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In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.
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.
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