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Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.
Key framing is arguably the most fundamental aspect of creating any kind of motion graphics. And we're going to explore how to add and adjust key frames by animating the appearance of this logo into the scene. Now, rather than trying to describe the move, let's go ahead and double click on the logo animated comp in the Project panel. Let's load a ram preview by pressing 0 on your key pad or Ctrl + 0 on your regular sized keyboard. So as you can see, we have the logo sliding into the scene. And while it's a relatively simplistic animation, there's a fair amount of work that goes in behind something like this.
So I'm going to press the Spacebar and stop play back. And let's go ahead and get started. So if you click on the h+ logo tab on the left side of your Timeline panel, you can see here we've got our logo. Now, go ahead and press home to move your current time indicator to the start of the timeline. That's a good general practice when you're starting to build your animations, just in case you've built a composition and moved the current time indicator anyway. You'll see the tight role it plays with setting keyframes in a moment. Now, I know in the example animation, we had both the logo and the circle moving together as one unit.
And if we look at the layers in our composition, we have layer one, layer two, and layer three. I'm just turning their visibility often the timelines you can see there indeed 3 separate layers. Now what we'll do is animate just the circle and then later tie the h logo to the circle so it moves at the same time rather than setting key frames for each and every layer. So turn the visibility off for layer one and click on the triangle for layer two to open up its parameters that we could animate. Now if your transform parameters didn't already open go ahead and open those parameters.
Since this is a shape layer we have contents as well as transform. Now, since this is a shape layer, we could add keyframes to both the contents or the transform. For simplicity's sake, I just want to animate the transform options for this entire layer. So, as you can see, we have five parameters under Transform, and there are stopwatches to the left of each one of those parameters. That means you can add key frames for any one of those parameters. And you'll see these stopwatches repeated throughout many different parts of the interface. Since the circle already exists where I want it to stop. I'm going to employ a technique of animating backwards to get started with my first keyframe.
So move your current time indicator to around one second in your timeline. It's fine if you're a frame off here or there. Now, we can go ahead and add a keyframe for the position by clicking the Stopwatch to the left of the position parameter. That records a keyframe specifically where the current time indicator is set. So let's press home so we can now move our shape layer off the left side of the canvas. So click in the comp window, over the shape, and drag. And as you drag to the left, go ahead and hold down shift, after you've started dragging, to make sure that the object stays snapped to the x parameter.
Now make sure the object goes off the left side of the screen and let go. Now you should see a line like this. Now this line pertains to the motion path and the way the motion path is drawn there's a box for every single key frame. So notice when I click on this keyframe in the center this second key frame is already high lighted. If I zoom out by pressing the Comma key on the keyboard you can see I have a second key frame that's right here. If I click on it, that automatically selects that one in the timeline.
Now, with the object all the way off the side of the screen, this part is not going to be a part of the rendered animation. We won't see that circle until we start moving down the timeline. Now, go ahead and click on the current time indicator and scrub down your timeline. This is a way to preview animations without necessarily having to load up a RAM preview all the time. Now since we want to move this off the right side of the canvas go ahead and move your current time indicator anywhere you want further down the time line. I'm moving mine to around 3:18.
Now, click and drag again on our shape in the top window and hold down shift as you start to drag. Now you should notice, the dots on the right side of my motion path are more close together than on the left side of the motion path. That's a visual representation of the speed of the object. So if I scrub through my animation here, I'm getting an idea that it's going to move quickly and then slowly. Now go a head and load a ram preview, and as you can see, the play back its going very quickly and then very slowly. Well, I'm going to press this Spacebar to stop playback here. What we need to do is have the circle pause in the middle and in order to do that, we need to have another keyframe that's exactly the same as our second keyframe.
So, move your current time indicator to around 1:12. If you draw a lasso around the middle keyframe, not a selected I encourage you not to click directly on key frames in the timeline because you might accidentally move them as you click. So again, draw a lasso again the key frame and press Cmd + C or Ctrl + C. And then Cmd + V or Ctrl + V to copy and paste. Notice it copied the keyframe we had selected, and when I went to Paste, it pasted right where the current time indicator resides. We can press Home and then load up another RAM preview. Again, 0 on your keypad.
So that looks pretty good, but it's still extraordinarily slow. So I'm going to press the space bar to stop playback and draw a lasso around all four keyframes. Now, if you hold down the Option key on the Mac or Alt on Windows, you can click on either the end keyframe or the beginning keyframe. I'm going to click on the end keyframe. And drag it to left. Notice that all the other keyframes in between, are dragging in proportion. So I'm always going to have a fast section, a stop and then a slow section. This is a great way to re-time things in your timeline without necessarily having to create all new keyframes.
If you're working with keyframes, and you notice all of your keyframes are starting to reside in one small Small area in your timeline, you might want to reset your work area. So I'm going to move my current time indicator to around 1:19 and press N, as in Nancy, on my keyboard. When I do that, that resets my preview range. So if I load a RAM Preview, it's only going to preview these parts in the timeline. So that looks a little bit better. I'm going to go ahead and press the space bar to stop playback and there's one last thing we should do before we go ahead and try to render this.
Just so you can see it, I'm going to zoom back in and press play on my bar. Now go ahead and move the current time indicator to around frame six. Now look at the third check box from the right in your switches area. If you don't currently see this, you want to go ahead and toggle your switches and modes to make sure you have this active. Go ahead and enable that option, if you click and hold you can see it's called motion blur. When I enable Motion Blur I don't immediately see it in the Comp window.
This allows me to enable motion blur for any layers I want but then still continue to work rather quickly and then before I go to render, I can enable my motion blur so I can actually see it in the canvas. This just allows you to work more quickly. Now what Motion Blue does, is just adds a little bit more sense of realism to what's moving through the scene. Since this is moving rather quickly, I have a large amount of Motion Blue for the front area. No motion blur for when it stops and then a little less as it moves out of the scene. Now of course,you finish our animation, we want to make sure that our H animation moves with the circle.
So turn the visibility for layer 1 on, and then scrub and timeline. In order to have this move with the circle, you want to position your current time indicator in the area where it's stopped. This way we know it's lined up perfectly over top of the circle. And now we're going to use a feature called parenting. So if you don't see this Parent panel in your timeline, you can go ahead and just right click anywhere along this gray bar. I usually right click next to the layer name. If you go to Columns, you can enable any of these different options. You want to make sure Parent is selected.
Since it's already selected in mine, I'm just going to click outside of that area. And click on this little curly Q shape. If you click on that and then start to drag, notice I can point it at different things. Well, specifically, I want to point it right at the word circle on layer 2. Now, when I let go, notice the parent has listed. The circle layer as the parent layer for the h+ logo. Now, as I scrub through the scene, you can see, oh yeah, it's totally tied to the circle, but what's wrong? We haven't enabled motion blur.
So go ahead and enable motion blur, and let's click on the right side of our work area end. And drag it all the way to the end of our comp. Then go ahead and load up a RAM preview, so you can check out what we've built using keyframes and enabling some extra features like motion blur and parenting.
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