Working between Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe® After Effects®


Adobe® After Effects® Creative Cloud® Starter Kit


Lesson Info

Working between Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe® After Effects®

I'm going to start with just a very simple illustrator graphic it again if you are an illustrator user, you'll realize that there are no such thing as a simple illustrated graphics but it just looks really it's a very simple design but this one again that I pulled this one off from I stock photo and they've allowed us to use it for this workshop by the way, I'd like to mention too that um all of these projects that I am tearing apart and showing you on working with today for the demonstrations will be available for the for the download for those that purchased the program they'll be able to actually follow through like this project here will be ableto follow through with this and go step by step so let me open that again there we go um let's not worry about that right now, okay, so here is this simple graphic and I want to look at the layers of this because I'm dealing all about layers layers in in illustrator how things are grouped, how things are structured in there and how I then co...

nvert things tio either go right from illustrator to aftereffects or most cases if I'm going to animate something all convert them s o that there perfectly lined up to go to photo shop then I can bring in a whole photoshopped layered, photoshopped file bringing in after effects we're going toe walk through this whole process of how to get your illustrator files prepped and ready to animate or to do anything with so here's. Just a simple illustrator file here it's got a foreground in a background. The background is basically the sign base here, which is two layers or two elements in here. So it's, the yellow sign has got aslak border in here. Then our foreground is the working guy here which is made up of a whole bunch of things single elements such as the pile of stuff here, if you just roll over it, you can see all of the different elements that aaron there, um, and then there's a lot of things, they're grouped even more so here's just what makes up the guy's head. We've got hiss round circle for his head and we've got the helmet and then the divisor on the work hat s o that's a group and the way things come out of illustrator and go into photo shop um, it looks at each group or subgroup, so I will tend to, uh, pull these things apart a little differently so that I can I can actually animate them later, but let's, take a look at that how an illustrator file like this comes in tow after effects all by itself, so let's open up after effects and here is the basic layout of after effects and sometimes people open this up and they go I have no idea even where to start and I'm not going to show you everything about every piece in there because if I do then your head's going to explode and it's just too much to try to comprehend so this is going to be a kind of as a need to know basis today we're going to focus on just the windows that were going tio utilize and what each one does and how they function and the first place you'll start is right here in the project panel uh this is where we bring in all of our media that we're going to utilize we're going to animate or we're going toe tio composite and this is where you'll import things and like photo shop or illustrator there's a lot of ways to do things is a lot of ways to open open files is a lot of ways to import media and in this case I like to use is few keyboard you know controls is possible and if you drop down menus as possible so I like to right click a lot on my mouse uh and get things so I'm in the project panel right here and I want to import a file so I'm going to import then file and then I'm going tio grab my uh document I'm going go to my shortcut here so I can whips don't want to bring the whole thing and don't double click because then you bring in a full folder I'm going to throw that right to the trash get double click happy and you get in trouble okay? So important then file then I'm going to my, uh go back out here my desktop there we go and then my projects and I'm going to go grab this illustrator file that we just opened up just the illustrator file and notice that it says import as I'm just going to leave all of that default now because we're going to come back to this window of several times today and they all have different functions. So right now we're just interested in bringing this illustrator filing just as it is so as I bring it in, it shows up here a little thumbnail of it there if I double click it, we'll see it shows up over here in this preview window and that just shows us okay. Well, black is negative space in after effects by default that's typically what the black background is is just means there's nothing there there's no art board there's, no background there, it's nothing you can turn that on and off is this little icon down here zoom in this little icon here transparency grid you can turn that on and off and then it looks just like it does in photo shop now you have kind of a familiar space here what you're working with so this is just the illustrator file as it isthe and it's not going to do anything on its own we need to, uh do something with it it has to go into something called a composition composition is kind of our master area that we're working it's kind of like when you're working in and photo shop you've got your master document uh then you've got all these other little files you bring in either copy and paste him in or you drag a man and that's kind of what we have to do here we have to make our art board or are basic doc here and that's what the composition is and typically your people are working for video resolution with something like this and they'll go to the composition than new composition and then you're faced with all of these foreign uh elements here if you're not into video animation aa lot of this is going to seem very foreign to you it's like, oh my gosh, I don't know what preset I need on what size I need I don't know any of this stuff right now so you can just ignore all of that hyundai cancel out of this just say I want tio I just want to animate something or I want tio be ableto layer some things I want to use the actual size of my document that I brought in, and if I look at this, I see ok, what size is this? Will this brought this in at eight hundred by eight hundred pixels? S o it's like that's? Fine, this is I'm just going to make this little element, and then I'm going to throw it somewhere else and put it on the web. I'm going to do something else with it so I can just make a composition from this documents that are this filed that it brought in, I just click it and drag it down over this little icon down here, and that is creating new composition on the zoom in on that a little bit, so create a new composition, this low icon down here, it's kind of like in photo shop or you want to either duplicates something, you've got to drag it over an icon, but in here that and say, man, then premier, you want to create a new sequence, you're going to drag something over there, creating the sequel it's icon, so that just created a new composition, and it shows up here in the window, on the side here, my, uh I mean, main part of my screen here again. I've got this toggle transparency. I can turn that on or off. Depends on what I want to do with it. Um, and so this looks just like when I double click this so it's like, well, how is it any different? Well, the difference here is I've got an active time line down here and that's what? This is down here. This is our time line. This little scrubber here is our current time indicator. It's kind of lets you scrubbed through the length of your whole animation. So we move that back and forth here's, our actual illustrator filed down here, and then we can get into other other elements as we go along here. Um, I've got I've got a lot of things that I can do with this just as it as it is right now. If I twirl down this little carrot here on the side on the white somebody some people just call that a carrot or a narrow it comes from old old old days of working with macromedia products. I think so. We control that down in d c there's, there's elements down here uh, first thing is transform we can click that down, and then we get all of these items here we've got anchor point we'll get into that later that's could be a very important feature for us to deal with we've got position which we do already understand position is anywhere on this on the screen here and when we get into three d space it means something in in the third dimension as well scale is pretty obvious rotation and opacity there's a lot of keyboard shortcuts to jump back and forth between all of these uh if I just if I've got several layers in here for instance I don't want it twirl this down and see this great big long list every time sam up here and I just want to look at mike position numbers I'm going to hit p on the keyboard and it shows may position if I want to deal a scale a hit s if I want tio deal with capacity, I hit t for transparency so I don't know why after all these years they haven't made a capacity actually transparency but um t for teeth for transparency is is how you have to think about that so a for anchor point and uh c o r for rotation so depending on if you're in three d space or not we'll get into that later on you'll be able to rotate in different axes and get into more crazy crazy animation stuff so with the uh illustrator file I can you know aiken scale it and typically I like to play with the numbers down here sometimes you can grab something and drag it out so I could drag this like I wouldn't photo shop and the same type of thing the shift key will constrain it uh, so that it it keeps its aspect ratio correct? Um and then rotation are for rotation. I typically will just grab the numbers down here, let me zoom in on this a little bit I can grab these numbers and click and drag, click and drag and that's allows me to rotate my element whatever I've got selected here second rotate so if I wanted to spin that around over time, I could I could just do that. Um, so I get set that backto zero and then of course we dealt with scale in position transparency again same thing I click and I drag or I can click and type I do that a lot from going to do a fate of some kind zero to one hundred so that's, where I control all of those things that I want to do with the layer and these air just the very basic things. One thing I like to do is in the reason why I take stuff from illustrator and go to photo shop is because that gives me control over what I'm doing with the layers independently I can control my resolution and everything. It's, it's just a nice and easy workflow for that. So let me go back to illustrator and I've got this, uh, this file here and pull this up a little bit here so we can see it. And they pulled this layer out here so I can expand on this a bit. I'd like to see more of my layer pellet here. So what I have to do now if I want to, even if I just if I just want tio have this group with the foreground and background separated, here's, something I would do if I just wanted to animate those two elements, I could either save an illustrator file and get rid of one of the groups and then bring that in. And then I've only got those elements as they are for each illest hill street. Do a save as and have two different illustrator files, but because this is vector, I can save this out higher raise. And then I've got mohr information to work with it's, just like when you're working with photos or graphics and you have to do him for print. You need a nice, big, juicy logo. Or a nice big juicy graphic you can't start with the thumbnail that he pulled off the intern head and hope to scale it up and do anything with it. The same thing happens here if we want to animate something or scale it somehow there uh you've got to start with mohr datum or information so what I would do in this case is I would export to different ways of going about this if I just wanted these two elements foreground and background separate I would just hide whichever one I didn't want then come over here to file and export and I'm going to save it is a png file so the png gives us transparency around the edges of everything if you deal with webgraphics uh at all or we just want layers that you can mess with your going toe want this I'm going to say uh just call this the working man and going to export and now this is where it's interesting I go to three hundred I want as much resolution that will give me the anti alias scene is going to be for art because I'm not dealing with type I want to make sure the background is transparent by default is then I click ok and then I repeat the same for background image so go file export and this will be the, uh is called b g for background ok, and that's going to remember my last settings so I click ok now I can go to photo shop and mess with ease if I need to or I can go right back to illustrator and I can pull those in, I go to file, I do my right click do important file, and then I can grab both of those so here's that one the man and I've got bee gee, if I hold down my command key or the control key on a pc, I can click more than one item at a time in my lists, I'm going to grab both of these at the same time click open and there they go. Now I can hide just like in photo shop, I've got this little eyeball here and in my time line so I can click that to hide my artwork on that layer can hide that show and hide, and then I can bring in both of these just drag him down here now they are, they're huge. Okay, so I can liken scale these both down if I click on both at the same time. The shift key hit s for scale. See how scale shows up back down here underneath each one, I just click and drag this down till they're both in there, not just scaled them both the nice thing is, let me turn on my transparency here so I can hide the background. And I've got just the guy is right there, or they're so if I want to scale him differently independently, or if I want is doing in or something like that. I've got enough detail in resolution in here to do that. See, we're only twenty two percent in this little window, eight hundred by eight hundred. So if I wanted to do a zoom over time, I could do that on dh. Just have him zoom up, and I could play with my other options with his capacity and all of that.

Class Description

Adobe® After Effects® is not only the broadcast industry’s motion graphics and animation standard, but it’s now more accessible than ever as part of your Creative Cloud® membership. In this intensive 6-hour course, renowned author, video producer, and Adobe Community Professional Jeff Foster will show you how to use the many functions of Adobe® After Effects®  to enhance your projects with animated titling and 3D motion graphics.

You’ll learn how simple it is to:

  • Create motion from your Adobe® Illustrator® and Adobe® Photoshop® files
  • Animate title text and designs in 3D space

While Adobe® After Effects® can be intimidating at first glance, Jeff will teach you just what you need to get started in this amazing program without overwhelming you.

Software Used: Adobe After Effects CC 2014


Brandon D

Excellent class! Makes After Effects much less daunting to tackle and explains it in clear way. The bright purple background was distracting and annoying though.

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