Adobe After Effects CS5 – Getting Started

By Tom Womack

What’s new in After Effects CS5? Let’s get started.

Adobe CS5 is a watershed moment and it travels in great company. With the release of 64 bit versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop, we are getting used to 64 bit versions of Windows operating systems. Windows 7 has been road tested now. The incredible difference in available memory alone makes the previously tedious, long winded tasks a pleasure as you get to zoom down the timeline instead of going for another cup of coffee. Being able to view high def videos such as AVCHD or mts files directly in windows or through Adobe Bridge makes the process of review and selection a similar pleasure.

There is a rich community of support for all of Adobe’s products beginning with their own site and their new CS Live online service. There are several Facebook communities and sites such as Creative Cow which caters to the multimedia community offering free tutorials, project file downloads, and guest appearances from community celebrities.

Using Adobe’s media player you are introduced to a collage of new ideas, platforms, tutorials and projects through Adobe TV. Adobe TV is an eclectic collage of projects, forums, examples with several searchable categories such as digital media, film editing, and special effects.

Where do you start? Create a new project. A great way to create a project using video is to import your video into After Effects and let it do the setup work for you. You can choose File->Import then select your file from a folder on your pc or simply ‘drag and drop’ the file into the project tab. If you right click inside the project tab section, you will see options for ‘new composition’, ‘new folder’, ‘new photoshop file’, ‘import’, and ‘import recent footage’.

‘New composition’ will open the composition window. Here you give your composition a special name, choose from the wide range of presets such as a standard DV NTSC (National Television System Committee), HDTV, Web Video, and widescreen formats. You set your composition frame rate, resolution, and can set your start and duration if you want to ‘clip’ your output.

Often you want to create a folder for your videos where you have different groups and selections being used for your compositions. You can import files directly and select from recently viewed footage. Once you have a video and are ready to create your composition, simply drag the video on top of the ‘new composition’ thumbnail.

This is a great simple way to let After Effects do most of the work for you. Drag your video on top of the new composition thumbnail then right click in the composition window and click on ‘composition settings’. Here you will see the composition settings that After Effects created for you based on the video type, format, length and other values. This is a great way to start a video composition and a great way to become familiar with standard settings such as the frame rate for DV video.

This simple ‘drag and drop’ technique is easy, a great timesaver, and a little media education too.

Full Moons, Dogcreek, think globally, act locally.

Web Designer Tom Womack uses Adobe Creative Suite 5 and Cinema4D creating dynamic sites with rich media.

Article Source:—Getting-Started&id=4754417


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