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E-book

Adobe After Effects CS6 Digital Classroom

ISBN: 978-1-118-23898-1
464 pages
June 2012
Adobe After Effects CS6 Digital Classroom (1118238982) cover image

Edit and apply effects for stellar visual and special effects

This important resource is like having a personal instructor guiding you through each lesson, while you work at your own pace. It includes 10 self-paced lessons that let you discover essential skills and explore the new features and capabilities of Adobe After Effects. Every lesson is presented in full color with step-by-step instructions. Video tutorials and lesson files on a companion DVD were developed by the same team of professional instructors and After Effects experts who have created many of the official training titles for Adobe Systems.

  • Combines a full-color, step-by-step instructional book along with lesson files and video training from expert instructors
  • Written for After Effects CS6, a leading motion graphics and visual effects program that allows users to create and deliver compelling motion graphics and visual effects
  • Demonstrates how to quickly get up to speed using After Effects to create and animate text, images, and video for the web, TV, and digital displays

After Effects CS6 Digital Classroom takes you from the basics through intermediate-level topics, teaching you this complex software in a clear, approachable manner.

DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of the e-book file, but are available for download after purchase.

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Starting up

About Digital Classroom  1

Prerequisites  1

System requirements  1

Starting Adobe After Effects CS6  3

Fonts used in this book  3

Loading lesson files 4

Working with the video tutorials 6

Viewing the video tutorials with the Adobe Flash Player 7

Additional resources  8

Lesson 1: Understanding Motion Graphics Starting up 9

Defining motion graphics10

Television and video graphics 10

Internet and mobile devices 10

Desktop distribution and presentation graphics 10

Digital video basics 11

Understanding video formats 11

Understanding frame rate and resolution 14

Understanding transparency 15

Self study 16

Review 16

Lesson 2: Understanding the After Effects Interface Starting up 17

Understanding and working with menus 18

Opening an existing After Effects project 18

Understanding the After Effects panel system 20

After Effects panels 21

Primary panels 21

Understanding the workspace 35

Viewing and hiding panels 35

Docking and undocking panels 36

Resizing panels 38

Saving a custom workspace 39

Resetting the workspace 40

Setting After Effects Preferences 41

Changing the default Undo levels 42

Enable Auto-Save 43

Self study 44

Review 44

Lesson 3: Media Management—Working with Images, Audio, and Video

Starting up 45

What is Media Management? 46

Projects, compositions, and layers: An overview 46

Creating a new project 47

Importing media files 48

Organizing the Project panel 50

Modifying the column displays 50

Creating folders and subfolders 51

Previewing footage 54

Previewing stills and video 55

Previewing audio 56

Trimming a video clip 57

Importing multiple files 60

Importing Photoshop and Illustrator files 62

Importing image sequences 65

Importing After Effects compositions68

Locating missing files 70

Using the Interpret Footage dialog box 71

Looping an audio or video file 71

Using Remember Interpretation 73

Using the Collect Files command to consolidate files 74

Self study 75

Review 75

Starting up 77

Understanding the animation workflow 78

Creating and working with compositions 78

Creating a new composition 79

Understanding composition settings 81

Importing compositions from Photoshop and Illustrator 83

Working with layers 85

Understanding the layer switches 90

Understanding layer stacking order 92

Changing layer names 93

Creating Kinestasis by animating the Anchor Point 95

Animating rotation 98

Using layer parenting to ease repetition  101

Animating position  103

Understanding motion paths 108

Using layer motion blur  110

Adjusting Motion Blur settings  112

Using blending modes  114

Applying layer styles  117

Understanding nested compositions and precomposing  119

Adding nested compositions  119

Pre-composing layers  122

Creating a fade-in by animating Opacity and Scale 124

Self study 125

Review  125

Starting up 127

Working with masks  128

Creating masks with the shape tools 131

Selecting and manipulating masks 134

Animating the position of masks  137

Working with mask feathering  142

Setting the Mask Feather Property  142

Setting Per Vertex mask feathering 143

Creating freeform masks  145

Setting up the project  146

Animating the shape of masks  155

Understanding track mattes  157

Creating track mattes  157

Creating mattes from animated Photoshop files 159

Creating a chroma key 163

Creating a garbage matte 165

Creating a chroma key  167

Refining the matte 170

Self study 174

Review  174

Lesson 6: Working with Text Starting up 175

Creating text  176

Setting text properties globally 179

Formatting individual characters  182

Animating text properties  188

Saving an animator as a preset  194

Working with text animation presets 195

Modifying animation presets 198

Creating custom text animators 202

Creating a typewriter effect  202

Creating a blur-in effect  203

Creating text on a path  205

Self study 207

Review 207

Lesson 7: Working with Audio Starting up 209

Audio in After Effects 210

Previewing audio  211

Adding audio files to the Timeline 212

Viewing audio file metadata  214

Looping audio files  217

Animating audio levels  219

Working with audio effects  220

Using composition markers to set the beat  222

Naming composition markers  226

Refining the position of composition markers 228

Syncing animation to composition markers  229

Creating keyframes from audio files 234

Self study 237

Review  237

Lesson 8: Working with 3D in After Effects Starting up 239

Previewing animation with RAM preview  240

Working with After Effects 3D 241

Creating 3D layers 242

Using multiple viewports 243

Understanding 3D Transform properties 246

Understanding Material Options 246

Animating 3D layers 247

Creating and using lights  252

Understanding light options  258

Animating light properties  259

Creating and using cameras  262

Understanding basic camera options 265

Animating camera properties 265

Creating the depth-of-field effect 274

Creating a Rack Focus shot  276

Working with After Effects 3D Layers 280

Creating a Ray-traced composition 280

Extruding and Beveling Text  281

Creating Reflections  284

Self study 286

Review  286

Lesson 9: Advanced Animation Starting up 287

Animating with effects  288

Applying effects to layers  288

Animating effect properties 292

Saving animation presets 296

Applying and modifying effects presets  297

Time-reversing a layer  299

Using the Motion Sketch panel to capture motion  300

Controlling layer orientation 303

Using the Smoother panel to soften movement 304

Using the Wiggler panel to add frantic motion 306

Create acceleration and deceleration using Easy Easing 309

Changing spatial interpolation 309

Adding easing to keyframes 311

Using squash and stretch to enhance the animation  313

Animating with the Graph Editor 315

Create a strobing effect using hold interpolation 320

Self study 322

Review  322

Starting up 323

Understanding Video Stabilization and Tracking 324

Using the Warp Stabilizer  324

Using the 3D Camera Tracker 328

Attaching 3D layers to Track Points 333

Self study 337

Review  337

Lesson 11: Working with Expressions and Scripts Starting up 339

Automating animation with expressions  340

Finding expressions  341

Adding expressions to properties 341

Using the loopOut() expression 342

Using the random() expression 344

Using the Time property with expressions 347

Using the wiggle() expression 348

Working with scripts  350

Installing and running scripts 350

Creating scripts  351

Finding additional scripts 351

Using and running scripts 351

Using the Ease and Wizz Script 352

Self study 356

Review  356

Lesson 12: Outputting After Effects Projects Starting up 357

Rendering files for output  358

Understanding the Render Queue 359

Adding compositions to the Render Queue 359

Adjusting render settings 362

Duplicating jobs in the Render Queue 365

Creating render templates 369

Exporting a project file  370

Trimming and cropping compositions  372

Rendering an individual frame 376

Self study 378

Review  378

Appendix A: Adobe After Effects keyboard shortcuts General Keyboard Shortcuts  379

Working with After Effects Projects 380

Working with Preferences 380

Panels, viewers, workspaces, and windows  380

Activating tools  382

Compositions and the work area (keyboard shortcuts)  383

Navigating the Timeline 383

Previews 384

Views  385

Footage 387

Effects and animation presets 388

Layers  388

Showing properties and groups in the Timeline panel 390

Showing properties in the Effect Controls panel 391

Modifying layer properties  391

3D layers 393

Keyframes and the Graph Editor 394

Text  395

Working with Masks 398

Paint tools 398

Shape layers  400

Markers  401

Motion tracking  401

Saving, exporting, and rendering  402

Appendix B: After Effects secondary panels After Effects Secondary panels  403

Appendix C: Importable media formats Importable media formats 411

Still images and image sequences 413

Project formats  414

Appendix D: Understanding bit rate Understanding formats and codecs 415

Understanding bit rate  416

Understanding spatial and temporal compression 416

Appendix E: Understanding video displays Understanding Video Displays 417

Understanding aspect ratio and pixel aspect ratio  417

Progressive display versus interlacing 419

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Jerron Smith is an animator, editor, and educator. He has worked with Adobe technologies for more than a decade. He teaches web, interactive, and new media classes at American Graphics Institute. The AGI Creative Team develops and delivers training programs for creative, marketing, and communications professionals through the American Graphics Institute.

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