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The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
- Animating to music
- Arranging layers in 3D space
- Performing time stretches
- Working with 3D camera tracking
- Typesetting and animating text
- Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
- Creating and animating shape layers
- Building and delivering a broadcast package
Skill Level Intermediate
Now that we have created a nice prototype for our Vital Signs display, let's place one of them in our 3D world and see how it works out. I'm going to select my Shape layer, I think I'm going to temporarily turn off Trim Paths, so I get to see the entire trace for the entire duration of the composition, copy, go to my Final Comp and Paste. Then I might rearrange my layers here to place it at the very top of my stack. Now I have my Vital Signs trace going throughout my comp, toggle back to switches.
It's 2D layer initially. I'll make it a 3D layer. Again, it jumps to the center of the composition world which is over here where our Hero video is, I'm going to push it back in Z, and you'll see it start to appear here now. It appeared roughly around where our text was and look at it at various parts in our world. It needs to be centered up so I can see it during the camera move. So I am going to center it roughly in our world. It looks like I might need to scale it up too. So I'm going to press S for Scale, and Shift P for position to make it easy to just scrub it's position if I so desire.
I am going to scale it up to where I can see it at the start of my camera move, and then as the camera pulls back, I'm going to make sure I still see it, and I pull back so much I don't see it anymore. So let's go ahead and scale it up a little bit more like around there, go later in the camera move and falling off the right side as well. So it looks like, I need to scale it up larger and maybe work on recentering it in the X dimension, so it never goes off screen.
Let's go back here at the start, let the camera pull back all the way, stays inside the shot there and it stays inside the shot there. Good. I might place this initial one say roughly centered in my world. So it's kind of following the center line of my little extra videos here. I'm going to twirl the layer up and twirl it down again until I see its contents, twirl open the shape group, re-enable the Trim Paths animation, go back to Home and it would be nice if the viewer got to see my EKG from the very beginning.
So I'm going to twirl open Trim Paths and scrub the starting offset. So it just appears on screen at that first frame. So now, at the very start of the music, it will come on screen and give the viewer something to look at. Let's do a quick RAM Preview and see how that works out and let's play it. (music playing) That's pretty cool. So I scrub through the rest of my timeline, I see that my little trace does peak out behind the videos every now and then. It gives a little bit of visual interest.
It goes off the end there and reappears here right before our push in to our final video. Nice. Well, now that I have a vital sign display that I like, I can go ahead and reuse it and make more of them in this composition, just like I have a bunch of different pieces of video throughout this composition. The nice thing about Wiggle Paths is that every time you duplicate a layer it's applied to, you get a different random pattern of that path. So you see, I now have two quite different traces. That's nice. So I'll select my Shape layer there, drag it up to another position, that's a little bit different and maybe push it back further in space.
I think I need to go back to my camera tool here and pull back a little bit more, so I can see all of my layers, same here, just rearrange things a little bit further so I have a nice display and I might want to experiment with giving these other guys some different positions. I'll press V to return to selection, push this one say further back in space, pull it up a little bit higher, some around here in my world, make sure it doesn't go off the edge of the screen. I'm probably going to need to increase its scale.
Let's turn off Trim Paths temporarily to make sure I'm not losing any of this. That's again pretty close to the edge there. Yeah, I'm going to need to increase its scale, Shift+S, increase scale a little bit, so it doesn't go off the screen, check the end of my camera move, stays on the screen, that's nice. And now I've got a second EKG pass animating throughout my video. It's kind of boring that they're both going the same speed. So I think I'm going to jump to the end, twirl down Trim Paths and give myself a different speed.
Like maybe just three cycles during the entire animation. And now, it will be progressing at a different speed and appearing at different times in my video, in my final active camera that my first Vital Signs was. So you have the basic idea. Go ahead and duplicate that Vital Signs layers a few more times and create a few more variations and arrange it as you like to fill in the background of your composition. Again, we're not trying to distract too much, but we are trying to make it interesting enough for the viewer so that they'll want to see your opening title again and again.