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Chapter 10. Effects Fundamentals

Chapter 10. Effects Fundamentals

At last, you come to the long menu: Effects. As if you didn't already know, effects alter the audio or visual characteristics of layers in almost countless ways. You can use them to enhance, combine, or distort layers. You can simulate audio-visual phenomenon from light to lightning. You can make changes that are subtle or spectacular. And most important, you can animate these effects over time.

While the Mask and Transform properties are calculated without the use of outside assistance, so to speak, effects are stored in the Plug-Ins folder contained in the After Effects folder. The number and type of effects at your disposal depend on whether you have the standard version of After Effects, or the Production Bundle. You can also enhance your repertoire of effects with those created by a number of third-party developers.

This chapter is the first of two chapters that cover effects. Together, they move from the general to the specific. The chapter begins with an overview of effect categories, and explains the process you use to apply any effect to a layer. It moves on to describe how to use the Effect Controls window as a complement or alternative to the standard property controls in the layer outline. The next chapter focuses on each category in the standard set of effects, highlighting prime examples. As always, the sections are peppered with valuable tips and sidebars explaining essential background information.


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