After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
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After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques
Video duration: 0s 2h 37m Intermediate


After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the 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.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing After Effects' 64-bit system requirements
  • Mastering the new Roto Brush tool plus Refine Matte
  • Warping with FreeForm
  • Motion tracking with mocha version 2
  • Matting with mocha shape, including adding motion blur
  • Extruding in 3D with Repoussé
  • Importing RED footage
  • Using Color Finesse and updated blending modes
After Effects


- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of my Crish Design. We've had a chance to use After Effects CS5 and we wanted to share with you some of the significant new features that are in it. As well as some of the little features they've thrown in, which we find really useful. Now, not all the features are obvious, and a great example of that is, it's now a 64-bit native application. That means if you have a lot of memory stuffed in your computer, you can finally access all of it. That virtually gets rid of out of memory errors. Longer RAM previews, lots of great stuff. But a couple gotchas as well, which we'll discuss.

A really great new addition is the new Roto Brush tool, this helps automate creating mattes. You draw relatively simple strokes for foreground and background, it finds the edges between them and tracks those edges from frame to frame, it's going to save you a lot of time. Not pure magic, but it is very useful. There's been a lot of great bundles built into After Effects CS5. In CS4 you may remember, we got mocha, a great motion tracker. On CS5, we get mocha version 2, which has a couple of nice, new features. And mocha shape, the ability to draw, roto-shapes in mocha and have them translated into mattes inside After Effects.

Very nice. Other bundled effects include Color Finesse version three, which has several new features which are really cool. And perhaps best of all digital effects FreeForm. The ability to take any 2D layer, warp it in 3D space or extrude other layers through it. Very cool. There's other little effects inside as well. Apply Color Look Up Table is a biggie that they just added to After Effects. Some Photoshop adjustment layer types have been brought in as well. Even the lowly levels effect got a really nice user interface update in CS5.

There's been some changes in the way you can now manipulate layers. For those who never got a hang of keyframe in After Effects, well now there's an Auto-Keyframe mode, and I'll show you the pluses and minuses of that. There's two new blending modes. There's a new Align option, to Align to Composition, rather than just to other layers. 3D text. Now every character can now orient towards the camera, not just entire words. Remember, that there was a plugin to bring in RED .r3d footage into After Effects? That's built into After Effects now. Several of the dialog boxes now have live updates.

There's been other improvements like that, which is basically to make the program a lot more pleasing to use. So, I'm going to go through a lot of those features, discussing the pluses and minuses, and we're probably give you some mini-tutorials on how to use them. I hope you find it useful. So let's get started.

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