Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video Is there anything After Effects can't do?, part of After Effects CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics.
- [Narrator] After Effects may be the most diverse application I know for video or otherwise. There are so many things you can do with it. It can feel overwhelming to know even where to start. In this lesson, I want to show you the most common areas where After Effects overlaps with other applications that have much more specific uses. So for example, I've heard people refer to After Effects as an application for editing video, when in fact, its sister application, Adobe Premiere Pro is much more focused to do just that.
What's the difference? Well, Premiere is an editing application. And specifically, that means while I do have layers down here in my timeline, I can also have multiple clips on a single layer. So Premiere Pro is designed specifically for editing. When I press the spacebar to play, (cheerful music) I immediately get a preview. - [Woman On Video] Many people who start looking - [Narrator] Here, believe it or not, is the exact same edit in After Effects.
If I scroll up and down in the timeline here, you can see that each clip has its own layer. This is not an ideal editing environment because at one point in time I might have several different clips that are scattered up and down this timeline. Also, if I press Play, (cheerful music that slows) playback is not real time. After Effects is also not nearly as fully-featured for 3D animation as applications that do only that.
This logo animation is from the fundamentals course for CINEMA 4D, and I can actually look at it and play it back here in After Effects. But there's just one single layer that contains the entire animation, all of the elements, the cameras, the lights, everything. If I look at the same animation here in CINEMA 4D, it looks very similar. The difference is here I can actually create, edit, animate, shade, light, and position a camera on it.
As we'll see later in the course, After Effects does let you create sophisticated 3D animations, but an application like CINEMA 4D really takes it to a different level. Many of us After Effects artists are so comfortable in that application, we'll use it to create still graphics. However, here in Photoshop, let's just take a look at a complex still document. It's full of folders and individual elements, each nested, one inside the next. If I look at the same document in After Effects, the nesting occurs in subcompositions which are highly nested and very inconvenient.
Photoshop's entire workflow is oriented around still images. After Effects is all about motion. Also in Photoshop, you can save an image directly. In After Effects, you save a project. We'll get more into that later. As you know, Adobe Illustrator is a powerful tool for creating and sharing vector graphics. Here's a logo that was created in Illustrator. It can be fully edited and customized here, and it has the benefit, if I zoom into it, that the edges are vectors.
So they're quite smooth, no matter how close we zoom in. Here in After Effects, if I zoom in on the same logo, I can have the smoothness. The difference is, this element came in from Illustrator where it was created but there's no way to export this as an Adobe Illustrator file. Generally speaking, you'll use this feature to animate and create a movie. After Effects is also not truly designed for audio mixing and effects. - [Woman In Video] I'll often think that they're going to be crazy lunatics because of they're race dogs. - [Narrator] Although, talented audio people will do a lot of what they need to do right in After Effects.
In this course, I may draw occasional comparisons between After Effects and its nearest neighbors, Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop, so that if you're more familiar with those, you understand why and how After Effects is different. When someone says you can do anything in After Effects, they also mean that it helps to know the toolset very well and to be more than a bit stubborn. After Effects presents a way of working through a shot that is logical and expressive. You can use it to solve problems or to bring ideas and emotions to life.
It's like taking a camera and putting anything you can imagine in motion in front of it.
- Starting a project
- Using the Timeline
- Organizing with layers
- Controlling animation with keyframes
- Using effects and 3D
- Working with type
- Rendering in After Effects
- Creating a simple animation, start to finish