Navigating the Interface & Managing the Workspace


Adobe® After Effects®


Lesson Info

Navigating the Interface & Managing the Workspace

What I'd like to do is kind of give you a lay of the land here the first thing we do and we open up aftereffects is we see all of these windows and all these panels and they can be a little overwhelming uh at best so, uh I'd like to kind of give you giving an overview of what you can do with these things and how you can manage them if you come up to a window and you go to your workspace uh, you see, typically by default the standard workspace is set up here you can add different uh, different panels just by coming to window like here got my effects panel I'd like to leave that in there uh then I've got my text, which is, you know, paragraph character, those air in there and you can move these around say, I don't want that panel there I could just grab it and see that I can move it around things will turn purple little areas that turned purple, I can move it up here, I can move it back down here so wherever it turns purple that will allow me to move, I can make it completely its own pan...

el off decide if I've got two monitors I could move it to another monitor take up as much real estate is I want with that so that's one way of managing your work space, which is really nice one thing that I like to do is well, and I was a little bit disappointed that the preference is that you sink in creative cloud don't also save your work spaces, so as I like to create my own work spaces and by doing that I come over here to work space and I select new workspace and I can just call this jeffs standard okay, so now I've kept that in the memory here, so I works based jeff standard is in there if I go to one of these others that are pre sets that come with creative cloud, I can see that they've selected some areas that have changed some of these panels and where they're located so I could move those around ah, or I can come down, select another work space or just jump back over to jeff's standard. So if I want to sink my preferences um with my my account, I just come over here to after effects and then here's my log in I d and I can sink settings now and I can download the settings because I've already uploaded some of them and it's going to do that you do have to download and quit the application and restarted again, so we'll do that barbara is going with that is the work space isn't one of the things that gets updated I can't save my workspace out through the sink settings, you know, maybe in future versions they'll have that but it's really not a deal breaker for me I just know that I'm just gonna make one when I get wherever I'm at if if there isn't the standard that I like okay, so what we've got is our project panel his here on the left uh we've got our composition panel here in the when the window is here in the middle and that's where we see everything that we're working on, whether it's actual composition or if we're going to preview a layer or piece of video footage, everything kind of shows up here so in our project panelist is where we import all of our content and then down here on the bottom is the timeline and this is the part that scares everybody the most cause there's, key frames and and all of that that makes makes makes it a little scary for people then all of these panels over here you've got a preview panel, which is the playback information your audio if you've got audio running in there and of course info on any anything that you happen to be rolling over it gives your rgb information as well we'll cover a few shortcuts I'm not really huge on shortcuts, so I'm not you're going to give you, you know, a major keyboard shortcut guide, although there are a million of them out there really easy just google google, search it and you'll find him so not going to get into that ah lot, but we will get into some of these effects and presets because there are excuse me, that's um, great presets already available to us s o looking into our, um, our project here, I've got a brand new project, and I know ahead of time what you what kind of composition I want I just come up here to composition, new composition, and this is where I can make all of my settings for ah mei kansai can choose a preset in here, something like that I can put in a custom number, I typically will work in square pixels, so I don't have any of my other distortions unless I need to work in that I've got some, uh, some footage that that is ah particular aspect ratio, I need to work within that, uh, but typically I'll start with square pixels because that way I'm one to one on then, of course, the frame rate depending on the project that you're working on, I believe that because this is a default that's twenty nine, nine, seven and of course the length that is something that you can determine now or you can change it later so it's you're not locked into that specifically so if we just made that ten seconds uh click okay and then we end up with a new blank comp and that shows up in our composition window here something I could change with my composition settings go to composition, composition settings and I can change my background color could make it a medium dark gray or I can leave it black that's basically negative space unless when you go to render out you don't select an alfa and we'll get into that is well because a lot of times if you're animating motion graphics you're animating logo you're animating lower thirds you're going to want to ignore the background you want it to go invisible and and you can also toggle that on and off right down here right in the middle of our window uh can toggle transparency on and off to me the checkerboards a little on my eyes so I liketo have something neutral or black back there that shows me something that I'm only concentrating on my my elements now if I've got something has drop shadows in it uh things like that I'll use a gray or white or something just so I can see that the drop shadows that are being generated do have some kind of substance behind them okay, so in my my khan, I've got no content yet I can import content layers or I can create content, and we're going to get into making text layers were going to get into creating three d, um elements such as lights and cameras and different things solids, no layers, that type of thing. So when we get into three d space in the next couple days, will we'll cover some of those elements as well. So I've got a cop already are actually a project already created, but let me import uh, a couple items here and go to our hard drive here, let me get back out here. I've got one here that's already in here. You just close that one up first. So, uh, one thing I like to do before I really get going, and I do this with my laptop. I do this with a production machine if you have a secondary hard drive or even preferably on sst to solid state drive it's really important that you take full advantage of the cashing capabilities and that's found under our preferences. If we go to after effects preferences and then media and dis cash, see, in this machine I can actually choose a dis cache location, and what I'm going to do is there's a secondary hard drive here that I can use for cashing and this is an internal drive it's not an sst but it's a it's a fast hard drive so I'm going to choose that and it's telling me I need to create a folder so let me see if I go for a new folder down here and I'll just call this cash cash cash there we go create and I'm choosing that folder I'm going to do that for my disc ash uh aiken change the size of the dis cash if I want so I could you know, make it two hundred fifty gig I believe whips didn't mean to close it go here to, uh this cash we go okay, so I made it two hundred fifty and I also changed all of my cash is in that same location to just to speed it up and the reason why I do that is because thie application is already reading uh going toe move the existing one it's already reading back and forth to the main hard drive the operating systems on the main hard drive there's all these other things that are going on, you know, writing back and forth to the main hard drive so if you've got a secondary dr oren ssd it's really important that you use that for dis cashing because that's its only purpose is to be there um and then click. Okay. So now it's going to be writing all of the disc ashen and dis cashing allows you to it kind of saves some of the ram preview. It also works like almost like extended ram and what I do with the macbook air, because it's not really a, you know, like a mac book pro, is not even that that powerful. But what I do with that is I have a thunderbolt, dr ssd, external thunderbolt, and I can put that in through that. Use that for my disc cash, or, if you have one of the newer I max, you can use. One of these is well as a secondary cash drive, and it works great. So if you haven't ssd that's really fast, it's, super fast, faster than using the hard drive.

Class Description

Adobe® After Effects® Creative Cloud® is a hallmark broadcast video and film production program — but it has so many functions, it’s hard to know where to start. In this essential video-editing class, renowned video producer and Adobe® Certified Expert Jeff Foster will walk you through how to use the many functions of Adobe® After Effects® to enhance your projects with visual effects and motion graphics.

You’ll learn the basics for controlling movement, animating simple objects and 3D space, create interesting text and title animations, composite videos with and without green screen. Using real-world production examples, Jeff will guide you through this complex program and unpack the tools and terminology so that you can apply your skills right away and with confidence.

Software Used: Adobe After Effects CC (12.0)



Jeff Foster seems like a great, knowledgeable guy. But this course is so disappointing. The classes are disorganized, convoluted yet shallow, and waste an awful lot of time. And they’re just lectures — you’re just watching him do stuff — no lessons where you can work along with him to really absorb what’s going on. My biggest complaints are 1) It seems like he didn’t prepare very much, so we end up watching him go through features one by one, sometimes just to try to find the thing that’s going to illustrate the point he’s trying to make; and 2) he’s unnecessarily confusing. Here’s an easy example. In the “parenting” class, which hinges on one layer’s relationship to another, he created identical layers and named them identically. So he’s explaining that “blue solid” is the parent to “blue solid.” And then he proceeds to discuss the layers, which are numbered #1, #2, #3, by calling them “the first layer” (#3), “the second layer” (#2), and “the third layer” (#1.) After Effects is complicated enough! Maybe I’m spoiled by having learned Illustrator with a wonderful Creative Live course. This is not that.