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Getting Started and Getting to Know the Workflow of Adobe After Effects CS4

Article Description

Learn the how to get started and the basic workflow of Adobe After Effects CS4, including how to create a project and import footage, create compositions and arrange layers, navigate the Adobe After Effects interface, use the Project, Composition, and Timeline panels, apply basic keyframes and effects, preview your work using standard and RAM preview, customize the workspace, adjust preferences related to the workspace, and find additional resources for using After Effects.

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Adobe After Effects CS4 Classroom in a Book

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Restoring default preferences

The preferences file controls the way the After Effects user interface appears on your screen. The instructions in this book assume that you see the default interface when they describe the appearance of tools, options, windows, panels, and so forth. Because of this, it’s a good idea to restore the default preferences, especially if you are new to After Effects.

Each time you quit After Effects, the panel positions and certain command settings are recorded in the preferences file. If you want to restore the panels to their original default settings, you can delete the current After Effects preferences file. (After Effects creates a new preferences file if one doesn’t already exist the next time you start the program.)

Restoring the default preferences can be especially helpful if someone has already customized After Effects on your computer. If your copy of After Effects hasn’t been used yet, this file won’t exist, so this procedure is unnecessary.

Important: If you want to save the current settings, you can rename the preferences file instead of deleting it. When you are ready to restore those settings, change the name back and make sure that the file is located in the correct preferences folder.

  1. Locate the After Effects preferences folder on your computer:
    • For Windows XP: .../Documents and Settings/<user name>/Application Data/Adobe/After Effects/9.0.
    • For Windows Vista: .../Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/Keyfiles/AfterEffects.
    • For Mac OS: .../<user name>/Library/Preferences.
  2. Delete or rename the Adobe After Effects 9.0 Prefs file.
  3. Start Adobe After Effects.
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