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Effects are arguably one of the most fun features inside of Adobe After Effects. Some of you Photoshop users might be familiar with filters. Well inside of After Effects, they're called effects, rather fitting right? In this video, we're going to get familiar with some pretty common effects you've probably seen before. We'll learn where effects live inside of After Effects, the basics of applying them, and of course, we'll learn how to enable and disable your effects to speed up your workflow. Much like keyframes, effects are applied to layers.
Now the first way to see if effects are applied to a layer, is to look right next to your switches for the Effect Switch. That will toggle your effects on and off. But if you want to apply an effect, you should select a layer before you go to apply it. Now the easy way to apply an effect is select the layer, go up under Effects and then choose the effect that you'd like to apply. So for example, if I want to blur this background layer, now that I have Video Edit selected, I can go to Effects > Blur > Fast Blur.
Now with the Fast Blur applied, notice this panel popped up here in the upper left. This is called the Effects Control panel. In here, you can click and drag on a parameter to make adjustments just like in the Layers panel. So notice when I drag that to 51, my background video is much more abstract. Now you can also add keyframes to effects just by clicking on the stopwatch. Let's just add a keyframe to this effect, so we can see what it looks like in the timeline. Now since I've added my blurriness right here, I'm going to select Layer 4 in the timeline and press the the U key to open up any animated parameters, and sure enough, there is my keyframe on the blurriness for my Fast Blur.
To delete an effect, you can select it in the Layer panel or you can select it in your Effects Control panel; just once it's selected go ahead and press Delete. Now you notice the effect has been deleted but my layer has not. So it's very important when you go to delete the effect, here, let me just Command+Z to undo that. You want to make sure to select the name of the effect before you press Delete, otherwise, you run the risk of accidentally deleting the layer. So again, I'm going to click right on Fast Blur, and press Delete.
Now another way to apply an effect is to go to the Effects & Presets panel. Over here, I can browse through effects. So if I want to blur something, I get to say B-L-U-R and I get all these options. I'm just scrolling through with my mouse, to see what's there. And sure enough, we get here and you can see the Fast Blur is an option. Now this little number here, 32, that's letting me know this effect will work in 32-bit color space. To apply this, I can drag it up into my comp window, but a lot of times I like to make sure I know exactly what layer I'm applying it to.
So I'll drag it right down to the layer itself in the Layers panel. That way when I let go, you can see I have my effect applied. And again, nothing's happening with this effect until I click and drag and adjust the parameter up. So now that you understand how to preview, apply, and delete effects, I think it's safe to say that using effects can make your creative possibilities a lot more flexible.
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