ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS Help and tutorialsJune 2013

ContentsWhat’s New. 1What’s new in After Effects CC.2What’s New in Adobe Media Encoder CC. 9What’s new in CS6. 14What’s new in After Effects CS5.5.19What’s new in After Effects CS5.20After Effects getting started tutorials. 26Learn After Effects CS5 and CS5.5. 27Workspace and workflow. 29Setup and installation. 30Workflows. 31Planning and setup. 34Working with After Effects and other applications. 37Dynamic Link and After Effects.43Workspaces, panels, and viewers. 46Sync Settings After Effects CC. 51General user interface items.53Keyboard shortcuts reference.56Modify keyboard shortcuts. 74Preferences. 75Projects and compositions. 78Projects. 79Timecode and time display units. 82Composition basics.84Precomposing, nesting, and pre-rendering.89Importing footage. 94Importing and interpreting video and audio. 95Working with footage items.99Importing from After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. 103Importing and interpreting footage items. 107Preparing and importing 3D image files.118Preparing and importing still images.121CINEMA 4D and After Effects CC. 128Layers and properties. 131Creating layers.132Selecting and arranging layers. 136Managing layers. 143Layer properties. 147Blending modes and layer styles. 1553D layers.160Cameras, lights, and points of interest. 165Views and previews. 173Previewing. 174Modifying and using views. 183Animation and Keyframes. 187Animation basics.188

Setting, selecting, and deleting keyframes. 191Editing, moving, and copying keyframes. 194Assorted animation tools. 198Keyframe interpolation. 204Speed. 208Tracking and stabilizing motion. 214Tracking 3D Camera Movement CC, CS6. 226Animating with Puppet tools. 229Time-stretching and time-remapping. 235Color. 242Color basics. 243Color management. 251Drawing, painting, and paths. 258Paint tools: Brush, Clone Stamp, and Eraser. 259Overview of shape layers, paths, and vector graphics. 266Creating shapes and masks. 271Managing and animating shape paths and masks. 279Shape attributes, paint operations, and path operations for shape layers.287Text. 293Creating and editing text layers. 294Formatting characters and the Character panel. 299Formatting paragraphs and the Paragraph panel. 304Animating text. 306Extruding text and shape layers CC, CS6. 314Examples and resources for text animation.318Transparency and compositing. 323Alpha channels, masks, and mattes. 324Roto Brush, Refine Edge, and Refine Matte effects CC. 332Compositing and transparency overview and resources. 342Keying. 344Roto Brush and Refine Matte. 347Effects and animation presets. 352Effects and animation presets overview. 353Effect list. 3753D Channel effects. 383Audio effects. 387Blur & Sharpen effects. 390Channel effects. 396The Rolling Shutter Repair effect CC, CS6. 401Color Correction effects. 402Distort effects. 414Generate effects. 427Keying effects. 441Matte effects. 449Noise & Grain effects. 451Obsolete effects. 465Perspective effects. 469Simulation effects. 473Stylize effects.494

Text effects. 503Time effects. 505Transition effects. 510Utility effects. 516Markers. 519Layer markers and composition markers.520XMP metadata. 523Memory, storage, performance. 528Memory and storage CS5.5 and earlier. 529Improve performance.535Memory and storage CC, CS6. 538GPU (CUDA, OpenGL) features CC, CS6. 546Expressions and automation. 548Plug-ins. 549Scripts. 551Automation.553Expression basics. 554Expression language reference. 564Expression examples.581Rendering and Exporting. 585Basics of rendering and exporting. 586Rendering and exporting for Flash Professional and Flash Player.599Rendering and exporting still images and still-image sequences. 604Automated rendering and network rendering. 605Converting movies. 611Export an After Effects project as an Adobe Premiere Pro project. 615

What's New1

What's new in After Effects CCCINEMA 4D integrationEnhanced Rotoscoping tool setBicubic sampling for layersSync SettingsEffects and AnimationRendering and encodingUsability enhancementsImport and ExportOther updatesTo the topCINEMA 4D integrationCloser integration with CINEMA 4D allows you to use Adobe After Effects and MAXON CINEMA 4D together. You can create a CINEMA 4D filefrom within After Effects. After you've added a layer based on the CINEMA 4D file to a composition, you can modify it in CINEMA 4D, save it, andhave the results instantly show up in After Effects. This streamlined workflow does not require you to slowly batch render the passes to disk orcreate image sequence files. The pass images are available through a live render connection to the C4D file without using intermediate files.For more information, see Working with MAXON CINEMA 4D and After Effects.MAXON Cinema 4D Lite R14MAXON Cinema 4D Lite R14 application gets installed along with After Effects. You can create, import, and edit C4D files. However, if you haveanother edition of Cinema 4D, such as Cinema 4D Prime, you can use that instead.You can create, import, and edit files from within After Effects.To create a C4D file, choose MAXON CINEMA 4D File from the File New or Layer New menu.To import a C4D file, choose File Import File.To edit a file, select a layer based on a C4D file in a composition or select the footage item in the Project panel. Then choose Edit EditOriginal.For more information about Cinema 4D, see effectWith closer integration between Cinema 4D and After Effects, you can import and render C4D files (R12 or later). The CINEWARE effect lets youwork directly with the 3D scene and its elements.Choose File Import to add a footage item based on the file to the Project panel. When you create a composition with the C4D file, a layer iscreated and the CINEWARE effect is automatically applied to the layer.For more information, see CINEWARE effect.To the topEnhanced Rotoscoping tool setSeparating a foreground object, such as an actor, from the background is an important step in most visual effects and compositing workflows. Thisversion of After Effects provides several improved and new features to make rotoscoping easier and more efficient. These tools work in theLayer panel.2

Refine EdgeA. Roto Brush B. Refine EdgeRefine Edge Use the this tool to improve the existing matte by creating partial transparency along areas that contain fine details such as hair orfur.Roto Brush & Refine Edge effect Use this effect to control the settings for the Roto Brush and Refine Edge tools.Refine Hard Matte Use the Refine Hard Matte effect to smooth sharp or chattery alpha channel edges. The Refine Hard Matte effect is anupdated version of the Refine Matte effect in After Effects CS5-CS6.Refine Soft Matte Use the new Refine Soft Matte effect to improve an existing hard or soft alpha channel so it retains fine edge details withoutchattering.For more information, see Roto Brush, Refine Edge, and Refine Matte.To the topBicubic sampling for layersThis version of After Effects introduces bicubic sampling of footage layers. Now you can choose between bicubic or bilinear sampling fortransformations such as scaling. Bicubic sampling provides significantly improved results in some cases, but is slower. The specified samplingalgorithm is applicable to layers with quality set to Best Quality.To enable bicubic sampling, choose Layer Quality Bicubic. You can also toggle the layer's Quality and Sampling switch; a curved lineindicates bicubic sampling.To the topSync SettingsAfter Effects now supports user profiles and synchronizing preferences via Adobe Creative Cloud. The new Sync Settings feature enables you tosync application preferences to the Creative Cloud. If you use two computers, the Sync Settings feature makes it easy for you to keep the settingssynchronized across the two computers. Choose Edit Sync Settings (Windows) or After Effects Sync Settings (Mac OS) and select an option.After you've synced the settings, the Sync Settings menu is replaced with the current Adobe ID.For more information, see Sync Settings.To the topEffects and Animation3

Pixel Motion Blur effectPixel motion blur to visually communicate movementComputer generated motion or sped-up footage often looks artificial because the motion blur is missing. The new Pixel Motion Blur effect analyzesthe video footage and synthesizes a motion blur based on motion vectors. Adding motion blur makes the motion more realistic, as it includes theblur normally introduced by the camera while shooting. Select a layer, and then choose Effect Time Pixel Motion Blur.For more information, see Pixel Motion Blur.3D Camera TrackerYou can now define a ground or reference plane, and an origin point within the 3D Camera Tracker effect.With the new Auto-delete Track Points Across Time option, when you delete track points in the Composition panel, corresponding track points (i.e.,track points on the same feature/object) are deleted at other times on the layer. After Effects analyzes the footage and attempts to deletecorresponding track points on other frames. For example, you can delete track points on a person running through the scene, whose motionshould not be considered for the determination of how the camera was moving in the shot.For more information, see 3D Camera Tracker.Warp Stabilizer VFX effectThe new Warp Stabilizer VFX effect replaces the Warp Stabilizer effect available in previous versions of After Effects. It now provides greatercontrol, and provides controls similar to the updated 3D Camera Tracker.Additional options Preserve Scale, Objective, and Auto-delete Points Across Time are available under the effect properties. The options forObjective such as Reversible Stabilization, Reverse Stabilization, and Apply Motion to Target are useful while stabilizing or applying effects toshaky footage.For more information, see Warp Stabilizer VFX.4

Gradient Ramp effectThe earlier Ramp effect is now renamed as the Gradient Ramp effect, to make it more discoverable to users looking for a way to make a gradient.Choose Effect Generate Gradient Ramp.For more information, see Gradient Ramp effect.To the topRendering and encodingSend to Adobe Media Encoder queueTwo new commands and associated keyboard shortcuts are now available to send your active or selected compositions to the Adobe MediaEncoder queue.To send a composition to the Adobe Media Encoder encoding queue, do one of the following:Composition Add To Adobe Media Encoder QueueFile Export Add To Adobe Media Encoder QueuePress Ctrl Alt M (Windows) or Cmd Alt M (Mac OS)H.264, MPEG2, and WMVUse the Adobe Media Encoder Queue for H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV formats. By default, these formats are no longer enabled in the After Effectsrender queue.If you still want to use the After Effects render queue, enable them from the Output preferences.Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessingSeveral enhancements in the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing feature make for faster processing while using renderingmultiple frames simultaneously.A new setting is introduced to restrict Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing capability only to the render queue. Whenenabled, RAM previews do not use Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing.To enable this option, choose Edit Preferences Memory & Multiprocessing, and then set Only for Render Queue, nor for RAM Preview.The default options for RAM Allocation per Background CPU are now increased. You can allocate upto 6 GB RAM. The available options are1 GB, 1.5 GB, 2 GB, 3 GB, 4 GB, or 6 GB.The ability to render multiple frames simultaneously is disabled if sufficient RAM is not installed on your computer. 5 GB or more RAM mustbe installed for this feature to be enabled.To the topUsability enhancementsSnap layers in Composition panelYou can now snap layers while dragging in the Composition panel. The layer feature closest to the pointer is used for snapping. These includepoints such as anchor point, center, corner, or points on the mask path. For 3D layers, center of a face, or center of the 3D volume are alsoincluded. When you drag the layer near other layers, the target layers get highlighted, indicating the snap point.5

By default snapping is disabled. To snap layers, do one of the following:Enable Snapping from the Tools panel.To enable snapping, hold Cmd (Mac OS) or Ctrl (Windows), while you drag the layer.Changes to Shift parenting behaviorParenting layers while holding the Shift key moves the child layer to the location of the parent, but the child layer's animated (keyframed)transformations are preserved, relative to the parent layer.Automatic Footage ReloadingWhen you switch back to After Effects from another application, any footage that has changed on disk is reloaded into After Effects.Choose File Preferences Import, and set the options under the Automatic Footage Reloading.Dependencies submenuAll commands that you need to work with related assets and files are now available in the File Dependencies submenu. In addition to thecommands related to missing assets, the following

To send a composition to the Adobe Media Encoder encoding queue, do one of the following: Composition Add To Adobe Media Encoder Queue File Export Add To Adobe Media Encoder Queue Press Ctrl Alt M (Windows) or Cmd Alt M (Mac OS) H.264, MPEG2, and WMV Use the Adobe Media Encoder Queue for H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV formats.