Join Chris Meyer for an in-depth discussion in this video Shape layers and gradients, part of After Effects: Extended Vignette Techniques.
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I am going to open 1.2 Shape Starter and if you have After Effects CS3 or later,…you have access to a new tool called Shape layers, an alternative to using solids and mass.…To use a Shape layer, first I need to make sure that no layers are selected.…I am going to type Command+Shift+A on Mac, or Ctrl+Shift+A on Windows, to deselect.…If you have an extended keyboard, F2 is the shortcut to deselect.…Then I am going to select the Rectangle tool because I want my shape to…initially cover the entire frame.…Once I have the Shape tool selected, you'll notice that I have Fill and Stroke options available.…
Now the Stroke is already defaulting to off, which is fine in my case.…If it wasn't, I can hold down the Option key on Mac, or Alt key on Windows, and…click through this to toggle until I get that red slash which says the Stroke is off.…I am going to open up the Fill type and set it actually to a Radial Gradient,…not the Linear Gradient that it was on currently and again, you can Option+Click…on this to change it.…
Vignetting is a classic photography technique involving darkening areas of an image in order to focus the viewer’s attention on a desired point of interest. In After Effects: Extended Vignette Techniques, Chris Meyer shows how vignettes can also be leveraged in video. Multiple applications are demonstrated, including framing a subject better, fixing a poorly composed shot, giving a vintage feel, creating "quiet areas" to overlay text and other graphics, and blending an image over a new background. Vignettes can be created using masking, shape layers, and gradients. This course also includes advanced techniques unique to After Effects, using the CC Circle effect and 3D lights, and employing motion stabilization to center the desired action within the vignette. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Vignetting with feathered masks, gradients, or paint
- Blending layers with masks and paint
- Lighting in 3D
- Using motion stabilization
- Using blending modes and adjustment layers