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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Intro to Adobe After Effects
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Post by Joel Fredin on March 26, 2014

Is it too late to learn After Effects if i'm 20 years old? Or should i have begun much earlier? I want to become good at it but don't know if it's possible ;D I think it's really fun making special effects and editing movies :)

Introduction to After Effects

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
  • What is After Effects? 0:03
  • Endless Possibilities 0:13
    • Sample After Effect Projects
  • Learning Curve 1:28
    • 'Six Gun Sally' Project Preview
    • Bullet Hits Composition
    • Text Revenge Composition
    • Logo Composition
  • Summary 8:51

Transcription: Introduction to After Effects

Hi, welcome to your first lesson with After Effects at What is After Effects?0000

Well, After Effects is a compositing program used for all sorts of digital media.0006

It has endless possibilities. It is better if I just show you.0015

Let us shim over here to QuickTime. I will just let this play.0018

These are I would say 99 percent of the elements you will see before you were created in After Effects. Let us take a look.0023

So, you can animate pretty much anything in After Effects. 0034

You can create titles, you can composite, you can remove green screen, animation. It is pretty endless I must say.0037

Whether it is corporate videos, your own movies other than graphics packages, different TV shows, movie titles. It is pretty endless.0052

Let me show you some of the green screening. 0067

Here are some stuff over the years and I will make this all bigger. So, it is a fun program.0071

So, the main trick with After Effects is that you want to give yourself a reasonable learning curve.0088

It is almost like getting into the cockpit of a 747 saying wow, how do I fly this thing?0099

So, give yourself some time to learn the program. It is basically similar to Photoshop with wings. 0104

So, let me open up the program.0110

And usually when you first open the program, I will give you a quick little tour here. 0114

You get this window here and I need you to leave the tool tips checked. 0118

It is always good to kind of see the latest tool tips and tricks and things.0124

You can then launch the project. I have a premade project here called Six Gun Sally.0129

Let us kind of go to trough the project real quick. So, After Effects is made of different components.0135

We have our project window here. 0141

Here is our stage more or less and similar, like I said, to Photoshop here are the layers.0145

And each layer is similar to an editing program mixed with Photoshop.0152

Basically that is After Effects. 0160

Each one of these layers represents an actor, so to speak.0161

So, you have your timeline here. 0168

Why do not we do this. Why do not we do a RAM preview of this piece here.0171

The green bar is indicating that is actually rendering all the files. So we can watch this as a movie. 0176

You can see as it is rendering all this pieces work are different compositions that are built into one master build.0182

We have a little bit of everything. 0192

We have some effects. We have some titles and we are animating elements that handle sound.0193

There is atmosphere. So this is just about to finish.0201

But you can see it is kind of like you can structure your canvas, and all your windows and pallet is how you see fit. Depends on the kind of work you are doing here.0206

Let us turn this volume up so we can hear some gun shots. Six Gun Sally.0215

Let us let that play one more time. So you can get a feel.0225

There you go. So let s stop that. 0240

So, if you kind of scroll through here these are timeline. 0242

Here is our stage. Here is where we are going to be importing all of our files to our project window here. 0247

If you go down here. The first thing that our time indicator hits is this composition here 0252

And some of this is what they call pre-compositions.0262

So, like, if I were to move forward to the Bullet hits here. Play those.0264

If I were to double-click this layer here, called Bullet hits. 0271

I open that up. And this is his own composition.0277

I will do a quick RAM preview. That is rendering there is a little green line there, 0280

So, as you can see as it is rendering there are several lawyers composited in here.0289

Composite, basically means nesting. You are nesting a composition within a composition.0295

There is no sound in this actual composition. But you can see how if I were to kind of break this down. 0302

Turn all this layers off. Similar to Photoshop, here is your eyeball of things here.0309

And we are going to turn on the back layer, which is wood. Our wood wall.0314

And we have our different Bullet hits. 0318

And on each Bullet hit is a third party purchase. You can purchase different effects like premade smoke and fire, water, things like that, explosions.0321

You can see if you break these down. In fact let us turn off all of our actual wall hits here. 0336

And if we turn on all the Bullet hits you can see why they are kind of all lined up here. 0346

You are kind of working backwards sometimes. 0353

So, let me turn these back on.0356

You could see if I were to turn all of this off except the, you can solo different layers.0358

And if I were to play these wall hits you can see they are played separate.0366

You are really just building things getting into the next thing crannies of every part of production.0376

As you can see here. Let me open up this composition here.0383

And should we do a RAM preview there. Let us do a quick break down actually.0387

And we have the wood wall behind there. We have a black solid we are using, we have fire and we have the text that animates in. 0393

When you are animating text we can get into key framing at some point. 0403

Key frames are assigned different values. 0410

As you can see if I open this up we have position, scale, and opacity. Let me zoom out a bit. These are basically key frames. 0416

Move over here. Let me do a RAM preview.0427

So, as you can see, if I to do frame by frame the word Sweet animates in and here is our landing point key frames.0432

If I want to increase leave the time. If I want to animate in slower, the key frames that I have created.0443

I am just basically going to move the key frames back and it slows it down a bit. 0450

Go back to the main build here. 0459

So, you can see there are all kinds of possibilities in After Effects. It is really endless.0461

Let me break this down for you. 0467

We have the logo at the end. The logo is basically a western town.0470

Now, each layer can have effects applied to it.0477

In this case if I remove all the effects I have a town. A western town here.0481

And I would not know what to do and I added Hue/Saturation, Brightness and Contrast and a little bit of a Blur. 0489

I added a gun on top. Now the gun, the Colt 45 has some effects to it as well.0496

Here is the key frame for that. 0501

Here is where we can kind of see it moving in. 0502

It kind of fades in as well. 0507

We have effects like Brightness and Contrast added to that. It is a fun program.0509

Here is some dust blowing to give it some atmosphere. If I take all this off here we can see our dust.0517

A bit dust there in the bottom.0526

So, whether you are a professional filmmaker or beginner or you just like making fun videos on YouTube. After Effects is the way to go.0532

Thank you for watching I look forward to see you in our next lesson.0541