ANIMATION TECHNIQUES / After Effects / Term 3, Week 7

This week we were introduced to Adobe After Effects, how to navigate through it and use some of the basic functions & plug-in.

The features are pretty similar with Flash, only with different terms. Unlike Flash, After Effect deals with rasterised, linked images, not vectors. To ensure the files are always linked, it is important to organise each projects into one folder, and creating subfolders for every other components that will be used for the project (images, 3d model, sound effect, etc.)

There are three features when importing a .psd file into After Effects – Import as Footage, Composition, Composition- retain layers. With Footage, you can choose whether to use the layer size (which would be the size of the object placed in the layer), or document size (the canvas size, basically).

A “Composition” in After Effect is like the Movie Clip in Flash. There can be several compositions in a project, and composition inside composition.

To each and every items imported to / created in Ae there are properties. Each of these properties (shown on timeline section when you drag the item into a composition) can be animated, given that they have the little stopwatch icon. To make it animated and not just a raster image, click on the stopwatch icon beside the property that you want to animate. (For example, you want to animate a ball moving from one point to another, then click on the stopwatch beside the property “Position”)

Other than the basic properties, we can add property that we want to animate as well (for example, adding trim path effect, to create an animated handwriting). There are tons of these properties to manipulate and play around with and all of these made realistic animation on Ae possible.

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