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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
Now I have to say null objects in and of themselves aren't all that astounding. After all, they're just transparent little layers. It's when you combine them with parenting that they actually kind of become the unsung hero of After Effects. To show you what I mean, let's go ahead and scrub through our null objects timeline. I'm going to click on the current time indicator and scrub, and as you can see, we have this H+ logo animated. Now, I want to move the H and the plus a little lower in the scene, so when they animate in, they're more centered.
In order to do that, I'll use my null objects. Let's go up under Layer and choose New > Null Object. Now, with the null on the top of my layer hierarchy, you can see here in the comp panel, that it actually just has control handles and it's completely transparent. If we were to render this, you wouldn't see any of these control handles, you would see nothing. Now, in order to control all of the different layers involved, in this logo animation, we need to make them the children of the Null1 object. In order to do that, we should have the parent column open. If it's not currently open, just right click or control click right next to the layer name and in columns, make sure parent is enabled. It's important to pay attention if any layers already have a parent, because you don't want to mess with those parent child relationships. But you do want their parent to actually become the child of the null. So if we were to talk through this, you would see. Layer3 has a parent, which is Layer2.
And so if we select Layer2, we can go to the parent column and grab the pick whip and specify Null1 to be it's parent. Now let's do the same thing for Layers four and five. I'm just going to click on one and shift click on the other. And now I'll just click on the pull down and specify Null1 as the control. Now, with Null1 selected in the top of our layer hierarchy, we can press P to open the position parameters, and click and drag on the Y position. As we do that, they'll move lower into the scene. I'll just drag it to around 493.
I could also click and drag in the comp panel, but I don't want to do that for now, so We'll go ahead and add a key frame for 493 once we figure out where we should place it. So let's move our current time indicator to around frame 12 because that's where the rotation starts. And we will want to move it up in the scene so we're not cutting off the word Sport. So let's go to frame 12 and we will add a position key frame for our Null1 object. Now go ahead and scrub down the timeline till we get to where sport pops in, which is frame 18.
And let's click and drag on that Y parameter and just slide our logo up into the middle of the scene. If we go ahead and enable our title and action save by clicking on the button lower left corner of the comp panel, you can see we've repositioned our logo in the center of the scene. Now as we scrub through, you can see it's lower in the scene and then it slides up. And it doesn't really look like it's moving all that much, and that's just because of the speed at which this is moving. It's actually moving on the Y axis. Now if we want to add a little bit more complexity to this, we can add yet another null object.
So, let's rename Layer1. I'm going to select Null1 and press Return and let's call this move down null. And press Return. Now I'm going to go up under the layer hierarchy and choose New No object, and this one we'll call Z move. So press Return on your keyboard and we'll say Z move. Now, since I want to move along the Z axis, I want to enable 3d for all the layers I'd like to move, so that would be layers two through six. So if you click on one and just drag down we can click down through layer six. And here I'll just deselect all the little layers. Now 3D has been enabled for all those layers. And of course we want to have 3D enabled for our Z move layer. Now let's make the Z move the parent of our move diagonal. So then I'm going to click on the pick whip then point it at the Z move layer. So, again as we scrub through you can see we've got our animation that comes in and then it's sort of turning and rotating.
Now, at this point we want the logo to start moving backwards in Z space. So just to keep a cleaner view, I'm going to turn my title and action safe off in the comp panel, and I'll press P since I already have layer 1 selected that'll open the position parameter. And let's add a key frame. Now, I'm on frame 19, that's perfectly fine. Now let's go ahead and scrub down the Timeline, maybe down to around 112, and click and drag on the Z parameter for our Z Move layer.
Now as we move through the scene, you can see it animates in, rotates, and then starts to slide back, and then we'll have it spring forward really quickly. Let's go ahead and position our Current time indicator at 1:21, let's keep making that larger, here we go, minus 16 69 or minus 16 70. Okay, so now as we scrub through the scene you can see we have our logo that animates, it slides backwards and then shoots forwards.
Now in order to keep all of our vectors nice and sharp, let's just go ahead and collapse our layers here. And make sure we have continuously rasterize. So that's good for all the Illustrator layers. So let's click on layer here and shift click through layer six. We don't need to select seven because that's a background element. And then enable continuously rasterize. So let's scrub through the timeline one more time. And as we're looking at the animation it looks pretty cool. I like the added focus we created by moving the logo down and we have kind of a cool move with the z move. I think the final finishing touch we just need to enable motion blur. So make sure that switch is selected in the middle of your timeline. And let's scrub back here a little bit, and you can see, as the sport logo is zooming out, we've actually got a little motion blur. So, let's check out our final animation by loading up a RAM preview. Now that we've animated the scene, I want you to understand that null objects not only allow you to animate already-animated layers. But they in essence, save you from having to pre-compose those layers. And they also give you a little bit more flexibility, and hopefully allow you to have a little bit more creativity in your projects. Again, all using null objects.
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