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Marking the camera's timing

From: After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

Video: Marking the camera's timing

I have a Camera Move that I'm pleased with using Placeholder layers. I can now start replacing those placeholders with nice framed videos. But before I do so, I'm going to do a little bookkeeping. It's nice to know just exactly what I'm seeing in those other video layers. There's no point trying to find videos that are longer than I need during the course of this move. I might also want to time the actions on those videos to match when those videos are prominently on screen. So the next thing I am going to do is just place some more markers in this composition to remind myself when these videos appear and disappear.

Marking the camera's timing

I have a Camera Move that I'm pleased with using Placeholder layers. I can now start replacing those placeholders with nice framed videos. But before I do so, I'm going to do a little bookkeeping. It's nice to know just exactly what I'm seeing in those other video layers. There's no point trying to find videos that are longer than I need during the course of this move. I might also want to time the actions on those videos to match when those videos are prominently on screen. So the next thing I am going to do is just place some more markers in this composition to remind myself when these videos appear and disappear.

Now we know initially at 101, at this marked beat for the cymbal, none other video layers are visible. On an extended keyboard, I'm going to press Page Down until those videos first start to appear in my 16x9 display. If you don't have an extended keyboard, on the Mac you're going to hold Command and press the left and right arrow keys to go ahead and step forward and backwards one frame at a time. Now even though you're outside the action safe area at this point, you really don't know how the viewer has set up their TV.

Is the bezel cutting off part of the image? Have they changed the zoom setting for their TV, so they will see the full image right up to the very edges of your image area? I'm going to play safe and mark this as the first frame that even just a slightest part of my extra videos are visible. I don't want to mark an individual video layer at this point. I want to put markers for the entire composition. So to do so, I'm going to press F2 to deselect all of the layers in this composition. When no layers are selected, creating a marker will create a marker for the whole composition, not just the layer.

Now in this case, I know I also want to add comments to these markers to remind me which videos are starting and ending. So I'm going to hold the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, press the Asterisk key, now I'll get my composition marker dialog with the common field immediately. I'm going to say E1+E3, Enter. They enter the screen at this point in time. Let's keeping moving along until we see some additional activity, oh, there it's the frame where my bottom video, E2 first becomes visible.

Press F2 again to make sure no layers are selected. Opt+ or Alt+* and say E2, Enter. All right, let's keep moving along here. Up there is my fourth extra video entering the frame right there, F2 to deselect, Opt+ or Alt+*, E4, Enter. Keep moving along and look for, either when the hero appears, or the extra videos disappear. Hero just sneaks into view there.

So I'll create a marker for there, "H", the hero, enters and keep moving along here, and noting when the videos go off screen and I no longer need to worry about them being visible. This is the last useful frame for Extra Video One. So I'll say E1 gone, keep moving along, there's the last frame for E2 before it is gone, move a little further here in time until Extra Video Three, the blue one is gone and finally Extra Video Four is gone.

Now I've marked out all the important parts of my music and the important actions during my Camera Move. I could have entered those comments along my Camera layer as well, but this will make it easier for me to find these markers even if I happen to have scrolled my timeline panel to the point where I can no longer see the Camera layer.

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