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After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control
Illustration by John Hersey

Idea corner one: Adjustment layer shapes


From:

After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Idea corner one: Adjustment layer shapes

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.
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  1. 3m 20s
    1. Overview
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 23m 19s
    1. Stacking and sliding layers
      5m 23s
    2. Trimming layers in the Timeline panel
      5m 45s
    3. Trimming in the Layer panel
      3m 31s
    4. Pre-trimming and inserting layers from the Footage panel
      3m 20s
    5. Slip editing
      5m 20s
  3. 12m 13s
    1. Applying sequence layers to footage
      4m 45s
    2. Using sequence layers with objects
      2m 14s
    3. Example: Sequence layers and photographs
      2m 20s
    4. Creating a new composition using sequence layers
      1m 35s
    5. Understanding the importance of layer order
      1m 19s
  4. 17m 20s
    1. Looping footage
      3m 15s
    2. Importing a sequence of still images
      4m 30s
    3. Using Time Stretch vs. altering frame rates
      3m 23s
    4. Frame blending
      6m 12s
  5. 19m 1s
    1. Overview of blending modes
      7m 5s
    2. Combining modes and effects
      4m 45s
    3. Why apply effects to solids?
      7m 11s
  6. 22m 2s
    1. Using the Effects & Presets panel
      5m 3s
    2. Applying presets
      5m 34s
    3. Working with behaviors
      3m 2s
    4. Creating and saving presets
      8m 23s
  7. 7m 55s
    1. Importing Photoshop files with layer styles
      4m 7s
    2. Applying layer styles inside After Effects
      3m 48s
  8. 9m 27s
    1. Using adjustment layers
      3m 17s
    2. Working with adjustment layers and alpha channels
      3m 14s
    3. Applying a filmic glow treatment
      2m 56s
  9. 6m 50s
    1. Quizzler challenges
      1m 16s
    2. Quizzler solution one: Pyrotechnic composite
      3m 7s
    3. Quizzler solution two: Sequenced fades
      2m 27s
  10. 11m 51s
    1. Idea corner one: Adjustment layer shapes
      1m 55s
    2. Idea corner two: Creating a traveling glass bar
      4m 12s
    3. Idea corner three: Creating sequences from filmstrips
      5m 44s
  11. 27m 23s
    1. Looping footage by crossfading
      5m 20s
    2. Working with effect point paths
      5m 12s
    3. Brainstorming
      7m 19s
    4. Working with pixel aspect ratios
      9m 32s

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After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control
2h 40m Beginner Feb 23, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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®.

Topics include:
  • Sliding and trimming
  • Slip-editing and insert-editing layers
  • Employing blending modes to enhance layers and composites
  • Applying, modifying, and saving animation presets and layer styles
  • Using adjustment layers to affect multiple layers
  • Experimenting with effects using Brainstorm
  • Understanding pixel aspect ratios
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Idea corner one: Adjustment layer shapes

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control.


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Q: This course was updated on 11/15/2012. What changed?
A: We have added exercise files designed for After Effects CS6. We also added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files.
 
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