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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.
The easiest way to think of track mattes is to think of them as stencils, or cookie cutters. You can use the transparency of one layer to determine the transparency of another. So to show you what I mean, let's go down to the bottom of the Timeline panel and the second button from the left in the lower left corner, make sure that's Enabled. That'll enable our modes and our track mattes. Notice layer one doesn't have an option for track mats. That's because track mats need to reference the layer above in order to enable a track mat. So for example, let's select layer three.
I want to use the transparency of layer two, which is this circle to determine exactly how much of layer three I would like to see. So, if you go to the track mat pull down for layer three. Click on the word None and choose Alpha Matte. With alpha mat looking at the alpha transparency of layer 2. Now there are a couple of other track matte options. Let's look at alpha inverted. Of course, that just does the exact inverse. Now luma matte is interesting because it looks at the brightness values of the image above.
Let's enable luma matte. As you can see, anything that was white is now completely bright and allowing me to show the background layer. Anything that wasn't white is now just varying shade of gray underneath, in terms of its transparency. I turn luma back up to alpha, you can see the entire thing. When you do luma, it's just using the brightness values. Now let's switch our track matte back to alpha and I want to stress something, when you're using track mattes, while the two layers are working together to determine the image of the composition.
They are not tied together when you want to go animate. So for example, if we select layer 2, I can click in the composition, and drag and move layer 2 around, and no matter where I move it, it's going to go ahead. And cut out the background and reveal anything underneath of this alpha channel. The same goes for the background layer. I'm just going to press Cmd + Z to make sure my circle's back at the beginning, then I'll select my background layer. Now, if I click and drag around, notice I can move the background behind the map.
If I move it too high, the egg shows through. Because, again, the mat is not moving with the fill. So Layer3 is the fill and Layer 2 is the mat. Now, you may have missed this but when the track mattes was enabled from Layer3, the visibility for Layer2 was turned off. And a lot of times, when I apply layer masks, I still end up retaining some of the colour information from the layer that I'm using as the mask. So in order to introduce colour back into a grassy background, I'm going to go ahead and select layer two.
And press Cmd + D on the Mac or Ctrl + D on Windows to duplicate the layer. Now let's turn the visibility of layer 2 back on. And to blend it into the background, we'll go into our modes pull down and change the layer from normal To hard light. Now this is mixing into the background. I can still see a little bit of it, but the colors are blending in, and this looks a little bit more interesting. I'd like to pop the h off the background, so I'm going to go ahead and select layer 1, and just right click and choose layer styles, drop shadow. There, that gives it a little bit more dimension. Now if you want to add the grass back into the scene, we can do that. But before I do it, I just want to show you the alpha transparency for this composition.
If you go to the channel button in the middle of the comp, that looks red green and blue. Go ahead and click on that. Then choose alpha. And here you can see I have a perfect map for this. I could render this out with alpha transparency and drop it over any video footage I wanted. But like I said I want to add the grass back and so I'm going to change my channel viewing back to RGB and select layer four. Now before we duplicate this layer I want to draw your attention to the fact that Alpha has been applied to its track matte. So press Cmd + D or Ctrl + D on Windows, and you'll notice that the layer automatically jumped above it's alpha layer.
So I want to disable the alpha channel for Layer3. So I'm going to change it from Alpha to No Matte. Now just for the sake of my own organization, I like to actually drag that type of background all the way to the bottom layer hierarchy. And to continue to give it a little bit more separation I'm going to go up under effect and choose blur, fast blur and we'll just click and drag on the bluriness setting there. So, now you can see exactly what you can do when it comes to adding track mattes and working with blend modes.
You can take your graphics from blah to hey that's kind of interesting.
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