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Adobe Production Suite: September 2008 Archives

After Effects Heart beat.jpg
It is time to put the finishing touches on your new heartbeat. After you animate your beat from left to right I think that adding a glow really makes the path look great. You can flavor the glow to taste but if you make color A a bright yellow and color B a bright green you will make a great looking heart beat. You can also add to your animation by adding a lens flare to the leading edge of your heart beat. You will need to add the lens flare with a new solid and change the mode to overlay or soft light. It is up to you and what looks best to you. The flare will need to be animated by hand with key-frames but it does not take long. If your animations is quick enough you will only need aprox. 15 keys. I like to set the flare brightness to about 60% and use the 35mm lens type. This flare is has many applications and uses so I hope you at least enjoyed building this flare and hopefully you can use it in your productions in the future.

Make sure you look at our hire a Personal Genius page. We will customize any class just for you and come to your location. This is a very unique service the will help you get the most our of you After Effects application.

After Effects path.gif
Now that you have started practicing and perfecting your heart beat it is time to go to the next step. If you have set the beat to music or not it is time to add the stroke effect. The stroke effect is used for many things in After Effects but this is one of my favorites. As soon as you add the stroke you will probably notice the the size of the stroke is too small. I like to set my brush size to around 5 to 7 pixels depending n the size of my composition. I also set the stroke color to green and make sure you set the path to mask or your stroke will not know where to go! After Effects stroke effect.gif The rest of the settings you can set to your flavor except start and end. This is how you animate the heartbeat. Scrub the end setting and watch your stroke go from left to right. Set a key frame at the head of your comp and move down apox. 2 seconds down the time-line. You can adjust the keyframe up and down the timelineto get the timing you need........stay tune for part three!
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After Effects Heartbeat.gif

Over the next several days I will teach you how to make your very own heart rate monitor using Adobe After Effects and nothing more than an animated stroke. You first need to make a composition any size that fits your your intended project. When you are constructing project like this it is always important to make the compositions larger than you might need. You can always decrease the size of scale but if you try and increase it will run into pixelation issues.

To begin start with: Layer>New>Solid and create a black solid the size of your composition. (Note: The reason you want to build this on a black solid is just in case you want to lay this over video is some sort of mode the black will allow for this). Next with the pen tool draw out your heart beat across your layer. You can make this a simple or as complex as you wish. If you have a heat rate sound effect you draw your heart beat to match the waveform of the heart beat audio file. Once you have drawn the heart beat you now need to add a Stroke Effect to the solid layer in your composition.

I will let you experiment with the stroke effect for now and try and predict how you might animate the beat. Meanwhile make sure you sign up for our next After Effects class or let us send a "Personal Genius" to you!

WacomTablet.pngIf I've not sold you on these things - and I swear I'm not a shill - I imagine some of the examples later in the series will.  So let me just get it out now: my advice on choosing a tablet if you decide you want one.  I'm no professional tablet man, so take my advice for what it is - just one video guy talking to another.

There are a handful of companies making tablet products, but the long-time industry leader is Wacom.  Their hardware doesn't require much TLC, it's packed to the gills with productivity features, it plays nicely with a whole array of input devices, and it will outlive you.  Well, maybe not you, but it will outlive, say, your pet ferret.  Having played with friends' off-brand tablets, and felt how heavy pens can get with batteries in them, and been annoyed by their strange calibrations, I think I'd definitely stay brand-loyal if I were to buy another.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Adobe Production Suite category from September 2008.

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