After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Adding and adjusting keyframes

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.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Adding and adjusting keyframes

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .


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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
 
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
 
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