Animating With Precomps: Intro To After Effects (Part 4) | Morgan Williams | Skillshare

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Animating With Precomps: Intro To After Effects (Part 4)

teacher avatar Morgan Williams, Animator / Educator

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Review Project


    • 3.

      Precomp Basics


    • 4.

      Starfield Background


    • 5.

      Junk Background Precomp


    • 6.

      Adding Precomp to Main Comp


    • 7.

      Importing Layered Photoshop Files


    • 8.

      Adding Rocket Precomp to Main Comp


    • 9.

      Starting Engine Glow


    • 10.

      Expression Basics


    • 11.

      Precomping Existing Layers


    • 12.

      Finishing Engine Glow


    • 13.

      Animating Rocket


    • 14.

      Importing Layered Illustrator Files


    • 15.

      Animating Letters with Wiggle Expression


    • 16.

      Adding & Animating Type Precomp


    • 17.

      Animating Mask on Type


    • 18.

      Adding Fades & Audio


    • 19.

      Review Render Settings


    • 20.

      Finishing Up


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About This Class

Have you wanted to try creating animation or motion design in Adobe After Effects but been put off by it’s complexity?  Have you tried After Effects but not sure you’re really “getting it”? Then this series of classes is for you!

Intro To After Effects Part 4 is the final part of a four part series to introduce Adobe After Effects to aspiring animators and motion designers with little or no experience with the software.  If you haven’t yet taken Intro To After Effects Parts 1 through 3, you’ll want to make sure and start with those classes first as we’ll be building on those lessons here in part 4.

Perfect for Graphic Designers or Illustrators with an interest in animation or motion design, this series is a comprehensive survey of After Effects fundamentals that will give you a real understanding of the software and allow you to begin creating your own unique work with confidence.

Taught by Morgan Williams, an animator with over 25 years of professional experience and almost 10 years of experience as an animation instructor, this class is packed with professional techniques and practices to make your workflow smart and efficient..

But you won’t just be learning about software; throughout the series, software techniques will be connected to the principles of animation and other “bigger ideas” behind successful animation and motion design work, giving you a strong foundation both technically and creatively.

In Intro To After Effects Part 4, we will learn about...

  • Working with precomps
    • What are precomps?
    • Why do we need precomps?
    • Three ways to create precomps
      • Importing layered Ai or Ps files
      • Making custom comps or precomps
      • Precomping layers
  • Expression basics
    • LoopOut expression
    • Wiggle expression
  • Animating masks

Students will need access to Adobe After Effects, Photoshop & Illustrator CC2018 (v15) or higher.  After Effects CC2018 (v15) is recommended as CC2019 (v16) still has some issues at this time.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Morgan Williams

Animator / Educator


Hi, I'm Morgan!

I'm a professional animator and a faculty member at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

I've been an animator and animation director for over 25 years, creating animation and motion design for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston. Since 2011, I have been a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design. In 2015 I began creating online courses as an instructor for School of Motion, and now I'm thrilled to bring my animation classes to the Skillshare community!

I am based in beautiful Sarasota Florida where I live with my lovely wife... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Welcome to Intro. The after effects part for this is the last part of a four part series to introduce Adobe after effects to aspiring animators and motion designers with little to no experience with the software. My name is Morgan Williams, and I've been a professional animator and motion designer for over 1/4 century, and I've been teaching animation and motion design for almost a decade. If you haven't yet taken Parts 12 and three of this series, I strongly recommend that you stop now and go back through those classes before you start part for. Each class is designed to build on the lessons from the previous classes, so make sure that you take them in order. This comprehensive survey of the fundamentals of after effects is perfect for graphic designers or illustrators who have either never tried the software or may have tried it, but benefit, intimidated by its complexity here in Part, four of the series will continue with our space theme from the last class and create this title frame for an imaginary Children's program called Space Junk. As we build our title frame, we'll be focusing on pre comping, a very important and powerful part of the after effects. Workflow, which will include utilizing layered Photoshop and illustrator files within after effects, will also look at working with some very basic expressions and touch on some new effects. As always, I'll be sharing lots of professional techniques and tips along the way, so let's launch after effects and get started. 2. Review Project: so make sure that you've downloaded, unzip and opened the after effects project file that we've included for this class. And let's remember to start by doing an increment and saves, we're gonna go up under file increment and save to save a copy with a higher version number in case we run into trouble and want to start over. Also note that we've already set some color settings here, So if you go under file project settings and we go to color settings, note that were set for 16 bits per channel and a working space of S RGB. We also have our composition window set for fast draft. As I've done for previous classes, I've included a library for this class. You don't have to use it, but if you want to, you can go to libraries import library, click on that and then choose under location. Select library. Navigate into the footage folder of the Project folder we've included, and you'll find the class library file right there. You can click on it and click open, and that will open the library in your library window. But again, you can choose whatever colors you want, so you don't have to load the library unless you would like to keep in mind that I'm recording this class on a Mac. So if you're working on a PC, when I use the command key, you're gonna want to use the control key. And when I use the option key, you're going to use the altar key. But other than that, most other key commands will remain the same. So let's take a look at a finished version of the project we're gonna create for this class . We're imagining that we're creating a title frame for a kind of goofy Nickelodeon Disney Channel type kids show called Space Junk. So let's take a look at what we've got. Okay, so we've got kind of a whimsical, collage style animation with this kind of goofy space junk rocket flying through space with a bunch of other space junk and revealing our type at the end. Throughout this class, we're gonna be focusing on working with pre compass. So on our next lesson, let's just talk a little bit about what pre comes our before we dive in and start putting together our title 3. Precomp Basics: So what is a pre cop? Well, we've already been working with compositions throughout these classes. As you know, a composition is where you add your layers and create your animation. You also know that you can have more than one composition within a project. Now, when we talk about a pre calm, all we're talking about is a composition accomp. There is nothing fundamentally or technically different between a comp and a pre comp. What makes a compa pre compass Simply how it is used a very powerful aspect of the after effects workflow is that you can nest compositions within other compositions. This nesting of one comp within another camp is where we get the term pre comp, a composition that is nested inside. Another composition is known as a pre top. So let's take a quick look at how pre comes are used in this project. You'll notice in our layer stack here that there are these little symbols they look kind of like little movie clips. Those little symbols tell us that these are pre comes, or rather, that they are compositions that have been added to this main composition, making them pre camps up in our project window here, you'll see our main comp space junk finished, and then I've created a folder for the pre compass that live inside this finished composition. But as I said, from a technical standpoint, there's no difference between these calms and this comp. All five of these are just after effects compositions. Some of them are of different sizes because you can make any comp any size that you want. But what makes thes pre comes is that we're using them as nested elements within our main comp. So let's take a look at some of these down at the bottom. Here we have the space junk pre comp by Solo that you'll see that it is just the junk kind of floating in space here. And if I double click on this pre comp here, let's double click on it. It opens the pre comp Let's zoom out a little, hit that comic, eat a zoom out and you can see that we have a wider than normal composition. Notice that the background is just transparent and we have our space junk elements floating in here and here are space junk elements, and they are animated inside this composition. So this is just an after vex composition. It's a little wider than our standard H D 1920 by 10 80 size. And it's got layers just like any composition and those layers air animated, just like in any composition. But then we've placed that composition inside our main composition here, and we've added some tint effects to it, and we've added some animation to the pre comp. So here's one of the first big ideas when we nest accomp within another calm. It just comes in as Justin ordinary layer just like any layer. And it has the five transforms just like any layer, and you can add effects to it, or layer styles or anything that you can do with any other layer. But it also contains the animation. There's the junk elements rotating just like they were rotating within the pre comp, and now we're panning this long pre comp across the screen to get the sense of flying through this space junk. So within the pre comp, these guys are just rotating in the main comp. We take that pre comp and pan it across the screen to create that fly by Look and add the effects and so on. So this is partly why pre comping opens up so many creative possibilities. Because you can have a pre comp of any size, any duration with any number of layers, with much animation on those layers as you want. And then you can drop that composition into another composition, where it becomes a single layer where you can add yet more animation effects layer styles. What have you? It's also very, very efficient. Besides opening a lot of creative possibilities, it also makes a lot of complex animations much more simple. As you'll see throughout this class. Now, a significant thing to understand about pre camps is that this composition here is existing live within this composition here. It's not a copy of this comp. It is literally this comp living within this cop, so anything we do within this comp automatically updates within this main comp, so I'll show you what I mean. So let's go into this junk pre comp here, and I'm gonna grab just the rectangle tool and let's just draw big dumb rectangle in the middle of this. If I go back now to our main comp boom, there's the rectangle now. It's tinted purple because of the tint effect we have on here. But it's there. OK, so anything that we do in here and if I take that rectangle and I rotate it, it's now rotated here. So anything I do within this comp automatically updates in the main comp because this actually is this comp living inside of this camp here. Now I have renamed it here. Remember, this is our layer name. There's our source name, but it is the same entity living in this main comp. Let's go ahead and delete that shape layer. So what that means is, if I decide to make any changes, add more Juncker. Change the animation of this junk. Aiken do that at any time, and that change will be reflected in our main competent idiot Lee. Now are type. Here is also a pre comp. If I double click on that, you can see our type here. If I click on our toggle, transparency will see once again. It's just the type over transparency, and our rocket is also a pre Kump. Now you'll note that I've already got these open as tabs, so I could just have through them. If you ever don't have a pre comp open in the tabs, you can just double click on the pre comp in the main comp. So so if I double click, that will automatically open the pre comp in your in your tabs in your timeline. So here again, in our rocket comp, we have all these different layers for all the different parts of the rocket, all animated in different ways. But in this comp, it's just sitting here just being animated. And then we drop that comp into our main comp and then add the animation of it flying across the screen. We've also added this little engine kind of energy glow, which is also a pre comp will look it creating that later in the class. So our rocket, the rockets engine glow, the type and the space junk flying in the background, all created with pre comes. So let's go ahead and start recreating this title frame. And in the process, I think you'll come to see how important and powerful pre comping really is. 4. Starfield Background: So let's start by creating a new composition to build our title frame in. So we're gonna hit command en for a new composition, and we're gonna call this new composition space junk and note that I've got some crazy settings here in my composition settings because I was making some different pre camps earlier. So let's begin by changing our preset from custom to the preset we've been using for all these classes for our main compositions, the HD TV 10 80 24. So go ahead and click that, and I've already got my duration. Said it six seconds. If you do not make sure and change your duration to six seconds and let's keep the background color black. If it's anything other than black, go ahead and click on that and change that to black. Once you've got all those settings set, let's click. OK, whoops. No, you'll notice that my new composition ended up in the pre comes folder. That's because I had one of these other pre comp selected This is again one of those issues of after effects, trying to be helpful and maybe, in this case, not being quite so helpful, but because we have one of these pre cum selected When we made a new competence, assumed we wanted that comp toe live in the same folder as the selected comp. A reasonable assumption on after effects His part, but not exactly what we want. So let's drag this composition out of that folder. And this may not have happened to you depending on what was happening in your project. But I'm gonna drag that out and drop that into the main project window space. So our main coms are not buried in folders. Our main calms our outside of the folders. Now again, how you organize your project is up to you. This is the way I usually like to do it. I keep the pre camps and a folder. I keep the main or render com's out in the main project window area. Now that we have our complex, go ahead and add our background. So we're gonna tab open the images folder here. You can see we have these stars Background J Peg. We're going to click and drag that straight down and drop that into our composition of this background is quite large, so let's scale it down I'm gonna bring it down to 35%. And then let's just add a very simple panning animation just so our stars air moving a little bit to give us a sense of motion as we're flying through space. So I'm gonna hit the peaky for position, and I'm gonna click and drag on the X value to bring it near the edge here on this side. And then let's hit the stopwatch to create a key frame there. And then I'm gonna go to the end of the composition and I'm just gonna drag this across until once again the edge is right by the edge of our frame here. And because this is just a continual float or drift on the background, we don't want any eases on here. So we just have this simple panning star field background. Okay, in the next lesson, let's create our first pre comp toe. Add our space junk floating through space 5. Junk Background Precomp: so the first way we're gonna look at to create a pre comp is to just use the same process we use to create our main comp. Just create a new comp. So remember again, I can go up under composition new composition. Or I can simply use the command key command end to create a new composition. And let's call this composition junk pre comp to I'm calling it junk pre comp to because we already have a junk pre Camp one. It's very important that you don't have more than one composition or more than one imported file that has the same name in after effects project. If you have two items with the same name in a project after effects can potentially get confused about which item is which. You could have a crash or corrupted project or problems with the Orender, so make sure you give everything that you import into after effects a unique name, and when you're making compositions, make sure that all your compositions have unique names as well. Now we started with the HD TV 10 80 preset, but we need this pre comp to be long so we can pan it across our scene, so your composition settings window probably has this checked by default lock aspect ratio to 16 9 So what we're gonna want to do is uncheck that, so make sure you uncheck lock aspect ratio to 16 9 Uncheck that and then let's go to the width value of our comp and let's click and type in 3000. That'll give us just a little more than 1000 extra pixels in width so we can pan this across our main camp. We want to make sure that we have six second duration. If you don't have that, make sure you put in six seconds in the duration and let's keep the background color at black. If you have anything other than black, probably just change that to black. Keep that at the default. Let's go ahead and click OK to create that new composition, I'm gonna hit the comic heat a zoom back so we can see there's are nice, big, long panning pre comp. I'm gonna toggle the transparency grid on just so we are reminded that were working in a transparent space. So on Lee, the space junk elements will be visible when we drop this into our main comp. If you don't like the transparency grid, some people seem to really not like it. Go ahead and toggle that off and leave it black. Okay, whatever you are comfortable with, well, it's also in our project window. Let's stay organized here and let's drag our new pre comp into the pre comes folder. Just so we're staying nice and organized. Okay, so let's go ahead and add our space junk elements, arrange them and animate them. So in our images folder here, you can see we have some Photoshopped files. Those are little space junk elements, so let's bring them all in at once. So let's start by selecting the paper PSD at the top. Then let's hold down the command key and will select the tape deck, the tire, the traffic cone and the wrench. So those are all selected and let's click and drag those straight down into our timeline and drop them into our scene. Now you'll notice that all of these have been cut out so they'll have Alfa Channel or transparency around the objects. These photographs were simply edited in photo shop. The backgrounds were selected and deleted And so when they are imported into after effects after effects sees that transparency. And we get these nice individual cut out objects to arrange an animate. So let's do these one by one using our solo buttons. So let's start with the paper. I'm gonna hit the solo button for the paper. So we're just looking at that paper layer and let's start by scaling this down. These are all huge, and we want this paper to be quite small. So let's hit the S key for scale. And let's scale this down to 5%. So it's just a little crumpled wad of paper and we're gonna move this kind of towards the middle bottom area of the frame. We're gonna want to keep the middle of the frame fairly clear for a rocket in our type. And let's animate this rotating. So I'm gonna once again select the paper layer hit the R key on frame zero. Here, let's hit the stopwatch. To start our animation, I'm gonna hit the k key to jump to the end of our composition. And because this is a small object, let's rotate it quite a bit. Gonna take this around do around 100 and 60 degrees, Something like that. And so now our little paper layer is just sitting there rotating. All right, Next, let's solo on our tape deck did the s key. Let's scale this down roughly in proportion to our little water paper. So I'm gonna bring it down to about 15%. And let's move that down to kind of the bottom corner here, and we're also gonna animate this rotating. But let's first change that anchor point. I'm gonna grab the pan behind Tool. We want to put the anchor point in the middle of the tape deck because we want these objects to rotate around their center of gravity and appear is not the center of gravity for the state decades here in the middle of the main part of the tape deck. So let's hit the R key on. Let's start this a little bit. Rotated around 60 degrees or so, hit the stopwatch there at the beginning, hit the K key to jump to the end, and let's have this rotate in the opposite direction of our paper layer. Here will kind of mix these all up, so they're all rotating a little bit differently, and we'll pull this backwards to around minus 40 degrees. Okay, let's turn on the tire layer. Let's scale the tire down. I'm gonna go down to about 45% and let's grab our selection tool again. Here's a handy key command you can use for that. If you hit the wiki, you'll automatically toggle to the regular selection tool. And I'm gonna click and drag that down to sort of the bottom, and I'm gonna kind of let it bleed off the screen a little. So we have a little sense of an open composition that the space junk is spreading out in all directions. Then let's hit the R key. Let's start this a little less rotated here somewhere in the 15 degree range. Here, I'm gonna hit the stopwatch. Jump forward with the K Key will have this rotate opposite the tape decks that will have this rotate forward to around 100 degrees. Let's J back turn on our traffic code. Let's scale the traffic cone down to about 30%. Once again, we're trying to keep these kind of roughly and scale with each other, but not trying to be too perfect, so there's a little sense of some of them being closer or farther away. And let's change that anchor point as well. Let's move that anchor point down to kind of the bottom of the traffic cone. That's gonna be the center of gravity for that traffic cone when he hit the Wiki to go back to my regular selection tool. And let's move this up towards the top kind of roughly in between our paper and our tape deck. And then let's rotate this so because the top part of the traffic cone is a little more interesting with this little stripe, I'm gonna rotate this back quite a bit to about minus 200 degrees, will click our stopwatch to start our animation, put K to go to the end and will rotate this backwards to about 100 degrees. Let's move this up a little bit, so it's a little out of frame to and then last. Let's turn on the wrench Now. At this point, we basically got solos on everything except the wrench, so now it's time to lose the solo buttons. Let's unclip call those solos. Just turn all the layers on and there's our wrench layer. Let's scale the wrench down to 15%. So it's pretty small. And let's move that again up towards the top, roughly in between the tire and the crumpled papers, we get sort of a zigzag kind of shape. And looking at this, we're probably cramping in the middle here a little too much. So I'm gonna move the tire and the boombox out just a little bit. Hey, spread these all out from the middle of just a little And then finally, let's add some animation to the wrench, so I'm gonna start it Kind of pitched forward around 30 degrees, hit the rotation stopwatch K forward and let's rotate this backwards quite a bit to around negative 60 degrees. And now we have all of our space jump, just sort of floating and drifting, rotating. Remember again will be adding the panning movement with the pre comp within our main camp that tires kind of riding on the bottom a little. I'm gonna move it down just a little bit more. There we go. Okay. Now that we've got our first pre comp created in the next lesson, let's look at adding it to our main comp 6. Adding Precomp to Main Comp: All right, let's go back to our main composition here, the space junk comp. And now we want to add our new junk pre comp to our main comp. So we do that just like we would add any other element we're gonna click on the pre calm junk pre comp to click and drag straight down will drop it on top of the stars background. If I zoom out here, you can see that we've got the whole wide pre comp here living within this smaller pre comp , which will give us the opportunity to pan it across. But before we do that, let's go ahead and 10th ease so they don't stand out so much. We want these to be kind of background elements, and we want to remember that good rule of thumb that graphic designers illustrators are all probably familiar with that low contrast moves back and high contrast moves forward. So by tinting these to these kind of darker purple tones, we have in our background that lower the contrast of these elements and they'll sit back visually so we can focus on our rocket on our type. So with our pre compere selected, I'm gonna go up two effects and presets and I'm gonna type in a tent. There's our tent effect, and I'm gonna just double click on that to add tinting to this layer. And here right away is one of the nice things about pre comping. If we were to tent these as individual layers, we would have to add five different tint effects to the five different layers. But because thes layers have been combined into the pre comp and we can now treat the pre compass a single layer weaken, just add one tent effect that will affect all of these elements. Just one of the handy things about working with pre comes. Okay, I'm gonna click my library tab because I'm gonna use thes tint colors here and in the map Black too. I'm gonna use this dark purple. You can, of course, use whatever colors you like. And the white here I'm gonna use this lighter purple. And now that really sets those elements back into our background makes the much less prominent in the scene. Okay, let's animate our junk floating across our screen, so I'm gonna select that layer, hit the peaky. So let's start by clicking and dragging on the X value here. And let's slide this whole big long com forward until we can see that tire really well and then will hit the stopwatch to start that position. Animation. Then let's hit the K key to go to the end of the calm. I'm going to slide this back until we can see that tape deck just coming into frame on the other side. All right, cool. Now we have our space junk flying and tumbling through the scene. So the other thing that pre comping made easy here was that with just two position key frames, we moved all of these objects kind of similar to if we had parented them all together. But we were also able to tempt them all as a single layer, which we couldn't have done if they were just separate layers parented but also within the pre comp. They're able to have their own rotation animation, because we're able to make the pre comp long were able to get this fun panning movement, and the ability makes sort of custom Size pre comes for. Whatever your needs are is one of the things that makes pre comping. So useful. All right, In the next lesson, we're gonna look at another way to create a pre comp by importing a layered Photoshopped file. 7. Importing Layered Photoshop Files: now, one of the great things about after effects is how well it integrates with photo shop. It integrates with illustrator as well, but it works a little better with photo shop. And one of the really handy integrations between photo shop and after effects is Theobald City to import a layered Photoshopped file as a composition in after effects. So inside the Footage folder that came with the Project folder we've included for this class, you'll see an Images folder nested within that. And inside that Images folder, you'll see the junk rocket version one PSD. Let's go ahead and open that file in Photoshop just to take a look at how it's set up. So here's our junk Rocket Photoshopped file and note. First of all, that I have a black background here just for convenience, because it's a little hard to see this over the transparency grid. We, of course, won't use that in our animation, but this image is broken up into a bunch of different layers. Each little wheel here is separated. There's a layer to make the light turn on and off the lever. Here is a separate piece. The wrench is separated and sits behind the main part of the rocket, and then there's a back piece to sit behind the wrench. So basically all of the parts that need to be animated have been separated or built separately in the photo shopped file. And let's note just a couple other things about this Photoshopped file. The image size is quite large, 3000 by 2200 pixels, which is larger than we need. But I always like to build things bigger than I need them, just in case. And remember, we talked about how raster imagery can't be scaled up past 100%. So if you build something like this nice and large when you bring it into after effects, you'll have lots of options in terms of scaling. And even if you don't think you'll need that extra scale, you may change your mind about the animation or a client might change your mind for you and say, Hey, can we get a close up on that rocket? Well, if you've built it nice and Lawrence, you have that opportunity. If you Onley build it just the size you need your limiting yourself in terms of your options. Later on so 3000 by 2200 pixels and also note that we have some layer styles. We have some drop shadows on these wheels. We also have a drop shadow on the wrench and notice that on our light layer here we're using a blend mode, a lighter color blend mode, and we've got the capacity down at 45%. So we've got our image looking the way we wanted here, and we've got the layers separated so we can add some animation once we get into after effects. Now again, what's really cool here is that we're gonna be able to import this junk rocket Photoshopped file into after effects as a composition, ready to be used as a pre comp. So let's jump back into after effects and see how that's gonna work. So let's go to our Project window here and let's select our images folder before we import . So our junk rocket will be imported into their note that we have already imported junk rocket version 00 to create the finished version of the project, and we've already got a junk rocket pre comp that's already animated, and we're just gonna end up using this pre animated version just to save a little time in this class, because we don't really need to go through animating all those little parts. But I want to take you through the process of importing a layered Photoshopped file as a composition because there are a few things you need to be aware of. So with that image folder selected, let's go ahead and hit Command I to begin our import, and we're gonna want to navigate into our images folder in the Footage folder, and we're going to select junk rocket Version one. So let's go ahead and select that right off the bat. We want to make absolutely sure that photo shop sequences not selected that should not be selected. If you have a couple of files with some version numbers or that are numbered or sequenced in any way after effects may try to default to checking that on, we want that checked off. Now there's a weird little bit of a double dialogue thing that happens in this import process. I personally feel that it's a little bit clunky, but I always like to go ahead and start here with the initial import because in some situations it'll kind of bypass the second dialog box. But you'll see what I mean in a minute. So down here, where it says import, as we have some options, we have the option of footage, composition or composition. Retain layer sizes. The one we want to choose is retain layer sizes, and we'll take a look at what that means once we've imported this. So go ahead and choose composition, retain layer sizes and will click open. Now. What will happen is you'll get this second dialog box, which is sort of redundant. It has a couple of additional options, but in many cases it's really unnecessary because it just gives us almost the same options . Footage, composition or composition retained layer sizes. Now, To be honest, there are a few additional options available if you choose footage. If you choose footage, you can actually choose an individual layer within the Photoshopped file, which can potentially be useful. But what we want is this composition retained layer sizes under the layer options. We want to make sure creditable layer styles is checked. What that will mean is the layer styles that were set in Photoshop will actually import as edit herbal layer styles here in after effects, which is super slick. We do not want to check merge layer styles into footage. We want to keep those edible. So with those options selected, let's click. OK, now, let's take a look at what's happened. First of all, a composition has been added. Junk rocket version one named the same as Thief Photoshopped file, but also noticed that a folder has been added as well. So a composition has been created. Will look at that in a minute, but a folder has also been added. And if we tab open the folder inside there, you'll see all of the different layers from our Photoshopped document, as individual Photoshopped files now. Also note that each individual layers file is on lee as large as the opaque image on that layer. This is because we chose composition, retain layer size when we imported. That option retains the size of each individual layer rather than the full size of the Photoshopped document. If we had chosen the plane composition option when we imported, each layer would be imported at the full 3000 by 2200 pixel size of the Photoshopped document this isn't often desirable is it slows down, preview and render times and make setting anchor points more of a pain. It's sometimes useful, but most of the time you'll want to choose composition, retain layer size when you import layered files. So we've got our composition that's made up of these individual items. But we also have the individual items in this folder. Let's start by moving junk rocket version one down into our pre comes folder because it's gonna be a pre comp and let's rename it and I can rename it right here in the project window by hitting the return key and let's call it Junk rocket pre comp to. And then let's go ahead and double click on it. I'm gonna hit the comic e to zoom out here. Now let's notice a couple of things. First of all, all our layers are all here in order, including that background layer. I'm gonna go ahead and select that and delete it. If we turn on our transparency grid, you'll see that we're over transparency Now. I'll toggle that off since it's a little easier to see, but all of our layers Justus. We have them in the same order and photo shop are all here. And if we toggle are switches and modes here, notice that even the blend mode that we have this light layer set at the blend mode is set correctly, just as it was in Photoshop. And the transparency amount is set exactly the same. So all of those things imported also are layer. Styles are here are drop shadow free tab this open, There's our drop shadow, and the settings are exactly the same. The color, the transparency, the size, all of the settings are exactly the same and completely edit herbal, which is super cool. So basically, everything we set up in photo shop has imported into after effects ready to go in a fully edit herbal state. Now, this is really cool. I will caution you that there's a few things that don't import super well. One of those is layer masks they will import, but they'll import in a little bit of a funny way that requires some translation. We might take a look at that in a future class, but most things most things that you do in photo shop will import into after effects. Justus, You have them in Photoshop in a fully edit herbal state. Now, if we wanted to, we could go ahead and animate the all these elements. Add their rotation to our wheels, move the lever and the wrench back and forth, turn the light on and off. We could animate all that inside this composition to then drop into our main comp. Now, just to save time in this class, we're not gonna bother with. All of that will just use the pre animated version, since there's nothing really unique about the way any of these layers are animated. So let's look at that in the next lesson. 8. Adding Rocket Precomp to Main Comp: Now, if you want to create your own rocket animation and do it a little differently than I did, feel free to animate this however you like. But again, to save time in this class, I'm just going to use the already animated junk rocket pre comp one, and you can see here that I've got just simple rotation animation on the wheels. I moved the anchor points right to the centers of the little wheels. There I've got the lever animating back and forth in time to the music. I've got the wrench kind of swinging back and forth randomly, and I've got the light turning on and off with hold key frames on the opacity value also in time to the music, as if the lever is turning the light on and off. I also copied and pasted the music track from our main calm. So we have our music track here in the main comp. I just copied and pasted it here into this comp so I could get the timing right and sink the lever and the light to the beat of the track. But also notice is very important that I have turned off now I've toggled off the audio within this pre comp because if I had the audio on in this pre calm, I could also potentially have the audio on here in the main comp. And now my music is now doubled, and it will be loud and distorted. You want to make sure and pay attention to this, because audio within a pre comp can also be used in the main comp, as if the pre comp is like a movie clip, and it can have audio on it. But you can sometimes run into trouble, particularly if you do what I did and copy and paste the music into a pre comp in order to create sink with the track. Want to make sure and turn that off? Or delete the music file before you continue working just to make sure you don't accidentally double up your music track? But since we've got this all animated and it's just simple stuff, just rotation animations. Mostly we won't bother to go through this in this class, nothing really new here, but you're welcome to sort of dissect the animation I created here and or create your very own animation for the junk rocket on your own. Okay, let's go back to our space junk composition here. And let's add junk rocket pre Comp one. That's our pre animated version. Let's just click and drag that and drop that over the junk pre comp. And because we made this nice and big, you can see it comes in nice and large, which gives us plenty of options for scaling. But we obviously want this smaller in the scene. So I'm gonna hit the S key for scale. And let's scale this down to 23%. Now, before we move on, I just want to make one more note about pre compositions. Another thing that could be really useful about Pre comes is that you can add multiple instances of the pre comp within a main come. So, for example, I could add another junk rocket here. In fact, I could have a whole fleet of junk rockets if I wanted to. I can also select the pre company just command D to duplicate it, and we could have ah whole army of these junk rockets all in the frame, and they're all animated just the same. So it's just something to be aware of that. Pre comping opens a lot of possibilities because each one of these we could add different effects two different scale. We could move them in time so that they're offset in time so they aren't all synchronized perfectly. There's so much that we could potentially do by duplicating or multiplying the instances of a pre comp within a main camp. Just something else to think about before we animate our rocket zooming across our frame to reveal our type, we want to add that kind of engine energy burst that comes out of the back of our rocket, and in doing that will look at the third and final way to create pre com's, which is pre comping existing layers from within a composition. But in the next lesson will begin by just building the initial animation for our engine glow. 9. Starting Engine Glow: So we're gonna create this engine energy glow from shape layers. So let's go ahead and select our the lips tool. And I'm gonna make sure that my Phyllis set to solid color and I'm gonna use this blue color the engine glow color. Here, you can use whatever color you like, and I'm gonna click and drag in a lips that kind of sits just within the cone of my rocket . Here, let's center this anchor point. So I'm gonna grab my anchor point tool. But remember, I don't want to adjust this little anchor point. I want to select the layer and adjust the layer anchor point, and I will bring that over towards the center of the Ellipse, hold down the pan key and snap that into the center. And then let's position it a little bit more just within that cone, and then let's click and drag this underneath our rocket. It's like a little bubble hanging out the back of the rocket, and I'm gonna call this glow one, and this is the glow that's just gonna kind of remain here, just the constant, steady glow coming out of the back of the engine. But then I'm gonna want that kind of pulsing movement coming out the back. So I'm going to command D to duplicate this, to create glow to and I'm glow to here. We're gonna create a little bit of animation, so I'm gonna start with a position movement. So I'm gonna hit the peaky here. I'm gonna add a position, key frame where it is in position, and I'm gonna go forward 12 frames and I'm a slide this back away from the ship. Gonna go back about 300 pixels, so I'm actually just gonna click and type plus minus 300 and just bring that back about 300 pixels back. I'm also gonna add some scale animation, so as this is moving back, it's scaling down. So let's hit the s key for scale and will hit the stop watch for 100% scale. And now that I have to animated properties, I'm gonna hit the u key to open up just those two properties. And I'm gonna hit the k key to jump to our 12 frame mark here, and I'm gonna toggle off constrain proportions because I want this to sort of narrow down as it's zooming back. So I'm gonna uncheck this and I'm gonna scale the X value down to about 45%. And I'm on a scale the Y value way down to about 8%. So almost get this little streak kind of look so as it comes out, it narrows down and turns into that little kind of streak. Now, let's also add some eases to this, So I'm gonna select the first to key frames, right click and choose and ease out. So it comes out a little more slowly and then picks up speed as it goes back. The other thing we want to add is an opacity animation. So the glow disappears after it reaches its small its point. So with this layer selected, I'm gonna hit the T key. I'm gonna hit the stopwatch here it frame zero, and I'm gonna command option click to turn that into a hold key frame. So it holds at the 100% value. Then let's hit the U key again open all of our animated properties. I'll hit the cakey forward and right here, when it's at its smallest, will turn the a pass iti to zero. So What we get is this, but but so it just kind of shrinks and then disappears, So it looks like just a little blob of energy sliding out the back. But of course, I don't want this just happen. Once I wanted to happen continuously. Now I could copy and paste these key frames over and over and over again throughout our six seconds. But there's a little easier way to do this, especially when you're just looping the same animation over and over. And that's by using expression. So let's take a look at that in the next lesson. 10. Expression Basics: So what are expressions, expressions, air codes that we can add two properties on layers in order to get different kinds of effects or create different relationships between properties and other properties or layers . Now, writing expression code can get very, very complicated and is essentially the same as writing simple computer code. No, I'm in no way a computer coder, but there are a lot of simple expressions that we can use that don't require. Deep knowledge of coding and aftereffects also provides some really handy tools so that the non coders among us can still use expressions, at least in a simple way. Looping key frames with a loop out expression is one of the simplest to use because we really don't have to write any code at all. The code is essentially written for us, but it's very handy when you want the key frames on a property to repeat. Now, keep in mind, we're barely barely scratching the surface of expressions in this class. This is a very deep and wide topic, but this will just get you familiar with some of the basics of working with expressions. So let's start by looping our position key frames. So to add an expression to a property, what you're gonna do is hold down the option key and then click on the stopwatch for that property. So with the option key held down, I'm gonna click on that stopwatch, and you can see that a little text window has opened here where you can type your code and the expression for the position value has opened down below. Here it's a little tabbed item that you can open or close, and this area here again, is an area where you can type code. But as I said, you don't need to know any code to do something simple like a loop, because there's a lot of sort of prefabricated codes that aftereffects provides that are very easy to use. And you access those. Make sure you, by the way, that you have this selected this transform dot position that should be selected in blue here, and you just go over to this little button, this little circle with a triangle in it, and you get the expression language menu. So if you click on that, you'll see a whole range of expressions so prefabricated expressions that you can use Now. Some of these require that you enter some values, some of them do not, and looping is one of the ones that does not. So we're gonna go down to property and we're just gonna choose loop out. We don't have to do anything else, but just choose loop out. What loop out will do is just take the existing key frames and loop them indefinitely. So I'm gonna choose loop out, and I'll just click away to de select that expression editor. Now, if I hit play, you won't see the looping because of, ah, rapacity Animation. So I'm just gonna very temporarily just move this key frame all the way to the end here just temporarily so we can see the looping. So now let's ramp review this and you'll see now that that position animation loops now it looks really funny because we don't have the scale animation looping yet. But that position movement, that position animation is looping. Now, let's go ahead and loop these others. I'm gonna slide that key frame back. Oops, back into place and let's loop these others. So again, I'm gonna hold down the option key. Engage expressions by clicking on the stopwatch. I'm gonna go to the little expression language menu, goto Property, loop out and choose that. And then let's do the same thing for the opacity property. So I'm going to hold down the option key. Hit the stop watch, hit the menu, go to property, loop out Now all three of our properties are now set toe loop And now we will see our little animation. Just repeat and repeat and repeat. So let's watch that Here we go Cool and really easy without dealing with a whole lot of key frames. So when you want an animation just toe loop, the loop out expression is a great way to go. Now, this is working pretty well, but it's a little sparse. We want to kind of double this up so the pulses are happening sort of on top of one another a little more quickly. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna grab glow to our animated pulse, and I'm in a command d to duplicate that they hit you to open those values and note the expressions copied to these red values are telling us that these have expressions on them. If I tab this open, you can see our little loop out right there. And what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna click and drag this layer foreword. And I'm just gonna put the start of this animation in between our previous animation. So it doubles up our little pulses. So let's look at that. There we go. That's better. Okay, so now we have our little looping pulses here, but we need to do a bit more work to get this to look right. First of all, we're gonna need to attach it the A parenting to our rocket, which we could technically do now by just parenting these three layers to our rocket layer . But we also want to add some effects to our pulse so that it looks a little softer and more organic and has some blur and some inner glow. So it looks a little bit more like an energy pulse. Now, to do that, we need these three layers to exist as a single layer and you'll see why when we add the effects that we're going to add, there's two effects in particular that really require that these three layers be combined into one, and so this is another perfect opportunity for pre comping. But in this case, we want to create our pre comp from these three existing layers within our main camp. And this again is the third way to create a pre comp, which is by pre comping existing layers within an existing composition. So let's take a look at how to do that in our next lesson. 11. Precomping Existing Layers: So once again, our goal here is to take these three glow layers that we've just created and combine them into a pre comp so that we can apply some effects to them globally. So the way we're going to do that is this. We're going to select all three layers. So I'm gonna select low layer one, gonna hold down the shift key and select glow layer three. And with those three layers selected, we're gonna go up under layer, and we're gonna go all the way down to the bottom to pre compose notice. You can also use shift command, see to pre composers well, so let's go ahead and hit pre compose, and you'll see that we have our pre composed dialog box. And the first thing we can do is name our new composition. So let's call this engine glow pre cop. Now we have a couple of different options here. Notice that one is grayed out. This option is only available when you have a single layer that your pre comping, which allows you to pre comp just the layer itself without the animation or settings or effects that you've added to the layer When you have multiple layers, you're always going to have this option check, which is move all attributes into the new composition. So in other words, it's going to collect all three of these layers, plus all of the animation and he effects. Anything else that we have added to these layers will all go into this new composition. You generally want to uncheck, adjust composition, duration to the time span of the layers because we want this to be the same length as our main composition. Six seconds. So that's one I almost always leave unchecked. Now this one I sometimes check on in. Sometimes check off open new composition. This automatically opens the new composition that you've created. Let's for right now leave that unchecked unchecked because I want you to kind of see what happens within our main composition here first. So leaving that unchecked, we've got it named hopes and I almost forgot. We want to make this pre comp to sorry about that engine glow pre come to. So we make sure we're not duplicating another composition name. And once we've got all that set will go ahead and click. OK, now, know what's happened in our main composition. Those three layers have now been combined into this single pre calm player, and I'm gonna go appear under layer name. Go to the edge. You see those two little arrows pop up, it's good, and slide that out so we can see our layer names more clearly. So now you can see that we simply have engine glow pre Camp two, which has replaced the three glow shape players but also note, very importantly, that our animation is still there. It is still functioning, just as it did, but it's now ah, single layer as a pre comp rather than those three individual shape players. If I double click on this pre comp double click, it now opens this pre comp, and you can see there are our three shape layers with all the animation on them and so on. So these all still exist. They can still be edited. They can still be changed, but they've been combined together into this pre composition, which is now sitting inside our main composition. So that's how you can create a pre comp from existing layers within another composition, simply select them and choose layer pre comp to pre comp them together. This is very handy and comes into play a lot when you're working in after effects. All right, we're ready to finish up our engine glow animation. Let's do that in the next lesson. 12. Finishing Engine Glow: now that our three glow shape players are pre composed into our single pre calm player, we can now add effects to this layer that will treat those three individual layers as a single layer, which will not only be easier. It will also be necessary when you see what we're going to do with this glow. So the first thing that we're going to do is make this is. Make this energy pulse coming off the back of the engine, feel more liquid almost like it's Plas, mind these blobs or blobs of plasma coming unstuck from the main part of the glow. And to do that, we're going to use a mat choker. There's a couple different kinds of Matt chokers here and after effects, and basically what they do is increase the Alfa Channel of a layer. So our Alfa Channel comes to the edge of these shapes. Here, the choker will increase or choke up on that Alfa Channel and cut in farther to the opaque part of the image. The choker we're going to use is called the Simple choker, so let's go to our effects and presets and let's undo our tent search. There and let's type in simple and simple choker pops up right away under Matt here. And let's double click on that to add that simple choker. Now I've positioned my c T I here with one of these blobs, so it's sort of connected to the original blob here so you can see the effect that the choker will have. So, as I said, it will cut in and increase the Alfa Channel area around the image. But what's kind of fun about this is that it does it in a real soft, organic way. So it'll make thes feel less like to ellipses sitting on top of one another and make it feel more like two blobs that are kind of stuck together. So you'll see what I mean here as I increase this choke. So I'm gonna start turning the choke up, and you can see how the ellipses are getting smaller and you see how it's softening that join in between. I'm gonna crank this up pretty far. Let's go all the way up to about 30 and you can see now we have this lovely kind of blobby effect from the way that Matt Choker has sort of organically cut in on that Alfa Channel. And now we get this wonderful kind of sticky feeling where it feels again, like these Ehrlich blobs of plasma coming unstuck, almost like a water drop or a blob of something sticky coming unstuck from the main blob. It's a really nice effect. And what sort of fun about this and what sort of fun about this effect is that we're not using the simple choker in the way that it was intended to be used. Matt chokers are meant to be used to clean up the mats. When you're pulling keys from green screen footage, there's quite a few examples, and after effects of interesting ways, you can use an effect, even if it's not necessarily the way the effect was intended to be used. It's a good idea when you're exploring after effects effects to keep an open mind and experiment with things, even if they don't necessarily seem like they're the right tool for the job. But in this case, we now have this great little sort of pulsing plasma blob kind of a look. The next thing we want to do is blur this so it doesn't look hard edge, so it looks like kind of glowing energy. So for that, we're gonna use a blur effect. So I'm gonna go over to my effects and presets. Let's turn off our simple search there, and I'll just type in blur and you can see there are tons of blurs. We're gonna use the gauzy and blur down here. So I'm gonna double click on the Gaussian Blur to add that. And as we crank up on the Gaussian Blur, we soften those edges. Let's turn that up to about 50 to really soften that. There we go. Now it's starting to feel much more like that kind of plasma energy glow. Then let's add just a little bit of lightness within here. So it's a little brighter in the centre, fading to the blue at the edges, so we're going to use the layer style inner glow. Let's add that inner glow, and at first you can see it actually glows from the edges inward. But we're gonna change those settings. So let's go in into the inner glow settings, and let's first change the color just to white, just to pure white. And then we'll change the source from edge to center. There we go. Now we're getting that kind of a glow look, and let's take the size from five up to about 100. I'll just type and 100 There we have a nice sort of hot glow in the middle, softening to the blue on the edges and note that both this effect and the mat choker wouldn't work on separate layers. We needed the layers combined for the mat choker to create that organic connection between the ellipses. But we also need the three layers combined pre comped for this inner glow because we don't want an individual inner glow within each ellipse, we want one inner glow within the combined shape of the ellipses. So another example of how we really needed pre comping in order to get this look and the very last thing will do here to kind of finish off our glow is to change the blend mode. So I'm gonna toggle my switches and modes here, and I'm gonna change the blend mode from normal to add. So we see a little bit of those stars coming through, feels a little more transparent. And now we've got a really fun looking kind of energy glow coming off the back of our rocket. All right. And the next lesson we're ready to parent our glow to our rocket and animate our rocket. 13. Animating Rocket: now we obviously want our engine glow to move with our rocket. So of course, we can use parenting to do that. So before we move anything at all, let's take the engine glow pre comp, grab our parent pick, whip and click and drag that up to the rocket layer. So now, as we move the rocket, the glow will go with it. Let's start with R C T I back at frame zero and let's drag our rocket back. So it's sort of near the edge of the frame. And let's set a position key frame right there, and what we'll have our rocket do is just drift across the screen in a moving hold for a little bit. And then we're gonna have it speed up an animate out of the frame, revealing our type. So let's slide R C T I to two seconds in, and let's just drag our rocket forward just a little bit like not a whole lot just forward enough to kind of give it a little bit of drift a little bit of float forward. There we go, and then we're ready to have it zoom out of the frame. But We don't want to just immediately have it zoom straight forward. We first wanna have the rocket anticipate its forward movement. Anticipation is another important animation principle in animation. Anticipation is a smaller movement in the opposite direction of a larger movement to come. Anticipation is important for two reasons. First, it is often necessary to anticipate a movement in order to create a sense of correct mechanical physics. A simple example of this is a jump. If you try to jump up in the air, you can't simply start from a standing position and just levitate up into the air. Go ahead and try it if you like. In order to jump up, you first have to bend your knees and crouched down in order to push off the ground and jump upwards. That bending of your knees and crouching down is the anticipation of the jump. So anticipation occurs regularly in nature, and it's often necessary in order to get in action to happen. Another good example would be throwing the ball. You first have to pull your arm back before you throw the ball forward. That pulling back before you throw the ball is again the anticipation But there's a second reason why we use anticipation in animation. Yes, it's sometimes necessary to communicate correct weight, gravity and physics. But the other thing that anticipation does is communicate or signal to the audience that something's about to happen, calling the audiences attention to the action that's about to take place. Sometimes the anticipation of a movement actually communicates even more than the movement itself. An example of this would be from classic cartoons, where a cartoon character rears back in anticipation of running out of the frame. But then, rather than actually running out of the frame, you just see a puff of smoke and some streak lines, suggesting that the character has zipped off screen. In those cases, it's actually the anticipation that communicates the thing that you don't really see, which is the character running off. The anticipation tells the audience what's about to happen. So you buy into the illusion of the character zipping away very quickly, so anticipation is needed to communicate correct mechanical physics. But maybe more importantly, it helps us communicate with our audience and make our animation more clear. Now, in the case of our rocket here, we don't have to anticipate this movement for any physical reason. We're in space. We can really do anything we want. There isn't any gravity or wind resistance or anything, but we still want to use anticipation because of how well it communicates to the audience of the audience is paying attention to our little rocket when it zips off. So what we're gonna do is animate a quick little anticipation backwards and then the animation forwards of the Rocket leaving the frame. So let's go forward. Just eight frames here. Let's just go eight frames forward from the two second mark and let's now pull our Rocket backwards and we're gonna actually go backwards further than the position we started. So let's roll this back not too far. So we're floating forward, floating forward and then real quick, we pull back just over eight frames really quickly to anticipate our movement. Then let's go forward one second. So we're at 208 right now, so let's go forward to 308 And now we'll click and drag our rocket off the frame. I'm gonna hold down the shift key, so moves a little quicker and we want to make sure it goes off far enough that we don't see any more of our little engine blow. Let's go forward. Hopes there's a little flicker right there, See? So let's take that forward. Just a little bit of a J back. Just pull that forward just a little more. Let's go forward a little bit. There we go. OK, we don't see any more of that engine glow. Okay, now we need to add some eases to this as well. For this first float, we won't add any eases because this is like a moving hold, so we're just kind of in motion continuously. But then, as we pull back into our anticipation, let's go ahead and add an easy ease out. Then, when we pull back into their anticipation, we want to ease in and ease out into our zoom off the frame. So on this key frame will right click and choose Eazy e's, which will Eazy E's in and Eazy E's out. Let's go ahead and watch are finished animation anticipation action. Okay, and you can see how that anticipation helps to communicate or telegraph what's about to occur. It also makes the rocket feel a little more alive, almost like it has a little bit of consciousness to it, which is perfect for this more cartoony, whimsical kind of animation. All right, we're ready to add our typography, which will be revealed by our rocket zooming off the frame. 14. Importing Layered Illustrator Files: now, just like we can import layered Photoshopped files as compositions and after effects. We can also import layered illustrator files, but they do have to be set up in a certain way in order to work. So if you navigate into the footage folder and the images folder inside that footage folder , you'll find Space junk type version one dot ai. Go ahead and select that. And let's open that up in Illustrator and just take a look at how that file is set up. So here's our layered illustrator file of our type for space junk. Rather than using a font, we've got this sort of playful, hand drawn vector type, and we also want to be ableto animate each individual letter. So if you look down at our layers window here, you'll see that each letter is its own layer, so each letter has its own layer and notice. These are all top level layers. In other words, these aren't grouped together under one single master layer. Now that's very, very important because after effects will on Leigh read individual top level layers as individual layers when they import into after effects. Anything that is a sub layer will just be combined or merged into the single layer in after effects. So this is really important, Understand? If you're prepping illustrator files for animation and after effects top level layers on Lee. OK, let's jump back to after effects and take a look at how this works. Let's go to our project window here. Oops, but we have a little cleanup to do. First, here's our engine glow pre camp to Let's click and drag that down to our pre comes folder. Note again that we're making sure that we don't have calms that have the same name. Note also in her Images folder that we did already import the space junk type for the original finished version of this title, and there's the little folder that came in. If I tab that open there, the Illustrator files with each of those layers each of those letter layers. So this works really in just the same way that photo shop works. But let's just go through the process again just so you can see how it works again. So I'm gonna select the images folder here. We're gonna hit command I to import when the dialog window comes up, we're going to select space junk type Version one. We're gonna come down to where it says import as we're gonna change that to composition. Retain layer sizes. Want to make sure that illustrator sequences unchecked will click open and notice that this time we didn't get that second dialog box? That's because with illustrator files, there are fewer options than there are with Photoshopped files. So it just pops in so just a little bit different. But the same thing has happened That happened when we imported are Photoshopped file. We have a composition space junk tight version one, and we got that folder that has the individual layers as individual illustrator files. Let's go ahead and drag our composition down into our pre calms window and let's rename it so I'm gonna hit the return key, and we'll just add pre comp to to make sure it's a different name. And let's double click on that to open it. And there you can see our individual layers with our individual letters. The guides layer doesn't read in after effects, so let's go ahead and select that and delete that. And let's also note that this is over transparency I'm gonna keep that turned off because it's a little hard to see the letters over the transparency grid. So again we can import layered illustrator files just like we import layered Photoshopped files. But we do have to remember that Onley top level layers will be read by after effects. Any sub layers will not be seen as separate layers by after effects. Okay, so in our next lesson, let's animate our type and get it ready to include it in our main composition. 15. Animating Letters with Wiggle Expression: now for the animation of our type. We just want the individual letters to kind of float and drift around a little bit in a spacey sort of away. Now, we could create little position animations on each letter to do this. But I'm gonna show you an easier way once again using expressions and the expression that we're gonna use is again a very basic one. The wiggle expression which basically does just what it says. It wiggles things, and this could be really useful for this type of animation. So let's go ahead and wiggle our first letter. So I'm gonna zoom in a little bit here just so we can see a little better what we're doing . And let's select the S layer and hit the P for position because we are gonna be animating the position of this layer now, just like we did before to enable expressions were gonna hold down the option key and then click on the stopwatch for the position property. So let's go ahead and do that, and that enables our expressions. And then this is another sort of prefabricated expression that we can use. We will have to add in a just a few values, but it's really easy to do. Okay, so we're gonna go to the menu here, and we're gonna go back down to property, and this time we're gonna choose Wiggle right there. Now notice that there's a bunch of different stuff here. Let's go ahead and select, Wiggle and you'll see. There's a bunch of different options here. These are all values that we can add or change in order to change the wiggle. So the 1st 2 frequency and amplitude are the most important frequency is how fast something wiggles. Amplitude is how much it wiggles. Now the rest of these are a little more advanced and get a little bit complicated. But luckily we don't need those. We can actually just delete them. So let's just go ahead and delete those. So we're gonna remove all of those other elements except for frequency and amplitude. And what we're gonna do is we're just gonna replace these little abbreviated words with values. We'll just put some random values in here and then take a look at what these look like. So let's put in 10 for frequency. So frequency again is the speed of the wiggle and the higher the number, the faster something will wiggle lower the number, the slower it will wiggle. So we'll just put a 10 in their amplitude is how much it wiggles. Once again, Higher numbers will be more wiggle. Lower numbers will be less wiggle. So let's just put a 10 in there as well. Hit the enter key. And now when we do a ramp review, you'll see that the S Wiggles there goes. It's wiggling a lot, and it's wiggling pretty fast. Now It feels kind of nervous or scared or something like that. And that's not what we're looking for. We want something kind of calm and drift e. So the first thing we want to do is bring this frequency number way down. So let's bring it all the way down toe one. So we have a very, very slow wiggle and let's bring the amount down So it's just a little bit of wiggle down to three, and let's take a look at that. Okay, now note that it's kind of jerking around a little bit. That's because we're at half resolution. Let's go ahead and put this on full resolution here and watch that again. Okay, that's a little bit better. So it's just shifting and drifting around a little bit giving us that nice, slow wiggle. Okay, that'll work fine. For our purposes. I'm actually gonna set this toe auto. That's really where it should be set since resumed in here. So this low level wiggle will just give us a little movement on our type, and we can go ahead and add that to all of these letters to make this go a little quicker. I'm just gonna copy and paste our expression code here, so I'm gonna go ahead and select the wiggle expression code. I'm in a command seed, a copy, and then we're gonna open all of the position values of the rest of these letters. I'm an option. Click on the 1st 1 and just command V to paste are wiggle in option. Click on the next one. Command V to paste are wiggle in. Option click Command V option Click. Oops. I missed a couple command V option Click Command V scroll down here. Option click man V option Click Man. V option Click Man v. Okay, now, if we ran preview now, all of our letters are wiggling around just a little bit. Just a little bit of movement on all that type. Okay. Another great example of how expressions can make this kind of animation really, really easy. Now we're ready to add our type to our main composition. Let's do that in the next lesson. 16. Adding & Animating Type Precomp: All right, let's tab back to our main comp here, and let's add our type to our main comp. So we're grabbing the pre comp space junk type pre comp to, and we're gonna click and drag that down in between the engine glow and the background junk pre comp. So let's add that there and now we have our type in place. Now the first thing that will do is add a blend mode to this type so it feels a little more connected with our background. Let's use an ad blend mode once again, so we get some of those stars shining through. It feels a little more integrated with our background now. We also want to add a little subtle scale animation, so the type feels like it's coming towards us just a little bit, which means that we're going to scale it up higher than 100% scale. Well, you might be saying to yourself, Well, that's not a problem, because this is vector artwork and vector artwork is infinitely scalable, which is true, but it's not gonna work that way right off the bat. So let me show you what I mean. Let's first set our anchor point. I'm gonna grab our anchor point. I'm actually gonna hold down the shift key to keep it in the center of the letters horizontally, but will just slide it up vertically and put it in the center of the letters there. And just to demonstrate this, I'm going to scale this up way higher than we're going to scale it. Let's go ahead and just jack this up real high and notice that even if I put this at full resolution, this type does not look crisp. I see those pixels and it looks really bad. And again you might be saying, Well, why is that happening when this is vector artwork? Well, the thing you have to keep in mind is that after effects is still essentially a raster based software. So when you initially import an illustrator file into after effects, it's going to default to treating it like raster art. And we have to change some settings to make it behave as if it's vector art. So let's go back into our space junk type pre comp here, let's close all these layers back up again, and let's toggle are switches and modes from modes, two switches and I want you to notice this little sun symbol right here for this check box right here. You'll notice, it says, for calm player collapsed transformations, but for vector layer. But for vector layer continuously, rast arise. Now what that'll basically means is that at any scale, it'll rear asteroid eyes the layer, so it will always be crisp as it would be as vector art. It's a little confusing because it says, continuously, rast arise. But what it basically means is that the defector artwork well, now behave like vector artwork. So the first thing we have to do is check that on for all of these layers, all of these vector layers. Now, when we go back to our main comp, we have to do the same thing with the pre calm player. So let's toggle are switches and modes again and again. Engage the continuously rast arised button here on this pre comp and boom. Now we have crisp, clean type at any scale, the way you would expect from vector artwork. Now we can scale this as much as we want, so let's put this back to 100% scale to start with notice that when we added the continuously rast arise to our layer that are blend mode kind of disappeared. Fact. If I toggle switches and modes back, note that the blend mode is disabled. We will fix this when we add the mask to the layer, and I have to admit, this one's a little bit of a mystery to me. I know how to fix it. I'm not really sure why it happens, but in the next lesson, when we add, our animated mask will regain our blend mode as we had it right now, we don't need to worry about it. So let's add our little scale animation. So I'm gonna back up here, and I want the scale up to start right when the type becomes visible. And remember, this is gonna be mast off and revealed by our rocket. So right here is the first frame where we begin to see the type. So let's add a key frame, a scale key frame there at that point, and then we'll just cave forward to the end of the scene. And let's just scale this up a little bit. Let's just go up to 110% just to give us a little scale up on that type. Okay, let's turn our resolution back to auto. So it's at half size. And let's ramp review our little scale animation here. It's gonna play a little slow at first. Let's let the Ram preview go through ones. Okay, there we go. Now we're playing at speed. So we've got our nice little wiggle on our type, and we've got our little scale up. All right, Cool. That's looking good. Becoming really close to finishing this up in the next lesson will look at animating a mask to reveal our type. 17. Animating Mask on Type: Now, if you recall from the second class in the series, we looked at adding masks two layers in this class. We're gonna add a mask and then actually animate the shape of that mask in order to reveal our type behind our rocket. So let's start with the layer selected, and we're gonna go up to our shape tool, and we're gonna choose the rectangle tool, and we're going to start by just clicking and dragging a mask around our type just to cover the whole type. Now, notice that as soon as we did that are blend mode returned. Now I have to admit, this one's a little bit of a mystery to me, but when you use continuously, rast arise on a pre comp. It seems to disable the blend mode until a mask is added. When I've encountered this before, I've just simply drawn a mask around whatever I need, even if it's the whole frame draw mask around it, and the blend modes will then work again. So we've got our blend mode back, and we've got our mask drawn here, and what we need to do is make our mask a subtraction mask. So it's actually hiding the type. And then we'll animate it to reveal the type that we could actually do it the opposite way . But now we could honestly do this. Either way, we could animate the additive mask on or animate away the subtracted mask. Doesn't really matter. I'm going to do it with the subtraction mask. So I'm gonna change it to subtraction so our type is invisible, and then I wanna scroll ahead here to where we will begin to reveal the type. So I'm gonna kind of stop here where the edge of the mask is kind of right in the cone of the rocket. And then we're gonna tab open the mask properties and right here on mask path, we're gonna hit the stopwatch to animate the path or the shape of the mask. Now, I'm gonna go forward until the cone is at the end of the tight mask here and grab my regular selection tool, and I'm gonna double click on any one of the four points of my mask. Double click on any one of those and I'll get a little transform box that allow me to rotate or scale or resize the mask in any way I want. So I'm just gonna grab this edge and just drag this forward until it's tucked right in there, revealing our whole type. If we solo the type here, let's just make sure. Yeah, we're revealing all of the type. We're not clipping off a little bit of that K. They're gonna un solo that. And now if we're lucky, there's a little bit of ease on this rocket coming out. But if we're lucky, the mask animation should generally follow the animation of the rocket. It's pretty close, so it's getting just a little bit off here. But as long as I don't see any type poking out on the wrong side of that mask, we should be fine. Yeah, it looks like we're fine. So now that we've got our animated mask were very close to finishing up our animation. Let's just do a quick ramp review here. There we go In. The next lesson will just add a little fade in and a little fade out, copy and paste our audio in and will be ready to render 18. Adding Fades & Audio: Let's just add a little fade in and fade out to our seen here just to give it a clear beginning and ending. I'm gonna go ahead and hit command A to select all my layers and hit the U key to close thumb up. We're gonna follow exactly the same procedure we used in the second class and we're going to use a solid. Remember that we don't want to try to animate the opacity values on all these different layers because we'll end up with a bunch of layers with half opacity ease that will be able to see through. It'll look really strange, So putting a solid layer on top is the way to go. So we're gonna go up under layer new, solid. We want to make sure that we have a 1920 by 10 80 solid. If we don't, we can hit make comp size and it will automatically make it that size. We want to make sure that the color is black and we can call this fade in, fade out and click OK, and that'll add that to the top. And then we just need to animate the opacity from 100 Let's make this short. There's a pretty short little piece. Let's just go eight frames in and animate that down to zero Command option Click to add a hold there so it holds, and then we'll just go eight frames from the back end here. So I'm gonna go to the end. Click here on my time indicator plus minus eight to go back eight frames on a click and add a key frame there at 0% value. Man Click to turn it into a linear key frame, hit K to jump to the very last frame and type in 100 once again. So now we have our little fade up our animation plays and we have our fade out. Let's also get our audio in here and do just a little bit of organization. So I'm gonna go back to space junk finished and we're just gonna grab the three audio layers here. Command see to copy. Go to our new one here, command V to paste on. Let's click and drag goes down to the bottom and let's color code and tweak a couple of the names here. Thes names. Air probably. Okay, but let's just color code. These so they're easy to reference if we have to come back and make a change, or if we have toe and the project off to somebody else. The rocket in the engine glow there essentially connected parented together really kind of part of the same thing. So let's color those both orange. I'm just gonna do kind of a rainbow down the stack here. The type layer will do as yellow. The junk pre comp will do as green. We'll do the stars background. Let's change the name of that. Let's just call that background and will color that blue. And then we'll leave the audio layers as purple and before we render, Let's just do one last ramp review with the audio. Great. It's really amazing how audio really makes a scene come to life. All right, we're all set to render out our title frame 19. Review Render Settings: All right, We've gone through the render procedure several times now in this series. But let's just review it one last time. We're gonna make sure that our we're gonna make sure that the comp we want to render is selected here in the timeline window. We're gonna go up under composition, add to adobe media encoder que and remember to be patient during these next few steps. Once the media encoder has launched and your render has been added to the Q, you're gonna click on match source and will scroll down two bit rate settings, change it to VI br to pass target bit rate eight and maximum bit rate 10. Then we can click. OK, remember again that you can click on the output file to jump to your finished movie in the finder. 20. Finishing Up: pre composing could make some complex animations much easier and opens up a lot of creative possibilities and after effects. And even though we've only just scratched the surface of what you can do with expressions there another very powerful aspect of the aftereffects workflow that's really worth exploring. Now that we've come to the end of this four part introductory Siris on Adobe after effects , I hope you're feeling excited and inspired by the possibilities this versatile animation, compositing and effects tool offers. Over the course of these classes, we've covered all of the fundamental skills you need to begin to create an animate in after effects on your own. But there's still so much to learn and explore in upcoming classes. I'm planning for skill share. We'll look at some more intermediate and advanced aspects of after effects and animation in general. Thanks so much for watching, and hopefully I'll see you in one of those new classes coming soon