Join Chris Meyer for an in-depth discussion in this video The Effects & Presets panel: finding effects, part of After Effects: Insight into Effects.
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During this series, when I apply an effect, quite often you see me using the Effects menu item. I'm doing this is to help reinforce exactly what effect it is we're working with. However, in real life, I rarely use that menu. Instead, I use the Effects and Presets panel. That panel serves two purposes in life. One, it's a great way to find effects. You don't have to remember what category it's in, you don't even have to remember the entire name of the effect. Just type in a few characters and it shows you what candidates match. Second, it's a way of managing your Animation Presets. Presets are effects parameters, keyframes and most other parameters for a layer, which can be saved as a bundle and applied any layer later on.
After Effects ships with hundreds of Presets from Adobe, which you can browse in Adobe Bridge. You can modify those Presets. Or you can create your own, save them off and use them later on your own projects. Let's see how to get the most out of the Effects and Presets panel. Now this is a fairly tall panel, so it's useful to rearrange your panels to give it more room. We usually collapse Preview to get a little bit more height. If necessary, we'll even pull down the Timeline and pull over the Comp panel to give it more room, so that we can see longer names. Let's say you are interested in finding what plug-in effects had the word blur in their names. Just type blur into the Quick Search dialog and you'll see two things: Animation Presets that have blur in their name and also all of the effects plug-ins that have blur in their names.
There's two ways you can apply one of these effects to a piece of footage. One, if you can see the footage already in the Composition panel, just go ahead and grab your effect and drag it straight on to that footage. And you'll see it opens over here in the Effects Controls panel. Another way is to select a layer or even multiple layers ahead of time then double click the effect and it will be applied to all of your selected layers. And you see it's on all those pieces of footage. Pretty simple. Now there are other things that this panel can tell you. For example, you see some very small icons, say 8, 16 or 32. That tells you the maximum bit depth that plug-in works at. For example, CC Radio Blur only processes footage at 8 bits per color channel. However, this Radio Blur I just applied will go ahead and work in floating point mode, 32 bits per channel.
Additional information and options can be found in the Options menu for the Effects and Presets panel. You can go ahead and search by Categories, then these would match the Effect menu. Finder Folders, the folders saved on your hard drive. Or in slphabetical order. You can also decide what to show and not show. For example, if you did not want to be distracted by Animation Presets, you could turn that off, and the Animation Presets menu disappears. I'll go ahead and leave it on for now.
After Effects gurus Chris and Trish Meyer share their real-world insight into how to get the most out of the effects that come bundled with this popular software. After Effects: Insight into Effects covers their favorite effects, hidden gems, optimal parameter ranges, "gotchas" to avoid, and alternative effects to consider. Among other tidbits, this course also contains "special topic" movies that pertain to more than one effect, demonstrate how to use After Effects more efficiently, and compare different effects to try in order to achieve a desired creative result. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.
This course was recorded using After Effects CS4, but it contains many timeless concepts and effects. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This is an ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.