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After Effects: Insight into Effects was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
After Effects gurus Chris and Trish Meyer share their real-world insight into how to get the most out of the effects that come bundled with this popular software. After Effects: Insight into Effects covers their favorite effects, hidden gems, optimal parameter ranges, "gotchas" to avoid, and alternative effects to consider. Among other tidbits, this course also contains "special topic" movies that pertain to more than one effect, demonstrate how to use After Effects more efficiently, and compare different effects to try in order to achieve a desired creative result. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.
This course was recorded using After Effects CS4, but it contains many timeless concepts and effects. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This is an ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.
In this movie we're going to focus using Colorama for my personal favorite use, as the ultimate tinting effect. I've already set this up in the way I described in the first movie, with my Output Cycle preset to Ramp Grey. This gives me a grayscale image as the starting point. But whenever I'm tinting I want to maximize my Contrast and Input. I want to get the maximum ranges of dark colors to light colors to feed into this Output Cycle so I can get more gradations of tints. So to do that, I'll twirl open Input Phase again, go back to the Get Phase pop-up and try out some other options.
Intensity is the default for Black and White; it's very similar to Lightness. For something a bit brighter, you can try something like Value. But none of these are getting me a high degree of contrast of darks to lights. So, I might try some other phases. For example, I remember that these rocks were very red. So let's try the Red channel. In this case, the water is now turned very dark, almost black, the mountains have remained bright and I still have some nice dark areas where the veins go through the rocks. So this will make good Input Phase to my tinting.
I'll twirl up Input Phase for now and focus on the Output Cycle. Now the way Colorama works is that the darkest colors on Input are mapped to 12 o'clock, straight up and down on this wheel. Progressively lighter input colors are mapped to whatever color goes around the wheel to end up to another stop just before 12 o'clock, just before a straight up and down on this wheel. If I want to change one of these color stops, I just double-click it. It opens up the Color Picker and I can pick the color for that stop.
For example, maybe something in a light yellowish-orange. Click OK and now I have a duotone effect. I go from black some of the dark areas to my yellowish gold in the bright areas. If I want to add an additional stop, for example, to turn this into a Tritone effect, I click anywhere around the wheel. It will open up the Color Picker again with the color already set to where I clicked around the wheel. If I want that to be a slightly different color, maybe something in the more red area and maybe something a bit brighter, I'll do that, click OK and now I have a Tritone effect.
It goes from blacks through a rusty red, to this golden yellow. Now, if I'm not pleased with any color, I can just double-click on it to open up the Color Picker again. Example, I might go ahead and make that a little bit darker for contrast, and there we go. If I want this color to map to a different grayscale value, I just drag this stop around the wheel. You can think of this as a bit of a gamma adjustment. It's similar to moving the color stops in more traditional gradient editors. If I want to snap this point to 45 degree angles, I'll hold the Shift key while I'm dragging and I'll snap to exact spots around the wheel.
This is particularly handy if I'm trying to set the color for up top. Let's go ahead and leave it down here. Now let's add another color for interest. I'll just click around the wheel. The Color Picker opens up and say let's make that area a little bit more plummy. Click OK, drag the wheel to get a little more contrast in my shadows, make it much deeper and if I want, I can add one more color in the Highlights. I can add up to 64 colors around this wheel. Now there's a couple of things I can do. I can hold down the Command key on Mac, Ctrl key on Windows, drag an existing color stop and it will duplicate that color to whatever place I drag, or if I want a new color, I just click anywhere around the wheel and the Color Picker opens.
So let's go ahead and pick something that's maybe a bit more saturated orange, right in that area. Too dark, so I can either try mapping it to different grayscale value. We'll just double-click it and edit its value, maybe make it just a touch brighter, a touch less saturated, click OK then go ahead and move this back around the wheel to have that nice contrast on my image. Normally, Colorama will interpolate values around this wheel from one stop to another.
That's reflected by the Interpolate Palette checkbox defaulting to on. If I had turn it off, I now I have a posterized effect. Colorama will now jump between these colors rather than smoothly interpolate in between them. Let's say that I want to include some of the original colors of this image back into my final composite. There's a couple of ways doing that. One is to edit the Blend with Original value. Go to the original mountains, go to my tinted mountains. Another way is to edit an individual color stop so that it is transparent.
Each color stop is connected to its own Alpha slider. So, if I want to make these mid-colors peek through and show me the original color of the mountains underneath, I just dragged it all the way down. Now you'll see some of the sky creeping in, some of the colors on these beach areas along the lake creeping in. Again, I can go ahead and adjust just where those colors fall, get a bit more of the sky in. Now I have an interesting colorized image. There is the original and here's my newly tinted image and now you start to see how powerful this is. You can create subtle looks, not just crazy psychedelic looks.
Now in this case I'm revealing the original image that was underneath. If I wanted to reveal another layer, I just turn off the Composite Over Layer switch and you will see it shows me the checkerboard pattern, the Alpha and the underlying comp. I could have another layer underneath this, if I want to mix this layer partially over another layer. But I'll leave this is on for now, just so I can blend it into my original photo. If you get a color treatment you really like, there's not a way to save it in the Preset palette. However, if you select the Colorama effect you can save an animation preset of it and recall back color tinted at any point.
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