Synopses & Reviews
Do you like to learn by doing? Do manuals leave you bored to tears and craving real-world examples? Do you want concrete training that goes beyond theory and reference materials? If so, this is the book for you.
These hands-on exercises teach you the basic techniques of creating motion graphics and special effects for film, video, and the Web. You'll learn to animate text and images, integrate sound, and publish the results to a variety of formats. Complete with insider tips, illustrated with detailed graphics, and accompanied by a CD loaded with classroom-proven exercises and QuickTime movies, this book ensures you'll master key features of After Effects 6 in no time.
About the Author
Lynda Weinman is an author, instructor, and designer specializing in graphics and design for screen-based media. She has taught digital arts at numerous seminars and colleges, including Art Center College of Design, American Film Institute, San Francisco State University, and UCLA. Lynda is a featured columnist on digital graphics and animation, and writes for numerous national and international magazines. Her Web design books have been translated into several languages, and are published in second and third editions.
Table of Contents
What Is After Effects? What's New in After Effects 6.0? What Are Animation and Motion Graphics? What Formats Does After Effects Produce? How Does After Effects Differ from Photoshop? How Is After Effects Different from Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Premiere? How Is After Effects Different from Macromedia Flash? What Is Compositing? How Do I Get Video Content into AE? What Tools Do I Need Besides After Effects? How Do I Learn More About Animation, Video, and Compositing?
First View of After Effects. The Project Window. The Composition Window. The Timeline Window. Palette Organization. Time Controls Palette. Audio Palette. Info Palette. Tools Palette. Shortcut Keys. Exercise 1. Using the After Effects Interface.
3. The Project.
What Is a Project? Exercise 1. Creating and Setting Up a Project. Importing Assets (Also Known As Footage!) Exercise 2. Importing Photoshop Documents. Exercise 3. Importing Illustrator Documents. Exercise 4. Importing QuickTime Movies. Exercise 5. Importing a Folder of File Types at One Time. Exercise 6. Creating Folders. Test Yourself on This Part!
4. The Composition.
What Is a Composition? Exercise 1. Composition Settings. Composition Settings. The Project Settings. Exercise 2. Getting Footage into the Composition. Exercise 3. Importing a Photoshop File as a Composition. Exercise 4. Creating a Composition from Footage Settings. Test Yourself on This Part!
5. Keyframes, Animation, and Timeline.
Viewing the Timeline. What Is a Keyframe? Exercise 1. Setting Keyframes. What Is a Property? Exercise 2. Using RAM Preview. Exercise 3. Editing the Motion. Exercise 4. Copying and Pasting Keyframes. Exercise 5. Moving Keyframes. Shortcut Keys for Properties. Automatic Keyframe Shortcuts. Exercise 6. Animating Scale Using Control Handles. Exercise 7. Animating Multiple Properties. What Is the Anchor Point? Exercise 8. Animating the Anchor Point Using the Pan Behind Tool. What Are Bézier Curves and Handles? Exercise 9. Using Bézier Handles with Motion Paths. Spatial Interpolation Types. Mixing Spatial Interpolation Types. Exercise 10. Following a Complex Motion Path. Test Yourself on This Part!
6. Playing with Time.
Spatial Versus Temporal Interpolation. Exercise 1. Using the Keyframe Assistant. Exercise 2. Editing the Speed Graph. Exercise 3. Using the Hold Temporal Interpolation Method. Exercise 4. Using Roving Keyframes. What Is Keyframe Interpolation?
7. Previewing Movies.
The Importance of Previewing. The Time Controls Palette. Types of Previews. Exercise 1. Play Modes in the Time Controls Palette. Exercise 2. Skipping Frames for Faster RAM Previews. Exercise 3. Lowering Preview Resolution. Exercise 4. Changing Resolution in the Composition Window. Exercise 5. Previewing a Region of Interest. Exercise 6. Limiting Previews with Work Area Settings. Exercise 7. Wireframe Previews. Eeek!Which Setting Should You Use?
Exercise 1. Layer Basics. Exercise 2. Labeling Layers. What Are Switches? Exercise 3. Using Shy Layers. Exercise 4. Using the Solo Switch. Exercise 5. Using the Quality Switch. Exercise 6. The Quality Switch vs Continuous Rasterization. What Is Motion Blur? Exercise 7. Applying Motion Blur. Moving and Trimming Time in Layers. Exercise 8. In and Out Points in Layers. Exercise 9. Keyboard Methods for Trimming Layers. Exercise 10. Splitting Layers. Exercise 11. Time Stretching and Frame Blending. Exercise 12. Time Remapping. Exercise 13. Replacing Layers. Exercise 14. Sequencing Layers. What Is a Solid Layer? Exercise 15. Creating Solid Layers. Aligning and Distributing Layers. Exercise 16. Using the Align Palette. What Are Layer Modes? Exercise 17. Layer Modes.
9. Text Layers.
Text Layers and the Animate Text Menus. Exercise 1. Setting and Animating Text. Exercise 2. Using the Range Selector. What Is Offset? Exercise 3. Multiple Animators and Selectors. Exercise 4. Advanced Selector Properties. Range Selector Properties. Exercise 5. Text Boxes and the Wiggly Selectors. Wiggly Selector Properties. Exercise 6. Using Character Offset. Exercise 7. Putting Text on a Path. Exercise 8. Importing Text from Photoshop and Illustrator Files.
What Are Plug-ins? Exercise 1. Applying Effects. Exercise 2. The Drop Shadow Effect. Exercise 3. Transition Effects. Exercise 4. Favorites. Exercise 5. Adjustment Layers with Effects. Exercise 6. Using Precompose with Effects. The Pre-Compose Dialog Box. Parenting Versus Precomposing. The Effects Palette.
Parenting Layers. Exercise 1. Attaching Children to a Parent. The Interpret Footage Dialog Box. Exercise 2. Preparing for Parenting. Exercise 3. Animating Children and Parents. Exercise 4. Using a Null Object as a Parent.
About Paint. Exercise 1. Creating a Write-On. Exercise 2. Editing a Paint Stroke. Exercise 3. Morphing Paint Strokes over Time. Exercise 4. Creating a "Write On" Effect with the Eraser Tool. Exercise 5. Using the Clone Tool. Exercise 6. "Faking" Painting with the Scribble Effect.
Exercise 1. Creating Simple Masks. Drawing Masks with the Pen Tool. Working with the Selection Tool. Exercise 2. Drawing Bézier Masks Using the Pen Tool. Exercise 3. Using Masks with Text Effects. Exercise 4. Creating Feathered Masks. Exercise 5. Using Mask Modes. Exercise 6. Animating and Changing Mask Shapes.
14. Track Mattes.
What Is an Alpha Channel? Importing Alpha Channels from Photoshop Documents. Exercise 1. Creating a Track Matte. Exercise 2. Animating the Track Matte. Exercise 3. Luminance-Based Track Mattes. Exercise 4. Soft-Edged Track Matte with a Masked Solid Layer. Other Masking Modes.
15. 3D Layers.
3D in After Effects. Overview of Making 3D Layers in the Timeline. Exercise 1. Making 3D Layers. Overview of 3D Views. Exercise 2. Using 3D Views. Exercise 3. Changing Custom Camera Views. Multiple Views. Exercise 4. Lighting in 3D. Exercise 5. Adding and Animating a Camera. Exercise 6. Animating the Point of Interest. Camera Settings Dialog Box. Exercise 7. Camera Options and Settings. Exercise 8. Previewing Draft 3D and Wireframe Interactions.
Overview of Audio in After Effects. Exercise 1. Adding Audio to Your Compositions. Exercise 2. Previewing Audio. Exercise 3. Adding Markers and Comments. The Marker Dialog Box. The Audio Palette. Exercise 4. Adjusting Volume Levels.
18. Rendering Final Movies.
QuickTime Versus AVI/Video for Windows. Compression and Decompression. The Render Queue Window. Exercise 1. Using the Render Queue Default Settings. Exercise 2. Changing the Render Settings. Exercise 3. Working with the Output Module. The Output Module Settings Dialog Box. Exercise 4. Rendering Audio. Exercise 5. Saving Alpha Channels or Motion Masks. How Can You See the Alpha Channel of a Composition? After Effects for the Web. Exercise 6. Saving RAM Previews. Exercise 7. Creating and Using Rendering Templates. Exercise 8. Collecting Files. Writing Macromedia Flash Files. Exercise 9. Outputting the Macromedia Flash Format.
Appendix A: Resources.
Books About After Effects. CD-ROMs About After Effects. Videos About After Effects. Online Communities and Resources. Online Resources for Audio and Video Formats. HTML and QuickTime Links. Related lynda.com Training Products.
Appendix B: Troubleshooting.
Why Do I Get a Gray Frame at the End of a Composition? Why Does My RAM Preview Stop Short? QuickTime Isn't Working—What Should I Do? What Can I Do When the "Missing Footage" Error Message Appears? Why Is My Movie Playback Jerky? Why Do I Get an "Untitled" Warning? What If I'm on a Laptop and the Keyboard Shortcuts Don't Work?