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Preparing templates

From: After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

Video: Preparing templates

Preparing the templates to use inside of a toolkit isn't rocket science, but things can get pretty complicated if you don't prepare properly. Let's look at the Project panel and the first thing I want you to notice is the fact that everything is contained within a folder. This is something I like to do when I'm preparing a toolkit. That way everything has its place. Another really important thing to do is draw extra attention to the folder that contains all the compositions that you'll actually render your graphics from. So let's select the Graphics Package Elements folder and add the word OUT in capital letters to the end of it.

Preparing templates

Preparing the templates to use inside of a toolkit isn't rocket science, but things can get pretty complicated if you don't prepare properly. Let's look at the Project panel and the first thing I want you to notice is the fact that everything is contained within a folder. This is something I like to do when I'm preparing a toolkit. That way everything has its place. Another really important thing to do is draw extra attention to the folder that contains all the compositions that you'll actually render your graphics from. So let's select the Graphics Package Elements folder and add the word OUT in capital letters to the end of it.

Now I know this is the folder that contains all the compositions that we're actually to render out from. Next thing go through each composition. So let's start with the Title_Open here. If you think there's going to be a graphic that another artist might need to make changes to, you want to make sure all those layers are editable. So even though the title of the show is called "Revealing the Artist", what if this toolkit is going international? Well they might need to rename this title, so I'm going to go ahead and leave this text editable.

You have to be really careful when you leave text editable that you didn't use a font that's too unique,. You want to make sure to use, I don't want to say generic fonts, but fonts that will be pretty much installed on all the systems. You can search online and find a list of fonts that get installed whenever you install After Effects, for example, or Adobe Creative Suite. That way you can make sure that those files will be on any system that opens up that project. Now another thing is really important, to make sure you don't deliver too much information. What I mean by that, you want to delete any extra graphics that you're not using in any one of the comps.

Now we could sit here and go through each individual comp and kind of compare back to the graphics, but there is a nice shortcut that After Effects has. If you go up under File, you can go to Remove Unused Footage. So when you use that After Effects will give you a message telling you whether or not it removed anything, and if so, it'll tell you exactly how many items were removed. Now as I'm looking through these comps everything appears to be in order. As a matter of fact, when we look at the Lower_3rd comp, go ahead and double-click the Lower_3rd comp to open it.

When we look at the Lower_3rd comp, the text actually says Insert Title Here, Insert Name Here. So this is really nice way to make sure that other designers can quickly and easily know that this is the area that they're supposed to be able to edit. Now with the bumper, if we got to Bumper _01, you notice Bumper_01 just contains the title graphic, and yes the text in there is also editable, but when we go to Bumper_02 we have a sponsor logo here.

So if you look we have the sponsor logo right up here at the top of the comp. Instead of leaving it to sponsor name go ahead and rename this layer, REPLACE, with all capital letters, Sponsor Logo. Now this is clearly labeled for any designer. All they have to do is just hold down Alt or Option and drag whatever graphic they want to replace right into the Timeline, and as long as layer one is selected when you choose Alt or Option+Drag, it'll automatically replace that graphic.

Now the only thing I'm noticing that's missing is actually something that's sort of important and that's a style guide. A style guide is usually a PDF or at least a JPEG that contains still images that show you the way things are supposed to look when they're actually finished. So we're going to have to create a style guide, but that's a movie in and of itself, so we'll get to that a little later in this chapter. But for now I want you to know that you actually have to be looking for a style guide most of the time when you're working with a toolkit.

Now once you've prepared everything by deleting any unused footage or renaming layers that are going to remain editable, you want to go ahead and package up your toolkit so it's all self-contained. So to do that, go up to File and choose Collect Files. When we choose Collect Files it'll tell you your project needs to be saved first. Do you want to save it? So by all means click Yes to save it, and then you'll get this contextual menu. What you want to do is make sure the first pulldown collects all source files.

Now look in the lower left-hand corner. You can see exactly how many files are going to be collected and how many effects are being used. If you click this button in the lower left-hand corner, Comments, you can actually add additional comments. So I'm going to add a comment that says "All Comps that are used to create a final graphics are contained in the Graphics Package Elements OUT." Okay, now we're ready to go ahead and Collect.

When you get this option I'm just going to ahead and collect this into the Chapter 13 folder. Rename the folder whatever you'd like. I'm just going to leave this the Preparing the toolkit folder, but when you go ahead and click Save, After Effects is going to copy all the project files and resave the After Effects project. So let's jump into the Finder really quick so we can look at our project. Here is our 13_02_Preparing the Toolkit folder and the After Effects file was copied, and also I got this neat thing down here called a report.

If you double-click and open the report, notice in here it tells you exactly when the report was created, the name of the project, exactly where the files were collected to, all the comps that were collected, the number of files. You get the idea. It's pretty intensive, but the thing you want to pay attention to right here is the effects used. It's really important to be aware of any third-party effects that you may have used when you're sending your project out around the world. If you did use any third-party filters, all you have to do is just pre-render those elements as layers and re- import the rendered files and you should be perfectly fine to distribute your comps that way. But this way you can make sure that all of these effects are native to After Effects, and then check this out, down here at the bottom. Any font that you've used in any of the comps will also be listed.

Here at the bottom is our comment, "All Comps that are used to create?" Yeah you got it. Everything that we added in the Comments field is now in this report. So using the Collect Files option is really important when you actually go to send out your project. You can make sure all the footage elements are contained as well as create a general report for any designer to reference it in the time so they can make sure that they have obsolete everything from your project. Now as long as you've prepared the files accordingly, your project should have a long yet delightfully simple existence.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

60 video lessons · 22797 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

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