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Focal Easy Guide to After Effects

Book Description

If you want to become a resourceful creative artist then look no further! This quick reference to After Effects will show you how to open, install and get up-and-running to a professional level with Adobe's motion graphics and visual effects software package.

Curtis Sponsler guides you through some of the common stumbling blocks that frustrate novice and many intermediate designers. Clear and concise full color examples will help you to quickly learn the key features, interface and functional techniques used within the production workspace. By putting these key skills into practice you will discover how to build on and extrapolate concepts, enabling you to solve common production design problems straight away! You can then move on to build simple compositions and progress into the advanced feature-set of After Effects.

As you work through each section you will grasp an ever-increasing array of tools and capabilities to discover a program that will well and truly change your working life!

Associated Website: www.focalpress.com/companions/024051968X

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Introduction
    1. For Beginners with Experience
    2. This is Not a Windows Only Book
    3. Be Not Intimidated
  8. Welcome to After Effects
    1. Interface Navigation
      1. The After Effects Workspace
      2. Primary Workspace Windows
      3. Support Windows
      4. The Project Window – Where You Gather Your Work’s Resources
      5. Project Window Buttons
      6. Importing Resources
      7. The Import Dialog Box
      8. The Timeline Window – Where You Build Your Work
      9. Composition Settings
      10. Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR)
      11. Timeline Columns and Options
      12. Timeline Window Tour
      13. Composition Window – Where You See Your Work
      14. Support Palette Windows – Pop-up Tools for Productivity
      15. Help – The Most Ignored and Overlooked Menu
    2. Focus on the Timeline Window
      1. Mix and Match Files
      2. Projects vs Comps
      3. A Clean Slate
      4. Composition Settings
      5. ‘Drag and Drop’ and ‘Click and Drag’ – Moving Timeline Elements
      6. Compositions Are Like Onions – They Have Layers
      7. Layer Components
      8. Transform Values Edit Window
      9. Audio Layers
      10. Animating Layer Transforms – Adding Keyframes
      11. Blending Modes
      12. Track Matte
      13. Deleting Keyframes
      14. Nudge Nudge – Know What I Mean?
      15. Go To Dialog Box Idiosyncrasies
    3. Focus on the Composition Window
      1. Pixel Perfect Preview
      2. Selecting Layers
      3. Fast Previews – OpenGL Preview
      4. Drag and Drop Construction
      5. Motion Constraints
      6. Transform Handles
      7. Look Ma – No Handles!
      8. The Layer Window – Editing Clips
      9. The Footage Window – Layer Window Lite
    4. Preparing Imported Resources
      1. Interpretation Rules!
      2. Alpha Channel Support
      3. Alpha Interpretation
      4. Frame Rate
      5. Fields and Pulldown – Part 1: Separate Fields
      6. Identifying Correct Field Order
      7. Fields and Pulldown – Part 2: The 3:2 Pulldown
      8. Other Options – Part 1: Pixel Aspect Ratio
      9. Other Options – Part 2: EPS and Illustrator Files Get Special Treatment
      10. Replace Footage – ‘Where Did My Files Go?’
      11. Proxy Footage – Use Really Big Files and Not Kill Your Computer
      12. Avid Windows AVI Codec Issues
  9. Building Your Project
    1. Layers – Part 1: Discovery
      1. Building Your Projects – One Layer at a Time
      2. Blending Modes – Pixel Mixing Your Layers Together
      3. Masking – Part 1: Making Box Masks
      4. Subpixel Precision – A Brief Voyage of Enlightenment
      5. Masking – Part 2: Making Oval Masks
      6. Masking – Part 3: Adjusting Masks
      7. Duplicating and Splitting Layers Overview
      8. Splitting Layers
      9. Duplicating Layers
    2. Audio – A Sound Primer
      1. Timing’s Everything
      2. 1, 2, 3, Mark
      3. Sound Affects
      4. Sound Keys
    3. Keyframe Animation
    4. Copy and Paste Keyframes
    5. Keyframe Creation and Modification
      1. Moving Keyframes
      2. The Keyframe Assistant
      3. Keyframe Interpolation – Temporal (Time)
      4. Temporal Changes
      5. Keyframe Interpolation – Spatial (Motion)
      6. Interpolation and the Pen Tool
      7. Converting Vector Interpolation
    6. Precomps – Layers Within Layers
      1. After Effects’ Killer-Killer Feature
      2. Opportunities Abound
      3. WONK TV Returns
      4. Standard Nesting
      5. Looping Etiquette – Part 1
      6. Collapse Transformations – Enhanced Nesting
      7. Finishing the Logo Design
      8. Precomping Caveats
    7. Layers – Part 2: Taking Control of Your Composition
      1. Pulling it all Together
      2. Gradient Effects – Play Ball!
      3. Parenting with Nulls – Nulls Don’t Mean Nothing
      4. Looping Etiquette – Part 2
      5. 2D vs 3D Layers
      6. X-Y-Z 1-2-3
      7. Pan Behind Tool – Part 1: Anchor Point Adjustment
      8. Layer Timeline Extension
      9. Continuous Rasterization – Illustrator File’s Unique Capability
      10. Masking – Part 4: Compound Masks
      11. 3D Layers – Part 1: Animation
      12. 3D Shadows
      13. Copy and Paste for Effects
      14. Pan Behind Tool – Part 2: Layer Editing Features
      15. Hybrid Precomping
      16. Pan Behind Tool – Part 3: Keyframes
      17. An Artist’s Work is Never Done – It’s Just Abandoned
    8. Advanced Timeline Operations
      1. Layers – Part 3: Drag and Replace
      2. Drag and Replace – Part 1: Footage in Single Comps
      3. Drag and Replace – Part 2: Footage Across Multiple Comps
      4. Replace Footage – Permanent Drag and Replace
      5. Replace Footage – Make Replacement Comp
      6. Advanced Masking
      7. Drag and Replace – Part 3: Comps into Comps or Footage
      8. Make Replacement Comp for Any Format
      9. Type Tool – The Basics
      10. Type Tool – Animation Effects Presets
      11. Frame Blending – Time Compressing and Stretching Made Good
      12. Frame Blending – Mixing Different Frame Rate Footage
      13. Interpret Footage – Frame Rate Settings
      14. Time Stretch – Constant Speed Change
      15. Time Remapping – Variable Speed Change
      16. Time Remapping – End of Clip Freeze Frame
      17. Frame Blending and Time Remapping Applied to Compositions
  10. Advanced Compositing Features
    1. Working with Photoshop and Illustrator Files
      1. Photoshop Document Import – File Preparation
      2. Photoshop File Import as Composition
      3. Illustrator File Import as Composition
      4. 3D Layers – Part 2: 3D Camera
      5. 3D Layers – Part 3: 3D Lights
    2. Keying and Garbage Mattes
      1. Luminance Keying – Luma Key Effect
      2. Luminance Keying – Gradient Wipe
      3. Luminance Keying – Extract
      4. Chroma Keying – Green/Blue Screen Keying with Keylight
      5. Chroma Keying – Color Key Effect
      6. Rotoscope – Garbage Mattes
    3. Making Footage Work for You
      1. Motion Tracking and Stabilization
      2. Single-Point Tracking
      3. Multi-Point Tracking – Position and Rotate
      4. Multi-Point Tracking – Scale
      5. Corner Pin Tracking – Parallel and Perspective
      6. When Tracking Goes Awry
    4. Typography
      1. Type Tool Settings
      2. Type Tool Animation
      3. Expressions – Parenting for Properties
      4. Drop Shadows the Easy Way
    5. Paint by Numbers
      1. Paint Tool – Write On
      2. Paint Tool – Single Frame Rotoscope
      3. Paint Tool – Animated Brush Strokes
      4. Paint Tool – Advanced Options
      5. Vector Paint Tool – Organic Shape Rotoscope
    6. Compositing Tips for 3D Animators
      1. Over-Rendering
      2. Field Rendering
      3. Render Elements and Layers
      4. Ray Tracing for the Rest of Us
  11. Rendering and Output
    1. AfterMath
    2. The Render Queue – The Reel Finishing Line
    3. Render Settings
    4. Output Module
    5. Rendering Your Project
    6. Scenario 1: Import & Replace Usage – GridBall Pre-Render
    7. Scenario 2: Multiple Output Modules – 29.97 fps Anamorphic and Fields
    8. Scenario 3: GridBall Lower Third with 3:2 Pulldown
    9. Scenario 4: Logo Risen > Flash (SWF)
  12. Network Rendering: Get Your Project Done Now!
    1. The Render-Garden – When You’ve Only Got One Machine
    2. Rendering with a Second Instance of After Effects
    3. The Render-Farm – True Network Rendering
    4. Installing the After Effects Render Engine
    5. Watch Folder Setup
    6. Preparing Your Project for Watch Folder Rendering
    7. Watch Folder Rendering – Ready, Set, Render!
    8. Of Codecs and File Formats
    9. Codec Issues
  13. Appendices
    1. Practical Concepts of Things You Need to Remember
      1. Project Preparation – Who, How and Why?
      2. Who Will Use My Project?
      3. How Will My Project Be Used?
      4. Project Setup – Target Your Project Settings
      5. Media Formats – Knowing What to Look for in a File
      6. Alpha Channel – The Embedded Mask Layer
      7. Black Lines Around My Logo
      8. Premultiplied vs Straight Images
      9. Pixel Aspect Ratio – When a Square Pixel is Not Square
      10. 3:2 Pulldown – How to Force 24 into 30
      11. Fields vs Frames – A Hot Topic Issue
    2. Project Settings and Preferences
      1. Project Settings
      2. Display Style – Timecode Base
      3. Color Depth Modes
      4. Application Preferences
    3. Conclusion
    4. Glossary – Big Words to Know, Impress Others With, and Love
  14. Index