«PROFESSIONAL USER GUIDE © 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Copyright Adobe® After Effects® CS3 User Guide for Windows® and ...»
See also “Work with composition settings” on page 110 “Work with output module settings” on page 599
When rendering your final movie, choose a file type and encoder appropriate for the final media. The corresponding decoder must be available on the system used by your intended audience; otherwise they will not be able to play the movie. Common codecs (encoders/decoders) include FLV, Sorenson, MPEG-4 video, and codecs installed with media players such as Flash® Player, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime Player.
Aharon Rabinowitz has an article on the Creative COW website about planning your project with the final delivery specifications in mind: www.adobe.com/go/learn_ae_aharonplanning.
Mobile devices Many of the considerations for creating movies for playback on mobile devices, such as mobile phones and the Apple iPod, are similar to those for creating movies for playback on personal computers—but the limitations are even more extreme. Because the amount of storage (disk space) and processor power are less for mobile phones than for personal computers, file size and data rate for movies need to be even more tightly controlled.
Use these tips when shooting video for mobile devices:
• Tight shots are better. It’s hard to see a face on a tiny screen unless it’s shot in relative close-up.
• Light your subjects well, and keep them separated from the background; the colors and brightness values between background and subject should not be too similar.
• Avoid excessive zooming and rolling, which hinder temporal compression schemes.
• Because stable (non-shaky) video is easier to compress, shoot video with a tripod to minimize the shaking of the camera.
• Avoid using auto-focus and auto-exposure features. When these engage, they change the appearance of all of the pixels in an image from one frame to the next, making compression using interframe encoding schemes less efficient.
Use the following tips when working with After Effects:
• Use a lower frame rate (15-22 fps) for mobile devices.
• Use motion-stabilization tools and noise-reduction or blur effects before rendering to final output, to aid the compressor in reducing file size.
• Match the color palette to the mobile devices that you are targeting. Mobile devices, in general, have a limited color gamut. Previewing in Adobe Device Central can help determine if the colors used are optimal for an individual device or range of devices.
• Use Format Options presets available through the output module in the Render Queue panel. Presets are available for 3GPP mobile devices, iPod video, and PlayStation Portable.
• Consider using cuts and other fast transitions instead of zooming in and out or using fades and dissolves. Fast cuts also make compression easier.
After you’ve rendered your movie, you can view it exactly as it will appear on any of a large variety of mobile devices, using Adobe Device Central.
“About compression of movie files” on page 618 “Preview a movie on a virtual mobile device using After Effects” on page 618 Working with Photoshop and After Effects If you use Photoshop to create still images, you can use After Effects to bring those still images together and make them move and change. In After Effects, you can animate an entire Photoshop image or any of its layers. You can even animate individual properties of Photoshop images, such as the properties of a layer style.
If you use After Effects to create movies, you can use Photoshop to refine the individual frames of those movies. You can remove unwanted visual elements, draw on individual frames, or use the superior selection and masking tools in Photoshop to divide a frame into elements for animation or compositing.
Comparative advantages for specific tasks The strengths of After Effects are in its animation and automation features. This means that After Effects excels at tasks that can be automated from one frame to another. For example, you can use the motion tracking features of After Effects to track the motion of a microphone boom, and then automatically apply that same motion to the Clone Stamp tool. In this manner, you can remove the microphone from every frame of a shot, without having to paint the microphone out by hand on each frame.
In contrast, Photoshop has excellent tools for painting, drawing, and selecting portions of an image. Tracing a complex shape to create a mask is much easier with the Photoshop Quick Selection tool or Magnetic Lasso tool than with the masking tools in After Effects. Rather than hand-drawing a mask on each frame in After Effects, consider doing this work in Photoshop. Similarly, if you are applying several paint strokes by hand to get rid of dust, consider using the Photoshop paint tools.
Deciding which application to use for painting depends on the task. Paint strokes in Photoshop directly affect the pixels of the layer. Paint strokes in After Effects are elements of an effect, each of which can be turned on or off or modified at any time. If the purpose of applying a paint stroke is to permanently modify a still image, use the Photoshop paint tools. If you want to have complete control of each paint stroke after you’ve applied it, or if you want to animate the paint strokes themselves, use the After Effects paint tools.
The animation and video features in Photoshop Extended include simple keyframe-based animation. After Effects uses a similar interface, though the breadth and flexibility of its animation features are far greater.
After Effects 3D functionality is limited to the manipulation of two-dimensional layers in three dimensions.
Photoshop, however, can manipulate complete 3D models in 3DS and U3D formats, and output two-dimensional composites and cross-sections of these 3D models from any angle. You can then use these two-dimensional images in After Effects. After Effects can also automatically create 3D layers to mimic the planes created by the Photoshop Vanishing Point tool.
It is often a good idea to prepare a still image in Photoshop before importing it into After Effects. Examples of such preparation include correcting color, scaling, and cropping. It is often better for you to do something once to the source image in Photoshop than to have After Effects perform the same operation many times per second as it renders each frame for previews or final output.
By creating your new PSD document from the Photoshop New File dialog box with a Film & Video preset, you can start with a document that is set up correctly for a specific video output type. If you are already working in After Effects, you can create a new PSD document that matches your composition and project settings by choosing File New Adobe Photoshop File.
Exchanging movies You can also exchange video files, such as QuickTime movies, between Photoshop and After Effects. When you open a movie in Photoshop, a video layer is created that refers to the source footage file. Video layers allow you to paint nondestructively on the movie’s frames, much as After Effects works with layers with movies as their sources. When you save a PSD file with a video layer, you are saving the edits that you made to the video layer, not edits to the source footage itself.
You can also render a movie directly from Photoshop. For example, you can create a QuickTime movie from Photoshop that can then be imported into After Effects.
Color After Effects works internally with colors in an RGB (red, green, blue) color space. Though After Effects can convert CMYK images to RGB, you should do video work in Photoshop in RGB.
If relevant for your final output, it is better to ensure that the colors in your image are broadcast-safe in Photoshop before you import the image into After Effects. A good way to do this is to assign the appropriate destination color space—for example, SDTV (Rec. 601)—to the document in Photoshop. After Effects performs color management according to color profiles embedded in documents, including imported PSD files.
See also“Preparing and importing Photoshop files” on page 83
Working with Flash and After Effects If you use Adobe® Flash® to create video or animation, you can use After Effects® to edit and refine the video. For example, you can export Flash animations and applications as QuickTime movies or Flash Video (FLV) files. You can then use After Effects to edit and refine the video.
If you use After Effects to edit and composite video, you can then use Flash to publish that video. You can also export an After Effects video as Flash content for further editing in Flash.
Exporting Flash video (FLV) from After Effects When you render finished video from After Effects, select FLV as the output format in the Render Queue panel to export directly to the Flash Video (FLV) format. You can specify size, compression, and other output options. Any After Effects markers are added to the FLV file as cue points.
You can then import the FLV file into Flash and publish it in a SWF file, which can be played by Flash Player.
Importing and publishing video in Flash When you import a FLV file into Flash, you can use various techniques, such as scripting or Flash components, to control the visual interface that surrounds your video. For example, you might include playback controls or other graphics. You can also add graphic layers on top of the FLV file for composite effects.
Composite graphics, animation, and video Flash and After Effects each include many capabilities that allow you to perform complex compositing of video and graphics. Which application you choose to use will depend on your personal preferences and the type of final output you want to create.
Flash is the more web-oriented of the two applications, with its small final file size. Flash also allows for runtime control of animation. After Effects is oriented towards video and film production, provides a wide range of visual effects, and is generally used to create video files as final output.
Both applications can be used to create original graphics and animation. Both use a timeline and offer scripting capabilities for controlling animation programmatically. After Effects includes a larger set of effects, while the Flash ActionScript™ language is the more robust of the two scripting environments.
Both applications allow you to place graphics on separate layers for compositing. These layers can be turned on and off as needed. Both also allow you to apply effects to the contents of individual layers.
In Flash, composites do not affect the video content directly; they affect only the appearance of the video during playback in Flash Player. In contrast, when you composite with imported video in After Effects, the video file you export actually incorporates the composited graphics and effects.
Because all drawing and painting in After Effects is done on layers separate from any imported video, it is always non-destructive. Flash has both destructive and non-destructive drawing modes.
Exporting After Effects content for use in Flash You can export After Effects content for use in Flash. You can export a SWF file that can be played immediately in Flash Player or used as part of another Flash project. When you export content from After Effects in SWF format, the some of the content may be flattened and rasterized in the SWF file.
Working with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects Adobe Premiere® Pro is designed to capture, import, and edit film and video. After Effects is designed to produce motion graphics and visual effects for film, broadcast television, DVD, and the web. You can easily exchange projects, compositions, tracks, and layers between After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. You can import an Adobe Premiere Pro project into After Effects, or export an After Effects project as an Adobe Premiere Pro project. You can also import Adobe Premiere 6.0 and 6.5 projects into After Effects.
You can copy and paste layers and tracks between After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. If you have Adobe Creative Suite® 3 Production Premium, you can use Adobe Dynamic Link to export After Effects compositions into Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe Encore without first rendering them, or you can start Adobe Premiere Pro from within After Effects and capture footage for use in After Effects.
See also “Copy between After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro” on page 65 “About Dynamic Link (Production Premium only)” on page 609 “Export an After Effects project to Adobe Premiere Pro” on page 608 Work with Adobe Encore and After Effects You can use After Effects to quickly create buttons and button layers for importing into Adobe Encore®. Adobe Encore uses a naming standard to define a button and the role of individual layers as subpicture highlights and video thumbnails. When you select a group of layers to create as an Adobe Encore button, After Effects precomposes the layers and names the precomposition according to the naming standards for buttons.
Highlight layer names receive the prefix (=1), (=2), or (=3), and video thumbnail names receive the prefix (%).
After Effects includes template projects that include entire DVD menus for you to use as a basis for your own DVD menus. To use Adobe Bridge to browse and import these template projects, choose File Browse Project Templates.
(See “Work with template projects” on page 23.) See also “Create a web link, chapter link, or cue point from a marker” on page 118 Create a button for Adobe Encore 1 In the Timeline panel, select the layers to be used in the button.
2 Choose Layer Adobe Encore Create Button.
3 Enter a name for the button.
4 Use the menus to assign up to three highlight layers and one video thumbnail layer, and then click OK.
A new composition is created with the button name. In keeping with the Adobe Encore naming standards, the prefix (+) is added to the name of the composition to indicate that it is a button.
Important: If you rename the button, be sure to retain the (+) prefix. The prefix ensures that Adobe Encore recognizes the file as a button.