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Help with timing!!

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Jeff Hall
Help with timing!!
on Aug 12, 2009 at 4:50:36 am

Hey guys, I know this may be a dumb question but I've been using Sony Vegas for all my video editing needs for years now. I love to make sport highlight videos in my spare time. I'm just now digging into Adobe After Effects and I must say it's quite some different than the basic Sony Vegas. Right now my biggest concern is not knowing how to time my effects. For example: Lets say I want to add a "Shatter" effect to the end of my introduction clip. I know how to apply it and tweak it just the way I like it, but it always just starts at the beginning of the clip. I want to be able to choose at what point within the clip the effect happens. How do I do this guys? How do i choose when an effect can happen? And also how can I adjust the speed in which the effect plays out? My most important question is the first one about timing. Thanks so much guys!


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Kevin Camp
Re: Help with timing!!
on Aug 12, 2009 at 2:28:22 pm

hi jeff,

with shatter, you'll animate force property (or both force properties if you are using 1 & 2).

i usually animate the depth, which would be the distance in z space that the force is behind the layer. if you set the depth to be just a fraction over the radius of the force, then the force will not be acting on the layer. as you animate the depth to a lesser value (usually zero), the force will then act on the layer (shatter it).

since radius and depth are related, you could leave the depth at 0 and animate the radius from 0 to a greater value and achieve the same effect.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Jeff Hall
Re: Help with timing!!
on Aug 12, 2009 at 7:20:01 pm

Thank you for your response Kevin. Your terminology seems to be over my head when it comes to my knowledge of Adobe products. I believe what I may be talking about is more along the lines of setting keyframes? I could be wrong. I'm told that effects on a layer apply for it's entire duration and that's what I want to change. I want to be able to determine when an effect begins and ends on my imported clip to Adobe AE. I hear that what I may be asking the is basics of splitting layers and basics of using keyframes? Would the be what I may be looking for? Adobe software is unlike anything i've used. I used some photoshop a few years back in highschool and I barely remember a thing.


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Kevin Camp
Re: Help with timing!!
on Aug 12, 2009 at 7:58:03 pm

for the real basics of after effects (like creating and working with keyframes) you should check the help file.

and, yes, when i was saying animate the depth or radius settings for a force within the shatter effect, i was talking about key framing between one value and another... so you could add a keyframe for radius, set to 0, then go to another point in time (in this case it could be one frame later) and change the radius value to 100. setting the radius to 0 will prevent the shatter from happening until that value increases.

as you mentioned, you could also split the clip (select the layer and choose edit>split layer) at the point that you wanted the effect to start, then add the effect to the split copy. this will work, but adjustments to the timing will be harder (you'll need to re-split the clip)

another option would be, rather than applying the effect directly to a clip, apply it to an adjustment layer above the clip (layer>new>adjustment layer), then slide the adjustment layer in the timeline to the point that you want the effect to start (you need to move the layer bar in the time line rather than drag the inpoint, which is trimming the layer). this will set the effect to happen at the point that the layer becomes active in the timeline, effectively creating timing that way. this method would make it easier to adjust timing than using the split layer method -- you could just slide the adjustment layer around rather than re-splitting the layer and copy/pasting the effect back in.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Jeff Hall
Re: Help with timing!!
on Aug 12, 2009 at 8:13:59 pm

Ahhh thanks Kevin that's perfect. I believe adjustment layers are exactly what im looking for! Also your first response makes much more sense to me knowing you were talking about keyframes, which at the time I had no clue of their use or existance. Again my only knowledge comes from self teaching myself Sony Vegas. Everything within that program seems much more simplified yet you can't go too far outside of the box in the creativity department. Your info has definitely put me a step forward in the right direction. Many thanks!


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Kevin Camp
Re: Help with timing!!
on Aug 12, 2009 at 8:53:19 pm

i was self taught for after effects, as many were before non-linear editing became so affordable that any school could afford to start up a digital media program (even jr. high/middle schools).

you might look into an after effects book by chris & trish meyers called 'creating motion graphics' (i actually didn't have that book when i was learning, but i've since heard that it's one of the best for learning ae).

total training has a good series after effects of tutorials, and lynda.com is good resource too.

and, of course, there are lots of ae tutorials here at the cow. aharon rabinowitz has many geared towards the fundamentals of ae. look into some of his workflow tuts and other earlier ones where he covers some basic essentials.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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