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After Effects Apprentice, 2nd Edition

Book Description

If you're new to After Effects and want to get up to speed quickly, After Effects Apprentice was created just for you. With 11 core lessons
plus a hip final project that pulls it all together, you'll learn how to tap this program's vast potential -whether you want to create motion graphics for network television, corporate communications, or your own work.

Fully updated to cover After Effects CS4, this book presents a professional perspective on the most important features a motion graphics artist needs to learn in order to use this program effectively. You'll learn to creatively combine layers, animate eye-catching titles,
manipulate 3D space, key and stabilize a shot to place it in a new environment, and use effects to generate excitement or enhance the
realism of a scene.

DVD contains: All exercise source material and projects, guided video tours, and movies of the finished projects.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Getting Started
  7. Pre-Roll
    1. project structure
    2. The Application Window
    3. The Tools Panel
    4. The Project Panel
    5. Importing Footage
    6. The Composition Panel
    7. The Timeline Panel
    8. The Layer Panel
    9. Info, Preview, Audio panels
    10. Effects & Presets, Effect Controls
    11. Workspaces
    12. Adobe Bridge
  8. Lesson 1 – Basic Animation Building your first animation while you learn a typical After Effects workflow.
    1. creating folders in the Project panel
    2. creating a new composition
    3. importing files and folders
    4. interpreting alpha channels
    5. adding layers to the Comp panel
    6. changing the Background Color
    7. scrubbing parameter values
    8. interactively transforming layers
    9. animating Position; RAM Preview
    10. navigating between keyframes
    11. adding a background layer
    12. dragging footage to the Timeline panel
    13. editing a keyframe’s Bezier handles
    14. editing spatial keyframes; motion paths
    15. animating Opacity, Scale, and Rotation
    16. arranging and replacing layers
    17. adding solid layers
    18. applying, copying and pasting effects
    19. rendering
    20. understanding the comp’s alpha channel
    21. importing layered Photoshop and Illustrator files
  9. Lesson 2 – Advanced Animation Manipulating keyframes to create more refined animations.
    1. keyframe basics
    2. the Work Area
    3. Anchor Point overview
    4. Pan Behind tool
    5. motion control moves
    6. the Graph Editor
    7. Speed versus Value Graphs
    8. panning and zooming time
    9. editing graph curves
    10. easing animations
    11. Graph Editor Sets
    12. Separate Dimensions
    13. Motion Sketch
    14. Smoother
    15. Auto-Orient
    16. Motion Blur
    17. Roving Keyframes
    18. Time-Reverse Keyframes
    19. Hold keyframes
    20. time display and timecode
  10. Lesson 3 – Layer Control Learning how to trim layers and enhance them using Blending Modes and effects.
    1. layers and stacking order
    2. moving layers in time
    3. trimming layers
    4. trimming in the Layer and Footage panels
    5. slip editing
    6. Sequence Layers assistant
    7. looping footage
    8. image sequences
    9. changing the frame rate; Time Stretch
    10. Blending Modes
    11. effects and solids
    12. effect motion path
    13. Effects & Presets panel
    14. searching for effects
    15. Animation Presets
    16. Behavior presets
    17. Layer Styles
    18. Adjustment Layers
    19. filmic glow
    20. non-square pixels
  11. Lesson 4 – Creating Transparency Using masks, mattes, and stencils to cut out portions of a layer.
    1. masking tools, creating mask shapes
    2. Rounded Rectangle tool
    3. Free Transform Points
    4. masking in the Layer panel
    5. Mask Feather
    6. animating a mask path
    7. creating a vignette; Mask Expansion
    8. masking with the Pen tool
    9. creating and editing Bezier masks
    10. effecting a masked area
    11. controlling mask path interpolation
    12. using effects with the mask path
    13. Mask Modes and multiple masks
    14. Mask Opacity
    15. creating and editing RotoBezier masks
    16. Audio Spectrum effect
    17. Alpha Track Matte
    18. nesting a track matte composite
    19. Luma Track Matte
    20. animating matte layers
    21. Stencil Alpha and Stencil Luma
    22. effects with track mattes and stencils
  12. Lesson 5 – Type and Music Animating text and working with music are essential to motion graphics design.
    1. creating basic text
    2. creating Text Animators, Range Selectors
    3. animating text transform properties
    4. randomizing the order of characters
    5. creating cascading text
    6. working with selection Shapes
    7. setting the text Anchor Point
    8. animating by words
    9. title safe areas
    10. animating text Blur and Tracking
    11. text on a path
    12. Per-character 3D animators
    13. separating fields
    14. adding the Wiggly Selector
    15. rendering with an alpha channel
    16. field rendering
    17. adding sound to a comp
    18. add comp and layer markers
    19. applying Text Animation Presets
    20. customizing presets
    21. saving text animations as presets
    22. editing Photoshop Text layers
  13. Lesson 6 – Parenting and Nesting Grouping layers to make them easier to coordinate.
    1. parenting, nesting, and expressions defined
    2. assigning a parent
    3. parenting, opacity, and effects
    4. parenting with null objects
    5. using guides
    6. nesting comps
    7. editing precomps
    8. navigating composition hierarchies
    9. nesting a common source
    10. sizing precomps
    11. locking panels
    12. precomposing a group of layers
    13. precomposing a single layer
    14. render order explained
    15. splitting work between comps
    16. using precomposing to re-order
    17. continuously rasterized layers
  14. Lesson 7 – Expressions and Time Games Using expressions and playing with time.
    1. using the pick whip to create expressions
    2. altering expressions
    3. stabilizing shadows
    4. matching value ranges (the linear expression)
    5. looping keyframes
    6. expression tips
    7. the wiggle expression
    8. expression controllers
    9. keyframing the wiggle expression
    10. creating a master controller
    11. converting sound to keyframes
    12. frame blending
    13. Pixel Motion
    14. stop motion tricks
    15. Preserve Frame Rate
    16. creating freeze frames
    17. Time Remapping
    18. resources for learning more
  15. Lesson 8 – 3D Space Adding a new dimension to your animations.
    1. moving and animating cameras
    2. layer and camera auto-orientation
    3. 3D lights
    4. vignettes; animating lights
    5. casting shadows
    6. OpenGL and Fast Previews
    7. Vanishing Point Exchange
    8. Photoshop 3D Layers
    9. adding dimension to stills
    10. editing stills for 3D
  16. Lesson 9 – Track and Key Tackling several essential skills for creating special effects.
    1. enabling layers for 3D
    2. moving layers in 3D space
    3. how layers stack in 3D
    4. 3D rotation and orientation
    5. multiplaning effects
    6. 3D motion paths
    7. multiple views
    8. camera settings
    9. customizing 3D views
    10. camera track and orbit tools
    11. creating track points
    12. important Tracker options
    13. applying stabilization
    14. compensating for stabilized footage
    15. fixing bad tracks
    16. tracking interlaced footage
    17. motion tracking
    18. applying a motion track
    19. Radio Waves effect
    20. applying tracks to effect points
    21. perspective corner pin tracking
    22. Bezier Warp effect
    23. stabilizing Position, Rotation, and Scale
    24. interpolating obscured tracks
    25. working with high-definition footage
    26. keying using the Keylight effect
    27. improving keyed composites
    28. creating garbage mattes
  17. Lesson 10 – Paint and Puppet Exploring Paint, the Puppet Tools, and Brainstorm.
    1. basic painting
    2. erasing strokes
    3. Paint Channels
    4. Paint Blending Modes
    5. brush duration bar
    6. animating strokes
    7. revealing a layer
    8. creating organic textures
    9. tablet settings
    10. cloning
    11. transforming strokes
    12. Vector Paint effect
    13. Puppet Pin tool
    14. animating Puppet pins
    15. Puppet Overlap tool
    16. Recording Puppet Animation
    17. Puppet Starch tool
    18. using Brainstorm
    19. Brainstorm with keyframes
    20. Brainstorm with the Cartoon effect
  18. Lesson 11 – Shape Layers Creating and animating vector-based shapes.
    1. creating a Shape Layer
    2. shape Stroke and Fill settings
    3. editing shapes
    4. multiple shapes
    5. Even-Odd Fill
    6. Shape Effects
    7. creating buttons
    8. Shape Repeater
    9. Compound Paths
    10. Gradients
    11. shape Pen paths
    12. creating an abstract texture
    13. advanced strokes
    14. animating a stroke
    15. Brainstormed shapes
  19. Lesson 12 – Final Project Using 3D space plus effects to create a show’s opening title.
    1. creating elements; Grid effect
    2. creating a gradient
    3. preserve underlying transparency
    4. creating the Skater comp
    5. Block Dissolve effect
    6. setting the layer size in Illustrator
    7. copying paths from Illustrator
    8. Stroke effect
    9. Tint effect
    10. rotating in 3D with the wiggle expression
    11. creating Main Comp 1; audio waveforms
    12. nesting the spinning Radar comp
    13. nesting the Grid comp
    14. setting the anchor point for the Skater layer
    15. creating a reflection; precomposing
    16. Lens Blur effect; luma track matte
    17. using Collapse Transformations
    18. crafting the camera move
    19. creating and animating a title in 3D space
    20. adding a light; casting shadows
    21. final tweaks
    22. animating a null object parent in 3D
    23. assembling the final composition
    24. inevitable client changes
  20. Appendix – Rendering
    1. The Render Queue (movie)
    2. rendering: under the hood
    3. Render Settings Templates
    4. Output Module Templates
    5. rendering movies
    6. rendering sequences
    7. rendering for the web
    8. Flash Video
    9. Flash project export (XFL)
    10. converting between D1 and DV
    11. 3:2 Pulldown
  21. back matter
    1. Resources, Production Credits
    2. Index
    3. Index