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In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.
Very often, when you are working in After Effects, your producer or manager, client or whatever, will come back to you and say, "I know you have been working on this a lot, but what I want to do is swap out the footage you have been working on with something different." Now, that can pose a lot of challenges. In this case, I have been working on this olive sorting 01 clip. I've added a mask to it and created a vignette with it. I've also created this like texturing effect and I have also-- If I go to the Effects Controls panel, you'll see I have also applied little bit of Levels. So, there is before and after Levels, a little bit of contrast.
And I have also de-saturated a little bit. So, before and after the saturation. So, I have already done a lot of work to this. I have even come down here to the Timeline panel and I've cropped this in time. So, it's only five seconds long as opposed to 40 seconds long. So, I have been doing a lot of work with this thing. So, if my client or boss or whatever came back to me and said, "I need the same stuff you have been doing, but with a different clip," it would be very frustrating. At least it would be, if it weren't for After Effects' Replace Footage feature. So, I could go here into the Project panel. And just so we are clear on what we're working with, if I double-click these clips, here is the original clip in the Footage panel. Double-click the other clip that the boss wants us to replace this with, and this is that clip.
So, the coloring is different and just the angle is different and it's jsut much closer in on the olive. So, again, we can use the dropdown to see the first clip and then what we need to use to replace that, and that is the new clip here. So, I am going to go back to the Composition panel and what I am going to do is I am going to select this layer in the Timeline panel, the layer I want to be replaced. And then what I am going to do is I am going to hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on the PC. I am going to drag the clip that I want to be the replacing clip. So, drag this with the Alt or Option key held down and let go.
And you will notice that the clip has been completely replaced, but all of the work I did to the clip is still intact. So, the mask that I created, the vignette that I created, the desaturation, the increased contrast, even the rocky texture here in the background, and even be cropping in time, shortening the layer's duration to five seconds, all of that has been maintained. So, if you're working with like stock video that has like a watermark over it, or a lower resolution clip, for example, because you're maybe working with 4K red footage or something and it's really beefy and it's hard for your system to process, you can work with a lower quality version of the same size and add all the same effects that you would normally and then when it comes time to render, just swap out the bad stuff for the good stuff.
While it might not be a feature you use every time you use After Effects, when you do need to use this, it will save your life and your sanity.
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