After Effects CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor


After Effects CS6 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor

So let's check out this animation. Just load it up in your RAM Preview and you can see it works but honestly it's not that exciting. The word is kinetEco, kineteco, so let's actually make it have a little more energy. There are two reasons why this is kind of meh, and the first one is the fact that these are moving rather slowly, and the second one, the fade in the words; it's just not that energetic.
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  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 16s
    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 22s
    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 28s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 17s
    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 20s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 34s
  13. 15m 57s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 25s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 16s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 40s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 39s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects CS6 Essential Training
8h 41m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the workspace, important preferences, and the cache
  • Importing footage and comps
  • Relinking missing footage
  • Creating type, shape layers, and masks
  • Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
  • Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
  • Timing animations to audio
  • Building backgrounds with effects
  • Rendering with the Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder
  • Animating 3D type
  • Smoothing shaky footage and retouching footage
  • Keying green screen footage
  • Working with 3D: extruding shapes, adding ray-traced lighting, and more
After Effects
Ian Robinson

Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor

So let's check out this animation. Just load it up in your RAM Preview and you can see it works but honestly it's not that exciting. The word is kinetEco, kineteco, so let's actually make it have a little more energy. There are two reasons why this is kind of meh, and the first one is the fact that these are moving rather slowly, and the second one, the fade in the words; it's just not that energetic.

So let's go ahead and delete the fade off these words by selecting the top three layers and pressing T, and make sure your current-time indicator is past the rightmost keyframes so they're all set to 100% Opacity. And just click any of the stopwatches and that will delete all the keyframes. Now let's deal with the speed of these circles. So select Layer 4 and Shift+Click to Layer 9. Press U to open up all the animated parameters and sure enough, we have our keyframes.

What we want to do is speed up everything. So let's select the rightmost keyframe for all of the different layers. When I clicked on that I noticed that I had accidentally moved the selected keyframes so I just undid that for a second, and now I'm just Shift+Clicking on all the other layers. Now as we drag these back to the left, you will notice we can scroll and you can see that, you know, like in this second part of the animation, these circles aren't quite lining up.

I'm just going to zoom in here a little bit and you can see they aren't lining up when they should resolve. So what we need to do is actually adjust when these keyframes are so that they are actually happening on the same frame. So I'm just going to park my Current Time Indicator on the rightmost keyframe of this Blue layer and make sure the right keyframe in this half_Br1 layer is in the same position. That way when we scrub through you can see it's actually going to resolve at the exact same time.

You can do that for the rest of these layers but let's move on and adjust the energy of these words. And let's press Spacebar to grab the Hand tool and just sort of reposition. They're just kind of popping into the scene and I'm just going to zoom back out here in the canvas. Now as we scrub through you can see the words just kind of pop onto the scene. What I want to do is have the words scale into place. So it looks like they are zooming from infinity far away right up to where they are right now.

So to do that, let's press S to adjust the scale. I could do this with a position keyframe if we move this into a 3D layer but I don't want to do that just yet. Scale is going to work perfectly fine for this. So let's keyframe backwards again, instead of starting at the very beginning of our layer, press I to make sure our Time Indicator is at the in-point of the layer and move down 10 frames. So I'm just going to +10 there, and click the Stopwatch next to the Scale.

Now if we press I to move back to the beginning, we can change our Scale parameter back to zero and we have two keyframes set. So if we load up a RAM Preview here, you can see it comes in and it's pretty cool, but you notice it's moving in a constant velocity. I know that for two reasons. First reason I can see it, but sometimes you won't always be able to see it. But the second reason, these diamonds are telling me it's actually linear. So to see, let's open up the Graph Editor.

You can come up to the Graph Editor button, or press Shift+F3. As you can see, my Scale parameter is moving at a constant velocity and then it just stops. In the Graph Editor, in the lower left corner, I have this one button that looks sort of like a chart of some sort. If you click on it here, we could change between the Speed Graph or the Value Graph. Let's go to the Value Graph and then here notice now I can see it's going from 0% scale to 100% scale.

And to adjust this horizontally, I'm just going to click and drag here on my Zoom slider and you can see now I've got a nice linear move to this. In the previous video, I showed you how you could use Ease to smooth out animations. So let's select this first keyframe just by drawing a Lasso around it, and if you look here on the bottom of the Keyframe Editor, on the right-hand side, you can adjust the different keyframes.

So this button in the lower right corner of the Keyframe Editor will actually create an ease out. Now if we select a right keyframe, we can click the other button to ease back in. If we preview this, I'm just going to move my current-time indicator forward and load up our preview here. You can see I have a smooth motion to this. But even that is a little kind of boring. So let's change our play range just so we can kind of loop that one section. Move your current-time indicator back up in front of the first most keyframe and press B. That will begin our playback range and then move your Current Time Indicator to around three seconds and press N.

Now when I load up a preview, it's just going to cycle this one area. It's kind of interesting. Notice since I'm editing the Value Graph, if I click and drag here, I can adjust the handles for how this actually will scale up. And notice if I drag up, what's going to happen to the word, the value of the scale of the word will actually end up over 100%. Sometimes this is actually really good to do because it's going to give a little pop to the word.

So just load it up in your RAM Preview. You can see it's a little more fun now. It just sort of pops up and pops in. I'll stop playback, and I want to accentuate how quickly that ramps up before it makes that change and we can do that by just clicking this left keyframe handle and dragging it to the right. Now what that's going to do is it slows how quickly it moves out and then it will exponentially get faster and faster as you move up the line.

If you really want to accentuate it more, you can drag up a little more and you notice now we're going to go way large. I don't know if that will work but let's check it out. There we go. So as you can see, when you use the Graph Editor you can always make things a lot more interesting. Personally, I like to think of the Graph Editor as the place to go when it comes time to really polish the movement of an animation, because after all, setting the initial keyframes really only tells you what's happening on those specific frames.

It's between the keyframes where you end up getting the entire story.

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