After Effects CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the Cycore effects


After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

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Video: Using the Cycore effects

As if the 200 plus effects that ship with After Effects weren't enough, After Effects actually includes a series of third-party plug-ins with every version of After Effects. And the plug-ins included with the current version of After Effects CS5 are just astounding. Let's first talk about the Cycore collection. Go to the Effects & Presets panel and type in cc. You will see a list of effects and actually, I'll just go ahead and press the Tilde key to maximize this panel. You can see these effects that start with cc. All of these affects are part of the Cycore collection.
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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
  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
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course 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
After Effects
Chad Perkins

Using the Cycore effects

As if the 200 plus effects that ship with After Effects weren't enough, After Effects actually includes a series of third-party plug-ins with every version of After Effects. And the plug-ins included with the current version of After Effects CS5 are just astounding. Let's first talk about the Cycore collection. Go to the Effects & Presets panel and type in cc. You will see a list of effects and actually, I'll just go ahead and press the Tilde key to maximize this panel. You can see these effects that start with cc. All of these affects are part of the Cycore collection.

These ship with After Effects CS5 free of charge. Now one of the reasons I want to point these out to you, in this movie, is that a lot of you that maybe work for government agencies, or go to a school, a lot of times these third-party effects that come with After Effects there are separate installations. So, often times when you have like an IT department that is doing your installations for you, they will miss this. So, if you have the power and authority, you might want to go back to whoever is in charge at whatever institution you're at and make sure they install the Cycore effects, as well as the other effects I'll be showing you in this movie, because a lot of time people will miss out on these.

And there is a lot of really juicy stuff here. I'll go ahead and hit the Tilde key to un-maximize that. Generally speaking, the Cycore effects do a lot of cool tricks and generally, they render very fast, and they are very easy to use. They don't always look as great as some other After Effects counterparts, but generally speaking, they are very easy to use. Let's say, for example, I'll go down here in the Simulation category, and there is CC Rain. This is a very easy rain effect. If you just want a quick, simple, it does not be perfect even cartoony. It's perfect.

It's already autoanimated, and we have a few parameters if we want to adjust this. If we wanted to reduce the Amount of rain, if we wanted to increase the speed or decrease the speed, we have some of that flexibility. But we are not going to get completely the professional results we would, say from, like a 3-D program, or something like that, but still all-in-all great affect. There is also a CC Snow, which does the equivalent, except with snow. So, if I press the Spacebar here, we have nice little snow flurries. A little bit big and not enough depth for my taste, but we can take this away with the Amount or add more snow if we wanted to.

But it's a very quick, easy way to just make an effect happen very quickly. Now, there is a lot of other interesting effects in the Cycore collection. And as you can see, there are many effects in many categories. So, I just want to points out one here, like CC Ball Action. This might be like indicative of the variety that you will find in the Cycore effects. Now, first this looks like just a basic mosaic plug-in. I mean it just seems like a basic, you know, it just turns your stuff into a mosaic. But if you adjust the Rotation value, you will see this is, in fact, turning your layer into a series of three-dimensional balls.

And if we go to Twist Angle and click and drag on the Twist Angle, we can see that we are actually creating a three dimensional twist to our mosaic ball pattern structure thingie that the CC Ball Action effect has created for us. So, obviously, if you want to create some 3 dimensional DNA, this would be great. You can scatter this and then gather it. Keep in mind you could also animate all of these properties as well, so we can have things spinning, moving, scattering, gathering, and variations thereof.

Now there simply isn't time to go through all of these Cycore effects. There is over 60 of them. I am just going to go ahead and click the X to close out of that. I am actually going to took over the Effect Controls panel and select this effect by clicking on it, making sure it's highlighted here with this little light color box. And then go ahead and hit the Delete key on your keyboard to remove that. Some other great effects included with After Effects in the Synthetic Aperture category. There is one called Color Finesse. This creates kind of like its own plug-in window. It's a very high-end color correction effect.

If you go open the Keying category, we will see Keylight. Keylight, when it's sold separately, retails for like $1,000 just by itself. It's really a tremendous bargain. It's great for removing green screen, probably the best green screen removal tool in all of After Effects, and we will be looking that later in this training series. New in After Effects CS5 is this Digieffects Free Form. The Digieffects is the After Effects plug-in company, and they have this FreeFormAE plug-in, which is now included, for the first time, with After Effects.

So, I am going to apply that real quick and show you this effect. If I go to Grid, and I am going to take Rows and Columns to 9, click in here, change this to 9, open up up 3D Mesh Controls and take the Rotation Y value to a negative number, about -70, -72 or so. What I am going to do is I am going to click about where our castle is, and then I am going to just drag this out, and what I've done - it's kind of hard to see with the grid. But if I fiddle around with the rotation Y - you can see that I have made the castle just kind of stick out.

Let's click outside here to deselect the layer, but almost as if I have been able to mold and sculpt the layer. So, it's kind of like what we just saw with the CC Ball Action effect, except that here with the FreeFormAE effect, we can actually have manual control over how we want these pieces to be shaped and be formed in 3D space. So, it's definitely the most control that After Effects gives you in 3D by having this plug-in here. We could actually even rotate this along the X axis. I'll just click 0 for the Rotation Y axis.

Now, we have like a little Matterhorn. So it's kind of a cool plug-in, a lot of potential for experimentation here. So, those are the nuts and bolts of the 3D plug-ins that ship for free with After Effects. Again, they might be on a separate installation on the disc, or it might be a separate download if you purchase that stuff on the Internet, but they are there. They do ship it for free, so make sure you install that stuff. It's good.

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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