Animate with Depth: Cameras, Lights and 3D Layers in After Effects | Rich Armstrong | Skillshare

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Animate with Depth: Cameras, Lights and 3D Layers in After Effects

teacher avatar Rich Armstrong, Artist & Designer

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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.



    • 2.

      The 2.5D Stage


    • 3.

      Get Your Artwork into After Effects


    • 4.

      Arranging Your Layers in 3D Space


    • 5.

      Adding Cameras


    • 6.

      Parenting 3D Layers


    • 7.

      Precomping 3D Layers


    • 8.

      Animating Cameras and 3D layers


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Project Time


    • 11.

      And There Was Light


    • 12.

      More Lights


    • 13.

      Material Options


    • 14.

      Useful Camera Techniques


    • 15.

      Rollercoaster Cameras and Auto orientation


    • 16.

      Multiple Camera Angles


    • 17.

      Make Better Stuff Faster


    • 18.

      The Flickering Layers Issue


    • 19.

      Your Project


    • 20.



    • 21.

      Bonus! Layer-art in After Effects


    • 22.

      Bonus! Make a cube


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About This Class

Take your animation skills to the next level by learning all about 3D layers, cameras, and lights in Adobe After Effects. In this class, you’ll learn how to transform your 2D artwork into the 3rd dimension inside After Effects. Your flat artwork will become alive in space, giving it depth and energy.

Besides getting into 3D with Adobe After Affects, there are a bunch of tips and tricks you’ll pick up even if you’re an After Effects and 3D pro. That being said, this class is meant for beginner to intermediate students, who have a little bit of experience in Adobe After Effects.

Come have fun and create an awesome piece of motion graphics with me!

If you want to learn even more about animation, here are some other classes I have made:

Meet Your Teacher

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Rich Armstrong

Artist & Designer

Top Teacher

Hey! I'm Rich Armstrong, a vivid and imaginative artist with ADHD. My bold and colourful creations draw inspiration from childhood fantasies, igniting joy & passion in a uniquely authentic style.

I design, illustrate, animate, doodle, and code. I love it all. I studied multimedia design, then graphic design, and taught myself how to code. I've freelanced, worked for agencies and startups, run my own product design studio, written a published book, and became a full-time artist in 2021. Also, I can touch my nose with my tongue!

I’ve been creating all kinds of things for a long time. And I want to help you create, experiment, explore and succeed—in the most fun and a... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Hi guys, I'm Rich Armstrong and I'm super pumped about this class. It's all about animating with depth inside of Adobe After Effects, we'll be covering things like the third dimension, cameras, lights and 3D layers. Even though we'll be talking about 3D and After Effects a lot, we'll cover more than just 3D topics. There is a bunch of tips and tricks you'll pick up on even if you're a pro. That being said, this class has been for beginner and intermediate students who have some experience in After Effects, but it won't be too hard to grasp if you've never used it before. During the class, I'm going to be creating an animated 3D postcard for my favorite city, typically for a 3D project and After Effects, I first come up with the ideas and sketch them out. I then create the elements in Illustrator or Photoshop and may even creates a 2D composition to help me with the layout in three-dimensions. This is where we're going to jump in with this class. I'm going to show you how to take your flat artwork from Illustrator and Photoshop into After Effects, where we'll turn it into an animated 3D composition, will make our latest 3D. We'll arrange them in space and give our composition depth. Then we'll add cameras, lights, and animation. The class is thorough, but broken down into bite-sized lessons for easy consumption, you can follow along in just by watching the videos, but to make the most of the class and some intralearning, I recommend creating your own animated 3D postcard. To get started, tell us what your favorite city is and sketch out some simple ideas for your postcard. Post your ideas and sketches in your project gallery, and let's start learning about 3D in After Effects. 2. The 2.5D Stage: Before we jump into any practical stuff, I'm going to give you a little bit of theory first. I like to compare creating 3D animations in After Effects to creating a production on stage. It has some real-world elements, but it's not the real world, and the cool thing is, no one expects it to be the real world. What is your audience after? Well, they want to be enthralled by visuals, by story, by emotion, movement. Even with information you want your audience to be drawn in and you don't have to learn how to use 3D software or direct blockbusters to do this. Animating elements made in Illustrator and Photoshop can really be playing to your strengths. All you have to do is import your 2D elements into After Effects and move them around in a 3D space. Many people call this 2.5D or two-half D. Think of each layer as a stiff piece of card that you can move, rotate, and scale in space. That's the theory. Let's jump into practical stuff now. 3. Get Your Artwork into After Effects: So this is my postcard design. You may be wondering, what are all of those crosses and circles doing on the right-hand side. This design is half-baked, it's not complete. We are going to be completing it inside after effects, where we can position things in 3D space. We can arrange all of all items, we can rotate things, duplicate things and animate them. What I do want to show you though, inside of photoshop is that every single item that I want to animate, it's on its own layer. So all of these circles, own layer, all the bike elements, own layer. If we just scroll down here, you can see that there's a lot of layers. That's correct and that's why you need to name your layers, not like layer 119, layer 23. That doesn't help at all, especially when there's a lot of layers, so name them descriptively and if you once inside a photoshop, you can then group your layers too. What a group does inside of Photoshop, is it makes it pretty composition inside of after effects. You cannot do this in Illustrator. So what I've done in illustrator, is I've just put every single item on their own layer. Fantastic. Now I really like working from illustrates or if possible, because it means that if I scale an item, it wont pixelate, which is amazing but this is your choice. So sometimes you only work with photos, you have to use photoshop. If you're going to be working with vector on flat elements, I recommend using Illustrator, just because you can scale your items and not have them pixelate. So let's go into after effects and we go file new project. You'll see that you get this little blue border around your project panel. Probably what we want to do now is impose our files. So we go to file, import, file. You could press Command I or Control I if you're on Windows and I'm just going to import my postcard photoshop PSD file. For illustrator and Photoshop documents, there's slightly different ways to import things. So we're going to go for composition retain layer sizes for this photoshop document and I'm going to check editable layers styles. You should too, if you want any layer styles that you applied in photoshop to come through to after effects. What after effects does is it creates a composition for you so if we double-click on this, it opens it up and it looks exactly the same as your photoshop file. Now, this is your composition panel. You can see things, you can move things around if you want to and this is your timeline panel or your layer panel and we can see that all of our layers are named. Some of them have postcard. photoshop.psd after them. If you don't want that, just click Source Name and those will disappear and then it will feel like you photoshop document. This bike layer, you'll see it's a bit different. It's got this gray brownie color as opposed to this lavender color. If you double-click that, it opens up another composition and you'll see that your compositions are tabs in your layer panel. Inside this composition, you have your three bike layers. Pretty cool. So this postcard photoshop layers folder contains all of your layers from photoshop and it also contains your bike pre-composition. Fantastic. Now, how does illustrate a differ from this? Well, not that much. So another way to import something is to double-click on your project panel and we can just select and so I open that. My import kind here. You see it's a little bit different. We're just going to go for composition and footage dimension, when it go for layer size. You'll see that we've got another composition now, this is really cool that it does is all for us. So if we open up postcard, you'll see that we have a whole bunch of AI layers. Fantastic. They're all named and they're all named descriptively. What I want to discuss next is our document size. So if we go to composition settings, you'll see there's a width and a height. I've chosen 1920 by 1080 and this will come from your illustrator file or your photoshop file. What I've done is attached some common documents sizes or composition sizes. If I was you and I'm making a traditional video, I would go for HD. So 1920 by 1080 or 1080 by 720. Those are probably the most common but your choice, I don't know what you're making it for. The frame rate, I'll go for 30 or 25. If you want to go super smooth, go for something like 60 or if you wanting it to be a low file size, go for a frame rate of 10 or 15, but then your quality is not going to be as good. Now the duration of your composition is probably the same as when you last use after effects. So for me, that was a 30 second duration. If you want to change it and go for it, I would change it to 30 seconds or one minute but it depends on how long you think your animation is going to be. If you don't understand this, this is basically hours, minutes, seconds and frames. Then the last thing is your background color. Now, you can change this if you want but I've actually got a background layer, so changing this won't actually make any visual difference. So that's a bit about composition settings. The only thing left that I want to show you is how to visually manage or visually categorize your layers. So let's just pull this in a bit. Now, everything is the blue lavender color. How do I know which layers are grouped together besides looking at the layer names? Well, for any given layer, we can click on this swatch color and we can change it to red, for example, or whatever color we want. So if I press on the wheel right and command, press on bike, I can change them both to red. So that means when I'm scrolling in my layers, I can see that these three red layers are grouped together or if I wanted to go for my Amsterdam letters, we shall hold shift and click on the last layer. I can change these ones to yellow and then you'll see that, now there's red layers, those must be together. There's these yellow layers, those must be together. What's really cool is that these layer colors will follow those layers throughout astrophysics. So you'll see that, the transform tools are also quite yellow. You'll see that the bio transform tools are red. Pretty cool. Another thing that I like about this is that if you select a swatch color and you say "select labeled group," it'll select all of those layers with that color. So that's pretty cool. Now you don't have to collect every single layer. I just like to color ones that are pretty important or that are grouped together. The only thing left that we have to do now is to go file, save and I'm going to save this in downloads and I'm going to call it postcard.aep, which is after effects project and I'll press save. Fantastic. That wasn't the last thing. Two more things. I really like working with Illustrator files,especially if they're vector means I can scale the layers and they went pixelate. So I'm going to just delete my photoshop and photoshop layers. Goodbye, but if you're going to work with Photoshop files, go for it, it's really pretty similar. Then the last thing, the final last thing for this video is I want to duplicate this postcard layer. So you can either press Command D or you can go edit and duplicate. Now we have a postcard two and why the heck am I doing this? Well, this is because if I mess things up in one composition, I always have the original to go back to, I can copy layers from and so on. So if I just press enter, I can name this orange for original. We're going to be working inside of the postcard composition for the rest of this class. That is the final thing for this video. Next up, we're going to be laying things out. We're going to be animating, we going to be having a lot of fun. Yeah. 4. Arranging Your Layers in 3D Space: We're going to get into making all of our layers 3-D in this video, which is going to be exciting. I'm going to show you how to do this on one layer and then we can do it for the rest of the layers. Let's just make our layer panel a little bit bigger. I'm going to select this crossover here, and you'll see that it's named cross, fantastic. If we just go and see what properties that we can manipulate right now. We've transform properties, anchor point, position, scale, rotation, opacity. Pretty cool. Let's just zoom in here. We can change our position x, y, pretty stuck standard. We can also just enter value into here, so like 300, really cool. Commands it, get back to where it was. We can change our scale. Yeah, that's really cool. Why does that happen? I thought you said that if it's vector, it doesn't pixelate. Well, that's because we need to check this little thing first. If we hover over this icon for vector layer, it continually rasterizes. Let's check this box here and you'll see that it becomes crystal clear. What I'm going to do is, Command A, to select all of my layers and I'm just going to check that box. That means that every single layer will be continually rasterizes. It does slow the process down a little bit, but for vector layers, it makes a big difference. Let's just select off of that, select our cross layer again, and we can adjust the scale back down to 100 percent. Then we have our rotation. We can rotate this. If you hold down Shift while you scrubbing, it rotates a lot faster. You'll see that it says three times, which means it's three times 360 degrees plus 309 degrees. If we change this to zero, it still at three times. It's basically gone around 360, around again and again. This is really important for just now. Then opacity, fantastic. We'll get onto animating these properties a bit later. But I'm just showing you what's possible and what changes when you make it a 3-D layer. How do we make it a 3-D layer? Well, check this icon box. 3-D layer allows this layer to be manipulated in three dimensions. It sounds really fancy, but you just got to check this box. Bang, and then that layer is a 3-D layer. You'll see that you get this green arrow, blue arrow, red arrow. Cool. That means you can actually move it in 3-D space. It's going backwards and forwards and well, now we can move it in z space or zed space. That's really cool. You'll see that our position values are changing over here. We can scrub these two, and it does the same thing as playing with those arrows. Back to the center, we now have an anchor point which I'll get to, which has three values. All of these properties have these three value, so x, y, and z, or zee, depending on how you like to say the last letter of the alphabet. Scale also has these three properties. We now have an orientation as well as x, y, z rotation. Now, x rotation is almost like standing on your feet and leaning forwards and backwards. If we change this, it goes backwards and forwards. If you forget these analogies, you can just play with them and see what they do. This changes to zero. Y rotation is your neck turning from the left all the way to the right. Yeah, like that. Then z is you're driving a car and the steering wheel is turning from left to right. This is typical 2-D rotation. Now, what's really cool about these ones is that as you scrub them, you'll see that it goes four times plus 22 or whatever the angle is. This is really important and differentiates it from orientation. If we change this back to zero and zero, and we stop playing with orientation, which is basically x, y, and z rotation, you'll be like, "I don't understand why it's different from those three values." Well, you'll see that the orientation doesn't have a 0x or 1x. You'll see that it only has a 360 degree rotation scale. We can only go around and it goes back to zero. What I like to see this as, is it's the starting point, it's how it's set up, and then you can change the x, y, and z rotation. But, sometimes it just helps to work with our orientation alone or x, y, z rotation. If you use a tool like this tool over here, which is your rotation tool, you can select it and just rotate it free form, which is pretty cool. But what it does, is it's actually changing the orientation. You'll see that the orientation values are changing, not the x, y, and z rotation. This is quite frustrating sometimes, see if we just undo that. You can also just change the x rotation like that. Or, you can just change the z rotation. See where my mouse is going or just the y rotation. You get the gist of this. Now, if we just change this to zero, zero, zero. That is orientation and x, y, z rotation. But you may be wondering, "Yeah, but it's just rotating from the center, how do I rotate it from the bottom or the left or the right?" Well, check this out. If we change our anchor points, so x, y, z. I'm going to change the x to about there, the y to about there. Then when we change the x rotation, it's going to rotate from that point, which is great. But, now our x is not aligned anymore. Frustrating. Yeah, very frustrating. Command Z, Command Z, Command Z. Let's change the anchor point with this tool, which is your pan behind or anchor point tool. Shortcut Y. We can just change our anchor point to there. Pretty cool. Now, if we change our y rotation, x rotation, it rotates from that point and our x is still in the same place as it was when we designed it in Illustrator. Fantastic. That's a couple of properties that we can play with. We can get on to Material Options later. Geometry Options, there's actually nothing there. Let's make all of our layers 3-D layers. I'm just going to press on one layer, press "Command A," and then select this 3-D box. If we zoom out, we will see that well, things look super complicated, these transformed boxes around everything. Let's just click off it. Let's go back to our selection tool, and everything is now 3-D. It doesn't look very 3-D, but that's okay. What we can do now is we can start moving our layers in 3-D space. For example, I'm going to move my x's towards us. If we go for these cross, I should have named them x's, I think. You'll see now that now have done some changes and now my anchor point is no longer where I wanted it to be. This is just an example, so what do I do? Well, good thing we have this original. If I go into here, I select this cross, and let's just make it a 3-D layer. I'll copy across my anchor point values. I'll go to Command C, I've got a postcard, and I'll go to the cross look Command V. Things are out of place again. It's okay, I'll get to my position on my cross, Command C. Go back to postcard and position based. There we go. Now, if I go to my postcard original, I can make it a 2-D layer again. Thank you very much for saving my butt. That's really cool about creating a duplicate of your original composition. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to select all of these cross layers, or x layers, as I should have called them. I'm going to press "P" for position, and that means I can just see their positions, and now I'm going to change the z or z position. Let's just scrub these. Oh, that makes them disappear. Why does this happen? What's going on? I thought there at the top of the food chain, the top of the layer pulp. That's because now all of a sudden, where layers are in the layer panel don't matter. It matters what the said position is. To help us understand this, I'm going to add a view. We go to this one view drop down. Lets go for two views horizontal, and now we can see our composition from the top as if there was a camera looking down and we can see our composition from our active camera points of view. If we just keep on dragging this, you'll see that those crosses are going back and forth. But they're now behind our background layer, not ideal. Let's move them forward, they appear again. Let's move them forward a little bit more. That means that if we're going to select one cross, we can see that it's in front of all the rest of the layers. Fantastic. If you want to change to four views, you can also do that. Well, 2 Views, 4 Views, 2 Views? No let's change to 4 Views. There we go. Now, we can see from top, from front, right active camera. That's maybe a good match for you. I recommend going 2 Views Horizontal. If you just click in this area, you'll see that these little four blue triangles appear. That means that this is the active view. We can then change where it's looking by selecting this drop-down, looking from the left. Now we can see that our cross layers are over here. If we go from the bottom, it almost looks like a top view. You can change these pretty easily. Once you're satisfied, you can just go back to 1 View, which will go back to your active camera view. You can change this if you want to, to going to top or left, pretty easy. That's how to make your layers 3-D. They're all 3-D now. Now you can start positioning them, moving things about. Fantastic. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to position all of my layers in 3-D space. This maybe a bit boring to watch me do it, so I'm going to speed it up. That's my first shot at positioning everything, laying things out. Looks like quite a nice composition. I still need to do some rotation, some duplication, and obviously I can change the z position or the zee position as I go along. In the next video, we'll be adding a camera. Now, this is where it gets really fun. 5. Adding Cameras: A camera makes it really easy to create an illusion of movement. Instead of rotating and moving everything in our composition or on our stage, as the camera moves, it makes it look as if everything else is moving and rotating. It's pretty easy to understand because our eyes act like a camera. In Aftereffects, let's add a camera. We've got our composition. I've arranged my layers, I positioned them in 3D space. Now let's go to Layer, New, and let's add a camera layer. There's a whole bunch of different layers, but for now let's add a camera to our Layers panel. There's a whole bunch of different settings that we can change. I'll get onto that in a later video. But for now, let's go for a Two-Node Camera. We can name it Camera 1, preset 35 mm is fine. I want you to check this enabled depth of field, it's really important, and then you press "OK". Did you see that shift in perspective? I'm just going to undo and redo. This really cool. That's what happens when you add a camera, you get perspective, you get depth. Now, if we change our views to 2 Views Horizontal, you can see that I have a camera now. From the top you can see all of my layers and all the different positions and you can see my camera and this big triangle thing. Let's get into what that is. On the right we have what our camera can see, Active camera. Let's drill down and let's see what properties we can change. I'm going to focus on Points of Interest, Position, Zoom, Depth of Field, Focus Distance, Aperture, and maybe a bit of a Blur Level. The first thing that I want to do is just go about changing my position. X is really slow as it rotates or moves around. I'm going to change my composition preview resolution to, let's say a third. If you've got a fast computer, keep it up to full. If you've got a slow computer, you may even need to decrease this. But sometimes we'll change back to full just to see if things are blurry or in focus or not. If we change this x and I'm going to hold down Shift, you'll see that we have some really good perspective here. You see that my camera is now moving from left to right. But you'll see that it's always pointing towards the central position and this central position is my point of interest. That's this little dot over here. We can change this pretty easily like so. Now if we change, our X position of our camera is going to rotate or revolve around that point. Really cool. We can also move our camera up and down, of course, the Y position. We can change the Y position of the point of interest pretty easily as well. Let's just move this position back to right about there. That's really good. We can change the point of interest and this is here because our camera is a 2-node camera. If you don't have a 2-node camera, you won't have a point of interest. Because of that, I'm not going to get into Orientation and all the camera rotations. Position, points of interest are pretty easy to understand. We can also change our Z position of our camera. As this goes back, things may look a little bit blurry. If we change this to full resolution, maybe you can't really see it, how blurry that is. But if we change our Blur level, so let's change this to 300 maybe. That's pretty blurry. Now if we change our position of our camera again, to come closer, you'll see that things are not getting sharper. As we go further away, things are getting blurry again.. What makes things blurry or not? Well, if we change our depth of field to Off. This may be what you want, but I really like depth of field, so let's keep that on. You're blur level and your aperture affects how blurry out of focus elements are. I'm going to change my blur level to 100 and I'm going to increase my aperture to, let's say, 130. Now things are just slightly blurry. If we move our camera backwards again, things are going to get more blurry. You can see that the relationship between the position and the aperture and the blur level, but what really matters when it comes to things being in focused or blurry is this Focus Distance property. You'll see that it said at 626 pixels seems like an arbitrary amount, so let's just try change this. We decreasing and now things are becoming more blurry. As we increase it, you see it's value's increasing. You'll see that these two pink lines, or maybe even one pink line, that's the focus distance. That's the distance from the camera to a sharp point. Anything before that will be blurry, anything after that will be blurry. The further away from that point you get, the more blurry things will be. Let's get just there. Now it looks like everything is in focus. If we change our focus distance back a bit, again, everything's going to be a little bit more blurry, not so much. If we then change our position and let's go backwards a bit, things are going get more blurry again. If we want to change our Blur Level 200 again, you'll see things get more blurry. If you want to change our aperture to something really high, again, things are going to get really blurry, but let's keep it at 130. Let's change our focus distance again and let's make it about there. As we move our camera closer and further away, it's going to change how clear our layer seem. Focus distance let's change that, just about there. Most of our layers will be pretty in focus. If we change our aperture to some crazy amounts, like 500, maybe you see that the bicycle is in focus and everything else is not in-focus. Let's go for 1000 and even more so. You can see that as we move in space here, now you see that the bikes tires and wheels are in focus and lets just got a little bit further in like so. Now our bike is out of focus and so are the background elements. But a lot of the type and the buildings and the crosses are now in-focus. This is really cool to play with. I encourage you to just drag these properties around, get a feel for what the camera can do and can't do. The other thing that I haven't covered yet is the zoom level. You can change the position and that feels like you're zooming in and out. But you can keep your camera in the same position and change the zoom level. It can make it feel like you're zooming in and out. But what's really cool here is that things are going to stay in focus and out of focus as you zoom in and out because the distance from those layers to your camera isn't actually changing. You're just changing your zoom, which is really different from your position. Play around with those things, have some fun. The other thing that I must show you is this camera tool. This Unified Camera or Orbit Camera Tool, which is really fun. Once you've got your camera selected, you can drag around. If we just change, is pretty resolution to third. You can see it pretty clearly here, as we drag around you can see really cool perspective change and is pretty free form, which is maybe a little bit more fun to play with than dragging sliders. The next one is if you hold this down or press here again, there we go, Orbit Camera Tool does the same thing. The track X and Y Camera tool does something a bit different, so as you move it, your points of interest and position changes. You can see on the left view, well, the top view, how your camera and the point of interest are moving. Now if you change all your Z or your track Z camera tool. With this tool we can just change the Z or the Z position of your camera. You can move closer and you can move further away which is really cool. It means that you don't have to bother with these sliders. It may feel a little bit more natural. If things are looking a little bit weird, you may need to check out what your renderer is. If you click "Classic 3D" or maybe you see Ray-traced 3D or CINEMA 4D. Well, I would opt for using Classic 3D in this class, has a few things that the other renderers can't do. The other renderers do have their benefits, but I would go for Classic 3D for this class. If you don't see it over there, the renderer option, you can access it in your Composition settings under 3D Renderer. What we're doing here with the camera is not really any animation. We're getting a feel for how it may look when we start animating, but I like to use it as a bold tool so I can start to see where my layers are. I can start to see what it may look like when I shift my camera around. If I just press C, I can see what's coming out, what maybe I should change. You can see that the bicycle wheels are further away from the actual frame of the bike. Now if you just hide your camera, that's what you'll be able to see. Sometimes you can't really get a good understanding of your composition without moving a camera around. Let's put the camera back on. Now you can start to move your elements and layers around larger composition with some more understanding and just get a different view on possibly your composition. Of course, we will be able to animate all of our camera properties, which is super cool. 6. Parenting 3D Layers: We've had some fun moving our camera back, changing some camera properties. There's a few things that I'd like to show you, especially when trying to lay out your composition and organize and position your layers. One of these things is parenting. Now, I'm going to show you something which I get so frustrated with but then when I finally figured out years ago, it changed my life and this is parenting. I'm just going to hide the camera for now, so we're back to square 1, and I'm going to select my bike wheel, my wheel- right. If I rotate this, I'm going to press R, you'll see that my z rotation, remember, like a steering wheel, doesn't really look like it's doing much. But if I rotate my bike and then press R, and I'm going to change the z rotation. Yeah, it looks like it's doing quite a bit. Now, in something like Illustrator or Photoshop, if you select a bunch of layers and you change their rotation, so z rotation, they would normally all rotate at the same time or from the same place. Now, they all just rotating where they are. Super frustrating even with the rotation tool. So let's change our z, nothing's really working. That's frustrating. So what I'd like to do, and because they're all groups and these colors is, I like to use parenting. I'm going to use my bike layer as the base layer and the wheels will then parents off of bike. I'm going to stick my parents to be the bike layer. Nothing much has changed. Well, check this out. If we press R and now change our z rotation on our bike, well that means everything rotating from the bikes anchor point. So if we are to change the anchor point, you just go "Shift A", which will then show your anchor point too, or you could just access all of the properties like so. But I'm going to press "R" and "Shift A" again. Now the anchor point, it's over there. If we change the rotation, it all rotates from that point. Super ad, so now I can actually then change my bike, make it rotate a bit, and I can change its position. So wheel-left and wheel-right, I can just lock these layers. So I can't actually move them. Let's just go back to our Move tool. I can't actually select those layers. I can just select my bike frame and I can move this around. So let's just move it around and you'll see that a, the wheels come with it, which is super cool. I'm going to move it about there, maybe a little bit more that way, and I'm going to change its position. So "Shift P", I'm going to bring it out a bit, just so that it's quite far out. If we go to two-views horizontal and let's zoom into the top here. Where is our bike, it's rarely far out. What's even more far out is the two wheels. So as we change its position, you'll see that the wheels are also changing. So they're all based on the bike layer, and that is parenting, super cool. Now, another example of this is all of these Amsterdam letters. I want to rotate them from the same place, but I also want to do some flip out effects for each of the three tiers, the AMS, the TER and DAM. All of those should be in groups, three by three by three. Let's go to those layers. Amsterdam, like so, and now because, there so many different layers here, what I can do is select the solo switch, and that'll show layers with a solo switch on. Now I can start to play around with parenting. So the D, the A, and the M, I want those to be related. So I'm going to set these guys parent to the D. Sometimes there's a lot of layers, so what I like to do is make a note of the layer number. So that would be 11 and then I type in 11. Watch this, for the E and the R, what I do here is I go, okay T is 14, so I just go one four press Enter, pretty easy. The M and the S parents, lets go for 17, one seven. Now, those ones are all done. Now I want the D it's parents to be the T. So T is over here, number 14, one four. Then the T, I want its parent to be the A, which is layer 17, one seven. So what does this really mean? Well, check this out. So four, it's always the wrong A. This A, if we go and press R and we change the Z rotation, they're all going to move. Y rotation, all going to move. Really cool. I'm going to zoom in a bit, I'm going to change my anchor point to round about here, or maybe at the top here so it swings from this position and it flips N from this position. Now my T, I want its anchor point to be pretty much the same thing, and I want the D to V which selects the D, and then y, which selects this anchor point to open behind tool. I want that to be exactly the same. That means that I can lock AMSTERA and M. If we lock those, that means we can only access ATD, which makes it a bit easier to work with. So now A, what do we want to do here. Well, I want to animate it in with the x rotation. Animate it in from, let's say 90 degrees, and I want it to swing in like that, and then as it swings in, I want the T, let's go and press R. I want it to animate in from there, and perhaps the D, press R, I want it to animate in like so. If we go and check out our top view, we can see that these layers are now in 3D space. If we go and select our left view, that's what it looks like. We have this really cool effect, as we change our A's rotation, so everything rotates, and as we rotate our T, so everything below that rotates. This is really cool because it means that everything is related. Just like my arm is connected to my shoulder, my forearm is connected to my biceps, and my hands connected to my forearm. My fingers are connected to my hands and so on. This is really cool. I'm going to animate this a bit later. This is really just helping you set out your layers and put them in the right place and connect them. So if we just put our camera back on, let's just move around [inaudible] that looks really good. If we select or just un-solo switch all of our layers again, just three more. We can see what that looks like, which looks pretty good. I'm just going to change this back to my top view before going back to one view. Now we can zoom in, that looks pretty cool. So if we get to press C now to select our camera tool, we can now move around and see what it looks like and it looks pretty cool. If we have to go and take our aperture really down. So let's go back to 120. Yeah, you can see that now we have this zigzag effect with our letters. Pretty cool and we can animate that in a bit later. 7. Precomping 3D Layers: If you thought that parenting was cool, well, we're going to get onto pre-compositions. Now, let's take a look at our bicycle layer again. So I'm going to go to my camera tool, just move around a bit. Press "C" until we get to the Z one. Now, I have my bicycle. Let's just move around a bit and you'll see that my bicycle is actually two wheels and a frame, but there are different Z positions. I want to make the bicycle layers all part of one composition. Now, if you remember we almost did this when we imported our Photoshop document into After effect. But we're not working with our Photoshop document, we were working with the Illustrator document, but we can still pre-compose our bike layers. Let's unlock one of our bike layers or all of the red layers. We can also select them by going to Select Label Group. If they went all selected already, I'm going to press "V" and then I'm going to right-click on a layer here and we can choose Pre-compose. Your composition name, I'm going to call it bike. Now we can choose to move all attributes into new composition. Sometimes we could also leave all attributes in postcard, but we haven't animated anything yet. We're just going to move all attributes into the new composition. I'm going to leave this unchecked for now and I do want to open my new composition. You can check that or you can uncheck that whatever you want. I'm going to leave it unchecked for now. Now my bike layer, you'll see is quite big and it's no longer 3D. What we can actually do with it is much like a 2D layer. What went wrong? Why is this thing now a 2D layer? You'll see that as we move around with our camera tool. Our bike layer just stays there, what happened? I don't want this stop breaking out, it's okay. So what we've really done is that we've made this bike composition basically like a video layer. It just exists on a plane or at the moment it's just 2D. If we double-click inside our bike layer, there's all about layers but with rotation and you still see that everything is using parenting. Pretty cool. If we rotate it, yep, there we go. We can close this bike layer for now. Back in the real world where there's problems, where we still can't get this thing to be a 3D layer. Well, what do we do? So we just make it a 3D layer and just like that. But look at this. it's already 3D layer. Remember how our bike layers used to be a different Z positions or Z positions. This is not happening anymore. It's basically just that video layer that we created on a plane, just like all our other layers. Sure, we can rotate it x, y, pretty cool. But now I want the depth that we had before. So this is where this little switch comes in again for comp layer collapse transformations. We're going to be collapsing transformations here. If we just check this, our bike layer suddenly sprung back to where it was. Now, what's happening here is it's using all of the properties from the bike composition. You'll see that it's really small now and if we start to rotate it. Now what's happening here is that it's rotating the bike from the center of our composition. We can change this at a later stage, but for now, it's fantastic. I'm just going to undo that. What makes pre comps really cool is that you can set up an unanimated pre comp, and then lay everything out really nicely, work on a separate composition outside of your main composition, do all the animation laid out and when you're done, just replace that animated composition into the static composition. Check this out. So let's just go into postcard layers and perhaps we've got this bike it's just the frame. Say we go to our bike composition here, now this is the layer and this is the composition or the pre-comp. Now, if we have this bike composition layer selected and this bike layer selected, and you hold up down and you drag this just like that, the composition will be replaced. This bike layer is at position 960, 540, 0, which is like going backwards. But now if we select this bike pre-composition and do exactly the same thing, holding down Alt, the position is still at 960, 540, and 0. We just replaced the layer, which is really powerful. So now with this one layer, this one pre-composition. We can change its scale just like that, which is really cool. What I also like to do here is maybe even just change the Z scale. If we go to 2 Views and we go to the top here and we unlock the scale so that it doesn't constrain the proportions. If we were to just change the X scale, now it looks a bit weird. If we just change the Z scale, you will see that increases in depth. It is increasing from this position over here in the middle of our composition. So if we were to just press "Shift A" on our keyboard and change this, or maybe we can use the anchor point tool and move our anchor point to about here, that means that, let's just move this back and I'll press "V" and move it backwards to about here. If we change the scale now, it's going to change from here. But you see what happens to the elements when you were changing our Z scale only. It's really powerful not like that. I think that's okay, where it is right now, I'm going to leave my scale at 100, we can animate that a bit later, go back to 1 View and just make sure that everything is okay. It looks spots on. Now we only have one layer to deal with and inside that layer, there's three other layers, fantastic. What's also really super cool is that we've got one bike layer, we can just simply add another bike layer. If we do the same things to it, we can now position it. If we want to rotate it, we should press "R". We can change the X, Y, Z. That looks pretty good if we change it to 2 Views, we can set its anchor points to where it is. If we go back to 1 View and we rotate it a bit more. If you want to change position we could do that too. Let's move it away out here. Then with our camera tool, we're just going to change the Z position. Now, I've got two bikes and they're pretty cool. Maybe you want this second bike, rotation, Z rotation to be a little bit different, like so. Let's just press "V". That looks pretty good and I'm going to scale it down just a bit. What does this look like? Where is this bike? It's actually over here, so lets just zoom out and you see our cameras over here. We have a bike, a bike, and then the rest of our composition. Super red. Now, if we go into bike and maybe you want to change something around here. Let's just say we wanted to add another wheel, so Command D duplicate that wheel, put it up here and we go back to our postcard composition. Now both of those bicycles have that extra wheel. It's like a smart object, super red. But actually I don't want three wheels, but you get the point. You can have many, many pre-compositions and as you change one, it changes all of them. Let's just delete that third wheel because who likes to be a third wheel. Let's go back into postcard and let's do a little bit of organizing here. Let's creates a folder called pre-comps and let's pop bike into that. Let's create a new folder called layers, and we'll put in postcard layers, just like that. Then maybe one called comps, I'll put postcard and postcard original into comps. Fantastic two bikes and a whole bunch of learning about pre comps. Now, let's get onto animation. 8. Animating Cameras and 3D layers: We've had some fun. We've done some precomposing, we've done parenting, we've learned how to change and operate the camera. We've laid out our layers. Things are in 3D space, this depth. Things are looking cool. Sure, I can change a bunch of things as I go but right now we're going to get into animating. We're going to animate our camera. We're going to animate our layers. I'm not going to animate everything. I'm just going to animate a few key things. So you get an overview of what I'm doing and how I do it. How do we animate? Well, let's just pull up our layers a bit. I'm going to move my camera to the top here. I can also use Command and right bracket or left bracket to even up and down, much like Photoshop. I think that these two bikes tool and a bunch of other layers. Now, what I'm going to do here is I'm going to precompose all of my amsterdam letters like so. Right click and scroll down and precompose amsterdam letters. Then I'm just going to make sure it's a 3D layer and we're going to collapse the transformations. Then amsterdam letters went into comps, I want it to be an precompse. Thank you very much. Now we have whole bunch less to worry about, fantastic. How do we animate? Well, I'm going to start with my camera and then move on to a couple of other layers and show you how I would animate them. Camera, let's do some animation on position maybe, and perhaps points of interest and maybe even focus distance. What I'd like to do is get out our two views. We know that the point of interest is over here. What I'd like to do is I'd like to maybe just reset this. This is how it was in the beginning, I'd like to press C so I can just get my camera out here, that looks good. What I would like to do is I'd like to go all the way down to my background, press S for scale. Scale is up so the background is actually huge. It looks like the background and not just part of the postcard. I'm going to do this because when we get to lighting, the lights are going to cast a shadow onto the background from all the other elements, fantastic. I can then lock this layers so we don't have to worry about clicking it. I'm going to press V again scroll all the way to the top, and then just work with this camera. Now instead of scrolling all the way to the top, what I could do is I could actually select a couple of layers like my crosses and birds, maybe the wrong crosses. Maybe I can select from bird, buildings, dots, all the way down. Maybe let's just go for the birds from beginning. I'm then going to use this shy guy, this over here. If we hover over the icon, shy hides layer and timeline. That didn't hide anything, well, let's just select a few more, so dots and crosses and clouds. I'm going to use the shy guy. They're all hidden, but they're not hidden, I can still see them. Well, if we click on this guy, which means hides all layers for which the shy switch is set, gone. That means we have far less layers to deal with in our time line. If we want them back, we can just put them back on. Pretty interesting, really productive way to work. But let's get back to our camera and animate in our camera. There was a bit of a divergence just had to show you. We've reset it, now, let's change our focus distance to something like just about here. Let's change our aperture and make it 150. That may look pretty good for now, maybe I'm not too happy with that. Let's first see, I can zoom in a bit. That looks a bit better. We can change our focus distance now to about there. That look pretty good. Also, a really cool thing to note is that if you press V and you select a layer, so maybe let's press these crosses, so this cross, and you select your camera, Command and camera and you go to Layer, and you go to Camera and you say Set Focus Distance to Layer. That makes the focus distance the exact distance that that layer is away from the camera. It's pretty exact you don't need to do any guesswork, amazing. That can be our focus distance, now what I want to do is I want to start animating firmly. Position, you click on this stopwatch, this time-very stopwatch, bam and then you get this little diamond shape. I don't know if we should start here, but maybe let's start to the left or to the right. Let's change the exposition. What that's doing is changing the camera and the X, so I'm just going to change the camera position Holding on Shift, let's start from about there. We're going to animate in, let's just say five seconds. You can change your animation to whatever. Well, I'm just using my mouse to zoom out there by mistake. I'm going to press C again and let's change this to about there. It looks pretty good. In the space of time, we're going to have a nice slight bit of a rotation around our composition. Let's just zoom in a bit. If we press Spacebar, well, it's pretty slow, maybe it's because it's going at half the speed that we wanted to go out. If we want to loop, we just have to take back our work area end to about here or we could just go to this key frame and press N, which would then set our work area end. Now when we press Space, it'll just keep on looping. It looks pretty cool. There's lot of perspective there, a lot of movement, super ad. Now what I really like to do is I like to work with easy. You just select your Keyframes, you right-click, you go to Keyframe Assistant, and then you go for Easy in or Easy Ease, then Easy Ease Out. I'm going to go for easy ease. Now you'll notice that it has to rerender which is on green bar. Let's just go for the rerender. What easy does is it starts off slow and gets faster, and then it comes in to a slow stub, much like things do in the real world. Warm and then slows down. It's pretty cool. A lot of depth, cool movement. That's beginning of an animation or maybe it's a part of one who knows. That's our camera moving. That may be fantastic, but now, what else do I want to be moving? Well, perhaps I want the Xs to appear. What about the amsterdam letters folding out like I planned? Or we can do all of this. Let's do the Xs next, the Xs next, sounds pretty cool. There we go, the crosses maybe we would like to rename those. I'm going to press Enter, just go X. Maybe we can say x1, x2, and x3, there we go. Now with these, I'm going to scale them in, so let's just zoom in. We can just hide our camera for now. I'm going to animate the scale. So as it comes in, I want to change the scale from zero to 100. I'm going to click the stopwatch and then going to go a few keyframes over and we can either zoom in by dragging this little bar to the right or using this, or I think even press plus and minus on our keyboard. A few ways to zoom into your timeline and they're going to change the scale to 100 percent. Maybe I can make it 100 percent just after it goes to 110 percent. It does a bit of a [inaudible]. It gets really big and then settles down to final size. All of these, I can just change the keyframes to easy ease. Let's have a look at what this looks like. That looks pretty nice, maybe a bit slow. Let's make it a bit faster. That's looks pretty cool. Maybe instead of 110, we can change it to 120 and just like that, that's pretty cool. I can copy these keyframes, I'm just going to select scale and select x2 and x3, press S, select the scale properties and Command V. Just like that and they're all coming together but I don't really want them to all come together, so I'll just move them over slightly, just like that. That was pretty cool maybe I'd like to just slow down that part a little bit. Yeah, that's great. Now, when we put our camera back on, let's do some moving here. Things are animating while our camera is moving, which is really, really cool. Fantastic, now? Cool. Let's just press "V" and zoom out a bit. We're doing a little bit of animating there which looks really cool. What else do I want to animate? Well, perhaps I want to animate this little boats up here, and the clouds, the birds. Actually, I just want to animate everything. But this is a fairly easy animation to do. If you can't find your boat, sometimes, I just find it easy to press "P". It's jump start. Let's animate this going from where it is, all the way to that there. If we had to hide our camera again, we'd see that it goes from the right-hand side to the left-hand side. Pretty cool. Maybe with this we'll also just put a bit of Easy Ease. Now, let's have a look at what this looks like when we have our camera on. We have a moving boat. It's quite subtle, maybe even looks like the effects of the perspective change, but we know that our boat's moving, it's moving pretty fast. We can actually just slow it down by increasing the distance between the two key frames. We have a moving boat. Now, what about the clouds? How fast are these cloud's going to be moving? Well, I reckon all the clouds should be moving in the same direction. I'm going to just hide my camera again. Let's zoom out. Maybe let's just go to 1 View for now, zoom back in, and I want all my clouds back. Let's just go here, scroll down to cloud, and I can Select Label Group, and I can just switch them. These are all the clouds. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to animate them all over this period of time and now, instead of the Z position, and instead of the Y position, let's go for X position, and maybe all the clouds can move towards the right like so. Let's see what that looks like if we just take off the solar switches again, and we play it. Yeah, that looks pretty good, but they're all moving in exactly the same speed, a bit boring. What I'd like to do, is I'd like to change the speed. What's really cool about this is we can either change the position of every single cloud or we can just change where the keyframe ends. I'm going to press "Tilda" when I'm over the timeline panel, like so. Now, I can just see all of these keyframes, and now, I'm just going to randomly drag these like so. This is just going to change how quickly the cloud moves from the left to the right. Now, let's play that. You can see they're moving at different speeds now, and because there are at different Z positions, it also appear that they're moving at different speeds. Let's put our camera layer back on, and let's see what this looks like. We can change this as we go, but for now it's pretty cool. I'm just going to save, habitual save, and now, what I'd like to do is, I'd like to do my 'AMSTERDAM' letters flopping in. I know that all of these Amsterdam layers are pre-composition, you can go to precomps, and go into amsterdam-letters. Let's do that. I want these to fold out, which is pretty cool. Let's go for A, T, D, and let's set them as different colors. Let's go for red and the rest of the layers we can actually just lock. Maybe what we can do instead of locking the image, is just hide them. If you recall, most of the letters in this composition are parented to another letter. We covered this in the parenting video. Let's check out these rotations, X rotations, let's set them at zero. Now, I am going to work with my A first, then the T, and then the D. Let's go for 2 Views and on the Left here, we can change it to Left. My aim, remember, I'm going to be changing the X rotation so it looks like a swing, and I want this to swing out from about here, which would be roughly negative 90 degrees or some form of 90 degree or other. From here, I want to animate the X rotation. I want to go around here to about 45 degrees and then I want to come back to, well, what's 45 divided by 2, something like 22, but I want it to be negative 22. At the moment it looks like [inaudible] and then it may just come into about five and then come to a complete halt at zero. Something like this [inaudible] Again, that takes five seconds, which may be quite long, so I'm going to select all of these keyframes, hold on ALT, and then select the last one and just drag. It happens a lot quicker. Even that first one may just be a little bit slow, so I'm going to keep on moving these keyframes. I'm going to select them all, right-click keyframe assistant, and select Easy Ease. Something like that maybe pretty cool. Maybe these last three can just be a bit more spaced out. That looks okay, I'm not going to spend too long on this. You get the idea. We've got the the ANS working with the rest of the layers. Now, what I'd like to do is I'd like to just copy these key frames. The extra rotation key frames then like to go to T and go to X rotation and paste. Now, what's happening is that this is doing a double-whammy which looks really cool. Then I'd like to go to D, go to X rotation and paste it here. What's happening here is that there's a whole bunch of forces of nature going on. You can see that in this left view, what's actually happening. It's starting off all curled up, it's coming down and slowly coming to stop. Maybe we don't want all the letters to be viewable from there. Maybe from this point on, we can actually see the other letters. Maybe you want the other ones to grow as they flop out. T, Let's go for Shift S for scale that set the scale at zero. We then want to animate it. We click on the stopwatch and we'll change it to 100. What happens here? Let's make this easy ease. Let's copy those key frames. Go to the D, press S, and just paste the DNA. Doesn't look too cool. Does it? If you're not too happy with things, just press the stop watch and it will revert to just being static. Let's just look how that looks inside the main composition. Now, if you're a bit confused about how compositions work and where things fit into where things, we can use this little composition, mini flowcharts. Amsterdam letters is part of postcards. If we click on postcard, it goes into the postcard composition. If you're a bit confused, what the postcard composition contains, we can click that again. It contains a bike too, and Amsterdam letters, those two compositions., Now let's see what our Amsterdam later animation looks. That looks pretty cool, I think. Instead of starting there and maybe you can start at a zero scale. Let's go down here, where it says Amsterdam letters, and we can scale this as a whole. From there to maybe here we can set this to zero. If you go backwards like this. From a 100-0, perhaps you'd like to just key frame assistant it and time-reverse key frames. It goes from zero through two there. Now, this is a bit tricky because our anchor position is the center of our composition. Let's go to two views. Let's go to the top, and let's select our letters and let's change the anchor points to the middle. Now when It scales, it scales from that point there. If we just turn our camera off, we can then go and change the the anchor point to the top like so. It comes in and that looks pretty cool. Now, what I want to do is inside my Amsterdam letters, I just want to move all of these layers, all of the animation and these layers slightly to the right, so that it scales in and then does its animation thing. Let's go to one view and play. Maybe that's a bit long. You see how it just chose their for a bit. As we get to this point here, which would be 25 frames, let's go into our composition. I'm going to press T here and just move these back [inaudible] You'll see that in this composition where also a 25 frames, because we're a 25 frames when we double-clicked on our precam. Let's play this. That looks pretty cool. Maybe we could change it a bit later. Maybe we could try a few more things. But that's the basics of animation. I've been using parenting pre-compositions. I've been animating my camera, animating my layers. Have fun with what you animate. Think about your camera. Think about what is being animated onscreen, thing about how long your animation should be. Maybe five seconds isn't enough. Maybe we can increase it to about 10 seconds. Just like so. You see the clouds are still moving or some of them are. Have some fun here. Try some animation and remember, use easing is your friend. Also remember that you don't have to just do two key frames. If we wanted to show what we've changed here, we can press U and we can just see that we've changed opposition. But perhaps, we want to change our points of interest too. As this goes around and gets to here, we can then change our position of our camera. Let's change the position of our camera to something like that. We can also change our point of interest at this time too. Our point of interest can go a little bit up. Let's go for two views here, a little bit this way and perhaps a little bit to the front. When you play this, cool it doesn't stuff. Then it gets to this point. Then it changes the perspective. Pretty cool If you're really struggling and working on a third or lower isn't working for you. You can always use this draft 3D setting. What the draft 3D settings is, it turns off all blurs, all motion blurs, all lights and it really just helps you out when you're moving from left to right, up and down. It just makes working with it quicker. Things aren't going to appear like they will when you render it. But when you're working with it, certainly a lot quicker. 9. Rendering: This video is going to be a little bit dry, because we're going to chat about rendering. You've done all this work in After Effects, and maybe you haven't finished, but you just want to see what it looks like. You want to show your friends. You want to show your mom. You want to give yourself a high-five. Whatever the case may be, it's a good idea to render along the way because sometimes things don't look the same outside of After Effects as they do inside of After Effects. But rendering can take a long time, especially when there's 3D elements, when there's cameras, when there's lighting. What we're going to do is we're going to add a composition to the Render Queue. So Composition, and then you go Add to Render Queue. Fantastic. But now you may want to just change your settings because unless it's your final render, you may not want to wait around too long just to check if things are okay. Click on the "Best settings". You can change your quality to the Current Settings, which would be a third in my case, but I'm going to go for Best. Your resolution you can change to full half-third, whatever. I'm going to go for Half. You can play around with the rest of the settings on this dialogue, but I'm just going to go Okay for now. That's good enough for me. Lossless, that's pretty good. I want to check the quality even though it's half the resolution, but you can change your format. You can also change your format options. But I would recommend exporting at a high-quality setting, and then converting it from there. You can output too, so Fantastic. Let's render that. I'm just going to speed this up so that it renders quickly in the video. Fantastic. Now when we go to Finder, we can check out our If you press "Space, " it's not going to open because of that high-quality animation format. If we double-click on it, it'll have to convert in a little bit fast, then we can play it. See what it looks like. Show to anybody that we want to. Yeah, it looks pretty cool. You can check for errors. Anything that catches your eye that's not quite right, you can re-render it or you can just add it to To-do list or make the fix, and then carry on working with the rest of your animation. Let's close that. Don't save. Now, if you open up Adobe Media Encoder, and you drag your to there. You can then select a file format that you want to render that into. I'm just going to make this exactly the right size. One of the most common formats is an mp4 or H.264 format. If we choose that, and it's going to go to downloads postcard. mp4. I'm going to match the source so it's a high bitrate. It's going to be a high-quality mp4, and that's a lot quicker. Then we got the postcard. mp4, we can now play it. You can see that in the beginning, I have only just seen it now. It's like a weird line that appears. I'll sort that out later. But yeah, that looks really good, and now, it's an mp4. We can upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook wherever you want to put it. If you want to put it at all. It's 9.6 megabytes, and our original one was 69.7. It's a lot smaller on file size, the quality is good, and you can just press "Space" and view it. Fantastic. We've got some depth of film we've got perspective, we've got depth. Things are looking good. That was probably the most boring of the lessons in this class. Thanks for sitting through it. 10. Project Time: Now it's your turn to do some animation. Get started on your favorite cities, animated, 3D post card and make both layers and the camera and a make rotation, positions, scale, everything, anything that you can think of, make it cool, have some fun, experiment. That's the most important part here, its the experiments. When you're done or if you want some feedback, render it, see what it looks like. I'm going to show you a spit up video of me working on this project for a bit. It's not a set science. I do a lot of experimenting. I'm going to see if things work, if things don't work, and then sometimes I just deleted it or I change it later. So animate your camera and all layers, then render it and uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and then share the link or embedded video in your project gallery. I'm looking forward to what you guys have created so far. After this, we're going to be chatting about light material options and making stuff better, faster, and a couple of other advanced 3D topics. Yeah. Here I'm just working on a house flip out effect, much like the Amsterdam letters, except it's flipping horizontally as opposed to vertically. This is me spending a little bit more time on the Amsterdam letters trying to get the flip out effect just right. Here I'm writing an after effects expression in JavaScript, It's basically going to make the windmill blades go round and round and round. The bird layers, as with the dots and the cross layers, I wanted it to feel like there were in slow motion, like expanding from the center of the composition. Here I'm working with easing, but when in graph mode you have a lot more control over the properties and you can control the easing and the curves way easier. It's super powerful and only through it could I achieve what I was looking for. What I'm doing here is animating the scale of these three buildings, and once I've got that animation right, I am then going to duplicate those building layers to create an animated cityscape. Again, I'm using the graph mode to edit the easing of these dots just to give it that really smooth kind of easing and continual sort of movement, look. What's really cool about animation and especially 3D animation, is that it's a blend between the real world and this made-up animated world. How would a piece of paper just appear? While in real life, it would just appear, animate from the top, bottom, left, right. Well, in the digital world, you can just scale it and there's no way that you can just scale a piece of paper. So this is what I'm doing with my background elements. Here I'm parenting my windmill and the buildings in my cityscape to the purple background layer that scales in, just so that those buildings are really a part of that background layer. I wasn't too happy with how these clouds are moving, so I just spend some time tweaking it, making it a little bit more right. Here I start animating the camera. As I start animating the camera, different things stand out to me or catch my eye. You can see that it's not a linear process. It's a fairly haphazard process of tweaking, seeing, playing, experimenting. I was trying to get the easing on the camera right, but something just wasn't going according to plan. It was really frustrating at this point, but I just carried on. I knew I'd have to fix it later. What I'm doing here is I'm animating the clouds in, but not all at the same time. It's a bit of a staggered approach to animating the clouds, and just so that it doesn't feel so clean, it's more natural. Here I was trying to animate to scale, but I didn't realize that the constrained proportions on the scale properties checkbox was unchecked. I loved how the bicycles looked with their wheels a bit further away from the frame. But at some point, the bicycle look really weird because of the rotation of the camera and you could see how far away the wheels were from the frame. It was a bit of a tricky situation, but I really liked that the depth of the bicycle frame and the wheels. What I've got here is pretty cool animation. Looks all right. Camera movements is not the best. Things are moving well, I like it. But, I haven't put any motion blur on it. If we go into After Effects and we select literally all of our layers and just check this Motion Blur, simulates shutter duration switch, and we go into our precompositions as well. If you just select all and put in Motion Blur, setting on, everything is going to look way better off after this. If you're going to post card again, and I got Composition, and where is this render thing? Add to Render Queue, hit "Render." This will take a little over while just because with Motion Blur, things take even longer. Okay, Woo hoo. The Render is done. You saw how long that took. I could actually get myself a cup of coffee. Let's have a look at the differences between those two. Also, the reason why it took so long is because it rendered at the highest quality. Let's have a look. You may not be able to see the difference, but I quite like it. I like the motion blur, I like the bit of realism that it gives. It's cool. Those are my two renders that I've done. I now know what I still need to do to tweak some things. The camera, for me, isn't feeling exactly right. I may have to work on some pods or do something else. There's that little jump that's gets me that. This jump, that one. Upload what you've done so far, I'd love to give you some feedback. Looking forward to what you guys have created. 11. And There Was Light: I've done a bunch of animation, I can tweak it later if I want, but now we're going to add lights. It's much like a camera layer, we go to Layer, New, and Light, and we have a bunch of light settings here. Let's go for a Spot to start off with. This is much like a light that you'll find at a stage production. Let's go for a white light Intensity 100, Cone Angle 90, Cone Feather 50 percent. These are a stock standard and I'll explain exactly what they do in the layer panel, just now. Falloff, let's keep that at None for now, Casts Shadows, yeah, we want the shadows to be cast, Shadow Darkness 50 percent, Shadow Diffusion zero pixels for now. Just like that, our scene, our composition has a bit of mood, there's lights. What does this mean? Well, if we go to our 2-views horizontal, we now have a bunch of things going on. You'll see that we've got a light layer, and it's much like the camera, except it's got this big like cone area around it. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to choose all of my layers, going to press "P" and P again, so that they all collapse, and Then I'm going to turn on my, Hide All Layers for which the shy thing is set, and then I'm going to select into the gray space here and select my light again. Now we have fewer layers to deal with, I'm going to lock my background layer because it's quite big and I often click on it by mistake, go back to my light layer, and let's see what this does. We have a couple of transform properties, much like a 2-node camera that we've been playing around with. We have the points of interest which we can play around with. We can move its X, Y, and Z values, we can then change its position. You'll see that as we move it backwards, everything gets a bit lighter. Let's move a little bit back and see that everything starts to shine. What we'll also see here though, is that some layers because of their rotation, start to become quite dark, like the D-A-M letters. This cloud, which will be probably quite dark because it's out of the range of the light. Our Orientation, X, Y and Z rotation. Let's see what these do. It's much like position, and this is because there is a point of interest. Y rotation, pretty much the same thing, and Z rotation almost doesn't do anything at all because it's a round light and we're turning it like a wheel, it doesn't do anything. Those are our light transform properties. Let's look at the light options now. We have intensity, if we turn this down, the light is not so strong. We can pump this up really bright, and then our layers get almost overexposed not so great there. I'd recommend going for a 100 percent or less. Now we can change the color of the light, we can make it a red light, and this changes the whole mood of our composition. We can also go for something in the middle, and this is quite cool. It's really fun to play with the colors of lights, and you can animate all of these properties, which makes it really fun. Let's go back to white for now, the Cone Angle, let's watch this angle change. This is much like, hey I want to focus on these element's on my stage or in my composition, or you could open up really wide and you see how this blurry cloud all of a sudden becomes lit up. That's at 180, that's as far as it goes, so we can go back to 90 or so. The cone feather, maybe let's make our cone angle a little bit smaller, and if we go for a zero percent Cone Feather, so you'll see that this Cone Feather, it just changes the feather of your light, pretty cool. Sometimes you want a really harsh feather, sometimes you want there to be a 100 percent feather, so play around there. If we increase our cone angle again, we can see more of our composition. Now what fall off is, well, it's best just to show you. Where did all our layers going? So what fall off does, it's almost like your focus distance. It's only going to light up objects within a certain distance and anything beyond that, those items are going to fade away. Imagine you're driving your car along a road at night and there's a deer on the road, so your spotlights are going to shine on their deer, but maybe there's going to be another animal like hippopotamus or a lion like further down the road, you wouldn't see those animals because it's dark and there's a Falloff. Let's play around with this, our Falloff distance if we increase this I'm trying to hold Shift Down, you'll see that we start to see a couple of different layers now. This is really fun to play with when you have a lot of different layers at different depths. The radius is the radius of the fall off of the light and there's no real great way to explain this except by playing with this value. Casts Shadows if we turn this off or on, we don't really see any changes. That's because our layers aren't accepting shadows or there may be aren't Casting Shadows. We'll change that just now, Shadow Darkness, well we don't have any shadows yet, so how can we change this, but it's pretty self-explanatory. Your shadows will have an Opacity, and your shadows will either very dark or not so dark. Let's change this to 50 percent, again your shadow diffusion is much like a spread in a drop shadow in Photoshop, it's a feather, it's a bit blurry around the edges. If you imagine a light being far away in real life. The shadows aren't going to be too sharp. They are going to be a little bit blurry. If you bring a light really close, your shadow's going to be crisp and clear. That's what shadow diffusion is, but we'll get into that in just a second. Let's go for our x's or our crosses. They should form some shadow on that red background. So x1, x2, x3, let's go towards Material Options, and you'll see that it says Casts Shadows off, let's turn that to on. Just like that, you see that is now a shadow on both the red background and the blue background. I'll get into the rest of the material options in another video, but you can see that if you don't want to accept shadows or accept lights, you can turn these. On and Off. Let's go to x2, Material Options, Casts Shadows, On, fantastic, x3 Material Options, Casts Shadows, On, and just like that, we have a bunch of shadows. You may notice how very slowly this is trying to render the preview. If you want to drag around really easily, you may want to put your draft 3D switch on and you'll see that. Where has the light gone? Well, it just means you can drag around a lot quicker. I'm going to turn this back On because we're working with the lights. That's how to operate a light. If you scroll back up, you can also change the position of the light, the X, the Y, and you can change this point of interest. You can shift the focus of the viewer's eye really easily with lights. Now, let us look at a couple of these other properties. Like Shadow Darkness, so if we change this to 10 percent, we all of a sudden don't have dark shadows, let's change this to full. You may experience a longer rendering time, especially when it's on a full quality preview. Shadow darkness, let's change this to a 100 percent. Yeah, that's really black. Now, if we change our shadow diffusion up to 95 pixels, you'll see that our shadows start to become a little more blurry. Let's see what this looks like, it looks like a terrible drop shadow. Yeah, that's what happens, if we change it to 500 pixels. That may look okay, but again it doesn't too real but play and experiment. See what your composition, see what your animation style is looking for. If I change this to 100, that may be more realistic and the shadow darkness to say 40. Yeah, that looks pretty good. That's our basic spotlight and we'll get on to adding more lights in the next video. 12. More Lights: What are the kind of lights are there? When you go to layer and new and you select lights, you can choose between parallel, spot point, and ambient. Also, you can change your light to one of those options under light options. Let's go to a parallel. What is a parallel light? It's like the sun. If we have to look at our horizontal view, we can see, if we just zoom in here there's a light. It's just it's almost like bulb but not quite a bulb. It's the sun. It's almost as if it's far away. It's probably one of my favorite lights. You get a really nice feel with these lights. But with it, there's a lack of different options. Say you only have a point of interest and position under your transform properties, which is still pretty cool. So it can move our x, we can move our y, and you may not see that much difference. But all of a sudden there's no coin. There's still the intensity, there's still color falloff, radius falloff distance. So let's change the falloff distance to something like that. That's pretty moody, I really like that. You can see how the layers closer to the light are really brightly lit and how the layers further away from the light are getting darker and darker. But with this parallel light, things look really nice. Casts shadows and shadow darkness. Turn it off, turn it on. You can see that the x's are casting some shadows. We haven't turned cast shadows on for all of our layers yet. Let's do that. We select all of our layers. We can't really select the composition layers that have the collapse transformations on. We'll have to select the layers inside of those compositions. Basically all of our layers. Remember there's a whole bunch of layers that are hidden at the moment. But what we can do now is we just go down to material options, cast shadows on. Let's put the rest of our layers on. Let's go select all material options, cast shadows on. Now, if we go into our buildings for example, so everything PP, just to collapse the properties. Let's go find our buildings or our bikes. If we double-click on bike, we select all of these. We can then change our material options, and we can say cast shadows on. Let's close the bike composition. Now we have our buildings. We can select all of these and go into our material options, cast shadows on. Let's close that. Crosses everything again. Let's go-to material options, cast shadows on. Close that. Dots and you see the same thing. Let's close that windmill. Let's do the same thing. Amsterdam-letters, again, clouds, same thing. I think we've done everything. We've done Amsterdam-letters, bike, buildings, clouds, crosses, dots, windmill, fantastic. Now you can see inside of our composition, things are looking pretty sweet. I mean the shadows being cast. You can see that even on the bicycle frame, there's a bit of a shadow from the bike wheel, there's shadows from the dots, from the x's, from absolutely everything. This is looking really cool. Let's go back to what we're doing with our light, and we're going to change from parallel to point, remember we've already done spot in the previous video. What is a point light? I will see that it takes quite a while to render even one frame, just because there's so many layers with so many shadows to calculate. With a point light it's almost like a bare light bulb just hanging in a room. It also makes our scene look really cool. Transform wise, we only have position now we can't direct it at anything. It just is. If we change the x position. You see what happens here it's like your light bulb just moved that way. Now again, you've got intensity, color falloff, radius falloff, distance, all of the same things. It's almost just like you're losing information when you choose a point light. Let's go command Z just to bring it back to the center, and let's try our ambient light. Now doesn't look like we have any lights at all. What an ambient light is, is almost just like a general light. If we go and see our horizontal view, where's our light? Where's it? Can you actually see it? It's not really a light, it's almost just like a mood. I don't find this one too interesting, but you can change the color. Let's go for greeny, bluish color, turquoise. Just like that your whole composition changes color. The intensity if we bring this down to 10 percent, things are not so liked anymore. But if we change this back to a point and it takes a while to render and we get our intensity up at a 100 percent and the color, let's change it to white again. We're back to where we were. Now we can add another lights. We don't have to just have one light. We can have as many lights as we like, sometimes our computer just can't handle that many lights. See what your computer can handle. But let's go layer, new, and light. What light do we want? Do we want a spot, a parallel? Let's just go for a spot for now. We'll start out right in the middle. Again, it's going to take a while to render so maybe you want to change this to a third. You see that this becomes even more interesting. You've got a lot of light and you've got this really cool point light setting. So we can change the light two's properties and if you want to rename it to something like spot light, you can do that pretty easily. So let's transform it. Let's go towards this side. Now you can start to animate your lights. You can start to have fun with where they're pointing, what lights they are. For me, and especially for this illustration style or motion graphic style, everything looks like paper. But until you add light there's not so much depth. So with shadows, it becomes lifelike. You're like, I can see that those're pieces of paper, those look like pieces of paper. Oh, my goodness. Something like this could even be a really cool illustration just by itself. If you wanted to do that, you could just save a frame. We could go to composition and save frame as and file. This will go to your render queue, pretty easy. Now if you wanted to add another light, we could do that too. So layer, new and light, and let's just go for an ambient light here. Now things are getting a little bit overexposed. You've got to remember with lights, that the more lights that you put onto a screen or onto a composition even in real life, the brighter things are going to go until it gets to white. Even if you put a red, blue, and green light together combined, they're going to produce white light. But this light too, we could rename it ambient. If I sport that correct it'll be great. Let's see what we can do with our ambient lights. We are going to change this to a blue light and that gives it a really nice mood. You can see that it doesn't just make everything blue. That's because there's other lights in the composition. That looks really cool. We can change the intensity to 50 percent, and it rarely just help to composition out. We just hide that and show it. You just see the slight blue tinge and this is really cool for just giving your scene or your composition and bit of mood. Those are the different types of lights. Have fun with them, play with them, add as many as you like. But be careful when it comes time to render sometimes having too many lights and too many shadows, it just takes a long time or sometimes your computer just goes, nop, sorry, won't do it. 13. Material Options: So let's talk about material options now. We've kept on just briefly touching on it or saying, "Hey, I'll do that later." So let's get into it. Let's do it. So for this lesson, I'm going to change my resolution to full. It may take a little bit of time to render. Let's just zoom in a little bit and it's going to be a little bit hard to do this in our composition just because there are so many white layers. I'm going to work with this red dot or maybe one of these birds as an example. If we try and click on this bird, you'll see that actually all of these dots get selected. So I'm going to lock the dots. If I try to click on the birds again, the clouds get selected so let's lock the clouds, let's lock the crosses, the buildings, the Amsterdam letters. Can we select our bird? There we go. Let's check out these material option properties. Pull this up a bit more. Casts shadows. We pretty much know what that is. You can turn it to Only you can turn it to Off, and if you turn it to Only, it should actually make the bird disappear and just cast the shadow. You can see the shadow, just on that little cloud over there or maybe that's from the dots. I'm not sure. But what happens is that just the shadow appears. I've never actually used that, but maybe you can think of a good example with that. Let's go for On. Now, light transmission, I'm going to actually create a new composition and show you what this does just now. Accept shadows, maybe some layers you don't want to have shadows. You can turn that off and on. Accept Lights. Again, you can turn that off and on if you want a layer to always be light, always be visible, you can just say, "Accept lights off." Now, let's get onto these options down here. So what does ambient do? Well, let's try test it out. If we just dropped this all the way down, it's going to take some time to render. So what did that do, undo, redo? Well, it looks like it just changed the brightness. So maybe there's a little bit more pink, that's a little bit more red. But what this value means is how bright and reflective this layer is when there is an ambient light in the room, or when there's an ambient light in the scene. Sometimes it doesn't make such a big difference, like when we make it a 100 or we make it zero. Maybe that's because our ambient light isn't such a big thing in our scene, so let's change that to a 100 percent. What diffuse is, is it's almost like ambient except it reacts to an omni-directional light. If we are to go up here and we get to go to a light 1, our point light is an omni-directional light. Remember, that's just a light in the room like a light bulb. It's omni-directional. It's going to be pointing here, there, everywhere. You can see that here, it's only got a position, it has no point of interest. That's what diffuse does and we can see that if we take that all the way down, it shouldn't be too bright. It should be a little bit dark. There we go. So that's what diffuse does and we can see the effects much more clearly because we actually have an omni-directional light in our scene. Let's go back to 50 percent. So specular intensity, let's just take this down to zero, is like diffuse, except it reacts to directional light. So a spotlight or a parallel light, which we have and all seen as well. So if we change this to a 100, it should make it quite bright too. There we go. You may just be like, "Well, this is just making things brighter and darker." Well, you can set these all down to zero and it may become quite dark. There we go. So you can have some fun with this and see how it relates or reflects different light. I'm going to just undo, undo, undo. So it gets back to that. What a specular shininess. Well, I find this to be quite a weird setting. So if we go down to zero, let's check what this does. It also has to relate to a directional lights zero, that kind of looks pink. If we had to go all the way to 100. Well, what does this do? It kind of gets darker. So specular shininess is almost like gloss level zero percent is like a matte surface, whereas a 100 percent is like very shiny or glassy surface. Let's just keep that at five percent. There we go. Now metal is pretty interesting. So if we decrease this to zero, what it should do is it should reflect the light that is put on it. Whereas a metal at a 100 percent reflects the layers color's. So you can see that it's almost getting towards being white and that's because of the lights shining on it. So if we had to change this back up to 100 percent. You can imagine that now the layers going, I'm red, so I'm going to reflect red light. If you bring it down to zero percent. The layers like, "I don't really care about myself. I'm just going to reflect whatever light is being put on me." Here we go. Now, let's talk about this light transmission property. It's kind of weird. It's almost like stained glass. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a new composition and just show you some examples. In a complex scene like this one, sometimes you don't see the effects that clearly, especially when there's a lot of wide layers. Let's create a new composition and let's call it light-transmission-ex. 1920, 1080, 30, background color is black. Okay, now let's zoom out a bit. I'm just going to go and layer new and I'm going to add a solid color. Yeah, let's actually make it white. We can change the scale to about there, I'm then going to add a circle. So layer, new, shape layer, and then I'm going to draw a circle. Just like that. I'm going to change the full color to red. I'm now going to add a light. So a new light. Let's just make it parallel light. Let's add a camera too, default camera. Now, shape layer 1, white solid. We can make these 3D, fantastic and you see there's a bit of lighting stuff happening there. Now, if we go to material options for both of these, we can say, casts shadows on, and then for my shape layer 1, which I'll rename as circle. We're going to change the position of this circle to be up here, and you'll see that, now you can see a shadow. If we go to 2 views, we can change our light position. So let's just bring it over there. So our circle now has a shadow on our white background and you can see what happens here really easily. If we go to light 1 and we go to light options, shadow darkness, if we change this to 80 percent, we can also change a few other things like fall off and fall of distance. But for now, that's fantastic. So let's chat about the light transmission and the material options in circle and let's change this to 100 percent. Whoa, just like that, our shadow became red. This is like, if we had a stained glass window and light had to be shining through it, the shadow of the window would be whatever the color of the layer is. Let's just select all shape here, change this to blue. You see the shadow becomes blue. Pretty cool, right? That's what light transmission does, and if we change the light transmission to a lower value, it becomes more dark, just like the shadow. Now if we have to change the shadow darkness, and let's go for light transmission to 100 percent. It's basically the same color as the layer and if we had to change our shadow darkness to under a 100 percent, it now becomes even lighter. Which is pretty interesting, right? All of a sudden our shadows on these dark things that could be light things, they could just be a bunch of lights. No, much like shining light through a window with color in it. That's what light transmission is. You can apply it in your scene, in your composition. Sometimes it's a bit hard to see, especially if our layer is in fact white, like that. Which is kind of weird, right? So if we change the light transmission down. Okay, there we go. We now just get a less dark shadow. That was material options. Some of them are like, well, why the heck would I ever use that? A lot of the time. It doesn't make such a big difference to your scene. Sometimes the effects are just subtle and sometimes you just need a play around, have some fun and experiment. See what they do, see what they don't do. But if you get things right and you spend a lot of time on it, wow, sometimes they can make an amazing difference to your composition. 14. Useful Camera Techniques: Super. So what's next? Well, I'm going to show you a couple of camera techniques, tips, tricks. Let's go and duplicate our postcard composition, and I'm going to rename it to postcard camera tips. Let's open this up. The reason why we're doing this is that on my camera layer, when I press "U", I can see all of my animated properties, and I'm just going to un-animate those properties. So my camera's going to be static while the rest of my animation passes it by. Fantastic. That means we can play around with our camera. The first thing that I'm going to show you is how to set the camera's points of interests towards any layer. So get it to be looking at that layer directly. Let's take this bird, for example. Hi, Mr. Birdie. So we go to the bird layer, and then press "P" to reveal its position. We add a keyframe here. You don't have to add a keyframe if the layer doesn't have any other keyframes, but this one does. So that's what we're going to do. We then cut that keyframe, and then we go to the cameras points of interest, and paste it. Just like that, those three values, x, y, and z point in space gets transferred to the point of interest, which is Mr. bird. So let's go to 2 views-Horizontal. We can see that our camera is looking directly at the bird. That means as we change the position of our camera, the bird is always the center of attention. Well done Mr. Bird. You have upgraded yourself in life. So the next thing is that, sure it's not the center of attention, but it still doesn't mean it's always going to be in focus. Problematic. One way we can go about fixing this is to select "Camera 1", and "Mr. Bird". Then you go to "Layer", and get on to "Camera", and say "Set focus distance to layer". I may have already shown you this, but the next few things are going to build on top of this. So "Set focus distance to layer". Now our bird is in-focus. Fantastic. But now, if we move our camera forward again, our bird is not going to be in focus. So we could go do that again, and we could keyframe this. Fantastic. But there may be a bit more effort than you're willing to dispose of. So what we can do is select Camera 1, select bird, and go to layer, Camera, and Link focus distance to layer. So what this does is it actually creates an expression for us. Now an expression is a bit of JavaScript that automatically calculates the value of property. This bit of code here, which I'm not going to explain, basically automates this value. That means that as we change the position of our camera, our bird stays in focus. We can just move this around a bit to get out of the way of the bicycle. There's the data in the way now. Move a little bit to this side. So Mr. Bird is in-focus. Well, everything has a drawback. So that means that as Mr. Bird's position changes, now he is no longer the center of attention, and if we had to move a bit forward, he's no longer sharp, and in focus, but that's where the camera is still pointing. So we can actually move our camera around, and you'll see that the focus length still stays at where the bird was. Just something to be aware of, if you have a layer that doesn't really move, great, you can actually just keep it there, keep it at the point of interest, and your focus distance will change as you move your camera about, and your focus points will always be in focus. So what's next? Let's take this expression off, if we just "alt" click this "Stopwatch", it will always appear no more fancy footwork. So if we were to change our camera, now the focus distance does not change. Now what I'm going to show you is how to correlate the focus distance, and the point of interest. So as my points of interest changes, let's change our points of interest. We can make it over there. I want whatever my points of interest is to always be in-focus. It's almost like what my camera looks at should be in focus. Well, check this out. All you have to do is well select the layer only go to "Layer" go to "Camera". We're going to say "Link focus distance two points of interest". Just like that, where your points of interest is, that's where your focal distance will be. So let us just change our point of interest. You'll see that our focus distance automatically updates. Pretty cool. That means that we can change our points of interest really quickly, really easily. I don't really have to worry about focusing our camera again. So just another tip, another trick. The next one is a weird one, but I'm going to show it to you anyway. What we can do here is, we can make the zoom correlate with our points of interest, and our focus distance. So we're going to write our own expression, which is a piece of JavaScript code that automatically determines the value of a property. So to write an expression, you just hold down " Alt" or "Option", and click the stopwatch. You see it goes red, and now you can write a bit of JavaScript, but we're going to cheat. That's great. We're going to use this pick whip, and you just drag it, and you can select any value that you want. So we're going to select focus distance. It looks pretty simple. We could have written that. Sure, but now you know how to use the pick whip. So now you just click out of that, and now your zoom is exactly the same as your focus distance. Your focus distance remember, is following the point of interest. You can see how everything is related now. If we have to go up here, and change our point of interest, you can now see that the zoom changes too, which is pretty interesting. Pretty cool. Now what happens if we had to take out this focus distance expression? Well, let's try it. So "Alt" click or "option" click on "Focus distance". Now the focus distance is what we set it to be, and now our zoom is set on our focus distance, which is no longer related to our points of interest. So let's just close transform. Now we're just dealing with zoom, and focus distance. So let's just change our focus distance, and so that changes our zoom. Pretty cool. Remember what it would look like if we didn't have that in place. "Alt" click on "Zoom" as we change our focus distance. So things just get blurry, and not so blurry. Let's undo, and now our zoom is connected to a focus distance once more. This is useful because it means that, instead of changing the position of the camera, we can just rely on the zoom to get closer towards the thing that we're focusing on. So those are a couple of things that will help you manage your camera. Some of them are a bit tricky, some of them are fantastic. It all depends on what kind of animation you want to do, and how you want to use your camera. So have fun with those. There's plenty more that you can find online, and I'll cover a bit more in forthcoming classes, and tutorials. 15. Rollercoaster Cameras and Auto orientation: What I'm going to show you now is two different types of cameras. What I'm going to do first is, I'm going to do a little bit of camera animations that you can see the differences between this camera and two others. Let's go and get two views and let's change the view on the left to a left view. I'm going to go from, let's say, five seconds and I have a bit of points of interest animations here, so let's just take that off. What I'm going to do here is, I'm going to animate the position of my camera. Let's move a bit back and going to use my camera tool as I see. Let's move it backwards. That looks pretty good. Maybe I can just take my lights off so that it renders a bit quicker. I've got a key frame here, and then perhaps at seven seconds I can zoom a little bit closer. There we are. How about that? Then in the middle, what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to move my camera up. Let's just move it up a bit and I don't want to do that actually because in the points of interest changes too, what I want to do is just make the y position go up. I get a different vantage point. I'm going to just trim my work area to here, and we could just press n. That's a keyboard shortcuts, and let's just play and see what this looks like. It starts far out, goes up while it's moving forward and comes back down. If we have to look it from the left, what's happening here is that our camera is moving from that position to that position z and y position and then it's going in again. This is a typical two-node camera. When we go to layer and camera settings, or perhaps when we go layer, new camera, I've always told you to go for a two-node camera type. Well, let's see what happens when we go for one-node camera. You'll see that we've lost our points of interest property. Now let's see what happens here. Let's play it. What's actually going on here? Well, I'm going to just scrub my timeline. You'll see that the camera is moving in the exact same way as the other camera. It's just that it doesn't have a points of interest, so it's not looking at anything. What we're going to do now to try and replicate that is to actually work with orientation. I'm going to animate my orientation and in the middle, I'm going to use my camera tool, so c, cc and I'm going to point this down. This maybe more replicated. It looks very similar. This is quite powerful it means that you can manually manage your camera. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. It really just depends on what I'm using my camera for, what kind of animation I'm trying to do. If we just scrub this, we can see that the camera is moving up and down and the orientation is being managed by us, rather than by the points of interest. I'm just going to go back here and take off this orientation. Now I'm going to show you the third type of camera. If you wanted to access a one-node camera or a two-node camera and not have to go to layer camera settings. You could right-click on camera and go to transform and then auto orient. Now that's exactly what a point of interest is, it's auto orienting your camera. Whereas a one-node camera is relying on you to orient it, to rotate it. Let's see the options here. At the moment we've got a one-node camera, which means Auto-orientation is off. We've got orient along a path which I'm going to show you now and we've got orient towards a point of interest. That's what we had with our two-node camera. Now let's see what happens when we go for orients along a path. Now I'm going to play my animation and you might just be like, what is going on. Well, let's scrub and see what's happening here. The camera is pointing up and then straight back down again. This is almost like a Rollercoaster. Imagine you are going at this rollercoaster, that's exactly what's happening. This is really cool. It means that you can play with this path and make it seem like the camera is moving really smoothly along a path or jaggedy, jaggedy. It's a really cool effect if you get it right. Well, we can do as well as we can't work with orientation here too. So here, instead of the orientation being all the way up there, its base is the path. If we have to change the orientation to look at this, with Auto-orientation turned off, our orientation values would be pretty similar to zero, but now we're actually having to compensate for the angle of the path. If we had to go to the middle here, perhaps we can now look at it like so and then I'll just copy this key frame and paste it at the end here. That's actually very different and you can see where the camera is looking, it's looking right down. Let's adjust our orientation again. When I'm adjusting my orientation, you could also equally be adjusting the x, y, and z rotation. Now let's have a look at this. It doesn't do too well in the beginning. It's actually going up, and because it's tweening or because it's animating the orientation of the camera, it's looking a bit weird. What we may have to do here, is we may have to use a whole key frame. Let's have a look at what happens here. Perhaps that isn't ideal for you, so have fun, experiments with this. I'm just going to delete this orientation and show you one more thing with this. You can see that, this path almost looks like a pen path, we'll check this out. You can use your pen tool and you can pretty much make it a base here. You can make this camera go along an arc instead in straight lines. This is applicable whether it's a two-node camera or a one-node camera, or a one-node camera animating along a path. Let's change our camera again to a one-node camera, or even a two-node camera, transform auto orient and let's go [inaudible] towards the points. Now looking back on it, I can see that it might be obvious what it is that I didn't see or couldn't see immediately while I was trying to get my camera in the right place again, but I'm going to leave it in and not edit this process out just to show you how I would debug the situation, try different things to try get my camera to be exactly where I wanted it to be. Seems like we're in the middle of nowhere, but perhaps it's because we're doing some funky stuff. If we go to our left view. Again, I'm not quite sure what this value is. This is where our point of interest is. It's not really pointing there, so perhaps our position needs to change a bit. Come in, come out. I do know why, it's because our orientation is off. If we change our orientation to zero zero zero, there we go, it gets back to a normal issue value. When we play this now, it keeps on looking at the specific point and you can see that this is also a fairly rarely [inaudible] , except it's maybe not so scary. There are the three different types of cameras that you can use. Experiment with them, have fun with them, and for different kinds of projects, you should use a different kind of camera. It's up to you to decide what you're most comfortable with and what the project really requires. 16. Multiple Camera Angles: In this lesson, we're going to cover multiple camera angles, which is not something that you typically see in After Effects, but let's cover it. It may be useful and it may cut out a bunch of procedures that you have to take in other editing programs or applications. Let's go into our postcard composition, we haven't been in yet too much, we've been working a lot in postcard camera tips, but now we're going to actually work with multiple cameras. We've got one camera at the moment, I'm just going to move it to the top of our layer panel and I'm going to add a new camera, let's go to Layer, New and Camera, and I've covered the One-Node Camera, so let's add One-Node Camera, Enable Depth of Field it to field, that's cool. Presets, lets go for an 80 millimeter camera. You can see here that this camera, will take preference over the camera beneath it, and that's just because it's the top camera. If you hide that camera layer, the camera layer beneath it will then go up, I'm back. Let's do an animation with Camera 2 and what we can do here is just animate our position, and we're going to be this really simply just to get the point across. From round about here, we'll use the first camera to animate them and then from this point will use the second camera. I'm going to start at, let's go along this way and perhaps just have a different angle of viewing our composition with. Let's move a little bit more along and then do some rotation again. From this point on wards, I am going to animate to six seconds, from three to six seconds and we're going to animates that and maybe a little bit like so and maybe a bit like so. I've been changing orientation, which is going to be a problem because I haven't been animating that. Let's go back to our first key-frame and change our annotation here again, things are pretty sensitive. From here to there, and let's just play this, see what it looks like, it's going to play rather slowly because of all of our lights. We just drag it and see how that works. Then it finally gets to over there. Fantastic. Maybe I just build a turn this draft 3D sitting on, and we can have a quick look at how it works. It's going to render a lot quicker with this draft 3d switch on, that looks pretty cool. I'm only using this one camera at the top, its Camera 2 now how do I access the other camera? Well, it's like layers, so as soon as one layer stops being visible, the layer beneath it is visible. Let's go to our key-frame over here and I'm going to press Alt and Right-bracket. That's going to draw my layer right to that key-frame and they're going to do the same for this key-frame here, Alt and Left-bracket. That means that from zero seconds up until three seconds, I'm using camera one and then bang. Camera 2, and then bang back to Camera 1. You can see this way, we can actually split up the camera angles really, really easily. The only problem is that it's a hard cut, if you'd like hard cuts, fantastic, it's really easy to work with. I'm going to show you how to do transitions when working with multiple camera angles now. What I'd like to do is create a new folder called multi-angles, and I'm going to put my postcard composition into a new composition, just like so, and stead of calling a postcard-2, I'm going to call it postcard-angle-1 and then I'm going to duplicate that, so postcard-angle1, postcard-angle-2. Then inside my postcard-angle-1, what I'd like to do is I'd like to turn it into a 3D layer and I'd like to collapse transformations. Now, this is all going to work exactly as planned, except our cameras aren't going to come through, which is a bit problematic. If we go back to postcard and we switch this draw 3D switch off and we go back to postcard-angle-1 will see that none of the lights have come through either. Again, a bit problematic, there's a few trade-offs to work in this way, but let me just continue. You can copy and paste the lights from your original postcard composition to postcard-angle-1 and postcard-angle-2 but that can get really messy. What I'd like to show you here is, well, if we now add a camera here, so Layer, New, Camera, let's just go for 35, Okay, and we just do some simple animation, from zero through to five seconds, we're using one camera and let's just do this straight along, like so, really simple. Then I'm just going to copy Camera-1 and I'm going to go into postcard-angle-2 an then go Command V, then I'm going to press "P" go to five seconds, and then just remove the position. Remember, I'm going to make this a 3D Layer and collapse transformations. From here, perhaps I can go, let's say from a position of all the way back here and to 10 seconds, what I'd like to do is maybe just move this down and do a bit of rotation, so I can get it from a different angle. What we're doing here is working with the orientation as well, so we haven't key-frame that, I always make that mistake. Let's just put in some key frames and then the orientation is just set this to zero, zero and zero. That'll just be a different perspective, you've got postcard angle to postcard-angle-1 and they've both got these different animations and maybe we can make them overlap just slightly. What I'd like to do now is add postcard-angle-1 and postcard-angle-2 to new composition. This is like composition inception and maybe getting a bit complex, let's go add it into here postcard-angles. The reason why I created this multi angles folder is that we could actually add all of these composition to multi angles, just that it makes it really easy to understand. Let's open up postcard-angles and let's drug in postcard-angle-2. Now we have angle one and angle two. What I'm not going to do here is I'm not going to change my 3D settings, they just going to be flat layers, 2D layers, I'm not going to collapse any transformations. You'll see here that, that's postcard-angle-1, and what we can do here is we can just change the Opacity, I'm going to go from a 100 percent through to zero percent and when I play this, this is just going to fade. That is the exact same composition, why is it going 3 percent? Zero percent. That is the exact same composition at different angles, obviously, the lights aren't in there and camera angles aren't in there, but we've got different camera angles and postcard-angle-1 and postcard-angle-2. What's really cool about this is that when you change your postcard composition, whether it's removing the x's, which we can do, so let's just remove them. In postcard-angle-1, the x's won't be there. In postcard-angle-2 the x won't be there, and in postcard angles, the x's won't be there, which is fantastic. It means that you can make a change in one composition and the rest of your compositions will then line up, they'll all change. The only thing that we could do to make this process a bit better is inside a postcard, we could just copy spotlights, Ambient Light and Light 1. Let's copy those, I'm going to postcard-angle-1, let's paste them. Let's go to postcard-angle-2, let's paste them. When we go to postcard-angles and we play these, everything works really well. What this means is that we can add different cameras and different lights inside of postcard-angle-1 and postcard-angle-2. This is really cool, it's powerful. Sometimes it may just be a little bit tricky to deal with the different lights and camera angles but it means that you can do all of your editing inside of After Effects. You could also use transitional effects, mosques or track mats instead of this fade an Opacity. Now, if this is a little bit confusing, maybe consider using this little composition mini flowchart, which goes, postcard-angle-1, postcard-angle-2 is in postcard angles. If we go through to postcard-angle-1 and we click on this mini flowchart, you can see what it contains. It contains a postcard and then postcard-angle-1 is then inside postcard-angles. Pretty easy. This little mini flowchart is fantastic if you're getting a little bit confused. Again, if you go through to postcard angles and you don't want to use as mini flowcharts, you can actually click on the big "Flowchart," which is this Composition Flowchart button. You can see what's inside it. You can see postcard angles has a layer called postcard-angle-1 and postcard-angle-2. If we don't show the layers, it'll just show us that inside postcard-angle-1, there are whole bunch of things which postcard actually contains. This can get really confusing, that's why I really like the mini Flowchart, so let's just hide that. Again let's just go and see our composition preview and remember to use the mini flowchart. That's multiple cameras, a few easy ways how to deal with that. If you don't like this way, go for it in Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cuts or whatever you use to do your video editing. 17. Make Better Stuff Faster: So what I'm going to show you in this video is how to make better stuff faster. So you've seen me dragging around the camera, and sometimes it's taking ages to just do a bit of rendering or to show the layers as the camera moves around. Well, there's a few ways to quicken the process. I've shown you a bunch of them during the class, but there's a few more that I'd like to show you as well as consolidate those few things that you have seen. So the first one, which is a biggie, is this one here, Draft 3D. It just takes away all of your depth of field, all of your lighting and it just makes it really quick to preview and to drag around your cameras if you have your Bokeh set, if you've got your depth of field set, if you've got your light set; fantastic thing to use. The next thing is, on each layer, you have this switch over here, which is your quality and sampling switch. So you can change this between this little straight line, this curved line, this jaggedy line, and the effects are really cool. So if I just zoom in here quite quickly and I change this from a third to full, you can see my x2. If I change this to a curved line, slightly less crisp, and if I change it to a jaggedy line, hey, that thing's pretty gnarly. Although with a straight line, maybe you don't notice it so much. So if you want to speed things up, you can change all of your layers to this quality. The other thing is this little button over here, which is your Fast Review. At the moment, it's off, it's set at the final quality. You could change it to Adaptive Resolution, which will change as you need it to. Sometimes you're like, "Why does my preview look so bad?" Well, that's because it's adapting as you need to. The next one is First Draft, and you can see almost everything looks like we just were using this jagged edges quality switch. So this is also really cool because it means that you can simply drag around your camera or move it around really quickly. You can see the effects pretty instantaneously, or you can drag from left to right on your timeline and you can see everything really quickly. So if you've got your layers sorted out and you're worried about animation, camera movements, things like that, then go for this Fast Draft. Then there's one more that you can use, and that is Wireframe. Everything just becomes wires. So you can scroll through your timeline and you can just see a bunch of squares. Sometimes it's actually really useful, other times, you just want to get an understanding of how your camera works. So this is quite useful. Now, you can check out some Preferences and Render Options if you want, but most of the time, you don't need to. So, off for now. We can switch this Draft 3D mode off. Now the other thing that's going to help you to speed up your preview times and even your render times is this button here, "Enables Motion Blur". So you'll see that all of our layers have these motion blur switches on, which increases the quality and makes things look more natural and looks really good. I suggest that you put them on. But when you're previewing, man, this takes a long time. So if you switch this on, you'll enable motion blur for all the layers. If you uncheck it, then motion blur actually won't come through. But when you render your composition, the motion blur will be on if it's on for each layer. The other thing that will speed up your process is if you've got this "Continually Rasterizes" switch on for your vector layers. Although the quality is better, if you turn that off, you'll slowly increase render times. Then remember our "Shy" switches. So if you're going to shy something, you can turn your "Shy" switch on and it will hide all the layers that had that hide switch. It just makes it easier to work with. Then again, remember your Solar switch, which will only show the layers which have Solar switch on. Another great thing is this one that I've already shown you and we use it quite a lot, and this is your render preview resolution. If you want to check that things are crystal-clear, I suggest you use Full and you don't have to scrub and preview your animations on this, but just to check frame by frame, I would suggest going for a full render every now and again. Otherwise, go for half, third, or quarter. Or if you need to customize it, you can make it even more basic. So that just makes it really basic. That's full, half, third, quarter, that would be an eighth, basically. So I found a third is pretty good most of the time. Then the other thing that we've covered a lot during this class is just this active camera, changing the camera angles, and then adding different views. So whether it's two views, or four views, or whatever view you really enjoy working with, use these to help you understand where your camera is, when your layers are, where your lights are, and oxygen composition from the top, from the left, from the right, it really helps. Sure, there's a whole bunch of lines and people think a you're flipping animating genius when they see all of these lines, different colors. It's okay. It feels pretty good when someone stands over your shoulder and has no idea what you're doing and you do. If you don't know what you're doing, it doesn't feel so good. So let's change this back to one view. Then the last thing that may help you a lot is if you had to go to After Effects and go to Preferences, and you go down to Memory, you can actually allocate After Effects more memory. So I've got 16 gigs of RAM, Woop-Woop for me. So what you can do is you can save RAM available for After Effects, and we can change this. So we can change the RAM reserved for other applications right up to 15, or you can change it right down to three. So that's what I like to do, it makes render times quicker. It helps with previewing your compositions. That's most of the tips and tricks that I can think of giving to you. If you want to do some research by yourself, go for it. I highly recommend researching After Effects, researching how to make things quicker, and understanding why some things are really quick to render, why something's taking for ages, and research what all of these buttons do. Try them out, figure things out. It's really fun and rewarding to know exactly what things do. A lot of the time you don't need it and you're like, "I don't understand why that's there", other times you're like, "Thank goodness, I found that it changes my life." So there we go. That's how to speed up your workflow and make better quality animation. 18. The Flickering Layers Issue: In this video, I'm going to show you some unfortunate things and you may have noticed it already. If I had to play my composition, you may see this flicker. It's really, really nasty. Maybe you've experienced it in some of your After Effects projects, or maybe you're experiencing it in this After Effects project and you're like, why are my layers flickering? The reason why this happens is that when you have a bunch of layers at the same z position and you have a light in your scene and the shadows conflict with each other, After Effects makes those layers flick out. This is something that Adobe is aware of, but they really haven't done anything over the last couple of years to fix it. It's unfortunate, but I'm going to show you two ways in which to rectify the situation. Let's just play this again and see what it looks like. You'll see that my Amsterdam letters are flickering, the x's are flickering, the buildings on the left are flickering, the blue background of the boat is flickering, man, it's really frustrating. The first option is to change the z position of nearby layers. This is what I'm going to do for my Amsterdam letters. Let's go into our Amsterdam letters precomp and we can just change this to one view. Remember that all of these layers are parented. I'm going to select all my layers, press p for position, and then I'm going to press t there while my mouse is over the timeline panel. Now I can change my positions. You'll see that all of the z positions are set to zero and all of these positions are relative to another layer. This is the base layer. Let's change m and s, which are relative to this layer. We can change this to an insignificant amount like 0, 01 and 0, 02. It doesn't even look like you've done anything but when you go to edit it again, you'll see that it's 0, 02. Then t, we're going to set this to 0, 1 and then the layers that are relevant to it, 0, 01 and 0, 02. Then d, we're going to set to 0, 3 and then the layers that are relevant to it, 0, 01 and 0, 02. Let's go back to our postcard composition and see if this has fixed anything. It looks like it has, but let's just play it. Our Amsterdam letters aren't flickering anymore. Fantastic. Okay, super cool. We can do this same technique with our crosses in the middle and our buildings on the left. I'm going to show you another option and this is especially useful in my case because I've got a bunch of layers that perhaps look like paper cutout layers. I'm going to change my boat and the background layer and you can see that that flicker is quite a lot too. Let's scroll down a bit. Let's just close this x1. Scroll down a bit. Let's close crosses-bg, and then we get to boats and postcard-bg2. Now what I'm going to do here is I'm going to select both of them and I'm going to precompose them. So right-click, scroll down and say precompose. We're going to call this bg-2-with-boat. I'm going to spell that correctly. There we go. Cool. Let's put it inside of precomps, I think. Let's put it inside of comps bg-2-with-boat. Let's move it into precomps and let's open it up. This is our two layers, they are precomposed and they're using a bit of parenting. The boat moves from left to right. Fantastic. What we're going to do here is we're going to take off the 3D layer properties and we're going to make After Effects see it as one layer. Before I do that, I'm just going to duplicate these. 'Command D,' let's move them to the top and then we can just rename them to orig, and then we can change the layers to 'None' just because they're not so important. Then we can hide them and we can use them a bit later. This is always helpful to do when you're making changes like this. Let's take off the 3D check boxes and we can see that it's still parented, our animation still works. Fantastic. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy postcard-bg-2 original, which is still a 3D layer, and I'm going to go back to my postcard composition, go to the beginning of the composition and just paste it. You'll see that it's pasted in just above on your composition that we've made. Now, what I want to do here is I want to double check that my bg-2-with-boat composition aligns up with the old background. Let's just check it out. It doesn't. One of the reasons why this won't is because it's not a 3D layer. Let's just make this a 3D layer. Now it looks like it's fairly similar. We're just going to compare it with the old background layer. You can see that things are slightly different and maybe this is because of the z position. The old one was set at 69. Let's go to our composition and also set that to 69. Now things look identical. Thank you very much postcard-bg-2 original. We just precompose two layers, made those two layers 2D, and then made the composition that contains those two layers, a 3D layer. Fantastic. You shouldn't forget to go down to the material options and put on cost shadows. Pretty important if you had shadows on before. Now, the only problem with this is when you zoom in. I'm just going to make a temporary keyframe with our camera. I'm going to press c for my camera tool and let's zoom in to our boat. Like so. You may see that it's a little bit blurry, problematic. But could it be depth of field? Well, let's check it out. I am going to scroll up to my camera and let's just go to some camera options and let's turn off the Depth of Field. That's off but our boat is still blurry. Well, the problem with this is that inside our bg-2-with-boat, we've got on these continuously rasterized switches. But inside our postcard composition, when we scroll down to our bg-2-with-boat, if we turn that continuously rasterized switch on, that layer then becomes a 2D layer because this switch is a combination between collapse transformations and continually rasterize. Because this is a composition layer, we're trying to collapse transformations. So this does not work. We cannot continuously rasterize these two layers inside the composition. So what do we do? Well, let's uncheck that and let's go back to our bg-2-with-boat. What we can do now is we can increase the scale of these two layers, maybe by 400, 500, a 1,000 percent, whatever it takes to give us crystal clear graphics. I'm going to press s and I'm going to change this to 400 percent. This is a pretty easy number to work with. So 400 percent, well it gets really big. If we zoom out a bit, you'll see that there's clipping or it's cropping, so let's go to our composition settings, and we're going to change the width to multiply it by 4, and we're going to change the height to multiply it by 4 too. If we zoom out again here, we can see that everything still works fairly good. Fantastic, except now it's four times bigger. When we go to our postcard competition, all of a sudden, our bg-2-with-boat composition is massive. What do we do? Well, we change the scale down now. Just press s, and we change this to a quarter or 25 percent, and we're back where we started. That means that when we press play from the beginning, you can see some of the weird glitches and flickers here too. You can see that, our boat layer what is happening? Where are you? What are you doing? Then the camera flicks out a bit. Let's just go into here and we can see that inside this layer we actually added a new keyframe so be careful of that. We actually want to scale this last value to 400 percent and we can delete this keyframe. You don't want to add another scale property. You want to scale all of your scale properties proportionately. Let's go back to postcard and let's play it again. How does this look? Well, it looks a little bit misaligned, which is maybe understandable considering what we did. If we just show our original postcard layer, we can see that things are misaligned. We're just going to do some manual alignment. You can either do this when you're creating your compositions or you can do it after you've created your compositions. Let's press p and let's change the x and y values. We can move this a little bit to the left. Okay, that looks good. Change this to go down a little bit. How does that look? I think it looks pretty good. If we just hide it, show it, hide it, maybe a little bit down still, down, a little bit up. Okay, that will do. We can then hide our original bg-2 layer again, and now it should look identical. Okay, fantastic. Now when we go to our temporary keyframes, it looks pretty clear. We basically tricked After Effects. We increased our composition's contents and the composition size, and then we scaled it down again. Now it looks fairly clear. So there we go. Those are two options you can use to counter After Effects flicker issues. If you've got some of those issues or you want to prevent those issues, then either set your layers at different z positions, even slightly different z positions, or you can precomp your layers and make sure that they're 2D layers inside of a precomposition. 19. Your Project: This is my final three animated postcard. I've done a bunch of tweaking, a few changes and I've taken off all of the flickering that was caused by the layers on top of each other. Now it's your turn. As I said in the beginning, it's always great to learn by doing so why not create your own animated 3D city postcard? To get started, just post an image of a doodle, a sketch of what your postcard may look like, then post your static postcard artwork before you start arranging and animating it in a 3D space. Then render it, render a final one and uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo, wherever. Then share the link with us. Pop that link inside your project gallery or embed the video. Also, if you want to post any videos or images of the process and progress along the way, it's really cool to experiment, to render different sorts of tests, whether they be good quality or poor quality, wireframe quality. Who knows? I'd love to see your progress and I'm super pumped to see what you guys come up with. I've had a lot of fun making this class. I'm really looking forward to your creations. 20. Conclusion: We've covered a lot and I can appreciate that, it's a lot to take in. What I recommend doing is watching some of the videos again, testing things out, experimenting, doing a whole bunch of animating, render videos, see what you like, see what you don't like. I would love to see you posting your final city animations inside your project Gallery and on social media. So mention me @tapstapkaboom, and I will gladly give you some social media love and some feedback. Thanks for taking the class. You students are amazing. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned a lot. Follow me on social media and you can also check out my website. It's I have a bunch of classes, experiments, and other good stuff on there. Also, leave a review of this class so that other people can find it and benefit from it and share with your friends if they may be into animating and aftereffects. That's it from me now. Keep on rocking, keep on learning, and keep on making amazing work. I'll see you guys soon. Bye. 21. Bonus! Layer-art in After Effects: This is a bonus video and a lot of you may have taken my class called illusions of depth, where I show you how to make layer right inside of illustrator. And now this is really cool because you get to work with shadows and depth and it really looks like there's a hole here. But if we take this into After Effects, we can start to animate it. We can put in some real shadows and get some real perspective. Well, it's already an illusion, but we can really have fun with it in After Effects. Inside of Illustrator, I'm just going to select all of my layers except for layer six, and I'm going to go to my appearance panel, take off the drop shadow. That looks pretty good. I'm then going to save it and then go into aftereffects and import it. It's ice-lake-2. Yeah, composition and I want it to be less ice. Now let's open up ice lake two and we can change it to one view for now. I'm going to select all of my layers, make them 3-D layers, and make them continually since they are vector, fantastic. Now let's add a camera, new camera, and I'll go for two Node camera preset 28 nodes. That's great. Now for each layer I'm going to gradually move it towards the camera. Layer five, its position should be negative 100, and layer one's position should be even closer to the camera. Let's go, negative 100, negative 200, negative 300, negative 400, negative 500. Okay. Now if we zoom out a bit with our camera, I'm just using my camera tool to zoom out a bit. That looks pretty cool, and if we just do some rotation, wow, that looks really, really cool. I like it. We can animate that. We can use parenting to set those layers up if we want. We can put that into a pre-composition. But for now we can just animate around this composition with our camera. Now, let's add some lights. Layer, New, Light. I want to add a parallel light, but there is a problem with this, and I'll show you what. We add our parallel light and we just select all of our layers. Press "P" so that we don't see the position. Drill down to material options, and we're going to say car shadows on. Just like that we have some real shadows. Now when we move around with our camera, the shadows look like they're changing. Looks pretty cool, right? You can get some really cool effects with this. You're changing your artwork instantaneously. You can export a frame really easily, and just like that, you have a new piece of layer art. But our shadows are really harsh. I want to give them some diffusion and blur. Let's go for it. Let's change this with our light settings, and when you get to light options, you'll see that a parallel light doesn't have shadowed diffusion. That sucks. Let's change this to a point light, and let's wait until it renders. Whoa, what just happened? Well, check this out. If we go to two views over here, we'll see that the actual light is behind one of the layers. Let's just bring it out a bit to about here. Yeah, how does that look? Bringing lots of put further, maybe even behind our camera. Okay, check that out. If we change the slides position, I'm just going to press "V", x position. There we go. We can start to change the shadows, and then if we scroll down, we can change the shadow diffusion. Let's try 50. See what that does or doesn't do too much. Let's go 500. Well, that looks pretty cool. Maybe 300. Okay, so just like that, we have this glorious paper cut-out. Look, it's animatable. We can move the lights, we can move the camera. Hey, we can even move the layers. I'm going to stop there. I'm gonna let you have some fun with that. I may make another class just undoing layer art inside of aftereffects, but you go wild with it for now. Have fun. 22. Bonus! Make a cube: Another bonus video, a lot of people are like, I just want to make a real 3D object. Well, you can check out how to integrate Cinema 4D and other 3D stuff into aftereffects or you could just learn how to make a cube. A lots of clients may want you to make a cube, let me just show you how to do this really quickly. We're going to create a new composition, any width and heights and dimensions, duration will do, Comp 1, fantastic. Let's create a new layer, it's going to be a Shape Layer, we can go for one view for now and I'm just going to create a square. I'm going to hold down shift, so it's going to be a perfect square inside of rectangle, one rectangle path, I'm going to change this to 400 by 400. It's much easier if they're raw numbers, and then transform rectangle, I'm going to go for positions 0, and 0, so it's right in the middle. I've got shape layer 1, I'm going to make this into a 3D object, and now I'm going to duplicate this. Maybe I'm just going to rename this as face 1, I'm going to duplicate this, so this is face 2, I'm going to change the color to red. Now what I can do is rotation. Remember, this is y rotation. It's almost like we are turning on neck, so I'm going to go for 90 degrees and then my position, I'm going to put it backwards or to the left by 200 pixels. Minus 200 pixels, there we go to the left. Now, if I have to change my view, let's go for four views here. You'll see that on the one side I can see red, and that's on the right-hand side, and on the top I can see that. The white guy's still in the middle and the red guy is on the side. Let's go and duplicate face 2 to face 3, and it's change the four color to green. Now this one's already rotated, so I'm going to change that position, and I'm going to change this x position to plus 400. This going to go onto that side. Now the problem child is this white one. Let's go back to face one, press p and its y position or maybe even at z position actually. Z position can be 200, just like that, and we almost have a square. Face 1, duplicate this to face 4, I'm going to change the color to blue and then press p and then change its position to negative 200. Now we have four faces of the square. What I'd like to do now is I'd like to add the top and the bottom. We can almost do this one with any one of the layers. I'm going to go for face three, duplicate this, and this one can be a lightest yellow color. I'm going to press R for rotation, I'm going to make sure that it's y rotation is 0, doesn't really matter, and then I'm going to change its x rotation to 90 degrees. Then I'm going to change its position, and again, I'm going to change its x position yeah that's right, to negative 200. There we go, so that's what it is on top, and you may be wondering, well, how does this actually look? We can't see everything, whereas face 5 then needs to go down in y position, so let's go and add it to the bottom. That's face 5, that's at the bottom and it's duplicate it face 6. Let's change the color to pink, and we're going to change its y position, to whatever it is minus 400. Now if we change back to one view and we add a camera, any kind of camera will do. I'm going to use my camera tool here just to zoom out a bit, and then I'm going to rotate. You'll see I have a cube, pretty cool. Just using a bunch of flat 2D planes, I can actually create a 3D object. Now, sometimes you'll be able to see gaps in between these layers, so what I recommend doing is selecting all of your layers, going to toggle switches and modes and where it says mode here, I would go to alpha add. Then with that, all of a sudden your gaps in between your planes won't be visible anymore. That my friends is how to make a cube in 3D and aftereffects whoop.