Classic Course: Effects & Presets Panel

A little over a year ago, we had the bright idea of re-releasing for free our After Effects online training that Lynda/LinkedIn Learning had dropped from their site because it was a few years old. As any user of Adobe software knows, even though new features get added all the time along the with occasional user interface refresh (usually making it progressively darker and darker), the core of the program remains essentially the same – so there’s still useful content in many of those old movies. We kept it up for a few months, but then got distracted by other projects.

Well, one of our New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 was to continue posting those movies for users who might still find them interesting. For the next few months we’re going to go through old “Effects Essentials” showing how to get the most out of a number of common effects, and then move onto other, larger features.

To re-launch the Effects Essentials part of this series, here is a pair of movies on using the Effects & Presets panel in After Effects. If you’ve been using the Effects menu to find and apply effects, you’ll find the Effects & Presets panel is a more efficient way to work:

Another benefit of the Effects & Presets panel is that it stores Animation Presets. In short, if you can keyframe a parameter (including “transformations” such as Scale and Position along with effects), you can save it as a preset to apply to other layers later. This can be a huge timesavings. Also, Adobe ships After Effects with a large number of pre-built Animation Presets. This movie shows you how to search through them, and shares a “gotcha” about where you apply them along your timeline:

The one feature mentioned in the movie above that does not work anymore is the animated preview of Adobe’s pre-built presets in Bridge. Back when these presets were built (many of them by us), Adobe saved very small animated thumbnails of effects using a now-obsolete format. These animations unfortunately no longer play in Adobe Bridge CC 2019. Fortunately, the names of the Adobe presets are pretty descriptive.


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