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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
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Tracking the motion in footage


From:

After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Tracking the motion in footage

So, right about now, you might be asking yourself, "Well, what's the point of tracking motion other than stabilizing motion?" Well, in this video I'm going to show you exactly why you'd want to track motion. Again, it's a very powerful commonly used feature in After Effects. What I've already done for you here is basically the same process we did in the last movie. If I double-click this cool bird movie, by the way, here is our footage. It's like this little cool bird at the zoo. It's moving around and doing some talking there. If I double-click this layer to open it up in the Layer panel, you'll see that I've already done the tracking for you because the process is the same as stabilizing.
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  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
8h 39m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the After Effects workflow
  • Precomposing footage
  • Explaining the basics and beyond of animating
  • Creating glows, patterns, textures, and more with effects
  • Color correcting footage
  • Working with text
  • Manipulating video playback speed
  • Masking objects and shape layers
  • Removing backgrounds with keying
  • Compositing multiple pieces of footage
  • Integrating After Effects with the rest of the Creative Suite
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Chad Perkins

Tracking the motion in footage

So, right about now, you might be asking yourself, "Well, what's the point of tracking motion other than stabilizing motion?" Well, in this video I'm going to show you exactly why you'd want to track motion. Again, it's a very powerful commonly used feature in After Effects. What I've already done for you here is basically the same process we did in the last movie. If I double-click this cool bird movie, by the way, here is our footage. It's like this little cool bird at the zoo. It's moving around and doing some talking there. If I double-click this layer to open it up in the Layer panel, you'll see that I've already done the tracking for you because the process is the same as stabilizing.

So, we have like our little point in the middle, we have the feature region, and then we have the search region, same deal. What I decided to track was there was like a shadow here, and there is a line of shadow, and there is vertical lines where there is posts. So, I decided to track that. That was a little bit risky because horizontal lines are dangerous, because After Effects can't get a grip on where those lines stop and start. So, often, they'll be drifting, which is a bad thing. But because there are stark vertical lines, and there was a kind of like diagonal line here, After Effects was able to figure out what was going on, and we get a pretty good track out of this.

But I have not applied any of that tracking data. What I did is I started by clicking Track Motion and then I got the same little gizmo here, tracked the footage, and now what I need to do is click the Edit Target button, and I choose the layer I'm going to apply the motion to, and we have choices now. We have the light, we have the original footage, and then we also have this TALKING Bird4, which is actually the text that you just saw in the previous composition where we're just looking at. We can't apply the footage to the light or the original footage. We need to use another layer.

The only other layer is this text layer, TALKING Bird4. So, I'm going to go ahead and click OK. Then I'm going to click Apply. I'm going to apply the dimensions X and Y. Click OK. Now we go back to our original footage here. You can see that as this moves around, that the TALKING Bird text moves along with the background, and because there is this cool lighting added here, we're getting this very awesome 3D effect. You'll see this oftentimes in commercials. You see it in the beginning of every episode of the TV show "Heroes." They will track motion, and then as the camera is panning in, you'll see text.

It seems like its kind of moving along with the camera as if it were there when it were being filmed. That's kind of the look that we've just created here by using tracking to track this text into our shot. So, it's very surreal almost the look that we've created here by having this fake text that moves in tandem with our layer. It's very interesting. Now we can also select the light and sometimes lights are a little bit weird, so we might not be able to get this to work out quite right.

But if we select our layer, I'm going to press P for Position. I want to adjust our layer here so that it comes just on Z space. What's happened is that the position has been completely replaced for every single frame. I want to adjust all keyframes at once. So, to adjust all of your keyframes at once, I need to be on a frame with the keyframe, which I can see here, a little gold. Let me know that I want on a frame with a keyframe. I need to select all the keyframes, which I can do easily by clicking the name of the property.

So, by clicking the name of the property and by being on a frame with the keyframe, whenever I make a change, it will be a change to all the keyframes. So, I can click and drag in Z space, make this a negative value, and I'll bring this forward here until I like the shadow on the background. I might need to go back to the light and adjust this a little bit. That just adds an even greater degree of realism, because now we have a three-dimensional shadow in the background that appears that it's almost like on the posts in the back.

So, again, a very realistic effect, and actually let's just wait until that does a RAM preview, and then we'll see the entire little mini project from scratch. Give it just another couple of seconds here, and let's just go ahead and preview that. There we go. We have our 3D text with the 3D shadow that appears like it's on the background. It's a very common look. Again, like you see in "Heroes" or in commercials all over the place where text is tracked into the shot.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: In the "Creating a fireball" movie in Chapter 6, the author showed how to make a fireball. Unfortunately, it all centered around a blob layer that he made without showing how to make a blob layer. How does one go about creating a blob layer like the one used in the video?
A: To create a blob layer, make a shape layer using the Pen tool. Animate the anchor points over time to make it move. These concepts are reviewed in depth in Chapter 4, "Learning to Animate."
Q: In the Chapter 5 video "Understanding precomposing," the exercise file provided does not seem to match up with the file the instructor uses. My file does not include a "Biker Body" layer. Is there an error in the exercise file?
A: Unfortunately, the exercise file originally distributed for this chapter was incorrect. A new file was issued in February 2011. If you downloaded the exercise files prior to then, you can download the corrected file on the Exercise Files tab of the course page.
Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

 
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