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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.
I'm not sure if there are two other software programs out there that integrate better than Photoshop and After Effects. Here is a small little chart of stuff from Photoshop that carries over into After Effects. Obviously, layers, we've seen that as we imported Photoshop documents and the visibility of the layers carries over, the opacity, the blend modes, alpha channels, layer masks, etcetera, etcetera. All these things carry over. And also now, as of the last couple versions of After Effects, if you have a Photoshop document that has an actual 3D object in it, that also can be brought over into After Effects.
It's the only way to have a real volumetric 3D model inside of After Effects. So, it's just amazing all the stuff in Photoshop that can carry over into After Effects. And so much of the great work that is done in After Effects really starts out in Photoshop. Photoshop does the magic. Here is a project that I created for a previous After Effects title on lynda.com. I think it was After Effects CS4 Beyond the Basics. I took this photo of the band You Yell You Kick.
My sister took this photo, a pretty cool photo. What I did is I went into Photoshop and we cut up the people here, the members of the band. We used the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop to fill in the background and that allowed us, because we separate those layers, to be able to bring these layers in and to move a virtual camera around. We use the Puppet tool on this guy to make this billiard ball hit happen. All this was very easy once it was in After Effects, but really, the magic of the trick was done in Photoshop.
Again, there are a few things here. There is a Puppet tool. There is some displacement on the table, where it looks like it's kind of 3D. There is some Glow and some Wiggle. The Wiggle expression with the Glow effect applied to these lights. So, there are a few After Effects things, but really, the magic of this trick happened in Photoshop and not After Effects. I've often heard it said for those that are new to After Effects that want to get good, the first piece of advice is get good at Photoshop. Know your way like the back of your hand around Photoshop.
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