9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2013 6:30 AM by Szalam

    After Effects Guitar Teacher

    bluzdawg Level 1

      AE noob, just started  AE class using  official Adobe Classroom in a book text, which doesn't address question,


      which, at the Kindergarten level is "where do i start?". 


      I am attempting to do animatd Guitar Chord grids, where the dots indicating finger placement move from one point


      to another, with some variations including alternate finger numbers, and varying fingers moving in from off-screen


      to the appropriate spot..   I also demonstrate on a piano keyboard, with similar graphics. 


      So far, i have a project with 7 layers moving "finger dots"  onto a grid created in AI.   Question ONE is "is that the way to do it?",


      i.e., creating objects on separate layers that move according to parameters added later, or is there a completely


      different way of doing this?, (other than one layer per finger or set of fingers)..   All of this, of course, is synchronized


      with the audio track containing the chord being played and simultaneous discussion.   


      Question TWO is "i have created a "project" in AE, and can import it to Premiere Pro, into what is also called a project -


      how can i organize the "project within a project" hierarchy?  Do I need to?   I anticipate incorporating items that


      might occur in a live lesson, such as "...or you could use this finger..." (involving a change in the graphic representation),


      and perhaps a return to the origina fingering .   Should that "parenthetical expression" be yet another "project within a project"?  


      or just a continued  in-line set of operations?  


      Maybe i'm making this all more complicated than necessary (but trying to find the "easy" way)....Appreciate your expert


      (but not TOO technical)  advice...


      I have created MOST OF the effect i want using just Premiere Pro, but i THINK i may get better graphics and  FX in AE.

        • 1. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The answer to question one is "That's one way to do it. It's a prety good one."


          Question two, if it were my project I wouldn't nest one AE project inside another because AE doesn't work that way. Each project is unique. Comps nested inside comps pass references but imported AE projects just bring in all of the data. The usual procedure is to create your shots or short sequences in AE and then edit them and finalize the timing, sound and final production in a NLE like Premiere Pro or Final Cut.

          • 2. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
            bluzdawg Level 1

            Ok, thanks on that Question one - that seemed to work, so i must have gotten the right idea somewhere


            and on Question TWO, i probably didn't explain myself - i was referring to the AE project being IN a PPro


            project., although i had run across some reference to nested projects in AE, but that's not what i meant.    Part


            of the issue, especially as a beginner, is the terms like "project" being somewhat ambiguous, as far as where you are


            in the process of creation.   At any rate, importing the AE project into PPro is the next step, I THINK, although i have


            seen reference to "render intermediate" etc etc, and am not sure exactly where/if  that fits in - is it a "final" step in AE


            before importing the project ("composition"?) into PP?   The "Classrrom in a Book" unfortunately isn't interactive,  nor


            are the numerous tutorials.   Maybe I'll just go as fast i can til i crash and then see where i went off the road....

            • 3. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              For most of my work I render my AE projects to a production codec. The projects have 'handles' or extra frames at the head and tail to allow editing. You can use Dynamic link if you like, but for larger projects I find that it slows things down too much. The choice is yours.

              • 4. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
                bluzdawg Level 1

                I'm afraid, at this point in my training and experience, "render my AE projects to as production codec" is beyond my understanding


                I do understand the "Handles", and would find that useful.  My experience with dynamic link involved warp stabilizer and some


                unsuuccesful work there.   I think what you're referring to is what i thought was the "render intermediate" process.   I know my


                source footage is 1920X1280  @29.97, if that helps...

                • 5. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  A production codec is a codec that is lossless (or close to it). That way you aren't introducing compression artifacts in the middle of your workflow. You render a video out of AE in a production codec which you then bring into Premiere for the finished edit. Once you're done in Premiere, you render out your delivery codec which is what the client will use for easy playback. The reason the client doesn't get a production codec is that the file size and data rate is HUGE compared to your nicely compressed delivery codec.


                  Popular production codecs (also known as intermediate codecs) include Quicktime with the PNG codec (technically lossless at highest quality settings), Quicktime with the Photo JPEG codec (not technically lossless, but probably close enough unless you were planning to key the footage later), Avid's DNxHD codec (close to lossless), and Cineform codec (I think this is closer to lossless than the DNxHD codec, but I haven't done full enough testing to be sure).

                  • 6. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
                    bluzdawg Level 1

                    As I said, NOOB here - i think i get the "lossless" part, and haven't begun to worry about introducing compression artifacts - at this point, i simply render the AE project as a MOV file, and import it in from  Premiere.   Gets the job done, so far, so i guess that's all i need to know for now.   My "client" is youtube, and they haven't fussed about much, (yet). 


                    Another issue, however, is causing some head-scratching - per my OP, the "dots" I use are shape layers with added ellipses with fills, and i seem to have a problem with keeping the elipses the same size, even though i "size" them - they don't always end up the same size, after i position them over my graphic, which is a guitar neck grid.   I have gotten down to things size "55", and then next "dot" needing to be "71" in order to maintain the same visual appearance.   Is this perhaps some sort of optical illusion caused by the grid?     The overall effect is that of emphasizing some of the "dots"(musical tones) more than others, which is not the intent.   I've spent a lot of time playing with this, including parenting the "next" dot with the previous, or with the very first in the series ( often a dozen or more).   The texts i've seen so far indicate that the child layer will duplicate everything in the parent but opacity - maybe size is also not included?   Or do i need to rearrange something? 


                    Thanks  for you help on this...

                    • 7. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Your explanation for how you've created your dots isn't explicit enough. Could we have some screenshots? Also, if you're wondering if it's an optical illusion caused by the underlying image, turn off the underlying image and check it.

                      • 8. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
                        bluzdawg Level 1

                        AESCRN3.pngThe ellipses here show sizes 83 and 87 and actually look pretty good on this page

                        It tried making sure my workflow included the sizing in the same order repeatedly - although it's not obvious why that would make a difference.   It would be great if

                        somehow i could just generate  say 5 dots at a time, and simply drop them where they need to be - there is also the issue of the "moving" dot (the blue one), which needs

                        to slide back and forth (up and down on the grid) to indicate a string bend and release.   The also fade in and out of view when being sounded.  


                        Like I said - and i guess i though the "parentin" think would allow me to just copy a previous layer and tweak the position for the ellipse, and not have to set the next dot up on both x an y axis.       I hope i'm saying what i think i am...

                        • 9. Re: After Effects Guitar Teacher
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          bluzdawg wrote:
                          It would be great if somehow i could just generate say 5 dots at a time, and simply drop them where they need to be

                          You should be able to do that. I'm really not sure why you can't. There must be something screwy in your settings somewhere that I'm not seeing.


                          Parenting would only be needed if you wanted to animate things moving together. From the way you're talking I don't think that's needed.