ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS CS5 VISUAL EFFECTS AND COMPOSITING By Mark Christiansen *VG* | eBay
The slider at the bottom of the Timeline panel zooms in and out more selectively. It can be annoying that the work area controls both preview and render frame ranges because the two are often used independent of one another. The scroll wheel moves you up and down the layer stack. Shift-scroll moves left and right in a zoomed Timeline panel view. Alt-scroll Opt-scroll zooms dynamically in and out of the Timeline panel, remaining focused around the cursor location.
Hold down the Shift key as you drag the current time indicator to snap the current time to composition or layer markers or visible keyframes. The Comp Marker Bin contains markers you can drag out into the Timeline panel ruler. You can replace their sequential numbers with names.
X scrolls the topmost selected layer to the top of the Timeline panel. There are keyboard shortcuts to each Transform property. For a standard 2D layer these are. A for Anchor Point, the center pivot of the layer. P for Position, by default the center of the composition. S for Scale in percent of source. R for Rotation in revolutions and degrees. This keeps only what you need in front of you.
A 3D layer reveals four individual properties under Rotation to allow full animation on all axes. There are selection tools to correspond to perform Transform adjustments directly in the viewer:. V activates the Selection tool, which also moves and scales in a view panel.
Y switches to the Pan-Behind tool, which moves the anchor point. Quite the sense of humor on that After Effects team. There is no option to see them together.
Below the grid that appears in place of the layer stack are the Graph Editor controls Figure 2. Show Properties By default, if nothing is selected, nothing displays in the graph; what you see depends on the settings in the Show Properties menu. Three toggles in this menu control how animation curves are displayed in the graph:. Show Selected Properties displays whatever animation property names are highlighted. To work in the Graph Editor without worrying about what is selected, disable Show Selected Properties and enable the other two.
Show Animated Properties shows everything with keyframes or expressions. You decide which curves need to appear, activate their Graph Editor Set toggle, and after that it no longer matters whether you keep them selected. To begin the bouncing ball animation, include Position in the Graph Editor Set by toggling its icon. Basic Animation and the Graph View Figure 2. To get to this point, do the following:. At frame 24, move the ball off the right of the frame, creating a second keyframe.
Now add the bounces: At frames 6 and 18 move the ball straight downward so it touches the bottom of the frame. Also, the default Graph Editor view at this point is not very helpful, because it displays the speed graph, and the speed of the layer is completely steady at this point—deliberately so, in fact. To get the view shown in Figure 2. This is a toggle even advanced users miss, although it 48 I: Working Foundations is now on by default.
In addition to the not-very-helpful speed graph you now see the value graph in its X red and Y green values. However, the green values appear upsidedown! Auto Select Graph Type selects speed graphs for spatial properties and value graphs for all others.
For this purpose After Effects offers the automated Easy Ease functions, although you can also create or adjust eases by hand in the Graph Editor.
Fix this in the Composition viewer by pulling Bezier handles out of each of the keyframes you just eased: 1. Deselect all keyframes but leave the layer selected. Switch to the Pen tool with the G key; in the Composi- tion viewer, drag from the highlighted keyframe to the right, creating a horizontal Bezier handle. Stop before crossing the second keyframe.
Why is that? The red X graph shows an unsteady horizontal motion due to the eases. The problem is that the eases should be applied only to the vertical Y dimension, whereas the X animation travels at a constant rate.
This allows you to add keyframes for one dimension only at a 50 I: Working Foundations Figure 2. Select Position and click Separate Dimensions. Now try the following: 1. Select the middle three X Position keyframes—you can draw a selection box around them—and delete them. Now take a look in the Composition viewer—the motion is back to linear, although the temporal eases remain on the Y axis. Not only that, but you cannot redraw them as you did before; enabling Separate Dimensions removes this ability.
Instead, you can create them in the Graph Editor itself. Show Graph Tool Tips displays values of whatever curve is under the mouse at that exact point in time. The transform box lets you edit keyframe values in all kinds of tricky or even wacky ways.
Toggle on Show Transform Box and select more than one keyframe, and a white box with vertices surrounds the selected frames. Drag the handle at the right side to the left or right to change overall timing; the keyframes remain proportionally arranged. So, does the transform box help in this case? Well, it could, if you needed to. Frames is on Add the Alt Opt key when dragging a corner of the transform box; this adjustment diminishes the height of the ball bounces proportionally over time.
Drag all keyframes from the one at the top of the middle arc forward in time a second or two. Copy and paste that mid-arc keyframe adding one for any other animated properties or dimensions at that point in time back to the original keyframe location, and toggle it to a Hold keyframe Figure 2.
You can control a Bezier motion path in the Composition viewer using the Pen tool usage detailed in the next chapter. Realistic motion often requires that you shape the motion path Beziers and add temporal eases; the two actions are performed independently on any given keyframe, and in two different places in the viewer and Timeline panel. Animation can get a little trickier in 3D, but the same basic rules apply see Chapter 9 for more.
Three preset keyframe transition types are available, each with a shortcut at the bottom of the Graph Editor: Hold , Linear , and Auto Bezier. Adjust the handles or apply Easy Ease and the preset becomes a custom Bezier shape. Copy and Paste Animations Yes, copy and paste; everyone knows how to do it.
Once done, copy and paste the data back into After Effects. Copy a set of keyframes from After Effects and paste them into an Excel spreadsheet or even an ordinary text editor, and behold the After Effects keyframe format, ready for hacking. You can paste from one property to another, so long as the format matches the units and number of parameters. Copy the source, highlight the target, and paste. This is the situation for which Roving keyframes were devised.
You may not want to bounce a ball, but the technique works with any complex animation, and it maintains eases on the start and end frame. Pay close attention to the current time and what is selected when copying, in particular, and when pasting animation data.
Layer vs. Graph To summarize the distinction between layer bar mode and the Graph Editor, with layers you can. However, when you scale a set of keyframes using the transform box, keyframes will often fall in between frames whether or not this option is enabled. Timeline Panel Shortcuts The following keyboard shortcuts have broad usage when applied with layers selected in the Timeline panel:. U toggles all properties with keyframes or expressions applied.
UU U twice in quick succession toggles all properties set to any value besides the default; or every property in the Timeline panel that has been edited. E toggles all applied effects. EE toggles all applied expressions. You 56 I: Working Foundations want all the changes applied to masks and transforms, not effects?
Lose the masks? But UU—now that is a full-on problem-solving tool all by itself. It allows you to quickly investigate what has been edited on a given layer, is helpful when troubleshooting your own layer settings, and is nearly priceless when investigating an unfamiliar project. Highlight all the layers of a composition and press UU to reveal all edits.
Enable Switches, Modes, Parent, and Stretch columns, and you see everything in a composition, with the exception of. You have to see it to believe it: a nodal interface in After Effects Figure 2. The gray nodes are compositions, the red source clips, and the yellow is an effect, but there is no way to apply or adjust an effect in this view.
Its usage has largely been superseded by the new Miniflow bottom , which focuses interactively on the current composition. This view shows how objects layers, compositions, and effects are used, and in what relationship to one another. Click Property Name to select all keyframes for a property.
Ctrl-click Cmd-click an effect stopwatch to set a keyframe. Read on; you are not a keyframe Jedi—yet. With multiple keyframes selected you can also. Keyframe multiselection in standard Layer view but not Graph Editor is inconsistent with the rest of the application: you Shift-click to add or subtract a single frame from a group.
Ctrl-clicking Cmdclicking on a keyframe converts it to Auto-Bezier mode. Spatial Offsets 3D animators are familiar with the idea that every object or layer has a pivot point. After Effects is generally designed to preserve the appearance of the composition when you are merely setting up animation, toggling 3D on, and so forth.
Therefore, editing an anchor point position with the Pan Behind tool triggers the inverse offset to the Position property. Parent a layer to another layer and the child layer maintains its relative position until you further animate either of them. Those shortcuts are a handful; context-clicking the layer for the Transform menu is nearly as easy. The Position offset is for that frame only, however, so if there are Position keyframes, the layer may appear offset on other frames if you drag the anchor point this way.
To reposition the anchor point without changing Position:. Change the anchor point value in the Timeline panel. Use the Pan Behind tool in the Layer panel instead. Hold the Alt Opt key as you drag with the Pan Behind tool. Any of these options lets you reposition the anchor point without messing up an animation by changing one of the Position keyframes. You can also animate the anchor point, of course; this allows you to rotate as you pan around an image while keeping the view centered.
For the bouncing ball, you could move the anchor point to the base of the layer to add a little cartoonish squash and stretch, scaling Y down at the impact points. Parenting remains valid even if the parent layer moves, is duplicated, or changes its name. A parent and all of its children can be selected by context-clicking the parent layer and choosing Select Children. Parenting can be removed by choosing None from the Parent menu. You probably knew all of that.
You might not know what happens when you add the Alt Opt key to Parent settings:. Hold Alt Opt as you select the None option and the layer reverts to the Transform values it had before being parented otherwise the offset at the time None is selected remains. Hold Alt Opt as you select a Parent layer and its Transform data at the current frame is applied to the child layer prior to parenting.
This last point is a very cool and easily missed method for arraying layers automatically. It behaves like the Duplicate and Offset option in Illustrator Figure 2.
The trick is to create the first layer, duplicate, and offset; now you have two. Repeat this last step with as many layers as you need; each one repeats the offset. Motion Blur Blurred Vision Motion blur occurs in your natural vision, although you might not realize it—stare at a ceiling fan in motion, and then try following an individual blade around instead and you will notice a dramatic difference.
There is a trend in recent years to use extremely high-speed electronic shutters, which drastically reduce motion blur. It is the natural result of movement that occurs while a camera shutter is open, causing objects in the image to be recorded at every point from the shutter opening to closing.
The movement can be from individual objects or the camera itself. Although it essentially smears layers in a composition, motion blur is generally desirable; it adds to persistence of vision and relaxes the eye. Aesthetically, it can be quite beautiful. The idea with motion blur in a realistic visual effects shot is usually to match the amount of blur in the source shot, assuming you have a reference; if you lack visual reference, a camera report can also help you set this correctly.
Any moving picture camera has a shutter speed setting that determines the amount of motion blur. Shutter Angle controls shutter speed, and thus the amount of blur. Any changes you make here stick and are passed along to the next composition, or even the next project, until you change them. Shutter Phase determines at what point the shutter opens.
Samples Per Frame applies to 3D motion blur and Shape layers; it sets the number of slices in time samples , and thus, smoothness. Adaptive Sample Limit applies only to 2D motion blur, which automatically uses as many samples as are needed up to this limit Figure 2. The reason for the difference is simply performance; 3D blur is costlier, but like many settings it is conservative.
Unless your machine is ancient, boost the number; the boosted setting will stay as a preference. In this abstraction the dark gray hemi-circular shutter spins to alternately expose and occlude the aperture, the circular opening in the light gray plate behind it. The angle corresponds to the radius of the open section—the wedge of the whole pie that exposes the frame Figure 2. Electronic shutters are variable but refer to shutter angle as a benchmark; they can operate down in the single digits or close to a full mechanically impossible degrees.
After Effects motion blur goes to degrees simply because sometimes mathematical accuracy is not the name of the game, and you want more than degrees. Shutter Phase determines how the shutter opens relative to the frame, which covers a given fraction of a second beginning at a given point in time. If the shutter is set to 0, it I: Working Foundations Figure 2.
The default —90 Shutter Phase setting with a degree shutter angle causes half the blur to occur before the frame so that blur extends in both directions from the current position. Otherwise, the track itself appears offset when motion blur is enabled. Enhancement Easier Than Elimination Although software may one day be developed to resolve a blurred image back to sharp detail, it is much, much harder to sharpen a blurred image elegantly than it is to add blur to a sharp image.
Motion blur comes for free when you keyframe motion in After Effects; what about when there is motion but no blur and no keyframes, as can be the case in pre-existing footage? Directional Blur, which can mimic the blur of layers moving in some uniform X and Y direction. Radial Blur, which can mimic motion in Z depth or spin. Timewarp, which can add motion blur without any retiming whatsoever Yes, you read that last one correctly. You can retime footage or mix and match speeds and timing using a variety of methods.
Absolute Not Relative Time After Effects measures time in absolute seconds, rather than frames, whose timing and number are relative to the number per second. Think of a musician playing 3 against 4; one second in After Effects is something like the downbeat. Enable Frame Blend for the layer and the composition, and After Effects averages the adjacent frames together to create a new image on frames that fall in between the source frames.
Frame Mix mode overlays adjoining frames, essentially blurring them together. The same underlying technology is also used in Furnace plug-ins for Shake, Flame, and Nuke.
Confusingly, the icons for these modes are the same as Draft and Best layer quality, respectively Figure 2. Pixel Motion can often appear too blurry, too distorted, or contain too many noticeable frame artifacts, in which case you can move back to Frame Mix, or move up to the Timewarp effect, with greater control of the same technology later in this chapter.
Nested Compositions Figure 2. If you put a composition with a lower frame rate into a master composition, the intention may be to keep the frame rate of the embedded composition. This forces After Effects to use only whole frame increments in the underlying composition, just as if the composition were pre-rendered with that frame rate. Posterize Time often breaks preceding effects. To get the last visible frame you must often add a keyframe on the penultimate frame.
The philosophy is elusively simple: A given point in time has a value, just like any other property, so it can be keyframed, including eases and even loops — it operates like any other animation data. Pixel Motion is an automated setting described earlier, and Timewarp builds this up by adding a set of effect controls that allow you to tweak the result.
Individual, automated motion vectors describe how each pixel moves from frame to frame. With this accurate analysis it is then possible to generate an image made up of those same pixels, interpolated along those vectors, with different timing. The result is new frames that appear as if in between the original frames. When it works, it has to be seen to be believed. Timewarp with the same Pixel Motion method. All methods can be used to speed up or slow down footage, but only Time Remapping and Timewarp dynamically animate the timing with keyframes.
Time Remapping keyframes can even be transferred directly to Timewarp, but it requires an expression see note because Timewarp uses frames and Time Remapping seconds. Timewarp is worth any extra trouble in several ways:. It can be applied to a composition, not just footage. It includes the option to add motion blur with the Enable Motion Blur toggle.
To apply Timewarp to the footage, enable Time Remapping and extend the length of the layer when slowing footage down—otherwise you will run out of frames. Leave Time Remapping with keyframes at the default positions and Timewarp will override it. This helps eliminate or reduce motion errors where the foreground and background move differently.
You can even further adjust the reference layer and precomp it for example, enhancing contrast or luminance to give Timewarp a cleaner source , and then apply this precomposed layer as a Warp Layer—it then analyzes with the adjustments but applies the result to the untouched source.
These tools make use of Local Motion Estimation LME technology, which is thoroughly documented in the Furnace User Guide, if you ever want to fully nerd out on the details. Here are a few tweaks you can try on this footage, or your own:.
Not only does a higher number drastically increase render time, it simply increases or at best shifts artifacts with fast motion. This is because it is analyzing too much detail with not enough areas to average in. Smoothing relates directly to Vector Detail. The Foundry claims that the defaults, which are balanced, 71 Chapter 2 The Timeline work best for most sequences.
You can raise Global Smoothness all vectors , Local Smoothness individual vectors , and Smoothing Iterations in order to combat detail noise, but again, in this case it changes artifacting rather than solving it. Build From One Image helps quite a bit in a case like this—instead of trying to blend two nonmatching sets of pixels, Timewarp favors one of them. The best fix is to rotoscope to separate these areas from the background. Error Threshold evaluates each vector before letting it contribute; raise this value and more vectors are eliminated for having too much perceived error.
Block Size determines the width and height of the area each vector tracks; as with Smoothing, lower values generate more noise, higher values result in less detail. Weighting lets you control how much a given color channel is factored. If one channel is particularly noisy—usually blue—you can lower its setting. Filtering applies to the render, not the analysis; it increases the sharpness of the result. The biggest thing you could do overall to improve results with a clip like sk8rboi is to use Roto Brush see Chapter 7 to separate out each moving element—the van, skater, and background.
A demo can be found on the disc. Did you notice back in the Motion Blur section that Timewarp can be used to generate procedural motion blur without retiming footage Figure 2.
Timewarp can add motion blur to speed up footage; it can even add motion blur to footage with no speed-up at all, in either case using the same optical flow technology that tracks individual pixels. It looks fabulous. Some computer graphics artists are also natural animators; others never really take to it.
The exercises in this chapter could tell you in an hour or two which camp you fall into, and along the way, cover just about every major Timeline panel animation tool. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality. If compositing were simply a question of taking pristine, perfect foreground source A and overlaying it onto perfectly matching background plate B, there would be no compositor in the effects process; an editor could accomplish the job before lunchtime.
Often, it is one element, one frame, or one area of a shot that needs special attention. By the clever use of selections, a compositor can save the shot by taking control of it. This chapter focuses on how a layer merges with those behind it.
Chapter 6 goes into depth about these processes; for now, this overview offers a basic working understanding. Figure 3. After Effects 77 Chapter 3 Selections: The Key to Compositing itself can, of course, also create alpha and transparency channels in rendered images Figure 3. The built-in assumption of unmultiplied edge pixels can, in some cases, make life more difficult should things not go as planned. After Effects assumes also unique from other compositing apps that edge premultiplication is automatically removed before image combination or manipulation is begun.
Internally then, all alphas in After Effects are processed as straight see Chapter 1 for a review of how interpretation is determined on import. Mask A mask in After Effects is a shape made up of points and vectors Figure 3. I: Working Foundations There are also now several automated methods Figure 3. Roto Brush—this much talked-about feature added to After Effects CS5 can automatically generate and track an animated mask.
The advantages are that it works well and can be automatically tracked; however, it is far from perfect and the result is its own effect-based selection instead of a standard After Effects mask. It is capable of automatically generating a mask that can include per-vertex feathering in many but by no means all situations. Mocha shape is also an effect-based selection tool incompatible with the standard After Effects mask.
More on this in Chapters 7 and 8. This offers most of the advantages of mocha shape other than per-vertex feathering , and because it is applied as mask data it integrates with all of the many effects and plug-ins that rely on selections in that format.
They are essential to re-create the phenomena of real-world optics. You can, of course, use selections combined with blending modes to get the best of both worlds. Blending modes— which to ignore, which are essential, and how to use them—are discussed in depth later in this chapter. Some even generate images from scratch that may include an alpha channel Figure 3. Combined Selection Techniques An ordinary effects shot may use more than one, or even all, of the above techniques.
Suppose you have greenscreen footage say a stylish Ford GT40 and want to replace the number on the side. The art is in knowing which approach to apply in a given situation, and for this there is no substitute for knowledge of how they operate. The foreground pixel values are first multiplied by the percentage of transparency, which, if not fully opaque, reduces their value.
Expressed as a formula, it looks like What exactly is happening in a simple A over B composite? In After Effects, it seems nearly as natural as laying one object on top of another does in the real world. In most other compositing applications even A over B is an individualized compositing operation, and that is closer to the truth—a truth that After Effects obscures in order to make the process easier.
Not only that, but there is more to what is going on than might be obvious, because of the phenomena of optics. The four stages of image gathering and viewing—the physical world itself, camera optics, human vision, and the display device and its environment—exhibit phenomena that are interdependent.
With real RGB pixel data of R: , G: , B: in the foreground and R: 80, G: 94, B: 47 in the background, calculating only one edge pixel would look like As a compositor, you are not supposed to re-create actual reality, but instead the way the camera and the eye gathers visual data from the world. This affects something even so fundamental as how the edges of objects should look in order for the eye to accept them as believable.
Other effects compositing programs, such as Nuke or Shake, do not take this operation for granted the way that After Effects and Photoshop do. This is not a disadvantage of After Effects—it actually makes basic compositing simpler and faster— but it can obscure important related details such as edge pixel premultiplication detailed later in this chapter. This is the type of selection generated by the old Magic Wand tool in Photoshop.
You can feather or blur the resulting edge, but the initial selection contains no semitransparent pixels. This type of selection may have an occasional use, but it truly belongs to the world of primitive computers, not complex nature or optics. An edge made up of pixels that are either fully opaque or invisible cannot describe a curve or angle smoothly, and even a straight line looks unnatural in a natural image if it completely lacks edge thresholding Figure 3.
Transparent foreground objects transmit light, and After Effects is designed to mimic the way they behave when layered together. Take two identical layers, with no alpha or transparency information for either layer.
No expense is spared bringing you these real-world simulations. This is how overlapping opacity is calculated in After Effects. After Effects has a persistent concept of the alpha channel as part of every image, and this channel is always expected to be unmultiplied within After Effects, whether it originated that way or not.
Any color multiplied into edge pixels is to be removed upon import in the Alpha section of the Interpret Footage dialog , and reintroduced only on output. Provided those Alpha settings are correct, this works surprisingly well. At some point, however, you may need to better understand how to take control of edge multiplication within After Effects. Premultiplication Illustrated Premultiplication exists for one reason only: so that rendered images have realistic, anti-aliased edges before they are composited.
How Edge Multiplication Works Imagine the background value to be 0,0,0 or solid black; an edge pixel is multiplied by 0 making it pure black and then added back to the source, in proportion to the amount of transparency in the alpha channel pixel. Removing edge multiplication with the Premultiplied setting subtracts this extra black from those edge pixels. The Video Output section of the Output Module settings for items in the Render Queue includes a menu to specify whether you render with Straight or Premultiplied alpha; by default, it is set to Premultiplied.
After Effects attempts to guess not only the setting but the background color of a premultiplied image; generally this is black or white, but watch out for situations where a 3D artist has become creative and rendered against canary yellow or powder blue.
Back in Chapter 1, Figure 1. A misinterpreted alpha either fails to remove the background color from the edge pixels or does the opposite, removing shading that should actually be present. This does not indicate some bug in After Effects, but rather a mystery you must solve.
There are two basic ways it can occur:. An alpha channel is misinterpreted in Interpret Footage. Edge multiplication can materialize within After Effects, probably unintentionally, when a matte is applied to a layer that has already been comped against black.
This is confusing, as it seems as if After Effects has already guessed, when it has not: It is merely using whatever was set the previous time. I: Working Foundations Ideally you will work on a project whose images are consistent in terms of edge multiplication and background color ; in that case, you can set an Import preference.
Solve the Problem Internally The really gnarly fact is that premultiplication errors can be introduced within a composition, typically by applying a matte to footage that is already somehow blended— multiplied—with a background.
If you see fringing in your edges, you can try the Remove Color Matting effect Figure 3. This effect has one setting only, for background color, because all it does is apply the unpremultiply calculation the antidote to premultiplication in the same manner that it would be applied in Interpret Footage. Remove Color Matting, with Color set to pure white, corrects the problem bottom , but only when applied to a precomp of the image and matte.
An even better option in cases where you have an element against black and no alpha channel is to use the Channel Combiner effect, with Max RGB as the From value and Alpha Only as the To value.
Follow this with the Remove Color Matting effect. This one-two punch uses black areas of the image to create transparency and removes the multiplied black from the resulting transparent pixels. Mask Modes Shape layers are directly related to masks; they are drawn with the same tools. If a layer that can receive a mask is selected, then After Effects draws a mask; otherwise, it creates a new Shape layer.
These are vector shapes that you draw by hand, and they are the fundamental method used to hand-animate a selection. You can draw a mask in either the Composition or Layer viewer. In Layer viewer the source image persists in its default view; there is a Render toggle next to the Masks selection in the View menu to disable all mask selections. This allows you to examine the selection in situ, but it conceals anything you might have missed.
If the layer is rotated in 3D space, the mask shape is also rotated. Shift-drag on a corner to scale the mask proportionally. Shift-drag an outside corner to snap rotation to degree increments.
Shift-drag anywhere else to transform on one axis only. The property disappears. Now enter MM for a humorous reference to Season 3, Episode Bezier Masks By default, the Pen tool creates Bezier shapes; learn the keyboard shortcuts and you can fully edit a mask without ever clicking anywhere except right on the mask. Or, as a point is drawn, it is possible to. Shift-hold and drag to move the vertex.
This includes all settings from the Timeline as well as Motion Blur settings just for the mask optionally separate from the Layer. The Mask and Shape Path submenu contains special options to close an open shape, set First Vertex more on this later in this chapter and toggle RotoBeziers Chapter 7. The same tools can be used to draw either a mask or a Shape layer.
Create a star, polygon, or rounded rectangle as a mask and its vertices can be edited as normal Beziers. Shapes offer a different type of control in the Timeline over properties such as number of points and inner and outer roundness.
Shapes display with two optional characteristics: Fill and Stroke. With a shape active, Alt-click Opt-click on Fill and Stroke in the toolbar to cycle through the options also available in the Timeline.
Shapes can be instanced and repeated in 2D space; Alt-drag Opt-drag to duplicate as in Illustrator or use a Repeater operation to instance and array a shape. Consider shapes when you need a repeatable pattern of some type, as in Figure 3. Using the Repeater, you only have to adjust a single shape to edit all instances of it and how it is arrayed. For the time being, there is no option to array shapes in 3D.
The sprocket holes in this film were made with a Rounded Corner shape and a Repeater. I even added an Inner Shadow Layer Style to give a little feeling of depth and dimension. Combine Selections By default, all masks are drawn in Add mode, meaning that the contents of the mask are added to the layer selection and the area outside all of the masks is excluded.
The Add mode masks contents to the image as a whole Figure 3. Subtract masks contents from displayed areas of the image Figure 3. Intersect masks contents to show only areas overlapping with masks higher in the stack Figure 3.
Difference masks contents to hide areas overlapping with masks higher in the stack Figure 3. None disables the mask Figure 3. Enable it. I: Working Foundations Figure 3. It will behave as it should if you set another full-frame mask at the default Add mode just double-click the rectangle mask , then add the Subtract mask as the second or later. To keep multiple masks organized. Chapter 7 demonstrates how effective rotoscoping involves multiple simple masks used in combination instead of one big complex mask.
These modes should be applied to the masks that are below overlapping masks in the stack in order to work. It prevents two masks from building up density as in Intersect mode right. It prevents two masks from building up density as in Add mode right. Just as the name implies, the Alpha Add blending mode directly adds transparent pixels, instead of scaling them proportionally Figure 3.
You can cut out a piece of a layer, feather the matte, and apply the inverted feathered matte to the rest of the layer. Recombine them with Alpha Add applied to the top layer, and the seam disappears. Alpha Add does just what the title implies, adding the alpha values together directly bottom right. Mask movement can be eased temporally, but there are no spatial curves; each mask point travels in a completely linear fashion from one keyframe to the next. An arced motion requires many more keyframes.
It works not just for Mask Shape keys but for any keyframed property. This means it can be used, for example, to correct a drifting track. You can only adjust a mask point on one keyframe at a time, even if you select multiple Mask Path keyframes before adjusting. If you must arc or offset the motion of an entire mask animation, one workaround is to duplicate the masked layer and use it as an alpha track matte for the source layer, then keyframe the track matte like any animated layer.
To draw an entirely new shape for an existing, keyframed mask path, use the Target menu along the bottom of the Layer panel to choose the existing mask as a target, and start drawing.
At the top is the Tools panel, which can be hidden but only appears atop the application window and thus has no tab. I call these out here to be done identifying them and to reassure you that this, along with a bunch of menus and a bunch more twirly arrows, is all there is to the After Effects user interface. All available panels in After Effects are listed under the Window menu; the most common include preset keyboard shortcuts.
Use these as toggles to keep your workspace clutter-free. Two of the most important three panels in After Effects are. The Composition panel, a viewer where you examine a shot. The Timeline panel, the true heart of After Effects, where elements are layered and timed for individual compositions or shots. You will typically have many of these open at any given time. Prefer your workspace customizations to the defaults?
Choose New Workspace in the Workspace menu and enter an existing name to overwrite it; now After Effects will reset to your customized version. At some point even a Zen roshi will assumedly need at least two more panels. Save the Workspace under the same menu. Figure 1. Dropping on the center or along the top has an identical result. To do so, click and drag its tab around the screen.
As you move one panel over another, purple geometric shapes like those in Figure 1. These are the drop zones. The docking I: Working Foundations zones along the edges let you place a panel adjacent— for example, to the left of the Composition panel. The grouping zones in the center group panels together in one frame. Drag a panel to one edge of the application window and aqua colored bands appear along the edge; when dropped the panel will occupy that entire side. Double-arrow icons appear when you move the cursor between two or more panel groups, allowing you to resize adjacent panels.
Which is best for After Effects, one big monitor or two smaller ones? I think the jury is somewhat out—my studio currently includes both setups, and although most artists are used to a pair of 24″ screens, many prefer a single 30″.
Press it again and even the top menu bar toggles off, filling the entire screen. You can also doubleclick in an empty area of the Project panel. I strongly advocate working with a sequence instead of QuickTime in production for the following reasons:. An image sequence is less fragile than a QuickTime movie; if there is a bad frame in a sequence, it can be replaced, but it will corrupt an entire movie. You can interrupt and restart an image sequence render without then having to splice together multiple movies.
Unfortunately, none of the Adobe applications in particular, Bridge, which should know better has ever become smart about recognizing sequences. Things get more complicated if you are dealing with multiple image sequences in a single folder.
By holding the Shift or Ctrl Cmd key as you select more than one frame, however, you can. Specify a subset of frames to be imported instead of an entire a sequence. Select frames from more than one sequence in the same folder; a Multiple Sequences checkbox appears to make certain this is really what you want to do. Waiting for a long 3D render? Render the first and last 3D frames only, with their correct final sequence numbers, and import them using the Import dialog with Force Alphabetical Order unchecked.
You now have a placeholder of the correct length that is fully set up as soon as the file is rendered. The Force Alphabetical Order checkbox in the Import dialog is for cases where the frame does not increment by 1.
Want to be rehired repeatedly as a freelancer or be the hero on your project? An ordinary project can be set up like the one shown in Figure 1. Once you have a structure you like, you can reuse it. Chapter 4 says more about how you might design it. Chapter 4 offers suggestions. Context-Clicks and Keyboard Shortcuts Stay away from the bar—the top menu bar, that is. I often refer to context-clicking on interface items.
Context-click a layer in the Timeline for access to the full Layer menu, minus a few less useful items, such as the Adobe Encore submenu, and with killer additions such as Reveal Layer Source in Project and Reveal Expression Errors. Context-click on a layer in a Composition viewer for many of the same items, plus the Select option at the bottom of the menu, which gives you all of the items below your pointer Figure 1.
Context-click an item in the Project panel to, among other things, reveal it in the Finder or Explorer. Having these kinds of options right under cursor keeps you focused. You may have used the Find Missing Footage checkbox in previous versions, and you may wonder where it has gone. Because every project is likely to be moved or archived at some point you are making backups, right? Move an entire After Effects project, including its source, or archive it.
Merge or combine two projects. If you check Reduce Project as well, the unused source is also removed from the collected project. You even get a warning dialog telling you how many items were removed—not from the disk, only from your project. Gridiron Flow, which is in late beta as of the writing of this chapter, is a third-party application that tracks your entire image pipeline, inside and outside After Effects, and maps what happens to each file used in a project.
Need to combine two or more projects? Import one into the other just drag it in , or drag several into a new project. This script takes nested folders with the same name as those closer to the root and merges them, while consolidating duplicate footage. Advanced Save Options After Effects projects are saved completely separate from the elements they contain.
When number 5 is reached, 1 is deleted and 6 is written. When you increment the project, a new set of 5 is written. Here, each project is about 8 MB, which is large for an After Effects project but no problem compared to source file sizes. Project Settings As shown in Figure 1. The Color Settings section includes the project-wide color depth 8, 16, or 32 bits per channel , as well as color management and blend settings. Chapter 11 covers this in ample depth.
Audio Settings affects only how audio is previewed; lowering the rate can save RAM. I never touch this. This applies to imported image sequences, not comps. This book generally eschews the practice of walking through After Effects menus, but a well-designed UI helps you think.
Decisions about how footage is interpreted are both vital and somewhat tedious. This makes the Interpret Footage dialog Figure 1. Alpha interpretation. Frame Rate. Fields and Pulldown. Pixel Aspect Ratio under Other Options. Alpha red determines transparency settings, Frame Rate yellow is particularly essential with an image sequence, Fields and Pulldown green and Pixel Aspect Ratio under Other Options, blue convert footage optimized for playback.
The Color Management tab purple gets a complete treatment in Chapter The Interpret Footage icon in the Project panel is a new shortcut to open this dialog. Alpha To composite effectively you must thoroughly understand alpha channels. The giveaway is fringing, caused in this case by the failure to remove the black background color premultiplied into edge pixels. The left image is unmultiplied, the right is not.
You can easily avoid these types of problems: After Effects does not guess an alpha unless you specifically click Guess; if you merely clear the dialog Esc it uses the previous default. If the alpha channel type is unclear, click Guess in the mini Interpretation dialog that appears when importing footage with alpha. This often not always yields a correct setting. If you are in any doubt about that, set it to Ask User to avoid forgetting to set it properly.
More information on alpha channels and how they operate is in Chapter 3. Frame Rate I have known experienced artists to make careless errors with frame rate.
You can also override the QuickTime frame rate, which is exactly what After Effects does with footage containing any sort of pulldown see next section.
The following two statements are both true:. However, After Effects is very precise about how those timing settings are handled, so it is essential that your settings themselves be precise. If your true frame rate is The current frame rate and duration as well as other interpretation information is displayed at the top of the Project panel when you select a source clip Figure 1. Why Sequences? Movie formats, in particular QuickTime. A bad frame in a rendered sequence can typically be quickly isolated and replaced; a bad frame will sink an entire QuickTime movie, sometimes costing hours.
Still image formats have more predictable color management settings than QuickTime. Fields, Pulldown, and Pixel Aspect Ratio If QuickTime is a burger—convenient but potentially bad for the health of your project, causing bloat and slowness—then image sequences are a home cooked meal, involving more steps but offering more control over how they are made and consumed.
One surprise for the novice is that moving images are often not made up of whole frames containing square pixels like stills. Nonetheless, sequences are the best choice for larger or longer-form projects. The carat to the right of the file name reveals specific comps in which it is used. The result is half the image detail but twice the motion detail. Pixel aspect ratio PAR is another compromise intended to maximize image detail while minimizing frame size. The pixels in the image are displayed nonsquare on the broadcast monitor, with extra detail on one axis compensating for its lack on the other.
Your computer monitor, of course, displays square pixels, so any clip with a non-square PAR will look odd if displayed without compensating for the difference. Therefore, After Effects includes a toggle below the viewer panels to stretch the footage so that its proportions look correct Figure 1.
Think again. Table 1. Which formats will you use most? One oddity of the PNG format is that it specifies that an alpha channel is saved and interpreted as Straight, with no explicit option to change the default. TABLE 1.
More on these formats is found in Chapters 11 and 12, which also include information on working with Camera Raw CRW images. Can be imported directly as identical After Effects compositions; all of the data is preserved and most of it, including blending modes and even layer styles and text, remains editable in After Effects. Choose the Cropped Layers option to ensure that each layer has its own unique Anchor Point—and is not cropped. Can include moving footage.
More about why you might want to work with video in Photoshop for its paint tools is included in Chapter 7. Can include Live 3D layers: 3D models with lighting, material, and surface characteristics created in Photoshop that can be manipulated in After Effects.
More about this new feature is found in Chapter 9. Once your source footage is imported and organized Chapter 4 , the next step is to place it in a composition. My advice is to begin with your plate: the main footage, whether a background shot or a foreground yet to be keyed. To ensure that composition settings are exactly as they should be with the least effort, try one of the following:.
Use a prebuilt project template that includes compositions whose settings match the intended output; you can even create and save your own. Create a new composition by dragging the plate footage often the background plate to the Create a New Composition icon. Composition Settings also contains an Advanced tab.
This pertains to temporal and spatial settings Chapter 4 and motion blur and 3D Chapter 9. Previews and View Panels A 2K plate is the minimum typical horizontal film resolution: approximately pixels, or more precisely pixels in width.
HD video is pixels horizontal resolution. How exactly does a professional work with footage in After Effects? Resolution and Quality First, keep in mind that you should almost never work at Full resolution, but you should almost always leave layers at Best quality. There are several effective ways to speed up previews and interactivity without ever setting a layer to Draft quality, which creates inaccurate previews by rounding off crucial values.
In rough order of preference, you can One very cool new CS4 feature is the Auto setting under the Resolution menu in the Comp viewer. This downsamples the image so that resolution is never higher than magnification; this guarantees that when you work smaller, you work faster. Lower viewer Resolution to Half, or in extreme cases, Quarter see Note. The default setting of 1 plays every other frame Figure 1. To quickly change the display resolution in the Composition panel, use the keyboard shortcuts shown in Table 1.
To zoom in and out, you can use. Comma and period keys. Want to keep this view? Crop Comp to Region of Interest in the Composition menu.
Ever notice yourself focusing only on a particular section of a huge image? Only the layer data needed to render that area is calculated and buffered, lengthening RAM previews. Deactivate Live Update Figure 1. On by default, this toggle enables real-time update in the viewers as you adjust controls. Deactivate it and updates occur only when you release the mouse.
With Live Update on, this prevents views from updating. Activate Caps Lock. Enable OpenGL. Enable it, and OpenGLInteractive mode in a View panel is accelerated in certain cases, for example when positioning layers in 3D space. There are two OpenGL options, Interactive and Always On; the former will help you with fast scene setup, especially in a complicated 3D scene, and the latter will give you the look of OpenGL at all times as you work.
OpenGL in After Effects can have undesirable side effects; most power users tend to leave it off most of the time. In general, the more responsive you can make your user interface, the better will be the result because you can make more decisions in a shorter period of time. Just leave time to double-check the result if you are in the habit of disabling viewers.
The decision of how to balance it is yours. By default, After Effects leaves a given amount of RAM for other applications, and you can control this amount in this dialog.
Most users miss the main feature here, the Render Multiple Frame Simultaneously checkbox, which is disabled by default. Check this box and After Effects no longer waits for one frame to render before starting the next; instead it looks for available memory and CPU to render as many frames as your system can handle simultaneously.
How much multiprocessing can your system handle? Once you enable multiprocessing, you can tune how it is handled:. Raise the minimum allocation per CPU to help background processes: 1.
Weight memory more toward RAM Previews a foreground process, so you wait for it or faster background renders while you continue to work. Spare whole CPUs for other applications. The controls and descriptive text in this dialog, along with the features they describe have been enhanced for CS4 Figure 1.
The green line atop the Timeline shows which frames are stored for instant playback. Given that After Effects tops out at a bit less than 3 GB of physical memory per session due to limitations in system memory allocation , you can do better. This locks away a portion of your drive for use only by After Effects. A blue line shows frames loaded in the Disk Cache Figure 1. When you activate Enable Disk Cache, you must also specify a disk location; if in doubt just create a local folder with an intuitive name such as AE Scratch.
Even the default 2 GB MB setting greatly extends available cache without occupying permanent disk space. The cache is not saved between After Effects sessions. Loop options Preview panel. Hidden among the playback icons atop Preview is a toggle controlling how previews loop. Use this to disable looping, or amaze your friends with the ping-pong option. From Current Time Preview panel. Tired of resetting the work area? Toggle this on and previews begin at the current time and roll through to the end of the comp.
Full Screen Preview panel. Self-explanatory and rarely used. If you have an external video device attached with its own monitor, you can use it to preview. Third-party output devices, such as Kona and Blackmagic cards, are supported as well. To create a basic gradient background, apply the Ramp effect to a solid layer. I: Working Foundations Figure 1. Several other modes and toggles are available in the viewer panels. Some are familiar from other Adobe applications:. All of these are toggled via a single menu beneath the viewer panel the one that looks like a crosshair.
To change the origin point 0 on each ruler , drag the crosshair from the corner between the two rulers. Masks, keyframes, and motion paths can get in the way.
You can. An outline in the color of the selected channel reminds you which channel is displayed Figure 1. Image courtesy of Mark Decena, Kontent Films. And even cooler, once you thoroughly understand the core effects, you can use them together to do things with After Effects that you might have thought required third-party plug-ins.
You can also choose to display only effects with higher bit depths when working at 16 or 32 bpc. Output via the Render Queue As you well know, the way to get completed footage out of After Effects is to render it. Here are a few things you might not already know about the process of outputting your work.
Convert raw footage by dragging it directly to the Render Queue, no comp required one is made for you. This is a quick and easy way to convert an image sequence to a QuickTime movie, or vice versa.
Set up one item, and only thereafter, add the rest. The location of the first becomes the default. Composition corresponds directly to settings in the Timeline; here you choose whether to keep or override them. The more complex options, such as Proxy Use, are described in Chapter 4. This is useful for splitting sequences between sessions see Chapter 4 for details on how to use it.
This is an immense timesaver, as each frame is rendered once and written as many times as you like. The main decisions here concern.
Color management Want the best looking halfresolution render? Use a Stretch setting in the Output Module, instead of half resolution in Render Settings which typically renders faster.
Several elegant and easily missed problem-solving tools are embedded in Output Modules:. Separate Output Modules can be edited together by Shift-selecting the modules themselves not the Render Queue items that contain them. A numbered sequence can start with any number you like Figure 1. Scaling can be nonuniform to change the pixel aspect ratio. Post-Render Actions automate bringing the result back into After Effects.
Chapter 4 tells all. Naming Conventions Part of growing a studio is devising a naming scheme that keeps projects and renders organized. Use standard Unix naming conventions replacing spaces with underscores, intercaps, dashes, or dots.
Put the version number at the end of the project name and the output file, and have them match. Pad sequential numbers adding zeros at the beginning to keep things in order as the overall number moves into multiple digits. A numbered image sequence must contain a string in the format [ ] somewhere within its name. Each sign corresponds to a digit, for padding. The Color Management tab is in effect with many still image formats. Chapter 11 tells all. Save Output Modules early and often using the Make Template option at the bottom of the pop-up menu.
If you intend to render with the same settings even once more, it saves time. Unfortunately these cannot be easily sent to another user.
Online review typically should be compressed outside of After Effects; such aggressive compression formats as H. Fully trained eyes do not even require two takes, although in the highest end facilities, a shot loops for several minutes while the team picks it apart. This process, though occasionally hard on the ego, makes shots look good. You can and should scrutinize your shot just as carefully in After Effects.
Keep an eye on the Info palette Figure 1. Loop or rock and roll previews. Zoom in to the pixel level, especially around edges. Examine footage channel by channel Chapter 5. Turn the Exposure control in the comp viewer up and down to make sure everything still matches Chapter 5. Approach your project like a computer programmer and minimize the possibility of bugs careless errors.
Aspire to design in modules that anticipate what might change or be tweaked. The Trials and Tribulations of QuickTime QuickTime is the most ubiquitous and universal playback format among video professionals, despite that it is proprietary. Some of these amount to a gotcha:. Color management of QuickTime remains at this writing a moving target, with MOV files appearing differently when they are moved from one platform, software, or even monitor, to another.
High Quality toggle in QuickTime Player is unchecked by default. Many useful formats are Mac-only, such as Uncompressed bit , an Apple format. The notorious QuickTime 7. Failed or corrupted QuickTime files are typically unplayable, and the larger they are, the more susceptible they seem to be to being taken down by a spurious frame or two.
Most larger facilities rely on QuickTime only for client delivery and in the edit suite. More than any other feature, it extends After Effects unique versatility to a wide range of work. With the Timeline at the center of the compositing process, you can time elements and animations precisely as you control their appearance. The Timeline panel is also a user-friendly part of the application and full of hidden powers. Column Views You can context-click on any column heading to see and toggle available columns in the Timeline, or you can start with the minimal setup shown in Figure 2.
No matter how big a monitor, every artist tends to want more space for the keyframes and layers themselves. Lower-left icons : Most but not quite all of the extra data you need is available via the three toggles found at the lower left of the Timeline. Time Stretch toggles the space-hogging timing columns. To rename an item in After Effects, highlight it and press Return instead of clicking and hovering as in the typical operating system. The game is to preserve horizontal space for keyframe data by keeping only the relevant controls visible.
Color-coded layers and project items. They are great except that other layers can stay mysteriously hidden in subsequent comps and renders. Employing shy layers provides a fantastic workaround for the cluttered Timeline. I tend to make these shy immediately, leaving only the camera and background plate ready for compositing. I often give unique colors to track matte layers so I remember not to move them. Zorro not only holds a list of keywords to apply to or remove from selected layers, it even does nifty stuff such as make layers with a given tag instantly solo or shy.
Comp Markers are added using Shift and the numbers atop your keyboard. Navigation and Shortcuts Keyboard shortcuts make a huge difference in your ability to work speedily and effortlessly in the Timeline. Time Navigation Many users—particularly editors—learn time navigation shortcuts right away.
Others primarily drag the current time indicator, which can quickly become tedious. I and O keys navigate to the beginning and end frames of the layer. About two-thirds through the shot came a subtle pop. With power comes responsibility. After Effects allows you to time the entrance and exit of layers in a way that would be excruciating in other compositing applications that have no built-in sense of a layer start or end. If other layers are present and visible, you can also place it in layer order by dragging it between them.
To reset the Work Area to the length of the composition, double-click it. Numeric keypad numbers select layers with that number. Locked layers are not selected, but shy layers are selected even if invisible. Add Alt Option to set the current frame as the In or Out point, trimming the layer. Double-ended arrow icon over the end of a trimmed layer lets you slide it, preserving the In and Out points while translating the timing and layer markers but not keyframes.
Those shortcuts are a handful; context-clicking the layer for the Transform menu is nearly as easy. The ; key toggles all the way in and out on the Timeline: single frame to all frames. The slider at the bottom of the Timeline zooms in and out more selectively. The scroll wheel moves you up and down the layer stack. Hold down the Shift key as you drag the Current Time Indicator to snap current time to comp or layer markers or visible keyframes.
The Comp Marker Bin draw out into the Timeline ruler. You can replace their sequential numbers with names. There are keyboard shortcuts to each Transform property. For a standard 2D layer these are 46 I: Working Foundations. A for Anchor Point, the center pivot of the layer. P for Position, by default the center of the comp. S for Scale in percent of source. R for Rotation in revolutions and degrees. This keeps only what you need in front of you.
A 3D layer reveals four individual properties under Rotation to allow full animation on all axes. There are selection tools to correspond to Transforms:. V activates the Selection tool, which also moves and scales in a view panel. Y switches to the Pan-Behind tool, which moves the anchor point. Below the grid that appears in place of the layer stack are the Graph Editor controls Figure 2. There is no option to see both together.
Show Properties By default, if nothing is selected, nothing displays; what you see depends on the settings in the Show Properties menu. Three toggles in this menu control how animation curves are displayed:. Show Selected Properties displays animation whatever property names are highlighted. To work in the Graph Editor without worrying what is selected, disable Show Selected Properties and enable the other two. Show Animated Properties shows everything with keyframes or expressions.
You decide which curves need to appear, activate their Graph Editor Set toggle, and after that it no longer matters whether you keep them selected. You have to restart After Effects before this preference is enabled. Basic Animation and the Graph View Figure 2.
I: Working Foundations Figure 2. To get to this point. At frame 24, move the ball off right of frame, creating a second keyframe. Now add the bounces: At frame 6 and 18 move the ball straight downward so it touches the bottom of frame. Also, the default Graph Editor view at this point is not very helpful, because it displays the Speed Graph, and the speed of the layer is completely steady at this point—deliberately so, in fact.
To get the view shown in Figure 2. This is a toggle even advanced users miss, although it is now on by default; in addition to the not-very-helpful Speed Graph you now see the Value Graph in its X red and Y green values. However, the green values appear upsidedown! For this purpose After Effects offers the automated Easy Ease functions, although you can also create or adjust eases by hand in the Graph Editor.
Fix this in the Composition viewer by pulling Beziers out of each of the keyframes you just eased: 1. Deselect all keyframes but leave the layer selected. Switches to the Pen tool with the G key; in the Compo- sition viewer, drag from the highlighted keyframe to the right, creating a horizontal Bezier handle.
Stop before crossing the second keyframe. Why is that? The red X graph shows an unsteady horizontal motion due to the eases. The problem is that the eases should be applied only to the vertical Y dimension, whereas the X animation travels at a constant rate. This allows you to add keyframes for one dimension only at a given point in time, or to add keyframes in one dimension at a time.
Select Position and click Separate Dimensions. Now try the following: 52 I: Working Foundations 1. Select the middle three X Position keyframes—you can draw a selection box around them—and delete them. Now take a look in the Composition viewer—the motion is back to linear, although the temporal eases remain on the Y axis. Not only that, but you cannot redraw them as you did before; enabling Separate Dimensions removes this ability.
Instead, you can create them in the Graph Editor itself. Show Graph Tool Tips displays values of whatever curve is under the mouse at that exact point in time. Figure 2. The Transform Box lets you edit keyframe values in all kinds of wacky ways.
Toggle on Show Transform Box and select more than one keyframe, and a white box with vertices surrounds the selected frames.
Drag the handle at the right side left or right to change overall timing; the keyframes remain proportionally arranged. So, does the Transform Box help in this case? Well, it could, if you needed to.
The Snap button snaps to virtually every visible marker, but not—snap! Add a decay to the animation so that the ball bounces lower each time: Alt-drag Option-drag on the lower right corner handle Figure 2. If you leave them as linear keyframes, the ball oscillates between opaque and transparent, but if you toggle them to Hold keyframes, it snaps on and off Figure 2. Beyond Bouncing Balls In the possibly likely case that the need for a bouncing ball animation never comes up, what does this example show you?
Three preset keyframe transition types are available, each with a shortcut at the bottom of the Graph Editor: Hold , Linear , and Automatic Bezier. Previous page.
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From the Back Cover This is the only book on the market to focus exclusively on the creation of visual effects for After Effects users, and is a one-stop resource for anyone who wants in-depth explanations that demystify the realm of visual effects and how they were created, thanks to veteran author Mark Christiansen’s friendly and accessible style.
Mark Christiansen christiansen. Mark has done work directly for the Adobe After Effects development and marketing teams, is a founder at provideocoalition. Tell the Publisher! About the author Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations. Mark Christiansen. Brief content visible, double tap to read full content. Full content visible, double tap to read brief content. Read more Read less. Customer reviews. How customer reviews and ratings work Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings, help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.
– Adobe After Effects CS5 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques –
Saved me many hours already and made me much better at my job. Image courtesy of Mark Decena, Kontent Films. Graph To summarize the distinction between layer bar mode and the Graph Editor, with layers you can. Mask movement can be eased temporally, but there are no spatial curves; each mask point travels in a completely linear fashion from one keyframe to the next. Alpha Inverted Matte: Same but the black areas are opaque. The biggest thing you could do overall to improve results with a clip like sk8rboi is to use Roto Brush see Chapter 7 to separate out each moving element—the van, skater, and background.
Adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free. Follow the Author
These books reflect a passion for helping people create images and films that resonate emotionally by feeling real. I’ve worked on films, worked with filmmakers, taught artists and helped design and market software intended for filmmakers. After Effects has been a channel in which I’ve been comfortable thinking creatively and solving visual puzzles since I started with the software way back when.
Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more /717.txt the product and decide whether it is the right product for them. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon.
It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness. This is the only book on the market to focus exclusively on the creation of visual effects for After Effects users, and is a one-stop resource for anyone who wants in-depth explanations that demystify the realm of visual effects and how they were created, thanks to veteran author Mark Christiansen’s friendly and adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free style.
A thoroughly packed, informative read, this masterful guide focuses on explaining the essential concepts, features, and techniques that are key to creating seamless movie-quality visual effects. Users who are comfortable with After Effects will find a жмите review of the fundamentals – managing footage, viewing and editing layers, animating type, and more – so they can learn how to work smarter and more efficiently.
Readers of all levels will learn core techniques for effects compositing including color matching, keying, rotoscoping, motion tracking, emulating the camera, and concluding with using expressions in After Effects, written by contributor and expert Dan Ebberts.
An incredibly useful appendix on scripting in After Effects is included as well, written by Adobe engineer Jeff Almasol. The final section of the book delves into creative explorations, demonstrating ссылка на страницу effects that are commonly seen in films and games which readers can re-create. Readers will also find comprehensive coverage of all that’s new and makes this version of Adobe’s effects programa must-have update, including the revolutionary new Roto Brush, all new effects such as the Techniquees Refine Matte effect, new support for Color Look-Up Tables, workflows that take advantage of the all-new bit support, inclusion of third-party tools for additional creativity, and much more.
Simply register your product at www. Previous page. Publication date. October 16, Print length. See all details. Next page. From the Back Cover This is the only book on the market to focus exclusively on the creation of visual effects for After Effects users, and is a one-stop resource for anyone who wants in-depth explanations that demystify the realm of visual effects and how they were created, thanks to veteran author Mark Christiansen’s friendly and accessible style.
Mark Christiansen christiansen. Mark has done work directly for the Adobe After Effects development and marketing teams, is a founder at provideocoalition. Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? About the author Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations. Mark Christiansen. Brief content visible, double tap to read full content. Full content visible, double tap to read brief content. Read more Read less.
Customer reviews. How customer reviews and ratings work Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide compositiing it is the right product for them. Learn more how customers reviews work on Amazon. Top reviews Most recent Top reviews. Top reviews from the United States. Translate all reviews to English. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free try again /13664.txt. Verified Purchase.
Being completely self-taught mostly through tutorials, there were a lot of things that slipped under the radar. Upon Stu Adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free recommendation, I purchased this book. Just in the first couple of chapters, I’m amazed по этому сообщению what I have been missing just in optimizing and streamlining больше информации. This purchase definitely opened me up to a whole new realm of possibilities adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free some incredibly powerful software.
It’s well-written and easy to understand. If you own After Effects and do not own a copy of this book, you are seriously missing out. After reading some of the other reviews on this site, I decided to purchase this book because I cz5 a more in depth look and explanation of After Effects CS5 along with a guide to better techniques.
The book does a good job going over some of the simpler effects and provides some solid methods in tackling different situations one might encounter. However, I found the actual descriptions of the procedures to be very adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free.
A perfect example effects in the section detailing the mocha 2 compositijg that now comes with CS5. There is about six and a half pages which talk about it, but mocha really needs a chapter to truly show you the power of the program. I ended up having to go to the mocha website in order to achieve a thorough understanding of its tracking abilities.
Time and time again I ran into the same problem going through this book. Compositinv techniques and methods are sometimes explained well but often glossed over leaving the reader scratching adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free or her head.
I found myself constantly going to the After Effects Guide and other websites for better descriptions on the topics being talked about.
I understand the gist of most of the subjects. However, I bought this book to learn the details on how to get certain results, and the author is not big on step by step procedures. To simply say that this book is not for beginners is no microsoft outlook 2013 repair download for unclear and confusing text.
I find it much more useful читать полностью the tutorials from Creative Cow adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free Video Copilot which are free to efvects user and much easier to understand. I realize part of the limitations of a book is that it перейти на страницу harder to teach with than using a visual medium.
With that said, I hope future generations of this book contain more illustrations and take a few more pages to better explain the complicated techniques needed to pull off some of these effects. I am sure the author is an After Effects genius and is very knowledgeable about the program. He also provides useful techniques that artist will use in the field.
He just needs to present the material in a more straightforward, simplified manner. I guess the best way to describe it is, the author writes as if you already understand tchniques he is talking about. I’ve had teachers like that before where they go through an entire lecture, and I feel dumb because I don’t know what is going on until I look around and realize nobody else knows either.
Unfortunately, with a book no one sgudio raise their hand to stop the teacher for clarification. Great resource to support anyone learning After Effects. Information that will help prepare you for any project on which you work.
Strong support tool to have at your side while working. Can be challenging to read at times, but a lot of things in video are difficult to explain on paper.
This book is intended use as you experiment with the test file combing the knowledge on paper with hands on work. Some things you may need to read through multiple times, but eventually you’ll make sense of the information. This посетить страницу covers compositing concepts that apply to any compositing program, not just After Effects.
In fact, there is quite a bit of excellent information that can be applied during production as well as post production. Clearly the author has been around the adobe after effects cs5 visual effects and compositing studio techniques free many times, and he certainly knows stuudio to get every ounce of performance out of After Effects.
I picked up this book against the authors advice in that this book is more for professionals with experience under their belt, rather than a complete beginner. I already understood the basics behind compositing, but had never composited a shot on my own before.
This book was invaluable in helping me work with a compositor in saving shots that would have been tossed out in favor of reshooting an entire scene. Warning, I feel I may have been an exception, this book is quite technical, and could be overwhelming to many people trying to learn compositing in After Effects. Either way, a great read, and in some cases, fffects information efdects invaluable to me in my projects.
I bought this book to help me get a grounding in after effects. The book has a lot of depth to it but is presented in an easy to read style. I contacted жмите сюда Author, Нажмите сюда as i had bought the kindle version and was missing the really good project files that come on the DVD and he was good enough to point out that he has included a link in the back of the book that grants access to the files.
Hechniques recommended. Un gran libro, yo no esperaba menos del autor. Ha sido muy ameno y fre aprendido muchisimo. A ver si se anima y escribe sobre graficos a tiempo real Enhorabuena. Israel D. Translate review to English. If you still use CS5, this is a great resource. It’s нажмите чтобы узнать больше encyclopedia of information about a complex It’s an encyclopedia of information ater a complex program. Very well written and don’t let the thickness of the book intimidate you.
Very well written and is the book to take you to the next level. I felt thrilled to find a version of this for 12 bucks on Amazon. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. Effectss would probably class myself as a medium level After Effects user for animation but wanted to learn more about compositing techniques. This book has been even better than I expected with many really useful technqiues.
Adobe After Effects Cs4 Visual Effects And Compositing Studio Techniques [PDF] [3gpin11g15s0]
A thoroughly packed, informative read, this masterful guide focuses on explaining the essential concepts, features, and techniques that are key to creating. Adobe After Effects CS5 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques His site provides numerous free scripts, reference material, and links to other. ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS CS5 VISUAL EFFECTS AND COMPOSITING STUDIO TECHNIQUES By Mark Quick & Free Delivery in days Free shipping and returns.