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The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
- Animating to music
- Arranging layers in 3D space
- Performing time stretches
- Working with 3D camera tracking
- Typesetting and animating text
- Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
- Creating and animating shape layers
- Building and delivering a broadcast package
Skill Level Intermediate
We're almost ready to deliver a proof to our client. Let's watch it one more time to see if there is any tweaks we'd like to make before sending them this first proof. With my cursor hovering over the Comp panel, I'll press the tilde (~) key to maximize its display, and I've already rendered a preview for you. Let's go ahead and look at it. (music playing) It's pretty good, but there are a couple of things I'd like to improve before having the client look at this.
One problem I noticed is during this camera pull back, there was a bit of stuttering in the motion of this video frames coming on screen. Also, at this point when the camera is so close to them, they are being scaled up to be larger than their original size,and I'm a little bit worried about the image quality at that point. To cure that, I'm going to enable Motion Blur for these layers that are causing me concern. I'm going to twirl up some of my other layers just to clean up my display here, bring my switches column forward; shortcut is F4, and enable the Motion Blur switch for all of these videos.
To do that, I just need to drag down the Motion Blur Switch column. This means they will render with Motion Blur, but I won't see the Motion Blur until I enable the master switch in the timeline as well. And now you'll see a little bit of extra blur on them as the camera pulls back. Another thing I think the Motion Blur will help are my vital signs traces. The start and end is exhibiting a bit of a hard clip. I think it will look nicer if we had a feathered start and end to it.
Now normally shape layers don't allow you to feather them. You could try applying feathered masks and animating those across the vital signs. But another possibility is just enabling Motion Blur for those vital signs displays. By doing so you're blurring of the drawing of this line, as the line disappears and reappears. This is without motion blur and with motion blur and I do think that improves its look. You might also consider blurring other layers like the background, during the camera pull back. It's so blurry in the first place. I'm not really seeing a benefit there.
You can also try it with the medical results text, but again, they are so far back and they are moving relatively slowly, I'm not really seeing a benefit there. And indeed, since I want to keep After Effects responsive while I'm working, I'm going to turn off the Master Motion Blur Switch, just while I'm previewing the comp. But since I've enabled the Motion Blur Switch for these layers, they will render with blur. I'll turn that off. Just drag thorough here briefly, to see if there is anything else that might need blur. Oh yeah, that text has a bit of a slam down as well, that will probably benefit from motion blur as well.
So I reopen my Hero Title Comp, and enable Motion Blur for that Heart Attack layer. And now, we'll just add a little bit of extra blur as those characters fall back. Speaking of blur, it maybe fun if this Heart Attack title also automatically blurred in time with the music, similar to what we're doing with the EKG traces earlier in this composition. So since I've already done the work on making these EKG traces blur, I can borrow that work and apply to the main title.
I'm going to select my Audio Amplitude layer which already has keyframes that represent the loudness of this layer for each frame of the composition. And already has a maximum blur slider applied hat I can use to control my blur in this other comp. So I'll select the Audio Amplitude layer, copy it, go to Hero +Title and paste. It's based on the same soundtrack, so I know my keyframes will line up. Then I'll go back to one of my Vital Signs layers, press F3 to bring forward the Effect Controls panel. Select its Box Blur effect, which it already has an expression applied to follow the Both Channels and maximum Blur sliders for audio amplitude, copy, go back to Hero +Title, select Heart Attack and paste.
And a little bit further here, where the Heart Attack tittle comes on and rest, we'll see that it is indeed being blurred in response to the music. Now that blur in time to the music does cause me some issues with readability, so I think I'm actually going to keyframe the blur amount. I'm going to select the Audio Amplitude layer, which has my Master Maximum Blur slider, Enable Keyframing for it and start at 0, so it will not be blurred initially. Then I'm going to go to this last heart beat in my soundtrack, which I marked around here, and increase the maximum blur to represent how much blur I want on that beat.
I think right around there should be interesting, back up the frame before, and after. Yeah, I think that might be a cool effect through here. It will be clean when it hits, so I can read it, but then we are going to build some tension on successive heart beats. Okay, that's a cool effect. Let's go ahead and RAM Preview that and let's see if it adds to our production value in the way that I hope. (music playing) I think that adds nice tension to the piece, so we'll use that.