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3.1 After Effects Composition

In this lesson, you will learn the basics of After Effects compositions (comps).

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1.Introduction
1 lesson, 00:49

1.1
Introduction
00:49

2.Getting Started
5 lessons, 42:55

2.1
What Is After Effects?
09:56

2.2
Main Panels
10:04

2.3
Settings
07:46

2.4
After Effects Tools
08:52

2.5
More AE Tools
06:17

3.Compositions and Layers
3 lessons, 26:35

3.1
After Effects Composition
08:53

3.2
Precomposing
08:10

3.3
After Effects Layer Properties
09:32

4.Keyframes
3 lessons, 25:21

4.1
After Effects Keyframe Basics
06:39

4.2
After Effects Keyframe Easing
10:37

4.3
Spatial Interpolation
08:05

5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text
5 lessons, 45:36

5.1
Learn How to Mask in After Effects
08:42

5.2
After Effects Shape Layers: Part 1
09:24

5.3
After Effects Shape Layers: Part 2
10:05

5.4
Text in After Effects
07:16

5.5
Text Animation and More
10:09

6.2.5D
2 lessons, 13:42

6.1
What Is 2.5D?
08:37

6.2
More 2.5D
05:05

7.Motion Tracking
4 lessons, 34:04

7.1
Motion Tracking, Camera Tracking, and 3D Text
09:11

7.2
More Motion Tracking
06:15

7.3
Camera Tracking in After Effects
07:35

7.4
3D Text in After Effects
11:03

8.Mattes and Cool Effects
4 lessons, 43:43

8.1
Mattes
10:55

8.2
EFFECTS!
10:50

8.3
MORE EFFECTS!
11:19

8.4
Mind-Blowing Third-Party Effects
10:39

9.Build a Lower Third
2 lessons, 21:35

9.1
How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects
11:01

9.2
Final Touches on the Lower Third
10:34

10.Exporting
1 lesson, 09:11

10.1
Exporting From After Effects
09:11

11.Conclusion
1 lesson, 01:16

11.1
Conclusion
01:16

12.Bonus Lessons
4 lessons, 2:14:00

12.1
How to Make an After Effects Text Animation
29:19

12.2
How to Use After Effects Intro Templates
36:45

12.3
How to Create Handwriting Animation in After Effects
34:01

12.4
How to Create Brush Effects in After Effects
33:55

13.Frequently Asked Questions
8 lessons, 1:34:42

13.1
FAQ Introduction
00:55

13.2
How to Export Video From After Effects
12:26

13.3
How to Export Video From After Effects Using PreRendering
06:44

13.4
How to Mask in After Effects
15:25

13.5
How to Animate Text in After Effects
19:31

13.6
How to Make a GIF in After Effects
13:59

13.7
How to Duplicate Layer in After Effects
20:44

13.8
Conclusion
04:58


3.1 After Effects Composition

In this lesson you will learn the basics of compositions in After Effects. A composition is the framework for a movie or a video. Each composition has its own timeline. A typical composition includes multiple layers that represent components such as video and audio footage, animated text and effect of graphics, still images. You can arrange your layers within a composition in space and time, and composite using transparency features to determine which parts of underlying layers show through the layers stacked on top of them. So for example, this right here is a composition. This is called Starter Comp. And this is my composition panel, it's what's happening in my timeline down here. And I can make all kinds of changes to this. I can add footage to this. I can reposition things around. I can even animate things. All right, all of these fun and interesting things are done inside your composition. Now let me just reset all of that. Now to create a composition in After Effects, it's quite easy. There's a button right here, Create a new composition. That will bring up a dialog box where you can name your composition. You can set your resolution, and there's a bunch of different presets here. So if I wanted to do, let's say 24 frames a second, or HDTV 1080 24, it'll set up 1920 by 1080 at a frame rate of 24, which is frames per second. Pixel aspect ratio of square pixels, which is most of the time, what you're gonna be using. And you can set the duration of the comp, so let's say you know you need it to make something that was ten seconds long, no problem. We'll just type in 10 seconds right there, and we can even name this, Ten Second Comp. I can select the background color. And this is more or less the working background color of your composition, so I'll just leave it to white, so you can see what I'm talking about. And then you can click OK. There are some advanced settings here, but I'm not gonna go into those right now because those are things that you can learn later on down the line. All right, so it just created a composition for me, and that composition is located in the wrong folder for me, and that's gonna annoy me. So I'm just gonna move it out of that folder and move it back up here to my Main Comps folder, or else that'll really bug me. All right, so here's my composition. And right now, I don't have anything in it. It's a composition with nothing in it. But I can click the text tool, and I could add some text. It'll look like invisible text because I added white text to a composition with a white background. But I could change the color to black. I could add graphics to this, so here I have a bunch of Illustrator files so I can add, I can add some of these here and position things around. And you could put all manner of things inside this composition. Now, one thing to take note of, like you saw when I created this composition, this has a background of white. However, that is just the working background of this composition. If I were to render this out, this would not be white, this would be black. And I'm sure you're thinking well, that's confusing, and it is, it is confusing for a new user. But what you have to understand is if there is nothing in the background, After Effects really sees that as nothing, as transparency. So it will be rendered black essentially if you're rendering in a video format that doesn't have transparency. If you're rendering in a video format that does have transparency, that'll be rendered as transparent. But probably this you're not gonna be doing that, so this will be rendered as black, even though you have the background color set to white. If you wanted a white background and you wanted it to actually render white, you would have to create a solid, which you can do by right-clicking down here. Go to New > Solid, or you can come up here to Layer > New > Solid, and create for yourself just a white solid with the same dimensions as your composition there's a Make Comp Size button right here, which will help you with that. And then you can select white from the color picker, and click OK. And you can put this in the background. Now, that looks exactly the same. But when this renders it will now have a white background, because if I click this button here again, which is the Toggle Transparency Grid, you can see that now there are no transparent pixels. Because it has a white background. That can be a little bit confusing when you're first starting out, but that's the way it works. Now, at any point in time you can go back and change any of those composition settings. Maybe you started working on this and you think well, actually, I need this to be a different dimension, or maybe I needed different frame rate, no problem. You can come up here to Composition, you can go to Composition Settings which is Ctrl+K on the keyboard. So just hit Ctrl+K and you can change that. So let's say I wanna make this 23.976. There you go, I just changed it. And now my composition, if I select it here in the Project panel, I can see that it's reading 1920 by 1080, it's 10 seconds long, and it's 23.976 frames a second. In your Comp panel, you have a lot of options. Like you saw before you can navigate around with a mouse wheel, and by clicking the mouse wheel here to zoom in and out, and to pan, and to position your composition, so that you can see exactly what you want to. There's also some controls down here for the magnification level you can set it to fit up to 100% which will choose whatever it needs to to make it fill this area here. You can toggle on a number of different grids here to help you position some things, things like the title action safe, the proportional grid. The other grid here, which is much more detailed, and turn on guides, of which there are none, and you can turn on rulers. Now, I almost always like to work with rulers on. I'm gonna turn the grid off, because [LAUGH] that's driving me nuts. And with rulers on it's very, very handy because at any point and time I can just click and drag out from that ruler, and that'll create a guide. And with that guide I'll select my layers, and if snapping is turned on which if you jump up here to the Menu, snap to Guide underneath View. Then you can use your guides to help you position and align things in your comp. Let's say you wanted to position this in the center. Okay, well, I can turn on the title actions safe because that has a vertical center mark here. Or actually it's here on the horizontal mark here. So I can get that right in the center here, and maybe I want all of these items here to be positioned kind of in the same horizontal line here. So I'm just gonna move my guide, and I'll just snap them right there. Really handy stuff to do, and it's all kind of click and drag, and what you see is what you get. So rulers, grids and guides are super useful for arranging your layers and helping you lay things out in your compositions. Now coming up in the next lesson you are going to learn about pre comps, so check that out coming up next.

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