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

Graphic Design Exercises
After Effects: TV Spot (Frozen)

Objective

To learn After Effects production techniques by recreating the above video.

Discussion

After Effects comes with a roster of "canned" effects. Just because these effects exist does not mean one should use them. Effects should be carefully selected to enhance the concept and used with restraint. Just because an effect is "cool" is not a good enough reason to use it.

Additional effects and "presets" for After Effects are plentiful and often free on the Internet. For this exercise, we will be making use of a downloaded "old film" footage effect.

After Effects projects can be layer intensive, so smart organization is important. One way to keep your layers organized is to "nest" complicated sequences in a separate pre-composition. These "bite-sized" pre-compositions will render just as quickly when placed into the main timeline.

Also see keyframe storyboard

Procedure

preparing for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. examine downloaded files
  3. launch After Effects
  4. open project "Looks_Old_Film_00.aep"
  5. save as "Looks_Old_Film_01.aep"
  6. use "old film black & white" composition (shorten to 6 sec)
  7. hide "noise" and other unneeded layers
  8. composition > add to render queue (best, H.264: quicktime, "old film.mov")
  9. file > new project "frozen.aep"
  10. file > import > multiple files (all assets) (cmd+alt+I)
  11. composition > new composition "~final", HDV 720 (1280x720), duration=30;00 (cmd+N)
  12. view > resolution > half (previews faster at lo-res)
  13. layer name: RMB > columns > modes
  14. add the following elements in the following order:
    • sound.mp3 (add markers at 05;00 + 17;00)
    • warning.pdf (00;00-04;25)
    • old film.mov (11;10-17;00) (scale larger; mode=multiply)
    • scissors.mov (14;21-17;00)
    • frozen logo.ai (17;00-22;07)
    • date.pdf (22;07-25;19)
    • parkland theatre.pdf (25;19-30;00)
  15. change type color to white on "warning.pdf" and "date.pdf":
    • add effect "hue/saturation" (colorize=yes, lightness=100)
  16. save

setting up the main movie

  1. composition > new composition "~main" (duration=11;00) (cmd+N)
  2. add the following elements in the following order:
    • girl1.jpg (00;00-02;26)
    • girl2.jpg (02;26-04;26)
    • girl3.jpg (04;00-08;15)
    • frozen logo.ai (07;00-08;15) (precisely)
    • girl3-inverse.jpg (06;00-11;00)
  3. select "girl3" and "girl3-inverse" layers: move left, scale larger
  4. layer > new solid (white), move to top; tween opacity (T):
    • 02;21 = 0
    • 02;26 = 100
    • 02;28 = 100
    • 03;03 = 0
  5. trim white layer from 02;21-03;03 (opt+[ or ] )

tweening "girl1.jpg" layer

  1. tween scale/position (S) (P)
    • 00;00 = large
    • 02;09 = small (animation > keyframe assistant > easy ease) (F9)
  2. tween opacity (T)
    • 02;09 = 100
    • 02;16 = 0
  3. add effect "opacity flash random"
    • chance of flashing 50%-100% (00;00-02;09)
    • flash nervousness 475-1 (00;00-02;09)
  4. add effect "camera lens blur"
    • blur radius 15-0 (00;00-01;20)

tweening "girl2.jpg" layer

  1. tween scale (S)
    • 03;05 = stretched wide
    • 04;18 = normal
  2. tween opacity 100-0 (04;09-04;18) (T)
  3. add effect "wiggle-gelatin"
    • wiggle speed=1
    • wiggle amount 7-5 (03;00-04;11)
  4. add effect "calculations"
    • blend mode=add
    • second layer opacity 100-0 (03;00-03;27)
  5. add effect "distort > warp"
    • warp style=wave
    • warp axis=horizontal
    • bend 0 (03;00)
    • bend 11 (03;10) (animation > keyframe assistant > easy ease) (F9)
    • bend 16 (04;20)

tweening "girl3.jpg" layer

  1. turn opacity on/off every 3 frames (T):
    • 06;02 = 100 (on)
    • 06;04 = 100 (on)
    • 06;05 = 0 (off)
    • 06:07 = 0 (off)
  2. repeat for 4 cycles
  3. add effect "camera lens blur"; tween blur radius:
    • 04;14 = 54
    • 05;04 = 0
    • 05;12 = 0
    • 05;18 = 35
    • 05;23 = 0

tweening "frozen logo.ai" layer

  1. add effect "hue/saturation"
    • master saturation = -100
    • master lightness = 100
  2. go to 7;00
  3. scale and position art, change position every 4 frames
    (tip: keyframes can by copied and pasted)
  4. repeat for 9 cycles

tweening "girl3-inverse.jpg" layer

  1. tween position (move art to right) (08;15-10;29) (P)
  2. add effect "autoscroll vertical" speed:
    • 07;14 = 0
    • 08;15 = -25 (easy ease)
    • 10;29 = 1165
  3. add effect "wiggle shear"
    • wiggle speed 0-1 (08;15-10;27)
    • wiggle amount 0-11.3 (08;15-10;27)

setting up the final master

  1. go to "~final" composition (below "old film.mov")
  2. add "~main" composition to timeline (04;24-15;21)
  3. tween opacity (T):
    • "warning.pdf" 100%-0% (04;06-04;24)
    • "frozen logo.ai" 100-0 (21;20-22;07)
    • "date.pdf" 0-100 (22;07-22;26)
    • "date.pdf" 100-0 (25;00-25,17)
    • "parkland theatre.pdf" 0-100 (25;20-26;09)
    • "parkland theatre.pdf" 100-0 (29;02-29;23)
    • "old film.mov" 0-100 (11;13-14;17)
  4. tween type color on "frozen logo.ai" layer:
    • add effect "hue/saturation" (colorize=yes)
    • saturation 0-100 (19;15-20;00)
    • lightness=100-0 (19;15-20;00)
  5. select "frozen logo.ai" layer
  6. layer > mask > new mask (double-click upper left handle) (cmd+shift+N):
    • 20;15 = mask path: small (hide "a drama")
    • 20;16 = mask path: large (reveal "a drama")
  7. add effect "add grain" to "old film.mov":
    • viewing mode=final output
    • color: monochromatic=yes, tint=white (100%)
    • animation: random seed=73
    • tweaking: intensity 0-37 (11;13-14;17)
  8. add effect "timewarp" to "scissors.mov"; tween speed:
    • 15;06 = 200
    • 15;07 = 25
  9. add effect "hue/saturation" to "scissors.mov":
    • master saturation=40
    • master lightness=11
  10. add effect "levels" to "scissors.mov":
    • input black=40
    • input white=177
  11. trim layer at 17;00 (opt + ] )
  12. continuous rasterize all vector layers
  13. turn on motion blur for all layers
  14. save

rendering a SD movie for YouTube

  1. "~final": compositon > add to Adobe Media Encoder queue (cmd+opt+M)
  2. choose preset "YouTube 480p SD wide"
  3. output to: "frozen_SD.mp4"
  4. start queue

rendering a HD movie for your archives (optional)

  1. "~final": compositon > add to Adobe Media Encoder queue (cmd+opt+M)
  2. choose preset "YouTube 720p HD"
  3. output to: "frozen_HD.mp4"
  4. start queue

grading

  1. upload "frozen_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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Last updated: 3/1/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young