Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
After Effects: Video (Student Show)

Objective

To learn After Effects production techniques by recreating the above video. This video is intended to be burned onto a SD DVD disc.

Discussion

After Effects has extensive tools for making art look 3D. But technically, AE is not really a 3D program. In order to be a full 3D application like Maya or 3DS Max, one must be able to rotate an object to see all sides of the art (including the sides, top and bottom). Although objects in AE can move in 3D space, they are paper-thin and therefore have no dimension. In fact, some people like to call this approach 2.5D.

Procedure

preparing for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. examine downloaded files
  3. launch After Effects
  4. file > import > multiple files (as footage)
  5. file > save as "gds.aep"

creating pre-compositions

  1. composition > new > composition: name=~small, NTSC D1 Square Pixels (720x534), duration=30;00
  2. view > resolution > half (previews faster at lo-res)
  3. drag "words.ai" into timeline; scale=75% (S)
  4. tween position (P):
    • 00;00 = low
    • 01;10 = high
    • 02;25 = low
    • 29;29 = high
  5. select middle 2 keyframes
  6. animation > keyframe assistant > easy ease
  7. add effect: directional blur; direction=0; tween blur length:
    • 00;00 = 10
    • 01;10 = 0
    • 02;00 = 10
    • 02;25 = 0
  8. composition > new > composition: name=~large, NTSC D1 Square Pixels (720x534), duration=6;01
  9. drag "words.ai" into timeline; scale=150%
  10. tween position (P):
    • 00;00 = low
    • 06;00 = high
  11. add effect: directional blur; direction=0; blur length=5
  12. duplicate "large" composition, rename=~largeReversed
    (cmd+D)
  13. select "words.ai" layer: layer > time > time-reverse layer (cmd+opt+R)

animating the ending

  1. composition > new > composition: name=~final, NTSC D1 Square Pixels (720x534), duration=30;00
  2. layer > new > solid (name=color=magenta) (cmd+Y)
  3. drag into timeline (above "magenta" layer)
    • composition "small" (11;00-29;29): layer > 3D layer
    • logo.ai (22;00-29;29)
    • tagline.ai (25;00-29;29)
  4. frame 29;29: arrange all elements for final frame
  5. "logo" layer: tween scale (S):
    • 22;00 = 1500%
    • 23;15 = 1500%
    • 24;00 = final size
  6. tween position (P):
    • 22;00 = offstage right
    • 23;15 = almost offstage left
    • 24;00 = final position
  7. add effect: directional blur; direction=90; tween blur length:
    • 22;00 = 50
    • 23;15 = 50
    • 24;00 = 0
  8. "tagline.ai" layer: layer > mask > new (cmd+shift+N)
    25;00 - 26;00 = reveal word 1
    26;01 - 27;00 = reveal word 2
    27;01 = reveal word 3
  9. "small" layer: tween scale (S):
    • 11;00 = 260%
    • 20;00 = final size; easy ease (F9)
  10. tween orientation:
    • 11;00 = twisted (make paper thin)
    • 15;00 = final orientation; easy ease (F9)
  11. tween positioning (P):
    • 11;00 = ???
    • 20;00 = final position; easy ease (F9)
  12. duplicate "magenta" layer, move to top (cmd+D)
  13. tween opacity (T):
    • 28;15 = 0
    • 30;00 = 100

animating the beginning

  1. drag "large.ai" into timeline (0;00-6:00); layer > 3D layer
  2. scale=200%
  3. orientation: x=344, y=316; tween z:
    • 00;00 = 21
    • 06;00 = 292
  4. tween position (P): ??
  5. tween opacity (T):
    • 0;00 = 0
    • 0;15 = 100
    • 5;15 = 100
    • 6;00 = 0
  6. drag "large.ai" into timeline again (2;00-8;00); layer > 3D layer
  7. rename "large2"
  8. scale=200%; orientation: x=180, y=72, z=155
  9. tween position:
    • 02;00 = offstage left
    • 08;00 = ??
  10. drag "largeReversed.ai" into timeline (6;00-12;00); layer > 3D layer
  11. scale=250%
  12. orientation: y=4, z=70, tween x:
    • 06;00 = 317
    • 12;00 = 49
  13. tween opacity (T):
    • 06;00 = 0
    • 06;15 = 100
    • 11;15 = 100
    • 12;00 = 0
  14. position (P): 80
  15. drag "largeReversed.ai" into timeline again (8;00-14;00); layer > 3D layer
  16. rename "largeReversed2"
  17. scale=200%; orientation: x=11, y=56, z=2
  18. tween position:
    • 08;00 = almost offstage left
    • 14;00 = almost offstage right
  19. tween opacity (T):
    • 08;00 = 0
    • 08;15 = 100
    • 13;15 = 100
    • 14;00 = 0
  20. save

rendering a SD movie for YouTube

  1. continuous rasterize all vector layers
  2. turn on motion blur for all layers
  3. "~final": compositon > add to Adobe Media Encoder queue (cmd+opt+M)
  4. choose preset "YouTube 480p SD"
  5. output to: "gds_SD.mp4"
  6. start queue

grading

  1. upload "gds_SD.mp4" to your personal YouTube account (privacy=unlisted)
  2. publish unlisted web address as a link from your process page

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