After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Refining the Roto Brush


From:

After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Refining the Roto Brush

Using the Roto Brush to create your initial selection is only the first part of the battle. In order to get a polished finished element out of the Roto Brush. You need to actually do a little bit of polishing using some of the different refinement tools available. We're going to start by looking at the Roto Brush Composition. So if you don't already have it open double-click on the Roto Brush Comp to open the project. And then double-click on the Board Ride layer in that composition. Now working with the Rotor Brush you typically want to work it 100% magnification.
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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
      59s
    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 36m
    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 27s
    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
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Refining the Roto Brush

Using the Roto Brush to create your initial selection is only the first part of the battle. In order to get a polished finished element out of the Roto Brush. You need to actually do a little bit of polishing using some of the different refinement tools available. We're going to start by looking at the Roto Brush Composition. So if you don't already have it open double-click on the Roto Brush Comp to open the project. And then double-click on the Board Ride layer in that composition. Now working with the Rotor Brush you typically want to work it 100% magnification.

So we are looking at 100% of this image right now. And I'm just going to Click and Drag down to hide part of my timeline as we sort of analysis what's going on in the scene here. Now the refinement tools for the Roto Brush are in the Effects Control panel. If you don't have this behind your Project panel, go up under Window and make sure that Effect Controls is active. If you open the Roto Brush Matte options, here you'll see I have Feather, Contrast, Shift Edge and Reduce Chatter.

I haven't gone through the entire length of this clip, then painstakingly painted the individual selections of the Roto Brush. That's part of the process of using the Roto Brush. Just making sure that you have your initial selection. But I do want to show you that first couple frames here in my Span. Let's say this is looking relatively close to what I want. Well I want to refine the selection of this edge. How do I know whether or not this shift is something that I can fix using one of these controls? Well, it just takes some getting used to working with the tool. As I'm watching, let's say the inside of this pant leg here, as I scrubbed through, you can see but it's holding the edge pretty well. Based on the distortions that are happening in the fabric. If you click and drag on this bottom parameter here, this is called Reduced Chatter.

What this does, is it changes the variation of the selection between the different frames. The higher the number, the less the variation is going to change. So you'll see less quote unquote chatter. I want you to look at the front part of the leg as I scrub over these frames. Even though I've increased the Reduced Chatter number, it thinks this part of the selection is something that I meant to do. So it's never going to smooth that out. But the slight variation that's happened along the edge of the fabric in this specific instance, it definitely has smoothed out.

Notice I can see a little bit of blue under there. That's not a good thing in this specific instance, so I may want to just decrease the Reduced Chatter amount, just to get that stroke a little closer to the edge. The rest of the adjustments all kind of play in tune with each other, so as you adjust one, you may need to go and make an adjustment to another. So this is when you want to quickly switch between these different view options. To view the Alpha, you can press Option+4 or Alt+4 on Windows.

Now the Alpha gives you a little bit better insight as to how quickly the edges of the mask are going to move. If you want to see an Overlay, you can press Option+6, and this will show you an overlay of what's actually going to get cut out. Now, sometimes it just makes sense to go to your Composition panel and look at your footage over top of whatever it is you're trying to composite. Since I don't have anything in my composition, I'm going to increase the view of my timeline and just add a layer solid behind our selection. So go up to Layer, and just choose New > Solid. I'm going to make sure it's the Comp size and then click OK. The fact that it's blue is fine, we can go ahead and drag it underneath of our selection.

I'm looking at the edge of this and I'm realising that it's rather jagged. But before I make a final determination I want to make sure that my Magnification is set to 100%. Now when I press the Spacebar to grab my hand tool and reposition, you can see it's really not that jagged. But I can go ahead and reselect Layer One and make adjustments to my Rfefined Edge selections in the Roto Brush Matte area. If I Click and Drag on the Feather selection, I'm softening the edge of the matte.

See this part on the inside of the knee? It's so soft that I'm actually getting some of the white poking out from underneath. If you make an adjustment to the Feather, you may want to consider adjusting the Contrast. The Contrast will get stronger or weaker as you click and make an adjustment. So notice, as I'm adjusting the contrast down, I'm starting to see more of the image here. That's because the feather is becoming softer, so I could decrease the amount of the feather here and notice now the line is tightening up to the edge of our leg.

I still want to have a little feather, so will set that to around 5.3. Now, since the edge here isn't quite as tight as I would like. That's when I could go ahead and shift the edge. If you make the number greater, it's going to go ahead and select more of the area. You can make the number smaller, and shift the edge in more closely to your object. Now, since we're kind of Rotoscoping a dark object. This change is kind of being magnified in this specific example. But all in all, I think this is actually generating a pretty decent mask for my isolation of this individual element.

Before you make your final decision as to whether or not this is truly good enough. You need to put in your finished graphics underneath and then render the file just to preview whether or not you like how it's mixing in. Obviously when you're trying to match a foreground element to a background element. Sometimes you'll probably want to consider using some other filters to blend those two elements together. Like, using some color correction techniques so the black levels and white levels balance between the two elements.

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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