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Getting Started

Download the following files to the AECS3_CIB/Lessons/Lesson09 folder on your hard disk (or copy them from the Adobe After Effects CS3 Professional Classroom in a Book DVD):

  • In the Assets folder:, Channel5_logo.aep,,,
  • In the Sample_Movie folder:

Follow these steps to review the files:

  1. Open and play the sample movie to see what you'll create in this exercise.
  2. When you're done, quit the QuickTime player. You can delete this sample movie from your hard disk if you have limited storage space.

Setting Up the Project

When you begin the exercise, restore the default application settings for After Effects.

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Shift (Mac OS: Command-Option-Shift) while starting After Effects CS3 to restore default preferences settings. When asked whether you want to delete your preferences file, click OK.

    After Effects opens to display a new, untitled project.

  2. Choose File > Save As.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, navigate to the following folder:
  4. Name the project Lesson09_Finished.aep, and then click Save.

Importing the Footage

You need to import two footage items for this exercise.

  1. Choose File > Import > File.
  2. Navigate to the AECS3_CIB/Lessons/Lesson09/Assets folder. Ctrl-click (Mac OS: Command-click) to select the and files, and then click Open. The footage items appear in the Project panel. You'll organize them before getting underway.
  3. Choose File > New > New Folder to create a new folder in the Project panel, or click the Create a New Folder button at the bottom of the panel.
  4. Type mov_files to name the folder, press Enter (Mac OS: Return) to accept the name, and then drag the two footage items into the mov_files folder.
  5. Expand the folder so that you can see the items inside (see Figure 1).

Creating the Composition

To begin building your promotional spot, you need to create a new composition.

  1. Choose Composition > New Composition or press Ctrl-N (Mac OS: Command-N).
  2. In the Composition Settings dialog box, type Color Difference Key in the Composition Name box.
  3. Make sure that the Preset pop-up menu is set to NTSC DV. This setting automatically sets the width, height, pixel aspect ratio, and frame rate for the composition.
  4. In the Duration field, type 800 to specify 8 seconds, which matches the length of the footage item, and then click OK (see Figure 2).

After Effects opens the new composition in the Timeline and Composition panels.

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