For the first few weeks, playing around with After Effects was horrible. Absolutely hated it and was dreading this project, but after a conversation with Simon, I realised that it isn’t too different from Adobe Flash, which I am really used to. As an experiment I moved the panels of After Effects workspace around to be more like Flash, amazingly this worked. I began to click with key frames and understand the basics of it.
Feeling more inspired, I began to research audio, fonts, colours and styles. All this research is in previous entries of the blog, I won’t go into them again but to summaries:
- I wanted a fast paced video | Chose a speech from ‘Ali’
- Perhaps form a shape at the end | This exceeded my abilities of A.E at this time, simple was the name of the game for a newbie to the program.
- Colours to be relative to the audio | BG- Mustardy (Ali’s posters and DVD case is this sort of colour) ; Text- Red (The text on posters is red, and red shows authority and power, like the words of the speech
- I even created a story board | a few things were left out of my final;
E.g. “be in there for 4, 5 more”
I wanted the 4 to flip into the 5 like a board you would see at an airport. I didn’t do this because I had no idea how! Newbie.
One day quite early into the project I took my girlfriend to Canterbury for a 2 hour lecture, whilst I waited around I went to St. Augustine’s House (CCCU’s Canterbury Campus Library) and played with After Effects in their Mac Suite. [I did this because I don’t have A.E at home] I began to spontaneously make a start on my video. Using my storyboard, I slowly made the words “You My Opposer. By Luke Sutton. Extract from ‘Ali’ ” fade in and out. Easy, a lot like how you would do it in Adobe Flash.
The audio then started and I plotted the first sentence with the markers to confine the playback to just a few seconds.
When the words “Draft Dodgin'” “Burning No Flag” “Running To Canada” came down from the top, I wanted to create a stacking effect and chose to do this by squashing the text slightly as the word above it landed on it. I then plumped it back out. (I also did this for almost every word that came in fast from a side) This gave the words a much less rigid and wooden feel. I knew how to do this because of my knowledge of Flash, it played over into A.E.
I returned to the library the day after to continue the video and I snowballed. I didn’t even stop for a cigarette! 6 or 7 hours passed, in which I worked completely flat-out and I finished my video!
I may not be 100% satisfied with my video but for an After Effects rookie I think I did pretty well. There is consideration at every turn for colour, word design and movement.
If I had more time, and didn’t have 4 deadlines on the same day, I would like to go back and start again. This time I would use cameras, I did my video a good 2,3 weeks before learning cameras and still don’t understand them fully. I believe that it would look better with cameras but there simply isn’t enough time for me to learn them and redo my video.
So from this module I will take away 2 things, aside from learning the basics of After Effects;
1) Learn cameras before next module
2) Try to understand something in it’s most relevant form to you. [e.g. I know Flash, Flash isn’t too estranged from After Effects]