Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video How to create your own preset, part of After Effects Guru: Effects and Preset Management.
- Now we've taken a look at both Adobe presets and third-party presets, but you could take advantage of presets to save your own work. After all, once you come up with a great combination of filters or effects or perhaps a keyframed animation, you can save that as your own preset and then recall it later to save a bunch of time or jumpstart your process. Let's go back to the project panel here, and we'll jump forward to this sequence and fit it into the window. All right, in this case, I have applied a series of effects to an adjustment layer.
You see it's creating a spot color effect as well as a subtle tint. Well, let's select that. I'll press U + U to see all of the user-modified properties. And it looks like the Leave Color effect has been applied, plus a photo filter and some curves. Well, let's go up here to the Effects Controls, and we'll see all that. What I'd like to do is store all of this. To select a property, just Command click on a Mac or Control click on a PC to choose each effect.
Now you don't have to choose everything, but in this case, I did choose all three effects. And I could select Animation, Save Animation Preset. You'll notice that it takes us to the default location here inside of After Effects. Well, let's not overwrite any of the system ones, but rather go to that default position for the user-created ones. So I'll go to My Documents folder, in this case on a Mac, sort alphabetically here, jump into Adobe, go to the current version I'm working with to User Presets, and I'm going to make a new folder.
Let's call this Grades as in color grading, underscore my initials RH. I'll give this a name. And I'm going to call this Cool Blue Spot, as in a spot color effect and a cool blue color grade, and click Save. Now it's saved as a preset. Okay, let's try it out. We'll jump over here to another sequence.
In this case, we're going to do that same effect. Let's fit this. We'll do a quick chroma key here, so let's use some of those presets we used earlier. I'll type in the word key and now what I want to do is apply the green blur, and that keying preset for Keylight. Drag that over. And I like that, but I want to turn on the chatter reduction. That works pretty well.
All right, well, let's select the Spill Suppression, the Key Cleaner, the Keylight Effect, and the Green Channel Blur, and save that as a new preset. Save Animation Preset. And I'm going to go ahead and put this into the default location this time. Let's go up a level here. Step into User Presets. Jump into Adobe. And this time, I'm going to put this in that Image - Utilities. Now, this is technically not an Adobe one, but I'm going to call this Keying and rename it Super Key, so it does all four things.
And click Save. All right, let's clear this out. Select all, delete. I'll come over here, I have Keying typed in. We'll reload this. Refresh List. Takes a pass. There's my Keying Super Key. Drag. Drop. Green blur helps with noise, great. Grab the Eyedropper, sample the green.
Not too bad. Turn on the Spill Suppression, cleans it up. And let's crop that footage layer. We'll select the Rectangle Tool here and double click. Grab the Mask, and press Command T, and I could just get rid of that overspill. Not bad. Add that adjustment layer. Layer, New, Adjustment Layer. Come over to those Effects & Presets, and type in the word blue.
There it is. Regular Presets, User Presets. Cool Blue Spot. You'll also notice that recent presets were here, so I could browse presets to find them, and this would allow me to choose them and grab them and add them on pretty simply. Let's just highlight that layer so it's active. And you'll see Apply Animation Preset, which will pop up a dialog so you can navigate. Or Animation, Recent.
And there are all the ones that we've recently used. There's that Cool Blue Spot. I'm going to sample that color here to Leave, let's just turn layer off for a second. Sample the purple so it updates. And turn it on. And there's that look. And remember, everything's tweakable. So, if you decide you want to pull the lights down on that curve a little bit, no big deal, you can recover. But there's that look that I created on the other side applied to this new piece of footage.
That cool blue tint with the blue spot being left behind. And you see that that makes it easy to reuse effects. Now, what you saw there were two different examples. The first was a custom color grade. The other was a better keying recipe. Now these are easy to save. One I'm going to store in my user folder because it's really something I came up with. And the other I'm just going to put in the default location because it's a slight modification on Adobe's keying recipe. Once you get the hang of these, they're pretty easy to use.
Ability to choose animation and simply view anything you recently used. This is a huge timesaver. Now that you know how to find these presets, you're in pretty good shape. But let's talk about a couple of management strategies to make things easier.
- Applying and viewing presets
- Composing and saving presets
- Refining animation presets for custom results
- Browsing and loading presets
- Getting useful results from built-in presets