An Introduction to Adobe After Effects | Chris Brooker | Skillshare
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An Introduction to Adobe After Effects

teacher avatar Chris Brooker, Filmmaker & YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Trailer

      1:47

    • 2.

      Create a New Composition

      2:04

    • 3.

      Exploring the User Interface

      8:22

    • 4.

      How to Import Footage

      5:14

    • 5.

      Creating Shapes and Solids

      6:40

    • 6.

      Getting Started with Animation & Keyframes

      9:17

    • 7.

      Null Objects & Parenting

      4:44

    • 8.

      How to Activate Motion Blur

      2:59

    • 9.

      Masking

      8:22

    • 10.

      Text Creation

      3:46

    • 11.

      Combine Skills to Make a Lower Third Animation

      8:23

    • 12.

      3D Text

      13:56

    • 13.

      Motion Tracking

      8:30

    • 14.

      3D Camera Tracker: Motion Tracking Continued

      8:35

    • 15.

      Exploring the Effects and Presets Tab

      13:51

    • 16.

      How to Edit Green Screen Footage

      8:49

    • 17.

      Rotoscoping: The Rotobrush & Refine Edge Tool

      8:29

    • 18.

      The Puppet Pin Tool

      6:38

    • 19.

      The Basics of Colour in AE

      9:40

    • 20.

      Animating with Expressions

      6:46

    • 21.

      How to Export (Normal, Transparent Background, Compressed & Batch Export)

      8:05

    • 22.

      Outro & Summary

      1:00

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About This Class

Launching Adobe After Effects can be scary! But it doesn't have to be. In this course, I walk you through the most vital sections, tools, plugins and techniques in After Effects to help you create awesome visual effects, motion graphics and more. 

The course starts at the beginning, creating a new project and composition, we then explore the user interface, import video footage, create shapes and solids then animate those layers using keyframe animation. After that we group multiple layers together and animate them at the same time with null objects and parenting. Motion blur, masking, text and generating a lower third come next. We then take that text and convert it to 3D text and explore 3D lights and virtual cameras before jumping into motion tracking with the 2D motion tracker and 3D camera tracker. We touch base with some effects in the effect and presets panel and learn how to adjust certain effects in After Effects. We're then removing backgrounds with green screen editing and rotoscoping. The puppet pin tool comes next, then colouring, animating with expressions and lastly, most importantly, how to export from After Effects.

So sit back, grab a coffee and let's jump into Adobe After Effects and make this intimidating piece of software more manageable. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Chris Brooker

Filmmaker & YouTuber

Teacher

I’m a filmmaker and photographer from England. I graduated from London South Bank University with a first-class honors degree in 2015 and have since created hundreds of music videos, corporate films, and commercials with many established companies, record labels, and artists. 

In 2018, I turned the camera on myself and launched the Brooker Films YouTube channel. With 900 uploads and 95,000+ subscribers, I focus on sharing educational content to help others create compelling video content. I wanted to take that a step further though, so here we are.

 

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Trailer: Hi, welcome to my Adobe After Effects course. This is the course that is going to introduce you to After Effects and everything that you need to know in order to get started in the program. My name is Chris and I'm a full-time filmmaker and photographer from England. Adobe After Effects is a really important part of my editing workflow. If I need to do visual effects, motion graphics, or any other complex animation which is outside the realm of Premiere then I always jump straight into Adobe After Effects. With this course, I am going to start off by creating a brand new composition. Then we're going to explore the user interface and show you different windows, different workspaces, and the different buttons and tools available to you. How to input video footage and organize that footage in the project bin. How to create solid and shapes, how to animate single layers, and then we're going to talk about keyframing and easy ease keyframes, null objects and parenting, motion blur activation, masking, and how to combine masking and keyframes to create masking animation. Then we're going to move on to creating text and then combining shape and text to create a lower third animation. Then we'll create 3D texts from our 2D texts. We'll do 2D motion tracking, 3D motion tracking, and add a text layer into our footage by using this tracking data. Then we'll move on to effects, green screen footage, rotoscoping the puppet pin tool and character animation. Then we're going to go into color correction and color grading of footage inside of After Effects or just color matching of footage. Then we'll talk about expressions, exporting, and then lastly, we've just got a nice ultra and summary video to summarize this whole course. This one one going to be a long one. This is going to be very in-depth. I'm going to show you everything that you need to know about all of these different topics. Let's begin. Let's start learning how to use Adobe After Effects. 2. Create a New Composition: We've just opened up Adobe After Effects, and this is the menu that you're going to be greater with. This is the New Project tab. If we go up into the top left, we can either go New project or Open project. Then we also have a New Team Project and Open projects. This is just a shared project. You can share a project file with a few different people over the Internet, over your Creative Cloud service, and that's what this is. But chances are you're going to want to select New Project. You can also see down here, you've got your old projects. Unfortunately, I've had to blur a few of these because they are client edits. Just ignore the blurring, and let's move on to create a New Project. We'll select New Project, and that opens up Adobe After Effects. Straight away, we've got these two boxes. We've got New Composition or New Composition from footage. We don't want to start with this, we want to import our footage later on. Let's start with New Composition, and that will load up this composition settings Window. You can see we've got a composition name, and we can rename this, After Effects Intro, for example but of course, feel free to put your project name there. Then we've got the basic settings, our preset, is HDTV 1080 25. Then feel free to select any one of these different presets, but I do like the look of the HDTV 1080 25. If you want to, you can change the width and the height of your composition. If you wanted to help with your aspect ratio, then you can lock it to a specific aspect ratio. Let's say we wanted 16:9, but we wanted to downscale that. Let's go, 1080, and as you can see, that's going to downscale to this. But I do want 1920 by 1080, and then I'll pixel aspect ratio should be set to square pixels. Frame rate can be the framer of your projects, but I'm going to use 25 in this example. Resolution, full, and this is just our playback resolution. Start time code, keep that at 0, and then the duration is how long the composition is going to last for. Then you've got the background color, and you can change this if you like, but generally, I advise to keep this as black. Then we'll press 'OK', and we have a brand new composition now created. 3. Exploring the User Interface: Now that you've created a brand new composition, we can now start with creating some assets or walking into different parts of After Effects. But before we do that, I'm just going to give you a quick tour of the user interface and the different options and buttons available to you in the program. Let's start in the top left. Up here, you can see we've got our selection tool and the keyboard shortcut for that is V. Then you've got your hand tool and the hand tool is just going to move the composition around. If you've got the hand tool selected, you don't have to worry about affecting anything. If you're trying to move that with the selection tool, you can hold down space and move it like this. But there's always the risk of forgetting to hold space and then you end up moving something on the composition, so I wouldn't advise that. Just go straight to the hand tool and the keyboard shortcut is H. Then move it across, you can see we have got the zoom tool and this is just going to zoom in. As you can see down here, you've got 1,600 percent, so that's just going to zoom in or alternatively, you can just go down to this box. It should say fit or 133 by default but you can always just zoom that in to however far you want it to go. Then moving across, you can see we've got these three buttons. They are greater and that's because these are all to do with 3D workspaces, which we'll get onto in a future episode. Then we've got the rotation tool, which is going to rotate a specific object. Then we've got the rectangle tool and if you hold on to that, we long press that and drag down, you can see we've got a rectangle, a rounded rectangle, ellipse, polygon, star tool. Selecting one of these and then just drawing on our composition is going to allow us to create a specific shape on our project but we'll get into shapes and solids in the next lesson. Moving on, we've got the pencil and this is just going to allow us to draw our custom shapes, it's going to allow us to do our masking. But again, we'll get onto that in a future episode. Then we've got the horizontal type tool and if we drag down, you can see we've got the vertical type tool as well, so that's going to allow us to add some text. Then down here you can see we've got the brush tool and this is just a paintbrush and if you've got a object on this layer, you can double-click that, go into the paint settings, and then you can just paint and add specific paint onto specific layers. You can see if you go into the paint tab on the right, you can see you've got constant, write on, single frame or custom. There's different ways of animating your paint on in After Effects. But moving on, then we have the clone stamp tool and this works very similar to how it works in Photoshop. You can basically just take one part of your video, move across, and then just paste that in somewhere else. It's quite a handy feature. Then you can see we've got the eraser tool and that's just going to undo anything that we have done with the clone stamp tool or the paintbrush tool. Then we've got the roto brush tool and if we drag down, we can see refine edge tool. This is all to do with rotoscoping and if you don't know what rotoscoping is, don't worry. As you guessed, there's going to be a future episode on it. Then lastly, up here we've got the puppet pin tool, which is going to allow us to do character animation. If we drag this down, you can see we've got puppet position, puppet starch, puppet bend, puppets advance, puppet overlap pin tool. These are all to do with character animation. Again, we'll cover that in a future episode. Then we're just going to go up onto the top bar and as you can see, you've got all of these different windows here. Let's go up onto the After Effects tab. We'll go down to preferences and as you can see, you've got all of these different settings down here and an important one to have is media and disk cache. Because essentially, when you drop video footage into After Effects, it's going to create a cached file so that it loads up quicker next time. But as you can see in this example, I've enabled the disk cache and the maximum disk cache in my example is 93 and if I empty the disk cache, it's actually going to delete quite a heavy amount of data from After Effects. It only deletes the unused cache files, so it deletes the cached files from old projects. But there you go, you can see in my example, are you sure you want to delete all 185 gigabytes of disk cache? If I press "Okay", my computer is going to get rid of 185 gigabytes of unused data. This is really going to help to speed up your computer later on when it starts to glitch out a little bit. Of course, if you want, you can also change the folder of this disk cache. If you wanted it to go on to a specific folder or a specific drive, then just go ahead and select that. You've got all of these other complex settings which you can get into in a later time but for now, we're just going to ignore those. Then we're just going to move on into window. As you can see, if we're go into workspace, at the moment we're set to all panels. If we go down to animation, After Effects is going to completely change. As you can see, we've got different settings over here and these different workspaces are going to allow us to focus on different parts of the editing process. You can see you've got color, you've got a default, you've got effects, and that's going to add the effects window over there. Then you've got essential graphics, learn, libraries, minimal, motion tracking, paint, small screen, standard, text, undocked panels. Then you can just reset if you wanted to. These are basically just different workspaces to allow you to focus on different parts. If you're adding effects, you can go into the effects space. If you're coloring, you can go into the color space. If you're doing some motion tracking, you can flick over to motion tracking. You get the point here. But generally, I like to keep this as all panels or default and then I'll go into window and I'll add in the specific tabs that I actually want. Let's see. At the moment, effects and presets is not there but we need that, so we're just going to tick that and then effects and presets will populate over here and this is where all of our effects live. Let's move on to this tab on the right. You can see we've got all of these different other tabs. You've got content aware fill, you've got your motion tracking, paragraph alignment, character, libraries, align, effects and presets. This is where all of your effects and your presets and your transitions, they all live. Let's go into keying, you can see the keylight plug in there. That is something that we need to do green screening. If we go into animation presets, you can see we can create an animation background like this. But we'll get more into the Effects and Presets window, again, in a future episode, so we'll just move on. Again, if you wanted to search for something specific, so maybe you're doing some color grading. You can search for levels and you can drop a levels plug-in onto your footage like that. Again, if you wanted to add something specific onto this section, then you just go to window and then you just add it in over here. Maybe you want your Lumetri Scopes for some color grading, you can just add this in over here. But we'll turn that off for now and we'll move on. Down here, just underneath the composition, you can see we've got all of these buttons. This is your zoom, as we've already mentioned. This, down here, is your playback and paused resolution. If you're struggling a little bit, if After Effects keeps crashing and lagging, then you can pull this down to quarter resolution and it will play back in the quarter of the resolution. But when you render it will still be full quality, so don't worry about playing this back in quarter. Then you can see you've got all of these other settings down here. You've got fast previews, you've got your transparency grid, then you've got toggle mask and shape path visibility. You want to keep this on. If you have this off, you'll have a difficult time when it comes to masking. Then you've got a region of interest, so you can focus on maybe just this area if you wanted to but I'm going to turn that off. Then you've got your framing and this is really helpful when you're adding in specific items or you're adding in some animation. If you turn on the proportional grid or the title safe grid, you can use this as reference to make sure you get the perfect shape and the perfect positioning. You can see you've also got grid, guides, and rulers but generally, I'll just keep these off by default unless I really need them later on. Then you can see down here you've got show channels and colors, so if you wanted to isolate a specific channel, the red channel, the green, the blue, the Alpha or the RGB, you can select one of these. Then this button down here is going to reset your exposure then you can adjust the exposure there as well. Then this button here is just going to take a screenshot. If I press that, that is just going to take a snapshot, which I can then save to my camera roll or my Finder. Then down here you can see we've got the timeline. This is where all of the footage is going to live and then I can basically add in everything down here when it comes to motion blur and 3D and keyframe animation and everything is going to populate down here. Now, I can't show you how this works, unfortunately, without adding in any footage, so let's go ahead and do just that. Let add some footage into our composition. 4. How to Import Footage: When it comes to importing footage into Adobe After Effects, you want to make sure that you are in the projects tab. Now, if you just right-click, you can go down to Import and select File, Multiple Files, From Libraries, Import Adobe Premiere Pro Project, Vanishing Point, Placeholder or Solid. We're just going to begin by selecting File. Then from here that will load up the Finder and you just want to navigate through to all of your footage, highlight everything that you want to import and just press Open. That will take a second and then all of your footage will populate over here. If we double-click the footage, it will load up in this composition window over here, but you can see if we go back to Composition Aftereffects Intro, the footage isn't there, we're just previewing it in this different window over here, so this is our footage. If you want to organize this footage by the way, which I definitely recommend doing, because if you get loads of footage and solids and shape layers, this could all get very confusing very quickly. If you just go down to this button here, the Create New Folder button, you can go ahead and rename this to footage and then you can just select all your footage. I'm holding down Command on my keyboard, by the way. I'm on Mac, I believe it's Shift on Windows, but I could be wrong. But Command is the button you want to hold down and then select all of your footage and drag that in to the footage bin, like this. Alternatively, rather than pressing new folder down here, you can just right-click and select new folder like this. Then of course, if you wanted to add some more organization, you can just scroll across like this, so we're just going to pull this across so we can see everything over here and then we can just right-click on each individual footage and rename it if we wanted to, or we can select this color box here and we can specifically add colors to each individual clips. Let's say the city traffic B-roll can be a dark green and that will change the color of that to dark green. Maybe all of our JV footage we can add to dark green and therefore, when we need that footage, all we have to do is find everything with a dark green color and you know, you're going to be able to use one of those specific bits of footage. But let's say you're ready to add some footage, so let's say we'll add the city traffic shot in, I'm going to scroll across on this bar here, as you can see, this blue icon is what I'm going to use to scrub through the footage. You can import the footage by just dragging it all in like this. As you can see, this footage is much larger than our 10-second composition, so if we only wanted a few seconds of this, then we could just double-click the City Traffic footage up there. We'll scroll through to the point that we want, so let's go for this car coming in. We'll just press this button here, this is going to create an endpoint, and then we'll scroll through to the end of that. We'll select this button here and this is the out point. Then we can drag that footage back in and we're only importing that selection. If you only wanted a specific amount of footage and then just adding an in and an out point is a quick and easy way of doing that. The problem is, if you don't do that and you just drag all of your footage in it means you're just going to have to slide through, find the bit that you want. Then we'll have to hold Command Shift and D to make a cut, scroll across and go Command Shift and D again. But as you can see, that's a faff, and then once you've done that, you have to delete the start, the end, drag that middle back to the beginning and that's just a nightmare. But that is how you import your footage into After Effects and then get that into your Compositions. Now as you can see down here, you can see we can actually access all of these different options. Let's explore some of those now that we've got some footage in place. Instantly you can see we've got toggle switches slash modes. I'm just going to select that so that we get this view. Now, this mode here, if we select Normal, you can see this is going to load at this option here, so we've got Dissolve, Dancing Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Color burn. These right here are your blending modes. This is basically a way of adjusting the opacity and the color of the shot so that different shots can come through and you can create overlay effects. This is really useful. But again, I'll get more into this in a future episode when we do come across something that needs to be screened or multiplied. Then moving on, we've got a TrkMat and I'll get onto this in a future episode, parents and link we'll also get into in a future episode and then let's go to toggle switches and modes. As you can see, you've got all of these other options. The two that you're probably going to need the most are motion blur, and then we've also got the 3D conversion box. So if you select that, it's going to convert this 2D layer into a 3D layer. But then you also have just here, you've got your adjustment layer. You've got frame blending, effect, quality and sampling, for comp layer, and shy. This is going to hide the layer in the timeline if you shy it like this. Then of course, up here you can see we've got these other settings here, so this is going to activate your motion blur. This is a graph editor which makes things look very complicated for now, then you've got your enabled frame blending hides all the layers, so if I hide this layer, you can see it's suddenly disappeared and then you've got this option here, which is your mini flowcharts, which again is starting to get a little bit complex for this introduction. Let's ignore that for now, and let's move on to the next episode of this After Effects course. 5. Creating Shapes and Solids: Moving on, we're going to talk about shapes and solids. Now, shapes and solids are really important inside of Adobe After Effects because you're going to need these to create many different types of animation. Let's begin with solids. In order to create a new solid, you first want to select the composition, then we'll go up into Layer, go New and Solid. That should load up this solid settings window. We can call this Solid 1 or Solid 2 or Red solid, whatever you want to call this. Then we're going to make the size 1920 by 1080. You can lock the aspect ratio if you like. Then you can select units. You can go for pixels, inches, millimeters, percentage of composition. It's completely up to you, but I'm just going to leave this at 1920 by 1080 pixels. With a pixel aspect ratio of square pixels and then down here you can see we've got the color and the color box. You can either use the eyedropper tool to select a specific color of your choice, or you can select the color box and you can go ahead and find a color that works for you. You can just pull this down to get to the different colors, and then once you find a color that you like the look of, so let's go for maybe this purply blue color. You can then just move the cursor around until you get the color that you want. This here is the color that you want to pay your attention to. As you can see at the moment, I'm in the top left corner, so this is white. I'm going to pull that down to the bottom-right and with black. Then somewhere in the middle gives us a nice purple. We'll press "Okay" on that. Once you're happy and then press "Okay" and this is our new solid. There's many different things you can do with solids. You can create a Solid 2, go ahead and then create another effect on top of the solid, or you can go ahead and mask on the solid. If we go up to the pen tool, you can actually just draw a mask on the Solid 2, get a custom shape. But again, we'll get more into masking in a future episode. Or rather than masking that, you can actually just go into the transform properties of the solid and we could just decrease the scale of this. We can move the position, we can rotate this and put this wherever we need this to go. But moving on, we've got solids and then next up, we've got shapes. In order to create a shape, you can either first just go up into this option here. It should be rectangle by default, but if you drag that down, it will reveal rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, polygon and star. I'm going to select the rounded rectangle tool and then I just want to move over to these two options up here. You got fill and stroke. If you select the word "Fill," you can see it's going to load up this menu here. This option here is none. This is solid color, this is linear gradient, and this is radial gradients. A gradient is just two colors blended in together. I'm going to select "Solid Color" in this example, but feel free to select "Linear" or "Radial" gradients. Just going to press "Okay" on that and then if I go across to the box, you can see I can change the color of this. Going on, you've got strokes. I'm going to select the word "Stroke," and that is going to bring up this option again. Solid color, linear or radial gradients. I'll select "Solid color." Press "Okay", then I'll select the box. I'll select white in this example. Press "Okay" and then I can increase or decrease this to increase or decrease the size of the stroke and for reference, a stroke is the outline around the shape. Let's go for a really large one, so around 50, if I draw my rounded rectangle in here, you can see it's got this large stroke or this larger border. Now at the moment, you can see, it's actually really bad quality and the reason why it looks like this is because our playback resolution is set to a quarter. If we change this to full, you can see that now it looks really sharp. Now once you've created that shape, you can go ahead and change the look of this by dragging these blue squares around. You can "Drag" these around as much as you like. But because essentially we're just animating the scale here, because we're affecting that scale, you can see unfortunately, there's going to be inconsistencies with the stroke on the top and the bottom and the left and the right depending on what you do with this. Rather than doing that, I would just recommend getting the shape that you want straight away. You can select rounded rectangle tool and find the shape that works for you and get that perfect straight away rather than adjusting it later on and ending up with something like this. But let's say you didn't want a rounded rectangle, an ellipse or polygon, or a star. If you go over to the pencil, you can actually just draw your own custom shapes. As you can see, I've just got this really random shape and if I wanted to change the size of the stroke, I can just pull this down with that selected. I can change the fill color if I wanted and then I can also get rid of the stroke if I wanted. Alternatively, I can get rid of the fill. It's completely up to you. But the great thing with the pen tool is once you've created that shape, you can actually hover over the line and you can see that icon changes from the star to the plus and this means you can actually add a point on, and then change the shape of this. You can add another point, change the shape, add another point, change the shape. That looks great. Of course, it's not just these solid points, so these solid harsh corners that you can add on to this shape. If we delete this and start again, I'm going to create the first points. Then I'll move over here, and I'm going to hold onto the cursor. I'm going to hold on, "Drag" down and as you can see, that's creating this curve. Rather than just a solid line, I can actually create this curve. If I release to create that point, you can see I can actually move these two points to change the look of this line. I can affect it on this side and then I can also affect it on this side as well. This means you can create some really interesting and really unique shapes using this and then if you wanted to add onto this, so let's say you've done this and then you went back to your selection tool. If you wanted to carry on, just go back to your pencil, select that point and then you can just carry on the action like this. There you go, and that completes that movement. Again, if you wanted to add one of those curved corners, you just hold down. There you go. You get this really interesting and awesome looking drawing using the masking in After Effects. Of course, if you want it to move the position of this, then you just select all of that and then just move this across like that. But there you go. You can see with these three options, you can create a layer, new solid to create just a large rectangle, you can go into this option here to create a shape, or alternatively, you can go to the standard pencil, and then just draw out a shape. 6. Getting Started with Animation & Keyframes: Now that you've created new solid and new shapes, how on Earth do you animate these? Well, inside of Adobe After Effects with that layer selected, you want to go in to transform. Then as you can see, you've got anchor point, position, scale, rotation, and opacity. The anchor point is at the very top. Let's start with the anchor points. The anchor point you can see is this icon in the middle. Essentially this is where this layer is going to animate from, the moment the anchor point is in the middle and that means if I move the rotation, it rotates around the middle, but if I was to move the anchor point to the bottom left, like this, as you can see, this is the anchor point and it's now in the bottom left. If I was to adjust the rotation there, you can see that changes the look of the rotation. Generally, I like to keep the anchor point generally in the middle unless I want something very particular. Keep your anchor point in the middle roughly. Then from here, you've got position and this is just the position on the horizontal axis and the vertical axis, so left and right, up and down. You've got scale, so that's just going to decrease the size and increase the size. If I unlink this, you can see I can actually control the scale of the horizontal and the vertical scale independently from one another. I'm just going to keep that locked for another. Then we've just demoed it, but you've got rotations, so this is just going to spin around. Then you've got the opacity, which is just how intense can you see that. Zero is going to disappear, 100 you'll see is completely solid and then 50 is going to be somewhere in the middle and be fairly transparent. You can see if I turn on the transparency grid, you can see that transparency grid starting to come through our 50 percent, but if I pull up to 100, you can't. That brings us on to the question of how do I animate? Essentially we animate using keyframes and keyframes in After Effects are basically specific points that represent specific values. You'd created new points at the beginning saying that the position is 960 and 540 and then two seconds later, it can be 1,300. Then it will move from the first point to the second point and it will move from that first set of values to the second set of values. It sounds complicated, but let me show you how you do that. Let's go roughly one second in and we're just going to select this new stopwatch icon on the position. Then we'll move over to the two mark and you can see at the moment the values are still 960 by 540, but if we move this over to the left, you can see the value is now 600. It's changed from 960 to 600. As you can see between these two points, that is now going to move. The moment that movement was fairly comfortable, it was a comfortable pace, but if you wanted to speed that up, you can just decrease the gap between those keyframes and that'll be really fast. If you wanted to slow that down, just increase the gap and that's going to take much longer to get to that same position. That's the basics of animation in After Effects. All you need to do is just create keyframes, move something or do something, and then creates a new key-frame and the change in value means that after Effects is going to animate from the first set of values to the second set of values. With that in mind, we can do the same on scale. Craig Bryan and keyframe on scale, we'll move to that second position keyframe and move the scale down. Now positioned as gala going to animate at the same time. We'll do the same for rotation as well so new keyframe on rotation, move across and we'll just rotate this around 90 degrees and when we play this back, you can say it's going to scale down, rotate and the position is going to go over to the left, like this. As you can see, that was a really simple and really basic animation using the transform tab, but at the moment the animation looks a little bit robotic. That's because these keyframes here are linear keyframes, but we want to convert these into bezier keyframes or easy ease keyframes. In order to do that, all we have to do is just highlight all of those keyframes. We'll right-click one of those. We'll go down to keyframe assistant, and we'll select Easy Ease. Essentially what this Easy Ease conversion is doing is rather than suddenly starting the movement at the keyframe and stopping at the other keyframe, it's going to slowly ease into it and then ease out of that. Let's play that back. There you go. Now, you can really see it as it comes into its position. You can see that slowly goes into that position rather than just stopping like it did before like this. If we now redo that so highlights right-click keyframe assistant and easy ease. Now you can see that looks a lot softer. I generally prefer using Easy Ease keyframes over the normal keyframes because as I say, this looks a lot nicer and will make your animation look more professional, but what if you wanted to animate beyond just the position scale and rotation. Well, if you go into the "Add" button up here, you can see we can add a whole bunch of different settings. We've got rectangle, ellipse, poly star, path, fill, stroke, gradient fill, gradient stroke, merge paths, offset, pucker and bloat, repeater, round corners, trim paths, twist, wiggle paths, wiggle transform, and zigzag. Now I'm not going to go through every single one of these because they're all going to do something slightly different, but essentially they're just adding another variation on top of this animation. Let's go for trim paths. Now, trim paths is really good because it's going to basically animate around to wipe off or wipe off. If I go into trim paths and go end to zero, you can see that's going to animate off. If I start with an end of zero percent and then go across and pull that up to 100 percent, making sure that I create that keyframe, you can see this is how that's going to look. Again, if I increase the gap between those keyframes, that's going to slow that movement down and that has now animated on. Let's create a little sequence. Let's pull these trim path keyframes to the beginning. That's going to animate on. Then it's going to move across. Again we want to convert these keyframes into the easy ease keyframes. Let's play that back and see how that looks. We animate on and then we rotate around. In a matter of minutes, we can see we've created all of these keyframes and we've got this really nice animation now taking place. Of course, like I said, if you go into add, you can add all of these other options and experiment throughout this, so round corners. As you can probably imagine if we go into that, it's just going to round off those corners. You can see zigzag. If we go into zigzag, it's just going to add a zigzag to the edge of this. Again, you can animate this over time as well if you wanted. Maybe you could animate this up and down over time. Maybe we start at six or any keyframe on size at six will move across, pull that up. Then we'll move across, pull that down, move across, pull that up, and move across, pull that down. Then between all of these keyframes, we're going to see this action on the zigzag. If you wanted to keep repeating that, you can highlight all of those keyframes. We'll go Command and C to copy or Control and C, if you're on Windows, move across Command and V or Control and V, and then just keep copying and pasting these on. You can see we've got this zigzag animation now taking place, but I think that looks awful. Let's get rid of the zigzag plug-in and we'll just focus on what we've got so far. You can also see if we go into rectangle one, this is our shape layer. You can see we've got our stroke, our fill, our transform, so we can actually affect the stroke on its own as well. We can change the color of the stroke down here if we wanted. We can change the opacity of the stroke. We can add a stroke width, so we can take that away, add some more. Again, this has got that stopwatch icon next to it so we can keyframe that over time. It starts off with a large stroke and then over time that reduces as well. Then we've got line cap and this is just going to change the look of this line. You got a butt cap at the moment. You can change that to a round cap and it will look like this. We can go into a projecting cap and it will look like this. Then you've got miter joint, round joint, or a bevel joint. Again, that's just going to change the look of that stroke there. There's a nice round joint them. Then you can add or take away dashes if you wanted, so there's dashes at the moment, but as you can see, if I increase the dash, that is how this is going to look. There you go. You can offset that as well. If you wanted as well, you can actually animate that to rotate around. We'll start at the beginning, create brand new keyframe on offset using that stopwatch icon, move across, pull the offset up, and then it's going to animate from that first value to that second value. That's how that looks. Then you've got taper and wave. Again, feel free to just go into all of these different settings, play with everything here, and get really familiar and comfortable with what each and every single one of this is going to do. Like I said, I am not going to go through every single one because this course is going to take forever if I do that for every single one. Just go through, have a look, and have a play, but that is how you would animate single layers inside of Adobe After Effects. 7. Null Objects & Parenting: Now let's say you've got multiple layers in Adobe After Effects and you want to animate them all at the same time. Now you could go into every single layer and animate them individually. But the problem is if you've got 5, 6, 7, 8, maybe 20 layers in After Effects, trying to go through all of these, do all the animation, it's just going to take forever. So there's a quick and easy way of doing all of that at the same time. That is to use a null object. Now a null object is essentially just an object which isn't visible, but you link everything to the null object. When you animate that null object, everything linked to it will animate at the same time. Let me show you what I mean. Let's just begin by creating a few new shapes, so we'll go up here. We'll create a rectangle, then we'll create a circle, then we'll create a star. There we go. Now let's say I wanted to make all of these bounce in, for example. I could go into every single layer, so I'll go into transform, and then we'll pull the scale down to zero percent. Credit brown and keyframe on scale at zero. We'll move across, increase that up to 120, move across again, and then pull that down to 100. Then when we play that back, you can see we've got this nice bouncing. But the problem is we can either copy the scale or we could just go into every layer. We can add the scale animation. But the thing is, again, if we've got all of these different layers, it might take a while to get all of this done. Rather than doing that for every layer, instead, let's go into layer new null object. As you can see, this is the new object here, this red square here. Now from here we want to link shape layer 3, shape layer 2, and shape layer 1 to this null object because at the moment they're not linked. So you want to highlight all of those, and then you can see here we've got parents and link. Now, if you're not seeing parents and link here for some reason, then it's because it might be hidden. So you just want to right-click in this area up here somewhere, columns and make sure parents and link is selected. If this is what you're seeing, just right-click columns and select parents and link. Then with that selected now you want to select all of those shape layers and then grab this wiggly icon. This is a parent pick whip. Select that, hold that down and drag that over to the null 1. Essentially the parent pick whip or that wiggly icon is essentially just saying that these layers should now be connected to the null object. Which means when we animate the null objects, all of these should be connected. You'll get confirmation of it being connected in this box here. As you can see it, it should say null 1. If they all say non, it means I haven't been linked. You can either drag that like this, or alternatively you can just select the box and select the null 1 of your choice. If you've got multiple different null objects throughout your composition to control different layers in different areas of your composition, then you will see null 1 and null 2 and null 3. Make sure you're selecting the correct null object. But now that they're linked to that null object, we can go into the transform settings of this null object. We can create brand new keyframe, position, scale, and rotation. We'll go back in time a little bit. We'll increase the scale, and then we'll go back a bit again. We'll pull that down to zero. As you can see, they're all now going to animate on at the same time. Just because they're all down link to that null object doesn't mean you can't animate all of these individually as well. Let's say you want to add rotation on the star layer for example, you can just go into there. You got transform, create a keyframe on the rotation, move across and rotate this around. As you can see, it's going to rotate the rotation on its own, but it's also going to follow the action and the animation from that null object. As well as the individual animation, you can also link this to a null object, to control a group or a selection of different layers inside of Adobe After Effects. Null objects are extremely useful and learning the power of null objects at this stage is really beneficial because it's going to help to carry you a long way in your career inside of Adobe After Effects. Every time I have to animate something in Adobe After Effects, I always use a null object. If I'm creating a lower third and lyric video, a visual effect, it doesn't matter what it is. If I'm inside of Adobe After Effects, chances are I've probably got at least one or null objects on my timeline. I'll put a little bit of time into playing around with creating null objects inside of After Effects, linking all your shapes and your footage to that null object, and then see how that's going to respond with the different types of animation that you put into that null object. 8. How to Activate Motion Blur: Before we carry on, let's take a second to talk about motion blur. What is motion blur? Motion blur is that blurring that you get in a shot. So let's ignore Adobe After Effects and motion graphics and everything inside this program for now and let's just take this back to cameras. The general rule of thumb when you're filming a video is you want your shutter speed to be double your frame rate. So if you're filming at 25 frames per second, you want your shutter speed to be one over 50. When you do this, when you set your shutter speed to one over 50, you're going to let a natural amount of motion blur into your shots. So this means that when you move the camera or somebody moves in the frame, if you screenshotted that specific moment, zoomed into the action, you would see a blurring. The reason why we want that blurring over no blurring is because it looks a bit more natural. If you pull your shutter speed on your cameras all the way up to around one over 1,000, it doesn't look natural. It just looks a bit too crispy. There's not enough blur. It just doesn't look right. Generally, when you're filming, the golden rule is to keep your shutter speed down to around one over 50 or if you're shooting slow-mo, you want to pull it up a little higher. The same thing can be applied to After Effects and motion graphics. If we jump into this project here. Carrying on from the previous null objects episode, you can see at the moment there is no motion blur. If I zoom in at this action, these are popping in really fast, but at the moment, there's just no motion blur. It looks too crisp and it just doesn't look quite right and some would say this looks almost amateur. This is why we need to activate the motion blur. Let's close down all of these layers and then you want to make sure that you can see this icon here. So you've got these three circles. If you can't, then you're in the wrong mode. So make sure you select the Toggle Switches/modes. Then you want to highlight all of those shape layers. Don't select the null objects. There's no point because we can't see the null objects. Then you just want to select the box underneath motion blur. Then make sure this motion blur icon is blue. If it's gray, there won't be any motion blur even those are selected. So make sure this is blue. Then when we play this back to the beginning, you can see that it looks a lot better already. You can actually see if we've got halfway through the movement, there is a lot more blur there. So this is without and this is with. Adding motion blur onto your composition is a really quick thing to do and it does help to make the difference especially when you combine that with some Easy Ease keyframes with your keyframe animation, having that smooth keyframe animation and then adding some motion blur onto that movement is going to help to make your work look more professional and have more character. Now, motion blur can be quite strenuous on your computer, I am completely aware. So when you're working, just turn off motion blur, and then when you go to render this out or you put this back into Premiere, or whatever you're doing with this, turn the motion blur back on, and that will enable that motion blur again, so work with it off and then turn this back on when you need to export this or send this to a client. 9. Masking: Next up we're going to talk about masking because masking is one of the most important features inside of Adobe After Effects. There are so many different video effects and things that you can do with masking so it's really important that we take the time to jump into this. Let's jump into After Effects and let's drag some random footage into our composition. Let's start with the city traffic footage, for example. As you can see at the moment, we've just got this 3 and 1/2 second clip of our city traffic and at the moment we've just got the full video. But if we select that footage and we go up to the pen tool, so select pen tool, we can actually draw over an area of our footage and that is essentially masking. You can see I've cut out the rest of the video and I'm only focusing on this one part of the video. Now at the moment that mask isn't really doing anything and that's because it's not animated. In order for this to do something, we need to combine keyframe animation and masking together. I'm going to go through to the point where this car stops, somewhere around here. Then I'm just going to go into that drop-down arrow in the traffic, we'll go into masks, Mask 1, and we'll create a brand new keyframe on the mask path. Then we'll pull it all the way back to the beginning. We'll go back to the selection tool and I'm just going to move this mask over to the left. Don't drag the entire thing over like this because you're going to affect the position. You want to select the mask. Select this keyframe, select this larger square, and then move this across to the left. Then you can just go ahead and move these different points up like this. You can see I'm following the movement of the car. Now when we play this back, it's going to animate from this keyframe to this keyframe and that mask will now follow. Of course, because that car is moving too fast in the middle, so somewhere around here, I do need to move this entire mask over to the right like this. Now we've got 1,2,3 points on our keyframe animation. But of course it's not just isolating specific objects that masking is useful for. Masking is really useful if you wanted to focus on specific areas for specific effects. Let's duplicate this footage. We'll go Command and C and V or Control C and V. We'll zoom out a little bit so that we can get a good selection here. Let's go 100 percent. We'll go into that pen tool. Then I'm just going to draw a mask around the sky. It doesn't need to be perfect. That's completely fine. I've got this mask around the sky. Now from here, I can actually go into Effects and Presets. I'm going to touch very loosely on color correction here. There's a full episode coming later on in the course. But if we just search for levels and drop levels onto this mask, this layer here with the mask here. If we solo this by the way, you can see its only the sky that's going to be affected. But we can pull the input black down to really make that sky pop. This is before that effect and this is after that effect. Then as you can see, now, this is before and this is after. It's really helped to isolate that sky and make the sky pop. The problem is that if we zoom in, you can see we've got this harsh line where we can see the edge of the mask. That's fine. We'll just go into that city traffic layer, drop-down, go into masks, Mask 1. You can see here we've got mask path, mask feather, mask opacity and mask expansion. We need to focus on the feather. If we increase that mask feather, that's going to soften up that edge and there you go. All of a sudden that hard edge has now disappeared. This is zero and this is around 100. If I zoom back out, you can see that now looks really nice. Of course, if for some reason though, your mask wasn't exactly close to where you needed it to be. Let's just focus on this area for now. As you can see, if you wanted to expand that and get that closer rather than moving these points, you could just increase mask expansion and as you can see, that's just going to move that mask downwards like this. Then of course you've got mask opacity as well, which is just our opacity. If you only wanted to use this effect, let's say we pulled this all the way up to here, but you didn't want it that intense. You could just pull the mask opacity down a little bit and that just helps to fade out that effect. But masking is really useful for this purpose as well. You can create some really awesome effects and color grading and some really awesome isolated effects using masking in After Effects. Then of course, again, we can go back to cropping our footage and we can do that to create a split-screen effects. Let's say we've got three video clips on our timeline. This is Shot 1, this is Shot 2, and this is Shot 3. Let's go into transform on all of these layers so transform, transform, transform. We'll just pull the scale of these down a little bit to begin with. Then I'm just going to focus on this first layer. I'm just going to just draw a mask around the right side of this frame. Then I'm just going to move the position of this over to the right, like this. Then I'm going to move that food layer over to the left and I'm just going to draw a mask around that one as well. As you can see, you may need to zoom out or just move up if you want just to make sure you get that off the frame because if you don't, it will click the edges like this. Just take that out. Then we'll focus on that last layer. That's this layer down here. I'm just going to decrease the scale of this a little bit and then we'll go into that mask and I'm just going to follow this movement like this. There you go and as you can see, we've now got this split-screen effects and these three videos are playing back at the same time. We've used masking and scale and position to create this really nice split-screen effect. Now let's say you wanted to animate this over time. You want it to start here and then this shot is going to grow over time. In order to do that, you just want to go into the mask and create brand new keyframe on mask path, on every single layer, mask path. We'll open up the masks, Mask 1, new keyframe on mask path. Then we'll move roughly 1 and 1/2 seconds over. Then from here we'll go back to our selection tool. We'll select this first video, and we'll just move these two right points over to the left. I've held Shift to select those two points and then we'll drag that over to the left. As you can see, a new keyframe would have been created there. We'll go to the second layer, select those two points and move that over to the left. Then I'm just going to go to this bottom layer, and I'm just going to move to this top point over to there. Now when we play this back, you can see there is now this animation taking place. We've done a split-screen effects and then we've animated that overtime using our keyframe animation. We've got this really nice dynamic split-screen effects and all it took was a little bit of masking, scale and transform and position keyframe animation. That's an example for how After Effects works. It's not just enough to know one thing. You have to know everything in After Effects to add up different elements of an effect. Take this split screen animation for example, this is masking, but it's also adjusting the scale and the position in the transform menu. Then it's also leaning into keyframe animation as well. That's multiple skills needed in order to create this effect and that's the beauty with Adobe After Effects as a whole. Once you know a few of these key plug-ins and a few of these key features in After Effects, you can build on top of those to create some really interesting and unique effects moving forward, there you go. That is the basics of masking in After Effects. There are so many different cases where you would use masking. Masking is one of those key skills that you need to know in order to proceed in After Effects. Make sure you put the time into learning masking efficiently. Because once you know how to mask in objects, there are so many different things that you can do with masking as a whole. 10. Text Creation: Moving on, we're going to talk about text in After Effects. All you need to do is go up to the top bar of After Effects, go to the T icon, you can hold that down and you can either select the horizontal type tool or the vertical type tool. Typically, you want to start with the horizontal type tool, select anywhere in your composition, and then type out a word, a phrase, whatever you need to type out, type it out here. Then we want to go to the paragraph alignment window and a character window. Now, these should be on the right of After Effects, so you've got character and paragraph, they're here. But if you can't see them for any reason, then go into window and make sure a character is ticked, and then you also want to make sure that paragraph is also ticked. We'll first start off with the paragraph window. We're just going to highlight all of this, so command an A or control an A. Then we'll send to align this. Then we'll go into character. From here, we can change the font. You can scroll through, select the font that you want. Then moving down, we've got the weight of the font, so you can go for a light font, you could go for a bold font, it's completely up to you. Then over on the right, you've got the fill color, so this is the color of the fill, this solid color. Then under here, you've got a stroke option, so you can add a stroke. As you can see, if I increase the size of this to make that more visible. You can really see that stroke coming through there. Then you can also increase the size of that stroke by pulling on this setting here. Of course, so you don't have to have a stroke and if you don't want to have that stroke, then just select this box here, and then we'll go back to our normal fill color. Then moving on, we've got our size here, so this is the size of the font. You've got your line spacing here. Then you've got your tracking or your kerning here. This is the spaces in-between the letters like this. This obviously is the stroke, and then you've got a few options here, so this is the height of the texts like this. You've also got this option here so you could shrink it vertically. Then down here you've got a fake bold, you've got a fake italic, you've got all caps. Let's say this was lowercase. There you go, you you now see lowercase into uppercase. There you go. Then down here, you've got these small caps. If it is all caps, then you can select small caps and that will put that down into small caps for you. Then you've got superscript, so it's going to put it up there. If you needed to do E equals MC^2, there you go, you can select this two to be at that and that's going to be your squared like this, or alternatively, you can put it down, it's completely up to you. But I don't need that, so I'm going to go back to our normal text. That is our text now created. From here, I would load up the proportional grid and place this in the middle. Now, the moment you can see that the anchor point is set to the bottom, this means when we want to rotate or animate this object, it's going to rotate from here, which is not what we want unfortunately, so I'm going to go into that text where I transform, and then I'm going to move the anchor point up. I'm going to move that anchor point to the middle, and then I'll move the anchor points that the texts now is in the middle of the canvas or the composition. Now, you can see if we were to animate the scale, it animates from the center, and if we were to animate the rotation, it rotates from that center point, which is what we want. There you go. That is our simple text now created inside of Adobe After Effects. Of course, if you wanted to create a lower third, then you would need to combine texts, animation, null objects, and potentially even some masking. In the next episode, I'm going to show you how to do exactly all of that. We're going to combine all of that to create a really awesome lower third. 11. Combine Skills to Make a Lower Third Animation: If your text's now created, we can actually go ahead and change that to a full name. I'm just going to go ahead and type my name out, and from there, I'm just going to decrease the size of this. I'm just going to pull that down. Then as you can see, by pulling the size of the font down, it actually moved this anchor point up to the top here. I'll just zoom in. There you go, the anchor point is now no longer in the middle. Rather than doing that, I'm actually going to go into Transform, and I'm going to pull the scale down here, and now that anchor point is in the middle. This means if we want to rotate that later on, we can do that without it affecting where the anchor point is going to be. We've got a name, we just need to add a subtitle, so I'm just going to copy this text. Then we'll change this text to video creator. Of course, feel free to put whatever you want. Then we'll just go into the transform of this that will pull the scale down, we'll pull the position down. There you go. We've got our-self, a cool lower third potentiale. We've got the name and then we've got the subtitle. Of course, if you wanted this to be a little bit lighter, so you didn't want this to be as bold, then you can just go into character and pull this down to regular or medium, then we can make this italic or normal, completely up to you, but you just basically want to get this to a point where you're happy with. Don't decrease the size here because it's going to affect the anchor points. Just focus on the text, the weight here, and then all of these other settings. Then you can move this back into position down here in your Transform tab. As you can see, we've got our name, and we've got our subtitle. Now from here, I'm just going to go ahead and create a solid background. In order to do that, I'm going to go ahead and create a New Solid. So we'll go, Layer, New, Solid. Go ahead and select the color of your choice. I'm going to select this purple again, and we'll drag this to the bottom. Just so you know, down here in this timeline setting, anything at the top is going to go to the very top of the edits. If you wanted to see this text, but this solid was on the top, then you'd want to pull the solid down to the bottom to reveal the text. Anything at the top is going to be sitting on top of whatever else is behind it. Then from that we're just going to go ahead and select that solid, we'll go into our Rectangle tool. I'm going to load at the proportional grid for reference, and then I'm just going to draw a mask around that. Like this. There we go. You can see we've got our name, our subtitle, and the background. Now we just need to go ahead and animate these in overtime. So let's start with this background, I'm going to go into that mask, we'll go roughly half a second over, and create brand a keyframe on mask path. Then we'll go to the beginning, we'll select these two right points on the mask, and we'll move this over to the left, like this. We've got this nice animation coming on, and in fact, I think it would be quite nice to add a bounce to that. We're just going to make another keyframe at the end, so we've got 1,2, and 3, then we'll go to that second keyframe, select those two right points again, and then we'll extend that over to the right even further. It's going to go further and then come back. But as you can see, that doesn't look quite right, so I'm just going to decrease the gap between these keyframes at the end, and that looks a lot better now. That is now animated on, we can now focus on animating the text. Now there's a million different ways of animating your text in After Effects. Of course, you don't have to do anything particular, but in this example, I'm going to show you this cool character letter slide up effect. I think it looks quite cool. In order to do that, we're just going to go into that name. So we'll select the Drop-down arrow, and then we'll select Animate, we'll select any one of these, but in this example I'm going to select Position. Then we'll go into Range Selector, Advanced, and in the advanced section, I'm going to go down to Shape and we'll select Ramp Up. Then we'll go down to Position, and I'm just going to pull the position down underneath this background layer. There you go, like this. Now we'll go to Offsets, and we'll pull this down to negative 100 percent. We'll wait for this to animate, and then we'll create a brand new key frame on the offsets at negative 100. We go a few frames over and we'll pull this up to plus 100. When we play this back, you can see those characters are all going to go in a letter by letter. Now of course the problem is we can now see this text just waiting there. It's waiting to come up. In order to fix that, we're just going to select the text and we're just going to draw a mask around this background so that it looks like it animates up from the bottom of that purple background. There you go. That comes in, this comes in, and now we need to animate this title. Maybe we can just do a more of a subtle animation so now we can go into Opacity. We'll go Drop-down arrow, Transform opacity down to 0. Brand new key frame on the stopwatch, then we'll move over and pull that up to 100 percent. Let's play this back and see how this all looks. There you go, that looks really nice. Now this looks great, but the problem is they're all normal linear keyframes. There's no Easy Ease keyframes here, which means the animation doesn't look as smooth as it could look. I'm just going to highlight all of these keyframes and go through the process of converting all of these to Easy Ease keyframes. Now let's play this back, see how this looks. Much better. Although the problem is, I would argue that this name coming in now looks a little fast so I'm just going to separate these keyframes a little. That now looks a lot better. There we go. We've got this all animating in now, but the problem is this doesn't really look like a lower third, is in the middle of the composition. It's a bit too large. So in order to fix that, we're just going to parent all of this to a null object. So we'll go Layer, New, Null Object, highlight all of these layers. Use this Pick Whip tool or this banner to select Null 2, and then from that we can go into Null 2, Transform, and we can decrease the scale down, we can pull the position down, and now this can just perfectly sit on top of our video footage. Let's just drag some random footage into there. There you go. You can see that we've now got our lower third created on top of our footage, and this looks great. Of course, if you wanted to animate this out, then just follow through all of those same steps, but just in reverse animating out. Again, this is only one example of a lower third or a text animation that you can do inside of Adobe After Effects. Of course, you don't have to have these letters animating up and the subtitle fading in on the opacity with this purple banner. Of course, feel free to have a play around, look at other tutorials and figure out new and exciting ways of animating your text in. But this is just one way that I would create a lower third inside of Adobe After Effects. So this specific skill involved creating texts, creating a new solid, masking key frame animation, null objects and parenting, and then we tied that altogether to create this really nice lower third animation. Now the beauty with this lower third animation, if we delete this footage, if we toggle the transparency grid, you can see this is actually on a transparent background. Which means if we move this up to the middle, we can export this from After Effects with that transparent background, and we can use this in other programs outside of After Effects and just drop that directly on our footage. I'll show you how you export videos with a transparent background in a future episode in this course. That will be in the export section towards the very end. Now that we've completed this episode, my challenge to you is to go ahead and create a really awesome lower third animation using all of the techniques that you've seen in this episode. I'd love for it to include a null object, masking, text animation and the generation of some sorts of shape layer or a solid. Once you've done that, just upload that to the Class Project section, and I'll be replying to everybody that uploads a lower third into the Class Project section. 12. 3D Text: Now that we've created our texts and we have created a lower third using that text, we're going to take that one step further and turn our 2D text into 3D text. That means we need to work now in a 3D space. I'm just going to delete this lower third. I'm going to toggle off the transparency grid like this. Then I'm just going to create a new title. Let's go for 3D TEXT, very original. Then we'll get into character and we'll search for a specific font. I'm going to use monster at bold. I'm going to increase the size of this. Then I'm going to put this roughly in the middle. Somewhere around here. There we go. Don't worry at this point if your anchor point is at the bottom of the text because that is completely fine for now, because we're going to convert this into 3D text and generate our movements from cameras rather than the actual position of this text. Now that you've done that, you just want to turn off the proportional grid. Then we want to go into this layer down here. We've got the 3D texts there. We're just going to press this third button along or this last button in the sequence, this is our 3D button, 3D layer. Toggle this on, and that will convert that into 3D text. Now, if we go down into the drop-down arrow, you can see we've got text, transform, geometry options and material options, and geometry options is grayed out. Now, the reason why that's grayed out is because the renderer is set to classic 3D. But if you select "Render" at classic 3D and change that to Cinema 4D, that will allow you to create 3D texts. As you can see, geometry options is now in white. This means we can jump into there and change some of the settings. But before we do that, I'm just going to go back up into text. You can see we've got text path options and more options. There's a few options here that you can play with. But we're going to go into transform. As you can see, transform now looks a little bit different. You've got your anchor point, you've got your position, your scale or your orientation, and then you've got your rotation splits into different axes, and now your anchor point, your position, and your scale, they all have three options rather than two. That's because not only are we going side to side and up and down, we can also now go forwards and back because this is a 3D space. I can move the position left to right. It can go up and down, but it can also go forward and back. Now, this may just look like I'm scaling this up and scaling this down. But I'm actually moving that further back in space. When we have a digital camera in and we have some lights in, you really see the importance of that later on. The same thing could be applied to this scale. If we unlink the scale, you can see we've got this scale here, this scale here, and then this scale is going to take that further back. Then we've got orientation. This is just going to do some fancy rotation things for us. Then coming down here we've got x rotation, y rotation, and our normal z rotation. Now, moving now, we want to turn this into 3D texts because if we rotate this a little bit, you can see, this is still very flat. You can see here, we can't really see anything back there. In order to turn this into 3D texts, we're first just going to go into geometry options, and we're just going to add a small bevel. A bevel is just the rounding of the corners or just the corner of that 3D layer. Then in bevel style, you can see we've changed this from non-angular, concave and convex. If I change that to angular, you can't really see anything at the moment. That's because we haven't extruded this text. That sounds complicated, but I'll show you what I mean. At the bottom here, you can see we've got extrusion depth. Extrusion is basically just how large it is traveling back into the space. At the moment it's on zero, so it's just 2D. But if I increase that, you can see that's going to go backwards in space, so 100. As you can see, we've now got our 3D text. But the problem is at the moment, this is just a big block of white texts. We can't really see anything. Because this is all white, it's all just blurring and it's getting difficult to read the text. This is where we need to introduce digital lights. I'm just going to come up with 3D texts layer for now. Then I'm going to go up into layer new light. In here, you can see we've got the name so, we can call this Spot Light 1. Then we can go down into settings and we can change the light type from spot to parallel points or ambient sound scholarly spot for now, you can change the color of this. Basically your texts at the moment, it's just a white blank canvas. If we were to shine a red light at this text, the text would now turn red because it's got a red light casting on it. Pick a color of your choice. I'm going to go for a purply color to match the theme of this course. Then you can increase or decrease the intensity. You can increase or decrease the cone angle, which is just how large that light is going to be, then you've got the cone feathering. If you increase, that is really going to be a soft fall off. But if you pull that down, it's going to be really harsh and direct like a spot. I'm going to keep that nice and soft there. Then you've got the falloff and you can have a smooth or inverse-square clamped falloff. This is basically just how the light is just going to fall off the text. I'm just click that at none, we'll press "Okay", and as you can see, we've now got purple texts and that's because we're casting a purple light on the text. Now, let's just first start with this. This is our point of interest. At the moment, it's in the center of the text. But if I put this over to the right, you can see this is a point of focus and now this is getting the most amount of light and it's falling off and we can't see the three anymore. I'm just going to pop that in the middle roughly. You can see up here we can actually move this light around like this, so we can move it across individual axes like this. As you can see, you could actually animate this, so it starts over here and then animates on to create this nice 3D text effect. You can do that on this axis and then you can also bring it forwards and backwards as well. You can see this is our light and moving it around is going to reveal different parts of this 3D text. If I take it back here, it's more of a backlight for bringing it up here. It's a nice side light, which is going to create some nice shadows back here. Feel free to move your light around to get the type of effects that you're after. However, I think in this instance, I want a light up here in the top right to cast the shadows back here. I want a light behind just to add a little bit of a backlight, just so that we get a little bit of separation from this and the back. I'm going to go into Layer New Light. We'll change the color of this to a light-blue. Press "Okay", on that. We'll press okay on that. Now you can see that's adding another round of light, but we don't want this to be up here. We want to send this back. I'm just going to open up spot light 2, we'll go into transform. Then you can see we've got points of interest, position, orientation and the rotations. Position is what I want to focus on. This one is going to go side to side. As you can see if I zoom out, you can see that is going to go left and right. The second option is going to go up and down. I can make this nice and high and assume that's what I'm going to do in this example. I'll take this nice and high. Then this option is going to take this behind as you can see. If we just zoom back in, you can see this is how this is now starting to look. If we take this even further back like this, you can see it's clipping the corners a little bit. Now you can go into light options and you can increase the intensity to get a more dramatic effect just on these edges as you can see. Alternatively, rather than doing that, we can just bring this back round little bit more again, just so it's not so behind. There we go. We're getting a nice little hair light just on the side of the lights. Again, that if you did want to turn up the intensity to make that more obvious then feel free to do so. Of course, it's about if you wanted to change the color, then you just go back into that color box and just change to a color of your choice. In theory, you can just keep adding loads of different lights and just making this look exactly how you want this to look. We'll add a third light in. We'll make this. Let's go for maybe a dark purple, something like this. Press "Okay", and then I'm just going to move this over to the left just to add a little bit difference between this purple light and this other purple light. If I turn that on and off, you can see how that changed the look of that text. Now at the moment, we're just seeing this in one view. If we go down to the bottom right, you can see we've got active camera and we can change this to the very front. We can change this to the left. We can change this to the top to see where these lights are. If I zoom out, you've really get a sense of where all these lights are coming from. You've got lights here and it looks like we've got a light here as well, just on the side so we can move this around. If we wanted more, ease on where this is going to go, then we can go to the right, we can go to the bottom, or we can go to a custom view and put that where we want it to go. As you can see that's a 3D text. But we can just take this back as the active camera. Then we can actually change this from one view to four views if we want. We get a full understanding of what's happening here. Let's get into this front view here. If I was to move this light around, you can see it moving across all of these other views here. It's just helping you get a clear understanding of where all of these lights are in the space. This is very useful if you've got loads of different lights in the space and you've got loads of 3D objects in the space because it's going to help you define where everything is in the space and where everything needs to move in order to get the type of effects that you're looking for. But you don't have to do that, you can just keep this as one view if you'd rather keep things simple. Now at the moment you can see down here it says active camera. The active camera is just this static camera, just looking forward. But the problem is, because we haven't actually created a new camera, there's no camera movement. In order to create some movement in this animation, we're going to go into Layer, New Camera. You can see there's loads of different settings here, but generally you just want to keep this as the default here you can see you can change this to a one-node camera or a two-node camera. You can change the lens. You can do whatever you want here, but I'm just going to keep this as a default, I always do. Then I'm just going to go into that camera, we'll go transform. You can also see down here you've got camera options so you can add some zoom, you can add some depth of field focus distance. You can change the aperture, blur level, irish shape, irish rotation. All of these technical camera settings, but the one that we're interested in is transform. Transform is basically going to be the camera movements. We can move the camera around like this so that we get this nice rotation. We can go like this. We've got a nice rotation up here, go forwards or backwards if we wanted to get closer in on this. Then you can see we can also rotate. Now, of course, as well as animating the camera, you can also animate the text as well. If we go into that 3D text, you can see if we create a brand new keyframe on the, let us go for the y rotation at the beginning, we've got a few seconds over and we'll pull that down to a negative number. You can see that if I drop the quality down to quarter and then play this back, you can see we've got this really nice 3D text animation. But you could also combine that with some camera movement as well. As well as the texts spinning around like this, maybe you could get the camera to come up and down so we'll start down. Crap, brand new keyframe on the position, move over to around three seconds. Then we'll boom up so that we get this really nice jib effect or this jib shot coming from below to above the text. Of course feel free to move that as well, just so that we can see everything that is happening. There we go. Now let's play this back. There you go, you can see you've got the camera coming around then up the 3D text is orbiting around. It's creating this really nice 3D animation. Let's play this back in real time. There you go. Of course, if you wanted to as well, you could also animate the position of the lights over time. Let's take the yellow spot for example. At this moment in time we'll create brand new keyframe on the position. We'll go over to around three seconds and we'll just move the position of this light around. Now, we've got the texts rotating. The camera is booming up and the light is also moving at the same time. Combining all three of these creates this really nice animation. Let's play that back in real time. There we go. That looks really nice. Of course, if you wanted to as well, you could grab all of these keyframes. You could right-click one of those keyframes and we can convert those to easy ease keyframes to smooth out that movement like we learned in a previous episode. As you can see that it's going to look a lot smoother now. Of course, this has drifted over to the left because we've animated the Y rotation. We can just fix that by creating a brand new key frame on the position. We'll go to three seconds and we'll just move the position over like this. Now of course, you can create 3D layers, you can create 3D backgrounds, and you can cast shadows from this text onto your background to create some really nice animation. But of course, I would advise you to practice your 3D text animation skills. Jump into all these different settings. Jump into your lights, your transform and your lights options. See how all of these different settings affect your 3D texts. Play with colors, play with different camera movements. Play with lights, play with cameras, and then just experiment to create some really interesting and amazing 3D texts. There you go. That is the basics of how you would create 3D texts and then animate that 3D text inside of Adobe After Effects. 13. Motion Tracking: Now moving on, I'm going to talk all about motion tracking. In this episode, I'm going to talk about 2D motion tracking and in the next episode, I'll talk about the 3D camera tracker. Let's move on from this 3D text. We're just going to get rid of the 3D texts for now. We'll just delete that and I'm just going to drop a random video clip into the timeline. Let's go Street Handheld. As you can see, I've got this random Handheld footage of this video clip, and it's a little bit wonky. If I wanted to add some text into this scene, I would need to motion track the scene in order to put something into the scene because the problem is if I just create a title, so I'll go "T", will go random text, and we'll just add a little bit of line separation there. If I wanted to add this random texts into the scene, like stick it to the footage, at the moment, it just doesn't work. You could try creating a keyframe on the position and then moving over and trying to follow the movement yourself. But the problem is, this never looks quite right. If we play this back, you can see because the camera's shaking, that text isn't going to move at the same time as the footage. Rather than doing that, this is where we can motion track the footage and then add that tracking data to that text layer. It sounds really complicated, but it's not actually too difficult. In my opinion, motion tracking is one of the most important first steps into visual effects. If you wanted to track something into a scene, you would use motion tracking in order to do so. It's not just text that you can add into a scene. You can add random visual effects, you can add video footage, you can overlay some green screen footage onto attract video. There's so much you can do with motion tracking. Let's go into the 2D motion tracker and begin tracking this footage. Let's just delete this text for now. We'll just turn this off by selecting the eyeball icon. It's still there, but I've just hid it for now. I'm going to focus on this text. First of all, I'm going to change the resolution up to "Full". Then from there I'm going to change the "Window" from the current Default workspace to the "Motion Tracking" workspace. As you can see that has changed the look of after effects. This is the window that I'm focusing on up here, you've got Tracker. Motions Source is going to be Street Handheld, Current Track, "None" and if I select that, you can see it's going to come up with Track Camera, Warp Stabilizer, Track Motion, Stabilize Motion. Warp Stabilizer and Stabilize Motion is going to try and smooth out that camera movement. It will track the footage and then it will apply some tracking data to that to help to smooth this out. We don't want that though. We want to go ahead and select "Track Motion" Now, this will load up this menu here. Our motion source is Street Handheld. This is our footage layer. Then we've got Current Track, Tracker 1, Track Type can be Transform. Then we want to go ahead and select all of these if they are relevant. If the footage that you're tracking is on a tripod and it's only panning and tilting, then you only need to worry about position. If it's handheld and there's a bit of rotation, you would want to take rotation and if you're zooming in or zooming out, you would want to select scale. Now, I don't zoom in on this footage as you can see. This is just me moving the camera around. That means I'm going to have to use position and rotation. Then once you've done that, you could go now to "Edit Target" and you want to go ahead and select Null Object. You'd have to create a null object. So "Layer", "New", "Null Object" and the target is going to be Null 3. Then if we go into "Options", all of the sections, you can just ignore, so just go ahead and press "Okay" on this. Now you want to go ahead and analyze the footage. With that footage now selected, we first just want to zoom into the footage and we're going to focus on track point 1. Essentially we've got these two squares here and then we've got this point in the middle. After Effects is going to want somewhere which has got a high amount of contrast. This blue in-between the white on the parking sign is going to be perfect because this track is not going to move around outside of this blue too much. Then you've got to find somewhere else for the second one, something else which is going to be high contrast and maybe the corner of a window, for example. It's really important that when you're applying these tracking markers, that you don't apply them here. After Effects is looking for high contrast areas in order to track the footage. If the camera moves and it's just in the middle of the sky, it won't know where the camera's going because there's so much of the same color around. Whereas if I place this in the corner of a window, it knows that if the camera moves down and all of a sudden, it's moved up to the whites then something has gone wrong and it can fix itself to go back to this corner here. You're looking for some high contrast areas on your track. Now once you found those two points, you want to go ahead and press "Play" and then just watch through that clip. As you can see, if I just pause that you can see that's drifted over. I'm going to move over to here and I'll continue that track. As you can see, that is now following those two markers. But you can see at this moment in time when I move the camera quite aggressively, there was a little bit of motion blur and that has completely sent me track off. I'm just going to go back in time to the point where it went wrong, that was here. You can see. Now I just want to move those points back up into those specific areas. It's really important that you go through and do damage control here because if you don't, all of a sudden in the text or the layer that you want to track in, will just go flying off in a random direction. Just move these tracking points over to where they need to go. As you can see, because there's motion blur, it's difficult to get that track. There's no longer that contrast there. It all just looks like a white blur. Whilst the camera is doing, this janky movement, you've got this aggressive motion blur in the shot. I would have to go through and manually track every single frame. There you go. You can see that's moved quite a lot and again, you can see the middle of this parking, the middle of this P icon no longer is blue and contrasted. It's just a white blur. I would just go through the process of just doing that for all of this footage and then once that stabilizes, either can then just leave that to render out and do what it needs to do. But I don't need to show you the entire workflow, so I'm just going to leave that at that for now. I'm just going to have to delete the footage here from about six seconds onwards. But feel free to work through the entire clip. Then from that, we just want to make sure that our target is Null 3. We can press "Apply", Apply Dimensions to the X and the Y. Press "Okay", and now you can see we've got all of this tracking data applied to our footage. As you can see when I zoom into this parking sign, you can see we've got this tracking point perfectly sticking to that sign. At this moment in time, you want to go ahead and add your text into the scene, and then we're going to parent and link this to the null object. You can use the pick whip tool or you can select the Null there. Now when we play this back, you can see that text is now sticking to the scene. Like I said, though, it's not just texts that you can add in here. You can also add in random shape layers. Let's create a random ellipse. We'll parent this to the null object, will turn off the text. Now that you're going to stick to the scene, as you can see, is drifting a little bit. I'd have to go in and fix that to make sure it doesn't drift. But that's doing a fairly good job at following the movement. Of course, it's not just shape layers as well. We can drop in random footage, so let me just drop in this other city traffic footage. It's about three seconds long I'll pull the scale down so that it fits in the scene. We'll parent this to the Null 3. There you go. That's now tracked into the scene and it's doing exactly what it needs to do. There you go the tracker window inside of Adobe After Effects is a really great way of motion tracking the movement of your camera, creating all that tracking data, and then adding that onto an object that you want to add into the scene. This would be really awesome if you wanted to add a person into the scene that you filmed on a green screen, or maybe you want to do some screen replacement and place some footage on a TV you would just track the TV and add that onto the footage. There's so many other different things that you can do with the motion tracking and the tracker window. Now, Adobe After Effects does allow you to track like this, but it does also have a 3D camera tracker, and I'm going to talk about that in the next episode. 14. 3D Camera Tracker: Motion Tracking Continued: The 3D camera tracker is an alternative way of tracking your footage. Now, I actually do prefer using the 3D camera tracker over the standard Tracking icon, because this 3D camera tracker, I feel like it requires a little bit less effort. You're leaning more into the program. Therefore, if you had a shot with a fairly simple amount of camera movement, then I would lean into this and trust the automation of After Effects to track this reliably. Let me just throw some footage in and I'll show you what I mean. As you can see, this is a somewhat complex shot. I'm moving forward in space and there is a little bit of camera movement in the shot. I'm just going to trim this down to maybe six seconds because I'm not going to track the whole thing. Now we can just focus on these six seconds. Rather than going into the tracker window, I'm going to go back into the defaults or maybe even the effects window. Then in effects, some presets, I'm going to search for 3D camera tracker and drop that onto the footage. Now at this moment in time, Adobe After Effects is just going to analyze the footage. Depending on the specs of your computer and depending on how heavy this footage is in After Effects, this may take 30 seconds, this may take a minute, two minutes, five minutes, 20 minutes. This all really does depend on your computer and the footage that you're using. But once that has done, it will come up with this solving camera banner and it's just going to turn all of that tracking data into tracking points and there we go. Once that's done, you can see if we play through the footage, you can see we've got all of these colored crosses and if I hover over those crosses, you can see we get these red targets appear, and these are our tracking points. What you want to do here is scroll through your footage to find a tracking point that works for you and find one that you feel like is reliable. In this example, let's put something floating, maybe just behind this bench. Let's go forward in space and let's select one of these tracking markers on the floor, so let's go for this one. We want to select three tracking points and doing that will load up this red target and once you've found a target that you like the look of, so look for one that looks like it belongs in the space. As you can see, this one looks like it's on the ground, whereas this one looks like it's floating up above the ground and then this one doesn't look like it belongs anywhere, this one's gone terribly wrong. Select three tracking points that work for you. Once you've found that, just click that, then we'll right click and we want to select create, null, and camera. We could also create text in camera or solid in camera. But in this example, because I want to add in multiple different types of media, I'm just going to go create, null, and camera, and doing that After Effects has created a 3D camera and a tracked null object. As you can see, that null object is tracked into the scene. You can see the scale is reducing as I move towards it and it's stuck on the ground at that specific moment. Now we just need to go ahead and create some texts. We can insert some media, we can add something in to this space here. Let's start with some text. Going to go back to the standard window, so I'll go defaults, and as you can see, we've got character here. I'm just going to go up to the T icon and create some text, so 3D text and then because this is a 3D camera, we want to convert this 2D text into 3D text. We don't have to extrude it like we did on the previous 3D episode. But converting it into a 3D space allows this text to be tracked into this 3D scene. You can see, if I move through this footage, you can see that is now going to stick into the scene like this. You can actually see the camera is moving forward and if I change the view from active camera to top, you can actually say this is our tracked footage and then the camera here, this is the camera. After Effects has analyzed the footage, realized where the camera is in the space and created this digital camera, and then that camera is going to pass through, so it's added in this text into the scene and then the virtual camera or the real camera is going to pass through this text like this. If I zoom out, you can see that full movement, so the cameras starts back there and then travels through. You can really see this if I go into that full view option. You can see the top right, you can really see that camera now passing through that text. If we go back to our active camera, go back to our main composition. Like I said, you can now see this text tracked into the scene. But let's say we wanted to send this even further back, so we don't want this so close to the camera. We want to send this further back. In order to do that, we want to go into that 3D text, we'll go transform. Then from here, we want to go into position, not scale. People often think here that you have to pull down the scale. You think because it's smaller, it's going back in space, but you're just making it smaller and then it's stuck in that same space. It's still here, it's just smaller. You want to reset the scale and then we're going to move on to position. I'm just going to start by moving the position over to the right a little. Then I'm just going to go to this third option, and I'm just going to push that 3D text back in space like this. There you go, you can see the camera is now going to travel towards that text and again, if I go into this top view, you can see, here's the text at the moment. You can see I can push this forward like this, or I can push it back in space and that's what we want to do. We want to push it back physically into the space. We're just going to send that back and now when we play the footage back, we can see that texts for longer. Then eventually the camera is going to pass through that text and it's going to look really nice. There we go. That looks really cool. The camera has passed through that and the beauty we're doing this 3D camera tracker is it look at how the text is wobbling around a little bit. It's got that bump from the camera. Because I film this handheld, there was a little bit of handheld shake and that has been translated into the text and that makes it really feel like it's a part of this shot. Of course as well, we can combine this 3D camera tracker, the text tracked into the scene and our 3D text. If we go into this 3D text, we'll go geometry options. We can extrude this back like this and now we can actually pass through this. As you can see, the sunlight is coming from, you can see the shadow is over here, which means the sun is up on the left, but we are in the shade. We can go ahead and create a light. Let's go for a light here. We'll make this maybe a yellow light. Press "Okay". Now I'm just going to zoom out to find that light. It is up here. I'm just going to move this over to the left, like this and then I'm going to push it back into the scene because the light is up here somewhere. We want to send that light back into the space. We'll go into transform position and will send this light backwards like this. When we play this back, you can now see we've got our 3D text motion tracked into the scene. So we've combined that 3D camera tracker and a motion tracking. We've combined 3D text, and then we've added this all together to create this really awesome and dynamic fly through texts effect in Adobe After Effects. But moving on though, it's not just 3D text that we can add into this space, we delete that 3D text and instead, let's add some random footage. Let's go for this random green screen footage. I'm just going to make this a 3D layer, so we'll turn this into a 3D layer. Then I'm just going to send this back into the scene. There we go, as you can see, that is now tracked into the scene as well. Of course, if this was footage of somebody standing full body shot of them on a green screen, you could key out the green, track them into this scene and as long as you match the light with color correction, it would look like they were standing in this shot. That has been achieved simply by just this 3D camera tracker and converting this into a 3D layer. You can see there's loads of amazing possibilities with motion tracking and especially this 3D camera tracker because it is so pinpoint accurate. Go ahead, track some footage. I'll make this handheld footage available for you to download so you can track some aggressive handheld movement footage and I'll also upload something a bit smoother as well. Feel free to play with this footage. Use the 3D camera tracker and then use the standard motion tracking on these layers. Figure out which option you prefer and do some cool motion tracking with this footage. 15. Exploring the Effects and Presets Tab: Next up we're going to jump into the Effects and Presets tab inside of Adobe After Effects and figure out which effects that we have available to us, which presets we have, what's good, what's bad about them, and then we're also going to jump into how we can control those specific effects on our individual video clips. Let's get into it. At the moment, we are in the Default tab. Of course, you can select Default, you can select All Panels, or you can select Effects. It's completely up to you, but with one of those selected, you want to navigate over to the Effects and Presets tab. If we just look at this tab, you can see we've got Animation Presets, 3D Channel, Audio, Blur & Sharpen, Boris FX Mocha, Channel, Cinema 4D, Color Correction, Distort, Expression Controls, Generates a Immersive Video, Keying, Matte, Noise & Grain, Obsolete, Perspective, RG Trapcode, but that is a paid plug-in that I downloaded, so let's ignore that one. Simulation, Stylize, Texts, Time, Transition, and Utility. As you can see, we've got a great range of effects plugins and presets available to us here. If we start with Animation Presets, you can see we've got some backgrounds that we can throw on. Let's create a new solid. We'll go Layer, New, Solid. We'll turn this to black and press "Okay". Then I'll just turn off that footage layer. Let's just drop this Apparition background on. As you can see, that's just going to create this background here. We can animate that using the Evolution up here. We've got some Contrast which we can play with. We've got Brightness. You can change the colors of this. It's completely up to you, but then that looks horrendous though, so let's get rid of that. We can move on into any of these other presets. You've got Silk. You've got Pixels. You've got Magma, you've got Indigestion. Then moving down, we've got Behavior. We can do some really cool behaviors here. These are animation automations, I guess. You've got like an Autoscroll Horizontal, Drift Over Time, Fade In Over Layer below, Rotation Over Time, Scale Bounce, Wiggle Position. Let's go for a wiggle for example. Let's create a new solid or a new shape and let's drop this Wiggle Position on to this layer. As you can see, that's just going to create this animation and that's just going to wiggle the position over time. You can see we can do Rotate Over Time and that's just going to just keep rotating over time. If you wanted to increase that, then we can just pull that up here. As you can see, that looks great, but we'll get rid of that. We'll move down to Image Creative. You can see we've got some coloring, so you can colorize a blue sky. Let's go to our footage layer. We can colorize the sky blue. We can colorize sky orange. As you can see that adding in this effect here. You've got grayscales, glow, and shadows. You've got a lower third. You've got Lower Third Holdouts, Mood Lighting and Streaks, Vignette Lighting. Then moving down, we've got a special effects, so we can go for a Bad TV. We can go for multiple exposure in bust light leaks, night vision. Then moving down in utilities, we've got Alpha from brightness. We've got a Crop Edges effect and, as you guessed, it's going to crop the edges. You can control those individually if you wanted. You could flip. You could flip and flop. You can flop. You've got some keying, so you can do some blue blur. You can do some green blur, levels, computer to video. Now if we go into these shapes, you can see we can drag any one of these on. We've created this funny background. I've got a kaleidoscope. It's quite cool. We've gotten nerve nets. That looks quite cool and you could do something quite cool with that to be fair. You've got nerve net penta. Then moving now down you've got 60s textbox, which is this. You've got chasing line dots. You've got ring charts like this, but then moving down, you can see we've also got sound effects synthetics. We've got some text animation, so let's just add some random text in here. We'll just go Brooker. If we go into that text there you can see we've got 3D texts we can animate in. We can do maybe raining characters in and then that's just going to animate in like this. You can spin in by word. You can spin in by character if you wanted to separate that a bit more. You can create a typewriter effect so that's just going to type in like this. Then, of course, you've got blurs, curves and spines, expressions, fill and stroke, graphical, lights and optical. You've got loads of different settings here. Then we've got transform, dissolves, transform movement, transform wipes. That brings us to the end of all of these transitions and all of these presets. Let's close this down and let's move on into the next folder, which is a 3D channel. You can add some 3D channel effects into there. You can add some audio effects. You can do some blurring and sharpening. If you wanted to just blow this, just add one of these random blur effects on and that will blur that layout. You've got a camera shake deep blur, CC cross blur, vector blur, directional blur. That is exactly what it sounds like. You can just add some blur and change the direction of that. Then you've got the Unsharp Mask and this is just going to help with sharpening up your footage. Let's turn this on. Let's zoom all the way in. The quality is set to full at the moment. Let's focus on this sign. If we drop the Unsharp Mask onto this layer, you can see we can increase this and that's going to sharpen things up for us. The thing is though with the Unsharp Mask is it looks very ugly very quickly. I wouldn't recommend adding too much of this, but just adding maybe just a small part of Unsharp Mask can help to sharpen up a slightly blurry shot. Then we've got Mocha AE. This is an advanced motion tracking software that you get when you download Adobe After Effects. I'm not going to jump into that because that is an extremely complex piece of software and you don't really have to do that if you've got the 3D camera tracker. Later on down the line, when you need to do some advanced motion tracking, then that's really beneficial. Then you've got a cinema 4D folder with cineware and this is just basically helping with our 3D rendering. When we extrude that text, we're just using cinema 4D as the renderer. Then you've got some color correction. All of these different effects are going to do different things. You can tint this and change this to two different colors like this if you wanted. Of course, you can pull down the amount to tint as well if you didn't want that super intense effect or maybe we can go into maybe leave color. We can just leave the blue, pull the amount 2D color all the way up and everything is going to go great, except for that color that you selected. If we turn this off and select the green in the trees, let me turn that back on, everything will stay except for the green in the trees, but we'll turn that off and we'll move up. We've got curves. Curves are really important color correction tool. I'll get more into curves when we do the color correction episode, but the basis of curves is this is the highlights, this is the shadow. Top-right highlights, bottom-left shadows. Then you can jump between each individual channel and you can target the highlights, the mid tones, and the shadows on each individual layer to change the coloring of your footage. Curves are very powerful, but we'll get into that on the color episode. Then you've got changed to color. You can select maybe the blue in the sky and you can change this to red. That's how that would look. You can change hue to hue lightness and saturation to get an exact match if you wanted. We can just flick through these, see how that looks. There we go. You can see you can change the color of the sky by using this. You can see though it is catching the bottom here so you can just mask around the top. We're just going to mask around the sky. Then we'll duplicate that layer and we'll delete that effect from the bottom layer. Then we'll have to just delete that mask and there you go. You've got that really cool sky color change effect and it's not affecting the rest of the frame. But moving on, we're going to carry on past color and go into distort. In distort, these are just basically ways of distorting your footage as you probably would have guessed. You've got magnify and that's just going to create a circle in the middle of your video. You've got mirror. If we rotate this around, that's just going to mirror the corner. This creates some really cool kaleidoscope inspired effects. You've got corner pin. Corner pin is really useful. If you wanted to add your footage onto a TV screen or a phone screen, you just changed these corner pins to fit that screen and it will look like it's playing on that specific device. Very powerful. Then you've got expression controls. We'll get onto expression controls properly in a later episode. Ignore that for now. Then we can generate some specific effects here. Let's go onto this black layer and let's generate a lens flare. As you can see, this is our lens flare that we just generated and the settings are up here to change that. Again, everything with a stopwatch can be animated. If we create a brand new key frame on the flare brightness and move over and then change the value of that down, you can see that's going to animate down. Of course, you can do that to all of these specific effects. Let's delete lens flare and let's add in cell pattern. For example, you can create a brand new key frame in the contrast, move over, pull that up, and that's just going to animate over time like that. You could do the same with the evolution as well. New key frame at the start, move over, drag this around, and that's going to animate between those two points like this. But moving on, we have got Immersive Video, so ignore that one for now. This is just virtual reality. Keying, we'll get into in the very next episode. Matte is getting a little bit complicated for now, so ignore that. Noise and Grain is just your video noise. If we turn on the video and we add in a round of noise, if we increase this all the way up, you can see that digital noise coming through. We can either use color noise or black and white noise. We do all this into a number that we're happy with, but we'll just delete that. You can do Remove Grain if you've got a little bit too much grain so you can focus on a window and you can just work on removing the grain. Just work through the settings here. Then you've got the old, obsolete effects, which are still in After Effects, but they advise you not to use these ones. You've got a basic 3D to help you flip. Then you've got basic texts. You've got a color key, which is a basic way of keying out a specific color. If you were keying in Premiere, this is the option that you were probably familiar with. Luma Key, Path Text. Carrying on. We've got Perspective. There's our 3D camera tracker that we used before. We've got a simulation and we can add in all of the complex simulations. Let's add in particle world and this is going to add in a particle simulation. This can be really beneficial and you can create some really interesting effects with the particle world and particle systems, but let's carry on. We have got Stylize and we can do some really cool effects with the Stylize plugin. Let's go for a cartoon effect, or maybe we can go for some glass, or we can have kaleidoscope. That looks quite trippy. We can go for CC plastic. We can go for scatter. We can use motion tile. A motion tile is very handy, by the way, because if you change the output width to 300 and 300, then you mirror the edges, if we decrease the scale, you can see it's just going to mirror the edge of the frame. That means you can do some really cool scale out transitions between two video clips and that will look really cool. Then we've got Text. This is a great way of generating random numbers or you can generate a time code. That's just going to play the seconds. Then we've got Time. You can add in some echo effects. Let's add echo. That's just going to do that. We can change the echo operator to maybe screen so that it's not so intense. We can actually add in a bit of a delay. That was cool. You've got Pixel Motion Blur, or you've got Timewarp, Time Displacement. Then we've got Transition. We can add in one of these transitions, which we can then manually animate over time. Completion, you'll just animate. We start at zero, move over, go up to 100. Then when you animate between those, that's how that looks. Then you've got Venetian Blinds, which you're probably familiar with the sound of. That's just going to transition between like this. Then you've just got your Utility plugins down here. Effects are really powerful in Adobe After Effects. Generally, I like to keep away from the presets and just focus on the effects because then you've got more control over what these are doing. If you go onto YouTube and you search for a specific tutorial, then you're going to probably get introduced to specific effects and plugins inside of this section and then you'll get specific numbers and specific settings that you need to follow in order to get a very specific effect. But feel free to look through all of those different effects and presets, have a play with all of them, and then just search on YouTube for a tutorial if you wanted to know something about one of these particular plugins or how it works. 16. How to Edit Green Screen Footage: Moving on, we're going to talk about green-screen and how to remove the green from green screen footage. Now, hopefully, you've got solid green screen footage to work with because if you've got poor, unevenly lit footage which is filmed in the wrong camera settings and hasn't been filmed properly, then this is going to be very difficult for you. I'm going to make the green screen footage that I'm editing in this specific episode available for you to download. Feel free to download that so that you can edit along with me, but when you're editing your own stuff, make sure you've got a perfect lit green screen and make sure that the footage you're editing is actually workable. Your experience may differ completely if you're using different footage, but all the steps that you need to follow are exactly the same. Let's get into it. You've got your green screen footage inside of After Effects. This, as you can see, is a fairly evenly lit green screen. There are a few darker patches and a lighter patch over here, but After Effects won't have any issues with this at all. In order to green-screen this, we're just going to go Effects and Presets and search for Key Light. Key Light 1.2 should pop up, and we're just going to drag this onto our footage. Then we're just going to use this eyedropper tool here in screen color to select a green color close to the person on the green screen. Instantly that green has disappeared and turned into black. Now, it's really important here that we go into View and change final result to status so that we can get a clear view of what's happening here. Now, white is the solid that is going to be kept, black is a clean green screen key, and then the gray is somewhere in between. It's a bit messy and our aim here is to try and get rid of that without eating into the person. In order to do that, we can go into Screen Gain, and we can pull this up, or we can pull this down. As you can see it pulling this up is going to help to get rid of some of that gray. Then we'll go into screen balance and playing with this is going to help our subject to appear a bit more white. Don't take this too far. As you can see it if I take this too far, it does start to eat into the bottom a little. This is a juggling act. I think 30 is perfect for this. Then we can go down into Screen Matte, and we can focus on Clip Black. We can play with this a little bit. Don't take it too far. As you can see, if I zoom into my hair, if I take this too far, you can see, unfortunately, it starts to eat into the side of myself here. I'm just going to leave this at around 40. Then if I zoom back out, I can play with Clip White and that's just going to help to smooth out this white here. This right here is a fairly decent key. Of course, you do have all of these other settings available to you, you've got inside mask, outside mask, foreground color correction, edge color correction. But essentially, when you're using this key light plug-in, the main settings that you want to follow are Screen Color, Screen Gain, Screen Balance, Clip Black, and Clip White. Using all of those settings should get you to a point where your key should be pretty much 99 percent there. With that done, let's go out to final result. As you can see, if I toggle the transparency grid, that is looking pretty good. The hairline isn't too bad at all, there's no artifacts floating around in the background, and that, to be fair, is a fairly successful key. There's a little bit of black down here. If we just select that footage and create a mask around the subject, then that will get rid of that. There you go, like this. From here, to clean this up even further, we first just want to start by duplicating the footage. In order to do that, I'm just going to go command C and command V. That is on Mac I believe. Copy and paste is control C, control V on Windows. Then we'll go to the bottom layer, we delete Key Light. Then we'll go into Toggle Switches/Modes and change to this menu. Make sure you can see the Track Matte. Then you want to change the Track Matte from none to Alpha matte green screen footage. If we toggle the transparency grid, you can see we've got a really clean key. If my key was a little bit messy and there was a little bit of fuzziness on myself before I did this, then just duplicating that footage and setting the Track Matte to Alpha will help to iron out any issues. At this moment in time, you can just select both of those video clips, right-click, and pre-compose them into their own pre-composition; so green footage. Now essentially you can just drop the subject onto a background. New solid, let's search for a color. Let's go for a blue maybe, press Okay, drag this under the green footage, and there you go. We've successfully keyed out the green, and now I am now on a blue background. Of course, you don't have to do a blue background. You can add some real-life footage in there. Let's drag the city traffic footage in again underneath. There we go. Now it looks like I am in front of this traffic footage. Although the problem is if this was real footage then the background would blur just a little bit. It's a bit too harsh at the moment and that looks completely fake. In order to fix that, I'm just going to go into Effects and Presets and such for blur. Then I'm going to drop camera lens blur on to that footage, and we'll just increase that a little. I'll keep that at around 506. As you can see, if I zoom into this edge, you can see the edge is being eaten into a little bit, you can really see that if I increase that up to around 200 or so. There you go. That doesn't look great. In order to get rid of that, we're just going to go down to Repeat Edge Pixels and select that to fill up that edge. But I just want to pull that down to maybe five or six, and that should look great. Of course, though, at the moment, this doesn't exactly match. It looks pretty decent, but it doesn't match perfectly. The background is just a slightly different tone to the foreground. In order to fix that, just got to go into Effects and Presets, and I'm going to search for curves. I'm going to drop curves on to the subject or the person, that green screen footage layer. Then from there, I'm going to go to the red channel. I'm going to go down to this option here which is Show Channel and Color Management Settings, and I'll select Red. Now the point here is to try and get the darker parts of the frame to match the same color as the darker parts of this. We're focusing on the red channel first. Like I said before, these are the highlights and these are the shadows. If we just focus on these shadows over here on the left, this is the shadow here, then this is a shadow here. As you can see, the shadows are a little darker. I'm just going to pull that down a touch. The highlights in this space, well, they're not exactly super bright. That's probably, say, the clouds are the highlight. I'm just going to pull those up to match a little bit more. There we go. I'd say that matched roughly. There we go. That looks like it belongs there. Then we'll go into green, and we'll change the channel down here from red to green. We're just going to do the same process again. We're going to focus on those shadows again. The shadows over here should match the shadows over there. I'm just going to pop them maybe just up a touch. The highlights are quite muted, so I'm just going to pull that down a little. That looks like it matches. Now we can move on to blue. Then we'll go down to this option, and we'll select Blue again. Again, you really want your highlights and your shadows to match. The shadows are over here and the shadows are over here. These should be matching at this point. We might need to bring that up just a little, so around there. Then I'll highlight in this frame, should be matching the highlights in the sky. That is up here. There we go. Maybe look at this sign, for example. This is a reference of where our highlights are. That now looks great. That looks like it belongs in this frame. If we turn this back to RGB, and we pull this back to RGB, you can now see that matches a little better. I would argue that my skin is just a little bit on the red side though, so I just go in and just pull those highlights down a touch. Now that looks like the footage now matches. If I turn it off, and I turn it back on, you can see now that matches a lot better. This looked really orange and over the top before, whereas now it's a bit more muted, and it looks like it could be part of that scene. That probably is one of my biggest pieces of advice when you're doing green screen footage. It's all well and good just taking the green out, but you want to try and color match the green screen footage and the background that you're using. Now, before these curves, this footage definitely did not match, but after applying that round of curves, this footage now matches a lot better. Now we can move on to color correcting the footage as a whole, rather than just isolating the individual layers. But there you go. That is how you would green-screen or remove that green screen from your footage inside of Adobe After Effects. 17. Rotoscoping: The Rotobrush & Refine Edge Tool: Next up we're talking about rotoscoping. Now, rotoscoping quite simply put, is green-screen without the green screen. Let's say you filmed a footage of somebody against the background and you want to put something behind them or you want to change the background, then you would have to cut them out to get rid of that background in order to change that background. But without a green screen, it's a little bit more difficult and that leads into rotoscoping rather than keying. Now, I'm just going to use this green screen footage inside of Adobe After Effects for ease. But of course this does also work on other footage as well. You want to try and get your subject on a high-contrast backgrounds. If the subject is wearing a black jacket and you're filming them against the black background, then After Effects is going to have a very difficult time figuring out what is the jacket and what is the background. If you can try and get your footage that you want to rotoscope in a high contrast environment, so maybe a black jacket on a white background, then that's really going to help out with this roto. In this example, I'm just going to cut down this footage to three seconds, just so that we're not waiting all day for After Effects to analyze the footage. But then once you've imported your footage inside of Adobe After Effects, you want to select that layer, go up to the top bar and select this. This is the Roto Brush tool. We'll select that, double-click the footage, and that will load up this menu. Now from here you want to scroll through to the very beginning. As you can see at the moment, this brush here, this is fairly small at the moment. It's green and that means when we draw over somebody is going to keep them. But if we wanted to remove them we just hold down option and then draw over that area and that's going to get rid of that section. Our aim with the Roto Brush is to draw within the subjects that we want to get this pink outline around them. But as you can see, that is very messy because our brush is a little bit too small. If you go into brushes and you increase the diameter of the brush, that will increase the diameter of that specific brush as well. If you can't see brushes by the way, then just go into Window and select Brushes. Make sure there is a tick there. Once you've increased the diameter of this Roto Brush, you just want to paint inside the person. Try not to go outside the lines if possible. There we go. That is great. Although the problem is I have gone outside the lines here so I'm just going to hold Option and I'm just going to paint around that bit to remove that section. That is pretty much good to go. From here, it's really important that this gray box is filling up the entire duration of your video clip in order for that to analyze the entire clip. If it's only set to a second, then it's only going to roto a second. Make sure that's all the way to the end. Then we'll just press Space on the keyboard to play. After Effects is just going to play that frame by frame, and it's just going to add this outline around. Now as you just saw, my hands then came up into frame and it didn't recognize that these were hands, so we want to go through frame-by-frame and just paint these hands in. There you go. Now it should follow. If it doesn't follow for any reason, then just stop, go back and then just paint over that item again. There you go. That's now doing what it needs to do. That's doing a great job of analyzing. Of course, there if for any reason though it doesn't. Again, the hand comes back up. It didn't pick up the fact that it needed to keep the hand. If that happens, just go back in, paint over that hand and then we'll play frame by frame to make sure that is now adding that into the roto. I'm just adding this hand back in. As you can see, it's added this corner in, so we'll just hold option and remove that corner at the hand back in there. That looks great. I wanted to analyze that. If we play this back, you can see that After Effects has now created this pink outline around the subject. This looks great, although there are a few moments down here where I cut out the cable. I'm not going to bother going in and fixing that. But if this was your example, I would recommend going in and fixing that. Otherwise you'll end up with a bit of a mess in the edit. But if you wanted to double-check this, you can just select the toggle Alpha boundary option. This is what your footage will look like. As you can see, the hair still looks a little bit messy, but we're going to go in and fix that with the refine edge tool in a moment, so ignore that. Just look at these edges of the subject. Feel free to change that to this third option, toggle Alpha overlay option if you would rather see that in a different color. Let's go for a yellow maybe and increase that up to 100. There we go. That's how this looks against this yellow background. Of course, as you can see on these hands, I'd have to go back in and do a little bit of roto work to get the hands perfect down here. There's a bit of over spill. But for now I'm just going to leave that as it is, and then I'm going to go back to our main composition. As you can see, we've got the person isolated. Now, like I said, the hair is a bit of an issue throughout. As you can see, because the edge of my hair is a bit frizzy, it's not getting rid of the green. In order to go in and fix that, we want to just go to the Refine Edge tool, double-click that layer again. Then we'll go back to the very beginning, and we're just going to draw around the hair like this. Make sure all the hair is covered in this Refine Edge tool like this, and that will turn your hair black and white. The white is the hair and that's going to keep the hair, and then the black is everything that it doesn't want to see. Once you've selected your hair, you can just play this back, and After Effects is just going to go through frame-by-frame, render that out, and get a really good roto around your hair. This is honestly one of the best ways of removing somebody from a background because if you didn't have the Refine Edge tool, you'd have to go in and be very precise about your road swing and it would be very difficult. The Refine Edge tool is an absolute dream when it comes to rotoscoping in After Effects. There you go. When we zoom back out and we take this back to the beginning, you can see the rotoed edge is following the subject. You can see that Refine Edge tool is on the hair. Now when we go back to our main composition, you can see that hair is looking a lot better. There's still a little bit of that background coming through, but it's a lot better than it was before. Of course, you can go into the Roto Brush and Refine Edge tool. As you can see, you've got the Refine Edge tool. You can shift the edge across so you can actually eat into the hair a little. Then you can add just a little bit of feathering to soften that off. Then if we go up to the Roto Brush Matte, you can see this is going to be the rest of our subjects, so not the hair, the rest of the subject. You can see if we shift the edge, we can actually eat back into the subject so we can eat into that roto. That's going to help to get rid of that background spilling over. Of course, we can feather that off as well if we wanted to. But let's zoom out and let's have a look at that. I believe that looks great. There's a little bit of a mess on the hands down here, but I'm well aware of that. Now from here I can just go ahead and add text layers behind myself. I'll create a new text, add that behind myself, and that roto is doing its job. I'll just duplicate this footage, drag that bottom layer underneath the text and delete the Roto Brush icon. That means that text is now going to sit behind myself in this composition. Of course, you can treat this light green screen footage as well and you can do a background replacement so we can drag that same city footage in again. Then from there you just go through that same color matching process to match the color in the foreground to the background color as well. The Roto Brush and the Refine Edge tool in After Effects are both extremely powerful ways of removing the background. It doesn't matter if you didn't film your footage against a green screen, as long as you've got footage filmed in a high contrast environment, there's a different color behind them, then you're going to have a really easy time using the Roto Brush and the Refine Edge tool in Adobe After Effects. It's really great because you can go all the way into a background replacement or you can just roto a specific section. Then when that section passes over something, you can add text layer behind them, and it looks like that person is in front of that text layer. There are so many different creative possibilities when it comes to rotoscoping. Have a play with the Roto Brush Tool and the Refine Edge tool and see what you can create using these two different tools in Adobe After Effects. 18. The Puppet Pin Tool: Next up we're going to talk about a slightly different way of animating items and object inside of Adobe After effects, and that is the puppet pin tool. Let's get into it, so we're first just going to start by creating a new shape or a new solid, so I'm just going to start with a rectangle tool. I'm just going to draw a long rectangle across the center of our composition like this. Now the puppet pin tool is marked by this icon up here, so puppet position pin tool. We're going to select that, then I'm just going to create three points. I'm just going to select the middle, the left, and the right. Once you've created those three points, we're just going to go down into effects, Puppet Mesh 1, Deform, and then we've got Puppet Pin 1, 2 and 3, so as you can see, a new key-frame has already been made on each one of those points, and puppet pin 3 is on the right, puppet pin 2 is on the left, and puppet pin 1 is in the middle. Essentially a pin is just a point where we can move. As you can see that it's just going to move around like this. If I move the middle, that's going to move around like this, and then if I move to the right, it will move around like this. Now as you can see, we're getting this box appearing and that is because we've got a stroke, so if we turn the stroke off, that would disappear. From that, we can go ahead and create an animation using the puppet pin tool. There's key frames already made at 0, but if we go over to one second, we'll move all of these pins over. Now you can see, we can animate this from this position into this position, so as you can see that's it's creating a bit more of a natural look. It's kind of crumpling over and folding, and I feel like you wouldn't be able to create that without the puppet pin tool. We carry this on and we'll go round and we'll just crumple this up like this, there we go. Let's see how that looks. There we go. You can see that incident looks a lot more natural now. It does snap into a position here, so I'm just going to create a key frame before that point on every layer. Then we'll delete that last key frame so that it doesn't crumple up into that point there. It folds in and then crumples in on itself like that, and of course, we can always convert these key frames from linear to easy ease to change the look of this animation. That now looks a little bit more different. Now the puppet pin tool is really powerful. Obviously, this is a weird example. I feel like I wouldn't use this for anything. But the puppet pin tool is especially useful when you're doing character animation, so I'm just going to import a PSD of a very simple and very basic character. I'm just going to import file, and then as you can see, I've got character.psd, so I'm just going to open this up and that will load this menu. I'm going to import this as a composition, and I'm going to have editable layer styles. This means when we open up this character pre-comp, you can see we've got these basic character separated onto every individual layer, and this is really important. I'm just going to copy all of those layers into our main composition. Now we can use our puppet pin tool to isolate each individual limb. That means we can create a point here, here and here, so you've got the shoulder, the elbow, and the wrist on both arms. Then we've got points up here, a point on the knee and then a point is on the ankle as well. Let's start by just renaming these. I'm going to right-click that top layer, we'll go rename left arm, line 3 is right arm, line 2 is left leg, and then line one is right leg. It's super important that when you're doing character animation that you name all of these layers what they are and what they represent, because if we're using the puppet pin tool and we've got all of these different layers stacked, it can get very confusing. Let's just focus on this arm to begin with. This right here is a left arm. I'm going go to that puppet pin tool. Select the puppet position pin tool, and I'm going to create a point here, a point on the elbow, and a point down here. Now we'll go into that left arm, we'll go Effects puppet mesh 1, Deform, puppet pin 1, 2 and 3. As you can see, that key-frame has been created at that point there where we created them. Of course, if you wanted to move that over, feel free to do so. But we're just going go roughly a second over from there. I'm just going to make it look like this character is putting their arm in the air, so I'm going to move the elbow up like this, and then I'll move the wrist up like this. Then this point here is serving as an anchor, so if we didn't have that point, these two points of the arm would just be flopping about. But with this anchor connected there, it means no matter where I move these, that is always going to be anchored in at this position here. So that means the arm isn't going to disconnect at any moment in time, which is super handy. Let's see how that looks. There you go, it does look a little bit funky. He definitely snapped his arm halfway in the process, so I'm going to have to correct that like this. There you go and their arm is now going to go up. The animation was a little bit junkie, I am aware, but we're going to carry that on, move over and move that last key-frame over. Move this point over like this, move this point over like this. Now we're going to play that back. You could see we've got this weird wave animation now taking place. Of course, the animation is a little funky and we can convert these to easy ease key-frames to smooth that out a little. As you can see, if you spent some time on that and you really clean this up, then you could create a really convincing animation in this character. We can make this character move, we can make this character jump, we can have them waving in the air, but the puppet pin tool or the puppet position pin tool is a really awesome and really creative way of adding animation and bringing characters to life inside of Adobe After Effects. Now, Adobe After Effects isn't the place where you would do character animation. There is an entire different Adobe program for that. But if you just wanted some really simple character animation in After Effects, then using that puppet pin tool is a very quick and easy way of doing so. Of course, you're not just limited to character animation with the puppet pin tool, you can bring objects to life and animate them in really new and interesting ways by using this tool. But the puppet pin tool is a really great way of adding life into your still assets. 19. The Basics of Colour in AE: Next up we're going to move on to color. Now, Adobe After Effects isn't really the place to do your color grading, but color correction or color grading inside of Adobe After Effects can be very useful to one, age-specific editing effects, or b, if you want to combine two different video clips together into the same comp and then you can just match those in After Effects and then do all your grading in Premier. I'm just going to show you a few basic tips and tricks on color grading and color correction inside of Adobe After Effects for when you feel like you do need to add a splash of color or to match the colors of two different clips together while you're editing. Let's just start with this traffic footage. We've got city traffic, let's drag this in. There's multiple different ways of coloring your footage. If you go into Window, Workspace, you can switch to color, and that is going to load up the Lumetri Scopes, or alternatively, we can keep things really simple. Just go back to our default window and search for Lumetri and drop Lumetri color on our footage like this. Lumetri color will populate up here and in the basic correction setting, you can see we can add a Basic Input LUT to add a splash of color onto our footage. Of course these can be quite intense though. If it looks a little overexposed, then feel free to get rid of that. But I'm just going to keep this ARRI_universal_DCI lot on here for now. Then we can go down to white balance and we can change the white balance by selecting something white in the frame, like that, or alternatively, you can adjust the temperature and the tint by using these two options. If you pull it to the left, it will call the clip down, if you pull to the right, it will warm that up. Then the tint left goes green, right goes purple. It may be you're filming on a camera and it got a slight green tint. If that was the case, I would lean this towards the purple, so maybe five or 10 percent, just to pull that green away. Then moving down we've got the tone, so we've got exposure, then we've got contrast, so you can add contrast, decrease the contrast. In this example, because this is quite a contrasted a lot, I'm just going to pull some contrast away, then we can isolate the highlights. I'm just going to pull these down like this. These shadows are the darker parts of the frame, so highlights are the brighter parts, shadows are the darker parts. I'm just going to pull the shadows up a touch. The whites obviously are the white parts of the frame so you can add a bit more life to them or you can pull that away. Then the black is obviously is the black parts of the frame and decreasing your black just adds a bit more contrast, so I'm going to do that with maybe negative 10. Of course, if you're not happy with what you've created, then you can always just press "Reset" and that will reset all of those options there. Then moving down just under here we've got saturation. But I wouldn't bother messing with the saturation too much at this point, I would just keep that at around 100 and move down to creative. Now, inside of creative you can see we've got a look, and this is where we can add our custom LUT for color grading. You've got all of these different LUTs here. You've got these Fuji ones, you've got Kodak ones, you've got SL, ones over here, you've got a blue cold, you've got a blue ice, day for night. Feel free to work through this list and choose some coloring that works for you. Then once you selected a LUT that works for your project, you can either dial down the intensity or dial up the intensity by using the intensity slider here. I'm going to keep that at around 80 or 90 though. Then we've got the adjustments and we can increase faded film to just soften up those shadows, so we're just bringing the shadows up. Sharpening is digital sharpening, and generally I keep this at zero. Then we've got the vibrance and the vibrance is basically the same as saturation, but it's going to look a lot more natural. If you pull the saturation up, everything looks completely fake, it looks really weird. But if you pull the vibrance up, everything is looking a little ugly when you go all the way, but it doesn't look as surreal, it looks a bit more natural. Generally if I'm increasing the saturation, now I pull the vibrance up a touch and then I pull the saturation up a bit more. Making those colors pop is going to go more with the vibrance and the saturation. Then we've got some split toning, and this is basically just adding colors into the shadows, so the shadows are the dark parts, highlights are the bright parts. Let me give you an extreme example. These shadows are now leaning towards red and the highlights are now leaning toward blue. Then from that you've got curves and I've briefly explained how curves work, but I'm not going to do curves in this menu here. I'll show you the curve separately. Then we've got our color wheels, and this is helping us to isolate the shadows, the mid-tones, and the highlights. Shadows will lean towards the blue, midtones will lean towards orange, highlights will lean towards orange as well. As you can see, that's going to look really dramatic. That is the Lumetri color and then is one way of doing your color correction or your color grading in After Effects. As you can see this is before, this is after. It's a bit extreme, but that works. Now, moving on, if we go into effects and presets and go into color correction, you can see we've got all of these other coloring options, so I've got some auto color, auto contrast, auto levels, and generally, I would lean away from anything which says auto. Then we've got black and white, which is just a basic black and white filter. We've got brightness and contrast and this is just going to increase or decrease the brightness and the contrast and the shot. Broadcast colors, color neutralizer, color offset, all of these are really cool, I advise you to go through and have a play with all of these. But the two that I love the most are curves and levels. Let's start with curves. I've briefly talked about curves before, but curves are really powerful because you can target each individual color channel. If we start with curves on the RGB, we're affecting all of the channels at once. Now, in curves, the top right is the highlights and the bottom-left is the shadows, and then this area is the mid-tones. If we look at this shot, we can see the shadows aren't exactly very contrasted, so I'm just going to pull those down towards here and make that a bit darker to add more contrast. The highlights, which are these brighter parts, these could do with a bit more contrast as well so I'll just pop those up a touch, and then the mid-tones can come down a little just to make that pop. As you can see, if I pulled the mid-tones up here, it's all going to overexpose and it will all underexposed down here. Of course, you can do some masking and isolate different areas of the frame, but we won't do that for now, we'll just focus on these curves. Then we'll move down to red. We can do some color grading with this red channel, so maybe the highlights need a touch of red and the shadows need less red. Then we'll go to green and we'll pull the highlights and the green down and the shadows on the green up, then the mid-tones down a touch. Now this is looking a bit blue, so we'll pull the blue away. Then we'll just pull the highlights of the blue, maybe to the left a little just to make that blue sky pop a bit more and we'll pull the shadow down. There we go. If we turn this on and off, you can see how dramatically that has changed. Of course, though, that was curves. We can now go onto levels, and there are two levels. You've got levels and levels individual colors. Generally, I always select levels. If you drag levels on and then you drag levels individual colors, there's not a massive difference. You basically get everything here. On the individual colors you get red, green, and blue isolated in a tab. But if you go into levels, you can jump between those different colors anyway. So I wouldn't bother with individual controls, I'd just start with levels. Here you could increase the input black to add contrast, you can decrease the input white to add some highlights, you can put the Gamma down, and then you can jump between the channels and pull all of these options around to get to a color that you're happy with. Now, let's say you wanted to do some specific color grading, so let's say you wanted to change the color of the sky, for example. If we go into change color or change to color, we'll drop the change to color on the footage. You can see we've got a from and a to. We can use the Eyedropper tool to select the blue sky, and then we can change the two to a different color, so let's go for a green sky. Press "Okay" on this, and then from that, you can see we can change this from hue, hue and lightness, or we can change this to hue and saturation, or hue lightness and saturation. I generally leave this at hue because it looks the most realistic. Then of course you can always just increase or decrease the hue down here. If you decrease this down, you can see you're starting to get that color bleeding through with the original blue. You want to dial that hue in until you've got the perfect selection, so around five percent will do the trick. Then you can increase or decrease the softness just to soften that off. You can already see that if I zoom in on the sky, if I pulled it up to a 100, it's softening it up, but it means I have to pull this up in order to hide all of that ugliness. That really does work if you wanted to change the color of something. Of course there you've got all of these other settings in the color tab, so go through all of these options and all of these different plugins and presets, have a look, see how these affects your footage, but there you go, that is the basics of how you color and grade your footage in After Effects and I would definitely recommend jumping into After Effects and playing with all of these plug-ins. Like I said previously, I wouldn't do my main color correction or color grading in After Effects. I would only really use coloring if I was trying to match a few clips together, or if I just needed something to just pop a little bit. Generally I would do my editing and my color grading in Premier, and then I would only use After Effects for my motion graphics and those visual effects. 20. Animating with Expressions: Next up we're going to talk about a slightly different way of animating in After Effects. The reason why this part of the animation episode is so far into the course is because this can be a little bit intimidating to new users inside of Adobe After Effects. We've talked about keyframe animation and keyframe animation is great because you get complete control, exactly what you're going to get. You change the values of one point, you change the values of the second points and After Effects is just going to change that object or that item from this one point to the second point. Great. But what if you need to automate something? Maybe you want something to just keep rotating infinitely, or maybe you want something to just wiggle around and you don't want the pattern to look predictable. Well, this is where we can lean into a different style of animation and that is the use of expressions. Now expressions are one of those things that a lot of people find really intimidating in After Effects. You can get some really complex expressions, but expressions are nothing to be scared of. You can start with some really basic expressions to really make your life easier and then you can learn and copy other expressions from the Internet to get something that you're looking for. First of all, before we actually go into the expressions, I'm going to show you how to add an expression into your footage. I'm not going to do this on our video footage. I'm going to create a new shape. I'm just going to create a circle or an ellipse. I'm just going to change the fill color to a bluish purple, we'll remove the stroke. Then I'm just going to place this in the middle. There we go. I'm just going to change the anchor points. I'm just going to go into transform, and I'm just going to move that anchor points that this circle is now in the center. At this moment in time, we've got this very basic circle in the center of our composition and it's not doing anything. That is until we add our expression. Let's say we wanted to add an expression to animate the scale of this circle. We would go down into transform and select scale and rather than creating a keyframe, instead we're going to hold option and then select that stopwatch icon and that loads up this expressions window and this is where we can add in our expression. Let's delete transform.scale. I'm just going to go into my notes app to load up an expression and we'll start off with a wiggle expression because this one is fairly simple, so I'm just going to copy this code here. Wiggle, (10, 50)I hold option, select that scale and I'm just going to paste that in. Wiggle (10, 50). Now, I'm just going to click out of this box because if I press "Enter", it creates a new line. I'm just going to click out of this box and that is going to wiggle the scale. As you can see, that looks extremely bizarre. It's just going all over the place. That is because of these numbers that we've used. In this example we've got two numbers, so we've got 10 and 50 and that is the frequency and the amplitude. Basically, the frequency or the first number is how many wiggles it's going to do. Then the second number, the amplitude is how far it's going to move. If we go for the frequency first and we pull this down to one, so frequency 10, amplitude 1. That means there's going to be loads of wiggles, but it's not going to travel very far. There you go. If I zoom in, you can just about see, it's only just wiggling around here. If I pull that up to maybe five, that should be more noticeable. There you go, if we zoom out, it's still quite subtle. But if I was to pull the amplitude back up to maybe like 40, for example. You can see that is going to travel a lot further now. We can take that even further and go up to maybe 90. Now that's really going to travel. Now let's go on to frequency. At the moment the frequency is 10 and this is how many times that is going to wiggle. Let's pull this to one, and now it won't be moving all over the place and there you go that is much slower now. Let's pull it up a little bit. Let's go for three.There you go. Now you can see it's moving around a little bit more. Of course, this wiggle expression doesn't just apply to the scale, so let's copy this wiggle expression and delete it from scale, so the scale is back to normal. We'll go into position hold "Option" on your keyboard and then paste that wiggle expression in and click out. There you go, the position has now been affected by the wiggle expression. I'm not doing anything. I haven't created any keyframes, but that is now moving on its own accord. Of course this same rules apply. We can change the amplitude and the frequency again so you get different results. Let's change the frequency to five, and let's change the amplitude to 200. It's going to move around a lot and there's going to be a few more wiggles in this one now, so that's becoming a bit more aggressive now. Wiggle is really good when you want to just get an object moving, so you just want it to just be doing some random movement around. Wiggle is really good because it's just going to fidget around the space that it's in, moving on now, I'm going to talk about rotation. In order to see this rotation expression working we're going to need a square, so I'm just going to go into the rectangle tool. I'm going to load up that proportional grid and I'm just going to draw a square around this point here. From here we'll go into transform on the shape layer. We're going to affect the rotation here. We're going to go into our notepad again and we'll go up to rotation, and this is the expression time times 200. We'll copy that in. We'll hold "Option", select the stopwatch icon, paste that expression in, click out and that is just going to keep rotating. Again, I'm not touching anything, I'm not doing anything that is just rotating around and there's no keyframes, which means it will just keep doing this motion over and over again. Of course, if I pull this number up, so let's go 400. That is going to go much faster now. If I pull that down to a smaller number, like 20, that is going to be a lot slower. There you go, those are two really simple expression controls that you can use in Adobe After Effects to help automate specific animation. Now, if I just go into my notes, you can see you can do a bounce, you can do a motion trail, a loopOut, and then of course we've got the rotation and the wiggle as well. But of course, if you just search Adobe After Effects expression controls into Google, you'll find a whole list of different expression controls available to you to automate specific controls. Expressions are leaning into the slightly more complex side of Adobe After Effects. To be honest, it's not very frequently that I use expression controls when I'm editing inside of Adobe After Effects, it's only in those rare instances when I want something to loopOut or do something random, that I use an expression control. Expressions are definitely not essential. You don't need to understand expressions, but it is really nice if you wanted to automate some animation inside of Adobe After Effects. 21. How to Export (Normal, Transparent Background, Compressed & Batch Export): Lastly, we need to export our video once we've done everything that we need to do inside of Adobe After Effects. We now need to export this and turn this into a video. When it comes to exporting, there are many different ways of exporting your video. I'm going to show you all of the different options available to you right now. So with your projects selected, you first just want to go ahead and select the work area that you want to export. As you can see, this video is only four seconds long, but the composition is 10. I'm just going to drag this selection marker over to the end so that now we're only export in these four seconds. Then from that you just want to go up into composition. You want to go "Add to Render Queue." This will load up the Render Queue. Now you've got three settings to play with here. You've got your render settings. If we select "Best settings", that will load up this menu. So quality should be best, resolution should be full. Everything else here is completely fine. Frame rate, you can either use the compositions frame rates or you can reset that to a different frame rate. Typically though, you just want to keep this as the comp frame rate. Then we go to the output module, select "Lossless" or alternatively, whatever else it says there. Generally, these are the settings that I like to use. So QuickTime, post-render action, non, video output, RGB, depth, millions of colors. Then you can resize this or crop this if you wanted to. But generally I keep these on ticked. I'll press "Okay", then I go "Output 2". This is going to select where we're going to render this video too. You want to select the folder of your choice, press "Save" and you want to press "Render" and After Effects is just going to render this video for us. [BACKGROUND] They go, you can hear the sound, it's done. They go, you can see that has been exported. But the thing is though, if we look at that, it's a four second video. That four second video is 485.3 megabytes. Unfortunately, it doesn't play back in the Finder. If I imported this back into After Effects, it does play. If I imported that into Premiere or Sony Vegas or another video editing software, it will play, but it won't play back from here. That's really annoying. Next up, I'm going to talk about a transparent background export. We'll delete the city traffic. I'm just going to press the T icon. I'm going to make some texts. Let's just add some basic animation to this. They go, so we've got this slow animation up. Now we want to export this with a transparent background like this, so that we can use it in Premiere or another video editing program. In order to do that, we'll follow those same settings will go to composition, add to Render Queue, we'll go best settings. All of this should be exactly the same. But when we go into this lossless menu, you want your format to be QuickTime. Then we'll go down to video outputs and select a video RGB and Alpha. Alpha is the transparent layer, and RGB is this solid layer. You want to select RGB and Alpha. Depth should be millions of colors plus this should be pre-multiplied mattered. Then we can put this wherever we want this to go. We'll press "Save", render this out. [BACKGROUND] There you go. You can now see we've got that transparent layer. These are much smaller because there was only this small amount of data, that file size is much smaller. Let's drag some footage on the timeline so we can actually see this in effect. If we drag this After Effects intro on, you can see that is now on a transparent layer and it's sitting on top of this. When you drop that into Premiere, Sony Vegas, Final Cut, whatever your editor is, that will be on a transparent background. That's really good if you're exporting lower thirds or text animation from After Effects. But the problem is going back to that first export. This export size is 485 megabytes. Let's track that same footage back in. It says four second video. Rather than adding this to a Render Queue, I'm going to add this to the Adobe Media Encoder Queue. Now, Adobe Media Encoder is an alternative piece of software. It's a completely different piece of software to After Effects, but it's specifically designed to encode your projects from Premiere After Effects Audition. You can run everything through encoder. An encode is really good because you get more advanced export settings. Makes sure you download encoder before you try this. Then once you've loaded up encoder, you then want to select this first option, and that will load up a menu which looks a lot more similar to the export window in Premiere. You just want to go ahead and select H.264. You can then set a preset. I have my presets up here, which is the course preset or a VBR 30 optical flow. But you can go ahead and select maybe YouTube 1080 HD. Make sure the width is 1920 by 1080 with a square pixels of one. You can either let your hardware or software encode. Then will go to the bitrate settings, select "CBR" or "VBR 2 pass, " it's up to you. You can see down here is the estimated file size. If we pull this to the left, it's now 258 kilobytes. But when we pull that all the way to the right, it is now 31 meg. Try and get a fairly sensible file size here. I'm just going to max it out at 62 because 31 is tiny. Then down here you've got time interpolation and generally I would keep this as frame sampling. Then you can just set the output name to wherever you want this to go. This is going somewhere random at the moment. I'm just going to pop this into that folder. We'll go compressed, press "Save", press "Okay, " and all of these options have now been amended so we can just press the play button and encoder is going to export that for us rather than After Effects. Now when we open up that window, we can see we've got After Effects intro compressed. We can play the footage back, which looks great. But the beauty of this as well is if we look at the file size that is 31.4 as opposed to 485.3. Of course, you you export from After Effects directly. But I would seriously recommend downloading Media Encoder from Adobe's Creative Suite, because that's going to give you these much smaller export sizes. The beauty with using Adobe Media Encoder as well is you can batch export your videos. Let's say you've got this video. We'll go "Composition", add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue. Then let's say we've also got another sequence. We'll create a sequence from this footage. I'll create comp from selection. Let's say we want to add this to the Render Queue. Then we'll select the "Green footage pre-comp" or new comp from selection will add this to the Render Queue. As you can see, we've now got all those three videos queued up ready to export so you can go in adjust all of those settings of those individual video clips and you just press "Play" and Adobe Media Encoder is going to work through those one by one and export those without you having to do anything. This means if you've got multiple files or multiple videos inside of Adobe After Effects that you need to render, then running them all into the Adobe Media Encoder Queue means that you won't have to do anything. It's all automated and you're not going to have to keep going in and manually pressing exports or adds to the Render Queue in After Effects. There you go, those are the many different ways of exporting your media from Adobe After Effects. Of course, you don't have to export your media. Alternatively, if you're editing in Adobe Premiere, you can use the dynamic link feature from Premiere into After Effects. You can take some footage, put it into Adobe Premiere. You can replace that with an Adobe After Effects composition. That would dynamic link that into Adobe After Effects. Then you can do all your edits in After Effects, and it will link back into Premiere. This means that you can just export that media from Adobe Premiere rather than After Effects. All of those edits that you did in After Effects will be attached to the version in Premiere. If it sounds complicated or if you're interested more about that, then check out the Premiere pro course because there's a section specifically about dynamic linking. I really think that would be really beneficial if you're interested in that dynamic link option. But there you go, that's it for exporting all your videos from Adobe After Effects. 22. Outro & Summary: There you go. You've now successfully completed the introduction to Adobe After Effects course. At this moment in time, you should be fairly comfortable with the user interface inside of Adobe After Effects, you should now be able to use a wide range of different effects and plugins in After Effects, and you should be able to do quite a lot in the program. All that's left for me to say is thank you ever so much for watching this course. I really do appreciate your support. I hope this course was beneficial. I hope you learned something, and of course, please feel free to check out some of the other courses that I have available on Skillshare. I have a full Premiere Pro course similar to this, where I go deep into Premiere. Then I've also got a green-screen course, a transitions course, and an introduction to filmmaking course as well. I'm very keen to keep uploading these courses and keep creating these educational videos for you, so if there's anything in particular that you would love to see, then please feel free to leave your suggestions and your comments in that discussion section on Skillshare. Thank you again for watching. I really appreciate your support and I'll see you on the next course. See you there.