Adobe After effect Layer is a program that uses layers. Video materials, static graphics, audio files and other elements create a composition in Adobe After Effects that presents a new video experience with effects. The layer is the basic element that the composition manipulates.

After effect Layer. The layer exists in the space in the composition and in the time determined by its length. We distinguish several types of layers that Adobe After Effects deals with, primarily the materials we import, video materials, audio materials and graphics or photographs.

After effect Layer
  1. A composition that can itself be a layer in another composition
  2. Solid layer created within the Adobe After Effects program
  3. Image file, in this case with jpg extension
  4. Sound file, in this case with mp3 extension
  5. Video file, in this case with mp4 extension
  6. A folder that organizes files or layers according to criteria that we define ourselves

After effect Layer. In the lower left corner of the Project Panel we have the option to choose in which color quality we work. So we can choose the depth (Depth) of the color processing quality on the layers we use in three qualities of 8, 16 and 32 bits.

After effect Layer, Project setting
Project setting

In Project Settings we have the option to choose the color model in which we plan to work (Working Space). This is very important when working with certain materials where the temperature of the paint is important in the whole processing process. So there is a difference if we work with Adobe graphics files or with certain videos. We should also make a difference in the video format, as there are different systems for different countries, which generally have different color processing systems, and accordingly we should choose which color system we will use when working in Adobe After Effects.

After effect Layer

After effect Layer. In the upper right corner of the Project Panel there is a Panel menu, which contains columns of information metadata, which we can choose to be visible in the data related to the layers in the panel itself. For us to define which of the data related to the imported files can be seen in the Project Panel.

After effect Layer

After effect Layer. When we transfer a file from the Project Panel to the composition, whether we transfer it to the Timeline Panel or to the Composition Panel, it becomes a layer from that moment. This means that its visibility on the composition monitor depends not only on its existence, but also on its correlation with other layers in the composition, as well as on its mask parameters, size parameters, spatial orientation and visibility elements, which can be applied to achieve the desired effects. .

After effect Layer, Footage Layer in the Timeline Panel
Footage Layer in the Timeline Panel

The video file on Timeline gets a new dimension that every layer has. It is the ability to define the parameters of the layer, position, size, rotation and opacity for each time.

After effect Layer, Layer static images in the Timeline Panel
Layer static images in the Timeline Panel

After effect Layer. We can change all layer parameters in two ways. One way is numeric in Timeline by changing parameter values by entering new values. Another way is to graphically set the position in the Composition Panel with the mouse or to determine the size, ie rotate the layer by correcting one of the eight boundary points of the layer.

After effect Layer, Graphic layer settings in the Composition panel
Graphic layer settings in the Composition panel

Due to its specificity, the audio layer has volume parameters and a particularly interesting graphic display of signals on the timeline is a benchmark for setting effects on sound transitions and punctuation.

Audio layer in the Timeline Panel
Audio layer in the Timeline Panel

In After effects programs, we can create a number of different elements that are placed in the composition as independent layers. There are two ways to create a new layer from the Layer … New menu

Creating a new layer
Creating a new layer

… and right-clicking in the Timeline panel space from the New drop-down menu ..

Creating solid layer

Solid

The basic layer we use to create effects is the Solid layer. When we create a Solid Layer, the Solid Settings window opens. We can access this window later in the work, when we need to make corrections on the layer itself. We must first define the name so as not to get lost in the sea of colorful solid layers that can represent anything. When we define the color of a solid layer, the name of the color we have chosen is the name of the layer. This can only be a temporary landmark for us as we can have an infinite number of Solid Layers of the same color. By default, when creating the first solid layer, the size of the layer is identical to the size of the composition, with each subsequent creation the size is remembered, but always pressing the Make Comp Size button returns the size of the layer to the size of the composition.

Solid Settings
Solid Settings

Size is expressed in pixels, but can also be, depending on the needs of our project, in metric units inches or millimeters or as a percentage of the composition size. This is very useful if we need to create a layer that is one-half or twice as large as the composition. Then, without calculation, we can easily determine the size of the new layer.

Layer size unit
Layer size unit

If we are working with video signals or the final product is intended for distribution on television stations, we need to set up the Pixel Aspect Ratio that corresponds to the final format of the video material in which we work.

Adjust the aspect ratio of one pixel
Adjust the aspect ratio of one pixel

Defining color in a solid layer does not always have the same meaning. Depending on why we use this surface in further work, it often happens that certain effects completely take control of the size and color of the Solid layer and determine the color with their parameters. However, when using a solid layer as a layer for defining shapes, surfaces or similar elements, it is important to define the color.

Defining the color of a solid layer
Defining the color of a solid layer

But in any case, the color also determines the name of the layer, and if we later change the name of the layer by right-clicking the mouse, that layer will keep the square in the color in which it was created. To define the color of a solid layer, we often use a pipette with which we take a sample of the color from somewhere in the composition and assign it to the solid layer. We do this most often when we use a solid layer as a substrate that needs to be immersed in the contents of the layers that are visible above it. Solid layer is also characterized by parameters that can be changed over time and determine its size, position, rotation and transparency.

Solid Layer in the Timeline Panel
Solid Layer in the Timeline Panel

Text

Text A layer is a layer in which we create text. Whether it is just one word, word, sentence or all sentences, we use one text layer. If we want a text unit to have different motion parameters or visual characteristics, we can divide that text unit into several layers. When creating a text layer, we set most of the text parameters in two Character and Paragraph panels.

After effect Layer, Panels for working with text layers
Panels for working with text layers

The dynamic parts of the Text Layer are set on the Timeline, where we adjust the Transform elements of the Text Layer, as with other layers, but also the parameters specific to this layer. Within the text layer we have the option Animate, where we can choose one or more functions and animate, more dynamic text at this position.

Animate function for Text
Animate function for Text Layer

Thus, in addition to standard animations in space and time, increase and decrease, with this choice of animations we can animate the color of each letter of the letter individually and many other parameters such as the spacing between letters and font size only horizontally or vertically. What is important to note is that all Text Layers are of the vector type, so increasing them does not affect the image quality. Until then, for imported video or photographic materials with a defined magnification resolution, they are conditioned by the image resolution and the size of the composition in which we work.

Parameters that can be animated
Parameters that can be animated

Shape

We can create a Shape Layer in two ways. If no layer on the Timeline is selected with the Shape mouse tool in the Composition Panel space, we create a Shape Layer of the shape of the selected tool.

 Shape Layer Shapes in the Toolbar
Shape Layer Shapes in the Toolbar

Another way is to create a layer from the New -> Shape drop-down menu, and then select a shape from the Add drop-down menu. A rectangle, ellipse or star, as well as a path. With these forms of later settings we can change the look, but in the basis of each graphic form we have one of these three basic ones. Thus a star with three arms is nothing but a triangle, and a rectangle can be with dropped edges to the extent that a circle can be created.

Add and adjust Shape Layer shapes
Add and adjust Shape Layer shapes

Each of the Shape Layer shapes can be filled with some color or its contour can have a certain color as well as the thickness of the rim.

Tool Panel when the Shape Layer creation tool is selected
Tool Panel when the Shape Layer creation tool is selected

1 Fill, define color and fill format according to the Gradient principle

Appearance of the Fill option setting window
Appearance of the Fill option setting window

2. Stroke, border – rim, defining the color and format of the rim according to the Gradient principle

Appearance of the Stroke setting window
Appearance of the Stroke setting window

3. Thickness of the border in pixels

4. Option to add Shape layer manipulation functions

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