After effects basics
What is After Effects?
Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics, visual effects and compositing
software used in the post-production process of filmmaking and television
production. Its main uses are the origination of 2D and 2.5D (visual views at a
¾ perspective its in-between 2D and 3D – see figure1. for an example)
animation, visual effects compositing and finishing image adjustment, colour
Composition window – is where you can
preview a composition. Extra information is
also shown here such as changes to the
timeline motion paths, masks and more.
This is the information panel
showing the RGB, the location of
your mouse on the comp screen
and the time information when
playing a clip.
allows you to
clip in the comp
window and see
It also has a
loop, mute and
frame rate per
second to make
Project window –
it stores all
that can be used
on an After Effects
This is the timeline for your comp window. This
window shows you the fps of the comp the length
where your preview is currently paused. You can
also isolate an area of the comp so you can focus on
the specific part when editing.
How do you import a file
There are two way to import a file the easiest was is by double clicking in the empty space of the
project window and select in your file/s from the pop-up window, the second way is by going to the
toolbar File – Import – File…
How do you set up a 30 second composition?
When you open a new composition file or when you
right click on a file in your project window and select
Interpret Footage – Main… a new composition set up
window will appear (a screen shot of this is on the left).
To change the duration time you need to enter a new
time here, that will then change the duration of your
composition which can only be changed in the settings,
this feature is useful if you’re being strict on the time
How do you place files into a new composition?
To add files to a composition you drag them from the project window and drop them either into the
composition window or the right side of the timeline window.
What do the time controls do?
Loop – allows you to loop the
preview in the comp window. –
This button also has a play it
once and a ping pong (the
preview plays then it play
backwards) option, to change it
just click the button.
Ram preview –
renders video and
then plays in real
How do you zoom into individual panels?
To zoom into individual panels you click on this symbol
which is in every window’s top right
corner, a drop down menu similar to this
will appear on here is a selection of
different viewing sizes to view just that
window select the Maximise frame option.
Amazing effects I would
like to do
Camera through a car window.
To do this effect in basic terms
they filmed the shot without the
window and then edited their
own window into the shot later
on. This sort of shot has always
been a favourtie of mine
espeaslly the camera through
the wall or celing as you see for
a split second all the little bits
inside. This is a very advanced
trick so I’ll wait to get some skills
at less advanced things then I
can be ready.
although most CGI
objects look unrealistic
the thing that makes it
look more realistic
even if it’s a ludicrously
strange monster in the
middle of the street it
would require a
shadow that works
perfectly as it should in
nature. Which is way
this shadow effect is
probably the most
important thing to
learn, as everything
you make needs a
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