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Chapter 1. The Effects Toolset > Previewing Like a Pro

Previewing Like a Pro

Nothing sets you apart as a visual effects pro more than the way you examine footage. I had a tax accountant years ago who dealt solely with artists, who encouraged me to write off my VCR (this was before DVDs were common currency) and any movies I rented. She told me that the IRS had no idea of the way that effects people look at movies—back and forth over the same section, frame by frame, and so on—nor the wear and tear it puts on video equipment.

Obviously, the way you look at a clip in After Effects is much different than the way your audience will look at it once it's in the finished movie. So to get to the heart of the matter: How exactly does a professional work with footage in After Effects? This section offers some of the habits of highly effective compositors, so to speak.


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