Adobe After Effects Fundamentals 2

Working with Texts (6)

In this module, I will be learning about creating and editing text, formatting characters and paragraphs, and using the source text keyframe. Creating and editing texts is a simple start to manage the words or letter’s size, fill/stroke, or fonts. At the top left corner, you will see a “T” in the panel, which it will create a text for you and you can edit it by right panel. The text layers have a unique property called Source text. What it does is it allows you to keyframe text, which it’ll change the text over time. No other layer or asset has this property. By creating a text, you will hover over the disclosure triangle, of your text layer, clicking it and doing the same thing with text. You will see the source text and clicking the stopwatch next to it will bring up the keyframes. Instead of a diamond keyframe, it will add a square keyframe which is a hold keyframe. It is the only keyframe you can add while you’re working with source text and will hold it until you change its properties.

Working with Shapes (7)

In this module, I will be working on creating shapes with shape tools, using the pen tool, and creating shapes from paths and texts. There are two types of shapes, and that is Parametric and Bezier. Parametric means shapes created from the shape tool itself, located at the top left as a square, and Bezier means shapes created from the pen tool or a pasted path. With the shape tool, you can create different shapes by holding the icon and picking the desired shape. This goes the same with the pen tool, but this will help you create rather more irregular shapes. In the image above, you see a letter “R” along with the other shapes. That letter isn’t a regular text but a shape that is created from the text. To do this, you select the text layer, right click it, and clicking the “create shape from text” option. The same letter will appear as a shape layer. Creating shapes from paths is much more complex and it only applies from using photoshop or some other source. Nonetheless, when you open up an image, from photoshop for example, you copy the path of the image by clicking the layer and “marching ants” will appear around it. To copy it, hover over the path’s tab and at the bottom you click on the fifth icon to convert it into a work path. Once it is converted, ctrl/cmd C to copy the path and ,returning to After Effects, create a new shape layer and select the pen tool to actually add the shape to the layer. Open up shape, path, make sure that is active, and ctrl/cmd V to paste it. The shape you just copied from a different source will appear at the stage with current properties.

Introducing Video Effects (8)

In this module, I will be learning about applying video effects, animating the video effects properties, and presenting the effects. To apply an effect to a video, make sure a layer is selected and then you hover your mouse over the right side of the panels labeled “Effects and Presets.” You can always adjust your effects over its settings (by clicking the triangle) or apply any additional effects. By animating these applied effects, you set the keyframes over their effects layer. Set one keyframe at the start and then changing its properties on a different keyframe will generate a transition, almost as if it was moving when you move around the playhead.

Using Specialized effects and Layer Styles (9)

In this module, I will be learning about Keylight animation preset, using effects in adjustment layers, and applying and adjusting layer styles. Using Keylight animation preset is found at the effects and presets panel. The way how Keylight works is that you select a color by using the eye dropper and then that color will become transparent (this is how they edit with green screens). Applying effects on visible layers can be used to apply single set of effects to multiple clips in a sequence, create vignettes, present multiple “looks”, and following objects in motion. Adding effects for layers, or even text layers, can be applied by using the effects and presets panels over the right or clicking on Layer at the top of the panels and hovering layer styles. Effects can come in variety such as drop/inner shadow, outer/inner glow, satin, color overlay, or stroke. These are the basic styles, but hovering at the panel instead will help you find more specific styles.

Working in “Classic” 3D Space (10)

In this module, I will be learning how to work with lights, changing layer material options, controlling the camera, and using separate dimensions. To add light, you hover over layer (at the top left) and select new then light. You can also do this by hovering at layer panel and right click with the same steps. The light settings will appear and you can select the desired light types (such as parallel, spot, point, or ambient. Once you click Ok, a new layer will be formed. The light layer will have more options as you can also change the tensity (to make brighter or darker) or its color. I have also focused on the shadows and light transmission (light going through). By using Ray-traced 3D, it will help me show reflections to a surface. Adding shadows was already an option at the light setting (shadow darkness by default is 100 and shadow diffusion is 0 by default). To have a better view, clicking the active camera (in the middle above the layer panel) will give you the options to move the scene at a different angle to see the light/shadows. For a custom angle, holding C (shortcut for the camera) and moving around with the mouse until you let go of the mouse button to return back as selection tool.

Creating Specialized Text Animations (11)

In this module, I will be learning about text animation presets and fundamentals (much like “Working with Text” but with animation into it). At the start, you need to add a text (by doing so use the text tool on top left) and whether you need to change you font, stroke, or color (using the panel at the right). Once you typed in some words, you will see a “Animate” with a play button next to it in the layers panel. When you click on it, it will give options on what you can animate (such as opacity, scale, or fill color). As you make changes with your text (if you click on Animator 1), a red line with triangles attached to them will appear. This indicates the start and the end of the range. Let’s say that if it was originally black and you changed it to red, moving the lines will convert that text into black again.

Exporting (rendering) a Comp (12)

In this module (final), I will be learning on exporting (rendering) a composition on different methods. There is a difference of saving a comp vs. rendering a comp. If you only save it, it won’t export at all but will update all changes made and you can work on it later (to do so, click on file, save as, and save as again). You only render the comp if you are completely finish with it and others can see your video. There are two ways to render, one is Render Queue and the other is the Adobe Media Encoder. On the Render Queue, the easiest way to render is by clicking the comp to make it active (it won’t render if it’s inactivated) and hover over composition (top left), click on add to Render Queue. Use the Quicktime file format and then go over the format options. The best codec to choose, for beginners, is H.264 then you click OK. You then click on render, which is at the right side, and wait until it is done (for a 10 sec video, it will take 25 sec to render which is much quicker and has less space than using it on AVI file). On the Adobe Media Encoder, you click on add to Adobe Media Encoder, instead of add to Render Queue, and it will open up Media Encoder CC. This software can run in the background, so you can work back to back. It is similar to Render Queue except it has many more options. First you need to choose a format (H.264 is the default). Then choosing the present within that format (Match source- High vibrate is the default) and finally picking a file name and file folder location. You will click on the link next to it and go to Desktop, Courses file folder, change the name (if you want) and then Save. To start rendering, click on the little green play button located at your top right corner. Once it is done rendering, it will gray out and a massage will appear if you click on it. You click on Yes on the message and the file will be located at your folders. Both files of Queue and Encoder are located at the Course files (or the files you decided to locate).

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