After Effects Apprentice,, 3rd Edition

Book description

Whether you’re new to After Effects and want to get up to speed quickly, or already a user who needs to become familiar with the new features, After Effects Apprentice was created for you. With 11 core lessons plus a final project that pulls it all together, you’ll learn how to tap this program’s vast potential – whether you create motion graphics for network television, corporate communications, or your own projects.

Fully updated to cover the major new features introduced in After Effects CS6, CS5.5, and CS5, this edition of the book presents a professional perspective on the most important features a motion graphics artist needs to master in order to use After Effects effectively. You’ll learn to creatively combine layers, animate eye-catching titles, manipulate 3D space, track or rotoscope existing footage to add new elements, color 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. Easy to follow, step-by-step instructions guide you through the features, with explanations of the "why" instead of just the "how" behind each technique. You’ll learn more than just the tools; you’ll learn skills that you can immediately put to work expressing your own ideas in your productions.

Topics include how to:

  • Animate, edit, layer, and composite video and still images.
  • Manipulate keyframes and the way they interpolate to create more refined animations.
  • Use masks, mattes, stencils and blending modes to add sophistication to your imagery.
  • Create and animate text and shape layers
  • Place your layers in 3D space.
  • Use tracking and keying to create special effects, such as replacing screen displays.

DVD contains: All exercise source material and project files for After Effects CS6, CS5.5, and CS5, plus 90 minutes of video tutorials.

Table of contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Getting Started
  7. Pre-Roll
    1. Exploring the After Effects landscape
      1. project structure
      2. main application window
      3. Tools panel
      4. Project panel
      5. importing footage
      6. Composition panel
      7. Timeline panel
      8. Layer panel
      9. Info, Preview, Audio panels
      10. Effects & Presets; Effect Controls
      11. Workspaces
      12. Adobe Bridge
  8. Lesson 1 – Basic Animation
    1. 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 media
      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. RAM Preview options; the Work Area
      21. caches and memory
      22. importing layered Photoshop and Illustrator files
  9. Lesson 2 – Advanced Animation
    1. Manipulating keyframes to create more refined animations.
      1. keyframe basics
      2. Anchor Point overview
      3. Anchor Point tool
      4. motion control moves
      5. the Graph Editor
      6. speed versus value graphs
      7. panning and zooming time
      8. editing graph curves
      9. easing animations
      10. editing multiple keyframes
      11. Graph Editor Sets
      12. Separate Dimensions
      13. Motion Sketch
      14. smoothing keyframes
      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
    1. 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 keyframe 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 trick
      20. Brainstorm; the Cartoon effect
      21. non-square pixels
  11. Lesson 4 – Creating Transparency
    1. 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; Ellipse tool
      5. Mask Feather
      6. animating a mask path
      7. creating a vignette; Mask Expansion
      8. masking with the Pen tool (Bezier masks)
      9. applying an effect to a masked area
      10. controlling mask path interpolation
      11. using effects with the mask path
      12. Mask Modes and multiple masks
      13. Mask Opacity
      14. creating and editing RotoBezier masks
      15. Audio Spectrum effect
      16. variable mask feathering (new in CS6)
      17. Alpha Track Matte
      18. nesting a track matte composite
      19. Luma Track Matte
      20. animating matte layers
      21. Stencil Luma and Stencil Alpha
      22. effects with track mattes and stencils
  12. Lesson 5 – Type and Music
    1. 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 Position, Rotation, and Opacity
      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
      13. separating fields
      14. adding the Wiggly Selector
      15. rendering with an alpha channel
      16. field rendering
      17. adding audio to a comp
      18. spotting audio; using layer and comp markers
      19. mixing and enhancing audio
      20. using text animation presets
      21. saving text animations as presets
      22. editing Photoshop Text layers
  13. Lesson 6 – Parenting and Nesting
    1. 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. nesting to group layers; using guides
      6. editing precomps
      7. navigating composition hierarchies
      8. nesting a common source
      9. sizing precomps
      10. ETLAT (edit this, look at that)
      11. precomposing a group of layers
      12. precomposing a single layer
      13. render order explained
      14. splitting work between comps
      15. precompose options compared
      16. using precomposing to reorder
      17. continuous rasterization
      18. collapsing transformations
      19. compound effects
  14. Lesson 7 – Expressions and Time Games
    1. 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 with a null object
      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 about expressions
  15. Lesson 8 – 3D Space
    1. Adding a new dimension to your animations.
      1. enabling layers for 3D
      2. moving and rotating layers in 3D space
      3. multiplaning effects
      4. 3D motion paths
      5. multiple views
      6. adding a camera; camera settings
      7. using the camera tools; 3D views
      8. moving and animating cameras
      9. building a camera rig
      10. layer and camera auto-orientation
      11. camera depth of field blur
      12. 3D lights
      13. casting shadows
      14. Light Falloff; Material Options
      15. Ray-traced 3D Renderer (new in CS6)
      16. extrusion and beveling
      17. bending footage layers
      18. transparency; index of refraction
      19. reflections
      20. environment layers
      21. ray-tracer image quality
      22. Fast Previews
  16. Lesson 9 – Track and Key
    1. Tackling several essential skills for creating special effects.
      1. tracking overview
      2. Warp Stabilizer (new in CS5.5)
      3. point-based tracking and stabilization
      4. creating track points
      5. applying stabilization
      6. fixing bad tracks
      7. 2D motion tracking
      8. applying a motion track
      9. tracking interlaced footage
      10. Radio Waves effect
      11. applying tracks to effect points
      12. planar tracking with mocha AE
      13. pasting the mocha track into After Effects
      14. Bezier Warp effect
      15. 3D Camera Tracker (new in CS6)
      16. defining the plane; moving the target
      17. creating a track null; parenting
      18. adding 3D text and a shadow catcher
      19. stabilizing position, rotation, and scale
      20. keying using the Keylight effect
      21. creating garbage mattes
      22. Rolling Shutter Repair (new in CS6)
  17. Lesson 10 – Paint, Roto, and Puppet
    1. Exploring Paint, Roto Brush, and the Puppet tools.
      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. basic Roto Brush
      13. Roto Brush workflow; the base frame
      14. propagating strokes
      15. corrective strokes
      16. refining the matte
      17. Puppet Pin tool
      18. animating Puppet pins
      19. Puppet Overlap tool
      20. recording puppet animation
      21. Puppet Starch tool
      22. multiple shapes
  18. Lesson 11 –Shape Layers
    1. Creating, animating, and extruding vector-based shapes.
      1. creating a shape layer
      2. Stroke and Fill settings, editing shapes
      3. multiple shapes
      4. Even-Odd Fill
      5. shape effects
      6. creating buttons
      7. Shape Repeater
      8. compound shapes; Merge Paths
      9. gradients
      10. shape pen paths
      11. Wiggle Transforms
      12. advanced strokes
      13. dashes and gaps
      14. animating a stroke
      15. create shapes from vector layers (new in CS6)
      16. extruding shape layers (new in CS6)
  19. Lesson 12 – Final Project
    1. Creating a show opening, from draft to completion.
      1. delivery specifications
      2. music considerations; creating the main comp
      3. spotting music
      4. mocking up the 3D world; Label colors
      5. 3D view layouts
      6. initial camera move; Separate Dimensions
      7. placing the 3D background
      8. 3D Camera Tracker
      9. time stretch; frame blending
      10. typesetting the title
      11. applying text animation presets
      12. timing animation to music
      13. using shapes to create a video frame
      14. creating a reusable element
      15. crafting an efficient composition hierarchy
      16. replacing placeholders; ETLAT
      17. filling out the background
      18. creating animated lines
      19. using expressions to animate to music
      20. enabling Motion Blur; rendering a proof
      21. delivering a broadcast package
      22. ideas for enhancing the final project
  20. Appendix – Rendering
    1. Unleashing your creations on the world.
    2. The Render Queue (movie)
    3. rendering: under the hood
    4. Render Settings Templates
    5. Output Module Templates
    6. rendering movies
    7. rendering sequences
    8. issues that affect image quality
    9. field flicker (movie)
    10. 3:2 Pulldown
  21. Back Matter
    1. Resources, Production Credits
    2. Index

Product information

  • Title: After Effects Apprentice,, 3rd Edition
  • Author(s): Chris Meyer, Trish Meyer
  • Release date: September 2012
  • Publisher(s): Focal Press
  • ISBN: 9781136039935