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When you add a footage item to a composition, the footage becomes the source for a new layer. In this lesson you have worked with the mask tools to hide, reveal, and adjust portions of a composition to create a stylized inset shot. Get to Know Us. Use a first, middle, and last name so that you have a nice long string of text to animate.

 
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It also contains compositions, which are the individual containers used to combine footage, apply effects, and, ultimately, drive the output. The main window of the program is called the application window. Panels are organized in this window in an arrangement called a workspace. The default workspace contains groups of panels as well as panels that stand alone, as shown in the following figure.

Composition panel E. Preview panel I. You can drag panels to new locations, move panels into or out of a group, place panels alongside each other, and undock a panel so that it floats in a new window above the application window. As you rearrange panels, the other panels resize automatically to fit the window.

When you drag a panel by its tab to relocate it, the area where you can drop it—called a drop zone—becomes highlighted. The drop zone determines where and how the panel is inserted into the workspace.

Dragging a panel to a drop zone results in one of two behaviors: docking or grouping. If you drop a panel along the edge of another panel, group, or window, it will dock next to the existing group, resizing all groups to accommodate the new panel.

If you drop a panel in the middle of another panel or group, or along the tab area of a panel, it will be added to the existing group and be placed at the top of the stack.

Grouping a panel does not resize other groups. You can also open a panel in a floating window. To do so, select the panel and then choose Undock Panel or Undock Frame from the panel menu. Or, drag the panel or group outside the application window. Press the key again to return the panel to its original size. You can use Adobe Bridge to search for, manage, preview, and import footage. Shift-click to select the DJ. Then click Open. A footage item is the basic unit in an After Effects project.

You can import many types of footage items, including moving-image files, still-image files, still-image sequences, audio files, layered files from Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, other After Effects projects, and projects created in Adobe Premiere Pro. You can import footage items at any time. As you import assets, After Effects reports its progress in the Info panel. Choose Composition from the Import As menu, and then click Open.

The footage items appear in the Project panel. Notice that a thumbnail preview appears at the top of the Project panel. You can also see the file type and size, as well as other information about each item, in the Project panel columns. Instead, each footage item in the Project panel contains a reference link to the source files. When After Effects needs to retrieve image or audio data, it reads it from the source file. This keeps the project file small, and it allows you to update source files in another application without modifying the project.

To save time and minimize the size and complexity of a project, import a footage item once and then use it multiple times in a composition.

In some cases, you may need to import a source file more than once, such as if you want to use it at two different frame rates. You create all animation, layering, and effects in a composition.

An After Effects composition has both spatial dimensions and a temporal dimension time. Compositions include one or more layers, arranged in the Composition panel and in the Timeline panel. Any item that you add to a composition—such as a still image, moving-image file, audio file, light layer, camera layer, or even another composition—becomes a new layer.

Simple projects may include only one composition, while elaborate projects may include several compositions to organize large amounts of footage or intricate effects sequences.

To create a composition, you will drag the footage items into the Timeline panel, and After Effects will create layers for them. The New Composition From Selection dialog box appears. In this example, all of the footage is sized identically, so you can accept the default settings.

The footage items appear as layers in the Timeline panel, and After Effects displays the composition, named Bgwtext 2, in the Composition panel. When you add a footage item to a composition, the footage becomes the source for a new layer. A composition can have any number of layers, and you can also include a composition as a layer in another composition, which is called nesting. Without layers, a composition consists only of an empty frame. Using layers, you can work with specific footage items in a composition without affecting any other footage.

For example, you can move, rotate, and draw masks for one layer without disturbing any other layers in the composition, or you can use the same footage in more than one layer and use it differently in each instance.

In general, the layer order in the Timeline panel corresponds to the stacking order in the Composition panel. In this composition, there are five footage items and therefore five layers in the Timeline panel. Depending on the order in which the elements were selected when you imported them, your layer stack may differ from the one shown in the preceding figure. From this point forward in the workflow, you should be thinking about layers, not footage items.

After Effects includes tools that enable you to modify elements of your composition. Some of these tools—the Selection tool and the Hand tool, for example—will be familiar to you if you use other Adobe applications, such as Photoshop. Others will be new. The following image identifies the tools in the Tools panel for your reference. Selection B. Hand C. Zoom D. Rotation E. Camera tools F. Pan Behind G. Mask and Shape tools H.

Pen tools I. Type tools J. Brush K. Clone Stamp L. Eraser M. Puppet tools When you hover the pointer over any button in the Tools panel, a tool tip identifies the tool and its keyboard shortcut.

A small triangle in the lower-right corner of the button indicates that one or more additional tools are hidden behind it. Click and hold the button to display the hidden tools, and then select the tool you want to use. Now that your composition is set up, you can start having fun—applying effects, making transformations, and adding animation.

The easiest way to start is to apply any of the hundreds of effects included with After Effects. Working with duplicates lets you apply an effect to one layer and then use it in conjunction with the unmodified original. A new layer with the same name appears at the top of the stack, so the first two layers are now both named DJ.

Then press Enter or Return again to accept the new name. Adding a Radial Blur effect The Radial Blur effect creates blurs around a specific point in a layer, simulating the effects of a zooming or rotating camera.

Notice that layer handles appear around the layer in the Composition panel. To return to the Composition panel, click the Composition tab. After Effects searches for effects and presets that contain the letters you type, and displays the results interactively.

After Effects applies the effect and automatically opens the Effect Controls panel in the upper-left area of the workspace. As you drag the cross-hair, the Center value updates in the Effect Controls panel. The left and right values are x and y coordinates, respectively. Center the blur at approximately , Dragging to change values is called scrubbing.

Adding an exposure effect To punch up the brightness of this layer, you will apply the Exposure colorcorrection effect. This effect lets you make tonal adjustments to footage. It simulates the result of modifying the exposure setting in f-stops of the camera that captured the image.

This will make everything brighter in the layer to simulate an overexposed image. This keyboard shortcut displays only the Position property, which is the only property you want to change for this exercise. Leave the y coordinate at You will move this layer to the right.

Now you can see the three waveforms—left, center, and right—in the Composition panel, hanging like a beaded light curtain. To contrast the left and right waveforms with the center waveform, you will reduce their opacity. It all looks great, but how about some movement? For this exercise, you will animate the Position property of a text layer using keyframes, and then use an animation preset so that the letters appear to rain down on the screen.

About the Timeline panel Use the Timeline panel to animate layer properties and set In and Out points for a layer. In and Out points are the points at which a layer begins and ends in the composition. Many of the Timeline panel controls are organized in columns of related functions. Time zoom slider F. Composition marker bin Before delving too deep into animation, it helps to understand at least some of these controls. The duration of a composition, a layer, or a footage item is represented visually in the time ruler.

On the time ruler, the current-time indicator indicates the frame you are viewing or editing, and the frame appears in the Composition panel. The work area start and end brackets indicate the part of the composition that will be rendered for previews or final output.

When you work on a composition, you may want to render only part of a composition. Do this by specifying a part of the composition time ruler as a work area. To move to a different time, drag the current-time indicator in the time ruler or click the current-time field in the Timeline panel or Composition panel, type a new time, and click OK.

For more information about the Timeline panel, see After Effects Help. This composition is the layered Photoshop file you imported. Two layers, Background and Title Here, appear in the Timeline panel. The Title Here layer contains placeholder text that was created in Photoshop. To display the flowchart, tap the Shift key when a Composition, Timeline, or Layer panel is active.

At the top of the Composition panel is the Composition Navigator bar, which displays the relationship between the main composition Bgwtext 2 and the current composition Bgwtext , which is nested within the main composition. You can nest multiple compositions within each other; the Composition Navigator bar displays the entire composition path.

Arrows between the composition names indicate the direction in which pixel information flows. Before you can replace the text, you need to make the layer editable. A T icon appears next to the layer name in the Timeline panel, indicating that it is now an editable text layer.

The layer is also selected in the Composition panel, ready for you to edit. Then, type Substrate. Each footage item, layer, and composition in a project has its own duration, which is reflected in the beginning and ending times displayed in the time rulers in the Composition, Layer, and Timeline panels.

The way you view and specify time in After Effects depends on the display style, or unit of measure, that you use to describe time. Note that the figures are separated by semicolons in the After Effects interface, representing drop-frame timecode which adjusts for the real-time frame rate , but this book uses a colon to represent non-drop-frame timecode. To learn when and how to change to another system of time display, such as frames or feet and frames of film, see After Effects Help.

Press Shift after you start dragging to constrain the operation to the vertical axis. An orange diamond appears in the Position bar for the layer in the time graph, indicating the new keyframe. A keyframe marks the point in time where you specify a value, such as spatial position, opacity, or audio volume.

Values between keyframes are interpolated. When you use keyframes to create a change over time, you must use at least two keyframes—one for the state at the beginning of the change, and one for the state at the end of the change. Press Shift to constrain the drag operation to the vertical axis. Your final Position values should be approximately , The blue lines at the top, bottom, and sides of the Composition panel indicate title-safe and action-safe zones.

Television sets enlarge a video image and allow some portion of its outer edges to be cut off by the edge of the screen. This is known as overscan. The amount of overscan is not consistent between television sets, so you should keep important parts of a video image, such as action or titles, within margins called safe zones.

Keep your text inside the inner blue guides to ensure that it is in the title-safe zone, and keep important scene elements inside the outer blue guides to ensure that they are in the action-safe zone. Easing into and out of animations keeps the motion from appearing to be too sudden or robotic. As the text approaches its final position, it will ease to a smooth stop. The keyframe icon changes to an arrow. Applying an animation preset will bring it to life. Remember, you can go to the time by dragging the current-time indicator or by clicking the Current Time field in the Timeline panel or Composition panel.

The Effect Controls panel opens so that you can customize the Echo effect, which is a component of the animation preset. The default settings are fine for this project. After Effects provides several methods for previewing compositions, including standard preview, RAM preview, and manual preview. For a list of manual preview controls, see After Effects Help. All three methods are accessible through the Preview panel, which appears on the right side of the application window in the Standard workspace.

Using standard preview Standard preview commonly called a spacebar preview plays the composition from the current-time indicator to the end of the composition.

Standard previews usually play more slowly than real time. The number of frames played depends on the amount of RAM available to the application. In the Timeline panel, RAM preview plays either the span of time you specify as the work area, or from the beginning of the time ruler. Before you preview, check which frames are designated as the work area.

When all of the frames in the work area are cached, the RAM preview plays back in real time. You can control the amount of detail shown in either the standard or RAM preview by changing the resolution, magnification, and preview quality of your composition.

About OpenGL previews OpenGL provides high-quality previews that require less rendering time than other playback modes. It provides fast screen previewing of a composition without degrading resolution, which makes it a desirable preview option for many situations.

When OpenGL does not support a feature, it simply creates a preview without using that feature. For example, if your layers contain shadows and your OpenGL hardware does not support shadows, the preview will not contain shadows. Complex compositions can require a large amount of memory to render, and the rendered movies can take a large amount of disk space to store. Otherwise, you can just save it, and continue getting acquainted with the After Effects workspace.

Customizing the workspace In the course of this project, you may have resized or repositioned some panels, or opened new ones. As you modify the workspace, After Effects saves those modifications, so the next time you open the project, the most recent version of the workspace is used.

You can save any workspace configuration, or use any of the preset workspaces that come with After Effects. These predefined workspaces are suitable for different types of workflows, such as animation or effects work.

You can also change workspaces using the Workspace menu at the top of the window. The Paint and Brushes panels open. The Composition panel is replaced by the Layer panel, for easy access to the tools and controls you need to paint in your compositions. If a project with a custom workspace is opened on a system other than the one on which it was created, After Effects looks for a workspace with a matching name. Controlling the brightness of the user interface You can brighten or darken the After Effects user interface.

Changing the brightness preference affects panels, windows, and dialog boxes. You can click Default to restore the default brightness setting. Finding resources for using After Effects For complete and up-to-date information about using After Effects panels, tools, and other application features, visit the Adobe website.

To search for information in After Effects Help and support documents, as well as other websites relevant to After Effects users, simply enter a search term in the Search Help box in the upperright corner of the application window.

You can narrow the results to view only Adobe Help and support documents, as well. For additional resources, such as tips and techniques and the latest product information, check out the Adobe Community Help page at community.

For more up-to-date information, view the Help files online or download the current PDF for reference. You can easily obtain these updates through Adobe Updater, as long as you have an active Internet connection. The Adobe Updater automatically checks for updates available for your Adobe software. Select how often you want Adobe Updater to check for updates, for which applications, and whether to download them automatically.

Click OK to accept the new settings. Review answers 1 Most After Effects workflows include these steps: import and organize footage, create compositions and arrange layers, add effects, animate elements, preview your work, and export the final composition. An After Effects composition has both spatial dimensions and time. Compositions include one or more layers—video, audio, still images—arranged in the Composition panel and in the Timeline panel.

A standard preview plays your composition from the current-time indicator to the end of the composition, usually more slowly than real time. A RAM preview allocates enough RAM to play the preview with audio as fast as the system allows, up to the frame rate of the composition.

You can drag panels to new locations, move panels into or out of groups, place panels alongside each other, and undock a panel so that it floats above the application window. As you rearrange panels, the other panels resize automatically to fit the application window. In this lesson, you will continue to learn the basics of the Adobe After Effects project workflow.

You will animate the newscast ID so that it fades to become a watermark that can appear in the lower-right corner of the screen during other TV programs. You can use them to create great-looking animations quickly and easily.

When you begin the lesson, restore the default application settings for After Effects. When asked whether you want to delete your preferences file, click OK. After Effects opens to display a blank, untitled project. However, After Effects also offers another, more powerful and flexible way to import footage for a composition: using Adobe Bridge.

You can use Adobe Bridge to organize, browse, and locate the assets you need to create content for print, the web, television, DVD, film, and mobile devices. You can drag assets into your layouts, projects, and compositions as needed; preview assets; and even add metadata file information to assets to make files easier to locate. In this exercise, you will jump to Adobe Bridge to import the still-image file that will serve as the background of your composition.

If you receive a message about adding an extension to Adobe Bridge, click OK. Adobe Bridge opens, displaying a collection of panels, menus, and buttons. Click the arrows to open nested folders. You can also double-click folder thumbnail icons in the Content panel. The Content panel updates interactively. Click the Pause button or press the spacebar to stop. Luckily, this music track has been composed to loop cleanly. A Time Remap property appears for the layer in the Timeline panel, and two Time Remap keyframes appear for the layer in the time ruler.

The audio is now set to loop in a cycle, repeating the clip endlessly. All you need to do is extend the Out point of the layer to the end of the composition. The motion path appears as a sequence of dots, where each dot marks the position of the layer at each frame. Use solid layers to color a background or create simple graphic images. You may delete the sample movies from your hard disk if you have limited storage space. Click Close to close the Welcome screen.

Resize the Name column to make it wider and easier to read, if necessary. Similarly, there are two layers for the two lighting conditions outside the window: Window and Window Lit. The Window Pane layer includes a Photoshop layer style that simulates a pane of glass.

About Photoshop layer styles Adobe Photoshop provides a variety of layer styles—such as shadows, glows, and bevels—that change the appearance of a layer.

The layer style properties are available for the layer in the Timeline panel. Soloing the layers isolates them to speed animating, previewing, and rendering. Currently, the lit background is on top of the regular darker background, obscuring it and making the initial frame of the animation light. However, you want the animation to start dark, and then lighten.

Now, when the animation begins, the Background Lit layer is transparent, which allows the dark Background layer to show through. Make sure to leave the Opacity property for the Background Lit layer visible. The Window Pane layer has a Photoshop layer style that creates a bevel on the window. The interior of the room transitions gently from dimly to brightly lit. Duplicating an animation using the pick whip Now, you need to lighten the view through the window.

About expressions When you want to create and link complex animations, such as multiple car wheels spinning, but want to avoid creating tens or hundreds of keyframes by hand, you can use expressions instead. You can create expressions by using simple examples and modifying them to suit your needs, or by chaining objects and methods together.

The words transform. Notice that the Opacity values for the two layers match. Notice that the sky outside the window lightens as the room inside the window does. For one thing, the sun should actually rise. Previewing the animation Now, see how it all comes together. So far, so good! A new Timeline panel named Window Contents appears. It contains the Sun, Birds, and Clouds layers you selected in step 1 above.

The Window Contents composition also appears in the Composition window. Notice that the Sun, Birds, and Clouds layers have been replaced by the Window Contents layer, which refers to the Window Contents composition.

About track mattes and traveling mattes When you want one layer to show through a hole in another layer, set up a track matte. When you animate the track matte layer, you create a traveling matte. In both alpha-channel mattes and luminance mattes, pixels with higher values are more transparent. In most cases, you use a high-contrast matte so that areas are either completely transparent or completely opaque. Intermediate shades should appear only where you want partial or gradual transparency, such as along a soft edge.

A B C Traveling matte A. Track matte layer: a solid with a rectangular mask, set to Luma Matte. The mask is animated to travel across the screen. The alpha channel of the layer above Window Lit 2 is used to set transparency for the Window Contents layer, so that the scenery outside the window shows through the transparent areas of the windowpane.

Adding motion blur The birds will look more authentic if they include motion blur. Larger values create more motion blur. In a realistic time-lapse image, they would shorten as the sun rises. For example, you could use 3D layers and lights. You can use it to stretch, shrink, skew, or twist an image, or to simulate perspective or movement that pivots from the edge of a layer, such as a door opening.

Small circles appear around the corner points of the Shadows layer in the Composition panel. To adjust that corner, switch to the Hand tool , and drag up in the Composition panel so that you can see some of the pasteboard below the image. Then switch back to the Selection tool , and drag the lower-right corner-pin handle to the approximate location of the lower-right corner of the glass tabletop.

You may also need to move the two upper corners in slightly so that the bases of the shadows still align properly with the vase and clock. Then switch back to the Selection tool , and deselect the layer. Click OK to return to the Solid Settings dialog box. The hands of the clock should be spinning quickly to show the progress of time.

Close the sunrise Layers folder, and then double-click an empty area in the panel to open the Import File dialog box. The QuickTime movie clock. Drag the clock. The Render Queue panel opens. Then click Save. So far, you have created a straightforward time-lapse simulation. Time remapping lets you dynamically speed up, slow down, stop, or reverse footage. You can also use it to do things like create a freeze-frame result. Now you can remap all of the elements of the project at once.

A Time Remap property also appears under the layer name in the Timeline panel; this property lets you control which frame is displayed at a given point in time. The Layer panel provides a visual reference of the frames you change when you remap time.

It displays two time rulers: The time ruler at the bottom of the panel displays the current time. The Source Time ruler, just above the time ruler, has a remap-time marker that indicates which frame is playing at the current time. That will change as you remap time. This remaps time so that frame plays at The composition now runs at half-speed until , and at a regular speed thereafter.

In layer bar mode, in contrast, the time ruler represents only the horizontal time element, without a graphical display of changing values. The angle of the line is shallow up to , and then becomes steeper. The steeper the line, the faster the playback time. Using the Graph Editor to remap time When remapping time, you can use the values in the time-remap graph to determine and control which frame of the movie plays at which point in time. These initial Time Remap keyframes have vertical time values equal to their horizontal position.

Every time you add a Time Remap keyframe, you create another point at which you can change the playback speed or direction. As you move the keyframe up or down in the time-remap graph, you adjust which frame of the video is set to play at the current time.

Have some fun with the timing of this project. Watch the time ruler and Source Time ruler in the Layer panel to see which frames are playing at any given point in time. Having fun yet? Keep going. Ctrl or Command temporarily activates the Add Vertex tool. Now the animation progresses rapidly, holds for two seconds on the last frame, and then runs in reverse. If you drag it to the right, the transition is softer; if you drag it down or to the left, the transition is more pronounced.

Scaling the animation in time Finally, use the Graph Editor to scale the entire animation in time. The entire graph shifts, reducing the top keyframe values and slowing playback. If you press Alt Windows or Option Mac OS and drag one corner of the free-transform box, the animation is skewed in that corner as you drag. You can also drag one of the right transform handles to the left to scale the entire animation so that it happens more quickly.

It also preserves other features, such as adjustment layers and type. The pick whip is also a way to create parenting relationships. To use the pick whip, simply drag the pick whip icon from one property to another. When remapping time, you can use the values in the time-remap graph in the Graph Editor to determine and control which frame of the movie plays at which point in time. Use masks to control what appears. A mask consists of segments and vertices: Segments are the lines or curves that connect vertices.

A mask can be either an open or a closed path. An open path has a beginning point that is not the same as its end point; for example, a straight line is an open path. A closed path is continuous and has no beginning or end, such as a circle.

Closed-path masks can create transparent areas for a layer. Each layer can contain multiple masks. You can draw masks in common geometric shapes—including polygons, ellipses, and stars—with the shape tools, or you can use the Pen tool to draw an arbitrary path. Begin by previewing the movie and setting up the project. In this case, you can use the settings in the Interpret Footage dialog box to reinterpret your footage. To replace it with the news promo, you need to mask the screen.

You may need to use the Hand tool to reposition the view in the panel. The Pen tool creates straight lines or curved segments. When a circle appears next to the pointer as in the middle image below , click to close the mask path. So you need to invert the mask. Alternatively, you could change the mask mode, which is set to Add by default. About mask modes Blending modes for masks mask modes control how masks within a layer interact with one another.

By default, all masks are set to Add, which combines the transparency values of any masks that overlap on the same layer. Each additional mask that you create interacts with masks located above it in the Timeline panel. The results of mask modes vary depending on the modes set for the masks higher up in the Timeline panel. You can use mask modes only between masks in the same layer. Using mask modes, you can create complex mask shapes with multiple transparent areas. For example, you can set a mask mode that combines two masks and sets the opaque area to the areas where the two masks intersect.

Working with Masks There are two ways to invert this mask: by choosing Subtract from the Mask Mode pop-up menu, or by selecting the Inverted option.

The mask inverts. If you look closely at the monitor, you will probably see portions of the screen still appearing around the edges of the mask. Bezier curves give you the greatest control over the shape of the mask. With them, you can create straight lines with sharp angles, perfectly smooth curves, or a combination of the two. Selecting Mask 1 makes the mask active and also selects all the vertices. Press the G key multiple times to cycle through the Pen tools.

The Convert Vertex tool changes the corner vertices to smooth points. The angle and length of these handles control the shape of the mask. Notice how this changes this shape of the mask. You can also change the zoom level and use the Hand tool to reposition the image in the Composition panel as you work. Click the vertex. Drag the handle. Breaking direction handles By default, the direction handles of any smooth point are connected to one another.

As you drag one handle, the opposite handle moves as well. However, you can break this connection to get greater control over the shape of the mask, and you can create sharp points or long, smooth curves. The left direction handle remains stationary. Drag the right direction handle of the upper-left vertex, and then the left direction handle, to follow the curve of the monitor. If you need to shift a corner point, use the Selection tool. You should not see any of the monitor screen. You can drag the image with the Hand tool.

To temporarily switch to the Hand tool, press and hold the spacebar. Then click where you want to place the next vertex, and drag in the direction you want to create a curve. The white background allows you to see that the edge of the monitor screen looks a little too sharp and unrealistic. Replacing the content of the mask You are now ready to replace the background with the TV news promo movie and blend it with the overall shot.

The Position property for a 3D layer has three values: From left to right, they represent the x, y, and z axes of the image. The z axis controls the depth of the layer. You can see these axes represented in the Composition panel. The red arrow controls the x horizontal axis of the layer. Then drag up or down as necessary to position the clip vertically in the monitor screen.

Again, since this is a 3D layer, you can control rotation on the x, y, and z axes. This swivels the layer to match the perspective of the monitor. This aligns the layer with the monitor. Your composition should now resemble the preceding image. This time, you want to keep the area inside the mask opaque and make the area outside the mask transparent. Applying a blending mode To create unique interactions between layers, you may want to experiment with blending modes.

Blending modes control how each layer blends with, or reacts to, layers beneath it. This creates a hard glare on the monitor screen image and boosts the colors underneath. This exercise is optional. Material Options properties determine how a 3D layer interacts with light and shadow, both of which are important components of realism and perspective in 3D animation. This is often done to simulate light variations of a glass lens.

It creates an interesting look that focuses the attention on the subject and sets the shot apart. Adjust the shape and position using the Selection tool, if necessary. Using the Rectangle and Ellipse tools The Rectangle tool, as the name suggests, creates a rectangle or square. The Ellipse tool creates an ellipse or circle.

You create mask shapes with these tools by dragging them in the Composition or Layer panel. If you want to draw a perfect square or circle, press the Shift key as you drag with the Rectangle tool or the Ellipse tool.

Be careful! Even with this large feather amount, the vignette is a bit intense and constricting. You can give the composition more breathing room by adjusting the Mask Expansion property. The Mask Expansion property represents, in pixels, how far from the original mask edge you are expanding or contracting the adjusted edge.

When the point is selected, you can continue adding points. Working with Masks As you saw in this lesson, you can close a mask by clicking the starting vertex.

Warming it up will make the image really pop. Because Auto Levels adjusts each color channel individually, it may remove or introduce color casts. Sometimes video cameras favor a certain color channel that makes the image cooler bluer or warmer redder. In this lesson you have worked with the mask tools to hide, reveal, and adjust portions of a composition to create a stylized inset shot. Number List 2 Name two ways to adjust the shape of a mask. A mask consists of segments and vertices.

An additional tool, the Puppet Sketch tool, lets you record animation in real time. Shift-click to select the backdrop. Creating the composition As with any project, you need to create a new composition. The preset automatically sets the width, height, pixel aspect ratio, and frame rate for the composition.

The banana peel moves to the left side of the composition. Sometimes you can make your work easier by making some adjustments before animation. About the Puppet tools The Puppet tools turn raster and vector images into virtual marionettes. When you move the string of a marionette, the body part attached to that string moves; pull the string attached to the hand, and the hand goes up. The Puppet tools use pins to indicate where strings would be attached. These pins determine which parts of the image should move, which parts should remain rigid, and which parts should be in front when areas overlap.

If you add more pins anywhere in the timeline, they are placed based on the original position of the mesh. As soon as you place a pin, the area within an outline is automatically divided into a mesh of triangles.

Each part of the mesh is associated with the pixels of the image, so as the mesh moves, so do the pixels. When you animate a Deform pin, the mesh deforms more in the area closest to the pin, while keeping the overall shape as rigid as possible.

Where you place those pins and how you position them determine how the objects move on the screen. When you select the Puppet Pin tool, the Tools panel displays the Puppet tool options.

Pin the character according to his left and right, not yours! A yellow dot representing the Deform pin appears in the Composition panel. If at this point you were to use the Selection tool to move the Deform pin, the entire character would move with it. You need more pins to keep the other parts of the mesh in place.

Now you can move the right hand with the Selection tool. Each Deform pin is listed. This setting determines how many triangles are included in the mesh. Increasing the number of triangles results in a smoother animation, but also increases rendering time. To expand the mesh, increase the Expansion property in the options section of the Tools panel. The layer is also selected in the Composition panel, ready for you to edit.

Then, type Substrate. Each footage item, layer, and composition in a project has its own duration, which is reflected in the beginning and ending times displayed in the time rulers in the Composition, Layer, and Timeline panels. The way you view and specify time in After Effects depends on the display style, or unit of measure, that you use to describe time. Note that the figures are separated by semicolons in the After Effects interface, representing drop-frame timecode which adjusts for the real-time frame rate , but this book uses a colon to represent non-drop-frame timecode.

To learn when and how to change to another system of time display, such as frames or feet and frames of film, see After Effects Help. Press Shift after you start dragging to constrain the operation to the vertical axis. An orange diamond appears in the Position bar for the layer in the time graph, indicating the new keyframe. A keyframe marks the point in time where you specify a value, such as spatial position, opacity, or audio volume.

Values between keyframes are interpolated. When you use keyframes to create a change over time, you must use at least two keyframes—one for the state at the beginning of the change, and one for the state at the end of the change. Press Shift to constrain the drag operation to the vertical axis. Your final Position values should be approximately , The blue lines at the top, bottom, and sides of the Composition panel indicate title-safe and action-safe zones.

Television sets enlarge a video image and allow some portion of its outer edges to be cut off by the edge of the screen. This is known as overscan. The amount of overscan is not consistent between television sets, so you should keep important parts of a video image, such as action or titles, within margins called safe zones.

Keep your text inside the inner blue guides to ensure that it is in the title-safe zone, and keep important scene elements inside the outer blue guides to ensure that they are in the action-safe zone. Easing into and out of animations keeps the motion from appearing to be too sudden or robotic. As the text approaches its final position, it will ease to a smooth stop. The keyframe icon changes to an arrow. Applying an animation preset will bring it to life.

Remember, you can go to the time by dragging the current-time indicator or by clicking the Current Time field in the Timeline panel or Composition panel. The Effect Controls panel opens so that you can customize the Echo effect, which is a component of the animation preset. The default settings are fine for this project. After Effects provides several methods for previewing compositions, including standard preview, RAM preview, and manual preview.

For a list of manual preview controls, see After Effects Help. All three methods are accessible through the Preview panel, which appears on the right side of the application window in the Standard workspace.

Using standard preview Standard preview commonly called a spacebar preview plays the composition from the current-time indicator to the end of the composition. Standard previews usually play more slowly than real time. The number of frames played depends on the amount of RAM available to the application. In the Timeline panel, RAM preview plays either the span of time you specify as the work area, or from the beginning of the time ruler.

Before you preview, check which frames are designated as the work area. When all of the frames in the work area are cached, the RAM preview plays back in real time. You can control the amount of detail shown in either the standard or RAM preview by changing the resolution, magnification, and preview quality of your composition.

About OpenGL previews OpenGL provides high-quality previews that require less rendering time than other playback modes. It provides fast screen previewing of a composition without degrading resolution, which makes it a desirable preview option for many situations. When OpenGL does not support a feature, it simply creates a preview without using that feature. For example, if your layers contain shadows and your OpenGL hardware does not support shadows, the preview will not contain shadows. Complex compositions can require a large amount of memory to render, and the rendered movies can take a large amount of disk space to store.

Otherwise, you can just save it, and continue getting acquainted with the After Effects workspace. Customizing the workspace In the course of this project, you may have resized or repositioned some panels, or opened new ones. As you modify the workspace, After Effects saves those modifications, so the next time you open the project, the most recent version of the workspace is used.

You can save any workspace configuration, or use any of the preset workspaces that come with After Effects. These predefined workspaces are suitable for different types of workflows, such as animation or effects work. You can also change workspaces using the Workspace menu at the top of the window.

The Paint and Brushes panels open. The Composition panel is replaced by the Layer panel, for easy access to the tools and controls you need to paint in your compositions. If a project with a custom workspace is opened on a system other than the one on which it was created, After Effects looks for a workspace with a matching name.

Controlling the brightness of the user interface You can brighten or darken the After Effects user interface. Changing the brightness preference affects panels, windows, and dialog boxes. You can click Default to restore the default brightness setting. Finding resources for using After Effects For complete and up-to-date information about using After Effects panels, tools, and other application features, visit the Adobe website.

To search for information in After Effects Help and support documents, as well as other websites relevant to After Effects users, simply enter a search term in the Search Help box in the upperright corner of the application window. You can narrow the results to view only Adobe Help and support documents, as well. For additional resources, such as tips and techniques and the latest product information, check out the Adobe Community Help page at community.

For more up-to-date information, view the Help files online or download the current PDF for reference. You can easily obtain these updates through Adobe Updater, as long as you have an active Internet connection. The Adobe Updater automatically checks for updates available for your Adobe software. Select how often you want Adobe Updater to check for updates, for which applications, and whether to download them automatically.

Click OK to accept the new settings. Review answers 1 Most After Effects workflows include these steps: import and organize footage, create compositions and arrange layers, add effects, animate elements, preview your work, and export the final composition. An After Effects composition has both spatial dimensions and time. Compositions include one or more layers—video, audio, still images—arranged in the Composition panel and in the Timeline panel. A standard preview plays your composition from the current-time indicator to the end of the composition, usually more slowly than real time.

A RAM preview allocates enough RAM to play the preview with audio as fast as the system allows, up to the frame rate of the composition. You can drag panels to new locations, move panels into or out of groups, place panels alongside each other, and undock a panel so that it floats above the application window.

As you rearrange panels, the other panels resize automatically to fit the application window. In this lesson, you will continue to learn the basics of the Adobe After Effects project workflow. You will animate the newscast ID so that it fades to become a watermark that can appear in the lower-right corner of the screen during other TV programs.

You can use them to create great-looking animations quickly and easily. When you begin the lesson, restore the default application settings for After Effects. When asked whether you want to delete your preferences file, click OK. After Effects opens to display a blank, untitled project. However, After Effects also offers another, more powerful and flexible way to import footage for a composition: using Adobe Bridge.

You can use Adobe Bridge to organize, browse, and locate the assets you need to create content for print, the web, television, DVD, film, and mobile devices. You can drag assets into your layouts, projects, and compositions as needed; preview assets; and even add metadata file information to assets to make files easier to locate. In this exercise, you will jump to Adobe Bridge to import the still-image file that will serve as the background of your composition.

If you receive a message about adding an extension to Adobe Bridge, click OK. Adobe Bridge opens, displaying a collection of panels, menus, and buttons. Click the arrows to open nested folders. You can also double-click folder thumbnail icons in the Content panel. The Content panel updates interactively. Information about the file, including its creation date, bit depth, and file size, appears in the Metadata panel.

Alternatively, you can drag the thumbnail into the Project panel in After Effects. Adobe Bridge returns you to After Effects when you place the file. In Lesson 1, you created the composition based on footage items that were selected in the Project panel. You can also create an empty composition, and then add your footage items to it. This preset automatically sets the width, height, pixel aspect ratio, and frame rate for the composition to NTSC standards. The foreground object is a layered vector graphic that was created in Illustrator.

The Illustrator file is added to the Project panel as a composition named 5logo. A folder named 5logo Layers also appears. This folder contains the three individual layers of the Illustrator file. You should now see both the background image and the logo in the Composition panel and in the Timeline panel. The composition opens in its own Timeline and Composition panels. Leave all other options in the Character panel at their defaults.

Leave all other options in the Paragraph panel at their defaults. Notice that when you switch to the Selection tool, the generic Text 1 layer name in the Timeline panel changes to NEWS, the text you typed. This will apply the effect to all of the layers nested in the 5logo composition. Effects that are turned off do not appear in the Composition panel and typically are not included when the layer is previewed or rendered.

By default, when you apply an effect to a layer, the effect is active for the duration of the layer. However, you can make an effect start and stop at specific times, or make the effect more or less intense over time. However, when you apply an effect to an adjustment layer, the effect is applied to all layers below it in the Timeline panel.

Effects can also be saved, browsed, and applied as animation presets. The effect you create next will be applied only to the logo elements, and not to the background image of the bridge.

A soft-edged shadow appears behind the nested layers of the 5logo layer—the logo graphic, the rotated type, and the word news—in the Composition panel. You can set these values by clicking the field and typing the number, or by dragging the orange, underlined value. The drop shadow is nice, but the logo will stand out even more if you apply an emboss effect. Then, click the triangle next to Stylize to expand the category.

The Color Emboss effect sharpens the edges of objects in the layer without suppressing the original colors. You will learn several ways to animate text in Lesson 3. The text appears, letter by letter, until the word news is fully onscreen at To do this, you need to precompose the other three layers of the 5logo composition: rotated type, 5 logo, and crop area. Precomposing is a way to nest layers within a composition. Precomposing moves the layers to a new composition. This new composition takes the place of the selected layers.

When you want to change the order in which layer components are rendered, precomposing is a quick way to create intermediate levels of nesting in an existing hierarchy. Then, click OK. This new, precomposed layer contains the three layers that you selected in step 1. The Dissolve — Vapor animation preset includes three components—a master dissolve, a box blur, and a solid composite, all of which appear in the Effect Controls panel.

Press the spacebar to stop playback at any time. Adding transparency Many TV stations display logos semi-transparently in the corner of the frame to emphasize the brand. Click the stopwatch icon to set an Opacity keyframe at this location. After Effects adds a keyframe. When you place your composition in the render queue, it becomes a render item that uses the render settings assigned to it.

While After Effects renders the item, you are unable to work in the program. You will prepare this animation for two formats so that it can be used for broadcast purposes as well as on a website.

The Render Queue panel opens automatically. By default, After Effects uses lossless compression to encode the rendered composition into a movie file, which is fine for this project. However, you need to identify where to save the file. After Effects displays a progress bar in the Render Queue panel as it encodes the file, and issues an audio alert when all items in the Render Queue have been rendered and encoded.

For that purpose, you need to render and export the composition in SWF format. The SWF format is a widely used vector graphics and animation format for the web. It is a compact, binary format that can contain audio and vector objects. Before exporting to SWF, you need to adjust the composition a bit for online display. After Effects applies the new web-appropriate resolution— x pixels—to the composition. As a result, both the background and 5logo layers are about twice as big as the composition, which is now smaller, has a different aspect ratio, and has a different frame rate 15 fps.

So you need to reposition and resize the layers for the new output medium, including centering the logo in the composition. Nested layers are rasterized. This setting preserves image quality nicely but also reduces the file size somewhat.

Leave all other settings at their defaults, and then click OK. After Effects displays a progress bar as it renders the file and exports it to SWF format. When you locate the asset you want to use in an After Effects project, double-click it or drag it to the Project panel.

Precomposing moves the layers to a new composition, which takes the place of the selected layers. Adobe After Effects offers many ways to animate text. You can animate text layers by manually creating keyframes in the Timeline panel, using animation presets, or using expressions. You can even animate individual characters or words in a text layer. This lesson will take approximately 2 hours to complete. As you start the application, restore the default settings for After Effects. Importing the footage You need to import two footage items to begin this lesson.

This makes After Effects an incredibly powerful application for compositing and motion graphics work. Arrange the layers so that Lotus. Now, position and scale the Lotus. Because the two values are linked , changing one value automatically changes both.

The lotus moves to the lower-left corner of the composition, so that only a small amount of the flower is on the screen. About text layers In After Effects, you can add text to layers with flexibility and precision.

You can create and edit text directly on the screen in the Composition panel and quickly change the font, style, size, and color of the text. You can add horizontal or vertical text anywhere in a composition. The Tools, Character, and Paragraph panels contain a wide range of text controls. You can apply changes to individual characters and set formatting options for entire paragraphs, including alignment, justification, and word-wrapping. In addition to all of these style features, After Effects provides tools for easily animating specific characters and properties, such as text opacity and hue.

After Effects uses two types of text: point text and paragraph text. Use point text to enter a single word or a line of characters; use paragraph text to enter and format text as one or more paragraphs. You can apply effects and expressions to text layers, animate them, designate them as 3D layers, and edit the 3D text while viewing it in multiple views.

As with layers imported from Illustrator, text layers are continuously rasterized, so when you scale the layer or resize the text, it retains crisp, resolution-independent edges. The main differences between text layers and other layers are that you cannot open a text layer in its own Layer panel, and that you can animate the text in a text layer using special text animator properties and selectors.

The text you enter appears in a new text layer. The small line through the I-beam marks the position of the text baseline. Then, press Enter on the numeric keypad to exit text-editing mode and to select the text layer in the Composition panel. Or, select the layer name to exit text-editing mode.

Using the Character panel The Character panel provides options for formatting characters. If text is highlighted, changes you make in the Character panel affect only the highlighted text. If no text is highlighted and no text layers are selected, the changes you make in the Character panel become the new defaults for the next text entry.

Using the Paragraph panel Use the Paragraph panel to set options that apply to entire paragraphs, such as alignment, indentation, and leading. For point text, each line is a separate paragraph. You can use the Paragraph panel to set formatting options for a single paragraph, multiple paragraphs, or all paragraphs in a text layer.

This aligns horizontal text to the center of the layer, not to the center of the composition. This scales the layer to fit it to the width of the composition.

Now, you can position the text layer using a grid. Press Shift after you start dragging to constrain the movement and help you position the text. The easiest way to do that is to use one of the many animation presets that come with After Effects. After applying an animation preset, you can customize it and save it to use again in other projects. After Effects applies animation presets from the current time.

To help you choose the right animation preset for your projects, you can preview them in Adobe Bridge. Adobe Bridge opens and displays the contents of the After Effects Presets folder.

Adobe Bridge plays a sample of the animation in the Preview panel. After Effects applies the preset to the selected layer, which is the The Pond layer. Nothing appears to change in the composition. Previewing a range of frames Now, preview the animation. Although the composition is 10 seconds long, you only need to preview the first few seconds, which is where the text animation occurs. The letters appear to evaporate into the background.

It looks great—but you want the letters to fade in and remain onscreen, not disappear into the murky depths of the pond. So you will customize the preset to suit your needs. Customizing an animation preset After you apply an animation preset to a layer, all of its properties and keyframes are listed in the Timeline panel.

The Offset property specifies how much to offset the start and end of the selection. This command switches the order of the two Offset keyframes so that the letters are invisible at the beginning of the composition, and then emerge into view.

The letters now fade into rather than disappear from the composition. After Effects adds a new Scale keyframe at the current time. The scale animation ends shortly before The movie title fades in and then scales to a smaller size.

Animating Layers Lesson overview Getting started Importing the footage Creating the composition Simulating lighting changes Duplicating an animation using the pick whip Animating movement in the scenery Animating the sun Animating the birds Animating the clouds Previewing the animation Adjusting the layers and creating a track matte Precomposing layers Creating the track matte Adding motion blur Animating the shadows Adding a lens flare effect Animating the clock Rendering the animation Retiming the composition Viewing time remapping in the Graph Editor Using the Graph Editor to remap time Adding an Easy Ease Out Scaling the animation in time Review questions Review answers 7.

Working with Masks Lesson overview About masks Getting started Importing the footage Creating the composition Creating a mask with the Pen tool Editing a mask Inverting the mask Creating curved masks Breaking direction handles Feathering the edges of a mask Replacing the content of the mask Repositioning and resizing the news clip Rotating the clip Adding a reflection Applying a blending mode Creating a vignette Adjusting the color Review questions Review answers 8.

Distorting Objects with the Puppet Tools Lesson overview Getting started Importing footage Creating the composition Adding the background Scaling an object Adding the character About the Puppet tools Adding Deform pins Defining areas of overlap Stiffening an area Animating pin positions Creating a walking cycle Animating a slip Moving an object Recording animation Review questions Review answers 9. Keying Lesson overview About keying Getting started Creating compositions in Device Central Importing the footage Creating a composition for keying Changing the background color Adding the foreground subject Using garbage masks Creating a garbage mask Animating a garbage mask Applying the Color Difference Key effect Checking the alpha channel for errors Choking the matte Removing spill Adjusting contrast Adding the background animation Adding text Positioning the text Adding a drop shadow Animating text Duplicating the text Preparing the composition for mobile devices Review questions Review answers Working with Masks Lesson overview About masks Getting started Importing the footage Creating the composition Creating a mask with the Pen tool Editing a mask Inverting the mask Creating curved masks Breaking direction handles Feathering the edges of a mask Replacing the content of the mask Repositioning and resizing the news clip Rotating the clip Adding a reflection Applying a blending mode Creating a vignette Adjusting the color Review questions Review answers 8.

Distorting Objects with the Puppet Tools Lesson overview Getting started Importing footage Creating the composition Adding the background Scaling an object Adding the character About the Puppet tools Adding Deform pins Defining areas of overlap Stiffening an area Animating pin positions Creating a walking cycle Animating a slip Moving an object Recording animation Review questions Review answers 9.

Keying Lesson overview About keying Getting started Creating compositions in Device Central Importing the footage Creating a composition for keying Changing the background color Adding the foreground subject Using garbage masks Creating a garbage mask Animating a garbage mask Applying the Color Difference Key effect Checking the alpha channel for errors Choking the matte Removing spill Adjusting contrast Adding the background animation Adding text Positioning the text Adding a drop shadow Animating text Duplicating the text Preparing the composition for mobile devices Review questions Review answers Performing Color Correction Lesson overview Getting started Importing the footage Creating the composition Adjusting color balance Replacing the background Keying out an area with the Color Range effect Adding a new background Color-correcting the clouds Removing unwanted elements Correcting a range of colors Warming colors with the Photo Filter effect Review questions Review answers Using 3D Features Lesson overview Getting started Animating 3D objects Adding reflections to 3D objects Creating a simple reflection Adding an adjustment layer Animating a camera Adjusting layer timing Using 3D lights Creating a light layer Positioning the spotlight Adding an ambient light Animating lights Adding effects Adjusting the Material Options properties Adding a transition effect Adjusting the timing of the layers Adding motion blur Previewing the entire animation Review questions Review answers

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