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Generating backgrounds with effects

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Generating backgrounds with effects

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.

Generating backgrounds with effects

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 50809 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects UPDATED
      59s
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects NEW
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache NEW
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology UPDATED
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects NEW
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions NEW
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers NEW
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation NEW
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects NEW
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D NEW
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render NEW
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements NEW
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects NEW
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers NEW
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes NEW
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics NEW
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques NEW
      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 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. 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 NEW
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects NEW
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras UPDATED
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. 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. 29m 3s
    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
  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 NEW
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight NEW
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks NEW
      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
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next? NEW
      2m 24s

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