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Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor

If you've ever created an animation and just thought that it lacked a little pop, it's probably because you haven't been editing the keyframes in the Graph Editor. Now in this exercise we'll animate all four of these words using the Graph Editor. But we'll work efficiently by only animating one word and then copy and pasting those keyframes to the subsequent layers. So to get started, I want to animate the word Success. So let's select the layer three, and just so we can see that layer only, let's click the Solo button. Now that we've isolated Success, let's press P on our keyboard, and then hold down Shift + S to open up the Scale and Position parameters.

Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor

If you've ever created an animation and just thought that it lacked a little pop, it's probably because you haven't been editing the keyframes in the Graph Editor. Now in this exercise we'll animate all four of these words using the Graph Editor. But we'll work efficiently by only animating one word and then copy and pasting those keyframes to the subsequent layers. So to get started, I want to animate the word Success. So let's select the layer three, and just so we can see that layer only, let's click the Solo button. Now that we've isolated Success, let's press P on our keyboard, and then hold down Shift + S to open up the Scale and Position parameters.

Those are the two parameters that we're going to animate. Now since this is where I want the word to end up I'm going to go ahead animate backwards. By positioning my current time indicator on frame 12. And then clicking the stop watch's next position and scale. Now that we have our first key frame set press home on your keyboard to move back to frame 0. Now change the scale to zero. And you can still see where the word is because of this control handle in the middle of the Comp window. now I just want this to slide a little bit to the right, so I'm going to click and drag on the x parameter for position. Now that we have our keyframe set, let's set our work area somewhere down the timeline.

I'm going to click near three seconds. And I'll press N on the keyboard. Now we can load a ramp preview. As you can see, I've got a rather vanilla animation. So I'm going to press the Spacebar to stop playback. And now we can go into the graph editor to make some adjustments. So click on the graph editor button which is just to the right of the automatic Keyframe button. You could also press Shift + F3 on your keyboard. If your graph doesn't look like this, don't panic.

We have multiple buttons across the bottom of the graph editor. And the second one in, if you click it, has some options for the type of graph that you're going to look at. I want you to make sure yours is set to auto select graph type. Since my key frames are only my first 12 frames I want to change the magnification on the timeline. And rather than clicking on the slider you can quickly change that by clicking this button here with the two lines. This'll fit all the graphs into this area. And just so I have more space vertically, I'm going to click at the top of my timeline, and just drag up. This should automatically resize, as long as you have the auto zoom button selected. It looks like a magnifying glass.

Now, when you're editing in the graph editor, you want to pay attention to what parameters you have selected on the left side of your timeline. I have position selected. So the speed graph automatically loaded. That's because this is a spatial set of key frames. Spatial will automatically default auto-graph to open the Speed settings first. Now, if I click on the Scale parameters, this is going to open a Value graph first. So click on Scale and make sure that you have this red line in your scene. Now, this second dot up here on the right actually signifies a keyframe, so I want to go ahead and click and draw a lasso around that keyframe. You can double check that just by turning off and on the Graph Editor. Now, with the second key frame selected, let's add an ease. We can do that with these buttons down here on the right side of the Graph Editor.

So lets hit the second button in. We just added in ease in. Now I want the word to pop larger than its final key frame value and if we look at the graph 100 percent is right here and you could see it never passes that line. So to make it pass that line and go ahead and click and drag on that handle and drag up. It doesn't need to go way past the line, it can just go past a fair amount. And if you want to preview what is looking like, go ahead and click up in the number area of your time line to move your current indicator under there. That way as we make changes, you can see how the word changes. Now I want to accentuate this move, so let's do the same thing with the first key frame.

Draw a Lasso. But this time we'll add an eased out. That's close to perfect but let's go ahead and drag the handle a little bit further out to the right. Now let's preview this again. Okay, that's definitely giving it a little bit more pop. But I'm going to press the Spacebar and stop playback. Let's accentuate it even more by adjusting the position key frames. So select the word position. And we'll start by adjusting its speed value. I want it to animate slowly and then get quicker as it gets over to the right. So draw a lasso around the first keyframe of the speed value graph for position. And you'll see we have a control handle here. Go ahead and click on the control handle and drag down. I'm going to drag it all the way down to zero, and then I'm going to drag the handle to the right.

And when I let go, now you can see I have this kind of cool mountain looking graph. Now anytime you're editing speed, you want to try and get rid of any kinks. So what I'm going to do is click and drag on the right handle a little bit here. So this is a little bit more straight. This is going to give it a really interesting pop. Lets load up a ramp preview. I think that already looks pretty dynamic but I'm going to go ahead and press the space bar one more time because we edited this speed, I also want to go ahead and edit the value. I want it to slide a little bit past its second value. So to change graphs let's click that second button again. And then go to Edit > Value Graph.

Notice we don't have any control handles in the value graph. That's because spatial parameters like, position that have x and y. Actually record both in one keyframe. If we want to manipulate only the move on the X, we need to break these values apart. And to do that, there's a button right here on the bottom, that XYZ button, that'll break the values apart. And if we look back to the left of our timeline, you can see I have one for X And one for y. Now, I know I'm not animating anything for the y position, so let's go ahead and deactivate the Y. Now, notice when I did that, it deactivated the x so let me just Cmd + Z or Crtl + Z.

I'm going to click off of those keyframes, and now I can click the stopwatch for Y. And it'll no longer be there. Now just so I'm looking at X in scale, I'm going to select that layer and press U. It'll just show me only the parameters that have key frames assigned. Now let's click on X position. And as you can see, we have a value graph. And it's got some strange codes here. So, let's go ahead a draw a lasso around the first key frame. I'm going to smooth this out a little bit. In the second key frame I want this to actually slide past its current value, so I'm going to drag it up.

Okay, now let's preview your animation. That definitely has a little bit more pop and interest than what we had originally. So now all we have to do is apply these to the rest of the words. I'm going to press the Spacebar to stop playback. Now we can turn off the Graph Editor by clicking the button. Now go ahead and click on exposition and hold down shift and click on scale. That'll select all the keyframes so now we can just copy and paste. Now before we paste the key frames, you want to pay attention to where the current time indicator is.

So press home on your keyboard to return the current time indicator back to 0. And I'm going to extend my magnification of my timeline just by clicking this little yellow button and dragging all the way to the right. Now, we can paste all the key frames. You can paste key frames to multiple layers just by selecting all those layers. So, I'm going to select layer one and hold down the Cmd key on the Mac, Ctrl on the PC and then click on any subsequent layers you want to add key frames to. So, one, two and four. Now go ahead and place your key frames. Cmd + V or Ctrl + V on the PC.

Now let's turn off solo for layer three. Then we can preview our animation. All right. I'm going to stop playback here. Now to add a little bit more interest, I'm going to slide our key frames. So each word animates in at a different pace. Press the U key on your keyboard and you will automatically open up all of the layers keyframes. So we can just click and drag a lasso around any of the other key frames to change their specific timing. So as I wrote up the frame preview here, you can see that we've created a rather dynamic and interesting animation, all using the Graph Editor.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 50954 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  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 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. 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. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. 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. 29m 3s
    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
  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
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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