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How to Adjust Speed and Timing?

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David JohnsonHow to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:08:46 pm

Hey,

I've been using After Effects for about three days, and I'm tasked with creating a dynamic, fast paced slide show with a set of photos. I've got some of the stuff down, but there are a few key things I'm really stuck on.

1. How do I adjust the speed of each photo in a certain composition? Like, if I want the first photo to lag for two seconds, and the next three to transition very quickly (about .3 of a second each), how would I accomplish that?

2. Is it possible to crop and copy photos within After Effects, or should I do that in Photoshop before bringing them in?

3. Would this be easier to do in Final Cut?

Thanks a lot!


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:22:30 pm

[David Johnson] "I've been using After Effects for about three days"

You might be able to build a Table in Microsoft Word after having used it for three days.
You might be able to do a nice-looking export from Quicktime Pro after having used it for three days.

But you're only going to waste time, get frustrated and miss your deadline by jumping into the deep end of the pool with After Effects after having used it for three days. AE doesn't work AT ALL like the software you're used to. Without a good knowledge of the basics, there are too many pitfalls in AE.

If you're avoiding using Motion in favor of AE, you should know that while AE is more powerful and versatile, Motion's a lot easier to learn for a fast start.

I recommend you go here:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...



[David Johnson] "Would this be easier to do in Final Cut?"

Although it pains me to say this, yes. FCP's scaling and transformation algorithms are nowhere near as good as AE's, but you've go a job to get done, and you apparently know it. So use it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David JohnsonRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:35:29 pm

Thanks, I really appreciate the advice. To be honest, I don't know Final Cut any better than I know AE. At some point I'll have to learn both, but it seems like a very bad idea to stake a project on it.

Can I add sound to a project in Motion?


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:42:24 pm

[David Johnson] "I... don't know Final Cut any better than I know AE..."

Well, then, how do you expect to make a slideshow? Do you know slidesho-making software?





[David Johnson] "Can I add sound to a project in Motion?"

Yeah, but it sounds like you're trying to learn everything all at once, and that's not a recipe for success, if you know what I mean....

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David JohnsonRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 6:14:35 pm

Certainly not my preferred recipe. I was hired as a Photoshop person, but my boss assumed I would pick this up pretty easily considering it's all the same Adobe. :D

But it's sink or swim, apparently, so this is what I'm stuck with.


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 6:31:13 pm

[David Johnson] "I was hired as a Photoshop person, but my boss assumed I would pick this up pretty easily considering it's all the same Adobe..."

I'd like to see The Boss pick up a new application at the drop of a hat. I'd like the boss to pick up the process of adding graphics, borders shapes and tables using Microsoft Word... and that's something almost EVERYBODY has already. And I'd like to see The Boss do it using nothing but Microsoft Word Help.

I feel your pain.

Okay, if this has to be done fast, I vote for Motion. The Boss will have to spring for training DVDs, because none of this stuff is intuitive... and while manuals are a great reference tool, they're abysmal teaching tools. They stink on ice for training. Here's good Motion training stuff:

http://store.creativecow.net/p/78/moving_with_motion

You'll also need access to a machine with Motion installed on it, because you'll need to get hands-on right away.

In my opinion, that's your best bet.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:37:41 pm

I agree with Dave. When you have time you should definitely go through that link he posted. And all of the resources it gives you. The time spent going through the "boring" stuff will make it so you can do the fun stuff without frustration.

As for the slideshow, what you're talking about sounds like basic editing, for which a non-linear editor would be better suited.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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David JohnsonRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:45:03 pm

What editor would you suggest? The annoying thing is that it while it's short, it needs to be very dynamic, so I thought AEs ability to add effects and sound would be essential. But if you've got something that would accomplish this easier, I'm happy to use it.


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 6:13:40 pm

[David Johnson] "What editor would you suggest? "

If you're on a tight deadline, I was thinking in terms of Powerpoint.





[David Johnson] "...it needs to be very dynamic..."

...and that's the problem, if you're on a tight deadline.

Anything that will do this requires time to learn it. Got a week and a half to sit with Motion, to learn the basics, plus the dynamic tricks you seek? Got a training DVD for Motion, which will be absolutely essential? Then will you have the time to put this project together?

And what are you supposed to deliver, anyway? A DVD? A quicktime movie? A Blu-Ray disk? Something else? You need to consider that, too.

Lots of unanswered questions......

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David JohnsonRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 8:07:09 pm

I'm glad you feel my pain, because everyone around me seems to consider this a rather straight-forward process. Maybe I should have you write them a letter.

I'm slowly piecing together the elements I need to get this done. I think I can jury rig this if I can just figure out how to mess with speed of the transitions between certain elements of the composition. I want some of it to be smooth, and some to be choppy. If I figure that out I'll be good.


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 19, 2010 at 8:38:07 pm

[David Johnson] " think I can jury rig this if I can just figure out how to mess with speed of the transitions between certain elements of the composition."

Then it's time for important in After Effects advice:
  • the closer together two keyframes are in the timeline, the faster change occurs.
  • It's important to do RAM previews (zero on the numeric keypad) to see the speed of the change.
  • If need be, temporarily drop the resolution down to half, third, or even quarter to get real-time previews.
  • Leave the Information pane visible so you can see the frame rate of the RAM Preview.
  • Learn to restrict the Work Area to the portion you need to preview: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c11...

That'll help.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: How to Adjust Speed and Timing?
by on Jul 20, 2010 at 3:41:28 am

Oh geez. How can they think something as complex as motion graphics can be picked up in a day?
Try the basic tutorials at VideoCopilot.net for a quick crash course if you don't have time to go through the whole set of resources Dave LaRonde linked in his first post.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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