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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Intro to Adobe After Effects
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Interface Tour

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • The Workspace 0:08
    • Setting Up Your Workspace
    • Preferences: Appearance
  • Project Window 2:13
    • Introduction to The Project Window
    • Interpret Footage
    • Create a New Folder
    • File Path
  • Compositions 4:35
    • Compositions Window
    • Resolution
    • Channels
    • Camera View
    • Current Time Indicator & Toggle Mask and Shape Path Visibility
    • Choose Grid and Guide Options
    • Magnification Ratio Popup
  • Layers 6:54
    • Layers Overview
  • Timeline 9:47
    • Timeline
  • Preview, Audio, Text 11:09
    • RAM Preview
    • Audio
    • Text
  • Rendering 13:24
    • Introduction to Rendering
    • Render Setting
    • Output Module Settings

Transcription: Interface Tour

Hi, welcome back to

In this next lesson we are going to take a tour to the interface of After Effects. 0002

It is going to be very exciting.0007

So, the first thing we are going to check out is the workspace.0009

When you first open After Effects it prompts you this window here.0014

And I suggest you leave on the sure welcome tips and tricks of the day start up. 0019

I usually leave that checked -- you never know. I am always learning something new in After Effects.0025

A quick little tip here in the window.0028

I am going to open up our project here.0031

Let me close all this. So, this is the workspace.0036

Now the workspace it is kind of comprised of a project window, our stage area, we have a timeline, our layers. We have effects.0039

And you can pull up, like Photoshop. You can pull up as many windows that you would like to have here.0048

For instance, you can see we have some of these actually turned off character as for creating text. 0053

It kind of, pops up there. 0061

So, each one of these windows if you grab short here in the corners. 0062

It kind of moves, it kind of reads what you are doing here, it kind of resizes.0068

It really depends on the project. 0074

They have different presets here in your workspace area where you have all panel showing, just the facts, motion tracking. 0076

It really depends on what you are doing. 0085

You can also set your workspace up in difference. You can unlock the each docking panel.0087

So, After Effects calls in bullets, pallets are here. In After Effects they are called windows or panels.0094

You can also change if you want go into the settings or the preferences. 0102

You can change the basic display of After Effects.0107

A quick ahead here you can change the brightness of your workspace. 0117

So, really depends what kind of project we are going to have to have it set.0125

So, if you go to. Let us go back over here. 0131

The next thing we are going to look at it is our project window.0134

In the project window, basically that is sort of the Hub as for you import everything. That is all your files are kept. 0139

It is where you are going to keep your audio files, your footage files. 0149

The more you keep this area organized the easier it will be to work in After Effects. 0155

In the project window, you can tell that is highlighted right now because that is the actor window we are working in.0161

If you move around in different panels here you can see the gold trim around each panel, kind of, come to life here. 0169

So, we are on a project window.0177

I usually sort of working into organization later but I keep them kind of organized here. 0180

My compositions, audio elements rendered anything I bring into here.0183

Because if you click the pull downs here you can see here is all my footage files.0188

So, at the bottom of the project window, if I click this button here it interprets the footage. 0195

For instance, if I have this highlighted this video file. I click this button here and it kind of, it prompts the window, 0202

This is all the information about that clip it is highlighted here.0213

I click OK. This is where we can create a new folder, this button here.0217

So, you can see it is ready to create. It prompts you New folder. 0224

And over here it is where you can actually use this button here to create a new composition, which will get into in a minute 0232

It prompts of the COM settings. 0237

Of course, is a trashcan here and you can move this over if it gets too busy in here. 0242

What is nice about the project window is. Let us say I needed to try to find out where an actual file is kept.0246

It has already been imported. 0256

If I want to check out the path of that file, I can pull my project window here and see the file path.0258

Here is the type of file, the size and the paths were kept here on one my drives. 0267

So that is your project window.0273

The next part of our tour would be compositions. 0276

So, compositions are really almost like containers for each part of your story or your footage or your project.0283

So, we will get to the timeline. But each one of these is a composition here that is self-contained.0294

This is where compositions are created.0302

This is our composition window or you going to think of it more like a stage0305

When you create a composition, which we will clear one from scratch later, it will look something like this.0310

And in the composition you have all the properties down here.0317

At the bottom here you have different toggle buttons and switches. 0322

Here is where I can select whether I want a wall in working.0327

You are going to see that if you work in full resolution and you have a slow computer that is going to get kind of bumped down.0331

I like to work at half resolution, even quarter resolution and that is where you make that selection here. 0336

Here we have different channels. Our RGB channel is here. 0342

If you want to just work in your red channel, green, blue, alpha channels and why not go back to our RGB.0347

Different camera views are here.0355

Here is where we have our actual current time indicator.0357

This is the turner of masks on and off. 0362

Something when you are working you have all these different things going on like paths and motion mass and everything. 0365

So, to not see those temporally you can click this button here.0371

Here is where we can turn on and off our title safe area.0374

When you are working in graphics or television you want to know the title safe and the action safe area. 0378

You do not have to have that turned on all the time.0385

In After Effects like Photoshop, there is at least 5 to 10 ways to do the same thing.0388

So, here is we can scale in our composition or scale out. 0395

A lot of times I am hitting our arrow keys here or Command-plus or minus.0400

You are always going to be kind of zooming in and zooming out when you work out in certain areas. 0406

Let us go back over here and next would be layers. Let us turn our layers on.0415

And layers, again, are very similar to Photoshop and I would say it is kind of like Photoshop with wings.0422

Down here, here is our timeline area and these are where our layers are kept.0431

It is almost like an editing program and Photoshop kind of put together where each layer has its own properties.0439

So, for instance, if I were to open up this layer here and we have different transformed properties. 0446

Each layer, everything is brought into this window here. We will have these properties ready for start working in key framing.0454

In this case, it is always going to have your anchor point, position, scale, rotation.0462

In this case let us back up a bit here. And this is the Sally shoot movie. 0467

You can see if we keep going down to shrink down the timeline a bit this movie does not appear. 0476

This sequence here does not appear until we get to write about here.0483

Around 8 minutes in and that is where appears on the time indicator there. 0488

And there she is shooting. 0494

So, if I turn this layer off, she disappears.0496

If I kind of zoom in our timeline here you can see that each one of these, if I would to turn this off. 0499

For instance we are in one of our titles here, Revenge has never been so sweet.0509

If I turn that layer off the text that way turns off.0513

And you can have this competition since you can see it like Photoshop like a transparency.0518

Turn that back on.0525

So, layers are where you are going to be doing a lot of your adjusting.0526

If you move down here you could turn some of these into 3D layers, which will get into motion, blur.0530

There is a lot of modes and switches.0535

If I hit control here I can add more properties to each layer.0538

For instance, we might get into modes, again similar to Photoshop.0545

Or we can turn the layer and change their values. Multiply, add light and dark screen, the whole bits in there.0549

So, when you are working it gets a little too cumbersome.0557

If you are not using those values you might as well turn some of these columns off by hitting Hide this.0559

You can move this around, you can rename your layers.0566

So you are really going to be working in here. You know, composition and your timeline area are your layers.0570

The layers are like your actors and your composition area it is like a stage. That is the best way to explain it.0579

Go back over here. We kind of briefly mention the timeline.0587

The timeline, again, it is similar to an editing program. 0592

So you have your time indicator. I will hit spacebar. 0596

I will render this way.0603

You can also hit your RAM preview, hitting number zero in your numeric keypad here and it renders.0605

We will get into rendering. 0615

Here you go, shoot them up0619

So, here this is the timeline, like I said and you can set this for frames or you can set it for seconds. 0620

Some people in animation like to work in frames.0626

When you are working with a client is helpful to make a correction or revision. 0630

They will work frames that are on and what was the time on that.0635

You can click your actual timeline. Let us say you needed to get to a specific time. 0639

You can click that and you can type in your values here and the actual timeline indicator will go to that point in time. 0645

So, that is kind of your timeline. There is little tricks which you will get into. 0653

You can set markers, predefined areas. You can stretch out the timeline.0655

You can, like, adding programs, you can grab the timeline here and stretch it or shrink it.0663

Next would be our RAM preview, audio and text.0670

So After Effects, like I said, it is a very powerful program. 0676

Shrink that back up.0682

You can add text, you can, and there is different values here.0684

So, while we are working in After Effects your goals to get everything how you would like it to be. 0690

You are going to set the stage, your colors, your timing and then you can see a RAM preview.0699

So, before you rendered out to a QuickTime movie. You can do RAM preview here and you click this button here.0704

Or again, you can hit the number zero in your numeric keypad. 0711

And it gives you a preview of what you are doing before you render it out into a movie.0716

Let us do a little preview here. I will hit play. 0723

So, now, back to preview, now with audio.0735

After Effects handles audio and you can see this is the only layer here that has audio.0739

And you can tell because it has a little speaker symbol turned on. 0744

I like to turn that on and off. If I want to I can actually open up this value here.0748

There is transformation and we have audio and if I open up the waveform you can actually see the audio in that layer.0753

I can even hold down Command and scrub the audio.0762

Now, as far as text goes. Let me open up the text composition here.0770

And you can see that each one of these layers here is a text layer 0775

Now, if I want to change this word Sweet to another layer. And it is similar to Photoshop that has a text tool.0782

I am going to highlight that and I am simply going to type in a new word, Sweet and sour.0793

So, next thing on the tour here is rendering.0804

Rendering basically means once we have compiled everything and we are set to make a movie. 0807

Now, you can render out to almost any format you can imagine.0815

And to do that we would add something to our render courier here.0821

Let us say we want to render out this movie right now.0826

We would go up here and we are going to add to render queue. 0830

And what it does is it prompts the render settings. 0838

So, what you want to do is you can click here. 0842

And here is we can make all of your configurations here. Best draft wireframe, the resolution. 0845

You can select the size here. 0852

If you go to the output module. We are basically trying to get it out of After Effects and render it into a self-contained movie. 0856

Here is our more output settings which will get into later on.0863

Here you can see there are all kinds of different formats.0866

You have the H264, you have MP3 sequences you can make, pin sequences, tiff sequences. 0871

It is really all in there. 0880

Your format option is here where you can render out in different compression rates, different codecs.0882

With all today's cameras After Effects will definitely have a setting for you.0890

And then here we are going to output where we would we output 2.0895

We are going to click the output 2 and you are going to name your file here and we are going to render on a movie.0899

So, really, you just want to give yourself a nice learning curve, time and you really learn each aspect of After Effects.0906

Thank you for watching I will see you in the next lesson.0919