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Idea corner two: Creating a traveling glass bar

From: After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control

Video: Idea corner two: Creating a traveling glass bar

Earlier in this lesson in the chapter on adjustment layers, we showed you how you can use the adjustment layer to apply effects to the entire composite of this composition. We also showed you how you could scale down that adjustment layer to affect just a smaller portion of this composite. Well let's take those ideas and extend them. Say that I want to have a vertical bar that travels across my screen and I want just the area underneath that bar to be affected. Maybe a bit blurred, maybe a bit blown up, maybe a bit color shifted, as if it was under glass. This is a trick you might have seen on an opening title sequence of say a television show.

Idea corner two: Creating a traveling glass bar

Earlier in this lesson in the chapter on adjustment layers, we showed you how you can use the adjustment layer to apply effects to the entire composite of this composition. We also showed you how you could scale down that adjustment layer to affect just a smaller portion of this composite. Well let's take those ideas and extend them. Say that I want to have a vertical bar that travels across my screen and I want just the area underneath that bar to be affected. Maybe a bit blurred, maybe a bit blown up, maybe a bit color shifted, as if it was under glass. This is a trick you might have seen on an opening title sequence of say a television show.

Well, first I am going to add an adjustment layer. Layer > New > Adjustment Layer. It defaults to being the entire size of the composition. And the reality is just a solid that has the Adjustment Layer switch set. So I am going to make sure the adjustment layer is selected. Go to Layer > Solid Settings. Here you can rename it, such as adjustment bar, and change it's width. Let's say it's only 100 pixels wide. Note that the color of an adjustment layer has no effect on the outcome.

It's the Alpha channel you're interested in. I'll click OK. I have a smaller bar but I don't see any adjustment yet because I don't have any effects applied. Well that's simple enough. Let's go to Effect and apply Hue and Saturation. Here I can do a little bit of a color shift, maybe to make it a bit more golden. Maybe make it a bit more saturated underneath that bar. If I want to blur it out, I can apply Effect > Blur and Sharpen, something like Fast Blur. Box Blur is also a very good choice by the way. Increase the Blurriness.

And now I've got little bit of a defocused frosted glass look. And one thing I normally do with Fast Blur and treatments like this is turn on Repeat Edge Pixels because that cleans up the edges of the top and bottom. Now a third treatment I would like to do is slightly expand or magnify the area underneath the adjustment layer bar. Again going for that refracted through glass sort of look. The problem is that if I just use normal scale-- press S to reveal-- it has no effect on the adjustment. That's because Scale is not an effect.

It's just changing the size of the area that gets the treatment that gets the effects, but is not an effect itself. Whenever you need to apply a transformation property as an effect, you can apply an effect called Transform. I'll double-click that. And now I have a whole set of transformations including Scale, Skew, Rotation, etc, that's applied as an effect. So if I scale this up slightly, you'll see that I get that refracted look of it being expanded.

I'll go ahead and type P to reveal just the position of this layer. You'll see it's magnifying whatever is underneath this bar. All that's left now is to do some keyframing. So just do what you like. Go ahead and set a Position keyframe here. Go little later in time, move to a different position of the frame, go little later in time, move it back, go little bit later in time. Maybe do a little jig this direction, and then go to the end, and you can scrub it all way back, or of course you can just pick it up and have the Shift key to constrain your movement, then push it off the screen.

The default keyframes are linear which gives kind of a boring bounce-bounce sort animation, a bit abrupt. But I would prefer is to maybe to select these, hold down Command on Mac or Control on Windows, and click on one of them to convert them to Auto Bezier keyframes, which automatically smoothes out the movement. So I get little bit better of a bounce as it hits those corners and goes back and forth. And again using what you've learned, you can apply something else such as Easy Ease to make him come to complete stop when he hits those keyframes.

But anyway that's another use for adjustment layers to create some fun treatments of your footage underneath, as if you're viewing it through another surface or another layer.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control
After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control

38 video lessons · 11895 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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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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