Grab Your Audience: Create Enthralling Intros for Your Videos | JR Alli | Skillshare

Grab Your Audience: Create Enthralling Intros for Your Videos

JR Alli, Filmmaker

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14 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:30
    • 2. Why Spend Time on Intros?

      2:42
    • 3. Planning Your Intro

      7:35
    • 4. Shooting Your Intro

      6:32
    • 5. Organizing Your Footage

      8:49
    • 6. Editing Your Footage

      12:00
    • 7. Adding Visual Effects to Static Shots

      8:33
    • 8. Adding Visual Effects to Moving Shots

      5:47
    • 9. Rotoscoping

      6:05
    • 10. Finalizing Visual Effects

      3:39
    • 11. Sound Design

      12:36
    • 12. Color Grading

      4:56
    • 13. Finalizing and Rendering

      3:40
    • 14. Final Thoughts

      0:12
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About This Class

In a world of constant clicking, attention spans are shorter than ever. Make sure your video grabs (and keeps!) as many viewers as you can with a spectacular introduction!

YouTuber and travel videographer JR Alli has been creating trendsetting videos online for years, not least because of his innovative introductions. From the second you press play, his videos are compulsively watchable — and he has the views to prove it.

Now, he’s sharing the fascinating strategy he applies to the beginning seconds of all of his work in this comprehensive class. From initial shot list to final edit, you’ll journey with JR through a dark basement (not as terrifying as it sounds!) into a sci-fi world that looks like it was filmed in the year 3020. Along the way, JR will break down his exact shooting and editing tactics, taking you step-by-step through each and every detail of his process.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop a comprehensive, specific shot list
  • Experiment with angles and camera movement
  • Effectively organize your footage
  • Use masks and free textures and sounds to give your video cinematic quality

Whether you’re brand new to the video world or a pro looking for a new edge, use this class to unlock your ability to create compulsively watchable videos. Grab your audience in 30 seconds or less (really, that’s about how long you have) and get shooting with JR!

This class is welcoming to all levels of students. While JR’s equipment is advanced, you can use his strategies and techniques with any camera you have access to, including your phone. JR uses Adobe After Effects to edit, and some familiarity with that program is recommended.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Our attention spans are getting much more shorter, and that's why it's very important to help your viewer in the first 15 seconds of your video. Hi, my name is JR Alli. I'm a filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada, and I make specifically online content. In this class, you're going to learn how to edit an intro with me. By really focusing on my introductions more for my videos, it's really set me apart from many other creators. It's something that I haven't really seen a lot of people dive into. So in this class we're going to go through my mindset a little bit and talk about pre-planning things like shot lists, and why it's important. Then we'll go ahead and actually shoot an intro. Then we'll have you either edit my footage or edit your own footage. Whatever camera you are shooting with is totally fine, whatever lens. On editing, you can either use something like Premiere Pro if you're not going to go too crazy with the editing and post-production. But if you want to take it up a notch, you can use something like After Effects. If there's one takeaway from this class, I hope it's that you have the confidence to go out and execute on an idea, especially for an introduction. It doesn't have to be anything crazy. It's just really about taking the time beforehand to plan something and going out, and shooting it. So with this class, I really want it to feel like a community. So whatever you do end up making in the end, please share it with the Project Gallery, I'd love to see it. Thank you so much for joining this class. Let's get started. 2. Why Spend Time on Intros?: So the importance of introductions it's really to hook the viewer into the first 15-30 seconds, but I also feel like it gives you room to really experiment and try new things. When it comes to your introductions, it's really a place for you to take these ideas that you may have and that you're scared to really act on and really put it into an introduction. Anytime I see something cool that's done in a movie or something like that, I'll always write it down and I'll go back to it and end up using that idea for an introduction. You don't have a lot of moments where you're free to just express yourself and when it comes to introductions, I think, that's the perfect place to take that and put it into practice. At times you can feel very limited to the way you shoot, you get into these practices of shooting the same way but by having this outlet to shoot introductions, it's really helped me approach things differently and I really like being able to add that into my workflow now. I think there were a few moments where I tried to do too much with introductions and I really think it's important to have a very simple idea to start and then acting on it, especially when it comes to whether you're implementing an effect, you don't want to do too many crazy things, I really recommend just focusing on a singular narrative idea and then going out and executing it because, if you try and do too much into your introduction, it can feel very all over the place and it'll have a negative effect. In the end, you really want your viewer to get hooked into your world not lost into your world. So with short-form content, you only have 3-4 minutes to really tell a story, and it doesn't mean that you can always go as in-depth as you want, but I think what introductions really does is place the viewer directly into the story, it cuts out the extra bits that you don't really want in your story or you don't have enough time to tell, and I think if you really focus on using your introduction to do that, then it's very beneficial in the end. I do try and keep ahead of the trends and do things that a lot of people do but the cool thing about introductions to is that it leaves rooms for you to create your own trends and I've seen this with the intros that I've done in the past, it's become a talking point for online content and I'm really happy to see the community, for example, get behind some of the effects or some of the intros that I do in my videos and try and break it down so that they could use it in their own way. So we're going to dive right into it. First, we'll touch on pre-planning and then we'll actually shoot the intro. 3. Planning Your Intro: We're going to dive into pre-planning and creating your shot list. Without it, you can go into post-production realizing you may not have all the footage that you might need because you didn't plan. Because I'm very run and gun, I like to have this as a way to ensure that I have the elements that I need, but also remember that when you're going out and shooting, it's okay to try and find different shots. As long as you have your shot list checked off, you'll be good to go. One thing to note is that if you do end up doing anything when it comes to effects, you want to ensure that you're shooting this in the right way. To make my life easier when it comes to shot that I might want an effect for, I will shoot it in a certain way. I like to have those shots static just because in post-production it's very easy to replicate the effect I want. For the introduction we're shooting today, I want to start with the first few shots, just establishing the area. We have a very big open space, and I want it to be very like mystique so the first couple shots, I'm not going to really reveal the character's face. But then once we get into it, the camera will start to go in closer and closer, and then reveal the entire scene. What we're trying to do with this is this hologram effect. Essentially, these holograms that are popping up are videos that I've made in the past. This way, it's going through these memories that I've made over the last year. I ended up choosing the hologram effect because I feel like it's something that's not too crazy, and some of them can be very easily implemented, and it's just a very interesting way to take a space that's very old, and add this like sci-fi effect to it. For me, I really love playing with that idea. It's a theme that you may see in a lot of my videos, and it's something that I just really loved so I decided to run with that idea. When shooting these intros, I really think you should play to your strongest skill sets. That way, it really shines the things that you're really good at. For me, I'm really good at editing so I'm going to try and play to that strength. As I was walking through the space, I started to jot some notes down on my phone, and now I'm going to take those notes and put it into an actual shot list. For the first couple shots, I really don't want to reveal my character, that way, we can build some curiosity to the intro. This first shot, I want to specifically use the staircase that's in this room. I'm going to write down that first shot. I'm thinking, we do a gimbal shot that's panning back or forth and that is really focused just on the lower half of my body, lower half body gimbal movement. Once we get that gimbal movement shot, I'm thinking we get a shot right at the end of the stairs as I turn the corner and walk to the end of this room. So gimbal shot close character. As we have these shots, they're medium close up. I want one-shot that reveals the empty space of this room so I'm thinking I'm going to shoot it all the way into the corner, very high to show just how big this room is. What I've also noticed is that in this room there's a lot of these pillars, and what it leaves room for is the chance to do masking transition. So I'm thinking we have two gimbal shots that are connected through one of the pillars, and I'm thinking we shoot it on a wide lens, and then shooting that same shot on a closer lens, and using a mass to bridge those two shots. With that in mind, I'm going to write that down because those are going to be key elements, especially for post-production. Now that we've established the space and it's mysterious, I want to reveal my character. We're going to have a shot that's panning in a little bit and it's focused on the face. This is where I trigger the holograms. So I'm going to say something like play memories, and as I say that, these holograms are going to pop up. I'll write that down. I never really paid attention to shot list for a very long time, and the moment I started to create these shot list I realized it really helped me utilize my time. It made me think a lot about the space too. The way I approach things is so much different now, and I feel like the quality of my shots has improved because I've started to write down what I envision, and then I go out and execute it instead of trying to go into a space and just roll everything. You'll have so much footage in the end that you may not even use. I'm strategically only going to have one shot that has motion in it with effects overlaid because the workflow for it is a little bit tedious. I really want to have a shot where our character is standing as the holograms pop up, and it's a gimbal shot just panning in. I think that would be a very cool way to show the holograms popping up. Holograms pop up shot. These next set of shots are going to be locked off on a tripod, so it's a little bit easier to work in post-production. I'm thinking some medium close-ups, just shots from different angles so I have some things to work with and post. So medium, and then I'm thinking also potentially just the shot of the holograms on the wall without anyone in it just so the viewer can see some of the memories a little bit closer, and just give a little more context. All right. Now that we have that laid out, I want to touch on just the ending of how we're going to end off this intro. I'm thinking we'll have like a trigger as a call to action. My phone is going to be ringing and I just answer it and then it's me talking to my friend, and we're basically just discussing the first trip of the year. So we're just talking and I just walk out of frame. That's just going to be the ending of the intro. All right. We just finished the shot list, feel really good about this. Before we go out and shoot, I just quickly want to touch on the idea that this is just a shot list so when you're going out and shooting, if you see a shot that works much better, definitely go for it. Shoot things multiple takes because the more footage you have, the better. Sometimes some shots work better than others and you don't notice that until post-production. Just have fun with it and experiment. For the next portion, I'm actually going to have someone help me film the intro, and that's why shot lists are so important too because sometimes it's very hard to take what you imagined in your head and share it with other people. So having a shot list is great to work through with someone else. All right, it's time to shoot. Let's get to it. 4. Shooting Your Intro: We're just about ready to start shooting the intro. I've got Tom here, he's going to be my stand-in for some of the scenes. We can shoot it one time and then I can re-shoot it with me in it as well. I'm going to be referring to my phone for my shortlist. Let's do it. I think for the shot, it's just going to be a gimbal shot panning this way. The main thing is I don't want to reveal his face or anything yet. It's going to be probably right here and just cutting this way. Three, two, one action. Cool. I'm going to have you do that one more time. When you come down the stairs, can you have your hand like that coming down that way. I'm going to try and track your hand. Cool. Three, two, one, action. Cool. Can I get you just towards the end of the stairs? Same thing with your hand and then when you come around, I'm thinking maybe something like that, just to swing around. I'm really trying to get a lot of motion in it because it's shot, it's something that's very simple, someone walking. The way to really make it interesting is try and use a lot of motion and that's really why I like using gimbals the most. As he comes around the corner here, I'm thinking I'm just going to follow the motion this way and then it'll probably cut to a wider shot. Three, two, one, go. Cool. Now that we have these shots that are a little bit more mysterious, I want to establish the space. I'm going to probably do an establishing shot from really far, panning in as the subject walks in. Three, two, one, action. I switched to the 85 mil. We're going to essentially replicate the same shot and this is going to cause just a little bit of a push-in as we go behind the pillar. Three, two, one, action. Before we start doing the static shots, we're going to do one tracking shot with the holograms popping up and I'm just going to push in a little bit. Two, one, action. Now we're going to shoot all the static shots. This first one's going to be a dialogue scene. Essentially, all I want you to say is, when I cue you just say, play memories, then the holograms are going to pop up. Three, two, one, go. Play memories. Now that we got the dialogue scene, I essentially want to shoot a shot that's just directly in front of our character. We're going to use a few little miniature lights to simulate the holograms popping up. We'll have those flash in as the shots directly in front. Three, two, one, action. A little too fast. One more time. Three, two, one, action. I want to do single shot of just the wall, so I can add some of the holograms later. This way they're playing and people can get a gist of what the holograms are really. Then we'll play around with a few different angles of me just looking around at the holograms. This shot, I'm just going to shoot a blank slate of the wall and we're going to add the holograms later. It's going to just be five seconds shot or something. I shot this also in 4K, just so if I want to re-frame it later, I want to do a little bit of a zoom in on the frame, then I can easily do that in post. We're going to get a few different angles of our character just standing in the frame looking at the holograms. I just want you to stand similar location. We're going to just frame you up and just be looking around, pretending they were there. Three, two, one, action. I think there's just one more shot. It's again a static shot. I'm facing the wall. I'm going to pick up my phone and it's essentially my friend. He's telling me it's the first trip of the year. I'm telling him my bags are packed and ready to go and I exit the frame. Do you have your phone on you? Yeah. Just pretend you're talking to someone for a couple of 10 seconds or five or six seconds and then hang up and just exit the frame left. Three, two, one, action. Now that I've taken you through my mindset as I'm shooting this, we're going to review the footage here and now shoot the footage with me in it as well. Play memories. Going through the shortlist, it looks like that's the final shot of the day. We're going to take some of the footage back, had to desktop and start organizing. 5. Organizing Your Footage: Now we're on the desktop. We're going to start organizing our footage. A few things before we start, I'm going to be using After Effects to edit this entire sequencing, but if you're more comfortable in Premier, that's really good to use to trim your comp, and then putting it into After Effects to work on the effects. Before I even do that, I usually pick a soundtrack as well. I've already gone ahead and found a soundtrack on a royalty free website. The track that I end up choosing really depends on the location and the feeling I want for this. Because it has some sci-fi elements, I went with an ambient track that has some synths and it's much more ambient. There's not a lot of fast beats, and that way it's easier for me to figure out my own cuts for this intro. Organizing footage is really important. It cuts down on the time spent sifting through your footage, trying to find the right shot. It's such a key step in just cutting down on your post-production time. We're going to go ahead and talk about that a little bit here. What I'm going to do is I'm going to actually make some folders in After Effects, and this is where we're going to do our selects. That way it's just much easier to view the footage in my desktop, and then bring it into After Effects, and then from there we can start cutting down the footage. The first set of footage that we had was these mysterious shots, that's just what I'm going to call it. These are the first shots where I'm walking down the stairs. I'm actually using some just regular headphones. That way when I'm doing sound design, it ensures that everyone will be able to hear all the sound effects that I end up putting in my videos, so that's a quick tip. The footage, I ended up dumping this footage onto a hard drive and renamed it so that it's a little bit easier to sift through. As you can see, there's the two takes that we did, the footage with Tom and of me. We're going to only be selecting the footage where I'm in it so that we can just edit that for the intro. These two shots are good. I'm going to bring these in and with the folder that I've created here in After Effects, I'm just putting them under that so it's a little bit more organized and neat. For this intro, specifically, the way the footage is laid out, I see it as in sections. We have the first set of footage that it's a certain type of shot. These are just more mysterious shots, then we're going to get into the establishing wide shots and I want to put that all in a folder. For this intro, specifically, we're just going to looking at the different types of shots, and then we're doing selects based off of that. It depends on what type of video you're making. From travel videos I'm making, I'll usually organize my footage based on the location, and then create a sub folder if I've shot on different cameras, drones, the Sony cam, whatever I'm shooting on. With the selections for this intro, what I'm specifically looking for is the shots that are framed very nicely and the timing. I'll go through and watch things a few times just to make sure I'm choosing the right footage, because in the end that's the footage I'm going to be looking at when I end up editing. I want to make sure that I take my time and I'm selecting the right shots. We're going to make another folder because this is getting into the more establishing shots of the space. Again, going through these two sets of clips, I'm choosing the first one actually instead of the second one just because I just like the timing of this tracking shot, so we're going to end up just selecting this one instead. Again, another folder we're creating because this shot goes into more of the hologram in effect shot, so I'm going to batch that into a folder as well. Because I created a shotlist, as you can see, I don't have a lot of footage to go through now and this is cut down like hours. Like I've mentioned, a couple of years ago when I was creating projects, I spent bulk of my time doing this, just sitting here, going through footage, and it's not the most fun part of the process. Cutting this down, make sure that you're in the editing software actually working on it much faster. I think this is the last shot here. One more folder and I'll just call this the End shot. Just to stay organized, we'll put it in the folder. We have all our selects made. What I'll essentially do is setup my timeline so that we can start throwing these clips in, and it's very important that we end up choosing our song very early because one part of the process that I really enjoy doing is actually going in and listening to the track. Sometimes I'll find a track, and then base my entire project around it. Having that sound tracked in my head while I'm filming has helped so much with the types of shots that I really want to get. I definitely recommend trying to find your music before you go out and shoot. It just helps a lot with the process. Music and visuals are so co-dependent and the more you think about music and sound, the better your visuals end up coming out. I think they both work with each other. They inspire each other, so I definitely recommend spending as much time as you can finding the right soundtrack. It helps a lot. We're going to open up our music just to see the waveform. This will help with adding markers. I love adding markers to projects. You can do this in any editing software. What it really does is just give you a sense of space within your editing software, and you'll see I'm going to add some markers here and I'll show you this cool benefit of adding markers. It really just helps keep things organized. We'll go in and listen to the song. This might take you a few tries, but I'd definitely recommend just listening to your track and adding markers where you feel like it fits. There's not always a right moment to add a marker. Usually, if there's a beat change, there's elevation in the waveform, you'll add a marker. But with this track, it's ambient, so it really depends on what you're feeling. For the pacing of this, I want the first few shots to be really slow paced, and then as you can see on our timeline here, we've got markers that are much more closer together. These just give you a little bit of spacing and it helps with your timing. Just because I add these markers, it doesn't mean that the clips are going to end up staying this length, but it just helps give me a little bit of structure to my editing. The cool thing about markers is that you can right-click on it and go to Settings. You can add comments to your markers, and I love doing this because sometimes I'll forget. I'll have a really good idea, but I need to come back to it. For example, if I want the hologram effect to start around 15 seconds, then I'm going to go to this marker, click "Settings", and just add a note like, holograms start to pop up. This way, I just get a sense of timing, and timing is a very crucial thing. It's a really good tip to start to implement into your editing. Now, I'm just going to go through the footage and start chopping things down. This might take a little bit of time, but I definitely recommend just taking your time with it and making cuts where you think cuts should be made. We're done organizing our footage, doing are selects, now it's time to actually start the edit and get right into it. 6. Editing Your Footage: Now we're going to jump into trimming the footage and placing it on the timeline. For this process, if you see a cut a little bit differently and you're using the same project, go for it. This is all just based on feeling a little bit and where you want to make your cuts. What I'll usually do is just bring it up in the project window, play with these trimming markers. Once you make your in and out points, you can click this button here, which is overlay edit and essentially it will place the footage wherever your current time indicator is. That's what this this thing called, but it sounds very formal, don't worry about that. Once you have this in your timeline, I'm going to start to trim it down to fit the marker time and this just helps with the timing of our footage. That's perfect because the moment the beat drops is like the first step on the stairs, so that's always good. I'm thinking we don't even cut here then because the main emphasis I want is on the hand because the next clip is going to be a close up on the hand shot. I'm going to play this here, perfect. Usually what I do before I start is I'll add in these, what they're called is cinema scope or the crop bars, and this is because I really like that aspect ratio. Do that before you start putting your footage in, especially if you want this look for your timeline. You can lock this layer by clicking just the lock icon here and that just helps with making sure it doesn't move around and your footage is the only thing that moves. By adding these crop bars too, you have a little bit more room with the way you want to frame your shot. For example, this shot here is cool. It's a cool shot, but my shoes are not perfectly framed and I want that to be a little bit more emphasized. I'm going to click P and its positioning. Now I can play with the frame and reframe it a little bit. That just helps. I like the framing as it starts, but I want the shot to pan up a little bit. So I'm going to do some keyframe movements here. What you can do is click the stopwatch. It's going to start the positioning frame here. We're going to go all the way over here where I want the frame to really focus in on the hand and we're going to just push this frame up and reposition it. If we play this, so it starts focusing really on my lower half of my body and slowly it starts to pan up. Also if this is a little bit too sharp, what you can do is highlight the frames, the keyframes that you just made, right-click on it, keyframe assist, and play with the Easy Ease. The cool thing about aftereffects is the keyframe assistance is a lot of fun to play with when you're doing these keyframe movements. It just makes each keyframe that it's moving to ease into the motion a little more. It's just the little subtle thing that will help with your footage. I always recommend just like as much as you want or need to, always play back your timeline. Keep watching for little things because sometimes you'll notice a little error or something that you want to change. The thing about these two shots here is that we want to make sure this cut looks natural so you might have to play your footage back a few times to make sure the cuts look proper. Playing back the footage, actually didn't end up liking that cut just because the timing was a little bit off. What we're going to do is actually for the second shot, I'm going to take a snippet of it from more of the ending, just so it works a little bit better on the timeline. Let's see, cool. I like this a little bit more and it just emphasizes at the hand going down on the railing a little bit. We're going to do that and I'm going to cut it a little bit sooner. I just did Command Shift E, which splits the layer. Just going to delete that. Now we're going to actually play with the time because the second shot moves a little bit too fast. I'm going to slow that down a little bit. Right-click, Time, Time Stretch. We're going do something like 125 percent of the speed. I'm going to cut it here. Again, this is just all a process of just cutting it down to the length you want and making micro adjustments. Now from that shot, it's going to cut back to a shot a little bit further, and this is where that transition happens. I'm going to do right there. The main thing I'm always trying to pay attention to with these cuts is just really matching the motion and matching where the hand is, because that's the main focus for this. Sometimes it's a little bit difficult, but you just have to keep playing the footage and making the cuts. Then it goes to black. One other thing that I always love doing is that the way you frame things, I love framing things in the center. But sometimes when you're shooting, you realize you go and post some things might not be framed fully in the center. What I do here is I click this little icon here and go to Proportional Grid. This brings up just some grids. I see my hand is right in the center frame here but for the second shot, it's a little bit on the right of the center. I'm going to actually even reposition this a little bit more and scale it in. The main thing is when you make cuts, if you really don't want people to see cuts as harshly, then if you're framing things that are properly centered, their eyes never are trying to look for the next frame. That's also a really important tip, I believe. This shot fades to black and this is where we're going to do our first transition. Just one little thing that I noticed is that I want this to zoom into my sweater a little bit faster. I'm also going to add a keyframe to scale it in, which is the same process. It's just with the scaling tab. I'm going through the footage where we're going to do this transition. When we shot it, we had this in mind and this happens a lot. We had the idea of switching between a wide establishing shot that goes through one of the pillars like this, and switching to another shot, that's the shot on the 85 mils, same shot. Things didn't really work out with just our framing here, so we're just going to end up using this single shot. It's good that we shot this in multiple ways because we can still do the effect, and this shot right here is still really beautiful. We're going to go ahead and do this, and then one thing we have to do to make sure this transition works is make sure the colors are matching. This fades to complete black, but this is gray. What I'm going to do is open up the opacity, which is T. I'm going to make some keyframes for the opacity too, just going to make one there and one here, and have this fade in. Before you do color and sound, it's important to make these little micro adjustments with framing, with opacity and then going into effects because overall, what ends up happening is when you color grade everything at the end, and you do your sound, it'll make sure that all these changes that you made are super uniform and that's very key. That's always why I leave sound and color last and try and make all these adjustments first. The more time you put into making smaller adjustments, the better the footage will end up coming out. I think it's all just practice. If something just feels off, you should try and adjust the keyframes. Play with the speed because the main thing is from shot to shot, each frame should kind of match whether it be the motion or the color or just how fast it's moving. All those little things are stuff that you can change in post, which is really good. But I'd recommend spending the time to actually work on those little things. It ends up working out in the end and it makes things look a little more polished. Now we're done with the establishing shots, and now we're going to get into placing just these hologram shots, which will end up going a little bit more in depth into because they need some effects added later. I'm just going to move this up a little bit. Now I'm going to just make sure that the levels are good with the audio. Play memories. I'm just going to cut right here. I'm just going fade in and out the audio. The next batch of clips, I really want to build the suspense for this moment. So instead of showing the hologram popping up in this next scene and giving away all of the information, we're going to have a shot where it's focused more on me as the holograms pop up and it's a shot right behind the hologram. Let's go with that before we get into a shot where you see the hologram much more clearly. Now I want the main shot, which is the tracking shot, to go next. This is going to reveal the holograms fully. Now I want to give the viewer a little bit more information. So I'm thinking we're going to throw the wall shot in so that people can really see what the holograms are really projecting. The final shot is just the side angle shot. Now we're going to work on the final shot. This is essentially me answering the phone and then walking out of frame. We're going to use voice over I ended up recording later as the audio. Now we're done cutting everything together. Let's move on to editing the hologram effects. 7. Adding Visual Effects to Static Shots: We're now going to look at the effects. We want to add some effects to some of these scenes at the end to replicate the hologram effect. We're going to go ahead and start looking at that. The assets that we're using for the hologram effect, I essentially found on YouTube a free static stock footage. We're going to overlay this on top at the end. It's just a little bit extra to add some static and realism to the effect. The holograms that we're actually going to be replicating are my own YouTube videos. I've gone ahead and downloaded those as well. I'm going to quickly just bring these in. For this first shot, I'm going to start with the holograms popping up. This takes a little bit of planning, I guess, because the camera is focused on me. That means these LCD screens that are popping up are going to be reversed. As they're popping up, I'm going to have to flip them just so that they're true to space. What we'll start with is, just choosing which shots we want to use. Then I'll start to put them in. The cool thing is this shot is static, so I don't have to worry too much about space and tracking it into the scene, just yet. Now, again, to keep things organized, I'm going to actually precompose each clip that I just put in as well because some of them have some of the black bars on it as well. So I'm going to have to take these out. Now that I've recomposed everything, I'm just going to go into each clip. By precomposing it, I can go in. I'm going to scale everything up to fit the composition setting. I'm just going to hide this frame for now so I can see what's under this one same thing. Now I'm thinking the way I want these holograms to pop up. I'm trying to think of the type of motion that they're going to give. By looking at this frame here and bringing up the proportional grid, I'm thinking that we're going to have one frame on the left side, one right directly in the middle of me, and then one over here. We're going to have, I think three panels. We have this clip here, it's ready. I'm going to scale this down to 50. It's still a little too big, so maybe 35. That looks pretty good. I'm going to position it where I want it. I'm thinking like right here. The first thing that we need to do is make sure that it's flipped because, again, we're looking at it this way. So based on where it is in the scene, it needs to be flipped because of the camera. Transform, flip horizontal. Now this seems flipped if we watch through. As we start, I want to overlay the effect first. I'm going to go through the effects panel. There's something called the cc ball action. Essentially, we're going to play with these settings to give it an LCD effect. As you see when you drop it in already, it has this static look to it, which is essentially what we want. But I'm going to play with just these settings over here to get something I like. With this effect, I just changed the grid spacing to make it a little bit smaller. If we actually zoom in here, you'll see it create this mosaic effect with that overlaid on top. I'm going to click here and go in because I want to do some things to the actual clip, and that's why we precompose because we can go in now and change things like the color, and overlay things on top so it doesn't affect our entire comp. I'm going to click here. Click on "Layer", "New", "Solid". I wanted to have a blue glow to it. So we're going to add just a blue layer on top of it here. Second nice neon, add that on top. I'm going to just play with the opacity of this. I'm thinking like 25 percent, maybe 30. Then as you see when I go in here, it's overlaid on top. I want the holograms to be transparent as well, so I'm going to click on this layer and change the opacity of it to maybe 50. That should be pretty good. I want to add one more thing. I think a glow on top. That's always my rule of thumb. Whenever I want to make something look more sigh file, I always finish with a glow. Let's see if we can add a little glow. Then we're going to have to play with these settings. Cool. That looks good. Next, what I want to do is morph this a little bit. As you can see it's very sharp. But I'm thinking I want the sides of the LCD screen to bend around me. I'm going to add one more effect, which is optics compensation. This will just help me bend the frame a little bit. The field of view, I'm just playing with. Then I don't like how it bends in the middle. I want everything to bend into the middle of the frame, not into the middle of the LCD screen. So I'm going to click the "View Center" here and just put this right here. This is a little too much. Just going to move it right there. That looks good. Now that I've morphed it, the framing looks a little awesome. I'm going to just position this a little bit more like that. Then also because of where I'm looking, I want this to potentially go up a little bit so it matches my eye level. Basically, all the effects have applied to this, this is the same principle for the other three layers. Now that I've figured out the effects that I want, it looks the way I want it, I can copy these attributes and put them on the other clips. It makes my life a little easier. Although I can copy the attributes, the only thing I need to change is this one effect, and it's essentially just the view center, which is where the attention of the LCD is. For each shot, it's going to be a little bit different. The one in the middle, I'm going to want my cursor to be right over here, right in front of me. Then the one on the left, I want it to curve around me, and it'll likely be a little bit more towards the center. That's the one thing I'm just going to be changing. I like how that looks now. We're just going to add an animation to have them pop up. It's just going to be a keyframing in the scale. We're going to go from right to left. Just hide the other frames for now, and then we're just going to focus on this one. I'm going to make a keyframe first. I'm going to bring this keyframe all the way to the right. This first one, we're just going to put it down to zero. If we play it, just going to get the pop up, looks a little too slow, so we're just going to bring the keyframes in a little. I like how fast that pops up, but again, it's very sharp, so we're just going to add a keyframe assistance, easy, ease. Also another trick is, I just click "Toggle Switches Modes". I want to add a little motion blur, so we'll click this little thing right here, which will add motion blur. That pops up. Then we'll have the next one pop up, and so on and so forth. This one pops up here. I'm going to just trim it down so that we have a little bit of a little break in between each pop up so it's like one. Then this one is going to pop up here, and then the third one. Let's just add some key frames. I can essentially copy the same keyframes, but I'm just going to do that real quick. I like how that looks so far. Then we'll go on to the next scene. 8. Adding Visual Effects to Moving Shots: This one's a little bit harder, so same principles apply. The holograms are already going to be there, but what we have now with this scene is a little bit of motion. Before we actually place the holograms in, we're going to have to track the scene. The cool thing is After Effects can do this for you. It'll basically track the spatial awareness of the scene and then add some tracking points that you can then implement onto the holograms. What you do is just go up to Tracker and then we're just going to track the camera. Now that is tracked, we're going to click the effect and you'll see all these points, and essentially it's just the software recognizing whiter spaces. The cool thing is where we want the scene placed is just around where this basketball court is. What I'm going to do is highlight a bunch of these and it's going to essentially just create a lot of tracking data for me. Now that I've highlighted them, I want to right-click and do create null and camera. Now what it's essentially created is this tracking point. If I scroll all the way through, it's perfectly tracking where the basketball hoop is. We're going to take that data and apply it to the holograms. What I'm essentially doing is choosing three different shots in my video again, bringing it into the timeline, I'm going to precompose again, and frame it up. Same principles apply and then we'll get into adding the hologram effect on top of it again. Because now the camera is facing behind me, this way we want make sure that the holograms are curving around me properly. We're going to have to reverse the lens distortion, and that I'll just make sure it's curving around me this way. Also this time because it's facing towards me as I'm looking at it, we're not going to flip these holograms. For this part of the process, it's really about playing with the settings and getting something that looks to your eye like it's correct. It's going to take a little time to play with the settings, but really just trust you got on it and wait until you get something you really like. Under the grid, just make sure everything's framed right, and then add the effects. Now that we've got them positioned, again, what I'm going to do is essentially just place them in the scene, especially with the tracking data that we have. Before I do that again, I want to make sure I precompose so that none of the effects or anything gets messed up, specially because we made changes, we reframed it, so I'm going to do that real quick. Now to basically take the tracking data and make sure they're implemented to the three holograms, we're going to click this little cube button right here on all the layers, and now they're ready for 3D tracking, they're ready to be placed in the scene. But it doesn't mean that they're fully placed where they need to be in 3D space. We take this tracking null that we created. We're going to click P, bring up the positioning of it, do Command C. We're copying the positioning placement of this null and we're going to put it on all the scenes. You'll see that they've moved and that's fine. That's really why we ended up precomposing it because we're going to have to quickly put them back to where they were. I'm going to just bring these back here around here and then we're just going to scale them back up right around here, cool. I'm going to play it really quickly just to show you guys that it's like tracked in the scene. As you can see, they're tracked into the scene. Again, I'm just going to play with the positioning again just so it matches my eye line because that's just a little off. But again, it's just making micro adjustments as you go to make sure everything looks the way you want it to look. I want to scale that up and that looks pretty good right there. But obviously the one problem is that I'm in front of the hologram, so we have to do a little bit of rotoscoping, which is essentially taking the scene that's in the background and making a mask that moves each frame to cover in front of me, and that essentially will keep my body in front of the hologram. 9. Rotoscoping: This is a little bit tedious, there's no real way to work around it other than having to go every three or four frames and adjusting your mask. Rotoscoping is a key part of this effect. What you're going to do is take the background layer and you are going to duplicate it, so CAM D. Once you duplicate the background layer, you're going to bring this above all the holograms. What I'm going to do is also delete the 3D tracker because we don't need it anymore. I'm going to go up to the pen tool and make a mask around my body, so we're just going to do that. When you make the mask for this tutorial, for this effect, I don't need it to be too perfect because we're going to play with the feathering of the mask and that will help with the blurring of the edges. It's okay if it's not perfect, but just try your best to stay in the lines. When I press down to make a point I'll hold it, when you pull it out you'll be able to move the way it curves. That's a key tip as well because you want to make sure that your edges are super curvy, you don't want them to be too sharp. Again, the hologram is only on the top half of my body so I'm going to go up to my jeans and then finish. Once you finish it you'll see that it's in front, but the edges are a little too sharp so I'm going to slowly go into the mask layer and change the feathering. I'm going to do maybe 15 on the feathering, let me just go in and as you see, some of the hologram gets taken away. I'm going to go to Mask Expansion and just turn it down a little bit, so it helps with that, so I'm going to do that. Again you're probably going to have to play with the points a little bit just to get something you like. Super precise. Now that we've created the first mask point, what we're going to do is use mask tracking in After Effects and usually this works pretty well. What you want to do is select something like, "Position, Scale & Rotation," and this will take the data of where you are and try and track you. If you ever see a point where the mask doesn't really track you well, I'd say stop the tracking by hitting space bar, adjusting the frame and then going and playing it again so that it can continue to track. We'll do that real quick, highlight the mask and just track it, I'm going to stop it here because my head starts to move, so I'm going to manually adjust this frame here. I'm going to highlight the mask, hold onto shift and double-click on it so that I can take the whole mask that I made and move it. I'm going to adjust this a little bit. Using these curve points is super important because now I don't have to adjust 50 points at the same time, and it makes making these little adjustments super easy. That looks pretty good for now. We'll let it track again. After Effects is tracking data sometimes isn't always precise, so when I'm moving my head here, it might be best for me to track this manually and rotoscope it myself. I'm going to go ahead and do these few frames as I move my head, then I'll let the software do the rest. Because it's tedious it means not a lot of people have a lot of patience to do it, and so when you take your time with it, it'll always ends up working out because the effect looks really good. As long as you have a good song going on or something, and you're working, it's always fast. With this part it's very finicky so some of the masks might not fit perfectly, so you might have to go back in and delete some key frames and do it yourself. For example right here, the tracker messed up, so I'm going to have to delete this and play with the frames myself just because it's off a little bit, but I want it to look really good. I'm going to go in and adjust it myself. We got the hardest scene out of the way, love the holograms, I think the mask looks pretty good. These next couple of scenes are static, we're going to go through put the holograms back in, and basically just place them in the scene again. 10. Finalizing Visual Effects: For this one, I'm going to just make it super long to just be the length of the last three shots because it's very tedious to keep going back through and I think it just makes more sense to have them play. Again, just copy and pasting the effects and the middle layer, I'm just going to play with optics again just because I don't, it's a little too curved, I'm just going to do that and that looks good. Then we'll go to the next scene. I'm going to split this layer and use the same holograms, Control Shift and then I just bring these up. Now, just because of the way it's positioned, I think one of these holograms is just not even to be in the frame and so we're going to delete the one on the right here and just make sure these are positioned properly. What I've learned that works best is when you're doing rotoscoping, you don't have to go frame by frame. It's best to go a bunch of frames forward, make a key and then reposition the mask and then what you can do is always go back and make sure that if there is part of the frame in between, that's just not correct, you can go in and fix it and that way it saves you a lot of time. That seems done and now we just have one final scene where the holograms will just quickly fade away or pop out and I get a call. We'll just do that very quickly and we're good to go. For this end scene I'm going to have all three holograms scale down and fade out at the same time. We're just going to quickly do a keyframe of that, scale. They go down and while there doing that, I'm going to also add just an opacity keyframe just to have them slowly fade out. I just finished the last mask, we're done with the last bits of hologram and now we're going to move on to color grading and sound. 11. Sound Design: We've finished all the effects, we're going to go in and work on the sound. I'm going to pull up two websites that I use very frequently. That's Epidemic sound and freesound.org, there are great places to get royalty free sound effects. We're going to find some right now. Playing this IC that we need a door creaking as it opens, I think that'll add a little bit more drama to the beginning of this. Then as I'm walking here, I'm looking for like metal boots on the footsteps because we're walking down metal stairs, I think that'll work well. Then maybe like a metal movement if I can find something like that for a sound. I'm going to go hunting, let's see if we can find some stuff, that'll work. Lets go door close metal, first one is going to work. Footsteps, metal stairs, this one works and then we're also going to need some footsteps for when I start to walk on the concrete. I'm going to find footsteps concrete. I don't like the ones that are on EP, I'm going to go to the other site and see if I can find footsteps. Then just so that everything in the background is uniform, I'm going to look for like an empty room, like the ambience of an empty room. Just so the room tone is the same throughout each scene. Tone off this. We're going to start with the door creaking first. What I do, I'll solo the track, you can do that by just clicking on this tab right here and that just allows me to hear just the sound effects so that it stops at the right time. I'll go in just so I can adjust the fading in and out of each sound effect. Then I will un-solo it so I can hear it with the music and make sure that the leveling of each sound effect is also good as well. The door stops around here, so I'm going to just keyframe, as it pulls in, I'm going to fade it out. I'm going to actually need one more sound effect as the door's closing, I'm going to get one sound effect of that. Works well, I'm just going to play with the leveling. As I close the door, we're going to add the footsteps of me walking on the stairs. That works well and I'm just going to play with the leveling again and I stop right here, we're just going to fade this out as well. As I finish walking down the stairs, I then step onto concrete so the footstep sounds changes. I'm going to bring in my walking on concrete right here. These footsteps are a little too fast, I'm going to play with the speed of the sound effect and just slow it down. I'm just going to split that sound effect of me walking on the concrete because the next shot, my footsteps are a little faster and I want to make sure they match perfectly. We're going to play with the speed of this clip and speed it up this time. An easy trick is just like you open up the wave form and as I'm taking a step that should match up or align pretty perfectly with the waveform as it's peaking. That looks good. Now that I've laid these sound effects, I'm going to put them all into a precomp and by precomposing them, it just means I can change the leveling of all of them at the same time. I'm just going to precompose this again and I'm going to listen to it with this music now. The leveling sounds like it's not too loud, so I don't have to do any real adjustments here because the transition moment is so important as its going in. I'm going to add something like a whoosh, which will just build the tension and really highlight that part of the video. I'm going to go in and find a whoosh to add here. When you're doing sound design, some things to think about is what type of soundscape you're going for. Do you want something that's more cinematic and when I say that, I mean, cinematic sound design isn't always true to what's real life. If you're going for something that's more ambient, then it's more about just making sure that it's true to real life. Footsteps are very quiet, there is a room tone. That's pretty much it but for me I really like to add a little bit of flair. When you hear things in movies, it's not always true sound and they add things like whooshes to really emphasize moments and for me I've learned that it's a lot of fun to add these things to your videos because not a lot of people do it. It adds a little bit of flair. Don't overdo it but there are moments where you can add things like whoosh sound effects and little things that build tension, it's always fun to experiment with that. I'm just going to play with the leveling. It's a little too loud. I'm also going to play with the timing of it, it's a little too slow. I'm going to speed it up a little bit and see what this sounds like. When I'm listening to it I feel like there's a lot of high-ends and so there's a few audio effects that After Effects has that I really love to use. High and low-pass filter, this will help you with cutting either the high ends of something or the low ends. Low ends are like the base sounds and high ends are like those high pitched sounds. I always like playing with this because it can really transform a sound effect. When you hear this now, it's much more low end, which is great. Let's listen to this with the music. I feel like there's a lot of empty space here as I'm walking. I'm going to add a riser, which is again another element to sound design that just helps fill empty spaces, builds tension. I'm going to do something that's super low-end. See if I can find something. If I want something to ramp in sound, I'll duplicate the sound effect and then right-click on it, time and then reverse it. We have a ramping of sound. If you listen to this, we can also change the acoustics in like the audio of this clip as well because it sounds a little too flat. I'm going go into this and add an EQ actually, let's see. By adding an EQ, it just boosts the high and low ends. It just makes things sound a little bit more full and then this is where the holograms pop-in. The cool thing is, you can get very creative with this. Sci-fi sounds don't really have characteristics, meaning you can make it sound like whatever you want. I'm going to search for some sci-fi sounds and see what sounds cool. Then lets actually search hologram and see what comes up. There's some sci-fi voice clips of like a robot saying hologram program activated. We could add something like that as well. Hologram programs activated. That sounds cool, I'll do that. It really is about layering. The more you put into sound design, the better it'll sound. I always try and layer multiple sound effects on top and then the last one is just this engine sound that will replicate the holograms LCD, like ambience. See what this sounds like. That's just going to play throughout as the holograms are up, I'm just going to add one more sound effect as the holograms disappear and just the riser and we should be good for the sound. I think we need just one more sound effect at the end here and then also I have the overlay of voice-over. I'm going to just listen to it again with the music. Hello, yeah my bags are backed. Where are we headed? Cool sounds good. Then the final thing I'm just going to add like the room tone for the entire sequence just so it all fits together. I've just finished adding the last sound effect and it looks like we're good with sound. Now we're going to move on to color grading. 12. Color Grading: Now we're going to jump into color grading. The cool thing is, because this was all shot in one location and we got to control our lighting, I'm going to do the color grading for one of the first scenes and then I'll be able to copy and paste my work and then go in and change little things, like exposure. Let's jump right into it. I'm looking for a neutral shot. I'm pretty sure this shot has a large enough space for the room and also my skin tones are in it as well. I'm going to color grade something like this, and then I can apply it to everything else. I just applied lumetri color. I'm going to be using my LUTs. So LUTs are lookup tables. They essentially make your life a little easier when it comes to color grading. They'll give you this base color. Then you can go in and tweak things, like exposure, contrast. I'll also be providing my LUT pack, which will be available in the resource tab. You can never go wrong with teal and orange. Let's just turn it down a little bit. I'm going to apply it to creative. Instead of applying it to the input LUT, I'm going to apply it to the creative tab. This just means I have more control over how much of the LUT I want to be displayed. You never want to use a LUT at 100 percent because the colors are never fully true to each scene and it never looks as good as you want it to. Now I'm going to just go in and play with exposure contrast. Cool. I'm going to go into creative now and play with the vibrance and play a little bit with the tint and shadows. Again, I just want something very subtle. I don't want it to be too crazy with the colors. Also cool thing is just switching back and forth between the lumetri color. Turning it off and on will just help you see the work that you've done to it. I shot this with sharpness turned off in my camera. I'm just going to turn the sharpness up a little bit. I'm going to go into the curves. Then this is just where essentially different parts of the image you can change. I usually make four points here and just play around with these a little bit. I don't want the highlights to bloom too much. So I'll always turn these down. When I'm dealing with S-curves, I like to make four points. The top point right here deals with the highlights. The middle point deals a lot with the mid tones. Then these two points down here will just help with your shadows. That looks pretty good. I don't want to go too crazy with the colors. After doing that one scene, now I'm going to go through each shot, copy and paste the lumetri color, and just make small adjustments to the exposure and the S-curve. As you can see, the blacks of this frame are not the same type of color as the ones in this one because it's fading out. What I'm going to do is actually overlay this frame on top and fade this one out just to make things look like they're more seamless. Now I'm going to pre-compose this clip that has all the holograms in it just to be able to overlay the color grade on top of all the footage. We'll see what that looks like. Because I've pre-composed everything, the color grade is basically changing the entire scene. So it helps just make the LCDs look like it fits the scene a little bit more because the color grade is applying to the hologram and the scene itself. I decided to add another glow on top. Once I added the color grading to these holograms scenes just to give it a little bit more of a dreamy look. Cool. Just finished color grading. Looks great. Now I'm going to go in and just add two final things. I want to add a little bit of an LCD effect. For all those static scenes, I still want it to have some motion. So I'm going to add some scaling in and key framing. 13. Finalizing and Rendering: This moves a little too fast, so I'm going to slow this down. Also the cool thing is because I've precomposed, it's very easy for me to go in and make these changes now. This is that scene. I can easily just bring this in overlaid it on top. I want to change the blending mode because it's a black background. I'm going to add a screen on it, and then just a subtle. I don't want it to be really subtle, so I'm going to make the opacity like 25 or something. Then also because it moves too fast, I'm going to maybe slow it down to like 200 percent. When I'm stretching it to 200, it actually means that I'm slowing it down 50 percent. In Premiere Pro, it's the opposite, so when you're trying to slow something down, you're going to 50 percent. When you're trying to slow something down in After Effects, however, you're going to 200, that's just one thing to note. Just a little something extra on top. Now that I have that LCD, I'm just going to copy this and paste it into all the other LCD holograms. Because I split this clip earlier, I'm just going to precompose this one more time and scale it in. Now that we're finished, I'm going to send it off for the final render, composition and add to an Adobe Media Encoder. I'm going to essentially just go through the preset browser here. There's a few that I really like, so I go to H.264 and we're going to just do high-quality 1080p HD. Depending on what I'm going to use the product for, for YouTube, I'll always do H.264 because it's a good codec where the compression is good and you can still get a really high MBS or megabytes per second. If I'm going to send this off for someone to color grade, I need a high-quality version. I'll do either Apple ProRes or the PC equivalent is called DNxHD, but they're essentially just lossless codecs. I'm just going to do constant bit rate here. I'm going to just have it at 25 megabytes per second, use maximum render quality and also go to the audio make sure it's at the highest. That should be it, cool. I'm going to save this under Skillshare and click ''Render." So the final render is done, really proud of this, I hope you guys enjoy it. 14. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You did it. Thank you so much for taking my class. I'd love to see what you made. Please share it in the Project Gallery. Yeah, that's pretty much it. Peace.