After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Introduction to 3D

When working inside of Adobe After Effects, Now in this video, we're just going to explore Okay, let's collapse layer two.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
After Effects
Ian Robinson

Introduction to 3D

When working inside of Adobe After Effects, you have many different dimensions you can explore. One thing that makes After Effects rather unique, is its ability to have both 2D and 3D layers, exist inside of the same composition. Now in this video, we're just going to explore all of the different ways you can create 3D. Since 3D is a rather deep subject we're not going to dive really deeply into all the different tools. I just want you to see the basic functions of how we can actually move something from the 2D dimension into 3D.

So if we look at our project, you see I have this H+ Sport Logo, which is an Illustrator File. And we have a background video file. Now the first thing you should pay attention to, if you're trying to switch things into the third dimension, is this Switches and Modes button. Let's go ahead and click on that button to make sure that we're actually in the switches area. See, now that we're in the switches area, we get access to this column with the cube. This is the column that allows you to change each individual layer, into another dimension.

So for example, if I want to rotate this background video, so it's off axis or rotated on its y, if i press r to open up rotation, notice when I rotate, it's just rotating on the z plane. Let me undo that. If I want to rotate on the y, I need to actually select this button here in the 3D column. Now, notice that I have x, y, and z rotation. So if I scrub on the rotation here, you notice now I'm actually rotating it in 3D space.

So let's go ahead and rotate it to around negative 25. Notice when I've done that, I get these arrows here. Just so I can see things more clearly, I'm going to zoom into the scene. I'm going to scroll up with my mouse wheel, to increase the magnification. You could just click on the Magnification and increase it up to 200. Now I'm going to press the spacebar so I can get my hand tool. And then just click and drag in my comp window to reposition everything. Let go of the spacebar. And I want you to hover over each one of these axes.

Notice as I hover over each one, they're color coded, and they're letting me know how I'm going to moving this layer. So if I hover over x, and then click and drag, it's only going to move this layer on its exposition. And if you look at the info panel in the upper right corner, you can see the exact dimensions of where I'm moving it. If you grab the Rotation tool in the Rotation panel, and then hover over one of these axes. When you click and drag, it's going to rotate on that axis. Notice it's actually changing the y value for the orientation down here.

So, when you are in three dimensions, you have options to adjust the orientation or the rotation. The easiest way I like to keep things straight. If you want an object to literally spin in 3D space and you want to control exactly how many revolutions you want it to spin, you want to adjust the rotation. If you're just trying to change its position but you don't necessarily need to animate it, then you can go ahead and just change how that object is oriented in 3D space. Right now, we've got this H+ logo that lives in a 2D environment, over top of this background video that lives in a 3D environment.

Let's go ahead and collapse the options for layer two and open them one more time. I want you to notice, we have effects and then transform. And under transform, my position data is x, y, and z. If we scroll down a little bit, notice I also have material options. Now, these options really control he appearance of the object in three dimensional space, when you start adding lights. Now, since we're not going to do that, I'm not going to open those material options. But I just wanted you to see that they are there.

Okay, let's collapse layer two. If we go to layer one, we can enable 3D for that layer, by using the same switch. Now notice the second we did that, the left edge of my object disappeared. And also, I still have my rotation tool selected, so I'm going to go back up to my Tool panel, and just grab my Selection tool. You can also just press V. Now, if we click and drag on the x-axis, notice it's going to just intersect with my background video. So, the layer hierarchy is important when you're in 3D space, but it really doesn't matter if this is above or below the layer, because, literally it's in 3D space.

So, they are intersecting. Now, there's another way to distinguish these layers, in terms of where they exist in 3D space. I actually consider this 2 and a half D. The reason I say that, let's open up the parameters for layer one, and open up it's transform options. If I click and drag on the y rotation here, notice as I rotate it towards the camera. I can make that layer pretty much disappear. That's because it's pointed straight at the camera, and this layer has no actual depth.

If you want to create a truly 3 Dimensional object, you need to change the renderer that you're working in, in After Effects. So I'm going to scroll up in my timeline here, and collapse layer one, and I'll just turn layer one off. I'll grab my Text tool, and I'm just going to create some text. We'll just type the word Sport, and grab this selection tool to set that text. Now, you can position the text and choose whatever typeface you like, anywhere in the screen. But notice, when I go to Enable 3D, it enables 3D, and if I open up the options, I have material options here, and that's fine, and I have transform options.

We've seen all this before. But let's go to the upper right corner of the Composition panel. See this button, where it says Classic 3D? If you click on that, you can change to 3D space. So in here, I could change the renderer from Classic 3D to Ray Trace 3D. Just be aware, when you do this, this could drastically slow down the performance of your system. Now, this is where that preference comes in, that we went into Preferences about. Where if you have it in video graphics card that actually has the acceleration, it will accelerate this work flow.

If you don't, it'll still work perfectly fine. It just won't be quite as fast. So let's go ahead and click OK. When we've change to the Ray-traced Renderer, let's look at some of the different options. Notice now, I have geometry options. So if I open up my geometry options in here. I can actually extrude depth for these words, so let's go ahead and extrude it to a depth of around 32. Now, it's going to take a second to refresh the scene. If we look in the lower right corner of the composition panel, I can click on this button, and adjust how it's going to preview.

Right now it's an adaptive resolution. Let's just go ahead and change that to Fast Draft. That's not going to render a lot of the lighting effects, but it'll speed up the work flow for the moment. So let's scroll on my timeline here until we get to the y rotation, and just rotate on the y. And notice as I'm rotating here, let's rotate it to a value of about 25. I can actually see some depth. So to see how this is going to look, let's go ahead and turn off Fast Draft. And this will render it a final quality. Now, it's going to take a quick second to render, but once it finishes rendering, we can actually preview what this frame is going to look like.

So this is what its actually going to look like. Now, I can't see any real dimension to this, until I actually add a light into the scene. But once we start adding lights, then we need to get back into material options, and it's a whole other ball game. Now again, the point of this video is to just understand the different ways you can move into 3 Dimensional space. Now understand, also in After Effects, if you want to create a 3D object, that's native to a composition inside of After Effects, without using the Cinema 4D plugin, you need to be using the Ray-traced 3D Renderer.

Let's go ahead and click on that button one more time, to change the renderer back to Classic 3D. And then click OK. Notice now my third dimension is gone off of this text. The last and final way you can create a 3D element inside of After Effects. Is by going up under the Layer menu and choosing a New> Max On Cinema 4D file. Now, there's a whole separate work flow for that, so we're not going to jump into that. But I hope you understand now, if you want to move into the third dimension, you have several options. You can enable 3D for a layer, thus moving into 2 and a half D.

You can also renderer. Taking it into true 3D space with the Ray-traced Renderer, or you could create a 3 Dimensional object, using the Cinema 4D Lite plugin.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .

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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
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