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This project-oriented course leads you through the creative and technical process of building an opening title sequence from scratch in Adobe After Effects. Author Chris Meyer shows how to pull together numerous skills you've learned in the other After Effects Apprentice courses, from working in 3D space to creating type and shape layers to writing expressions. Along the way, Chris lets you in on the mental process he uses when creating similar spots for real-world clients, while sharing numerous tips that will help broaden your After Effects skills.
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.
During the break between movies, we spent a little bit of time refining our beveled frame and dragged the gradient in to come out a little bit further. I darkened up the blue to give us more contrast to the brighter than expected background layer, and I've also tweaked the Bevel & Emboss settings a little bit down here. And I'm using the soften parameter rather than the depth parameter to add a little bit of softness to my rounding. So now I have a Hero frame that I'm happy with. If you want to catch up with me, you can go into Intermediate Comps and use 09_Hero Frame.
But I'm going to continue on to the one I've created here. Next we need to make frames for all this little extra videos. You may remember that we created those placeholder solids at a size of 380x300 pixels. So let's go ahead and select our comps folder, make a New Composition, enter those dimensions, 380 Wide, 300 Tall, name this Extra Video 1, make sure my Frame Rate is correct, 23.976, 25 Duration and click OK.
I don't really need my Action and Title Safe Grids for these extra videos, so I can either press the apostrophe key to toggle them off or they are underneath this Grids and Guides option, I'll turn off, Title/Action Safe. Our first video that we want to use for one of our fillers is this jogging movie. Our client gave us budgetary constraints, so we just chose smaller videos from our stock footage house for these extra videos. I noticed that this has a fairly short duration of 10:09, I'm hoping for maybe up to 25 seconds. Now it does have a higher frame rate of 29.97.
So I'm going to go into my Interpret Footage settings for the selected clip and slow it down to 23.976. That's the same frame rate as my Final Comp and it will also give me a slower, more dream like motion, which kind of fits the mood of this music and this piece so far. I'll click OK and drag this into my New Composition. It fills just the center of my comp, that's fine. I'm going to build a frame around the outside. The duration isn't quite long enough, but I can tweak that later on when I compare it to the camera's movements.
Okay, let's build a frame and you've been through this before in the previous couple of movies so I'm going to go through this fairly fast. I'm going to fit this up a bit larger so I can see what I'm doing. Make sure no layer is selected. I don't want to mask this layer. I want to create a brand new shape layer that's somewhat pretty bright so I can see my action, choose my Pen tool, no RotoBezier, it will remember my Stroke and Fill from my previous settings and I can just go up in this corner and start clicking out my frame.
I'll click, Shift+Click to make it's a straight line and start creating my outer frame. And I'm not going to give you quite the running commentary on this that I did before since you've already seen me do this. So it's no longer quite so strange and you shouldn't be wondering what the heck I'm up to. I'll just go and click this out fairly quickly, again, holding the Shift Key and not dragging the mouse when I click, and we have nice sharp aligned corners, here maybe cut into frame a little bit here, down to this edge.
Make sure you don't go too far outside that border there, but it will draw the shape layer there, so it's not too bad. And maybe do a little bit of notching right into here. There, there, close my path, and I think they're actually aligned. I don't know how much movement I need to do to line this up. I think they're pretty good. Okay, that was the outer path. Make sure the shape layer is still selected, so I'm going to add to the same layer and let's start defining our inner path of our frame.
Click, Shift+Click the little tab to support the videos and I'm holding on to it, back up that line more or less. Maybe I'll follow the contours here through this area. Grab a piece of this video down through here, come out, give myself a bit of clearance to this area. Create maybe a fairly narrow but deep tab through that section. Come down to the edge of my video, come straight through here, and maybe create one more support tab to this area.
Shift+Click, Shift+Click, click to close and nudge that last point necessary to line them up, so I don't have a bent line to those points. Once I'm done, I'll go back to my Selection tool with my Extra Video 1 timeline panel selected. Press the tilde (~) key to take up the whole display and bring my paths into the same shape group. I'd drag my second group's path underneath my first group's path, I'll rename it Inner, Outer, delete Shape group 2, don't need that anymore.
This is now called Extra Video Frame, press the tilde key again, okay, that's looking pretty good so far. I'm going to turn off the Mask Visibility and turn on my Transparency Grid, so I can see what's going on. I do need to cut out my inner path from my outer path, and to do that, I'm just going to go ahead and copy and paste whatever we've done in my previous frame. I needed the Merge Paths operator, a Cmd+ or Ctrl+click on my round corners operator as well, and Cmd+ or Ctrl+click on my Bevel & Emboss layer Style and copy all of those.
Go to my Extra Video, make sure my shape group is selected and paste. I'm going to make sure my Merged Paths and Round Corners are placed below my inner and outer paths. I've got my nice cutout there. Since I do have a smaller frame here, I probably want less of a bevel and less rounding. Make sure everything is proportional so I cut down my rounding here to match the scale of my smaller videos, go down to my layer Style, Bevel & Emboss.
Maybe cut down on the size of that as well and cut down on the softening, just to harden that up a little bit. And finally, make sure my shape group is selected, I have my Selection tool, I get my Gradient Editor and pull out my second gradient stop till I get a little bit of my green gradient also appearing a long the edges of my frame. Okay. I have a frame for one of my extra videos. I eventually need four of these. I could create three more unique frames, or I can do a little bit of cheating to reuse this frame, but in a way that the viewer may not realize that it's just the same frame repurposed.
That's what I'm going to show you in the next movie.
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