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In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.
Now often times I'll find myself in this situation where I'll need to start building an animation but I don't have the final elements to actually start the animation. So that may seem like a big issue, but honestly as long as you have a general idea as to the size of the elements you are going to be working with, you can go ahead and start animating with the elements that you currently have. So to give you an example, let's look at a RAM Preview of our project right now. I'm just going to go over my Preview panel, and load this up in the RAM Preview.
Now as you can see, I have this kind of funky animation built with the shapes that sort of fly through the scene. Now I wasn't sure whether these would be the final shapes or not but I went ahead and started building the animation. Now I'm going to stop playback here for a second. Just in case, I have to come back and actually use this version, I'm going to create a different version while still keeping this original version built. So in order to do that, I'm going to select my Multi_Moves composition, and go up under Edit and choose Duplicate.
Now Multi_Moves 2 will give me my duplicate that we can alter. So let's double-click on Multi_ Moves 2 and look at what we have. Well we have a pre-composition named Move. So if I double-click that comp you notice, well, I only have one version of Move. So I need to create a duplicate version of Move, if I'm going to change the other composition. So let's select Move and go up under Edit and choose Duplicate. Now if you double-click Shape2 in the Project panel, look in the layer viewer and you can see we have this circular shape.
Now the new shape we're going to replace this with is going to be a square. So let's import that into our project. Double-click on the Project panel, and navigate in your Exercise folder to your Footage folder, and in there under Illustrator we want to choose Shape3. Now we can set this to Import As Footage making sure not to select this Sequence option. Okay now when we click Open, we have Shape3. If you double-click to view it, you can see now this is the square.
So let's double-click and open Move 2. Now within Move 2, select every single layer that's labeled Shape 2. So I'm going to click Layer 1 and hold Shift and click on Layer 4 so they're all selected. To change the shape out, you need to hold the Option key on a Mac or Alt on Windows and then choose the other shape that you want to use. So I'm going to choose shape 3 and while I'm holding Option, I'm going to drag it down to the timeline. When we let go with our mouse, notice Shape 3 is now in place and since it was roughly the same size with Shape 2, if we scrub through the timeline here you can notice I'm getting the exact same animation. That's great! Now if we open up Multi_Moves 2, you can see I haven't changed out that element in this version yet.
We need to actually swap out the Move composition. So select Layer 2, hold down Shift and select Layer 4. Now layers 2, 3 and 4 are selected and we can hold down Option on the Mac, Alt on the PC, and select the Move 2 comp and drag it down into the timeline. When I let go, now notice that new composition has been updated in this version. So if we scrub through our timeline here, you can see we have our new animation with all the keyframes and the new shape and we still manage to keep the original animation with the Multi_Moves comp.
Let's double-click that and scrub through, and you can see now we have two versions of the same animation with two different graphics by using Option+Drag to swap the images.
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