Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video Explore the interface of After Effects, part of After Effects CC 2019 Essential Training: The Basics.
- [Instructor] Let's get comfortable with After Effects by taking a quick tour before we dive in. Whether or not you're a beginner, there's a great way to get started with After Effects that avoids several common problems. It's also helpful to have a basic idea about what's in the user interface and what to do if what you see on your screen isn't exactly what you expect or what you see on mine. You may be seeing a welcome screen when you open After Effects, and if so I'm going to encourage you to actually just close it and we'll move forward. Simply because we don't actually need it.
You're welcome to use it in the future, or course, but for right now I just want to show you the main After Effects user interface, which is going to be our starting point. One more point I want to make before we move forward is that there are lessons in this course that don't use this latest After Effects 2019 interface, so if you see anything different don't really worry about it. If you see things not quite matching right now, don't worry about that either. Let me show you why.
What we have here, in After Effects, are a series of panels. I can highlight one of them, and you see a blue outline around it. That effects which keyboard shortcut work in that particular area. Now, I'm going to make a mess here, and the way I'm gonna do that is just by taking the tab here and starting to just drag these things around, I guess you could say willy nilly, and now I don't even recognize my interface. Now that's okay, because what I can do is reset the work space.
Under the window menu you see workspaces, they're the same feature as you probably know from other Adobe software, and right now it's set to default, but I've changed it. All I really need to do to get it back how it was looking is reset default to saved layout, and just like that I'm back where I was. Now having gotten everything reset and kinda shown you the basics of how to get it looking this way, let's go ahead and just create a simple starting point for you.
The easiest way to get started is to click on new composition from footage. If you don't see this, it may mean you're using an older version of After Effects, and I would encourage you to update, so that this course will actually match feature wise with what you're doing. When I click on this, it asks me for some source footage, and I happen to be in the chapter one folder where I'm gonna choose JumpSlomo.mp4, it's a video clip. When I click open, notice a few things have changed.
There are a couple of icons and names here in the project panel. There's the clip that I choose, and then there is a composition with the same name that's been created, which is reflected down here in the timeline where you see the same name, so same composition down here. And, the same composition is also up here in the composition viewer where we can actually watch the clip. Now if we want to see it in motion, the simplest way to do that is just to press the space bar and you're gonna see this green line drawing out.
Mine's going relatively quickly, and so in real time After Effects is buffering the clip into RAM, which is what the green line is showing me so that it can play back at full speed. Ironically, this is a slow motion clip, so full speed actually looks kind of slow, but you can see that the playback is smooth. The one other thing I want to show you is that when I save this project it doesn't have any impact on the clip I brought in. I'm gonna choose file, save, and the file format is a .aep.
I could change the name to say FirstProject aep, and no matter where I save it, it's not going to save over JumpSlomo.mp4 or any other footage that I brought in. In fact, there's no way to override footage that you bring into a project, other than directly rendering over it, which you would never deliberately do. My point is, saving a project has no influence on those clips, and when you reopen it later After Effects is going to go looking for those same source files in order to bring the project back.
I don't really need to save this right now. I'm gonna cancel out. Now let's make a simple shot while reducing the process of making it down to the essentials.
- After Effects and industry terminology
- Six foundations of After Effects
- Setting up a composition
- Working with layers
- Animating compositions
- Applying effects, including lights
- Working in 3D
- Rendering projects