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After Effects CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Refining with the Roto Brush


From:

After Effects CS6 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Refining with the Roto Brush

Now if you're joining me from the previous video, you know we've cut out this flower from its background by using the Roto Brush. So we're going to continue with that because creating the selection is only the first part of the process. Let's double-click Layer 1 to open up the Layer panel and reset our magnification to Fit to 100. Now let's resize the interface to make the timeline a little smaller and give us a little bit better view of the scene we're working in. As you preview how the edges are working within the Roto Brush, it's a good idea to actually set your magnification to 100%.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

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After Effects CS6 Essential Training
8h 41m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the workspace, important preferences, and the cache
  • Importing footage and comps
  • Relinking missing footage
  • Creating type, shape layers, and masks
  • Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
  • Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
  • Timing animations to audio
  • Building backgrounds with effects
  • Rendering with the Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder
  • Animating 3D type
  • Smoothing shaky footage and retouching footage
  • Keying green screen footage
  • Working with 3D: extruding shapes, adding ray-traced lighting, and more
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Refining with the Roto Brush

Now if you're joining me from the previous video, you know we've cut out this flower from its background by using the Roto Brush. So we're going to continue with that because creating the selection is only the first part of the process. Let's double-click Layer 1 to open up the Layer panel and reset our magnification to Fit to 100. Now let's resize the interface to make the timeline a little smaller and give us a little bit better view of the scene we're working in. As you preview how the edges are working within the Roto Brush, it's a good idea to actually set your magnification to 100%.

Now within the Layer comp window down in the middle, you can choose whether you just want to look at the boundary of the edge of the Alpha channel that we're creating, or an overlay of the selections that we're making, or if you click and hold, you can go up to Alpha and it will show you the edges of the matte. Now let's go ahead and load up a RAM Preview, so you can see the edges of the matte. Notice how the edges are kind of wiggling around. That's happening because of the movement of the flower. But that movement is actually called Edge Chatter.

So if we stop playback here for a second, we can open our Effects Control panel - I'm just going to go up under Window and choose Effect Controls, and on the left-hand side here we have a bunch of matte options. If we look at the matte options you can see we can smooth the matte, which we went over in the last video, but I'll just show you here for recap. If you crank it up, notice it makes the edges smoother. But that has a bad habit of actually giving you a really poor matte, so let me just undo that. That works well if you're trying to use the Roto on something that's rather blurry.

You can choke the matte just by bringing that number up or down. So obviously to the left, actually it does the opposite of choke, which gives it more room, so just understand that. Refine Matte is what we want to look at. So select Refine Matte and the first option is Use Motion Blur. Go ahead and select that if your image has a lot of motion blur, and within the Motion Blur settings, you can adjust the samples up to give a smoother motion blur and/or adjust the chatter angle, to match the type of blur in the scene.

If we close that, notice there's another option for Decontaminate Edge. If we expand the view of our Effects Controls by dragging out to the right, you'll notice this doesn't just decontaminate the edge, it Decontaminates the Edge Colors. So let's go back to our Layer comp window and in the bottom, let's click on the pulldown and change the Alpha Channel from Alpha to RGB. This way we can see exactly what the edges of our image look like. If you press the Spacebar we can grab the Hand tool and click and drag.

I want you to look at this leaf over here in the lower right corner of your comp. Notice how the edges are a little jagged. If you open up the Decontamination options, we can't really increase the Decontamination Amount. If I decrease it, notice how this edge has kind of a halo around it. So we definitely want the Decontamination Amount up at 100, and if we select Extend Where Smoothed, what this will do is just make an adjustment to the areas that you've actually started to adjust.

Now in order to select Extend Where Smoothed, we need to increase the Decontamination Amount. If we move up to the right, notice, now all these stray pixels on the right-hand side have disappeared. Let me reset that back to 0 and you can see how ragged that edge is. But if we actually increase this amount, it's going to deal with the colors and make things a little bit more smooth. Since we've increased our Decontamination, if you select Extend Where Smoothed, this will adjust how the edge actually works, based on this increase setting as well as the Reduce Chatter setting.

If both of these are set to 0, there is no reason to extend it, because nothing has been smoothed. View Contamination; if you select that, now you can see the amount of area that's been decontaminated along the edge of the matte. Now there is one last thing I want you to check out. So let's deselect that last selection, and let's actually hover our mouse over the Layer comp window and press the Tilde key. That's going to maximize this in our interface. In the lower right corner there's this button called Freeze.

And basically, once you've gone through and adjusted your Roto Brush to the settings you like, you should freeze your Roto Brush selections. What this actually does is allows After Effects to apply the Roto Brush, so every time you load up a RAM preview and that kind of thing, it's not redoing the selection using the Roto Brush. This in essence is freezing the selections you've made into a pre-rendered section. So once you're finished with the Roto Brush, remember to freeze.

And if you need to come back and make adjustments to your Roto Brush, just understand you'll be prompted to unfreeze your Roto Brush selections by selecting this button. So as you can see, the process for refining the edge of your Roto Brush is just as important as actually developing the initial selection in the first place.

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