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Expressions are one of the most powerful but underused features in After Effects. They can be used to animate layer properties with code, as compared to explicitly keyframing every value in the Timeline, and have multiple parameters and layers that follow the lead of a master layer or controller effect, making it much easier to coordinate complex animations and quickly accommodate client changes. In this introduction, Chris Meyer shows how to let After Effects do most of the work by creating simple but very useful expressions that can be put to work on a wide variety of jobs.
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 Online Training Library®.
Throughout these After Effects Apprentice courses, you'll find that Trish and I focus on core concepts of using and learning After Effects. Not specific tricks that only work with certain pieces of footage. Therefore, if you don't have any exercise files, or if you want to use your own footage, you'll still get a lot out of just watching these videos. That said, studies have shown that the best way to learn something is to actually do it. Therefore for the optimal learning experience we suggest you do get access to the exercise files. There are two ways to do that. One is to get a lynda.com premium membership.
That will allow you to download the files for After Effects CS4, CS5, CS5.5 or CS6. These are the same files we're using when we record these videos. The other approach is to get a copy of our book After Effects Apprentice. The third edition covers CS5, CS5.5 and CS6. If you're still using After Effects CS4, then get the second edition of the book. Those files are pretty close to the ones we use throughout this video course. Whenever there are differences we'll note them as we teach. Now either way we think it's a good value.
If you get the premium membership to lynda, you could access to exercise files for hundreds of other courses. If you get one of our books, you've got some additional text explanation for each of the features we discuss and you've got a desk reference next to you all the time. Now throughout these lessons we're going to be using a combination of After Effects CS5, CS5.5 and CS6. Don't be thrown off by any minor differences in the user interface, most of the functionality of After Effects is identical across all of these versions. If there are differences from version to version, we'll note it in the little caption that runs along the bottom of the screen.
But all that said, we really hope you have a lot of fun with these courses learning After Effects. It's the application we've been using for ages now, we have a great time with it, and we hope you get the same enjoyment out of it that we do.
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