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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.
After Effects has several tools that will give you the ability to generate graphics from scratch. And of course, as designers we've all been in situations where we've had to create something out of nothing. So for our example here, we have our h+ sport logo sitting over top of a black background. We're going to create a seamless loopable background that we can place behind this. So it has just a little more pop. To start, let's go up under the Layer menu and I'll choose New > Solid.
Since we're generating graphics from within the effects with in After Effects, we don't need to worry about the color. So I'm going to leave the color set at blue, you can choose whatever color you like for yours. I'm just going to make sure that we have a Comp Size layer solid. So, select the button that says Make Comp Size. Now, we can go ahead and click Okay, and our solid's been added to the scene. Let's go up under effect, and we'll go down to the generate option. Under generate, my favorite effect to create different patterns.
Cell pattern. Let's go ahead and choose cell pattern. And with that effect applied, you can see we have several different options here in our Effect Control panel. Now before I go through all these different options, I want to show you that our composition if five seconds long. Usually when I create a seamless background, I create something that's at least 30 seconds long. That way, there's just a little bit more time before it loops back on itself. For the sake of this lesson and speed, we're going to create a quick 5 second looping background.
Back to our cell patterns here. You can see we can generate different cell patterns if we click on this bubbles pulldown. Let's choose crystals. With the crystal setting, notice how we're getting a slightly more harsh texture. We could adjust this by adjusting the contrast up or down. Now I'm going to adjust the contrast up to around 250. If you wanted to create a slightly different style, you can go to the overflow pull down. This just controls how the colors clip as they go over from black to white.
If we change it to wrap back, notice we have a slightly more detailed texture. I'm going to leave mine set to wrap back. Now in order to make this seamless, I'm going to animate the evolution property. But we want to open up the evolution options, and make sure that cycle evolution is selected. This way, when we have one complete evolution it'll be seamless. Let's go ahead and set our first keyframe. I'm going to click on the stopwatch next to evolution. Since our current time indicator is at the start of our composition, that's where our keyframe is.
Now we can press End on our keyboard to move the current time indicator to the end of the composition and let's change our evolution rotation parameter to one full rotation. Now you should notice there's no difference here in my composition window. If I press Home and End as I move back and forth, there's no difference in the frame. Let's press U on our keyboard to open up our Keyframes we just created. If you look in the end of our timeline we have a Keyframe. In order to make this seamless I want to go ahead and move this Keyframe off the end of the project.
But before I do that let me preview the project to see if you can notice the repeating frame. In the preview panel make sure you deselect from current time and then load up a RAM preview. It'll load all the frames of the background. And notice, when it gets to the end, there's just a little slight pause. It's one frame, it's barely noticeable, but it is there. And I'm going to go ahead and stop playback here for a second. I'm going to zoom into 100%. Let's press End to move the current time indicator to the end of the comp. Now let's click on the second key frame, and click and drag it off the composition by one frame.
I'll know what frame I'm on because the info panel gives me that update, in the upper right-hand corner. Notice when I move that one frame, I'm seeing a slight shift in my pattern. Now, if we press 0 on our key pad to load up the seamless loop, once it actually gets to the end it'll loop back to the beginning and be completely seamless. Now in order to add this underneath of our graphic, I'm going to go ahead and stop playback here for a second. And move the solid underneath of our logo. Now obviously it's a little busy.
I'm going to go ahead and zoom out here just by scrolling with my mouse wheel. In order to soften this a little bit let's add one more effect. I'm going to go up under effect and go to blur and we'll choose Fast Blur. This will allow us to blur the scene but it won't be too taxing on the processing of your system. Now we've added a soft blur. If we want, we could continue tweaking this by adding colors. Let's go ahead and do that, just to add one more level of separation. If you go up under Effect, we can go to Color Correction, and choose Tint.
And there we have exact controls over what colors the pixels will become. So let's choose to map our white pixels to this blue solid. So I'll go ahead and click on eye dropper and then sample the blue. Now, I have this kind of crazy blue background that's been generated for our logo. And, of course, it's a seamless loop. Let's go ahead and load up our RAM preview So we can see our finished work. I think that looks pretty good now I encourage you to go back to some of the different cell pattern options and see how you can make yours different.
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