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Vectors and Shapes

Lesson 7 from: Adobe® After Effects® Creative Cloud® Starter Kit

Jeff Foster

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Lesson Info

7. Vectors and Shapes

Lesson Info

Vectors and Shapes

So we've animated this little character in two d we're going to explore the world of three d now, and this is where it gets interesting, uh, working with illustrator files, because we can now extrude some of that vector data. So I've gone ahead during our lunch break. I sped things up a little bit because we've got a lot to cover here in this next session. Um, I went ahead and saved out to different illustrator files. One is this myth this just with this layer active, only the other one is with this layer active, only two different illustrator files, because whatever it was visible is what actually comes through is the vector data into after effects. I just imported them in here. So I've got one of each in this cop. So there's, my foreground and there's my background, I can turn on the transparency so we can see what's what? In here. So right now I've just got to of illustrator files in here, so if I was to click three d on these, I just clicked this little box, which is down here litt...

le box that means make it may make a layer three d and what that does is it gives us a three dimensional space, so if I troll this down and I look normally when we have two dimensional uh layers in here we've only got the transform function in here and this one we also have material options and this is where we can start interacting with cameras and lights and doing all that good stuff um we're going to get into a little bit of that here in just a bit so I made both of these three d just as there they are here so if I was to it's a scale them up, let me do this scale and then I just scale this up because I've just brought in that data I'm not really truly um bringing in vector data and it's translating exactly quite the same cause we're just kind of looking at a preview of it but the factor today it is still there what I will do though to make this truly scaleable unusable. Yes, I can convert this illustrator to a shape layer and I just right click on this top layer here and go up here to create shapes from vector layer. Now this gives me a brand new layer hides the original that gives me a brand new layer is still in three d space but now when I scale this I've got truly sharp edges nice clean vector shapes and I can see I've got that issue here where that one arm keeps getting in hidden there, so we're just going to ignore that for now but that's yeah, I do know about that in illustrator for some reason in that master file, but one element was turned off, so it looks like he's missing missing part of his arm there, so it won't affect our our image here. So I'm going to the same thing with this bottom layer, which is the sign base when to create shapes from vector layer. Of course, it threw it up on the very top. I'm going to bring it back down underneath it. There we go. So now it's in place and I can scale that up a cz well, I'll just type in one sixty six that we were both on the same level there. There we go. S so now I've got these two layers in here and they could be scale and they can be moved around. Um, now that I'm in three d space, you notice here I've got a third line here this morning. I was telling me about the three different axes of got on x y and z. So the ex axes er is horizontal. The why is vertical and dizzy is the depth z depth. So if you think of those like, you've got a pencil or a rod and you think when you're talking about rotation in three dimensions, anything that's in the x axis is like an axle in a car things are going to rotate like wheels on a car anything that's in the y axis is the vertical so things are going to spin around like a merry go round and I think of it is x like axel uh and then why is you know why did I get on this thing? Sometimes I actually have to verbalize that to myself while I'm working before I start spending things around because I have always let me see where I'm again and it also depends on where you are in your three d space you could put a camera and put it somewhere else and then it throws everything off for you so you have to really kind of get really comfortable with three d space the z is dizzy space that's the depth it's like no, you're going to go this way so you can come up with your own on ways to remember all of this axes but uh so if I was if I was to scale any of these in any direction of course these e space isn't going to do much because we don't have real volumetric elements here they're still kind of like uh if you had vinyl graphics on a piece of plastic and you're doing traditional cel animation or something there still flat plains in space and so if we were to rotate these together and let me actually just gonna link goingto link link them together here all quickly by parenting one over the other some only having to move one so you can see here's my my rotation options you see they've all changed now before we had rotation in a two to two d layer let me turn one on here and I'll show you just made that two d and now we can look a rotation here so what we've been working on is just this one area of rotation and that's just rotation around like a center pin ofyour of your art board it's just like we stuck a pin right in the center of it here and we're spending things around that's what that anchor point does for us so if we spend this guy around like this then what's let me hide these two here quick um I could've solo that so they were spinning this around this way we've been rotating all morning around our anchor points but that's the only rotation that we've done if we rotate these however we've got three axes weaken rotate on now so again the axis that's coming at you is like are center pin so aiken rotate around that and notice how we've got this other arrow thing going on in here so if I zoom in on that you can see we've actually got three arrows and that tells you here's why here's x and z is this little blue dot in the middle because it I's pointing directly at you can't see you're seeing the tip of the arrow there it's coming right at you so that's what that means and that helps us orientation too if you always know that x is the red arrow, why is the green one and blues the z that helps us orientation to when you get you lost out there? So because we have these different rotations we can rotate this way and this way as well so you can really set things up to tumble but it also shows you that uh these are really two d planes that are in this space no matter what I do, I'm still dealing with these little two d two dimensional planes and that's because we're in this mode here, which is called classic three d and we're going to switch that here in a little bit but I want to do a couple things while we're in this mode to show you some of the some of the different kinds of animation you can do even with this mode in fact there's a lot that's done with this three dimensional space even in hollywood films, so I I wrote the green screen handbook and in that I've also got some case studies in there the movie john adams it's, an hbo miniseries that was done aa lot of that was done and what they call two and a half d and that's what this really is a call this is really two and a half t it's basically two d layers in three d space and they do that a lot where they'll have video elements or film elements or just still images and they'll paste them into space and put them in but then they'll have cameras flying around and it gives you the illusion of being in three d space but the images are always either facing the camera or they're so far away it doesn't make a difference so you could do a lot of that type of working here too where I can say I'm going toe on uh hook these here none and so I could take this guy here and I can animate his position that there so I can animate his position so that he's coming toward the screen and I can keep dragging that actually I can go in there and type in a number I'll say minus five thousand ok now he's way past our shoulders so now you see he's coming at us boom so that's he's moving in three d space and right now it just looks like I'm scaling them up and down but I'm actually moving him in three d space so if I was to take that uh and let me go ahead and re parent him to this because that way I can rotate at the same time let's let me grab this one rotate this at the same time so while I'm doing that I'm going to rotate in the wind direction some get set my first key frame going to come out here and they'll spin this around this way so as he's coming away from the sign he's actually going out away from it so that you can't do that with just scaling um you'd have to you'd have to get into perspective distortion and all of that so just to create that even if I wanted to use that for a print piece I do this higher resolution right now I just have this cop set for hd video but even if I wanted to just angle something right, I didn't quite I want to deal with it in fotos shopper illustrator I just wanted to maybe move him off a bit and, you know create some kind of an actual image for stills you can do that in after effects just get it and grab the screen shot of it and that's it or not the screenshot but you just saved this frame out is a photo shop later and we're gonna get into that a second too so a with this this just moving things in three d space now there's other elements that get involved here um one thing that you khun d'oh and I do this a lot actually is faking it if I don't want to deal with a three d camera and lights and all of that and try to make everything look really sweet and pretty but say I just wanted a little drop shadow under this guy ah I can go in and just had a layer style son come up here the layer layer styles and add my drop shadow and that's just like it is and photo shop you zoom in here a little bit and photo shop or illustrator you've got that little drop shadow and they're down here it's in our timeline and here's what separates it a little bit from photo shop is that I've got uh distance here you can do some of these connections and photoshopped but you can't you can you can key frame some of the effects but you can't quite separate him like you can in after effects so here I've got this nice little drop shadow under this guy and as he's moving off of course the drop shot was going with him well what if I wanted to fix that? Well I got my key frames here I can key frame the distance I can key frame the size and I can key frame my capacity so say I wanted to keep the drop shadow somewhat in front of that I'm going to just move it out here a few frames I'm going tio maybe I'll move my angle to while I'm at it the key from my angle okay, so now I want to get the drop shadow back here going to move it away from him and going to spread it out a little more little fuzz here and you bring my capacity down okay, so now I've simulated kind of a fake fake movement of this guy with his drop shadow in motion just with a few little key frames again that's a it's animation it's a subjective thing so uh it's just what you want to do with it is how you get your results but but that's one way of cheating and I do I do a lot of cheating um just to whatever gets results that I need so it's really not cheating when it comes down to that I just didn't have to deal with the lights and everything same thing if I wanted to add a bevel and in boss or something I could do that I can either write click or I could go up to the layer then you come up here to my layer styles so when I had a bevel in boss and you know make it look really three d ish so the thing is is when I do bring my bevel and in boston character by he's not gonna have any volume he still could be flat but it does give a little bit of a hand that it looks like it's, least thick, you know, like he's made out of plastic or something. And then he's coming off the edge. So just that one little hint there really, really helps sell. The image sells the idea that that is, oh, it's three d. It really looks like it's coming off the sign there.

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Brandon D

Excellent class! Makes After Effects much less daunting to tackle and explains it in clear way. The bright purple background was distracting and annoying though.

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