Join Alan Demafiles for an in-depth discussion in this video Import and work with pictures, part of After Effects CC 2021 Essential Training: Editors and Post.
- [Narrator] The project window is the hub for all the assets you will work with inside of After Effects. As an editor, you'll often work with numerous stills and video to bring into your edit. But to work with them in After Effects assets must first be imported into the project window. Here in this movie, we'll take a look at how to import pictures into the project window and set up some simple animation. So there's a number of ways to import assets into After Effects. The first of which is the common file import. So we can go to file, import, file and we'll get our open dialog box from which we can select one or more images and import into After Effects this way. Alternately, we can double click on our project window and do the same functionality. And lastly, we can import via the OS dialog box itself we can click and drag multiple images and assets into After Effects this way. Now, as we start to import in something like psds where we have multiple layers, let's go ahead and switch over to Photoshop for a second. And you'll see in this psd that I'm going to import into After Effects, I've got three layers I've got an ruins layer, I've got this water view and I've got this aerial. And they're all smaller than the actual canvas itself as you can see here. So, let's go back into After Effects. And now when we open this psd we get a second dialogue box before we can import. And this is telling us do we want to import this psd as footage, as a composition or as a composition retaining layer sizes? Let's see what each one does. If we import as footage, we have the option to merge all the layers. And if we do that we just get the flattened image. So one, two, three images on top of each other and we can't really separate those out. So, let's go ahead and re-import that psd using this other option here. Still as footage but now we can say, Hey, I want to import just one layer from that psd and I want it to be the waterview layer. And we can import this in as the document size or the layer size itself. So if we say document size we'll get a bit of padding there as it imports in to the document size versus the layer size which is going to crop it down just to the confines of the layer itself. So let's go ahead and import that. So now when I bring this into my composition you'll see that the bounding box conforms to the limits of the image itself instead of the composition. So let's delete that. When we import a psd we also have the option to import it in as a composition. So this is going to import in just like the psd when we had it open inside of Photoshop. This time it's going to create a brand new composition and import the individual layers as footage items inside this folder here. So let's double click that composition and you'll see just like in Photoshop we have layers one, two and three. The only difference is here because we said composition is that let's go ahead and solo this. Our bounding box you'll notice is to the composition and not the layer and that's true for each of these layers. The waterview layer and the ruins layer. So you may or may not want this. It's just good to be aware that that is what happens when you import this in just as a composition. By contrast, if we import that same psd and do the third option composition retain layer sizes. Now we have another composition, but now this time layer one, the bounding box is conforming to the image for each layer. And lastly, when we're importing images in to after effects that have sequential numbering. So these woods images I've got one, two and three. We can click over here to the options box and we want to make sure that if we want to import these things individually to disable this importer JPEG sequence. If this is enabled, watch what happens when I import these three items. They become one item that I import into After Effects. And the three images become three frames in After Effects. One, two, three all on one layer. It's reading it as an image sequence sometimes you want that sometimes you don't. And if you want to import each one of these as an individual footage item, just make sure that this importer JPEG sequence is turned off and then you can multi-select them and they'll show up as one, two, three distinct images. So, let's go ahead and delete all that. I'm going to import a few more images here We'll keep our aerial, bird, bookmark let's add city rail and of course the cliffs of insanity. Let's click and drag all these either into the composition icon here in the composition window or in my timeline. Either way, they'll all get imported into here. And I'm just going to solo this first aerial image and let's add some simple key frames here to get some animation going. I'm going to twirl this down and go to transform. And I think maybe at about 25 frames let's go ahead from zero to 25 we'll have an animation of this layer scaling up and dissolving on. So this is our final resting place at frame 25 so I'm going to work backwards here. Let's go ahead and set a key frame for scale and opacity and let's rewind to frame zero. And for scale, I'm just going to type in zero zero for opacity. And now when we preview you'll see that get a nice simple animation of it growing and slamming into place. I'm not a big fan of the slamming so let's go ahead and take these end key frames here and let's right click and go to key frame assistant easy ease in. And now we'll get a bit of a smoothing in or slowing in to that last key frame so it's not so abrupt of an end. Okay, we've done that and that's a simple animation that we've applied to one layer. I want to take that and do the same thing for this layer too. Well I can certainly come through and do the whole same process of setting key frames for scale and opacity. And that's a lot of work if I'm doing it for one, two, three, four, five layers. Let's not do it that way instead let's go ahead and copy our animation from our first layer. And let's go down to our second layer and now, solo this. Let's make sure we rewind to the very beginning and we can paste our animation. And when we twirl down you'll see that we have the same key frames for scale and opacity and we have the same move for our second layer. So let's do that for the bookmark, the city rail and of course the cliffs of insanity. So one, two, three four and five now have the same animation as the original layer. 100% of course is a little bit different on each of these layers because they're all sized up a little differently. But that's okay we can change that later if we wanted to. But for now, we just saw how we can import multiple images in a number of different ways. And we also saw how we can add a few key frames to one layer and just copy it down to other layers by the simple copy paste function.