at one second or two seconds or what have you. Now let's jump down to Labels. With labels, you can assign a specific color to each individual kind of media that you might be working with within After Effects. I generally recommend leaving these set at the default settings, but, this is where you would go if you want to change how an object appears within After Effects.

Let's jump to Media and Disk Cache. This is arguably the most important section of your preferences, because this will increase the performance of After Effects exponentially. You'll most definitely want to enable this cache. And then go down to the button that says Choose Folder. You want to choose a folder that exists on the drive that's separate from your media files. Also, you want to choose a drive that's as fast as possible, so I prefer SSD drives to be my fast secondary drive. If you don't have an SSD drive, maybe a RAID array.

Now, if you ever notice After Effects functioning kind of strangely, you might want to come in here and just empty the disk cache. So I'll go ahead and just do that right now and notice I have a gig and a half of files, just sitting on my computer that I didn't need to reference. So I'll just go ahead click OK, and that's emptied my cache. Media Cache is extra information that after effects will store as it's working with the different media files. If you want to choose a separate place to save these files, you can go ahead use this same Chose Folder function. And again, if you find that After Effects is ever acting strangely, just go ahead and click the Clean Database in Cache button.

Just to make sure everything is, kind of, blown away. If you're one of those interface people that really like to have dark interfaces for their application, or bright interfaces, you can go to the brightness setting here under Appearance. If I drag it to the left, notice I can make the appearance very dark. Or if I drag it to the right, I could make it white on black. Let's go ahead and change back to the default settings. Auto-save is a helpful function. You can automatically save your projects and specify how long between your saves. Also, one of the things I recommend doing, is choosing an auto-save location that's separate from any of the drives that you're working on.

Maybe save it up to a cloud or a jump drive, or some other drive. The only reason I'm saying that, is just so when you're working, if heaven forbid anything should ever go wrong, you'll always have a backup set to a different place. Now let's go to the Memory and Multiprocessing settings. And here it's most important to understand that RAM in After Effects is shared between After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, Media Encoder. You get the general idea. Now, you can specify RAM that's to be reserved for other applications.

Now, I just happen to be recording this on my laptop. So I only have eight gigs of RAM, which is a very small amount of RAM for what we're trying to do. Now, another thing you may want to consider enabling is Render Multiframes Simultaneously. If you do select Render Multiframes Simultaneously, I do highly recommend leaving the next option, Only for Render Queue selected. This'll make working in After Effects more fast. When you use your RAM previews it works more quickly not to have to render the multiple frames, so that's what this setting is allowing me to do.

You can reserve other CPUs for other applications. And since I am on such a limited system, I'm going to actually just disable the Multiframe Simultaneously option. And, like I said, for your system you can definitely enable this. The last thing I want you to pay attention to are your sync settings. In here, you can sync everything from your preferences to your keyboard shortcuts, up to your Creative Cloud account. Now, I like all the settings that I've gone ahead and adjusted. So I'm going to go ahead and click, OK.

If you ever decide, when you're working in After Effects, that you want to change your preferences back to the default. You can easily do that by pressing Cmd+Option+Shift on the Mac when you go to open the application. On Windows, you'd go to open the application and make sure to hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift. That way, it'll ask you if you want to blow away your preferences, and you can say yes remove my preferences, and After Effects will be set back to its default settings.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .


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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
 
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
 
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