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This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
Now that we have a good end pose that we are happy with, let's add an animated camera around our scene. Now since I am going to be playing around with the camera, I might lose this pose. And I want to remember what it looks like, so I'll make sure this display's forward and go ahead and save a snapshot of that particular display. That will make it easier for me to come back to this reference frame. Next I'll go to Layer > New > Camera. Shorter camera lens presets have more exaggerated 3D-ness to them. It will exaggerate the space between layers.
Small movements will seem larger, so when creating motion graphics we often go to a shorter preset just to make our life easier, just to get more bang for our buck. So I'll pick the 28-millimeter preset, and I'll make sure that I have a two-node camera. Older version of After Effects default to a two-node camera where you have a separate position and point of interest where the camera is being aimed. Newer versions of After Effects have added a type pop-up directly in the Camera Settings dialog, and this defaults to whatever you use for the last camera you made.
It could be one node. It could be two node. Make sure it's two node for this particular project. I'll click OK, and notice how my scene jumped further back. That's because the default comp camera-- the one After Effects uses if no camera has been created--matches the 50-millimeter preset. But since I chose a 28-millimeter preset, I am getting a more exaggerated perspective in my scene, and that's why things appear to be moving further away. So let's push the camera in a little bit closer and maybe change its height a little bit as well. I'm going to press P to reveal its position and Shift+A to reveal its point of interest.
I can pick up and move the camera directly in one of the views, or I can go ahead and just scrub its values directly here in the Timeline panel. So I'll scrub its Z to push it in closer to my scene. And I am seeing quite a bit of floor here. I think I am going to go ahead and change his height a little bit as well. Rather than continuing to switch this left view between different views, I am going to go to the 4 View layout. Now I can see multiple views at once. I always keep the one at Active Camera so I can see where I am going to render, but now I have these other perspectives on this scene: top, front and right.
The default again to whatever was the last positioning or zoom you had set up. It may not be appropriate for the comp you are working on now, a really great command to be familiar with. So choose a view and use View > Look at All layers. And that will automatically zoom things back and center them so you can see everybody at once. You can, of course, also use the camera tools to customize my layout in these views. I am going to press C, which toggles through the different camera tools. This icon indicates you are using the unified camera tool.
That works best if you have a three-button mouse. I need to make sure it's programmed to take advantage of the middle mouse button. The left mouse button will act as an orbit. I'll undo. The right mouse button will act as a zoom. I'll undo again. And the middle mouse button will give me my X-Y pan. Your mouse may not be set up to do the X-Y pan, so go into the Preferences for your mouse--in this case it's Kensington, so I need to open up MouseWorks and I need to program that middle button to be the middle click.
As it turns out, I've already set up an After Effects preset for myself to sense that Scroll Wheel button to be my middle click. I'll close, go back to this display, press my middle mouse button. Now I get my X-Y pan. Great. Now I can use those mouse buttons to customize my layout in these views. I use the middle mouse button to X-Y pan it, I am going to use the right mouse button to zoom in, and I'll press V to return back to my Selection tool. I am going to press the middle mouse button, pull things down a little bit here to get a little bit lower in the composition, compare my previous snapshot to where I am now. I see I was pushed in a little bit differently and a little bit higher in the frame.
Let's go ahead and use the right mouse button to zoom in a little bit. And I actually think I prefer this framing compared to my original snapshot.
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