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After Effects CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide by Antony Bolante

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Chapter 5. Layer Basics

Previous chapters laid the groundwork for the central activity of your After Effects work: manipulating a composition’s layers. Over the next several chapters, you’ll gradually increase your command over layers. This chapter focuses on the bare essentials—describing how to select, name, and label layers. You’ll also learn how to control layer quality and how to choose whether to include layers in previews and renders. In addition, you’ll see how to simplify working with layers by concealing ones you’re not using and by locking ones you don’t want to disturb. In the process, you’ll become more familiar with your primary workspace, the Timeline panel.

Selecting Layers

As you would expect, you must select layers before you can ...

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