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1.2 After Effects Setup

In this lesson, we will go through my setup and a brief explanation of the tools you will need to complete this course. You will also learn how to import the necessary files (such as the photo image and glass texture files) into your composition.

1.2 After Effects Setup

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the rainy window effect course. In this lesson, we'll go through our initial setup and familiarize ourselves with the tools we'll be using throughout the course. If you're already familiar with using Adobe After Effects, you can skip to the next video now to get started on preparing the rainy window animation. So we'll get started by taking a look at how to load a workspace. To do this, let's go to Window > Workspace and then go to Standard. This will hopefully make it so that you are seeing the same options on screen as what I'm showing you in the course. Otherwise, we can edit the way your workspace can look like. So you'll notice that there are some other workspace options here. So you'll see that we've got Animation and Motion tracking. Now, these are named after the tasks that they're most suited to. But for now, we'll just stick with the standard layout, especially if you're just starting out, as this will have all the tools we'll need to use for the course. Cool, so now that we have our workspace loaded, let's go into a quick introduction of what we're looking at here. The workspace in After Effects is made out of panels and frames. So if you look at the tabs around the workspace here, we'll have things named such as Project, Effect Controls, Info, Audio, Effects and Presets, Library, and so on. All these tabs here that I'm clicking on are called panels, and each panel is placed within a usually rectangular space which is called a frame. Now, you'll see these frames are highlighted in a blue outline as I click on them. So if I click on the Info panel, you'll see that there's a blue frame here. If I click on the Preview panel, you'll see that there's a small blue outline highlighting the frame here. So let's go ahead and adjust the sizes of the frames by moving the mouse over to the edges, like so. Now, you'll see that as I move the mouse to the edge of these frames, the mouse cursor changes. And now, by clicking and dragging the mouse, you can make it smaller or bigger. Now, this will be useful if you want to see more options within your panel. So you can see here as I drag the Preview frame down, you'll see we've got loads more options in the Preview panel here. So let's bring this back up. Now, we can also move the panels to different areas of the workspace. So to do this, simply grab one of the name panels, like so, click and drag the mouse over to a different area. And you'll notice now that we have different drop zones now highlighted in blue as we mouse over them. So you'll see that we've got this middle blue drop zone here. And we've got the same over on this side, and also down below here as well. Cool, so if you release the mouse button, you'll notice now that our Effects and Presets panel is fit nicely inside this big, big rectangular middle frame here. Now, the placement of the panel depends on the drop zone area. So for example, if you wanted to place it in the edge, like so, you have to place it in the edge drop zone. So now you see that I've placed it below our sensor screen here, our sensor panel here. And I can also put it on the side here, like so. Cool, now, however, if you wanted to tab it within a frame, you'll want to drop the panel inside the middle, like so. So now we've got three panels inside this frame, so we've got Project, Effects, and Effects and Presets. Again, if you wanna put it to the side, drop it Into the site drop zone. So another trick that you might find useful is to make a panel float. And this is mainly useful for those of you with two or more monitors. So say if you wanted this Effects and Presets panel floating, all you have to do is click and drag the panel. And as you drag it, as you would normally, go ahead and press the Ctrl button, and you'll see now that we have this panel floating. And if I go ahead and release the Ctrl and mouse button, now you have your floating panel. Cool, now, I can go ahead and place the Effects and Presets panel back into this frame here, like so. And now let's go ahead and explain what we're looking at here. So in the standard workspace, you'll mainly be focused on four different areas. The area to the left here is where you'll find your Project panel. And this is where you'll find all the resources of the project, such as imported logos and compositions that you've created. In this course, we'll be using this area to access files such as our environment photos or footage from Envato elements. The bottom area here is where all your layers are kept. And the time line of the composition is just next to it here, which takes up the most the space, as we'll be needing this to time our key frames of our various effects correctly in order for our rainy video animation to work properly. The center area here is how you'll preview your animation video. And over to the right here, you'll find things such as the Effects and Presets, which we were moving about earlier, and also the Preview panel here. So feel free to experiment with different workspace layouts to come up with something that you like. Remember, you can always reset the layout to its original form if you don't like it by going to Window > Workspace and then Reset, over here. Cool, in the next video, we'll start preparing the animation. See you all there.

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