T354 - Week 5 - Spring 2013
- Look at artwork
- Review quiz
- After Effects (continued)
- In-class AE exercises
Be very clear as to what you are making and what purpose it should
serve. If your graphic is a promo for an upcoming
to let viewers
when it is on. Conveying this information (the MESSAGE) artfully is what it is all about.
GRAPHIC DESIGN IS KEY - Even though you are carrying out requirements of the assignments- these projects should foremost demonstrate good graphic design. Be sure to put CRAP to work in your compositions.
CRITIQUE - Putting the name, purpose & objective on your critique is important.
After Effects (continued)
Blending modes determine how a layer mixes with the layers beneath it.
(These work just like Photoshop.) Some work on alpha channels (stencil and silhouette) Some use lightness
(Screen) Others use color. Layer modes cant be animated.
Objects revolve around their anchor points. Zooming in and out is also
done around the layer's anchor point.
Everyone should carry out a few simple anchor point moves to make
sure they understand this.
You can precompose a layer or multiple layers in After Effects. Pre-composing
is often the answer to vexing nesting problems. Say you wanted to animate
a car going down the road and show the wheels turning. You could first
rotate the wheels on the car, then pre-compose the car and the wheels.
Then you can move the nested comp (the car with the spinning wheels) down
To pre-compose layers, select the layers you want to pre-compose, (Command
- select to pick layers that are not right next to each other) then choose
pre-compose under the layer menu.
Outputting movies the right size for YouTube (Square vs. Non-square pixels)
You may have noticed that some of the movies posted to popular video sharing sites (such as YouTube) are stretched or squeezed the wrong way. This is because the movies have not been exported at the proper pixel dimensions. Be aware of the difference between square pixel and non-square pixel formats, such as DV.
4:3 TV is an aspect ratio, which can also be expressed as 1.333
16:9 (the aspect ratio for widescreen and all HDTV) can also be exressed as 1.778
If you want to ensure that a movie you post will display at the proper size (without being stretched or squeezed, or unnecessarily letterboxed) just do a little math and choose pixel dimensions that equal something close to 1.333 for 4:3 or 1.778 for widescreen. Here are some that will work. For the highest quality, choose a size as large as possible that doesn't exceed the video sharing site's specifications.
4:3 Square Pixel Sizes (X/Y will equal 1.333):
- 800 x 600
- 640 x 480
- 400 x 300
- 320 x 240
16:9 Square Pixel Sizes (X/Y will equal roughly 1.778):
- 1920 x 1080
- 1280 x 720
- 960 x 540
- 640 x 360
Review spatial and temporal keyframe interpolation---------
In-Class Bouncing Ball Exercise
- Start out with a 1920 x 1080 HD Comp
- Create a ball (hint: try using a shape layer)
- Make sure the anchor point is in the center of the ball (hint: you might need to use the pan behind tool)
- Make the ball appear to bounce in a realistic manner
- Output a short movie (E.g. 5 seconds) at 960 x 540 H.264 called ball and put a copy into your
week 5 folder.
In-class exercise (Earth, moon & sun):
- Using the supplied photoshop document (ZIP file) make a 10-second 1280 x 720 comp. See if you can make the moon
rotate around the earth and the earth rotate around the sun. (Celestial
objects not to scale!)
- Hint: You
only need to animate one parameter!
Using Masks in AE.
You can use simple masks to isolate parts of a layer. These can be feathered
and animated over time in interesting ways.
You can access masks through the layer window. (To get to the layer window,
double click on the layer in the timeline.)
Masks are useful for quick & dirty text builds" (E.g. revealing one bullet point at a time).
Similar to PhotoShop, the effects are organized into categories. Effects
are applied to a layer (remember layers can contain comps, images or audio).
Some effects can be manipulated by the properties of other layers.
Effect Categories (standard 6.5 version)
- 3D Channel
- Adjust - lets you alter levels, brightness, contrast & color.
- Audio - provides limited audio effects
- Blur & Sharpen - focus effects
- Channel - lets you tweak the color channels
- Distort - manipulate & distort the layers image
- Expression Controls
- Image Control
- Matte tools
- Noise & Grain
To view effects in the Timeline, select the layer, then press E. To view
the Effects Control Window (a floating window), press Shift-Apple-T (or
Shift - Control - T).
To set initial keyframes in the Effect Control Window click on the Stopwatch
icon or Option - clicking the name of the effect.
A number of 3rd party companies (Boris, Trapcode, etc.) have built their business around supplying
effect packages for After Effects. These can be purchased through places such as Toolfarm.
Solids can be useful for adding effects (path text, lens flare, etc.)
Create a solid layer and apply a lens flare effect. Now try animating
the lens flare.
In-class work (cont):
Add the following to your Sun Earth Moon comp:
- Mask (applied to solid)
- Animated effect
Render out a smaller sized H.264, square pixel version (E.g. 960 x 540) called "inclass". Place it in your Week5 folder.
- Design and animate a graphic with a specific purpose for TV or the web. (This could be the opening of a demo reel, a promo for an event, a station ID, a commercial, etc.) Be sure to put design principles to work (Rule of thirds, C.R.A.P., etc.)
- Be sure to state the specific purpose & application (web or TV) on your critique form.
- Incorporate at least one animated text parameter from AE. You must
animate a text parameter, such as tracking, NOT just the basic transform
properties such as scale or position.
- Incorporate at least one animated effect from AE. (Animate the effect's parameters)
- Render out an H.264, square pixel version for viewing in
class called your username. (You will place this in your Week6 folder.)
- Use the T354 critique form. Be sure to describe what text and effect parameters you animated.
- Bring in an idea for a 30-second animated midterm project. We will share
these in class next week.
- Read Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 21 in the Meyer book.
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