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Having difficulties using After Effects.

I want to get my first real short film done, but I keep having delays in the editing cause I still cannot figure out how to work the program. I have read lots of sites, and watched dozens of online tutorials, but they don't help. The reason is is that with tutorials, they always start out in a part of the program, that I have not figured out how to get to, therefore they are no help, cause they don't start from the beginning. Are their any really thick encyclopedia text books out there that are good, and have a step by step teaching? Or any sites, that don't start out in a part of the program I don't know how to get to yet.

I keep pushing buttons randomly trying to figure out how to get to those sections, but still nothing, after all this time. I need a step by step thick text, that answers all of the scenarios, and troubleshooting problems. Not just the answers, but the answers to the questions, that the original answers bring. Any books that are the best out of them?
 
Okay thanks. I found one of things that Kramer talks about, for what I need to do. The day for night effect.

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorial/day_to_night_conversion/

Only thing is for my problem I have to mix footage I shot during the day, which footage I shot at night, and have to match them and make them look like they are the same scene. But if I follow Kramer's methods, his night isn't dark enough to match real night. I can't find any advice on how to do something like that. Plus some of the stuff Kramer is doing in the video is not explained. He clicks and drags in certain ways, which cause things to happen, but when I click and drag, I am doing something wrong, and something different happens.
 
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color in the computer is all math. Understand the numbers and what you want them to be and color correction/grading becomes REALLY EASY... of course, I'm a math geek and the world really does look like that one hallway in the matrix.
 
Okay, but I need to understand the concept of all the buttons on AE. For example if you press one, something happens and I have no idea, why that happened or what the button does. No concept of it. Other times, other buttons appear to do nothing and I am left at a dead end, and have to start over.

My actors are still wondering if anything needs to be reshot, but I wouldn't know where to start, since I can't figure out if I can fix the problems with AE. What if I told them this. We can finish the shooting the last scene and we will then be done. I will then figure out if anything we shot can be fixed but as of now I don't know and will have to slowly learn and find out. But the risk is, if anything cannot, it will be too late to reshoot by the time I find out. Would that be a good thing to tell my actors?
 
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chilipie

Pro Member
indiePRO
Okay, but I need to understand the concept of all the buttons on AE. For example if you press one, something happens and I have no idea, why that happened or what the button does. No concept of it. Other times, other buttons appear to do nothing and I am left at a dead end, and have to start over.

Go and do all of the Video CoPilot After Effects Basic Training exercises, one by one and in the correct order. If you're still having problems - and you can't find an obvious answer in the After Effects user guide - then I'm sure people would be very happy to help. I for one am not going to teach you to "understand the concept of all the buttons", especially when you haven't put the slightest effort into learning the basics from some of the fantastic free resources that are available.
 
Yeah I've gone through about half of those so far, and still going. I have been trying to match up my scenes shot at night with the scenes shot in day like how the online tutorials say too, but so far the footage does not match at all.
 
I have been trying to match up my scenes shot at night with the scenes shot in day like how the online tutorials say too, but so far the footage does not match at all.

Then what you're wanting to do may not be possible. AE is extremely powerful and can do lots of stuff with video, when an experienced user is starting with quality footage.

Buddy, shoot your last scene, make it the best you can on post, finish the edit, then relax for a few weeks before starting the next project. You're trying to bite off too much for someone with no experience, like asking a newborn to do a jumping jack. Even if you reshoot the night sequence so that everything matches, because it's all still new there's a very high chance something else will be screwed up.

Don't stress, finish, laugh, then start from scratch (a 90 second simple project this time) and go to town.
 
Lynda.com, buy a 30 day membership for 20$ and go through the AE essential training. It is really good and the instructor does a great job of explaining everything. I find it better then the co-pilot stuff, but that's just me.
 
Finish it out and figure it out with your hands on the editor... you can ask questions all day long, but without showing us footage or being on set, you'll only ever get generic canned answers.

All footage is different, expecting the tutorials to provide the step by step answers to your specific issues is unrealistic... they give a groundwork, the rest is identifying the problem and understanding your tools well enough to be able to address the problem. If that means cranking up or down the levels in footage to match one or the other or meet in the middle, that's something only you can determine in front of the footage in your editor / AE.

Move forward, stop stalling and finish it up. DO IT, get it done and learn from what you've done. Ever Forward! Damn the torpedoes, RAMMING SPEED!
 
Okay I'll finish up and move forward, I just hope that it can all be fixed. Mainly I want to build a team of actors wanting to work with me again, but I fear they may not if my first impression is showing them a finished product of non matching footage.
 
As long as they enjoyed their experience, they'll probably work with you again. But if you're worried, then just tell them what you're showing them is a rough cut and that the fx still need to be completed. Spielberg, doesn't do his own fx either, you know...
 
Well yeah, but I told them they could all have a DVD of it, once it's done, so whichever cut, will be the final one. I mean the only option would be to wait a few months till it's done edited and played with, with After Effects, and then I will only know, if anything needs to be fixed. But by then it's too late to fix it, unless they want to come back, and make themselves look the same, hairwise and all. At least one of the actors is moving soon, so it would be too late by then. So I can't use the excuse rough cut, since if I finish now, than that's all the footage I will have.
 
All you can do is the best you can do. Do the absolute best job you can on it. If it turns out that they like it, great. If not, you did your best. Learn from it and move on to the next project.
 
Well, After Effects takes some experience to use and you are just starting, so do not dispair. I remember the first time I started with AE, because I had an idea. The result was terrible and useless, but I learnt a lot.

- Do you know how to make a composition? (CTRL+N)
- Change settings of comp: CTRL+K

- Do you know how to put a clip in a comp (or do you use dynamic linking from Premiere Pro?)?
- How apply effect?
- Make keyframes?

Some controls to make things easier:
[Page down] = moving 'timeline-line' 1 frame forward
[Page up] = moving 'timeline-line'1 frame back
[[] = let the selected clip start on time where the 'timeline-line' is.
[]] = let the selected clip end on time where 'timeline-line' is.
[Alt+[] = trim clip to current time: this cuts off the start or extends the start (current time = where timeline-line is)
[Alt+]] = trim clip on current time: this cuts or extends the end.

[Ctrl+Y] = create solid

More:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a9d3c597-7987a.html
But you don't need to know all now.

- Do you understand what Levels do with the image?
- Curves?
- Hue?

- Do know how to make a mask?

- How is your math? ;)

Once you understand these things (a bit), you will understand much better what you are doing.
 
lol..

hey did you run through ALL of the videocopilot.net basic training videos.. not the tuts, but the basic training? Do the work along with Andrew and you will be over the big hump. Its worth it, trust me!

http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

Absolutely - Andrew Cramer(Kramer?) is the best. I do not have the program, but enjoyed watching and learning all the same. Take this wise man's advise and go take a look, thats VideoCopilot.net!
 
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