Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Solid Composite

From: After Effects: Insight into Effects

Video: Solid Composite

Solid Composite has probably confused more than one After Effects user through the years. When you first apply it, it doesn't seem to do anything useful. But it keeps popping up in Animation Presets. So what's the secret? Let me show you a few things that it is good for. We'll select our footage and apply Effect > Channel > Solid Composite. At first nothing happens. We fade down the first parameter we find, the Source Opacity, and we fade to a white solid. We fade the white solid. Nothing seems to happen.

Solid Composite

Solid Composite has probably confused more than one After Effects user through the years. When you first apply it, it doesn't seem to do anything useful. But it keeps popping up in Animation Presets. So what's the secret? Let me show you a few things that it is good for. We'll select our footage and apply Effect > Channel > Solid Composite. At first nothing happens. We fade down the first parameter we find, the Source Opacity, and we fade to a white solid. We fade the white solid. Nothing seems to happen.

What use is this? Okay, let's start over and read the effect from top to bottom. What this basically says is let's take the source layer and blend it on top of the solid of this color. You have Opacity for the source and for the Solid. And the way you blend it is determined by this Blending Mode popup. There are a few things you can do with that. For example, it's a way of tinting footage. Say I want to apply a gold tint to these clouds. I pick a nice gold to start with and set my blending mode to something such Luminosity. Luminosity says keep the luminance information from the original source and apply it on to the color information of the solid underneath. And as a result, nice golden clouds.

We can play with the Opacity of our solid to go back to original clouds. Put just a little bit of tint in, put a very strong tint in, or we can play with other blending modes. For example, Overlay is always one of my favorite modes to mix things together with. Might be a little strong in this case. I have to think a little harder here because I have my source on top of the solid, not the other way around. Hard Light actually works much better for this and again, we have got some blending capabilities. Okay, that's one trick. Another is to create a film flash effect. To do that we are going to use the blending mode of Add, which results in a very burned out look, and I'll pick a color that's even brighter to get even more burned out, more towards white.

Now I'm going to keyframe the Opacity for my solid. Just start with the Opacity at 0, move a few frames later in time, enable keyframing. Go down two frames, page down, 100%, take my flash, go a few frames later one, two, three, four, five, and fade back down to mine original source. I'll try and preview. And now we have a very quick blip that goes to this color in Add mode, giving us that burned out look, and back to original source.

That's the way to create that film flash look you may be sick of by now. Another use is to provide an alternate way to fade a layer in and out. I'll remove Solid Composite from this layer. I'm going to place a radio object on top of these clouds and let's say that I want that radio to fade in and fade out. I can keyframe it, or I can take advantage of an Animation Preset. Animation > Behaviors > Fade In and Fade Out. And you can do it based on frames or in milliseconds. I'll use milliseconds, double-click to apply, and you'll see now the radio fades in and fades out.

And if I retrim where the radio is, the fade in and fade out behavior automatically detects where the in and out points are and fades based on those. Now how is this working? I'm going to type EE to reveal expressions. It's applying an expression to the opacity for Solid Composite. It's turned the Solid all the way down to the zero, no Opacity. So we are not seeing that white solid. And instead it's controlling just the Source Opacity, the Opacity for the original underlying layer.

Now why is it doing this with an effect rather than just controlling the layers opacity? Here is why. I'm going to hold Shift+T to reveal Opacity. As a user I still have an independent control over the Opacity of this radio. Say I never want to get more opaque than 50%. I can do that using the layer's normal opacity, while this behavior is still doing the automatic fade up and fade down. I'll press zero to RAM preview. And now you say I have got a fade in and fade out, but in max it's only going to the opacity I set for the layer.

So that's another reason Solid Composite use a lot of expressions. It provides an independent way to control the opacity of the layer and allow the user to still keyframe or alter the normal Opacity parameter however they like. The final thing I'll mention about Solid Composite is since it can do so many of these tricks with one layer, instead of requiring like another solid layer, it makes it very easy to save Animation Presets, such as this behavior. So that's why it's so popular amongst some of your geekier After Effects users, like me for example.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Insight into Effects
After Effects: Insight into Effects

47 video lessons · 10443 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 6s
  2. 7m 27s
    1. The Effects & Presets panel: finding effects
      2m 42s
    2. The Effects & Presets panel: animation presets
      4m 45s
  3. 1h 24m
    1. Bilateral Blur
      5m 30s
    2. Box Blur
      5m 33s
    3. CC Vector Blur
      6m 18s
    4. Creative Channel Blur
      2m 2s
    5. Corrective Channel Blur
      1m 47s
    6. The pros of Compound Blur
      4m 35s
    7. The cons of Compound Blur
      3m 3s
    8. Directional Blur
      2m 35s
    9. Fast Blur and Gaussian Blur
      5m 16s
    10. Lens Blur: iris effects
      6m 17s
    11. Lens Blur: depth maps
      4m 41s
    12. Overview of Radial Blurs
      4m 16s
    13. Radial Blurs shootout
      3m 29s
    14. Reduce Interlace Flicker
      4m 12s
    15. Corrective Smart Blur
      4m 26s
    16. Creative Smart Blur
      7m 40s
    17. Unsharp Mask theory
      5m 5s
    18. Unsharp Mask and Sharpen
      3m 59s
    19. Unsharp Mask power tips
      4m 14s
  4. 41m 5s
    1. Overview of Calculations
      3m 55s
    2. Creative Calculations
      3m 32s
    3. CC Composite
      4m 54s
    4. Overview of Channel Combiner
      2m 49s
    5. Channel Combiner and color space
      3m 56s
    6. Channel Combiner and transparency
      4m 0s
    7. Remove Color Matting
      4m 24s
    8. Set Matte vs. Track Mattes
      6m 45s
    9. Set Channels and Shift Channels
      2m 0s
    10. Solid Composite
      4m 50s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Auto Color vs. Auto Levels
      6m 21s
    2. Auto Contrast vs. Auto Levels
      4m 44s
    3. Channel Mixer
      5m 34s
    4. Corrective Color Balance
      8m 15s
    5. Creative Color Balance
      3m 19s
    6. Color Stabilizer
      4m 51s
    7. Overview of Colorama
      7m 40s
    8. Tinting with Colorama
      5m 48s
    9. Colorama and color cycling
      3m 12s
    10. Hue/Saturation tips
      5m 4s
    11. Hue/Saturation vs. Color Balance
      2m 17s
    12. Tint vs. Tritone
      4m 34s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Compound effects
      5m 43s
    2. Repeat Edge Pixels
      2m 12s
    3. Grayscale shootout
      6m 45s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects: Insight into Effects.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.