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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
It's quite common to want to import illustrator files into your After Effects projects because illustrator creates and works with vector graphics. Vector graphics allow you to scale elements and keep the resolution nice and sharp, but there are a couple different things you need to be aware of when you actually go to import your illustrator project. So to get started I'm actually going to jump to illustrator. Let's browse in our file browser to our exercise files in the footage folder and make sure we go to the O2AI folder which is our Illustrator folder.
In here, I'm going to choose the Determined.ai project. So double click to open inside of Illustrator. If your Illustrator layout doesn't look like this, go up into window, workspace, and choose essentials. Again, if it doesn't quite look like this choose reset essentials and the default setting will set up. Now, if you look to the right side of the interface, the second button from the bottom that looks like two triangles, if you click on that, that's the Layers panel. Now you could also open that under the Window menu and choose Layers. With that open, you'll notice I have one layer. If we turn the visibility off and on, you can see that one layer makes up this funky kind of graphic.
If you click on the little triangle. It'll expand the sublayers within this Illustrator document. Illustrator can support multiple objects on one individual layer. Now the issue with this, if I tried to import this into After Effects, and I wanted to control the text separate from this background graphic element, I couldn't do that. This would actually import as a flattened element. So what I need to do is break this apart, so these two layers are up on the top of this layer hierarchy by themselves. Logic would tell you if you just clicked on one of these and try to drag it up. You could do just that, but notice I get this big no symbol and so of course we need to defy logic.
So in order to do that, let's go ahead and select Layer 1. Just click on the layer. As long as it's highlighted in this blue color, you know you're in the right place. Now, if you go to the upper right corner of the layers panel and click, you could choose Release To Layers Sequence. And that's exactly what I want you to do. So, click Release To Layers Sequence and notice now. We have three seperate layers and they're named layer one layer two layer three. If I click on layer three and then hold down Shift and click on layer two I can then let go of the Shift button and just click and drag. And both layers will move up and I want to move until the layer one actually gets dark grey again, and when I let go those two layers will now be on the top of the layer hierarchy.
Now there's nothing left on layer one, so I can go ahead and delete that by clicking and dragging the layer down to the trash. Now let's rename layer 2 our text layer and just to make sure that it's text turn the visibility off and on. There we go, okay? So we will call this text. You could also call it determined, whatever you like. And layer 3 let's double click and let's call this graphic. Now we're ready to import this into our After Effects project. Now as a general rule of thumb, when I get logos that are sent to me and I need to animate them, I like to actually keep copies of the originals.
So, what I'm going to do is make sure not to save over that, with this. So I'll go under File and choose Save As, and we're going to choose a different name. I'll choose determined and then underscore AE. Now I do that just to label it so I know, hey, it's ready for After Effects import. But notice I'm not changing the file extension, I'm just adding that as a part of the name. Let's go ahead and click save and then make sure in your illustrator options that you have pre PDF compatible file selected. That just makes the interoperability between the applications work a little more smoothly.
Now if we hit OK, we're ready to actually import this into After Effects. Go back into After Effects. To import my illustrator file, I'm just going to double click in my project panel down in this open grey area. With the import file box open. Again, we'll navigate in our exercise files to the footage folder. And this time, we'll go to the AI folder. There's our determined AE file. And under import as, instead of footage. We'll choose composition, retain layer sizes.
Now make sure this option for sequence is deselected and then click open. Now we have the determined AE comp imported and notice its duration is five seconds. the reason the duration is set to five seconds, the last time I created a composition in After Effects. I set it to 5 seconds. And that's set to that frame rate for the exact same reason: The last time they created a composition, it was at 23976. Don't worry if your comp is a little longer. As long as it's at least 5 seconds, you should be good to go.
If your comp settings are way different, you can always press Cmd + K or Ctrl + K on Windows to open and adjust your comp setting accordingly. If we double click our comp, it'll load it in the comp window and the timeline. Now there's one more interesting thing you should do with illustrator files when you want to retain their vector capabilities. And that's Enable Continuously Rasterize. So to do that, I'm going to select Layer 1, our text layer. And if you move to the right of that layer, you'll see this little (UNKNOWN) icon, and then right next to it is this open box.
If you click on it and hold, you can see this switch Is continuously rasterized. Now, if you don't see these switches, you want to go ahead and click this toggle switches and modes button, and make sure that this is the proper mode. Okay, now with continuously rasterize selected, I'm going to press S on my keyboard to open up the scale. If I click and drag, I can go ahead and scale this up, and it stays nice and sharp. Just to give you a contrast, I could disable that option, and as you could see, It's nice and rasterized which isn't at all what we want.
So, let's go ahead and enable continuously rasterize. Now I'm going to pause for a quick second, because I want to explain a potential workflow thing that you should be aware of. So, inside of Photoshop, you can place Illustrator documents as smart objects, and they'll maintain their vector capabilities inside of Photoshop. And yes, After Effects can import layered Photoshop documents. And we did that in a previous video. And the Photoshop document we imported is here in our project panel. Now, I want you to go ahead and double click on the training swoosh Photoshop composition so we can open up the layers panel. Now this swoop lines layer was actually a placed. Illustrator file inside of Photoshop.
I want you to notice there is no option for continuously rasterize. When you have a smart object inside of Photoshop its just that, smart and inside of Photoshop. So when you go to import this into After Effects don't expect that vector nature to actually translate. If you want to bring this in as a vector graphic in and of itself, what you need to do is just import the file as an Illustrator file, and then you'll actually have access to the continuously Rasterized option.
So, as you can see, when it comes to importing illustrator files. It's extraordinarily helpful because they retain their vector layers. You just need to make sure to bop back over into illustrator and make sure that each of the elements are on their own layer if you want to animate each element separately.
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