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After Effects for Flash | Flash for After Effects: Dynamic Animation and Video with Adobe® After Effects® CS4 and Adobe® Flash® CS4 Professional

Book Description

Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 brings together two powerful animation tools, each of which has its own specialized features and workflow. Learning to integrate Adobe After Effects and Adobe Flash Professional gives you more options for your animations and effects and the power to integrate video and motion graphics into a richer user experience. In this book, authors Richard Harrington and Marcus Geduld lead both types of users, those who are more familiar with either Flash or with After Effects, on using the programs together for maximum efficiency and creativity.

After walking you through the core features of both programs, the authors then explore advanced uses for each application. Each chapter focuses on a particular function of the program, teaching you how to create content for Flash with After Effects, enhance your projects using 3D environments, create professional-looking video with Adobe Media Encoder, and add interactivity, accessibility, and searchability to your video. You’ll also get hands-on experience using the project files on the accompanying DVD.

Within these easy-to-follow, step-by-step lessons, you'll learn to:

  • Seamlessly exchange projects and assets between After Effects and Flash

  • Shoot green screen material correctly, work with Keylight, and utilize embedded alpha channels

  • Create dynamic text, vector-based animations, and “animated” video using the tools in Adobe Creative Suite 4

  • Work with 3D cameras and lights and create 3D environments

  • Convert Flash to broadcast and DVD standards with After Effects

  • Use Adobe Media Encoder for professional results

  • Create interactive controls and use cue points in your video

  • Optimize video for accessibility and use Adobe® Soundbooth® for video transcription

  • Use ActionScript in your projects for more innovative animations

  •  
    Richard Harrington is a certified instructor for Adobe, Apple, and Avid, and an expert in motion graphic design and digital video. He is a regular contributor to Creative Cow, ProVideo Coalition, and numerous industry blogs and magazines. He also owns the visual communications company, RHED Pixel (www.rhedpixel.com) in Washington, DC. Rich is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Instructor Dream Team, chairs conferences for the National Association of Broadcasters, and has written numerous titles including Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4, Photoshop for Video, and Broadcast Graphics on the Spot.

    Marcus Geduld is a freelance programmer who teaches programming, design, animation, compositing, and video editing in New York City. He is the author of Premiere Pro Editing Workshop and After Effects Expressions and is the co-author of After Effects On the Spot. Marcus speaks on technical and artistic topics at numerous conferences and is an Adobe Certified Expert, a Macromedia Certified Developer, and an Avid Certified Instructor. He is artistic director of Folding Chair Classical Theatre, a New-York based company which he runs with his wife, actress Lisa Blankenship.

     

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
      1. Dedication
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Introduction
      1. Why Flash and After Effects?
        1. What Flash Does
        2. What After Effects Does
        3. How Can You Use Flash and After Effects Together?
      2. Who This Book Is for
      3. How This Book Is Organized
      4. On the DVD and Web
    4. I. Technical Essentials
      1. 1. After Effects Essentials for the Flash User
        1. The After Effects Interface Tour
          1. Configuring the Application with Workspaces
          2. Standard Panels in After Effects CS4
            1. Project
            2. Composition
            3. Timeline
            4. Effects & Presets
            5. Tools
            6. Info
            7. Audio
            8. Preview
          3. Panel Shortcuts
        2. Creating a Project
          1. Creating Compositions
          2. Using Folders to Organize
          3. Importing Assets
        3. Animating in the Timeline
          1. Organizing Layers
          2. Trimming Layers
          3. Pre-composing Layers
          4. Using Adjustment Layers
          5. Transforming Layers
            1. Chart.swf layer
            2. Skyline.ai layer
            3. Clouds.psd layer
          6. Using Keyframes
          7. Using Parenting
        4. Compositing in the Timeline
          1. Using Track Mattes
          2. Using Masks
          3. Using 3D Space
          4. Using Animation Presets
        5. Replacing Content
        6. Edit Original Command
        7. Rendering Animations
          1. The Render Queue
          2. Render Settings
          3. Output Module
          4. Setting a Destination
        8. What’s Next?
      2. 2. Flash Essentials for the After Effects User
        1. Creating a New Flash File
          1. File Types
        2. Importing Assets
        3. Using the Library
          1. Adding Library Symbols to the Stage
        4. Layers
        5. Adding Text
        6. Flash CS4’s New Animation Method
          1. Extending Layers in Time
          2. One Keyframe to Rule Them All
        7. Classic Animation
        8. Timeline Editing
        9. Simple Easing
        10. The Motion Editor
        11. Converting to a Symbol
          1. Creating a Symbol in the Library
        12. Nested Animation
          1. Importing Layers from Photoshop
          2. Creating a Rotating-Propeller Symbol
          3. Nesting a Symbol Inside Another Symbol
          4. Skewing the Propeller in 3D
          5. Animating the Satellite on the Main Timeline
        13. Publishing
        14. Flash Forward
        15. What’s Next?
      3. 3. The Production Premium Toolset
        1. Integrated Software
          1. Adobe® After Effects® CS4
          2. Adobe® Flash® CS4 Professional
          3. Adobe® Photoshop® CS4 Extended
          4. Adobe® Illustrator® CS4
          5. Adobe® Premiere Pro® CS4
          6. Adobe® Soundbooth™ CS4
          7. Adobe® OnLocation™ CS4
          8. Adobe® Encore CS4
          9. Adobe® Bridge CS4
          10. Adobe® Device Central
          11. Adobe® Media Encoder
        2. Exploring Workflow
          1. Capturing Video with Premiere Pro
            1. Working with DV/HDV tape
            2. Batch capturing clips
            3. Using tapeless sources
          2. Using Dynamic Link to Exchange Files
            1. Assembling your sequence in Premiere Pro
            2. Moving footage to After Effects
          3. XFL Format Exchange
          4. Adding Music or Sound with Soundbooth
            1. Previewing scores
            2. Using scores
            3. Mixing scores
        3. What’s Next
    5. II. Creating Content for Flash with After Effects
      1. 4. Creating Transparent Video with After Effects
        1. Shooting Chroma Key Right
          1. Acquisition Format
            1. Progressive vs. interlaced
            2. Tape vs. tapeless
            3. Frame rate
            4. Frame size
          2. Backdrop Choices
          3. Lighting Essentials
          4. Shooting Essentials
        2. Keying in After Effects
          1. Using Keylight
            1. Getting started
            2. Pulling an initial key
            3. Cleaning up the matte
            4. Correcting color
            5. Adjusting edge crop
          2. Using Masks
            1. Adding a garbage matte
            2. Limiting the key with a mask
            3. Exporting with transparency to Flash
            4. Using Transparent Video in Flash
          3. Additional Practice
        3. What’s Next?
      2. 5. Dynamic Text with After Effects
        1. The Project
        2. The Setup
        3. Text Animation with Animation Groups
          1. Animation One: Scaling the Whole Word
          2. Animation Two: Scaling and Positioning Each Letter
          3. Animation Three: Tracking
          4. Animation Four: Color
        4. Save an Animation Preset
        5. Scaling and Positioning Text
        6. Aligning Text
        7. Text Animation Presets
        8. Final Touches
        9. What’s Next?
      3. 6. Raster vs. Vector
        1. Raster Images
          1. File Size
          2. Scaling
        2. Vector Images
        3. Raster and Vector Animation in After Effects
        4. Raster Animation in Flash
        5. Vector Drawing Tools in Flash
          1. Working with the Pencil Tool
          2. Adding a Filter
        6. Vector Drawing in After Effects
        7. Exporting from After Effects as an XFL File
        8. Importing a SWF into After Effects
        9. What’s Next?
      4. 7. “Tooning” Footage with the Creative Suite
        1. The Cartoon Effect in After Effects
          1. The Details
          2. The Effect in Action
            1. Pre-processing footage with color correction
            2. Creating the fill
            3. Creating the stroke
          3. Preview and Create an FLV File
        2. Live Trace with Creative Suite
          1. Process the Footage with After Effects
          2. Convert to Still Image Sequence
          3. Process with Adobe Illustrator (Live Trace)
          4. Process with Adobe Bridge
          5. Import into After Effects
        3. Silhouette with Auto-trace
          1. Tracing in After Effects
          2. Exporting a SWF
        4. What’s Next?
      5. 8. Advanced Animation Tools in After Effects and Flash
        1. Motion Sketch
        2. Smoother
        3. Wiggler
        4. The Puppet Tools
          1. Placing Pins
          2. Puppet Starch Controls
          3. Sketching Motion
        5. The Bones Tool
        6. Shape Tweening
        7. Adding Sound
        8. Prepare the Movie for After Effects
        9. What’s Next?
    6. III. Enhancing Flash with After Effects
      1. 9. Creating 3D Environments
        1. Creating Seamless Textures
          1. Process in Photoshop
          2. Offset Effect in After Effects
          3. Layering Images to Create Depth
          4. Stylizing with Adjustment Layers
        2. Assembling Virtual Environments from Photos
          1. Compositing in Photoshop
            1. Cloning and healing to remove items
            2. Organizing content for animation
          2. Importing to After Effects
            1. Positioning layers in 3D space
            2. Changing comp size
        3. Creating Seamless Backgrounds with Photomerge
          1. Merging Photos
          2. Creating a Seamless Loop with an Action
          3. Importing into After Effects
          4. Using the Panorama Script
        4. Using Vanishing Point Exchange
          1. Selecting Images
          2. Creating Planes
          3. Exporting for After Effects
          4. Importing to After Effects
          5. Cleaning Up Layers
        5. What’s Next
      2. 10. Using 3D Cameras and Lights
        1. Animating a Camera
        2. Animating a 3D Pre-comp
        3. Lighting the Scene
        4. Adding a Camera to the Scene
        5. Camera Orbits
        6. Depth of Field
        7. Casting Shadows
        8. Practice Makes Perfect
        9. What’s Next?
      3. 11. Converting Flash to Broadcast Standards
        1. The Technical Essentials of Video
          1. Determining a Frame Aspect Ratio
          2. Determining a Frame Rate
          3. Using Square or Non-square Pixels
          4. Addressing Interlaced Video
          5. Title and Action Safe Zones
          6. Luminance and Color
        2. Preparing the FLA File
          1. Configuring the Canvas and Frame Rate
          2. Scaling Elements to Fill the Frame
          3. Removing Movie Clip Symbols
          4. Exporting for After Effects
        3. Finishing in After Effects
          1. Importing the Assets
          2. Interpreting the Footage
          3. Compositing the Footage
          4. Using Adjustment Layers
        4. What’s Next?
    7. IV. Enhancing Video with Flash
      1. 12. Professional Encoding of Flash Video
        1. Delivery Methods for Flash Video
          1. Adobe Flash Media Server
          2. Progressive Download
          3. Embedded Video
        2. Delivery Formats
          1. H.264 – F4V
          2. On2 VP6 – FLV
          3. Sorenson Spark – FLV
        3. Delivery Size
          1. Standard Definition
          2. High Definition
        4. Deploying Video
          1. The Video Import Wizard
            1. Initiating import
            2. Import options
            3. Skinning the video
          2. Adobe Media Encoder
            1. Adding files to the Export Queue window
            2. Export Settings viewing area
            3. Pre-encoding tasks
            4. Adjusting video properties
            5. Adjusting audio properties
            6. Saving a custom preset
            7. Starting the encode
          3. The After Effects Render Queue
            1. Adding files to the Render Queue
            2. Specify render settings
            3. Specify the output module
            4. Rendering the file
        5. What’s Next?
      2. 13. Creating Interactive Controls
        1. The Project
        2. Prepping the Video
          1. Starting the Project
          2. Converting the Video to Flash
          3. Adding Cue Points
          4. Importing the Video
        3. Adding Simple Interactivity with Buttons
          1. Adding Play and Pause Buttons
          2. Adding Instance Names
          3. Coding the Pause Button
          4. What Does the Code Mean?
          5. Coding the Play Button
        4. Advanced Interactivity
          1. Adding Invisible Buttons
          2. The Code
          3. Making the Code More Universal
          4. Coding the Other Buttons
        5. One More Word About ActionScript
        6. What’s Next?
      3. 14. Making Video Accessible
        1. Section 508 Compliance
        2. Transcribing Audio with Soundbooth
          1. Speech Transcription Options
          2. Cleaning Up the Transcript
          3. Exporting a Transcript as XML
          4. Importing XML Cue Points
          5. Rendering an FLV
        3. Making Searchable Video
          1. Loading the Assets
          2. Testing the HTML
        4. Creating Captioned Video
          1. Display Captions with ActionScript
          2. Creating a Timed-Text XML File
          3. FLVPlaybackCaptioning Component
          4. Changing the Look of Caption Text
          5. Using Your Own Text Field to Display Caption Text
        5. What’s Next?