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After Effects CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide

Book Description

Here to get filmmakers, Web designers, broadcasters, and digital artists of all kinds up to speed on After Effects CS4—and in time to meet their next deadline—is everyone's favorite task-based guide. Through step-by-step instructions, enhanced by tips, sidebars, and plenty of visual aids, veteran video editor Antony Bolante shows readers how to effectively and efficiently import and manage footage, view and edit layers, apply effects, animate type, and more. They'll learn about key features with real world examples of how and when features should be used, including what's new in After Effects CS4: the addition of Imagineer System’s Mocha for Adobe After Effects, which allows users to do motion tracking for difficult shots; the ability to export rich media compositions from After Effects to Adobe Flash; searchable timelines and projects, plus easier composition navigation; the ability to import Photoshop 3D layers; independent keyframing of X, Y, and Z axis positions; the new Cartoon effect for creating an animated look to live footage; and many more enhancements.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. 1. After Effects: The Big Picture
    1. The QuickPro Series
    2. Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium
    3. Minimum Requirements
      1. Mac OS
      2. Windows
      3. All Systems
    4. Mac OS vs. Windows
    5. New Features in After Effects CS4
    6. Workflow Overview
    7. Interface Overview
      1. Primary panels
      2. Secondary panels
      3. Specialized panels
      4. Even more specialized panels
    8. Setting a Workspace
    9. Customizing the Workspace
    10. Using Viewers
    11. Opening Related Panels Automatically
  4. 2. Importing Footage into a Project
    1. Starting from the Welcome Screen
    2. Creating and Saving Projects
    3. Opening and Closing Projects
    4. Importing Files
    5. Importing Still-Image Sequences
    6. Importing Files with Alpha Channels
    7. Importing a Layered File as a Single Footage Item
    8. Importing a Layered File as a Composition
    9. Importing Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects Projects
    10. Importing with Adobe Bridge
    11. Motion Footage
      1. Setting a footage item’s frame rate
      2. Interpreting interlaced video
      3. Pixel aspect ratios
      4. Looping footage
  5. 3. Managing Footage
    1. Displaying Information in the Project Panel
    2. Finding Items in a Project
    3. Sorting Footage in the Project Panel
    4. Organizing Footage in Folders
    5. Renaming and Removing Items
    6. Proxies
    7. Viewing Footage
    8. The Footage Panel
    9. Cueing Motion Footage
    10. Magnifying an Image
    11. Viewing Safe Zones and Grids
    12. Displaying Rulers and Guides
    13. Viewing Snapshots
    14. Viewing Channels
    15. Viewing Transparency
    16. Correcting for Pixel Aspect Ratios
    17. Adjusting Exposure
  6. 4. Compositions
    1. Composition Settings
    2. Creating a Composition
    3. Specifying Basic Composition Settings
    4. Resizing a Comp
    5. Setting a Comp’s Background Color
    6. The Composition and Timeline Panels
      1. The Composition panel
      2. The Timeline panel
    7. Setting the Time
      1. Using the Preview panel
    8. Adding Footage to a Composition
    9. Adding Layers Using Insert and Overlay
    10. Creating Solid Layers
  7. 5. Layer Basics
    1. Selecting Layers
    2. Changing the Stacking Order
    3. Naming Layers
    4. Switching Video and Audio On and Off
    5. Locking a Layer
    6. Basic Layer Switches
    7. Making Layers Shy
    8. Continuously Rasterizing a Layer
    9. Quality Setting Switches
  8. 6. Layer Editing
    1. Viewing Layers in the Timeline and Layer Panels
    2. The Time Graph
      1. Parts of the time graph
    3. Navigating the Time Graph
      1. The Time Navigator
    4. The Layer Panel
      1. Parts of the Layer panel
    5. Trimming Layers
    6. Moving Layers in Time
    7. Showing Numerical Editing Controls
    8. Changing a Layer’s Speed
    9. Performing a Slip Edit
    10. Sequencing and Overlapping Layers
    11. Duplicating Layers
    12. Splitting Layers
    13. Using Markers
  9. 7. Properties and Keyframes
    1. Layer Property Types
      1. Masks
      2. Effects
      3. Transform properties
      4. Audio properties
    2. Viewing Properties
    3. Setting Global vs. Animated Property Values
    4. Viewing Spatial Controls in the Comp Panel
    5. Transform Properties
      1. Anchor point
      2. Position
      3. Scale
      4. Rotation
    6. Orienting Rotation to a Motion Path Automatically
      1. Opacity
    7. Specifying Property Values
    8. Animating Layer Properties with Keyframes
      1. Basic keyframing
      2. Keyframe icons
    9. Cueing the Current Time to Keyframes
    10. Selecting and Deleting Keyframes
    11. Moving Keyframes in Time
    12. Copying Values and Keyframes
    13. Generating Property Values with the Brainstorm Feature
  10. 8. Playback, Previews, and RAM
    1. Rendering and RAM
      1. Cache flow
      2. Playback and previews
    2. Previewing to a Video Device
    3. Setting the Region of Interest
    4. Using the Preview Panel
    5. Using the Live Update Option
    6. Specifying a Fast Previews Option
    7. Using Adaptive Resolution
    8. Using OpenGL
    9. Suppressing Panel Updates
    10. Scrubbing Audio
    11. Previewing the Work Area
    12. Previewing Audio Only
    13. Rendering RAM Previews
  11. 9. Keyframe Interpolation
    1. Understanding Interpolation
      1. Spatial interpolation
      2. Temporal interpolation
      3. Incoming and outgoing interpolation
    2. Interpolation Types
      1. No interpolation
      2. Linear
      3. Auto Bézier
      4. Continuous Bézier
      5. Bézier
      6. Hold
      7. Mixed incoming and outgoing interpolation
      8. Keyframe icons and interpolation
    3. Specifying the Default Spatial Interpolation
    4. Specifying Spatial Interpolation in the Motion Path
    5. Using the Graph Editor: An Overview
    6. Understanding Value and Speed Graphs
      1. Value graph
      2. Speed graph
    7. Viewing Property Graphs
    8. Specifying the Graph Type
    9. Viewing Optional Information in the Graph Editor
    10. Moving Keyframes in the Graph Editor
    11. Adding and Removing Keyframes in the Graph Editor
    12. Separating a Position’s Dimensions
    13. Setting a Keyframe’s Temporal Interpolation Type
    14. Adjusting Temporal Interpolation Manually
    15. Applying Keyframe Assistants
    16. Smoothing Motion with Roving Keyframes
  12. 10. Mask Essentials
    1. Understanding Paths
      1. Motion, Mask, and Shape paths
      2. Open and closed paths
      3. Bezier and RotoBézier curves
    2. Viewing Masks in the Layer and Comp Panels
    3. Viewing Masks in the Layer Outline
    4. Hiding and Showing Mask Paths
    5. Targeting Masks
    6. Creating Paths Using Shape Tools
    7. Building a Path with the Pen
    8. Creating a RotoBezier Path
    9. Changing the Shape of a Path
    10. Selecting Mask Path Vertices
    11. Opening and Closing Paths
    12. Scaling and Rotating Paths
    13. Converting Mask Paths into Motion Paths
    14. Moving Masks Relative to the Layer Image
    15. Inverting a Mask
    16. Mask Modes
    17. Adjusting Other Mask Properties
  13. 11. Effects Fundamentals
    1. Using the Effects & Presets Panel
    2. Applying Effects
    3. Viewing Effect Property Controls
    4. Removing and Resetting Effects
    5. Disabling Effects Temporarily
    6. Adjusting Effects in the Effect Controls Panel
    7. Setting an Effect Point
    8. Saving and Applying Effect Presets
    9. Copying and Pasting Effects
    10. Applying Multiple Effects
    11. Applying Effects to an Adjustment Layer
    12. Understanding Compound Effects
    13. Using Compound Effects
      1. Specifying an effect source
      2. Resolving size differences between source and target layers
      3. Using a nested composition as the effect source
    14. Animating Effects
  14. 12. Creating and Animating Text
    1. Creating Type
      1. Point text and paragraph text
    2. Editing and Formatting Type
      1. Font, style, fill, and stroke
      2. Font size, leading, kerning, and tracking
      3. Scale, baseline shift, and tsume
      4. Faux bold, faux italics, all caps, small caps, superscript, and subscript
    3. Formatting Paragraph Text
      1. Alignment and justification
      2. Indent and spacing
    4. Creating Masks and Shapes from Text
    5. Animating Text
      1. Standard layer properties
      2. Text properties
    6. Animating Source Text
    7. Making Text Follow a Path
    8. Using Text Animation Presets
    9. Understanding Animator Groups
      1. Animator properties
      2. Range selectors
    10. Animating Type with Animator Groups
    11. Creating Animator Groups
    12. Specifying a Range
  15. 13. Painting on a Layer
    1. Using the Paint and Brushes Panels
    2. Specifying Paint Stroke Options
      1. Opacity and Flow settings
      2. Brush tip
      3. Color
      4. Mode
      5. Channels
      6. Duration
    3. Painting with the Brush Tool
    4. Erasing Strokes
    5. Using Brushes
    6. Customizing Brushes
    7. Using Brush Dynamics
    8. Adjusting Strokes
      1. Strokes in the Timeline
      2. Selecting strokes
      3. Multiple Paint effects
    9. Animating Strokes
    10. Cloning
      1. Setting the sample point for cloning
      2. The Aligned option
      3. The Lock Source Time option
    11. Using the Clone Stamp Tool
    12. Overlaying the Clone Source
    13. Saving Clone Stamp Settings
  16. 14. More Layer Techniques
    1. Using Frame Blending
    2. Using Motion Blur
    3. Understanding Time Remapping
    4. Controlling Time Remap Values
    5. Using Time Remapping
    6. Using Blending Modes
    7. Preserving Underlying Transparency
    8. Track Mattes
      1. Types of track mattes
    9. Using Shape Layers
      1. Bézier and parametric shapes
    10. Creating Shape Layers
      1. Working with shape layer properties
      2. Adding properties
      3. Stacking order
      4. Groups
      5. Paint and path operations
    11. Using the Puppet Effect
    12. Refining Puppet Animations
      1. Mesh triangles and expansion
    13. Using Puppet Starch
    14. Using Puppet Overlap
    15. Animating Puppets by Sketching with the Mouse
  17. 15. 3D Layers
    1. Using 3D
    2. Viewing 3D Layers in the Comp Panel
    3. Adjusting Views with Camera Tools
    4. Using Comp Panel Layouts
    5. Using Axis Modes
    6. Using 3D Position
    7. Using 3D Orientation and Rotation
    8. Auto-Orienting 3D Layers
    9. Using 3D Material Options
    10. Using Cameras
    11. Choosing Camera Settings
    12. Using Lights
    13. Choosing Light Settings
    14. Making a Light an Adjustment Layer
    15. Using the Point of Interest
    16. Moving Cameras with Camera Tools
    17. Previewing 3D
    18. Understanding 3D Layer Order
      1. Combining 2D and 3D
  18. 16. Complex Projects
    1. Rendering Order
    2. Channeling the Rendering Order
      1. Transform effect
      2. Adjustment layer
      3. Nesting or precomposing
      4. Expressions
    3. Nesting
      1. Nesting options
    4. Precomposing
    5. Viewing Composition Hierarchy as a Flowchart
    6. Collapsing Transformations
    7. Prerendering
    8. Parenting Layers
      1. Jumping
    9. Using Null Objects
    10. Using Expressions
    11. Viewing Expressions
    12. Using the Expression Language Menu
    13. Writing Expressions
      1. Translating a simple expression
  19. 17. Output
    1. The Render Queue Panel
      1. Rendering progress
      2. Rendering settings
      3. Panel headings and the Render Status column
    2. Making a Movie
    3. Using the Render Queue Panel
    4. Pausing and Stopping Rendering
    5. Assigning Multiple Output Modules
    6. Choosing Render Settings
    7. Choosing Output Module Settings
    8. Creating Templates
    9. Saving Single Frames of a Composition
    10. Using the Adobe Media Encoder Dialog