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Importing Assets

Lesson 3 from: Adobe After Effects CC Quick Start

Chad Perkins

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Lesson Info

3. Importing Assets

Lesson Info

Importing Assets

Okay, so now what I want to do is I want to talk about importing assets so I'm actually gonna create a brand new project, and one of the things that you'll notice when I click New Project, I get this thing. And it says, "Do you want to save changes" "to this After Effects project" "that you're working on before closing?" Now I didn't say close anything, I just said I wanted to make a new project and it instantly responded by saying, "Okay, so what do you want to do with this one?" And that's because you can only have one After Effects project open at a time. So once you start opening something else then it's going to be like, "Okay, if you want to do that" "there's some choices that you're making." "There's some choices." And so now I need to figure out what to do. I don't want to save these choices. I don't want to cancel this, I definitely don't want to create a new project, so I'm just gonna choose Don't Save. And so now I have nothing going on really. Let's talk about importing ass...

ets. Now I'm gonna resize thing a little bit. When we had our project open with the cute little librarian guy, his name is Stu by the way, just so you know, his name is Stu. So if I say, "Hey, Stu looks great," and you're like, "What, who's Stu?" It's that guy. So what I can do is I want to rearrange this because we were looking at the timeline a lot but now we're gonna start focusing on the project panel. So I'm gonna put my cursor over this line right here. See that how my cursor changes? The cursors in any Adobe app are so responsive, it's great. It's cute little emojis that tell you what's about to happen as you're doing stuff. So I click this little thing and I can resize that like that, which is not entirely unfun, it's kind of cool. And then I can also have these vertical dividers, I can fiddle with these horizontally, resize these panels that way. And by the way another really cool trick for those of you following along at home. There's the tilde key, the little squiggle next to the number one right above the Tab key, also called the ene key I think? I might be saying that wrong. Don't quote me on that, this is live, so I might say stupid things and that might be one of them, but it's the little squiggle next to the number one, right above the Tab key, that key. It's a shortcut key, and if I hit that then it maximizes whatever panel my mouse happens to be over. So whatever panel my mouse happens to be over, boink, it maximizes. And I hit it again and it goes back to normal. So it's really cool if I'm just doing work in the timeline, I just want to fiddle with the timeline, now I'm done with the timeline. Or I want a fullscreen view of my art and I just want to see my art play out for the world, boom, tilde key again and it goes back to normal. So I'm not going to do that, but I will be doing that throughout the course so just remember that one, it's a great keyboard shortcut. So now I want to import stuff into the project panel. Again there's multiple ways to do this. I can go to the file menu if you're a menu person. File, Import, File. I can also use a keyboard shortcut, and that tells me in the menu items I get this little indicator of the keyboard shortcut. On a Mac that's a Command I, on a PC that would be Control I, so I could use one of those two ways. Also I could come down to the project panel and right click in the project panel if you're a right click person. Choose Import, File. So importing is great because it has billions of different ways to do it. You can use menus if you're a menu person, you can right click if you're a right click person, you can use a keyboard shortcut if you're a keyboard shortcut person. For me personally I am a secret code person and then if there's no secret code I'll use keyboard shortcuts. That's how I prefer to work, especially when you're first getting started you can just use menus. Whatever you need, whatever you need to feel safe, whatever you need to get the job done, do whatever is comfy for you, but as you really want to get efficient and get masterful at After Effects and just kind of speak its language you'll want to get into keyboard shortcuts. There's just so many things that you can only do with keyboard shortcuts. There's just some features and functions that if you don't know the keyboard shortcut you just can't do it. So I prefer to use the trapdoor secret shortcut which is double clicking. So you wouldn't guess that otherwise but if I come in here and double click. And by the way when I go through this I'm probably gonna mention Premiere a little bit. Jim is it okay if I do that? Absolutely. Bless you, thank you. My pleasure. Okay good. A lot of people that use After Effects also use Premiere. If you don't use Premiere just ignore, just wait two seconds for me to stop saying that. But for those of you that use Premiere there's so much parity between After Effects and Premiere that if you're coming this from a Premiere user there's hugs and love, you're accepted here, there's so many things. The project panel, it works the same way and these keyboard shortcuts like double clicking that project panel to import works the same way, it all works the same way, it's great guys. Okay, so I'm gonna go here and I'm gonna use my super secret fun way of doing things, I'm just gonna double click and then we get the import file dialogue box. And I'm gonna go to my exercise files on the desktop. I'm gonna go to my assets. I could bring in my Illustrator files or I could go into video and bring in these video files. I can also which is kind of cool, a lot of people don't know this. If I want to bring in this whole folder of stuff I could just click on the folder and the open button is there, it's not grayed out, I can do that. I can click on open, actually I'm just gonna do that because we're live and I'm feeling sassy so I'm gonna do it. And when I do that not only does it bring in all those videos but it also brings in the folder itself so now I have this nice, tidy workspace where I have this folder with a bunch of videos in it, which is really cool. And so now these are here in my project panel. Now the way that this works for those of you that are not familiar with video editing. For those of you that are familiar with video editing it's the same exact way with all video editing software, but if you're coming to this from a design point of view this is very different. So if you're coming to this from Illustrator or Photo Shop and if you're an Illustrator or Photo Shop and you import something like a big JPEG or something like that, that becomes embedded into the file, like that is part of your Photo Shop document. And wherever that PSD file, wherever that Photo Shop document goes, then that little JPEG is gonna go along for the ride. But for video editing apps like After Effects and Premiere that's not the case, so for video editing apps like this it just maintains a link. Cause if you have 20 gigabytes worth of video and you bring that into the project panel you don't want every single After Effects product to by like 20 gigs. And you don't want to have a hit because you wanted to experiment with different types of music or different sound files or whatever, you want to be able to just bring in all your assets to the project panel, things that you might use, and then just kind of play around and feel free to experiment. So that's the benefit of that, of bringing in all those assets. It doesn't really jack up your project file size. After Effect files are typically very small in size. But the downside is it only maintains a link to the file on your hard drive or external hard drive. So that means you have to be pretty good at housekeeping so that you don't rename, move, delete those files, because then After Effects will be like, "Hey, I don't know where this is," and then you're project's not gonna work. So you gotta be a little bit careful. It's usually a good idea, and if you're new to video you're not gonna believe me, you're not gonna believe me at all but I swear to you this is the case. You're gonna want to organize the files on your hard drive first. And I'm not the best at organizing. My wife's not watching today but I'm gonna honor her by being honest. I am not super organized in my personal life, but when it comes to video editing you have to be. You have to be, you absolutely have to be completely, totally organized or else stuff just gets messy. If I'm editing a movie there are tens of thousands of files, videos, stills, of visual effects, everything, files of every type, you have to know exactly where everything belongs. Everything has to have a home on your hard drive, and that way when you bring it into After Effects, it's great. When you first start with After Effects you might be new and you'll be taking files from all over the external hard drive, from a website, whatever, all over the place, and then what happens is you can't recreate that. You go to open it up a week later and that was your friend's hard drive that's gone or whatever, and then it's all gone and your heart is broken. So be aware that you want to be really organized and put things in a good, nice tidy spot. So now I have this video that's imported here, and again I can import other things as well. I can import those Adobe Illustrator files. Again After Effects is super open with the types of file formats that it can accept. Music, still images, Photo Shop, Illustrator, the list goes on and on of things that you can do with it. But as far as importing goes that's the basics of how to bring things into the project panel. This might be a little of a reiteration, but Jefferey MacDonald wanted to know, "I'm new to Premiere as well so can you reiterate," "I can import a Premiere project" "or do I need to import the" "video and audio files separately?" Oh that's really good question. Good job Jeffery. So you can, it's kind of a bigger conversation. So you can import video and audio into After Effects. You can also import Premiere projects into After Effects. You can also, and I didn't want to blow everyone's minds because it's still early in the morning, but you can also import After Effects projects. I did say that you could only have one After Effects project at a time, and I kind of had my fingers like this behind my back. You can only have one project at a time, but you could import as many projects as you want. So because Jefferey is awesome I'm gonna go ahead and show you this. So I have AEP files which are After Effects Project files that we're gonna be covering later. And I can import these instead of opening them, and After Effects brings them in as a folder with all of the compositions and all of the everything, and the same thing happens when you bring in Premiere projects as well. And the same is also true if you're in Premiere you can also import After Effects stuff into Premiere as well. There's a lot of openness between the two apps. So I am going to undo that action and delete that folder. By the way, just while we're talking about the question thing. When you bring in an After Effects Project this is really helpful. Being able to import After Effects projects now that we're talking about it, it really is great to be able to do that. A lot of times I'll work on a project, let's say for a client, and maybe they're doing a spot for something for the government, and then they want to put their logo on it, and so I do all this work where I'm making this animated logo and it has all these different pieces. And let's say I get another job from them later and they're not doing the same thing for the government, they're doing something for the food service industry or whatever. And so the assets are totally different, but those logos and a lot of the things that created a lot of that art I want to bring over, I can just import that whole After Effects project and all the comps and everything I created, all that work is there. So it just needs slight fiddling or whatever, I still have access to it. And I don't have to go digging through everything, I don't have to rerender stuff and then export, and close our project, reopen another one. I can just import that last project with all the assets and it's just really nifty.

Class Materials

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CL AE Course Exercise Files

Ratings and Reviews

Grace Duong

I really enjoyed this course! As a self-taught After Effects user, this was great if you want to cover the basics and understand the program even more. I also enjoyed Chad's obvious enthusiasm for After Effects and his energy. Definitely felt like I took away some useful tips for my workflow!

a Creativelive Student

If you want to get into learning AE. Watch this video first. I've watched many AE tutorials and I still had many 'why' questions. Chad is great and explaining things and even uses great analogies​ so you understand what is going on. I highly recommend it. Thank you.

Pauly Wright

I bought this over a year ago when it was over $50 and it was still worth every penny then. I'm a videographer that knows Adobe Premier Pro and I wanted to understand After Effects more to make information, figures, stats in videos more engaging. Chad is really enthusiastic, passionate about what he does and he doesn't waffle. After watching this i'm now confident to put this in practise. Highly recommended.

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