Join Owen Lowery for an in-depth discussion in this video Using this course, part of After Effects Scripts & Tips: 2 Design Theory & Animation.
- [Instructor] Okay everybody, the best way to use this course is however you want to. This course does not require you to watch any single chapter, lesson, or movie in any particular order. You can jump around based on what you want to know, or you can just watch straight through and learn about some awesome, random After Effect scripts and interesting techniques. There are course materials and exercise files you can download if you have access and want to work along, but it was designed so you don't need to use these course materials at all.
It's meant to demonstrate how to use third party scripts, what they do, and how they add additional functionality to After Effects, not how to do any specific kind of animation or design in particular. So, if you're using your own project files, or just watching to see what some of these scripts do, that works great. Nevertheless, here is what's included in the course materials. Within the exercise files, you'll find the After Effects project file for this course, which was created with After Effects CC2017, in the previous AE versions folder, there are several different versions of After Effects project files, dating all the way back to CS6.
Fair warning, not all effects or scripts may work that far back, though most should. So if you're working on CS6, just remember, there may be some bugs or differences in look and layout. You'll also find a footage folder that contains all of the assets, images, drawings, textures, and anything else used within this project. There is additionally a color swatches folder with a few color swatches that I'll demonstrate how to load into After Effects using the script Swatcher, and an infographics folder containing some information created with a spreadsheet and exported as .csv files to load into specific infographic scripts.
Finally, within the exercise files folder, you'll find a PDF with links to all of the scripts that I'll be using in this course. So all you have to do is open that PDF, click on or copy and paste the links to find any script I go over. This list also has links for the previous course in this series and a bunch of great extra scripts I love and recommend. When you open up the After Effects project file, you might see a warning saying that it is missing several effects created by Duik.
Duik is an awesome free script that was used a lot in the previous course in this series. I recommend installing it regardless, but Duik creates expressions when you use it, which are native to After Effects. So regardless if it's installed or not, everything will work just fine, and you can ignore that warning. Within the After Effects project file, you'll find individual folders corresponding with the different chapters of this course. Each folder contains compositions that I'll use to go over each specific chapter.
In most compositions, there will be locked off and hidden layers that can be seen if you disable this little shy guy icon right here. Most text has been converted to shape layer, so there won't be problems with font files you may or may not have on your machine. I am mostly using the open dyslexic font, which is available for free at opendyslexic.org because it was created specifically to make reading easier for people with dyslexia. Also, the font looks rad.
At the bottom of the project window, you'll find an assets folder, which contains all of the assets we'll be using throughout this course and in this project and below that folder is the ever present solids folder that After Effects likes to create to hold all of its solids. To get the most out of this course, you should have some familiarity with After Effects. You should know how to key frame and some basics like parenting, masking and using shape layers, but part of the purpose of this course is to show you shortcuts, workarounds, additional helpful functionality, and simpler ways to do things that most beginners don't know about, which can save lots of time and make your animation look way better with way less work.
So don't fear watching, even if you're a newbie. Actually, you should watch especially if you're a newbie. Worry not, I'll be calling out keyboard shortcuts and explaining what I'm doing as I go as best I can, and I've gone length to make sure everything is set up to keep instruction as simple as possible. So come on, jump on in.
- Focusing on contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity
- Creating vector graphics with the Shapes & Masks script
- Aligning with the Align3D script
- Developing color palettes with Adobe Color Themes and Swatcher Script
- Randomizing colors with Randomatic
- Saving custom fonts with the Font Styles Library plugin
- Animating text with TextEvo
- Texturing quickly with Ray Dynamic Texture
- Customizing font files with FontForge
- Creating infographics