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I will be using After Effects CS6 for this exercise. However, you can perform most of the actions in CS5 or 5.5 and we've provided exercise files for all three versions. Indeed, if you have access to the exercise files, open up AEA_Final Project 3e.aep. The 3e indicates that it goes with the Third Edition of the After Effects Apprentice book. If you have access to that book instead, go ahead and open up its Lesson 12.aep. Set your Workspace to Standard and go ahead and Reset Standard to make sure you're back to the same panel arrangement we have.
To optimize things a little bit, I'm going to close up the bottom of my preview panel because I don't need access to those options. I will keep the bottom of Info open, because I will want to see some of the information here. And I'm going to drag my audio panel down to the middle of Effects & Presets just to create some more space for it. We're going to assume that you're working through these movies in a linear fashion. But if you jump in the middle, we do have a folder called Intermediate Comps, which includes compositions at different stages of this process. Early on in particular, we'll be calling out which one you can jump to, but it should be obvious later on which comp you can open up if you just want to watch a certain set of movies from this course.
Also, we've saved a folder of Idea Corner comps, which include some additional ideas you can use to take this particular project up to the next level, and also a set of Finished Composition to show the final project. This will vary a little bit from what you're creating here, because I make some different decisions along the way of exactly where to put the camera, exactly how to draw a shape layer, but it will still give you a very good idea of how things should eventually end up. Finally, the book files are almost identical to this video course's files. The only difference is that the Final Comp IC has a slightly more sophisticated light that we created in this course, and we did not bother to create in the book.
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