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Adobe After Effects CS4 Classroom in a Book

Book Description

Visual effects and motion graphics pros of all stripes - from broadcast professionals to VFX supervisors to Web designers who need to produce occasional video segments - will welcome the dramatically accelerated features provided in the brand-new After Effects CS4. This best-selling book has been revised to cover all that's new in this upgrade: the ability to import 3D layers from Photoshop; the Cartoon effect that converts live-action footage into stylized imagery; Adobe Device Central CS4, which lets you preview and test animations for mobile devices, and more. Designed around a single complex project that’s broken down into manageable lessons, this book-and-DVD package mimics a real-world workflow - but one that readers tackle at their own pace. The DVD contains all the lesson files and footage readers need to complete the lessons.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. What’s on the Disc
    1. Lesson files ... and so much more
  3. Getting Started
    1. About Classroom in a Book
    2. Prerequisites
    3. Installing After Effects
    4. Optimizing performance
      1. OpenGL support
      2. Color management
    5. Restoring default preferences
    6. Copying the lesson files
      1. About copying the sample movies and projects
    7. How to use these lessons
    8. Additional resources
    9. Adobe certification
  4. 1. Getting to Know the Workflow
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
    3. Creating a project and importing footage
    4. Creating a composition and arranging layers
    5. Adding effects and modifying layer properties
      1. Preparing the layers
      2. Adding a Radial Blur effect
      3. Adding an exposure effect
      4. Transforming layer properties
    6. Animating the composition
      1. Preparing the text composition
      2. Animating text with Position keyframes
      3. Adding an animation preset
    7. Previewing your work
      1. Using standard preview
      2. Using RAM preview
    8. Optimizing performance in After Effects
    9. Rendering and exporting your composition
    10. Customizing the workspace
      1. Using predefined workspaces
      2. Saving a custom workspace
    11. Controlling the brightness of the user interface
    12. Finding resources for using After Effects
    13. Checking for updates
    14. Review questions
    15. Review answers
  5. 2. Creating a Basic Animation Using Effects and Presets
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
    3. Importing footage using Adobe Bridge
    4. Creating the composition
      1. Importing the foreground element
    5. Working with imported Illustrator layers
    6. Applying effects to a layer
    7. Applying an animation preset
      1. Precomposing layers for a new animation
    8. Previewing the effects
    9. Adding transparency
    10. Rendering the composition
      1. Exporting broadcast-quality output
      2. Exporting a composition for the web
    11. Review questions
    12. Review answers
  6. 3. Animating Text
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
      1. Importing the footage
      2. Creating the composition
    3. About text layers
    4. Creating and formatting point text
      1. Using the Character panel
      2. Using the Paragraph panel
      3. Positioning the type
    5. Using a text animation preset
      1. Browsing animation presets
      2. Previewing a range of frames
      3. Customizing an animation preset
    6. Animating with scale keyframes
      1. Previewing the scale animation
      2. Adding Easy Ease
    7. Animating using parenting
    8. Animating imported Photoshop text
      1. Importing text
      2. Editing imported text
      3. Animating the subtitle
    9. Animating text using a path animation preset
      1. Customizing the preset path
    10. Animating type tracking
      1. Customizing placeholder text
      2. Applying a tracking preset
      3. Customizing the tracking animation preset
    11. Animating text opacity
    12. Using a text animator group
      1. Skewing the range of text
    13. Cleaning up the path animation
    14. Animating a nontext layer along a motion path
      1. Copying the mask shape
      2. Orienting the object
      3. Coordinating the text and object timing
    15. Adding motion blur
    16. Exporting to Adobe Flash CS4 Professional
    17. Review questions
    18. Review answers
  7. 4. Working with Shape Layers
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
      1. Creating the composition
    3. Adding a shape layer
      1. About shapes
      2. Drawing a shape
      3. Applying a gradient fill
      4. Modifying gradient settings
    4. Creating custom shapes
      1. Drawing a polygon
      2. Twisting a shape
      3. Repeating a shape
      4. Rotating shapes
      5. Blending shapes with the background
    5. Creating stars
      1. Drawing a star
      2. Applying Pucker & Bloat
      3. Duplicating shapes
      4. Rotating shapes
    6. Incorporating video and audio layers
      1. Adding audio and video files
      2. Trimming the work area
    7. Applying a Cartoon effect
    8. Adding a title bar
      1. Creating a self-animating shape
      2. Adding text
    9. Using Brainstorm to experiment
    10. Review questions
    11. Review answers
  8. 5. Animating a Multimedia Presentation
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
    3. Animating the scenery using parenting
      1. Setting up parenting
      2. Animating the parent layer
      3. Animating the bee’s position
      4. Trimming a layer
      5. Applying motion blur
      6. Previewing the animation
    4. Adjusting an anchor point
    5. Masking video using vector shapes
      1. Creating a new composition
      2. Using animation presets with shape layers
      3. Constraining a layer with an alpha matte
      4. Swapping a composition into a layer
    6. Keyframing a motion path
      1. Keyframing scale and rotation transformations
      2. Adding motion blur
      3. Previewing your work
    7. Animating additional elements
      1. Animating the passing traffic
      2. Animating the buildings
      3. Adding Easy Ease
      4. Copying the building animation
    8. Applying an effect
      1. Adding a solid-color layer
      2. Applying the effect
    9. Creating an animated slide show
      1. Importing the slides
      2. Making a new composition
      3. Positioning the slide show
      4. Fading in the first slide
    10. Adding an audio track
      1. Looping the audio track
    11. Zooming in for a final close-up
      1. Previewing the entire composition
    12. Sending the project to reviewers
      1. Exporting the composition as a PDF file
      2. Importing Clip Notes into After Effects projects
    13. Review questions
    14. Review answers
  9. 6. Animating Layers
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
      1. Importing the footage
      2. Creating the composition
    3. Simulating lighting changes
    4. Duplicating an animation using the pick whip
    5. Animating movement in the scenery
      1. Animating the sun
      2. Animating the birds
      3. Animating the clouds
      4. Previewing the animation
    6. Adjusting the layers and creating a track matte
      1. Precomposing layers
      2. Creating the track matte
      3. Adding motion blur
    7. Animating the shadows
    8. Adding a lens flare effect
    9. Animating the clock
      1. Rendering the animation
    10. Retiming the composition
      1. Viewing time remapping in the Graph Editor
      2. Using the Graph Editor to remap time
      3. Adding an Easy Ease Out
      4. Scaling the animation in time
    11. Review questions
    12. Review answers
  10. 7. Working with Masks
    1. Lesson overview
    2. About masks
    3. Getting started
      1. Importing the footage
      2. Creating the composition
    4. Creating a mask with the Pen tool
    5. Editing a mask
      1. Inverting the mask
      2. Creating curved masks
      3. Breaking direction handles
    6. Feathering the edges of a mask
    7. Replacing the content of the mask
      1. Repositioning and resizing the news clip
      2. Rotating the clip
    8. Adding a reflection
      1. Applying a blending mode
    9. Creating a vignette
    10. Adjusting the color
    11. Review questions
    12. Review answers
  11. 8. Distorting Objects with the Puppet Tools
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
      1. Importing footage
      2. Creating the composition
      3. Adding the background
      4. Scaling an object
      5. Adding the character
    3. About the Puppet tools
    4. Adding Deform pins
    5. Defining areas of overlap
    6. Stiffening an area
    7. Animating pin positions
      1. Creating a walking cycle
      2. Animating a slip
      3. Moving an object
    8. Recording animation
    9. Review questions
    10. Review answers
  12. 9. Keying
    1. Lesson overview
    2. About keying
    3. Getting started
    4. Creating compositions in Device Central
      1. Importing the footage
      2. Creating a composition for keying
    5. Changing the background color
    6. Adding the foreground subject
    7. Using garbage masks
      1. Creating a garbage mask
      2. Animating a garbage mask
    8. Applying the Color Difference Key effect
      1. Checking the alpha channel for errors
    9. Choking the matte
    10. Removing spill
    11. Adjusting contrast
    12. Adding the background animation
    13. Adding text
      1. Positioning the text
      2. Adding a drop shadow
      3. Animating text
      4. Duplicating the text
    14. Preparing the composition for mobile devices
    15. Review questions
    16. Review answers
  13. 10. Performing Color Correction
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
      1. Importing the footage
      2. Creating the composition
    3. Adjusting color balance
    4. Replacing the background
      1. Keying out an area with the Color Range effect
      2. Adding a new background
      3. Color-correcting the clouds
    5. Removing unwanted elements
    6. Correcting a range of colors
    7. Warming colors with the Photo Filter effect
    8. Review questions
    9. Review answers
  14. 11. Building 3D Objects
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
      1. Creating the composition
      2. Importing assets
    3. Building a 3D object
      1. Creating the 3D floor
      2. Using 3D views
      3. Creating a guide layer
      4. Adding the first side of the object
      5. Positioning 3D elements
      6. Replacing a 3D element with another
      7. Adjusting views with the Camera tools
      8. Adding solid layers to a 3D object
    4. Working with a null object
    5. Working with 3D text
      1. Creating the composition
      2. Creating 3D text
      3. Adding depth to the text with expressions
    6. Creating a backdrop for 3D animation
    7. Nesting a 3D composition
    8. Adding a camera
      1. Setting the camera’s point of interest
    9. Completing the scene
    10. Review questions
    11. Review answers
  15. 12. Using 3D Features
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
    3. Animating 3D objects
    4. Adding reflections to 3D objects
      1. Creating a simple reflection
      2. Adding an adjustment layer
    5. Animating a camera
    6. Adjusting layer timing
    7. Using 3D lights
      1. Creating a light layer
      2. Positioning the spotlight
      3. Adding an ambient light
      4. Animating lights
    8. Adding effects
      1. Adjusting the Material Options properties
      2. Adding a transition effect
      3. Adjusting the timing of the layers
    9. Adding motion blur
    10. Previewing the entire animation
    11. Review questions
    12. Review answers
  16. 13. Advanced Editing Techniques
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
    3. Using motion stabilization
      1. Setting up the project
      2. Importing the footage
      3. Creating the composition
      4. Positioning the track points
      5. Analyzing and applying stabilization
      6. Scaling the layer
    4. Using single-point motion tracking
      1. Setting up the project
      2. Importing the footage
      3. Creating the composition
      4. Creating a shape layer
      5. Positioning the track point
      6. Analyzing and applying tracking
    5. Using multipoint tracking
      1. Setting up the project
      2. Importing the footage
      3. Creating the composition
      4. Positioning the track points
      5. Applying the multipoint tracker
    6. Creating a particle simulation
      1. Setting up the project
      2. Creating the composition
      3. Creating a particle system
      4. Customizing the particle effect
      5. Creating the sun
      6. Lighting the darkness
      7. Adding a lens flare
    7. Retiming playback using the Timewarp effect
      1. Setting up the project
      2. Importing the footage and creating the composition
      3. Using Timewarp
    8. Review questions
    9. Review answers
  17. 14. Rendering and Outputting
    1. Lesson overview
    2. Getting started
    3. Creating templates for the rendering process
      1. Creating a render-settings template for full resolution
      2. Creating a render-settings template for test renderings
    4. Creating templates for output modules
      1. Creating an output-module template for broadcast renderings
      2. Creating a low-resolution output-module template
    5. Exporting to different output media
      1. Preparing to output a test movie
      2. Working with multiple output modules
      3. Preparing the composition for full-resolution output
      4. Using pixel aspect ratio correction
      5. Rendering the final movie for broadcast
    6. Review questions
    7. Review answers
  18. Color Management in After Effects CS4
  19. Contributors