Is this lesson as exciting as blowing up a car? No. However, this might just be one of the most important lessons in this course. In this lesson, I am going to show you some settings that will save you from a massive headache down the road as you start to use the most common AE tools!
1.Introduction1 lesson, 00:49
2.Getting Started5 lessons, 42:55
3.Compositions and Layers3 lessons, 26:35
4.Keyframes3 lessons, 25:21
5.Masks, Shape Layers, and Text5 lessons, 45:36
6.2.5D2 lessons, 13:42
7.Motion Tracking4 lessons, 34:04
8.Mattes and Cool Effects4 lessons, 43:43
9.Build a Lower Third2 lessons, 21:35
10.Exporting1 lesson, 09:11
11.Conclusion1 lesson, 01:16
12.Bonus Lessons4 lessons, 2:14:00
13.Frequently Asked Questions8 lessons, 1:34:42
In this lesson we're gonna take a quick dive into some of the settings in After Effects, that will be important for your projects down the road. So let's jump up into the menu here under edit, and I want you to follow along. Go to Preferences, and then General, and when you do this, this is going to bring up the After Effects preferences. And although there are a lot of things in here, there's only a few that I wanna draw your attention to. And you can take some time and explore this at your leisure. But for now, I want to jump to Grids and Guides. This is a section that you may find yourself returning to, from time to time. I know, for me, this is something that I jump to, depending on the project. In this section, we have settings where we can adjust things for Grids, Proportional Grids, Guides and Safe Margins. Now to be quite honest, I've never adjusted this, in fact I only just realized it was there when I started recording this lesson. But the Guides, the Proportional Grid, and the Regular Grid are something that I adjust somewhat frequently, depending on the project. But some of the things that are helpful are the Grid Spacings, so this will put a grid line every 128 pixels. And I have that set, because I believe I was working, when last I used a grid, on a project that was in 720 resolution, which is 1,280 by 720 pixels. And so if you were to put this on something like 200, you can't evenly divide 200 into 1,280. And so the grid is not going to be perfectly centered, and that's something that I like. If I'm working on a 720 comp, which is 1,280 pixels wide, I'll set the grid lines every 128 pixels, and that will at least give me, horizontally, a grid line that ends up to be in the center of my composition. And then I will adjust the subdivisions, which are how many grid lines it'll put in between the main lines, depending on what I'm working on. I use proportional grids occasionally. Guides are something that I use all of the time. You can change the style. I just leave it on lines, I find that works fine. The color though, is something that you may find that you need to change, depending on your composition. If you're working on a composition that has a background color that is similar to this, you're not gonna be able to see the guides. So you can go in here, and you can change the color to something else. Something that has more contrast for you. All right, so that's Grids and Guides. Next, let's jump down to Media and Disk Cache. I just wanted to draw your attention to this section right here. If you have a computer that has more than one hard drive in it, or you have the capability to add another hard drive, something fast, then you can increase the performance in After Effects. And the performance in After Effects is something that, well, if it's slow, is not very fun to use. But if it's humming right along, it makes your day a whole lot better. So you wanna make sure you have this Disk Cache enabled, and if possible you want to choose a DisK Cache folder on a fast hard drive, or a solid state drive, separate from your footage, and allocate as much space as possible. Lots of programs, and even your operating system, use a caching system. In After Effects, when you are playing back a video, when you're just trying to preview it, say you made some text fly across the screen, or whatever. In order for you to see it, After Effects has to render every single one of those frames. And unlike other videos you watch on YouTube, or on television, this video is not compressed. Every single frame is an uncompressed, essentially it's a photo, and you're just seeing a stream of those photos in order. Which is what makes the illusion of moving pictures or video. And because each one is uncompressed, and they're all kind of individual, it doesn't do what's called temporal compression, that can take up a lot of space. So to make things go a little bit faster you can cache some of those frames, and that way, if you make a change and then you revert, it doesn't have to re-render those, because those frames are already cached and they're stored in this hard drive. And so, After Effects can serve those up to you a lot faster. You can check the help file or search online for more information on the Disk Cache, just wanted to draw your attention to it. And finally, I wanted to go over Auto Save. Auto Save is in my estimation a life saver, some folks don't think so, I do. In my history with After Effects, it can be like a crazy girlfriend or boyfriend. A lot of the time it's awesome, but then sometimes things go crazy. Things get sideways or upside down, and After Effects will quit, and you will lose whatever you were working on. If you don't have Auto Save enabled, that can be a day wrecker. So I would recommend that you enable Auto Save, and then adjust the maximum project versions. And the Save Every Interval, to something that suits you. You wanna kinda balance this on how many times you wanna be annoyed, because every time After Effects auto saves, it pulls focus from whatever you were working on. There's a little Auto Save dialogue, I'm sure you will see it throughout this course, that pops up, and you can't do anything while it's auto saving. As long as you're working on a simple project, it only takes a few seconds. And you may not even notice it. If you start working on really, really, really, really, big projects, this can take 30 seconds or more. I have a few projects that the After Effects files are 400 or 500 megabytes. And so that takes a couple of seconds to write. To actually make the file and save it to a hard drive. And that can be annoying. So I have this set to 20 minutes. You also want to balance this with how fast you work in After Effects. If I'm doing something where I am just doing a lot of stuff, I may go in here and adjust this to ten minutes, or eight minutes or something. Especially if After Effects is having a bad day. And for whatever reason, if you're using some plugins that After Effects doesn't like, or you're doing something that has angered After Effects in some way, you're not constantly losing a third of an hour's worth of work every time After Effects decides that your day is going to be ruined. So make sure you have Auto Save enabled. By default, it is set to save next to your project. So what that will do is, wherever you have your project saved, it'll create an After Effects Auto Save folder, and in that folder it will put versions of your project. So that's pretty much it. There's lots of other settings here, Audio Hardware and Audio Output Mapping. These are things that you want to explore and just kinda peruse around here, and make sure you put your eyeballs on a good portion of these preferences, so that you're a little bit familiar with them. For now, we can jump into something far more interesting, coming up in the next lesson. I'm going to walk you through some of the tools that you're going to be using in After Effects all of the time, so check that out coming up next.