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In this installment of After Effects Apprentice, Chris Meyer focuses on ways to edit and enhance layers in After Effects. Through a series of Quizzler challenges and Idea Corner examples, Chris shares alternative ways to employ modes, sequencing, and adjustment layers, while special sidebar movies cover the subjects of creating seamless loops, animating effects points, understanding pixel aspect ratios, and employing Brainstorm to explore the variety of different looks that effects can create. The course also covers tricks for enhancing boring footage and tips for converting scans into moving sequences. Exercise files are included with the course.
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®.
Now remember in the previous movie I said that After Effects makes the copy of all the layers underneath the adjustment layer and then copies that composite into the adjustment layer. You still have all those layers underneath. The adjustment layer is just a copy of them. That means that anything that affects the Opacity or Alpha Channel adjustment layer will have an affect on the final results. For example, if I do something simple like just press T for Opacity, as I fade the adjustment layer out, you'll see I'll get back to the original composite underneath. So this gives you sort of blend with original for your effects applied to the adjustment layer, and by the way you can apply more than one effect to that layer, so the Opacity becomes a blend with original for the entire effects of the stack.
Now I'm going to type Shift+S to reveal Scale and scale down adjustment layer. As I do so, only a portion of my frame is going to get the effects applied to this adjustment layer. So I'm only blurring the area underneath this adjustment layer. You can see the layer outlines. Anything else I do to affect its Alpha, like even rotate it a bit, will affect what portion of this layer is going to get these effects, the effects applied to the adjustment layer. I'll reset my rotation.
There are many other ways to affect the Alpha channel of any layer including adjustment layers. We haven't covered masking yet, but let me just quickly pick something silly like a Star, make sure the adjustment layer is selected, and drag out this shape on the adjustment layer. You'll see now just that star shape is what gets the blur of this adjustment layer. I'll deselect so you don't see the outline. You just see the blurred effect, and again I can change where it is in stacking order to control what gets blurred.
Now as I mention you can apply multiple effects. For example, I can go ahead and apply Effect > Color Correction > Hue/Saturation and do a little hue rotation for anybody that's underneath that adjustment layer as well. I can animate rotation and do all sorts of fun stuff. Now any layer can become an adjustment layer. When I use Layer > New > Adjustment Layer, all After Effects did was create a solid the size of this composition and then turned on the adjustment layer switch for that layer.
If I turn this off, it just becomes a normal white solid that has a mask and a blur. Turn it back on; now you see it has that processing effect instead. I am going to turn this layer off and I am going to turn my text into an adjustment layer. When I first turn it on, you will see that it is getting the effects applied to this layer, the tint and applying that now to all the layers underneath using the Alpha channel of that particular layer. So adjustment layers have a lot of flexibility. Beyond just being able to process the entire frame, you can process selective portions of the frame.
But speaking of processing the entire frame, in the next movie I'm going to show you one of my favorite tricks, creating a filmic glow.
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