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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 anytime you have a composition that's made up of many different layers, if you want to gain a little bit more control over those layers, you might want to consider using the pre command function. That's what we're going to do in this video. We're going to animate the top layers separately from the bottom layers using precompose. So to get started, let's select Layer 8 and and hold down Shift, and click on Layer 4 to select all the layers. Go back up to the top half of your composition panel to click and drag on those layers and drag into the left. I want you to notice the right side of those layers do contain a little bit extra information.
We'll go ahead and crop the information off using Pre-compose. I'm going to press Cmd+z or Ctrl+ z on windows to undo that last command. With all the layers selected I want you to go up to the layer menu and go down and choose Pre-compose. Let's start by naming our precomposition. I'm going to call this Top_pre. I like to use pre in the name, so I can clearly label which comps are being used as precomps. Now, the default setting should work perfectly well. I just want to draw your attention to this one option. If you ever have layers that are a different length of your composition, you may want to go ahead and select this option.
Since our layers are primarily the length of the comp, we don't need to. So let's go ahead and just click Okay, and you notice, our pre-composition is now just one layer. If we turn the visibility off and on, those layers are now one controllable layer. Now, I want you to click on this layer and drag it to the left and you'll notice that the graphics have been cropped off. For any reason if you decide you didn't want to crop that information, you can come down to the Toggles, Switches, and Modes button, and then go to the second option here under your switches and just enable collapse transformations.
When you do that that'll show any of the extra information that had been cropped off. Now we don't want to do that for this case so lets go ahead and deselect that and actually just press Cmd+z a couple of times to get back to out original lay out here with the pre-composition in the bottom of our time line. Okay. Now let's animate this sliding in from the left side of the project, right to its current position. Now since I know this is exactly where I want it to land, we're going to animate backwards by creating our second key frame first.
I know that sounds confusing, but just follow along. I'm going to move my current time indicator down to one second in my time line and press p on my keyboard to open the position parameter. Now I can click on the stopwatch next to Position to add my first key frame. And then we can just move our current time indicator back to the beginning of the composition, and click and drag our precomp off to the left. Now, as you start to drag, hold down the Shift key, and that'll snap it along the x-axis. Don't hold down Shift before you select the layers.
Click and select to drag, and then hold down Shift. So now you notice we've automatically created keyframes. If I go ahead and click and drag, you can see I have this animating in from the left to the right, which is exactly what I want. Now the real beauty of working with pre-compositions, is the fact that you can still access all those other layers. I want the word dedication to slide in from the right of the screen, right to where it is currently. So to do that, what I'll do is move my current time indicator to one second here.
Then, go ahead and double click on your pre-comp. That will open up the layers contained in the pre-comp. Now, if you select layer one, you can press p to open up its position parameters. Then you can drag it right off the right side of our comp panel. Okay. And I'll go ahead and add a key frame there. And then we can move down to about two seconds and click and drag on the x-axis to go ahead and reposition this back. Now it could have employed the same technique that we used previously to make sure that our exact key frames match up, but actually, let's go ahead and have dedication slide all the way into the window.
Now if we go back to our original composition here, and scrub through, you can see we've animated the video to slide and our text to slide in separately. So when it comes to gaining more control over individual layers you can definitely use pre-composition. The beauty resides in the fact that you can still access those pre-comp layers while still adding an extra level of control in your main composition
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