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Working with layers

From: After Effects CS5 Essential Training

Video: Working with layers

So, now we've added some assets to our Timeline. And let's talk about these assets a little bit. We saw, in the last movie, how when we added a layer, it covered up the layers beneath them. If we want to temporarily remove an object's visibility, we can go ahead, over here in the Timeline panel, all the way in the upper left-hand corner and click on the Eye icon for a layer. And that removes its visibility. Now we can click that again to bring it back, so it's not anything permanent. We haven't loss anything at all. If we scrub in time with the current time indicator, which is this little yellow playhead with the red vertical line here, which we use to change our position in time, we could see that we have this cool video.

Working with layers

So, now we've added some assets to our Timeline. And let's talk about these assets a little bit. We saw, in the last movie, how when we added a layer, it covered up the layers beneath them. If we want to temporarily remove an object's visibility, we can go ahead, over here in the Timeline panel, all the way in the upper left-hand corner and click on the Eye icon for a layer. And that removes its visibility. Now we can click that again to bring it back, so it's not anything permanent. We haven't loss anything at all. If we scrub in time with the current time indicator, which is this little yellow playhead with the red vertical line here, which we use to change our position in time, we could see that we have this cool video.

We're going to use this later, but for right now, let's just go ahead and leave it off by clicking the Eye icon and leaving that empty there. Now the layer is represented by this bar here. Its horizontal length determines its duration. So, this video layer goes from the beginning of the composition to the end of the composition. As you can see over this indicator, that's 10 seconds long. So, this is a 10-second long layer. Now some of these other layers here aren't quite as long. You can see, by this gray space here, that they start later in time.

This last layer here, the background layer, actually ends earlier in time. Now, with this layer, we want it to start later and to end with everything else. So, to move it in time, just go ahead and click on the layer and drag it to the right. Now, as we do that, you could see that we are actually making it start later and end later as well. Now what I've done is I've gone ahead and added something called markers - that's these little icons up here at the top - so that we know where certain layers stop and start.

So, in order to see this, because it kind of looks like gibberish junk right now, is we can go ahead and go to the slider with these little tiny mountains and then big mountains. Go ahead and drag this slider to a magnification - use the scrollbars if necessary as well - until you can see what is being said on these markers. So, if we back up a little bit here, we can see the Background Starts Here. Okay. Good. Got that. So, the H and P Text, the Ampersand layer and the Flower Petals start at this marker.

So, we have the H and P Text and the Ampersand, but the Flower Petals layer does not start there. So, go ahead and drag it to the right, drag and drag and drag until the first part of this layer matches up with this marker. Markers, by the way, we'll talk about later in this training series, but markers are essentially are kind of like little sticky notes that you could put to yourself, or maybe somebody else in the workflow that you're going to pass the After Effects project along to, just kind of little notes about what supposed to happen at that exact time.

Now finally, we have Filigree Core & Stems start Here. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the filigree core layer and hold the Shift key and click filigree stems. So, now they are both selected. Let's go ahead and drag these to the right, continue to drag, which takes forever right now because I'm zoomed in so closely. But if I wanted to, I can just zoom out by dragging this slider to the left. I don't have to drag so vigorously. So, I'm dragging filigree core and stems here. Finally, the last marker says - if we zoom in little bit more closely there - that the Filigree Stem Tips Start Here where that marker is.

So, let's grab the filigree stem tips and drag this all the way over to the Filigree Stem Tips Start Here marker. With that, we now have our project set up and ready to animate.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS5 Essential Training
After Effects CS5 Essential Training

111 video lessons · 68757 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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