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After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Chris and Trish Meyer have been using After Effects since version 1.0 and have written ten books about the program, and they are always among the first to dive into each new version and discover what it offers to their fellow motion graphics artists. Chris takes you under the hood and explains how each new feature works in After Effects CS5. This course covers both the technical and creative implications of this latest release, including tutorials on the new Roto Brush tool and mocha version 2, blending modes, text options, and new and improved user interface elements in Adobe After Effects CS5. Numerous examples show the most efficient ways to use the new features and avoid potential pitfalls when applying techniques. Chris ends with a discussion of which users will get them most out of upgrading to After Effects CS5.
I am going to wrap up by just going over a few more user interface enhancements and other little features they have included AfterEffects CS5. There is literally dozens of these. Here is just a few of my favorites. One is just a little small things have a nice. I like to color code things, and now you finally see color coded tabs inside the Comp and Timeline panels. You could always color code layers. I would do that quite often to group things together. And inside the Project panel you always had these color code labels as well, but they were never actually reflected out here in the work area.
Well now you can go ahead and change the color of your comps in your Project panel and it will be reflected out in the user interface. Just a little organizational thing. Keeping with the color theme they have made a little bit of a change in how mask colors are drawn. Now normally if I draw a mask shape I get a yellow mask outline. Yellow works with some footage. It's not visible with other footage. You could always change the color of that, but problem was before is whenever you drew a new mask it would revert to the old color. Well now it remembers your new color.
So if you are drawing multiple mask shapes on a layer that say was yellow, you can now set the color once and it'll remember your new color whenever you draw a new mask. Just a little thing but it's kind of nice. Another common complaint that's been addressed in this release is sometimes that things such as motion path handles and other little points can be hard to see or pickup or distinguish in a busy composition. Well they have added a preference now underneath Preferences > General where you can go ahead and set how big those points are.
I mean if want something extreme like 15 pixels, now I have humongous handles to drag, humongous vertex's to go ahead and grab and move around. That might be overstating it a bit in size, but five was small. I would go to maybe even something like seven just to make things a little bit more noticeable and a little bit easier to pick up and move around. Particularly as you go to really high- resolution displays where the individual pixels are really small. Another change has to do with way that RAM Previews occur. You probably knew that you'd go ahead and initiate a RAM Preview and if you held down to Shift key when you press 0 on the numeric keypad or click this button, you got the Shift+RAM Preview Options where you could say skip frames or work at a different frame rate.
Go down to half res or something like that. Well they have made one more modification for people who do a lot of roto work. If you hold down Option on Mac or Alt on Windows and now it's calculating just the five prior frames leading up to my Current Time Indicator. That's great, if you just try see how a mask outline or root outline or a key is working if you got any sort of chatter problems, rather than having to preview the whole thing. You can change the default from five frames, but the preference is not here in the Preview panel.
You actually need to go to the normal After Effects > Preferences, go underneath Previews and in this brand-new section called Alternate RAM Preview you can decide how many frames get previewed when you hold down the Option or Alt key. So this helps people who need to do little checks as they work frame by frame through a project. Speaking of previews they've made another nice little change that people have been asking for ages. Now say you had something that you couldn't display at full resolution inside your panel here. As you went down to a lower resolution, like here I am only at 18%, you get these really rough aliased previews.
This particularly showed up if you ever had to do a pixel aspect ratio correction. You got a really rough nearest neighbor version of what was going on just so the program could respond faster. People wanted those to be anti - aliased, so they looked good. Well now underneath After Effects > Preferences > Previews there is now a Viewer Quality setting. The default is Faster, which is that nearest neighbor, crunchy look you have got whenever you scaled it down or whenever you did a PAR correction. But now you can say make it more accurate all the time or more accurate except for when you're doing a RAM Preview.
Again if you want a little of performance but otherwise when you stop previewing you'll always want to see things anti-aliased. That's a nice improvement. They have all put a Viewer Quality popup in for Color Management. Me, I always like see things how they're really going to look. So I tend to put these things at More Accurate, leave it there, I'll live with the extra render time. I just want to see things as accurately as possible in my Comp panel whenever I'm working. Last tiny little feature that I love in CS5? More tooltips in the graph editor! Go ahead and press U to reveal my keyframes.
Previously you'd get a tooltip when ever you put the cursor over a graph, but you wouldn't get it over keyframes. Well now in AfterEffects CS5 you'll see tooltips on key frames as well. That makes a lot easier for you to see what's going on particularly when you want to edit these keyframes. Just a little oversight from previous versions that have been addressed in CS5.
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