Intro to After Effects for Designers

Lesson 4/9 - How to Add Effects


Intro to After Effects for Designers


Lesson Info

How to Add Effects

So we applied two effects already. We did our color overlay and we did a drop shadow and we used the Effects panel to do that. There's other kinds of effects that we can use that are assigned in the Effects and Pre-sets panel. So let's just take quick look at some of the things we can do inside of there. So to continue our layout, we're gonna scroll up in the Timeline panel so we can see the top. Let's open up our Design Comp Layers and what I want to do is, I want to use the pre-comp that we got from the layer group inside of Photoshop. So I'm gonna grab the Book It and just drag and drop it. And just drop it right on the main stage. So now this is gonna show up exactly in the right spot. If I want to go in and edit this, I can either double click it from the Project panel, I can double click it from the Timeline panel or I can double click it from the stage. In any case, if I double click this, I'm now going into the pre-composition, which again, is very much like editing a symbol in...

Illustrator or editing a smart object in Photoshop. When I double click on this, I am now inside of the Book It comp, which is inside Design Comp, which is inside Island Resorts, so I can see the full path on how I got to this particular piece of artwork. And so like I said before, I don't want to change anything here. I want to keep this exactly the way it is. And when we talk about paths and masks, in a little bit, we'll talk about exactly how this got structured in here. The last thing I'll bring up is, down here in the Timeline panel, if I have more than one composition open at a time, I'll see all of these showing up down here as different tabs. So again, I keep bringing this up because in After Effects, there's so many ways to get to the different pieces. It's important to understand how the structure is being put up here. So as I have all these open, I can just simply go back to Island Resort by clicking on that tab in the Timeline panel. That'll bring me back to here. Okay, so let's temporarily add a few effects to the Book It comp. We're not gonna save any of these but I just want to show you how some of the effects work cause we're gonna apply an effect later to the video. So let's say for example I want to add a gaussian blur to the Book It comp here. So what I would do is, again I like to have my Effects controls next to the Effects and Pre-sets. The best way to find effects is to start typing in some content. So I want to look for a gaussian blur. Once I find an effect, whatever effect I find, if I have that item selected, either in the Timeline or on the composition, if I double click on gaussian blur or click and drag and drop it on the composition or the Timeline panel, in three different ways, I can apply that gaussian blur to this item here. And so, with that applied, I can now see that there's an Effect panel showing up here in the Timeline, that tells me that there is an effect being assigned. I can see the effect highlighted in the Effects and Pre-sets panel and I can also see this area will now light up with all of those different effects. So this is pretty quick to see when we have one piece, when we have lots and lots of layers, this can take a few seconds sometimes to find where your effects are. So with this selected, if I wanted to apply a gaussian blur, I would simply just click and drag. And you can start to see the blur taking effect on that main object. So that's pretty straight forward. One thing you'll notice is every, just about every effect, anything we can do inside of After Effects has these little stopwatches next to it, this is how we apply animations. So we'll be talking about that in a few minutes. We can also add effects together. So let's come in and add a drop shadow. This time I'll type it in the right spot. So I'll do drop shadow down here. Click and drag, we can drop that onto this piece here. And again, very similar to the work flow we saw by applying the layer style, the drop shadow settings can be applied here as well. So we can change the angle, I can change the distance and move this around. I can change the softness and what's also key here is we can turn on and off individual effects and we can even change the order of an effect. So if I hit the Command or Control in Windows, left bracket, I can put the gaussian blur after the drop shadow. In some cases in After Effects, the order of your effects can make a big difference. If you do a hue saturation and then apply something like a color overlay or a lighting effect, you can actually change the order. Apply the light before the hue saturation. Everything in this panel here is basically a Layers panel with all of the different effects that are being applied to all this individual artwork. Again, the only reason I didn't use the drop shadow effect here on the logo is because the logo is using a color overlay. So I wanted to use the drop shadow piece for that, to get that piece in place. Okay so let's remove that by simply just hitting delete on each one of these effects. The one really powerful thing about effects, and this is in all of the Creative Cloud applications, is that effects are non-destructive. They get applied to the layer and you can always remove them or change those individual properties.

Class Description

Get to know the 4th member of the core design applications in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Chances are you know Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. But did you know After Effects supports just as many file formats, provides amazing design and compositing features, and can be used in any print, web, animation, video or photo compositing project?

What you’ll learn:

  • The After Effects interface
  • Starting a new project from scratch
  • How After Effects is similar to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • How the Timeline Panel is similar to Layers
  • How the Project Panel is similar to Links
  • How the Composition Panel is similar to artboards, or pages
  • How to import photos, videos, and artwork into your project
  • Applying effects (it’s all about effects!)
  • Introduction to animation in the timeline panel

Software Used: Adobe After Effects CC 2017 (14.2)


Latoya Burris

I started out playing with small text animations for my job using Photoshop. After taking this course, I feel much more comfortable and ready to execute my ideas using the Adobe After Effects tool. I highly recommend this course for designers at any level who don't know how to use After Effects. Thank you Chris Converse and CreativeLive for giving me an extra pep in my design skills.

John Goldie

The first couple of minute of class where Chris went through and did a 1:1 comparison of Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign --> After Effects had me hooked. That was the one thing that I wasn't getting that was holding me back. The heavens opened, a light shone down, and my mind was opened :) Thanks. It just got more interesting from there!

Nina Braddock

After Effects can be such a tricky program if you never use it. I was very familiar with other Adobe programs, but every time I needed to use After Effects I had no idea what I was doing. I have watched many videos online on how to make things with After Effects, but those videos never taught me how to use the program itself. This class was so great, I now understand how to work with After Effects and it's no longer intimidating! Take this class if you are wanting to learn the basics of After Effects!