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Switching from Motion 4 to After Effects. Tips? Gotchas? frustrated..

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Paul BooneSwitching from Motion 4 to After Effects. Tips? Gotchas? frustrated..
by on Jan 23, 2012 at 6:02:15 pm

Hi, I've been using Final Cut Studio 2 for a few years, and with the whole FCPX fiasco, I'm jumping ship and switched to the Adobe Production Premium CS5.5

I used Motion 4 enough to feel comfortable, and I thought After Effects would be much quicker of a transfer but many things seem to be done in very different ways.

Are there any tips for a user who knows how to do things in Motion 4 and now wants to those things in After Effects? Any gotchas that are frequently frustrating for users going through this transition. A link to a site that goes into these problems would be great, or tutorials etc. or any tips from your experiences.

Specifically (and there are many),
• I have a sign which has many different layers that I want to drop from the sky together as a single sign. In Motion 4 I would put these things into a group, and could also make subgroups. I know AE uses parent-children.. layers/groups.. but I don't know how. I'd like to keep the text independant so I can animate it on the sign
• Organization! I recieved many Illustrator files, and Photoshop files and now have a hundred different layers. Also Organizing in the project panel

any tips/tricks/gotchas on round-tripping in CS5.5 would also be great


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Switching from Motion 4 to After Effects. Tips? Gotchas? frustrated..
by on Jan 23, 2012 at 6:18:06 pm

Precomposing is what you need to have your sign be up in the sky as one item instead of bunches. Either that or you can create a null object and parent all the layers to that null. You can then "shy" all the layers you don't want to see and leave the text un-shy-ed...I don't know the proper way to say that. :P

It would probably be best to try to forget anything you knew about Motion and approach AE from a completely different mindset. Motion is great for quickly seeing what you're doing while AE is a lot more powerful. They both work fairly differently from the other - quite unlike Final Cut and Premiere who were quite similar (before Final Cut X screwed itself).

Since you are just starting out in AE, I would highly recommend this post: [link] The resources provided there are designed to get you started off on a solid foundation of some of the basics of AE.

- 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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Dave LaRondeRe: Switching from Motion 4 to After Effects. Tips? Gotchas? frustrated..
by on Jan 23, 2012 at 6:19:56 pm

There's a whole different way of doing things in AE. Surprise, surprise, huh?

The best way to get a handle on the application is an extended visit here:

Check out all the links: they're very informative. AE & Premiere can coexist nicely like Motion & FCP through a feature called Dynamic Link. It's not as simple as what you're used to with Motion & FCP.

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

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Paul BooneRe: Switching from Motion 4 to After Effects. Tips? Gotchas? frustrated..
by on Jan 24, 2012 at 8:12:04 pm


Thanks for the help Dave and Michael. I think I've got a good enough grasp of parenting, and pre-composing for this project. It'll be shown a few times, so for this Sunday, I think it will be more basic but thats ok.

That link is helpful. I'll check it out.

It makes sense to forget what you knew and start over to kind of understand how AE works in a broader way. I'm wondering, I know I've seen something that's almost like a chart of certain tools in FCP or Motion and the equivelant in Premiere, AE. There's stuff I know what I want to do, and I know how to do it in Apple, and I know that you must be able to do this stuff in Adobe but in a different way..

I'll figure it out piece by piece. I'm having fun learning this stuff.


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