January 26, 2006
A Template Tale
As some of you may have noticed, my blog and several others kinda of exploded for a day and lost all sense of style and formatting (although it was easy reading on my aging eyes). If you bear with me, I think its worth sharing part of the behind the scenes story of what happened.
This blog is my first foray into Web publishing. Before starting this blog, all I new about HTML was what the acronym stood for, and I never even heard of CSS. After 1 week, I now know 2 things: how to embed urls, and how to use the "strong" tag. So essentially I still know nothing. There are great web tutorials, but who has time to read them and remember what they show you how to do.
When I started my blog, I noticed that several other Adobe blogs had different and what I thought was better formatting. I wanted to have a Blogroll (another new term for me) of links on the right side of my blog and wouldn't it be cool if readers to my blog could easily see a list of recent comments?
[Please don't stop reading yet. There is a relationship to After Effects in a few paragraphs down, or skip ahead and cut to the chase if you are thinking blah blah blah...]
Problem was, I had no idea how to modify/format my blog to look like John Nack's blog for example. What I needed was a template and sure enough a template existed, and other than the exploding font size glitch, I was able to achieve the desired formatting w/o having to learn how to create it from scratch. Which leads me to the new presets and templates that ship with After Effects 7.0
For many new or occasional users, having prebuilt presets allows them to get up and running quickly an easily. When we introduced the text presets in AE 6.5 we thought experienced users would not utilize them, but we were pleasantly surprised to hear from longtime AE users how presets were useful as building blocks, examples to deconstruct, or in some case quick ways to satisfy clients on a shoestring budget.
In After Effects 7.0 we expanded the presets that ship with the application to go beyond text animations and included a variety of animated backgrounds, elements, animations, and behaviors (expression-based presets). We also included project based templates to be used for motion menus in conjunction with Encore DVD, and a sampling of other templates that while not intended to be used as is, are designed to be able to be customized to meet various user needs.
While there is still room for improvement, our goal is to provide high quality content that users can incorporate into their work but are also fully customizable. With After Effects 7.0 I believe we have taken a good first step at letting non AE zenmasters tap into the power of After Effects.