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Tag: After Effects (page 1 of 2)

The Video Editor’s Digest | Edition #46

Hey there and welcome back to the Video Editor’s Digest! In this edition we cover the Avid / Chrome SIP issue, music visualizer in AE & more.

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The Video Editor’s Digest | Edition #43

Hey there and welcome back to the Video Editor’s Digest! In this edition we cover Hollywood’s favorite NLE, the freelancer’s triangle, The Mandalorian, animated textures in AE & more.

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Change Layer Name in After Effects — EVF Tutorial

This tutorial explains how to change the name of a layer in Adobe After Effects and what the difference is between Source Name and Layer Name and how to toggle between the two.

Music used in this video, “Camino” by Matt Wigton, was purchased and licensed through my friends at Soundstripe (affiliate link). For 10% off a subscription use the code EVF at checkout.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

Increment and Save in After Effects — EVF Tutorial

This tutorial explains how Increment and Save works in Adobe After Effects. It’s a simple method for backing up your projects as you work without having to quit out of AE.

Keyboard shortcut:
Mac – Cmd+Opt+Shift+S
PC – Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

After Effects Keyboard Shortcuts: Show and Hide Properties — EVF Tutorial

This tutorial covers different keyboard shortcuts in Adobe After Effects for showing or hiding layer properties. You’ll learn the transform shortcuts, how to show and hide keyframed properties, how to show and hide any altered property and more.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

What is an After Effects Template?

“Hey…how’d you make that so fast?” a voice asked from over my shoulder.

It was an editor at one of the companies I freelance at. I removed my headphones and swiveled my chair. “Ah, you mean this transition?”

“No, like the whole thing. The graphics, the camera movements, …” I sensed confusing under his breath.

“Oh! This After Effects template?”

He raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean by…template?”

“Yeah I just grabbed this thing online and it has everything in it.”

“OMG MAGIC THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER!” Okay, he didn’t actually say that but his jaw just about hit the ground. He had never heard of an After Effects template.

If you’ve been reading lately then you know I’m trying to run with this theme of “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Let’s file this post under that theme. There is no dumb question and if you’re an “advanced editor” reading a post that’s designed for new editors feel free to stop reading here and go yell about LUTs or something on Reddit.

In this post I’m going to explain what an After Effects template is, some of their benefits, some of their downsides and where you can get them.

Alright. Let’s jump into it.

What is an After Effects Template?

An After Effects template is a pre-built After Effects project (.aep) that is made in a way so you can pop in your assets (i.e. footage, logo, headshots, etc.) and create a video in record speed. After Effects templates can be entire explainer videos, typography videos, logo opens, title packages, green screen virtual sets, infographics, etc. etc. And I’ve used just about all of them.

For example, let’s take a look at this After Effects template. And now let’s take a look at what I made it into.

To get an After Effects template go to one of the sites I’ll list below, pick one out, purchase it, download it, watch/read the tutorial, open up the .aep, and get to work. There are usually a handful of places to check out when you first jump into a project like compositions titled “CHANGE LOGO HERE” or “INSERT COMP1 FOOTAGE HERE”. Also look for layers titled, “CHANGE COLORS HERE” and typically you select the layer and there are parameters you can adjust in the Effects Controls Panel.

It kind of goes without saying but you need a license of Adobe After Effects in order to use an After Effects template. Most templates are backwards compatible for a few versions. If you have any CC version than you are most likely fine. It should say somewhere on the website what minimum version of AE you need though.

How I work is once I open up the .aep I find the MASTER comp or the RENDER ME comp (it’s typically labeled something like that) then work my way backwards through the precomps to see how everything works together. Then I get to work.

Here are a couple screenshots of what a typical project looks like when you open it up:

This is basically what you can expect to find when you open an AE template

This is a basic example of what one of the comps *could* look like. Daunting, huh?

This is an example of what the Project Panel could look like. Fairly self-explanatory?

Benefits of Using After Effects Templates

Let’s bullet point this out.

  • They save you time. A lot of time usually. This is by far their biggest selling point. I’ll ballpark it that 30-50% of a project can be completed right off the bat just by using one.
  • They give you boundaries to work in. I was using the AE template in the little story in the intro to this post because I needed a starting point for this project. I literally had free rein to do anything I wanted which is great until you find yourself with no place to start. So I picked this AE template in order to have some basic constraints for the project, which got the ball rolling.
  • You learn how others use After Effects. AE is incredibly deep and editors can do one thing a dozen different ways. You will generally always learn a new tip or trick or just go, “oh, so they did it like that?” at least once. A lot of us don’t get to work with other editors and seeing another editor’s project is rare. This gives you a glimpse into how others work.

30-50% of a project can be completed right off the bat just by using one.

Downsides of Using After Effects Templates

  • They give you boundaries to work in. Yes, I know I just listed this as a benefit. The boundaries are great sometimes but will give you massive headaches other times because they aren’t always easy to modify. Quick example… Let’s say you want to change the length of a precomp. Cool. You go into the Composition Settings (Cmd/Ctrl+K), change the time then extend all the layers. Oh wait. They used a 10-second .mov for one of the background elements and it doesn’t loop and when you change the speed it looks weird… See where I’m getting at? Also, having a picky client can be tricky. Oh, they want all the squares made into circles? Yeah…that’s probably not going to happen.
  • You don’t truly know how easy it will be to manipulate an AE template until you buy it. This is piggybacking on my last point. Make sure to read the reviews if available. A lot of them are really easy to use. However I’ve found that you can also get some lemons every once in awhile.
  • Cost. Yes, they most of the time they cost real cash. Expect to spend $15-$45.
  • Tutorials are typically lacking in substance and quality. About half the time you’ll get a video that will [sloppily] walk you through how to change different elements (colors, insert logos, etc.). The other half of the time you’ll probably have a .pdf that probably isn’t worth reading IMO. Jump in and dig around to figure stuff out.
  • The music generally does not come packaged with the AE template. Most of the time when you watch the preview there’s this nice song or sound effects that go along with it. Yeah, these aren’t included. Most of the time they are linked on the website where you buy the AE template. FWIW I get most of my music through Soundstripe (affiliate link) (p.s. You can use the coupon code EVF for 10% off 😉).

Where to Get After Effects Templates

If you have other places you like to get After Effects templates leave them in the comments!

Putting It All Together

An After Effects template is a wonderful tool you can use to spark creativity, give you a jumpstart on a project and teach you new things about such an in-depth software. However they cost money and can occasionally be difficult to adjust to your needs.

I recommend trying one out if you haven’t before. Occasionally the sites listed above will have massive sales or do something like give away a free AE template of the month. Take advantage of those if you have a chance.

I hope you found this article helpful. I have a ton of posts and tutorials coming up in the queue once I can get a couple more freelance projects off my back. If you’re new around here and want to stay up-to-date with the latest on EVF go here and you’ll never miss out on posts like this one.

– Josh

EVF Tutorial – How to Create a Grid in After Effects

This tutorial will teach you how to create a grid in After Effects. You’ll learn how to change the color of the grid, how to change the size of the grid and how to animate the grid.

You can download the After Effects project I used in the tutorial below:

Click here to download the After Effects Grid Tutorial Project

BTW, I publish a weekly newsletter called the Video Editor’s Digest. In it you’ll get awesome tips, tricks, resources and news about video editing. I’d love for you to be a part of it. You can sign up here!

EVF Tutorial – Export PSD Sequence in Adobe After Effects

Learn how to export a PSD Sequence in Adobe After Effects in this tutorial. I’ll walk you through how to send a Comp to the Render Queue and how to export it as a PSD Sequence into a folder.

I tried out something new in this tutorial. Let me know what you think about it! You can not miss it.

Figuring It All Out

FiguringItAllOut

I want to do a little exercise. I haven’t been shy in saying what I want out of EVF. And with what I want out of EVF I need to figure out what the heck I’m doing. What I’m doing is pretty much boiled down into this sentence that I need to complete:

I make _____________ for _____________ because _____________.

I need help completing this sentence.

What do I make?

I make many things. I write blog posts, I create YouTube videos, I build educational courses, I co-host a podcast, I build the post production community, I create products that help editors and more.

If I were to boil it down into one thing I would say I make knowledge about video editing (as a career and it’s software) easier to consume and understand.

Let’s take this and go a step deeper. There’s so much I want to make and create but if for this very moment I’m picking one thing, let’s say the thing I’m best at, is that I make learning about video editing software (mainly Avid Media Composer and Adobe After Effects) better and simpler.

So here’s where we’re at:

I make learning about video editing software better and simpler for _____________ because _____________.

Who do I make it for?

This one is easy right?! I make it for video editors!

Yes. And no. I need to go deeper. I need to define who that person is.

Who is that person? Who are you reading this?

You are an editor. You are in the industry or trying desperately to become part of it. Regardless you want to become better at what you do. You want to become more knowledgeable at your craft and quicker at it. You want to make cool videos. You want to learn so much but don’t have the time.

Okay, let’s go one step deeper. Who do I make it for?

I make it for busy video editors who want to improve their skills.

Okay. Here’s where we’re at:

I make learning about video editing software better and simpler for busy video editors who want to improve their skills because _____________.

Why do I make what I make?

Video editing is difficult. iMovie and YouTube make it sound so easy. Drag and drop. Add heart wipe. Export straight to YouTube. Boom. Done.

Oh. It’s not quite like that? Really? You have to label media properly, import, label clips, more labeling of files, create a PSD with an alpha, realize it’s the wrong blue, go back to Photoshop, re-export, re-import, yada yada yada yada and you’re only 1/10,000th of the way done.

Video editing is difficult. The software doesn’t always make sense if you don’t know what it is thinking. I want you to understand what Media Composer is doing when it is creating an MXF file. If you don’t get that then you don’t understand media management and if you don’t understand media management you won’t have a job for long.

Being skilled at your NLE makes you happier. It makes you better at what you do. And what you can do with your video editing abilities can change the world. What you can do is create beautiful art.

Okay, Josh. Go deeper. Why do I make what I make?

I make what I make because being skilled in your editing software enables you to create beautiful art.

Do I like that? Yeah? Yeah.

Putting It All Together

Let’s put it all together and see where we are at.

What do I make? I make learning about video editing software better and simpler.

Who do I make it for? I make it for busy video editors who want to improve their skills.

Why do I make what I make? I make what I make because being skilled in your editing software enables you to create beautiful art.

When I put it all together what do we get?

I make learning about video editing software better and simpler for busy video editors who want to improve their skills because being skilled in your editing software enables you to create beautiful art.

There we go. Was that that difficult?

Do you fall under this umbrella? Are you a busy video editor that wants to improve your skills so you can create beautiful art? And you want me to help you?

If so, let me know. And let me know what you’re struggling with and looking for!

I’ll see you soon with a new tutorial (because you’re a busy video editor who wants to improve your skills so you can create beautiful art)!

– Josh

 

Timecode: Is it still important?

Timecode: Is it still important?

Timecode: Is it still important?

The answer is yes. Timecode is still important. It’s a vital and fundamental skill that still has impact when shooting or editing in virtually every kind of video.

Monday night Shane Ross, one of my favorite editors to follow on Twitter, tweeted this:

This escalated to a remarkably civil discussion on the matter between him and a few other editors. I’m with Shane though. Timecode is incredibly important despite not being used in as many ways as it used to.

This post will go through a brief overview of what timecode is, some antiquated uses that I used it for and why it remains important to know and understand today.

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