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How to Apply your Photoshop Skills in After Effects?

One of the most powerful image editing applications, Adobe Photoshop lets you do a plethora of manipulation with your images. Though the latest versions of this software support video editing, for the advanced level of editing, another application – Adobe After Effects – is indispensable.

However, many hardcore Photoshop users believe that Adobe After Effects is not their cup of tea due to its complexities. But there are many similarities in the basic functionalities of both of them that let you utilize your Photoshop skills while operating After Effects.

Here’s How After Effects Won’t Waste Your ‘Photoshop Skill Set’

Hone Your Expertise of Playing with “Layers”: Layers is one of the common features that can be found in both Photoshop and After Effects. Though they work somewhat different in the later but the basics remains the same. When it comes to the layers of After Effects, they can be tweaked independently in terms of size, position, opacity with the drop down menu attached to every layer. But for the sake of familiarity, you can treat the timeline (which accumulates all the layers) of After Effects as your layers panel and operate in the same way as you would in Adobe Photoshop.

Show Your Skill Set with “Adjustment Layers”: Undoubtedly, if you work on Photoshop, an Adjustment Layer is nothing new to you. The working style of these layers is relatively formulaic. Once you add it to your image, you can then add any preset such as brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, filters, etc. You can even create a mask with the layer. On the other hand, in After Effects, the Adjustment Layers do the same thing but they are quite flexible. Once applied, you can add any effect, filter or mask over it. You can then play with its opacity, feather, shape, etc. with the help of options present in the drop down of the layer. All in all, you can utilize your familiarity with the Adjustment Layers in Photoshop and seamlessly use the same in After Effects.

Toy with The Effects and Filters: Photoshop offers various filters, effects and color correction options to manipulate your images. Similarly, After Effects provide a plethora of special effects, filters and masking techniques that you can use on your video footage. You can simply drag an effect and apply it on a layer on the timeline. You can further play with the properties of the effects to get the desired result. Though most part of ‘applying effects and filters’ is same, there is very small difference. In Photoshop, you apply an effect to the selection, but in After Effects, you have to use a mask to either hide or show the filter/effect.

Similar Technique to Take Out the ‘Mask’: Masking in After Effects works exactly same as it would do in Adobe Photoshop. You can use a Pen/Shape tool to draw a mask. In the Alpha channel, you can color the mask black for transparent and white for opaque (similar to the masking rules in Photoshop).

Masking with Rotoscoping: In After Effects, you can mask with Rotobrush tool as well. This is a tool that works similar to Photoshop’s quick selection tool. There are various other techniques to mask in After Effects and they are quite complex as compared to Photoshop, however, the basics are exactly the same.

Saving/Rendering: Unlike Photoshop where you need to “save” or “save as” an image after editing, you are required to “render” a sequence in After Effects. Rendering means the accumulation of all the objects, elements, filters, effects, footage, etc. in one single file. Having mentioned the difference, you’ll find familiarities on the rendering window if you have been creating and saving a GIF, movie, or a 3D file in Photoshop. This is so because these files require you to render them before they get saved on your computer.

Wrapping Up

It is indeed a proven fact that After Effects is a lot more sophisticated as compared to Adobe Photoshop. However, most of their features work on the same basic principles. So, if you have an inclination to become a pro in Adobe After Effects, all it takes is regular practice, dedicated time and, of course, a lot of patience.

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5 Major Differences Between Windows 10 and Linux

For years now, there has been an unresolved debate about which operating system is better to use - Windows or Linux. With every new iteration, both platforms get better and carry a few flaws as well. With Microsoft pushing out their Windows 10 version, how does it differ from Linux? Well, there are a number of small and big details that make both operating systems different, but we take a look at five of the most major ones here.

1. Performance On Older Hardware

We all know that older PC’s cannot cope with the latest software and in turn, make browsing, gaming, and other mundane operations mind numbingly slow. So, to test which platform performs better - Windows 10 or Linux - run it on a old hardware. There will be one clear winner here and that is Linux. Windows 10 requires, at the least, a 1-2 GB RAM, a 1GHz processor, 16-20 GB hard disk space, and a DirectX 9 graphics card. Even with these minimalist specs, running Windows 10 will be exceedingly difficult. On the other hand, Ubuntu needs only a 512 MB RAM, 700 MHz processor, 5 GB of storage space, and VGA with 1024x768 screen resolution. Clearly, Linux can be run on practically any PC and its performance does not deteriorate.

2. Getting Updates

This is a major problem point, not only for Windows 10, but all Windows users. Updating a Windows PC takes a long time - up to 2 hours long. But the length of the update isn't the biggest concern, it's how and when the update hits your machine. Many users have lost important work because there is no warning as to when the update runs - it just automatically shuts the PC down. Compare that to Linux and you'll be cursing the day you chose Windows 10. Thanks to the package managers from Linux, updating is fast and reliable. How fast? In the time it takes for a Windows PC to reboot, plus a minute or so, you can carry out a apt-get dist-upgrade. And the best part is that the machine won't just restart itself as and when it chooses - you get to choose when the update runs.

3. Security Concerns

Nothing connected to the internet is completely secure and that is a known fact. Windows, however, seems to suffer a lot more than others in this department. Their users have always had to rely on third party softwares such as antivirus and anti-malware programs to help reduce the threat. With Windows 10, there have been a few advances in terms of security, but it isn't enough. Linux also has its problems with security, but not even close to what Windows 10 has. One of the biggest reasons for this is its popularity and use around the world. Because Linux has fewer users, it is a lot safer than Windows. Another reason behind its better security is the fact that the Linux security design is far tougher to hack into, unlike Windows.

4. Importance Of Privacy

For a long time now, Windows 10 has been in the spotlight for its lack of privacy features. Even the EFF or Electronic Frontier Foundation claims that Windows 10 doesn't have regard for its users privacy. The platforms methods for data collection are extremely problematic. In order to bring it under control, the company launched a privacy dashboard that is web-based and gives users control of data collection. Unlike Windows 10, Linux ensures all it's users that their privacy is of utmost importance. While there was some issues with Ubuntu Unity and its online privacy feature, the company has gone on to disable the search feature on Unity’s online privacy. Now, Linux doesn't collect its user's data which makes using it a lot more secure.

5. Open vs. Closed

In comparison, both Windows 10 and Linux are great at getting a job done, but is that truly enough? With open source systems ruling the day, Microsoft seems to be lagging behind and even though they do support open source with Azure, they don't benefit from the system. There is even an Open Source site created by Microsoft that is used for OpenDev on Azure, but yet again, there are no benefits - it is all proprietary when it comes to Microsoft. Linux, however, is open for all to view, use, and develop. It embraces open source and encourages users to help make their platforms a lot better.

As you can see, Windows 10 and Linux are vastly different and choosing either depends entirely on preference. While it may seem that Linux is clearly a better option, many users still trust in Microsoft. In the end, it is the user that decides which system he is most comfortable working on. What is your choice?

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