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Adding and adjusting keyframes

From: After Effects CS6 Essential Training

Video: Adding and adjusting keyframes

It is keyframe animation that's really at the core of about 90% of the After Effects projects I've ever worked on. And in case you need the definition again, keyframes are just recordings of the settings of one specific parameter at a specific point in time, and there are actually several ways to create keyframes inside of After Effects. So let's look at our project here. You notice, if you double-click the Keyframes comps just to make sure everything is open, we have the kinetEco logo and all the layers are set up in our comp already.

Adding and adjusting keyframes

It is keyframe animation that's really at the core of about 90% of the After Effects projects I've ever worked on. And in case you need the definition again, keyframes are just recordings of the settings of one specific parameter at a specific point in time, and there are actually several ways to create keyframes inside of After Effects. So let's look at our project here. You notice, if you double-click the Keyframes comps just to make sure everything is open, we have the kinetEco logo and all the layers are set up in our comp already.

We have pre-comps for each one of the words and we also have individual layers for each one of the objects. Now these happen to be Illustrator files and everything is pretty much already set up for animation, so all we're going to do is animate how these little circles appear into the screen and then we'll fade the words on one after the other. So this is going to be the final resting place of everything in this animation. Now to get started, let's select Layer 4, the Yellow circle layer, and we'll adjust the position keyframes to begin the animation process.

So press P on your keyboard. This just optimizes our timeline so we're only looking at the Position parameter. Now with Position open, we'll animate backwards. I can go to 1 second here on the timeline and record my first keyframe. To record the keyframe, go to the Position parameter and click on the Stopwatch. See, I'm saying backwards because we're starting at the end. Notice I'm at 1 second, that's going to be where our animation ends for this one specific object.

If we move our current-time indicator back to the beginning, 0 frames, now we can go ahead and move this off the screen. So to see things better, let's go ahead and expand our canvas here just a little bit so I can move this all the way off the screen. And just so I can see Layer 4, I'll hover my mouse over the timeline and scroll up until I see Layer 4. Now since Layer 4 is already selected, I can click and drag it up. After I start dragging, I'm going to hold down Shift, and that will snap the movement along the Y axis.

Drag it up until it goes all the way off the edge of the canvas. Now you'll notice we have two keyframes and we have an animation. Let's go ahead and press 0 on our keypad, and as you can see, the first circle is animated. Now I'm going to stop playback just by pressing the Spacebar. And instead of having to recreate all of the keyframe animations for each one of these circles, what I want to do is Copy and Paste these keyframes onto the other objects. Let's see what happens if I select the position keyframes for this first yellow circle.

To select all the keyframes quickly, just click on the word Position in the timeline and now you'll notice both of these keyframes are highlighted bright yellow. If we scroll down to our blue circle here, press Command+V, or just go up and say Edit > Paste, notice nothing's happening. So let's select our Position keyframe and press Command+C to Copy, or Edit > Copy. If we go down to the Blue layer, we can go to Edit > Paste, now when we press P on the Blue layer, look, our keyframes are pasted all the way down here on the timeline.

Well that's a problem. And also, notice, now the circle is gone. Well that's a problem too. So let's start with the obvious, the first one; this down the timeline, not so much. We don't want to do that. And basically what you need to do is not have your current-time indicator down the timeline when you paste. See, whenever you paste keyframes they'll paste exactly where the current-time indicator is. So let's just Command+Z, undo that last command. Now the other problem, see, this Position keyframe, it's actually not only recording the position of this object on the Y axis, but it also recorded it on the X axis.

So what we need to do is just copy the Y axis of these position keyframes. I'm going to expand this view up here a little bit. And to do this, select the Position parameter and right-click. Now if you go to Separate Dimensions, you'll notice I have keyframes for X position and Y position. Now since the Y position already matches for all these other layers, all we have to do is select the Y position keyframes just by clicking on it, and say Command+C or Ctrl+C on Windows, and I'm going to press Home to make sure that I've moved back to the beginning of the timeline.

And now, if we press Command+V, you notice it automatically split the position keyframes and applied that set of keyframes to that new parameter. So we can do the exact same thing for Green here. So let's press Home and I'm going to say Command+V, and now that's going to move down. Now if I want to move these so they kind of fall one after the other, all we have to do is just slide the keyframes in the timeline. So I'll just expand my timeline view here just a little bit and select the Y position keyframes for Layer 2.

Instead of just selecting the Y position keyframes, go ahead and select Layer 5 and just click and drag that layer to start further down the timeline. See, since the object is starting off the canvas already, I'm just scrolling out with my mouse, nobody is going to know whether it existed before this point in time or not. So let's do the same thing with the Green layer. I'm going to press U to open up its animated parameters, and that shows me just the Y position keyframes, which I pasted, and I'll just drag down the timeline here.

If we press 0, you can see 1, 2, 3. Now we're going to start speeding things up. You already know how to break out keyframes and copy them and paste them, let me show you how to actually animate multiple objects at once. It's pretty straightforward. Let's select Layer 7 through 9. Click on the first layer, Layer 7, and hold down Shift and click on 9. Now we can go ahead and press P to open up the Position parameter. There's a pretty neat shortcut you can use to automatically create keyframes for specific parameters at any time, and basically the way that works, instead of just pressing P to open up the Position, what you want to do is position your current-time indicator where you want to set your first keyframe.

I want the motion of these objects to end at 1 second. So I'm going to move my current time indicator to 1 second, and now I'm going to press Option+P. And what that does, holding down Option or Alt on Windows, it sets the keyframe for whatever parameter you hit the shortcut for next. So P is the shortcut for Position. If you press Home, in order to move all these down, all you have to do is click and drag on the Y parameter. And I'm going to click and drag to the right until they go all the way off screen.

Notice, since I had all three layers selected, when I clicked and dragged on one Y parameter, it moved all of them. So to ripple this down, all we have to do is just click and drag on the layer, click and drag on the layer. So now if we press 0, you see they all pop down and now all we need to do is add the Fade for each of the words. So to do that, we can just select our first word, which is Connect, and move our playhead to where we want our first keyframe.

Here, let's go ahead and set it right at the end of this animation, so right about 2 second 5 frames. And we can press Option+T, that will set the keyframe. Now I want to change this parameter because I don't want it to start at 100%. So I'll change it down to 0. Now we have our keyframe set and let's have this fade up over 1 second. So to move down 1 second in the timeline, I'm just going to click on the number here in the timeline and press +100.

That's going to move down 1 second. And now to have this fade up to set the second keyframe, just click and drag on the value for Opacity. So I'm going to click and drag it to the right and set it to 100. Now to apply these keyframes to the subsequent layers, all we have to do is select both Opacity keyframes. I'm going to do that in the timeline just by clicking and drawing with a Lasso here, and since I want to stagger how these fade in, I'm going to move my current-time indicator to about halfway in between and select Eco and press-- actually I need to copy those.

So with our current-time indicator moved, that's fine, just go ahead and draw a Lasso over both the keyframes and press Command+C or Ctrl+C to Copy. Now we can select Layer 1 and Command+V or Ctrl+V to Paste. And again, if I press U, that will open up the Animated parameter for that layer, and let's do the same thing for ink here. Let's move down the timeline with our current-time indicator and press Command+V or Ctrl+V, and again with U, you can see how that's set up.

So let's preview our entire animation. Press Home on your keyboard. I'm going to deselect all the layers here, and change my Magnification to fit up to 100 and just kind of give a little bit more room here, and press 0 on my keyboard. So as you can see, we've now created our first keyframe animation of the entire logo animation.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS6 Essential Training
After Effects CS6 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 54949 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

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