Tuesday, 7 December 2010

after effects session 2



Open Photoshop and select a new document. Set the preset to Film & Video.

  • Make sure that the preset is set to the same as you are working in After Effects (PAL D1/DV Widescreen Square Pixel)
  • Make sure you are in RGB as you are working for screen.
  • Make sure the Pixel Aspect Ratio is 'Square Pixels' This is all set below:

The new document can be set up now. You see a document with grids. The first innermost grid represents the TITLE SAFE ZONE. This is because text will definitely be safe in this area. You should work with text here. If text goes over it it runs the risk of being cut out the screen. Here is the document.

The outer blue grid represents the ACTION SAFE ZONE. This is the zone where all actions will definitely be safe in the composition in After Effects.

The blue lines that represent said zones are below on the document:

  • When saving Photoshop document for After Effects, save it as either a PSD or a TIFF file. Although if you are considering taking advantage of the Photoshop layers in After Effects, use PSD.
When putting together the images in Photoshop you must think about which individual elements you want to work with. You need to make sure that each element of the image (or text as below) is on a separate layer:


Set up the document just as in Photoshop. Being sure to select the Film And Video Document profile:

This is the screen to work with. The grid works in the same way as the Photoshop grid:

Work with layers just as in Photoshop if you want to work with separate elements in After Effects:

Contrary to this above screenshot, each individual layer must be on a saperate layer, NOT grouped.
  • Save the file as an Illustrator AI document.


Add a photoshop or and illustrator file by going File > Import > File  and selecting the document:

To retain the layers you need to import the file as a COMPOSITION and not Footage:

Click OK on the next screen.

You are faced with this in the Project Window:

DOUBLE CLICK on the composition in the Project Window to work with the file and the layers within it:

And now each of the layers/characters can be manipulated with Key Frames as described in session 1.

You can also import WITHOUT THE PHOTOSHOP LAYERS if you don't want to work with them. This can make things simpler.
  • What you have to do is import the file as FOOTAGE and not Composition:

  • In order to make sure that each individual character can rotate with its own anchor point, open the file as FOOTAGE as above, but select COMPOSITION (RETAIN LAYERS) when setting up the document:

The 'E' has it's own anchor point which it can be rotated on. It works as more of a separate entity now:

Here is the video that I produced after playing around:

You can relatively change the speed of the animation and keep everything in proportion by selecting all the key frames you want, holding the ALT key, and dragging either the first of last key frame to make it shorter or longer:

Holding ALT you can drag it:


You can make an animation ease in, ease out, ease in then out and other ways of decelerating and accelerating.

Select the first key frame of the basic animation:

Select Animaion > Key Frame Assistant > Ease In

You can do the same for rotation etc. Here is a basic animation with these effects in play that I created:

Be seeing you!

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