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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.
Now before we get started with this project, I want to talk about the chapter as a whole. In order to get up and running quickly and after effects, I think the fastest way to learn is to just complete a project. So, this chapter we're going to complete one entire work flow to create a bumper graphic. This is a graphic that will appear between scenes to create a transition from one video section to another video section. In order to start this workflow, we just need to import some footage. So let's get started with the import process. If you don't have a blank project open, just open a blank After effects project.
And then Double-click in the project panel to open import dialogue box. I want you to navigate to your Exercise Files folder, and in there go to the footage sections. Under footage, I want you to go to the video area. Usually if I know I'm going to work with video, I like to import that first just so I can make sure that my compositions frame rate matches my video source footage. So in here I want you to chose the stair RunDown.mov file. You can import it as footage and then just click Open, once it's imported; look in top of the project panel and you'll notice the pixel dimensions, duration and frame rate of the file.
Now I want to choose just this specific section of this video, so to do that quickly I'm going to click on the video file, and just drag it down here to the composition button. This'll create a new comp that'll automatically match the pixel dimensions and frame rate of my video footage. Now to choose only a specific section, let's go ahead and scrub with our current time indicator down the timeline. I want to move down the timeline to around 56 seconds. If you want to go to a specific area in the timeline, go ahead and just click in the time indicator area and type 5600 and press Return and now we're at 56 seconds.
Since this is where I want the footage to start, I'm going to go ahead and click and drag on the work area start little icon in the left side of my timeline. When you drag to the right if you hold down Shift it'll snap to the current time indicator. You could also press b on your keyboard, and that'll move the beginning of the work area. To your current time indicator, now I want this to be exactly ten seconds, so I'm going to go back to my time, click on it and type plus 10.00, ten seconds, zero frames.
Plus we'll move you down the timeline, so I can press Return and now I know I'm ten seconds down the timeline. So, we could change our work area, and just by clicking on that same sort of icon on the right-side of the timeline or just Press n, as in nancy. When you press n, it creates the end of your work area duration. Now this is only ten seconds. So here's a neat little short cut. If you automatically want to match the duration of your composition to your work area, all you have to do is Ctrl-click or right click in the work area, and then choose trim comp to work area.
Now my work area is going to match the duration of the video footage. Now, another interesting note. Notice it says, frame zero is actually 56, it keeps the time code setting to the start of your compositions, so you always know that's where the footage started from. If this bothers you, you could go to Composition > Composition Settings and change the start time code back to zero. I'm just going to go ahead and leave it at 56, and click Cancel, because this is perfectly fine for what we need to do right now. Now let's work on importing some graphics.
Double-click on the project panel and I want you to navigate back in your exercise files footage folder to the PSD section. In here I want you to click once on the training swoosh PSD, and then come down to the import as pulldown. Change that from footage to composition retain layer sizes. When you do that, now you can go ahead and click Open. Just make sure Photoshop sequence is not selected. When I click Open it's going to give me a double check, to make sure that I'm importing it as a composition with retain layer sizes.
But it also gives me the option to keep the layer styles editable. I want to go ahead and do that, I'll just click okay. Now notice I've got a new composition that's been created, and if we look at the pixel dimensions it's 1280 by 720. Those were the pixel dimensions of the actual file inside of Photoshop. Now the duration of the composition is ten seconds. If yours is different, that just means you created a different composition at some point in time, that was a different duration. If you need to change the duration of your comp, with the training solution comp selected; just go to composition, composition settings and make sure that the duration is set to ten seconds.
Now I'll go ahead and just click OK. The training swoosh composition is going to be the composition that we use for our final output. So let's just Double-click on the training swoosh composition and you can see this is overall the style of the graphic that we are going to be creating. Now there's only one other graphic that we need to import, and that's the H plus logo. So let's go ahead and Double-click back in the project panel, and navigate in your footage folder to the Ai folder. In here I want you to choose the Hplus_underscoresport.Aifile.
In here we'll just import this as footage. So we can go ahead and click Open and it's going to merge all the layers down to one layer, and that's perfectly fine, so let's click OK. And now I have a separate layer that's just for my H+ Sport logo. If we Double-click on that layer to preview it, you can see it's right here in my composition. So this works perfectly fine. To make sure we're back in the training swoosh comp, let's just double-click and we're all set to actually start our animation. But for now, we've got our import set up.
In our project, we have all the footage that we need, and we have our basic composition settings set up, so we're ready for animation.
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