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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now if you're joining me from the previous video, I made a big deal of the fact that you want the graphic to actually cover up your edit point to build a graphic transition. But with video transitions, you actually have a lot more control, as far as being able to decide exactly where the edit point is created. Now a lot of times when you're building your graphics, you'll create your edits with a rough cut edit, kind of like this. If we go ahead and scrub our playhead in the Timeline here, you can see it's just a jump cut from a wide shot to a close-up shot.
So what we want to do is just add a transition from one layer to the other layer, and using the transitions under Effects, it's pretty easy to do. So let's go ahead and select our FallsSunrise layer. Go up under Effects and go down to Transition. Down here the one I like to use most often is the Card Wipe, and I'll show you why in just a second. But let's go ahead and choose the Card Wipe, and as you can see, by default it already starts the transition. One of the reasons I love the Card Wipe is the fact that the video footage is actually stuck to each little cube.
It's not a matte that the video footage is keyed into. So when you starts flying the boxes around, the video sliding within each box. Now, this is really great. If we go ahead and click and drag on the Transition Completion, notice that the footage is indeed transforming exactly with each box. Let's look at the third option down here, the Back layer. Notice by default, the Back layer is layer number 2, which is the same layer that we applied the effect to. Well, that's kind of a problem, because if we go ahead and scroll through the transition I'm just going from the one shot I started with to the exact same shot, which is not at all what we're trying to do here.
So, let's move our Completion back here and choose the Back layer to be number 1 Falls Wide. So now when we drag our transition to completion, you notice it's transitioning from the first shot to the second shot. Now hold on a second here. As we move our playhead around, notice I'm looking at the second piece of footage before it ever technically begins in my composition. I just point this out because Card Wipe is ignoring the endpoint of this layer. So when you apply a Card Wipe transition, what you want to do is make sure you make note of where your edit point is supposed to be, and then go ahead and adjust your effect accordingly.
So let me show exactly what I mean. Let's drag the playhead to the edit point. Again, we'll hold Shift so it snaps. And we'll add a composition marker by clicking and dragging and again Shift, and let's just double-click on the marker to rename it Edit. We'll click OK. Now I know that that is the point of the composition where I want my edit to actually happen. Now if I go ahead and drag the endpoint of layer 1 forwards, now when I move through the Timeline, even if I go back and select my FallsSunrise under my Effects Control and adjust the transition, notice I'm not seeing anything, and that's because the transition was applied to layer 2.
So it gets a little confusing, but basically what I'm saying is drag whichever layer has the effect applied all the way to the top. And then the other layer, sure, you can have it in a wherever you want in the Timeline, and you can even turn it off, but as long as it selected in the transition, when you go ahead and complete your transition you will see that footage on the back of your transition. Notice I didn't delete it out of the Timeline, again, because I need it to be in the Timeline to reference within the effect itself.
If we drag our playhead now, notice, well even though layer 2 exists, I'm missing the transition. I like to turn this back on. Let's see what happens as we go ahead and drag. Well, I still have a jump, and that's because the effect is still applied to layer 1. So what we need to do is just extend layer 1 out in our Timeline, and in that way we can still control the transition through the Transition Completion. Again, I'm seeing the footage through here, because I turn the visibility of the wide shot back on so let's turn that off.
So now instead of the footage telling us where the transition is, we have our comp marker, and all we have to do is just time out our transition accordingly. So let's move our playhead forward in the Timeline so we can determine where we want our transition to start-- we can go ahead and move that back to 0-- and create our first keyframe, and then let's move our playhead to the other side of the edit and have the Transition Completion go all the way to 100%. Now, I know that I have my transition animated with the Card Wipe nicely applied and edited right here in my composition.
So as you can see, using the Card Wipe transition seems relatively easy, and it is; you just need to pay attention to exactly which layer is the highest in the layer hierarchy and then really control the edit point by making your comp marker and adjusting your transition accordingly.
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