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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.
In this video, we're going to use a technique to help you work smarter instead of harder. We're going to learn about a neat trick in After Effects called Layer Swapping. And basically, it allows you to apply animation to a layer. And then let's say, somebody changes their mind and wants you to animate a different layer. You could just swap out the old layer with the new layer and all the animation will stay the same. To show you what I mean, lets load up a ram preview. You can see in the lower right corner, I have a logo already animating in the scene, and then in the bottom of the composition, I have some video. Now, if we press the Spacebar to stop for a second. Let's select layer 7 and press the U key to open up any animated parameters, so you can see I've got some scale key frames already applied to this layer. If I scroll down to layer 10 and press E to open any effects that I have applied, you can see I have a levels effect applied to this layer. Now, we'll start by swapping out the logo make sure layer seven is selected and then go to the graphics folder.
In there, we have another logo called determined so let's go ahead and hold down the Opt key on the Mac, Alt key on Windows. Click and drag on the logo and drag it down into the timeline, there you have it. We've automatically swapped the layer. If you load up another ram preview, you can see the animation has been retained. Let me press the Spacebar to stop playback. As I'm looking at this logo, the only thing I would change is the fact that it's out of title save right now, so I'd put it back in title save. Let's go up under the grid and guide button, under the right-hand corner of the composition, and will turn on our title and action save and we just wanted inside of this square.
Again, if we press the U key, we can open up any animated parameters. Since the scales been animated, but not the position, we can easily just reposition this. Inside of title safe, and then as we scrub through, you can see the animation has not been effected whatsoever. Alright, now let's deal with a slightly more complicated issue. And that's our background video. Now, just so we can see things more clearly, I'll turn my title and and action safe off. Alright, with our video layer I have an effect applied to it levels.
So I want to go ahead and just swap out this video, but I want to be able to adjust the levels for my new clip. So let's open up the video footage folder, and let's choose the stairs run up movie. Now if you hold down Opt on the Mac, Alt on Windows, you can click and drag down into the timeline. And look what happens, the video disappears. This is quite common whenever you're working with multiple sources from multiple places. A lot of times, you have different resolutions of footage or, different lengths of image.
So, let's do a little deductive reasoning here and go up to our project panel. If we click on our stairs run up movie, you can see it's 30 seconds long. And then if we click on our stair run down movie, it is two minutes long. So there has to be a better way to swap this. I could go ahead and adjust the endpoint of this layer by pressing the Left Bracket key, I'd want to make sure I have my timeline active and then go ahead and hit my Left Bracket key. But notice now, I'm at the start of the clip, which is not at all where I want to be.
So this is not the way to work when you're trying to swap a video layer. This is when you want to utilize the Pre-compose command layer. So I'll go ahead and just Cmd + Z, Cmd + Z to undo. And make sure we have layer ten selected. Our original stair rundown Quicktime file. Now, go up under layer, and choose Pre-compose. This would be the time where you want to make sure that, Leave all attributes, is selected. This way, when we pre-compose, the effect is going to stay inside of our swap layers composition.
Now I'm going to go ahead and click okay since I have the proper selection for pre-compose. Now we just have a composition for layer ten. And if we press e on our keyboard, we can see that the levels effect is still there. Now if we double click on layer ten, we've opened up our pre-composition. Now in here, we don't have to use the option command, we can just go ahead and double click on our stairs run up Quicktime. Now, if we quickly scrub in the layer timeline just by grabbing our current time indicator. We could choose our endpoint for this layer.
.So I'll just go ahead and click the left bracket. Now, I can go ahead and drag down the timeline and make sure I have at least 10 seconds of video and I'll trim my out point. Now we can drop this in the composition just by clicking this edit overlay button. Now, when we've done that, you notice just how much shorter our clip is than layer 2. Well, let's go back to our swap layers composition for a quick second. Notice this doesn't look quite right. Well, if we look at our current time indicator in the timeline, it's at one second.
Let's go ahead and drag it tot he front of our timeline and you'll notice we still have our old video clip. When you move between compositions, the current time indicator stays in place. So I can go to the Stair_RunDown comp, and you notice my new video hasn't even started yet. So let's go ahead and just click and drag that down. Now my new video is a little smaller than I expected so let's go ahead and press s to open up the scale. And we can just scale it up a little bit. I know this causes a slight loss in image quality, but since it's under so many graphics, it's going to work just fine. Now, if we go back to our swap layers comp one more time, notice that our runner is hidden behind all of these graphics, so let's go back to our pre-comp one last time and just change the scale.
I'm going to unlock the scale for this layer. If you don't have your scale property open, go ahead and just press S on your keyboard. Now I'm going to unlock the scale the scale parameter and we'll just click for the X value and change it to minus 108. Now when we press Enter she's flipped around. Since we don't have any words or anything in this shot this is going to work perfectly well. Now we can just close our pre-composition and in our original comp here now all we have to do is make our levels adjustment.
So since we have our in for layer 10 we can just go up to our effect controls and then make adjustments in the histogram. I'm going to click here to bring the black levels down and I'll click on my gray levels and just bring them down as well just to kind of give it a little bit more contrast to pack in the scene. Okay, we may have to increase the black levels again. So we've successfully swapped out a logo and we've learned a workflow to swap out our video. I hope you enjoy working a little smarter with swapping layers.
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