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In this course, Chris Meyer demonstrates the most common techniques for adding selective transparency to layers in After Effects through the use of masks, track mattes, and stencils. In addition to explaining the tools and basic theory behind transparency, the course covers several practical applications for these techniques, including isolating objects, creating vignettes, and filling text with visual texture. Tutorials on crafting custom transitions and other treatments are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
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 Online Training Library®.
Before we wrap up stencils I want to point out that you can indeed stack stencils on top of each other. You're not restricted to just one stencil for an entire composition. For example, I've got my NIGHT LITES here, which is acting as an alpha stencil for this overall composite, these two different pieces of footage. I can go grab another stencil, for example, that Cloud Matte we had brought in. Move my time indicator a little bit later to where it comes on. It has no alpha channel of its own. So I will use it as a Luma Stencil. Now, it will act as a stencil on top of the text stencil on top of the other layers.
I might even go ahead and take this, scale it up a little bit so it fills up the layer a little bit more, build a nicer effect like that. Since I am using this layer just as a stencil and I am not so worried about the actual image quality of the layer, it's okay to go ahead and scale it beyond 100%. You can get away with it a bit there. So there it blows on my text. If I turn on my transparency grid, you can see what's going on. It might be easier if I go ahead and turn on just the alpha channel. You see the resulting composite of these two stencils stacked on top of each other.
Then just to finish this off to make it a lot of fun, I am going to go back and use that Turbulent Displace I showed earlier. So I am going to make a layer. New > Adjustment Layer. Apply Effect > Distort > Turbulent Displace. Now I've got this fun warp going on. I'll even go ahead and keyframe it by keyframing Evolution. Go to the end and maybe just give it one rotation of evolution. Stacking order is again important. I can go ahead and have the whole thing warped here or drag the adjustment layer between my two stencils.
The text is getting warped but the smoke is coming on straight. Whatever I like. I can go ahead and try different experiments to see what final look I like the most. Let's go ahead and do the whole group. RAM Preview and here's my final composite. So once you learn a few building blocks you can go ahead and keep combining these building blocks to create unique looks.
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