Game Development Reference
the effects that sometimes ship with After Effects, such as the
Cycore collection of effects, Keylight, Color Finesse and so on.
Logistically, it doesn't make sense to cover so much information
in a single volume. But also, it kind of defeats the purpose here.
The underlying theme of this topic is to demonstrate how much
you can do with the native tools at your disposal, without the
assistance of third-party effects.
We're going to cover each effect in each category (e.g., Color
Correction, Distort, Generate, and so on) in the order in which
After Effects lists them in the Effects menu (and the Effects &
Presets panel). After Effects organizes the categories alphabeti-
cally, and then the effects in that category are also organized
alphabetically as well. And this is the same order that we will fol-
low in this topic. So remember that these effects are not listed in
the order of importance or sorted in any other way.
After we've fi nished covering all the effects, we'll have a
few appendix-type chapters that cover more intermediate and
advanced effects topics, such as using multiple effects, maps to
control effect properties, and a brief glance at third-party effect
Why Use Effects?
So, what can effects do? Why use them? First, and perhaps
foremost, the effects in After Effects are free, once you have
After Effects. They don't need extra installations or additional
serial numbers. There are no compatibility issues with the native
Effects have a wide range of functions. We can use them to cre-
ate remarkable patterns that can captivate an audience, or that
simulate real-world stuff like fi re or water. In After Effects, we also
adjust color by using effects. But effects can also create simula-
tions, as if something were blowing up or distorting in an organic
way. We can access 3D data using effects, and even enhance (and
create!) audio using effects. With 189 choices here, and an almost
infi nite amount of creative combinations, you're sure to fi nd
something to enhance your workfl ow.
The Great Secret to the Effects
If there were one great secret to effects and I had to sum this
book up into a single sentence, it would be that effects are some-
times at their best when used for purposes that they were never
intended for. We'll take the Shatter effect (which “blows stuff up, ”
according to its formal defi nition), and use it to create volumetric
3D text. In Chapter 7, we'll sharpen edges using a blur effect, as
seen in Fig. 1.1.