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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.
Effects are elements you can use to add or modify the characteristics of layers or groups of layers. You can apply effects directly to individual layers, compositions, or through using the adjustment layer, which allows you to affect all of the layers below that adjustment layer. You can even apply masks to your effects to control exactly where you would like the effect to be applied. So to show you how effects work we are going to go ahead and stylize this graphic that we have already built. Just to show you how it works let's go ahead a load up a ram preview.
So as you can see we have a logo that slides in and fades out, and we have some background video. So, let's go ahead and stylize that background video. I'm just going to press the space bar to stop playback here, and just so we can focus solely on the background layer. I'll select layer two, and then enable Solo for that layer. Now the most common way to apply an effect is to go up to the Effect menu. As long as you have a layer selected, you'll be able to apply an effect. Notice if I deselect layer two and go up under the menu.
I can't apply an effect. So, let's make sure we have layer two selected, and then go up under Effect. Notice how the effects are organize in groups. If you hover over a specific group it'll show you all the different effects you can apply within the group. Now, if you know the name of the effect that you are going to apply, you don't necessarily have to go up to the Effect panel. You can go over here to the Effect and Presets panel. So let's do that. Click in the search field of the Effects and Presets panel, and start typing tritone, T-R-I-T-O.
And notice here we have our effect. Now I also want you to notice next to the effect there's a little number. The number, 32 in this case, is letting me know that this effect will work in all color spaces all the way up to 32-bit color space. Now, we'll get into that way later in the course. I just wanted you to know that that's what that number means and this is where you can see it. So to apply this effect, I'm going to go ahead and click on the effect, and drag it over to layer two. I could just drag it directly here in the Comp panel, but to be more precise I'm going to drag it over layer two, and then let go.
Notice the Effect controls panel that popped up in the upper left corner of your interface. If you need to get back to the Project panel you can just go ahead and click to the left side to bring the Project panel to the front. Let's make sure we're in the Effect controls panel. And let's change our midtones. I want to change it from this brown color by clicking in the brown swatch there, and just choose kind of a, a blue, teal color and then click OK. One of the nice things about the tri-tone effect is the fact that you can blend it back with the original footage. So the more I increase this number, the more I'll see the original footage.
So if it's 100%, it's 100% original footage. So here we can bring it back to around 35%. That will give us a neat effect. Now when you apply an effect, the order in which the effect is applied is also very important. So let's go up under the Effect panel, and in here I want to go down and add a glow. So let's go to Stylize. And under Stylize, let's choose Glow. Notice the glow is giving me this kind of cool effect right here in the highlights of our runner.
Now, if you want to increase that glow, you can just click on the Glow threshold value, and just click and drag to the left to decrease the threshold. And that'll add more glow throughout the scene. Now I just want some highlights to glow, so I'm just going to bring that down to around 54%. Now that we have two effects applied, I want to draw your attention to the order of effects. Let's go ahead and drag the glow effect above the tri-tone effect. And notice that changes the appearance of the effect. Now I can go ahead and scrub the glow threshold down to try and bring back the same effect, but it's never really going to look quite the same.
And that's because there's an order to how the effects are applied. The way the effects work, they work from the top down. So, originally when we applied the Tri-tone effect and then the Glow effect, that's how the order of operations were happening. Now I have the Glow applied first, and then the Tri-tone effect. So let's go ahead and move Glow back underneath my Tri-tone effect. And you'll see that I'm starting to get that look back. Now all we need to do is just change the Glow threshold back to a value of about 55.
And now we're back to where we were. So as you can see, the order of effects is very important. So just to reiterate, the order in which effects are applied will drastically change how the effects work. So right now I've got my Video layer, that is being tinted with a Tri-tone effect, and then the Glow is being applied on top of the Tri-tone effect. Now let's work on stylizing layer one and blending it back into the scene. I'll disable solo for layer two. And then with layer one selected, we can go up under the Effect panel.
And since Glow is the last effect that we'd applied, we can just automatically chose Glow as my first option here to apply it to my logo. So we could decrease the Glow threshold. Which really isn't going to make too much of a difference because it's one solid color and the Glow is based on this one color channel. That's not going to make much of a difference. What we need to do is adjust the radius, so let's go ahead and increase the Glow radius here just a little bit to a value of around 22. So now we have a glowing logo over top of the glowing background and this is definitely blended, more cleanly back into the scene.
Now what if I wanted to fade this Glow in? Well I can animate the Glow radius or the Glow intensity, but what if I wanted to add a Glow to absolutely everything and fade it in? Well that's when the adjustment layers come in. So I could go up under Layer>New>Adjustment Layer, and you guessed it, go back up under Effect and choose Glow again. Now with the adjustment layer, I've got a Glow applied to all the layers below, but what I could do is press t to open up the opacity of that layer, and animate the appearance of the Glow.
Adjusting the opacity of the adjustment layer allows me to blend the Glow effect back in over top of everything else. As you can see it's just created a bit of a mess. So, I could just drag the adjustment layer over top of layer three. And now you can see, I have my original logo, and then my adjustment layer, and it's only effecting the layers below, which is my layer three here. So here I could blend in this new Glow effect on top of the other one if I wanted to. Now I don't, so I'll just go ahead and select layer two and delete it.
But as you can see, when it comes to creating effects, the order in which you apply effects makes a very big difference in the appearance of your composition. Also, if you want to blend effects, you may want to consider using adjustment layers. That way you can actually adjust the opacity of the adjustment layer and that will blend the effect over top of any of the layers that are below that adjustment layer.
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