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Adobe After Effects CC Classroom in a Book

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  1. Contents at a glance
    GETTING STARTED
    About Classroom in a Book
    Prerequisites
    Installing After Effects and Bridge
    Optimizing performance
    Restoring default preferences
    Accessing the Classroom in a Book files
    How to use these lessons
    Additional resources
    Adobe Authorized Training Centers
    1 GETTING TO KNOW THE WORKFLOW
    About the After Effects work area
    Getting started
    Creating a project and importing footage
    Creating a composition and arranging layers
    About layers
    Adding effects and modifying layer properties
    About the Tools panel
    Animating the composition
    About the Timeline panel
    About timecode and duration
    Previewing your work
    Optimizing performance in After Effects
    Rendering and exporting your composition
    Customizing workspaces
    Controlling the brightness of the user interface
    Finding resources for using After Effects
    Review questions and answers
    2 CREATING A BASIC ANIMATION USING EFFECTS AND PRESETS
    Getting started
    Importing footage using Adobe Bridge
    Creating a new composition
    Working with imported Illustrator layers
    Applying effects to a layer
    Applying and controlling effects
    Applying an animation preset
    Previewing the effects
    Adding transparency
    Rendering the composition
    Review questions and answers
    3 ANIMATING TEXT
    Getting started
    About text layers
    Installing a font using Typekit
    Creating and formatting point text
    Using a text animation preset
    Animating with scale keyframes
    Animating using parenting
    About parent and child layers
    Animating imported Photoshop text
    Animating type tracking
    Animating text opacity
    Using a text animator group
    About text animator groups
    Animating a layer’s position
    Timing layer animations
    Adding motion blur
    Review questions and answers
    4 WORKING WITH SHAPE LAYERS
    Getting started
    Adding a shape layer
    Creating custom shapes
    Duplicating shapes
    Duplicating and modifying a composition
    Positioning layers with snapping
    Adding compositions to a 3D project
    Adding the finishing touches
    Extra credit
    Review questions and answers
    5 ANIMATING A MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION
    Getting started
    Using Creative Cloud Libraries in After Effects
    Adjusting anchor points
    Parenting layers
    Precomposing layers
    Keyframing a motion path
    Animating additional elements
    Applying an effect
    About solid-color layers
    Animating precomposed layers
    Animating the background
    Adding an audio track
    Supported audio file formats
    Editing audio files in Adobe Audition
    Review questions and answers
    6 ANIMATING LAYERS
    Getting started
    Preparing layered Photoshop files
    About Photoshop layer styles
    Simulating lighting changes
    Duplicating an animation using the pick whip
    About expressions
    Animating movement in the scenery
    Adjusting the layers and creating a track matte
    About track mattes and traveling mattes
    Animating the shadows
    Adding a lens flare effect
    Adding a video animation
    Rendering the animation
    Retiming the composition
    Review questions and answers
    7 WORKING WITH MASKS
    About masks
    Getting started
    Creating a mask with the Pen tool
    Editing a mask
    About mask modes
    Feathering the edges of a mask
    Creating a Bezier mask
    Replacing the content of the mask
    Zooming and panning by touch
    Adding a reflection
    Creating a vignette
    Adjusting the timing
    Using the Rectangle and Ellipse tools
    Tips for creating masks
    Trimming the work area
    Review questions and answers
    8 DISTORTING OBJECTS WITH THE PUPPET TOOLS
    Getting started
    About the Puppet tools
    Adding Deform pins
    Defining areas of overlap
    Stiffening an area
    Animating pin positions
    Squash and stretch
    Recording animation
    Review questions and answers
    9 USING THE ROTO BRUSH TOOL
    About rotoscoping
    Getting started
    Creating a segmentation boundary
    Using Adobe Premiere Pro with After Effects
    Fine-tuning the matte
    Freezing your Roto Brush tool results
    Refine Soft Matte and Refine Hard Matte effects
    Changing the background
    Adding animated text
    Outputting your project
    Extra credit
    Review questions and answers
    10 PERFORMING COLOR CORRECTION
    Getting started
    Previewing your project on a video monitor
    Adjusting color balance with levels
    Adjusting color balance with Color Finesse 3
    Replacing the background
    Color-correcting using Auto Levels
    Motion tracking the clouds
    Replacing the sky in the second clip
    Color grading
    Extra Credit
    Review questions and answers
    11 USING 3D FEATURES
    Getting started
    Creating 3D text
    Using 3D views
    Importing a background
    Adding 3D lights
    Adding a camera
    Repositioning layers
    Adding a text layer
    Working with Cinema 4D Lite
    Review questions and answers
    12 WORKING WITH THE 3D CAMERA TRACKER
    About the 3D Camera Tracker effect
    Getting started
    Repairing rolling shutter distortions
    Tracking the footage
    Creating a ground plane, a camera, and the initial text
    Creating realistic shadows
    Adding ambient light
    Creating additional text elements
    Locking a layer to a plane with a null object
    Animating the text
    Adjusting the camera’s depth of field
    Rendering the composition
    Review questions and answers
    13 ADVANCED EDITING TECHNIQUES
    Getting started
    Using Warp Stabilizer VFX
    Bicubic scaling
    Warp Stabilizer VFX settings
    Using single-point motion tracking
    Checking for drift
    Moving and resizing the track points
    Using multipoint tracking
    mocha for After Effects
    Creating a particle simulation
    Understanding Particle Systems II properties
    About high dynamic range (HDR) footage
    Review questions and answers
    14 RENDERING AND OUTPUTTING
    Getting started
    Creating templates for the Render Queue
    About compression
    Exporting using the Render Queue
    Preparing movies for mobile devices
    Rendering movies with Adobe Media Encoder
    Preparing a movie for broadcast output
    Review questions and answers
    APPENDIX: GENERAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
    INDEX
    Getting Started

Adobe After Effects CC Classroom in a Book. Adobe After Effects CC provides a comprehensive set of 2D and 3D tools for
compositing, animation, and effects that motion-graphics professionals, visual effects
artists, web designers, and film and video professionals need. After Effects is widely used
for digital post-production of film, video, DVD, and the web. You can composite layers in
various ways, apply and combine sophisticated visual and audio effects, and animate both
objects and effects.
About Classroom in a Book
Adobe After Effects CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release) is part of the official training
series for Adobe graphics and publishing software, developed with the support of Adobe
product experts. The lessons are designed to let you learn at your own pace. If you’re new
to Adobe After Effects, you’ll learn the fundamental concepts and features you’ll need to
master the program. And if you’ve been using Adobe After Effects for a while, you’ll find
that Classroom in a Book teaches many advanced features, including tips and techniques
for using the latest version.
Although each lesson provides step-by-step instructions for creating a specific project,
there’s room for exploration and experimentation. You can follow the book from start to
finish, or do only the lessons that match your interests and needs. Each lesson concludes
with a review section summarizing what you’ve covered.
Prerequisites
Before beginning to use Adobe After Effects CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release),
make sure that your system is set up correctly and that you’ve installed the required
software and hardware. You should have a working knowledge of your computer and
operating system. You should know how to use the mouse and standard menus and
commands, and also how to open, save, and close files. If you need to review these
techniques, see the printed or online documentation included with your Microsoft®
Windows® or Apple® Mac® OS software.
To complete the lessons in this book, you’ll need to have both Adobe After Effects CC
(2015 release) and Adobe Bridge CC installed. The exercises in this book are based on
After Effects CC (2015.1 release).
Installing After Effects and Bridge
You must purchase the Adobe After Effects CC software separately. For system
requirements and complete instructions on installing the software, visit
www.adobe.com/support. Note that After Effects CC requires a 64-bit operating system
and OpenGL 3.3 support. You must also have Apple QuickTime 7.6.6 or later installed on
your system.
Some of the lessons in this book use Adobe Bridge. After Effects and Bridge use separate
installers. You must install these applications from Adobe Creative Cloud
(creative.adobe.com) onto your hard disk. Follow the onscreen instructions.
Optimizing performance
Creating movies is memory-intensive work for a desktop computer. After Effects CC
(2015 release) requires a minimum of 4GB of RAM. The more RAM that is available to
After Effects, the faster the application will work for you. For information about
optimizing memory, cache, and other settings for After Effects, see “Improve
performance” in After Effects Help.
Restoring default preferences
The preferences files control the way the After Effects user interface appears on your
screen. The instructions in this book assume that you see the default interface when they
describe the appearance of tools, options, windows, panels, and so forth. Therefore, it’s a
good idea to restore the default preferences, especially if you are new to After Effects.
Each time you quit After Effects, the panel positions and certain command settings are
recorded in the preferences files. To restore the original default settings, press
Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS) while starting After
Effects. (After Effects creates new preferences files if they don’t already exist the next
time you start the program.)
Restoring the default preferences can be especially helpful if someone has already
customized After Effects on your computer. If your copy of After Effects hasn’t been used
yet, these files won’t exist, so this procedure is unnecessary.
Important: If you want to save the current settings, you can rename a preferences file
instead of deleting it. When you are ready to restore those settings, change the name back,
and make sure that the file is located in the correct preferences folder.

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