Working with Layers & Blending Modes


Adobe® After Effects®


Lesson Info

Working with Layers & Blending Modes

Now, I've got all of these guys coming across this stage here, and I'm going to still make more adjustments as we g o but this is my first step in getting this to work, so I've got all these balls are kind of going along there that did it to die it's doing a ramp review, and now I can get a feel for it, you know how they're they're moving, okay, so I see summer going slow, so I'm going fast, all right? So to make this feel a little different, there's a couple things I'm going to do, I'm going to vary the scale I'm going to very the some of the time spacing of the in and out points, and then I'm going to move layers around inside the cop to make him a little more random. So first thing I'll do, here's let's see, I'm gonna take my just so I visually I could make the slowest ones on the bottom and because those actually I'm going to do just the opposite in here's. Why? Because we're not working in three d space yet I want the layers on the top, just like we talked about the layer palin ph...

otoshopped the top layers of the furthest to you I mean it's kind of like a stack if you think they're all printed on self on a celluloid, you just stacks and stacks of them and you're just moving the little pieces of celluloid around that's kind of what we're doing here, so since we're still in too d I need to make sure that the ones there I want to be closer to me are going to be here so and the reason why I'm going to scale those so that they look like they're closer to us, they're going a little slower here. Um, so the first thing I'll do me turn these off just so I'm looking at one at a time, khun see what I'm doing dd dd that's bouncing away and let me see it in real time and I maybe, um maybe moving that so it's not bouncing as many times it may only bounce two or three times instead of seven or eight here, okay, so this is where we start having fun with it. Let me first adjust my scale, so get s for scale and I don't need to animate my scale because I'm just gonna have it closer to me and I will animate my position again that's going to be coming through here so that's it's going down below there so here's, where we get one more option here and that's our anchor point we're going to be dealing with anchor points here in a bit too in a way that we use them for rotating and animating here pretty soon so let's see here I've got my anchor point see the ball is bouncing below the surface I wanted to bounce up so the anchor point takes the layer and the anchor point is by default is right in the center of the layer that import in by default on text depends on how your text is justified if you have it left justified where it starts on the left and and goes to the right your anchor points going to be you know down on the bottom left so this basketball the anchor point was originally right in the middle so when I scale it it's kind of like you know taking a window like this and stretching out from here behind the window so we're just like our compass kind of like a window so what I have to do is move my anchor point so that when it's in its downward balance position here let me get all the way to the bottom bounce and that's right about here so my anchor point needs to be adjusted so that it looks like it's bouncing on the bottom of the frame there we go now it's bouncing on the bottom of the frame it's bouncing up and out of the scene here okay so being that it's a big ball and it's going to be bouncing like that it's ultimately going to look like it's closer to the camera are closer to us than the other balls so it's not going to be on screen that long so what I have to do is take my position I want it off screen fairly quick so how many bounces do we want here again this is all very subjective see one two three that's enough I want it out of there okay so this is good move it across the screen a little faster boom boom boom that's gone okay, so let me pull this and so we're just rendering that little bit did you two d'oh so it has a little mass it's moving slow it's big it's like kind of like a big weather balloon and it would have ah born long that's way my sound effects did find by its born so you've got to make the sound effects come on you've got to make him so that's that ball and then I can move on to the others and start adding a little more time on those another thing I can do is to offset that ball so it doesn't come in right away actually I wanted to come in down here so I just click and drag that layer see how the whole thing moves my key frames move with it that means it's not going to start that first key frame till it hits there see the laywer becomes alive I see the little blue line and they're so now we'll start right about there so I can do that and I can adjust all of them that way so if I'm working one at a time with these this one would be c what's my scale on that one number two hundred percent so this one the scale should be oh, let's say one eighty perhaps uh then I get that out again. I've got to adjust my anchor point on it. Say hey, for anchor point move it so it smashes right there on the bottom on going and then position I wanted teo move off fairly quick, teo so you can see you, khun make these guys move pretty quick. Yeah, I want him to move a little faster too. So all right, so now on to the next one and this one again we're going to go scale on end let's go to about one fifty see where it's going bottom of the bounce hit a for anchor point and move it till it's right there so it is bouncing on the bottom of the frame and p for position to squeeze in that movement a little more see what looks playing bling bling you'll do it, I know you'll do it you'll be playing with this and you're going to be going buoying boy, you've got to do it you just it just happens you know, if you grew up with saturday morning cartoons bugs bunny all of them it's just gonna happen it will get you audio we do have a question that involves yeah so rocking rod twelve asks I would like to know the best way to work with a composition that includes audio the ram preview on ly allows as much as you have ran for so I can't ever get a good preview of how the conflicts and sounds together. Any advice for him? Well short er shorter cops will help get more ram. One thing that will probably help is using the cash drive using a really fast cash drive will help because it's almost like extending your ram it will and that's what beautiful I think from c s six aftereffects yes six allowed dis cashing to also be, uh to be kind of an extension of your ram. So if I was to say do something like this where I just did a ram preview here and I turned off that layer and turned on another um since I've already done that one he see it still stays green in here this green bar means it's been rendered so that just means that it's rendered in ram preview, but say, if I move something, let me move something here, so then it goes away, they're they're green bars now, uh, gone away, turn on that layer, and we'll see that it does a ramp review. Now I can go back and undo, undo, undo and notice my ram preview stays in there, stays in the cash on the part of that is the disc cashing that I've got a name, and that really helps. So if I was to do that, and then I move this down, move my work area down c, I grabbed the whole bar here and move that down. Uh, I've got that ran preview done, but notice it stayed green through here anyway, so the dis cash really helps with that. It helps with audio as well. We're going to get in the audio a little more, probably there tomorrow or day three depends on where it feels like it fits the best, but when you're dealing with motion graphics a lot of times, I may start with an audio track so I can set my timing to the audio and that's. A really important thing to be able to do is to be able to set your your moves, your zingers all of that kind of stuff it's good to be able to time it to the timing of the audio that's a really important thing to do, but we will get into audio a little a little more later so let me finish up here with just a couple more moves and what I've got here and see where that ball is this one is at one hundred percent these air going faster, so I'm going to make them a little smaller so we'll do our scale and we're going to go sub so let me go to like seventy five percent and again I have to adjust my, uh I have to I have to adjust my anchor point so that it matches because I can't have the ball bouncing in mid air sea like it is there so there it's right there gotta just my anchor point down so it's down there and it's moving, moving along faster in the distance s o we will see it on screen a little longer and then this last one I'll make it like fifty percent and adjustment anchor point find the bounce and it's right down there right there. Okay and notice since it's so small there's a little and it's moving pretty fast, the motion blur is bigger than the ones that are in the foreground so let me turn on all of my layers throwing all up actually just do this select all do that quick neck collapses on what I did is I just selected all my layers and it's a command a or control a if you're on a pc that selects everything in your timeline and then if you hit anything like p for position or are for rotation tea for a pass iti as for scale, you notice that that is the math that we have down here those of the settings that are available for trans r r did it what they call it transformed I keep wanting to call it transition it's not a transition okay, so I do that and I'll do it on and off just to collapse the mall so I can see where they are so now I've got all these balls in here I'm going tio kind of make them a little bit more arbitrary here, so they're not all coming on screen at the same time. Weii we need some of them in here a little sooner, so I'm just dragging them around kind of make it then our last one goes out to sea there's something there because I changed the scale on these big ones they're not going all the way off, so this is where you select all p for position um I'm going to come up here to this key frame. And if I want to be right on the key frame, here's another tip? A lot of times I end up making a key frame by accident by making an adjustment. Um, and what I'll do is here I'll show you what I do wrong. Sometimes it looks like I'm almost on the key frame their right to things here. Well, let me let me let me do it wrong first looks like I'm on the key frame and say, I want to adjust something, I'll move it there, okay, well, what I've actually done because I'm not zoomed in on my timeline. I've made another key frame by accident. So if I come down here and I zoom in on my keefe, my timeline, you see that? Oh, dude, you made another key frame. So bad thing to do. So two things teo, avoid that being an issue one is if you're hovering over the key frame. Noticed this little diamond right here off the left. Oops. Wrong one. There we go, there's our little spotlight right there. That little keith, um, key frame indicator that tells us that we are definitely on our key frame when you scroll over so if you look and you're dragging that's one way to do it keep dragon to you get right on it and that's really hard to do sometimes so the easier way to do it see these little arrows on either side here there's a left and a right that means go to the previous key frame or go to the next key frame so that's how I navigate my key frames I go somewhere around in here and I go okay pop to the next key frame that way I know I'm dead on that key frame I can make an adjustment to it so in this case I want to adjust my key frame out so that layer is off the layer when it comes bouncing down again it's not going to be an issue the same thing with this one I'm willing to go to previous key frame I want to move it away and same thing with this one go to the next key frame, move it away and see if this one also has an issue okay and I don't think we have any more that are bouncing in there so if I do a ram preview here there we go and come on keep going okay there we go now we got the big guy his anchor point should probably be set a little bit higher because it looks like he's going below the yeah. Got the little one in the background going, going, going, mike so that's, a great exercise in learning about all these different elements in little more depth in controlling your key frames, working with your sub coms in nesting things where they actually make sense. Um, you can see that you can get really deep into after effects, and it can get out of hand pretty quick. You know, esso, I mean, and this this comp could then be nested inside another comp and you could just keep going on and on and on down the rabbit hole. It's really easy to do. The beauty of it is like I said before, if I wanted to swap out this basketball for a soccer ball, say I was making an animation for an opener for sports or something, whatever season it is, I could keep the same animation, but as long as my original element, which is back to this original straight ball bounce here. If I swap out this layer with another element, this exact same size, the same scale and everything it will then globally populate all the way up to this, this bounty in animation, and keep all those characteristics all along the way a quick question from jessie j asked how many subcompact khun b nested inside each other and how deep probably is much is your computer can handle. I don't know if there is a limit. I think at one time somebody said it was, like nine hundred ninety nine or something, but I don't know anybody that's tried that, so I sure haven't, I know I've gone. Oh, gosh, some of the animations that I end up doing, maybe ten deep, you know, um, but that's, that's a pretty intense animation sequence with a lot of nested cops, so it just really depends on the on the project, I may share a project or two with you over the next couple of days that won't be part of the download, because I don't own it, but it, but we can show it, and some client projects that show some of the more intricate things that to show you everything that we're learning and how they're applied in the real world, so get some real world, stuffed it to share and shows well, great, so we asked more questions before we move on to the next segment. Yeah, eso mom asks, are there keyboard shortcuts to bounce between key frames? There probably are again, I don't, I don't have those, because if you use your arrow keys, it's going to adjust the position of whatever layer you're on, I know that in using an extended keyboard it's really important for after effects I always use an extended keyboard when I'm training even I'll have an extended keyboard attached to my laptop because I use so many of these keys I used the zero key, which does a ram preview if you don't have an extended keyboard just hitting the control zero, which is the number zero here in the keypad, does a ran preview for you um and also, if you want to go from one frame to the next, you use page up and page down here on your extended keyboard and again, there are a lot of resource is out there that show all the different keyboard shortcuts that are out there, and I think there's even one even on the adobe help paige, if you just go to the help forms, they've got it's like twenty pages long of all the keyboard short, so yeah, I am I've been using this so long that I use very little keyboard shortcuts and it's it seems weird. Well, it's like jeff, you should know all the shortcuts you should know everything enough and it's crazy because it depends on what she is it's not like right in a bike necessarily because things get moved keyboard shortcuts change from version aversion in some cases on dh, you know, I I'm a very visual guy and very intuitive I gotta touch things I've gotta click on um, I've gotto do that. I also use a walking sinti tablet at home where there's times where I'm actually just working directly on the foot agent on the panel some touching everything's that's kind of like working on a touch screen that way and I've got things shortcuts programmed into the side of that so it's really I mean there's so many ways to access all the tools that it's just depends on the individual some people like to click and move with the mouse some like to right click and get contextual menus some like to go up to the men use some like to use all shortcuts as much as possible and it really depends on your style you know moon set flies, says one using scale for making an animation like this are you using the stacking order to position the balls in front or behind each other based on size? And, um, would it be possible to use three d positioning so that you don't have to layer them based on the size in order to create a realistic effect? Death? Yes to both questions like I was saying in and, uh photoshopped you stack your layers like sheets of artwork it's kind of like if you think of a how traditional animation has done yeah, they're done with painted cells and whatever's on top is what's visible and whatever not painted whatever's transparent shows through behind. So when you're working in two d, which were still working in two d here, which is why I'm also scaling instead of moving in position in three d space, then yes, you have to have things stacked in the right order. So if I was to move this layer the one which is this bald right here in the front here, it's great big ball funds to move that down behind underneath the order, you'll see it will disappear and that will ruin our effect for us. Either that or it'll just look like is a huge ball, you know? So that's that's how that works? We are going to get into three d space tomorrow, and that is where we'll turn on some of that man odjick, then it's just a third position that you work on and that's the z space position. So when we get into three d will be able to manipulate things this way as well as just what's in front of us so you won't have to scale so much, but you will be moving stuff in in three dimensional space.

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.