FEBRUARY 26, 2004
A great number of you like the project based After Effects exercises I have done over the years. One area that continues to be a favorite is the station interstitial. Interstitials are those bumper pieces you see between shows that tie everything together. In this After Effects 6.0 Pro exercise, we’ll create an ‘Up Next’ bit for our make believe station. To help us out, we’ll also you an effect from Profound Effects’ Useful Things.
There is not a whole lot to this exercise – there is a bit of repetition, but through this you will pick up a few helpful tips when using Useful Things. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Useful Things from Profound Effects, you can read my review here. As the name implies this plug-in is actually a collection of very useful things that you will want to use to save yourself a great deal of time when you are in production.Here is a look at what we will complete in this exercise. All text treatments will be covered in the next installment.
Step 1: Launch After Effects and create a New Composition by pressing Command+N on the Mac or Control+N on the PC. Name this Composition Circle Video Pre Comp using the default NTSC DV preset. Set the duration to 10 seconds.
It is in this Comp that we’ll create the circle layer, and fill it with our source video.
Step 2: Create a New Solid (Command+Y on the Mac, Control+Y on the PC). Make this a 1000 x 1000 pixel solid, name it Large Circle, and make it pure white (255, 255, 255).
I am making the solid larger than the Comp so we can move it around and add the moving arcs without the worry of hitting the edge of the layer.
Step 3: Double click the Large Circle Layer in the Timeline to open it in its own window. Using the Elliptical Mask Tool (keyboard shortcut Q), draw a large circle approximately 500 pixels in diameter in the center of the layer.
Step 4: Close the Layer Tab and return to the Circle Video Pre Comp. Position the layer at 134, 366. Once in place duplicate the layer by pressing Command+D on the Mac, or Control+D on the PC. Finally, Parent the lower Large Circle Layer to the top.
Step 5: To the uppermost Large Circle Layer apply the Stroke effect. The Stroke effect allows you to create an outline that follows a mask. Use the following settings for the ring that will surround our video.
Make sure you change the Paint Style to On Transparent. For the muddy yellow color, use 214, 205, 41.
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