After Effects works in much the same way as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. In fact, the main panels in After Effects function the same way as panels in the other apps. The only real difference is what they are named. The Timeline panel in After Effects works like the Layers panel in the other apps. The Composition panel is similar to an artboard in Illustrator, the canvas in Photoshop, or a page in InDesign.
- [Chris] After Effects works in much the same way as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. In fact, the main panels in After Effects function the same way as panels in the other apps. The only real difference is what they're named. The timeline panel in After Effects works like the layers panel in the other apps. The composition panel is similar to the art board in Illustrator, the canvas in Photoshop, or a page in InDesign. The project panel shows linked files, just like a link to smart object in Photshop, or the links panel in both Illustrator and InDesign. And finally a pre-comp, or pre-composed composition in After Effects, works like a smart object in Photoshop, or a symbol in Illustrator, allowing you to have multiple instances of the same artwork throughout your layout.
And as I mentioned earlier, After Effects works just like Photoshop. In Photoshop we can apply effects to layers, then specify the properties. After Effects uses the same workflow to apply effects to layers in the timeline panel. Now when you first look at the After Effects interface it can be a little intimidating. But for this course we're only going to be using a few panels, the timeline panel, which is where we'll find our layers, the composition panel, where we'll create our layouts, the project panel, which shows us our linked files as well as compositions and any artwork we've created, and the pre-comps or additional compositions can be opened and closed in the timeline panel, or opened from the project panel.
Now two panels that you won't see in the other design applications are the effects and presets, and the effect controls. The effects and presets panel works like the filter menu in Photshop, where you browse and apply effects to your layers. And the effect control panel, works like the layer styles dialogue box in Photoshop, where you set the properties for the effects that you have applied to a layer. So now instead of continuing to talk about After Effects, let's open it up and get started by setting up a workspace.
- Adding dramatic lighting
- Color keying photos
- Animating a page curl
- Creating patterns and textures
- Generating artwork from blank layers
- Adding rain and lightning to illustrations
- Creating water and bubbles