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Viewing files in the comp panel

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Viewing files in the comp panel

When you're working in After Effects, it's extraordinarily important to understand how magnification and quality settings affect how you're viewing your image. I was in a situation where I had a client come into my room and look at a graphic and say, omigosh, is that really that jagged? And I said no, and a few keyboard shortcuts later, they were totally relaxed. But, when you're working in After Effects, sometimes you don't have the optimum situation of a huge screen. For example, if we look in the center of our comp panel, I have these jagged edges on my text. Now when I render this out, the edges of the text are going to look beautiful. But, if as you're working, you want to check how that looks, you want to change the magnification.

Viewing files in the comp panel

When you're working in After Effects, it's extraordinarily important to understand how magnification and quality settings affect how you're viewing your image. I was in a situation where I had a client come into my room and look at a graphic and say, omigosh, is that really that jagged? And I said no, and a few keyboard shortcuts later, they were totally relaxed. But, when you're working in After Effects, sometimes you don't have the optimum situation of a huge screen. For example, if we look in the center of our comp panel, I have these jagged edges on my text. Now when I render this out, the edges of the text are going to look beautiful. But, if as you're working, you want to check how that looks, you want to change the magnification.

Now there are a couple ways you can do this in the composition panel. One is by using, I call them the alligator keys, but really, it's the Comma key and the Period key, just right next to the letter M. So if I hit period, it'll zoom in to 100%, and notice my resolution also changed up to 100%. This automatically updates and changes with the magnification setting, as long as you have it set to Auto. So I'm going to click on Full and make sure I'm on Auto. Now, even though the edges of this layer look extraordinarily sharp, sometimes you want to preview the actual alpha channel of the one individual layer.

Now, instead of doing that in a comp window, which I could do by using the solo button and changing some of the switches, I'm just going to double-click on layer two, and load it into my Layer panel. And if you look into the lower left corner, you'll see this little running man icon and if we click on the leftmost icon, it'll toggle the Alpha channel on or off. Now, you can also use a keyboard command to switch between the different views. It's Option on the Mac or Alt on the PC and 4, will show your Alpha channel. You could use 3, 2, or 1 to switch between the red, the green, and the blue. And notice as I'm switching, I get this really nice blue outline, letting me know exactly what channel I'm looking at.

So using the layer panel comes in extraordinarily handy when you're trying to view things. But if you notice, I can't see the full size of my word. So what I'm going to do is press the Tilde key in the upper left corner of the keyboard. It's just under the Escape key. When you press that, it'll go ahead and maximize whatever panel you currently have active, so you can take up as much real estate as you like on your computer. Now, I'm going to press the Tilde key one more time, and just jump back into my composition panel.

In my comp panel here, I could also press the Tilde key to preview this. Now, what if I wanted to preview this entire animation like as it's playing? Well, I could use my Ram preview. In order to do that, while we're at full screen, we need to use a keyboard shortcut. So I'm going to press 0 on my keypad. If you're on a laptop, you could press Control+0. Now, once it's loaded and Ram, it'll go ahead and playback in real time. (INAUDIBLE) press the Spacebar to stop playback. If you want to step through frame by frame, you can use the Page Up and Page Down keys.

Notice as I'm moving Page Up and Page Down, I can clearly see the highlight that's moving through my Text layers. Now, let's press the Tilde key again just to jump back into the composition panel. Now, what if I want to change the magnification of this view so I can see the entire comp again? Sure, I could go ahead and click on the Magnification button and switch it back to fit up to 100. But there's a keyboard shortcut for that. It's Option on the Mac, Alt on Windows, and then the Forward Slash key, which is, kind of, the Question Mark key. That'll automatically switch your view to fit in whatever size of the interface. Notice as I resize my comp panel, it's automatically resizing the view of my graphic.

Now, in the Comp panel, you'd think we were finished with the magnification and resolution settings, but there's one other setting you need to be aware of, and it's this button over here in the lower right corner of the comp settings. If I go ahead and click and hold, you can see it's set to Adaptive Resolution. And what that means, as I work inside of After Effects, it will lower the resolution as I'm working to keep playback going as fast as possible. But, again, it lowers the resolution. So, if you're really trying to pay attention to what's going on you want to turn off Adaptive Resolution and change it to final quality. When you do final quality and then switch your magnification back up to 100%, you can preview your comp and make sure that everything looks all sharp and clean, till the cows come home.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

135 video lessons · 63440 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1) NEW
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1) NEW
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1) NEW
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1) NEW
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1) NEW
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1) NEW
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1) NEW
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1) NEW
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1) NEW
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1) NEW
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1) NEW
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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