9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2013 1:19 AM by kililio

    Layer necessity

    kililio Level 1




      Is it really necessary to make a layer before applying an effect to an imported layer ( a video in my case) ?


      What I did is go and click directly in the effect panel and choosed my effect, is it good practice?



        • 1. Re: Layer necessity
          Dave LaRonde Level 7

          You're gonna hate this response: IT DEPENDS.  That is part of life in in AE-Land.  I wish I could share more, but since you didn't share much, I shared as much as I could.

          • 2. Re: Layer necessity
            kililio Level 1

            Thanks Dave and sorry it's because I'm learning it (kinda beginner) and I come from photoshop world where layers are king! We put layer everywhere there.

            I was watching lynda After effects cs5 training and the instructor say that we gotta create a layer automatically (beginning of "effects" section, in this case he makes a solid layer. In another tutorial (from videocopilot) the instructor goes straight away to the effects panel.

            Hence my question.

            • 3. Re: Layer necessity
              Dave LaRonde Level 7

              Um, just concentrate on one tutorial at a time, okay?  Learn to walk before you run...


              And that's no BS.  Too many AE hopefuls have ignored this:

              Getting started with After Effects (CS4, CS5, CS5.5,  & CS6)

              and they have done so at their peril.  Okay?

              • 4. Re: Layer necessity
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Effects can be applied to any layer in the timeline. If there's no layer in the timeline you can't apply an effect. Layers can be footage, stills, solids, text, nulls, adjustment layers, shapes. Anything you can import or create inside AE can be a layer.


                What effect to apply to what layer depends entirely on what you are trying to do.

                • 5. Re: Layer necessity
                  Pierre Devereux Level 2



                  I guess the easiest way to do this is by trial and error:


                  Effects do one of two things:


                  1) Effect an existing layer

                  2) completely replace the layer with its own effect


                  To explain, using keylight as the example for point 1, and particular for point 2:


                  1) Keylight is added to an existing layer, and no changes are seen, untill the effect options are manipulated - ie, selecting a colour and refining your matte.

                  2) Particular (or even lens flare, and several others for that matter) completely replaces the source layer with its effect - ie, creating a particle emitter.


                  So, what you need to decide is, is the effect I want to use going to alter the source layer in some way - then add to the layer, or is it going to replace the source layer and provide its own effects - then apply it to a new solid.


                  There are other considerations as well, but these will become clearer to you the longer you use AE. - for now its simple - if the effcts removes your source layer - use a solid!


                  I hope that clears things up a bit



                  • 6. Re: Layer necessity
                    kililio Level 1

                    hi, thx Pierre!

                    • 7. Re: Layer necessity
                      kililio Level 1

                      Hi Dave,


                      Thanks for your concern,


                      I'm bored when i'm following instructions on the software's interface for example, I like to see concrete examples, see finished work and deconstrcut it by asking questions


                      i'm more the "do and learn" person than "learn and do" I'm learning better this way.


                      But nothing keeps me to follow your wise advice and I'll check your link out for sure

                      • 8. Re: Layer necessity
                        Pierre Devereux Level 2

                        Hi Kililio,


                        If Dave says it, you can write it in stone!


                        I started with AE a year ago (almost exactly) and between Dave, Rick, Mylenium, Todd, Fuzzy and a few others, I have learned more than money could buy (I am going to have to offer them all Credits on the show, thats for sure! )


                        I agree that it can be boring to follow tutorials, and read up this and that, but After Effects is so incrediby complex, and each little piece works completely differently, if added to another little piece, the possibilities are endless. Saying that, I do also agree that you need to play to learn as well, watch the tutorials, follow the step by steps, but remember that every effect out there in AE can be used in completely new and unexpected ways once you understand "How" they work, and not just "what the look like".


                        So, go ahead and play, but yeah, take the time to do the boring stuff too! Its worth it.



                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Layer necessity
                          kililio Level 1

                          Thanks Pierre


                          I'll add that to my learning process, and I'll take the time to "the boring to death Hello World" stuff for sure!