Friday, 10 December 2010

After Effects Workshop 2

To open a new document in Photoshop to work along side an After Effects projects:

File > New

A file page like this will be created:

The blue lines represent the TITLE SAFE and the ACTION SAFE. The title safe is the space in the middle . The action safe is the thick margin/border outside of the title safe.

Anything inside the TITLE SAFE will be able to be seen by every viewer, viewed on every screen.

The ACTION SAFE is more relevant for image. This area is the margin difference that varies from TV to TV. Anything put into this area could be seen but not 100%. So things like images where the edges can be cut off can be placed within the ACTION SAFE without making too much difference to the overall screen.

You can view the same type of grid in After Effects like so:

Create the desired type in photo shop. Make sure the background is transparent so that when you put the image into After Effects there isn't a white box around it.

Import it into After Effects.

When imported the layer will appear in the project panel. You can either simply drag the layer into the composition or if you drag the layer into the bottom left panel it will centre the layer in the composition.

You can change the background colour in composition settings to double check that there is no white background around the text.

In Photoshop to make your text animate differently rasterize it.

Select the areas in which you want to split up. Then go to Layer> New> Layer Via Cut

This then splits the layers into two were it was selected. I have turned one of the layers off to show where the layers have been created. 

Save the file making sure the layers box in ticked so that when the file is imported into After Effects the layers are still editable.

Import the image as COMPOSITION

It will then appear in the project panel.

Now to animate it slightly. Drag layer 1 and the split layer into the bottom left panel. Then animate them separately. By selecting the individual layers and positioning using the stop watch and the Positioning tool. 

Pressing the Shift key will move the layers directly up/down/left/right.

To save a file:

Click 'render setting' and change the 'time span' to the 'length of the composition'.

Click 'LOSSLESS' and make sure the 'format' is 'Quicktime'

Click 'format options' and chose 'video code H264'

Click 'Output to' and title the document.

Press 'Save' and then 'render'.

Here is my animation:

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

After Effects Workshop 1

The workspace has different panels. Clicking on the panels highlights then and makes them active. 

The 'projects panel is a library of assets. Everything you want in your animation needs to be imported to this panel.

The assets will appear here as layers.
Every project must contain at least one composition. 
To start a new project you need to create a new composition. 

NTSC & PAL are different video standards. PAL is the UK standard and NTSC is used in USA and some other countries. 

The second section from the bottom are all high definition standards.

Motion graphics for DVD's are often made in After Effects and therefore would need to be using the right video settings. 

You need to ask yourself if you are using video in your project. Digital video doesn't use square pixels. 

If you are working with a still image, for example created in photoshop they would be made out of square pixels.

The standard frames per second is 25. 

Before you 'ok' your composition you need to specify how long the project will be (seconds, minutes etc.)

When you 'ok' the composition the timeline will change to specify the length of time and the projects panel will have a new composition layer. 

You can alter the composition settings by going into Composition>Composition Settings.