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FREELessons: 13Length: 1.6 hours

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2.2 Importing Files

In this lesson, we will go through how to import external files into the project, which will enable us to prepare for the animation. You will also learn about what types of files we will be using, such as the ice texture file and how to create a normal map.

2.2 Importing Files

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Cool Ice Effects course. In this lesson, we'll get started and go through the preparation process for animation. So let's get started by creating a new project. To do this, go to File > New > New Project. Let's not save that one. And this will create an empty project for us to start with. Next, we'll want to start a new composition. So we can do this by pressing on the New Composition button here. And a new window will appear, which will allow us to adjust the composition settings. At the top here, we can give our composition a name. So let's go ahead and name this composition Ice FX. And in this area here, we can adjust things like the size of our composition, the frame rate, and how long our animation is going to be. So you can either choose from the preset options here, or you can create a new one. So let's go ahead and create a new one. We're going to enter a width of 1920 and a height of 1080. Frame Rate, we'll leave at 30. And for that, we'll want the Duration of the video. We can put it at ten seconds long for now, but we can always change this later on. Let's go ahead and do that. Cool, and once you're happy with the settings, click the OK button, excellent. Now we have our first composition set up. And we can begin to export some of the external files into the project. In this case, we want to export the ice texture into our project. Now you can find some suitable ice textures in Envato Elements. So let's go ahead and find some ice textures. So let's go ahead and go to Photos under the Browse menu. And from that, we can go over here and select Photos. And we're going to search ice or ice patterns. Go ahead and type that in the search option, and hit Enter on the keyboard. And you can see that we have some cool ice textures to choose from and to download. So just scrolling through the different ice textures here that we've got available in Envato Elements. Now once you've acquired your chosen ice texture, you are now ready to import it into our project in After Effects. So to do this, simply go to File > Imports > File. Find out where you've downloaded your ice texture, and then select it and click OK, or click Imports. Excellent, now you can see that our ice texture is inside our composition here. Now you can also click and drag the file into the project panel over here. Which can be more convenient if you've already got the file location open. Great, so the next file we want to import is the normal map for the ice texture. Now normal maps are usually used in 3D computer graphics and games, to produce fake lighting effects for bumps and dents. This can help add detail to our 3D model without creating more polygons. In this case, we want to give our ice texture a more three dimensional look, by creating this normal map. Now you can create one by visiting one of the free normal map generator websites and uploading your chosen image. Or we can head over to Photoshop. And first of all, we want to import, or let's go ahead and open the ice texture. And then, from here, you'll want to go to Filter > 3D > Generate Normal Map. Just wait a few seconds, and then you'll have a Generate Normal Map window here. Now, you can play about with these settings here. But I'm just going to leave it as the default option and click OK. And now you'll see that we've got a normal map generated from our image, excellent. Now we're all ready to start creating the cool ice effect animation. So first of all, let's go ahead and save this image here. So let's go ahead and save this. Let's Save As, and save this as IceTexture normal map. Save that. And now let's go to Adobe After Effects and import the files. So File > Import > File, and select your IceTexture normal map, click Import. And now you've got your IceTexture normal map, cool. So now that we've got both our ice texture and ice texture normal map imported into our project, we're now ready to start the cool ice effect animation. In the next lesson, we'll start with animating the text. See you all there.

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