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After Effects: Insight into Effects was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
After Effects gurus Chris and Trish Meyer share their real-world insight into how to get the most out of the effects that come bundled with this popular software. After Effects: Insight into Effects covers their favorite effects, hidden gems, optimal parameter ranges, "gotchas" to avoid, and alternative effects to consider. Among other tidbits, this course also contains "special topic" movies that pertain to more than one effect, demonstrate how to use After Effects more efficiently, and compare different effects to try in order to achieve a desired creative result. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.
This course was recorded using After Effects CS4, but it contains many timeless concepts and effects. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This is an ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.
Hue/Saturation may seem like one of the most obvious effects in After Effects: adjust the hue and the saturation of a layer in addition to its lightness. However, there are two additional uses for Hue/Saturation you may not have been aware of. One, you can use it to colorize an image, give it a color tint. Secondly, you can select a specific range of colors to adjust the hue or saturation of, rather than do the whole image. You can do selective color correction with this effect. It's also not the most obvious thing to keyframe.
I'll show you that as well. So let's dive in. Here's a colorful piece of footage that I'll apply Hue/Saturation to. Effect > Color Correction > Hue/Saturation. Initially, it's very straightforward. You could Hue-Shift the entire image. Take it to like an alien landscape. You can add saturation to the whole thing, making a very beautiful blue sky, very deep red rocks or desaturate it to a more of a black and white image.
We'll discuss ways of creating black and white in a separate special topics movie and of less use there is indeed a Master Lightness control. This kind of brightens or darkens the whole thing as a group. It's not as nice of an adjustment as using Levels and particularly Gamma. So we'll leave that alone. However, there is more that this effect can do. For one there is this Colorize checkbox. When you colorize, you are no longer Hue-Shifting the image; you're picking a hue to tint the image.
So this becomes sort of a tritone or a tint or some form of color filter. There is saturation amount or desaturated, and again you still have some lightness and darkness, while it's not of much use. So it becomes another way of colorizing your footage to give it more of a monochromatic but not black and white look. I'll turn Colorize off. Another great hidden feature inside Hue/ Saturation is this Channel Control popup. Normally, you're adjusting the Master, all of the colors together; however, you can isolate a Color Range change.
For example, say that we just wanted to alter this sky. I'll pick the Blues and you'll now see I have little triangles and marks saying I'm going to adjust the colors just between these two vertical bars, feathering off to the color range off to where these triangles are. One of the first things you'll notice is what you call blue may not necessarily be blue. This is actually more of a cyan color range for the sky. Now that I have the sky isolated, I can add saturation just to the sky to get a much richer, more intense sky without altering the red of the rocks, before and after or I can Hue-Shift just that sky.
I can take into much more purple-y tones, for example. Again, without altering the other colors, the green trees or the red rocks. I'll reset and let's say I want to adjust just the red rocks. So I'll pick the red range, and again, increase just their saturation and maybe give them a little bit of color shift, either more towards a yellowish sand or more towards a very intense red, almost Mars landscape. I'll zero out the Hue-Shift for now. Now you can adjust the color range yourself.
You don't need to rely on just this popup. For example, say that I wanted to extend my saturation increase to include the green trees as well. I'll go ahead and pull this feather region off so that it fades out by the time I get to the blue sky and say include all those trees and all that yellowish foliage in with the rocks. I can desaturate them, keep just the blue sky and desaturate the rest of the image. We'll add saturation to these elements while leaving the sky the same, before and after.
So I find Hue/Saturation and its Channel Control to be absolutely essential when it comes time to color correct footage selectively. It's one of my favorite, most versatile effects. One of the things we want to throw in keyframing this effect is there is no areas in stopwatches for Lightness, Saturation or Hue. Does that mean you can't keyframe this effect? Well, not exactly. By keyframing Channel Range, you're actually keyframing all of these parameters underneath, one keyframe for the entire effect.
In some ways, that's handy. In a lot of ways, it's not. You don't have quite such a fine control to keyframe them individually,and more importantly, you cannot reach these individual parameters with expressions. They are all bundled into one mega effect. So this is a little bit disappointing, but if you ever wanted to know how to keyframe it, there is indeed the stopwatch. It's Channel Range. It controls the whole effect. Now you might have noticed, there is another effect with Hue, Lightness and Saturation in its name. Is it the same? Is it better? Not really.
I'll cover that in the next movie.
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