Tuesday, 6 December 2011

After Effects workshop 2

Using Illustrator and Photoshop with After Effects

Indesign works spatially -  You position things within a space
After Effects is a Temporal arrangement - Arrange on a time line.


File sizes have to be correct sizes
File, new

Preset:  Film and dvd
Resolution 72dpi
Colour mode : RGB
Pixel dimension 1050x576 (PAL D1/DV)

THe guides

The guides specify 'safe' zones within which to work. Anything of significance should be kept within the safe zones .  Originally devised for Curved TV screens.

The outer is the action safe zone and the inner is the Title safe zone.

The action safe zone in After Effects

When importing Photoshop files there are several options.

1. Create text as one layer with a TRANSPARENT layer
Save as PSD format to retain transparent layer.

In after effects file, import file
Import as footage - just occupies one layer in the composition

File appears in the project panel (establishes a link with AE files)

Drag down to Timeline (automatically centres in composition window or drag into composition window)
To delete a layer click on the layer then use the back space key to delete.

2. Importing layers - We used 'shatter.psd' as an example

This had several layers, each layer could be animated in AE.

Import in AE as Composition

Imports as a new Composition which is the same length as the original composition and also a layers folder in the project window.  (Although this is not used).

Any project can contain several compositions which may be useful for example when working with different resolutions.

Double click the comp to open
Opens as a new tab in the timeline.
Each layer in each PS exists as a layer in AE.

Can hide or delete layers.

Each layer can have an independent start and end point.

Select all layers
'P' for position in transform tools.

If multiple layer change click on a stop watch all layers will start at the same time.Position playback line as appropriate.

Can also manually move layers in the Composition window by clicking and dragging.

Third option for importing is Composition - retain same layers sizes.

Used an example Scale. psd

In this example each layer is the same size as the comp, the anchor point is in the centre of the layer.

The anchor point is the Centre of rotation/scale.

All layers will scale around the same point.

Each layer has its own anchor point and is specified by what is on the layer.

Each will scale and rotate around their own anchor point.  It also links the motion path to its own anchor point so the path is more distinct.


Use the preset for video and film - 1050x575, RGB
Uses Vectors not pixels.

Can import layers or just footage in same way.

Everything in AE is on Pixels so even though importing as a vector it becomes pixelated in AE. Refer to 'Roll' below

Although can retain vector qualities by using 'Layer switches'.

Layer Switches

The first is the Shy switch which will hide any layer (just switch on) then click on the 4th icon on the tool bar above.  

fx - Enable/disable any effect within a layer (also can help with RAM preview).

The photo film icon is for working with video (blends frames together)

The Quality switch allows you to change the quality of individual layers (if RAM preview can lower quality so speeds up)

Applies motion blur to the layer when clicked, then click the main motion blur switch in the tool bar above.

Motion blur can be adjusted in the advanced menu on the Composition setting menu.  Manipulating angles/shutter speeds alters the intensity.  Larger shutter angles make a more exaggerated motion blur.

The adjustment layer switch is to contain an effectie adjust levels on an a layer

Continually Rasterised switch retains the vector quality of Illustrator files.

Important notes
Save all files and assets in the same folder.  Can collect files as above which will gather together everything your project has used.  This makes a separate copy of everything.

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