Join Alan Demafiles for an in-depth discussion in this video Big picture concepts, part of After Effects CC 2018: VFX Essential Training.
- [Narrator] If you haven't watched the course covering the basics of After Effects, I recommend that you do so. It covers core concepts about the application that we'll briefly revisit here. After Effects is a versatile tool that's used to accomplish many tasks across various fields and, at its core, you'll find that After Effects is built on six concepts. The first being, compositions. The composition is our canvas. It's here that we'll place our assets and elements to animate and manipulate. I can have multiple compositions open, as seen here, and we can have one composition feed into another.
So, I have smoke and I have another composition for flames and I'll take both of those together to create a composition with flames and smoke. These compositions are then known as pre-comps. And, these pre-comps can be used to duplicate that into another composition, several times. So, with this composition of flames and smoke, I'm going to duplicate them over and over again to create more fire in this composition. If you're familiar with Photoshop, then you have an idea of how layers work and After Effects works very similarly. We have layers here, inside of our composition and as I turn off, you can see that we're hiding and revealing other portions of our image, based on what is stacked on top of the other.
Another core concept is animation. Animation takes key frames to record movement. So, here we have some scaling going on with our layer and if we wanted to move this along from left to right, we can certainly position it here and we'll set a key frame for position and we'll record the change over time with another key frame. And, like that, we've created some movement for scale and position. After Effects can also work in 2D and 3D space. So, here we have a mixture of both. I've got a 2D layer here on the left, mixed in with 3D layers behind it.
And you can see that our layers can be 2D or 3D. Our layers can also be lights if we wanted, we'll turn this off and you can see that effect, casting shadows. We can also have cameras as well 3D layers. Another big aspect of After Effects is, of course, the effects. So, here we've got one piece of footage that has several layers of effects stacked on top of each other. Some effects can deal with transparency. We can take out the green and crate transparency there. Some effects will distort. We can also effect color in different ways and we can add some polish with glows and blurs and things of that nature.
Lastly, we have rendering, which is outputting our work to disc so we can share it with others. So, by knowing how these six building blocks of After Effects work together, we can affectively use them to give life to our creations when building visual effects.
- Creating transparency
- Tracking masks in Motion
- Utilizing the Roto Brush tool
- Camera and motion tracking
- Working with 3D layers
- Using effects
- Creating destruction with Shatter
- Creating fire with particles
- Distorting layers with the Puppet tool
- Compositing 3D renders
- Creating virtual reality experiences