Join Chris Meyer for an in-depth discussion in this video Software versions and exercise files, part of After Effects Apprentice: 14 Shape Layers.
- [Instructor] These After Effects Apprentice courses are designed to teach the core features in After Effects, from basic animation to advanced visual effects in 3D. Most of these core features have remained the same across many versions of After Effects, with only minor changes to the user interface, such as this brightness and highlight color. Therefore, these courses have been designed to work with After Effects versions Creative Suite 4, or CS4 for short, through the current Creative Cloud versions. Most of the Apprentice movies were recorded using After Effects CS5. Newer features were for the most part recorded with the version they were introduced in, such as CS6 or Creative Cloud.
You might notice that the user interface changes, and the list of compositions available in the exercise files may grow when we switch to these later versions. But don't worry about it, the earlier content can still be used with later versions of the software. We'll also note when a feature requires a certain version of After Effects, including when a feature may have been removed from a later version. The biggest changes occurred with After Effects CC 2015 when a new preview system was introduced, and we also got collapsible panels. If you are using After Effects CC, we strongly recommend you watch this short course After Effects Apprentice 01, CC Pre-Roll, to be aware of these changes.
If you're still using a pre-Creative Cloud version of After Effects, then After Effects Apprentice 01, CS4 to CS6 Pre-Roll, would be more appropriate. Regardless of what version of After Effects you're using, quite often we'll be using the standard workspace. You can reliably find that under Window, Workspace, Standard, and if necessary, reset Standard to Saved Layout. Although you can certainly just sit back, watch, and enjoy these courses and try them out later with your own source material, you'll learn and retain more if you can get access to the exercise files that we're using as we work our way through these courses.
If you have a premium membership, you can download these exercise files. There will be separate folders for CS4, CS5, CS5.5, CS6, and CC. Use the project file that matches the version of After Effects that you are using. The CC, or Creative Cloud project file, is compatible with After Effects CC 2014 and later. If you have our book After Effects Apprentice, you may also use the exercise files that come with the book along with these courses. Just line up their chapters with the online course names.
After Effects Apprentice Fourth Edition uses new source material for many of these exercises, but most of the composition names and even the instructions are still the same. As Adobe sometimes changes the fonts that come bundled with After Effects, if a font says that it is missing, replace it with a font of your choice, or see if it is available through Adobe Typekit. In this case, I've found out that this project needs Bell Gothic, which is no longer included with the After Effects install, so instead I can go to Adobe Typekit, choose Franklin Gothic, enable your selected fonts, sync them across your Adobe applications, and then close Typekit.
And then back in After Effects, go ahead and search for my missing fonts. Click on the comp that has the missing font, choose the type in question, open up the Character panel, and instead use Franklin Gothic. So with all that, let's get started.
The After Effects Apprentice series was created by Trish and Chris Meyer. These tutorials are designed for After Effects CS4 through CC, and can be used on their own or as a companion to the Meyer's book, After Effects Apprentice.
- Drawing parametric shapes and pen paths
- Creating multiple shape groups
- Exploring Wiggle Paths and the Wiggle Transform effect
- Defining gradient fills
- Creating a swarm
- Blending multiple shapes into a texture
- Crafting and animating dotted and dashed lines
- Combining effects, layer styles, expressions, and the Brainstorm tool with shape layers
- Showing tips for stylizing sidebars