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2.1 After Effects Setup

In this lesson, we will go through the setup and a brief explanation of the tools you will need to complete the course.

2.1 After Effects Setup

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Liquid Animation course. In this lesson, we'll go through our initial setup and familiarize ourselves with After Effects and the tools will be using throughout the course. If you're already familiar with using Adobe After Effects, you can skip to the next video now to get started on preparing the liquid animation. So let's get started by taking a look at how at how to load a WorkSpace. To do this, let's go to Window at the top here, then go to WorkSpace and over here, we can go to Defaults over here or Standard. This will hopefully make it so that you're seeing the same layout and options on screen as what I'm showing you in this video and throughout the other lessons. Otherwise, we can edit the way your workspace can look like. You'll also notice that there are some other workspace options that we can have, look at, and experiment with. So let's go back to Window here, and Workspace, and now we can see all these other options here. And these will usually be named after the task that they are most suited to, such as Animation, Effects, and Motion Tracking. But for now let's go ahead and stick with the standard layout here, which you can also load by pressing Shift and F12 on the keyboard. And this will have all the tools we'll need to use for this lesson. So now that we have our workspace loaded, lets go into a quick introduction of what we are looking at here. The workspace in After Effects is made out of panels and frames. So if we go ahead and look at the tabs around our workspace here, such as Project, Effects and Controls, the Info tab here and the audio tab here at the top right. These are what are called Panels. Now, each panel within is within a usually rectangular space, such as this one here, highlighted in blue. And these are called Frames. Now, we can easily adjust the size and width of the frame by moving our mouse over the edge of this blue line here. So that's the mouse cursor turns into these two arrows. Indicating that we can click and drag to move it up or down. Now, we can also do this on the other sides of the frame like sub, so we can move this frame left or right to make it wider. And this could be useful if you want to see more options within our panel. So say for example, if we want to see more options within preview, we can go ahead and move our mouse to the bottom of this frame, and then move it down. And you can see straightaway here, we've got more options here available to us. Now, you can see we've got this dead space on the right here. So let's go ahead and move the panel to the right here, so you can get rid of that. And we can also move panels to different areas of the workspace. Now, to do this, you want to grab one of the names panels using the mouse. So let’s go ahead and click on the info panel here. And we can then go ahead and click and drag the mouse over to different areas. Now, you'll notice now that we've got different drop zones which are now highlighted as we mouse over them. Now, these will be new placements for the panel. Now, the placement of the panel depends on the drop zone area. So for example, if we place our info panel over the outer edges of this frame, so you can see here, we've got the left one, the bottom one, the right, and the top. If you move it to the right one here, you'll see that it will appear beside the frame. So let's go ahead and demonstrate this for the other side as well. So we can move this to the left. However, if you want a tab within the frame, so you can see here we've got two tabs here within the frame Project and Effects and Controls. If you wanted the same for the middle here, we can click and drag info and move it into the middle drop zone. And now you'll see we've got the info panel and the composition panel inside the same frame like so. So another trick that you might find useful is to make a panel float. Now, this is mainly useful for those of you with two or more monitors. Say we wanted the info panel. Let's grab this again. And we wanted to move it into the second monitor. So let's go ahead and click and drag the panel again as you would do normally if you wanted to move it. Then was holding the mouse button, press and hold the Ctrl key on the keyboards or the Cmd key if you're using a Mac. Now, you see once I start moving it with the Ctrl key held down, we can simply now, we'll click and release the panel like so. And now you see we've got a floating panel that we can now go ahead and resize like so, cool. Now to reset the workspace to what it was originally. Let's go ahead and go back to the Window menu here, and then select Workspace. And then let's go back to reset standard to save layout, like so, cool. Alternatively, if you wanted to save your new workspace, you also go to Window > Workspace. And now, you can go ahead and save the new workspace by clicking on this option here, excellent. Now, in the standard workspace you're mainly be focused on four different areas. Now, the left area is where you'll see things like the Project panel. And this is where you'll find all the resources of the project, such as imported logos and compositions that you've created. In this course, we'll be using this area to access our composition of files, such as our background images from Envato elements. Now, the bottom area here will be where all your layers are kept. And the timeline for the composition is just next to it, which takes up most of the space. As will be needing the space to time our keyframes of our animations and various effects correctly for our animation to work. The center area here will be how you can preview your animation video. And to the right is an area where you will find the effects and presets that we will use for animation. And also the video controls preview buttons, which is over here. So feel free to experiment with different workspace layouts to come up with something that you like. Remember, you can always reset the layout to its original form if you don't like it, or load layout that you've previously saved. Excellent, so that's it for this lesson. In the next video, we'll learn how to use the liquid animation templates, which you can download from Envato Elements. See you all there.

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