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In this installment of After Effects Apprentice, Chris Meyer focuses on ways to edit and enhance layers in After Effects. Through a series of Quizzler challenges and Idea Corner examples, Chris shares alternative ways to employ modes, sequencing, and adjustment layers, while special sidebar movies cover the subjects of creating seamless loops, animating effects points, understanding pixel aspect ratios, and employing Brainstorm to explore the variety of different looks that effects can create. The course also covers tricks for enhancing boring footage and tips for converting scans into moving sequences. Exercise files are included with the course.
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 Online Training Library®.
Here's a simple animation we created using the motion sketch keyframe assistant which we showed you back in the After Effects Apprentice: Advanced Animation lesson. Okay, it's kind of fun, butterfly flying around a flower. But we could make this more interesting or more mysterious. Now you may remember in the adjustment layer chapter inside this lesson, we mentioned that any layer can be an adjustment layer, and particularly layers with interesting Alphas can make very interesting adjustment layers. Well, this butterfly has what I would call an interesting Alpha channel. Let's make an adjustment layer.
One step in this process is to turn on the Adjustment Layer switch for this layer. Once I do that, the butterfly disappears and you go "Well, that's not what I wanted." But remember adjustment layers need to have effects applied to them. All we have right now is a composite of all the layers underneath stuck right on top of the original composite. That's why you don't see anything. But if we pick an effect such as Color Correction > Hue/Saturation and start to play around with the hue, you can see that we're changing the color of the flower just underneath where the adjustment layer -- the butterfly -- is.
Let's try something like that. Now when I ran preview, instead of a cutout butterfly flying around the scene, now I have a color correction in the shape of the butterfly flying around this scene. Far more interesting, a bit more mysterious and certainly out of the ordinary. Of course you can apply other effects to this butterfly as well to create more interesting treatments of the flower underneath. You could also play around with things like the scale animation of the butterfly to make it bigger and smaller as it goes around the flower. So that just reinforces alternate ways you can use adjustment layers.
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