Tying up loose ends
Video: Tying up loose endsOkay, time to do some final polishing to this composition so we can move on to the next comp. One thing I am not paying attention to at all is the timing of this lightning versus the soundtrack. Notice that nothing is present early on, but I remember that my soundtrack started with a sound of thunder. (music playing) So it would be really good if I had a lightning bolt hit while that thunder is rolling out. So let's go ahead and click on the Background layer and start scrubbing it until we get a little bit of illumination to start this frame.
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This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.
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 library.
- Building a 3D world
- Working with layered Illustrator files
- Synchronizing to music
- Using text animation presets
- Rendering strategies
- Working with widescreen video, including 4:3 center cut and safe area considerations
Tying up loose ends
Okay, time to do some final polishing to this composition so we can move on to the next comp. One thing I am not paying attention to at all is the timing of this lightning versus the soundtrack. Notice that nothing is present early on, but I remember that my soundtrack started with a sound of thunder. (music playing) So it would be really good if I had a lightning bolt hit while that thunder is rolling out. So let's go ahead and click on the Background layer and start scrubbing it until we get a little bit of illumination to start this frame.
Now one option could be starting with this low bolt going across the scene. So that's an option. Let's go and hear that with the music. Click RAM Preview. So I go in a couple of frames here and hit the spacebar. I like that a lot. I think that has lot of potential. I am going to go head and mark that as one option for where you align lightning. But let's go ahead and look for some other possibilities as well. I might go ahead and wait 'til we have a really big strike like this one come across for that initial lightning bolt.
Let's go ahead and mark that one and RAM preview that quickly. (music playing) Don't like that as much, but I notice that I have a really big bolt later in time. So I am going to go ahead and hold Command or Ctrl, delete that marker, slide back to this really big horizontal bolt, mark that again now hitting the asterisk key on the keypad to mark selected layer, and let's do quick RAM preview of this.
(music playing) That's another option that I might like even the more. It has a really strong start, and then it gets to smaller bolts when I have other things starting to happen in the scene, such as my text animation coming in. Okay, I have improved my timing there. Let's go ahead and clean this up and arrange these layers in a way that makes more sense. Quite often I like to have my soundtrack either at the very top or the very bottom of my composition. Since I am pretty much done it with for now, I want to put it at the bottom.
Next, I would like to put my cameras and lights at the top of the composition so I know where they are, and all the action of my layers happens in between, the text, the dial, the dial is actually behind the Skater. So just to keep that clear I might go ahead and put that layer back there, doesn't change the render, but gives me a mental picture of what's going on visually in the scene. I have my Skater reflection above the floor and radar. The one other thing I might do this is since I have these 3D layers on top this 3D lightning layer--let's pick a Blending mode to allow that 3D layer to better interact with the background.
Let's do that I'll toggle Switches modes, focus on the Radar layer and pick up Blending mode such as Add. That's interesting, it might actually be too bright. If you want to back off from Add, try Screen instead. That's a little bit more subtle of an interaction, or if you like intense colors, try Color Dodge. Now you actually get some color interaction that's a bit much for me. So I think I am going to go back to Screen mode just get some nice interaction. Again, this was normal where there was no interaction.
And screen which now unifies ruled a bit more and everyone is interacting off of each other in the scene. Now you don't want to lose all the work you have done so far, so make sure you don't forget to File > Save and something else you might want to do. It's also File Increment and Save. This will keep the file you just saved intact by itself and create a brand-new version of your project file that has a 2 appended to the end of the name. This way you can continue working with this brand-new version of the project and if you don't like the direction you went in, you can always go back to your earlier version of the project we saved just a couple of seconds ago.
The last comment I will make is this red lightning is looking a bit intense now compared to the more natural red dirt in the video. So I think I will tone that down just a hair. I will select the horizontal lighting background. And you can do a couple of different things. One, sometimes just reordering effects makes a big difference in how things look. Now you see we have a much reduced corona and also a much less saturated color. The other approach would be to keep things intact, keep the amount of the glow that we liked earlier and apply one more effect such as Color Correction, Hue, Saturation, and just pull back that saturation a little bit, and now that lightning glow is much more in line with the color of the dirt behind it.
Okay, that's Main Comp 1. Time to turn our attention to Main Comp 2 and putting everything together in a final composition.
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