Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video Follow a shot through After Effects, part of After Effects CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics.
- [Instructor] So this is After Effects. Let's suppose you've only opened it, but never used it to create a shot, how would you even know where to start? It's not immediately obvious because of the indirect way that After Effects builds a shot. In this lesson, we'll go from start to finish, with a five second shot, in a very few steps. To begin we're going to bring in some files. There are a few different ways to do that. In this case, I'll choose file, import.
I can select a file, or I can select multiple files, using the shift key. That inserts those two clips into the project panel. One of them is a still, a logo, and the other is moving footage. I'll drag the moving footage over to the composition panel, and that does a couple of things. It creates a new composition, that appears here in the project panel, and I also see the footage in the comp viewer, and down in the timeline.
Now I'm ready to work with the shot. The first thing I'll do is add the foreground element. Now again, there are multiple ways to add a layer, in this case the fastest way is just to drag it right to the composition right there. And boom, I see another layer in the timeline, and I see it up in the viewer. If I press spacebar to preview, I see the logo, displayed over moving footage, of this guy running in slow motion.
So at this point we've done the very most basic thing you can do in After Effects, which is A over B. Now let's go ahead, and refine it a little bit. First of all, it should be shorter. I'm going to adjust the work area, so that it's about five seconds long, and I'm going to adjust that logo by twirling down its controls in the timeline. That reveals transform, and then under the transform controls I'll go to Opacity, and change that to 40%.
Click return, and you can see that it's now more transparent. I'm also going to keyframe it, so that it fades up. So let's say that I want it faded up while he's in mid-air, I'll click the stopwatch at that point, that sets a keyframe at that point in time, and then I'll go back to somewhere around the time when he jumps, and change the value to zero by just scrubbing that text. Next I'd like to make the background pop a little bit more.
So I'll select that background layer, and under effect, I'll go to the color correction category, and choose Lumetri Color. Now here we get into where After Effects can start to feel pretty complicated. The effect controls, if I twirl them down, are many, and they might feel unfamiliar. Notice however, that unlike in Photoshop, I haven't actually made any change to the clip yet. Any changes I do make here in the effect controls, will be applied as long as I set them, but I can always reset them back to where I started, using this button up at the top.
So really this is just trying some things on. So let's set a white balance. I'll use the eyedropper to just click an area here, I'll click this auto button, to automatically set some of the tone controls, and finally I'll apply a look. Now I could freely preview as many of these as I'd like, or I could just go to the one that I think I want, which is SL Gold Heat. And now if I preview the result, I have something that looks like a shot that I could use.
However, in order to use it, I need to export it, or render it. In this case to do that I'll go to composition, add to render queue, and all I have to do is give it a name and location, so I can send it to the desktop, call it jump take one, and click render. Now if I twirl down output module, I can see the location, click on that, and there is the Quicktime movie that I created.
I'll open it up, and now I have moving footage that I'm free to use in an edit, or on a website. Now of course if you've used Adobe Premier Pro, for example, nothing we've done here is beyond what you already know how to do elsewhere. Meanwhile you're now familiar with the five main places that any After Effects shot goes. Starting with the project panel, then going into a composition that displays in the composition viewer, and in the timeline.
Applying an effect, which appears in the effect controls, and then rendering the shot out, here in the render queue. Throughout the rest of this section we'll build on this basic understanding of what After Effects let's you do, and how it works. To save the work that we've done, I'll go to file, save, and just call this Fundamentals dot one.
- Starting a project
- Using the Timeline
- Organizing with layers
- Controlling animation with keyframes
- Using effects and 3D
- Working with type
- Rendering in After Effects
- Creating a simple animation, start to finish