ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

Resource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Scott O'HaraResource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.
by on Oct 5, 2012 at 1:29:11 am

Hi all,

To get to the point, I've noticed time after time in AE, that to achieve a certain effect people use gradients, precomped layers with fractal noise on a solid ect., along with track mattes to manipulate what areas of footage is affected and so on. I'm trying to wrap my head around when and where you use this, and I really want to learn these tricks and understand them, so I know how and when to use them myself for particular desired effects.

I hope I'm making some sense here, but does anybody have some resources where I could read up on these things? I've read basic rules about them, but nothing seems to get complicated like so many effects end up being. I'm tired of watching tutorials and copying, then forgetting what I used and why I used it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Scott


Return to posts index

John CuevasRe: Resource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.
by on Oct 5, 2012 at 1:44:17 am

This was the best money I spent to learn AE: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniq...

There books aren't about step by step tutorials, but learning the fundamentals of AE and why use this technique to get this end result. They also have there own website you might want to check out too: http://www.crishdesign.com/

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


Return to posts index

Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Resource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.
by on Oct 5, 2012 at 2:09:26 am

I agree with John, most of us 'oldies' used and still use that book to get deeper into AE.

For now, Track Mattes and gradients seem related in that they require grayscale information but they are quite different in terms of when one uses them.

Track Mattes are a way to obtain transparency information from another layer.

Effects (stuff that you apply via the Effect Menu/Panel) that require a grayscale image are called Compound Effects. How these effects work with grayscale information varies with the particular effect, IOW it depends on how someone programmed the effect.

If you search for Track Mattes and Compound Effect, you should be able to get a better idea of when and how they are used.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


Return to posts index


Vishesh AroraRe: Resource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.
by on Oct 5, 2012 at 4:13:17 am

Here is a link for track mattes by Adobe:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906...

Just like John, I would also recommend you to read " Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Essential and Advanced Techniques" as it will not only give you complete information on AE but also several tips and tricks which are very helpful while working.

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







Return to posts index

Scott O'HaraRe: Resource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.
by on Oct 5, 2012 at 7:50:40 am

Hey everybody thanks for the replies. I just ordered that book and will jump on it as soon as it comes. Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

Scott


Return to posts index

Walter SoykaRe: Resource to understand gradients, track mattes, etc.
by on Oct 5, 2012 at 10:58:41 am

[Scott O'Hara] "I've noticed time after time in AE, that to achieve a certain effect people use gradients, precomped layers with fractal noise on a solid ect., along with track mattes to manipulate what areas of footage is affected and so on. I'm trying to wrap my head around when and where you use this, and I really want to learn these tricks and understand them, so I know how and when to use them myself for particular desired effects."

I'm glad to hear that you've ordered Chris and Trish's book -- it's outstanding -- although I am somewhat dismayed to learn from Roland that I am now an oldie...

In all seriousness, Roland's point about compound effects is critical to the answer to your question. As Roland said, a compound effect is one which takes at least two inputs: the image source layer which will be changed by the effect, and an alternate source which will be used to drive those changes. The alternate layer, often grayscale, is typically a map which governs how the effect will work on each pixel of the image; the brightness value of each pixel in the map adjusts the effect for the corresponding pixel in the image source.

Why use compound effects? They allow you to work procedurally. Think of the difference between rotoscoping and keying. With rotoscoping, you manually articulate a mask to isolate an object. If you change the object at all, you must also change the mask you made. With keying, you describe some parameters for an effect which will isolate the object; if you change the object, the keyer will do the heavy lifting of isolating it for you, based on the parameters you set.

The benefit of procedural work, like with track mattes and compound effects, is that you can change underlying assets without having to manually rework your entire comp, or you can adjust the look by tweaking effect parameters instead of, say, redrawing dozens of masks by hand.

You have to think a bit backwards for procedural work. You look at what you have (the source footage), what you want (the final design), and based on that difference, you try to figure out what alternate image inputs your compound effects and mattes will need to get from A to B.

Instead of thinking in terms of direct manipulations you can make to the images, you start to think in terms of building tools to manipulate your images. Then, you adjust the inputs to the tool, and the tool adjusts the image for you.

Gradients are used any time you need a smooth falloff of an effect (or opacity). Fractal noise is incredibly flexible, and is often used for more organic-looking effects.

I hope this helps, and enjoy the book!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]