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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.
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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