After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating with keyframes


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After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Animating with keyframes

If we look at our project, you can see we have our layers blocked out in time, when I want the different layers to appear. So, we're actually all set to begin animation. Now we'll create animation by adding keyframes. And if you've been going through the previous videos, you already know how to add a keyframe. So, in this video, not only are we going to add key frames, but I'll show you how to quickly create animation by copying and pasting these key frames, and some other methods to adding key frames like sliding the key frames or animating backwards.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  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 36m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 27s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. 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. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. 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. 36m 53s
    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
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  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 in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Animating with keyframes

If we look at our project, you can see we have our layers blocked out in time, when I want the different layers to appear. So, we're actually all set to begin animation. Now we'll create animation by adding keyframes. And if you've been going through the previous videos, you already know how to add a keyframe. So, in this video, not only are we going to add key frames, but I'll show you how to quickly create animation by copying and pasting these key frames, and some other methods to adding key frames like sliding the key frames or animating backwards.

To show you what I mean, let's go ahead and get started. So, let's start by animating the fade of this blue background. If we scrub through, notice thus the background already has the blue and the circles in the scene. Let's start at one second, we're going to animate backwards. So, I want you to select the circles, and the blue treatment layer. So, to select both layers, I'm going to hold down the command key, or you can hold down the control key on Windows, and click on one and click on the other, that will allow you to skip layer nine.

Now, if you press T to open the opacity settings, notice those settings had transferred from the Photoshop document. So, the circles were only at 45% opacity, and the blue treatment was at 84%. So, let's add keyframes, for both of those. Now, notice, when I added the keyframe for the opacity for layer eight, it automatically added the keyframe for layer ten, since that layer was already selected. Now, let's grab our current time indicator and move it to the beginning of our composition, and just click-and-drag to change the opacity value down to zero.

Notice when I drag my top opacity down, it just dragged the opacity down the same proportion. So, let's go ahead and drag the opacity for layer ten down to zero as well. Now, if we scrub three you can see, my background and my circles are going to fade in. Now, I want my circles to fade in a little later. So, in order to quickly select both of those keyframes, I'll just click on the word Opacity for layer eight. Now, notice when I did that, it didn't deselect layer ten. So, actually what I'm going to do is click in this gray area.

And draw a lasso around these two keyframes. When I clicked in the grey area, it automatically de-selected any other layer selected. And then, I drew the lasso so now both keyframes are selected, and I know that because they're gold. So, let's go ahead and move those keyframes down the timeline, let's move them down to about frame 20. And I know I'm on frame 20 because, if you look in the info panel in the upper right corner, you can see it's frame. Now let's go to the navigation arrows here on the left side of the timeline. I want to click the right navigation arrow, to jump down to the first keyframe.

Now, let's just trim the start point of that layer, since it's zero opacity anyway I don't need the layer to exist anytime before that keyframe. If you hold down Shift as you drag it'll snap to the current time indicator. So, we've successfully animated two layers relatively quickly. Now, let's look at animating these plus layers, I'll start by just animating the large pluses. So, let's open up the parameters for the transform options, under layer seven. Let's start by adding a scale so it looks like they're actually growing towards the camera.

I'm going to move to the end point of this layer by pressing, I on my keyboard. Now, go ahead and click the stopwatch next to scale to add the first keyframe. Go ahead and press O to move to the out point of that layer, and let's increase the scale to value of about 133. Now if we scrub through you can see that, that layer is scaling up over time. Now, I want to add a slight fade in, and fade out to this layer as well. So, lets press I to move back to the beginning of the layer. Since the opacity is set at 56%, what I'm going to do is just add a keyframe for the opacity.

And then click on that keyframe, and drag it down the time line. I'm just going to drag it down to about one second 12 frames, that's a 12 frame fade in. So, now we can just decrease the opacity by clicking and dragging on that value. Now I'm going to draw a lasso around these two keyframes, and copy them, Cmd+C or Ctrl+C. Now, let's move down the timeline, to about 7.07. Now, make sure layer seven is selected, and then press Cmd+ V, or Ctl V to paste those keyframes.

Now, with these two keyframes, let's go ahead and click on the right most keyframe and hold down shift as we drag, and it'll snap to the end of that layer. Now, the only problem is that the fact my first keyframe, is zero opacity, so if we scrub through, we can see my pluses fade in, and then they start to actually fade out. So, I need to reverse these two keyframes. You can reverse these keyframes in time, by going up under the animation menu. Under there, you can see there's a Keyframe Assistant. Then we can choose Time Reverse keyframes, this will automatically flip those two keyframes around.

So, now if I click on my navigation arrow to the right, to move to my next key frame, you can see it's at 56%, and if we scrub down it fades out to zero. So, let's copy these keyframes and paste them, to all the other plus layers. I'll go ahead and just draw a lasso around all of the keyframes, and Cmd+C to copy, and let's press I to move to the start point of that layer. Now we can select layers six through four, by clicking on one and Shift+ clicking on the top one, and that'll select all of them, and then press Cmd+ V to paste.

Let's press the U key to make sure they all pasted, and they did. The important thing to understand when you paste key frames it will paste the left most key frame, directly on the current time indicator, so that the rest of the key frames slide down accordingly. So if you scrub through the timeline, you can see that the plusses are definitely scaling up towards the camera. Now, let's animate the word training. One of the advantages of creating text inside of Photoshop, is the fact that you can actually make it editable inside of After Effects. So, select layer three, and go up under the Layer menu.

In here, I can convert this text to editable text. Now, when I do that, notice the style that was applied to the text has disappeared, that's okay in this instance. So, let's just go ahead and leave the text as editable. Since the text is now editable inside of After Effects, I could just double-click directly on the text, and then you know, change the text to say whatever I want. I'm just going to press Escape because I don't want to change the word, training. Now, I want the word, training and the plus symbol, to move together in unison.

So, what I 'm going to do is select layer three, and press I to move to its endpoint. I want there to be a quick fade on this text, so I'm going to press t to see the opacity settings. Let's move 12 frames down the timeline, and then just add a keyframe for the opacity. And we can for the same thing for layer two. So, let's select layer two, press T to open it opacity and add a keyframe. I'm going to press I to move to beginning, or in point, of the layer. And we can press zero, and press Tab to move between the fields.

Notice when I press Tab it moves between any of the open fields, down the layers in my layer hierarchy. So, now you can see, my text is fading in. Now, in order to have the plus symbol follow what's happening with my training text, what I'm going to do is use this option called parenting. So I'm going to click on the parent pick width, and point it at layer three. Now, I know that that doesn't seem like anything has changed, but if you look here, it's saying the parent of layer two is layer three.

Now if you don't have this parent column active, go to the right side of your timeline, and click on the Flyout button. In here, you can go to columns, and make sure that parent is actually activated. Okay, so now all we have to do is select layer three, and press S, to open it's scale. Now, notice the scale of the text is already set at a very high scale, but the text doesn't look like it's soft. That's because, the text is vector based. So, even though, it's way up over a 100%, it's still perfectly sharp. So what we can do is just go ahead and add a key frame here, by pressing I to move to the end point of the layer, and then just click the stopwatch to add a scale key frame.

Now, since we created text, or made editable text, our text edit panel's opened up here. So, my paragraph panel has snuck in on my timeline. There's this little slider here on the timeline, which adjusts the magnification. I'm going to go and click on the right side of the magnification here, so I can see the entire duration of the timeline. Now, if I press O, my current time indicator will move to the out point of the layer, and then I can just click and drag to increase the scale of the word training, and notice now my plus symbol is moving right along with it.

So we have the word fade in with our plus symbol. So, we have the majority of our animation blocked out. And we can definitely keep tweaking this animation. But I think we've already covered the basics of how to add keyframes to a working composition. Of course you can copy and paste keyframes in between layers, but you want to pay attention to where your current time indicator is when you go to pace those key frames so you know exactly where in the timeline they're going to be pasted. And of course there are extra helpers you can use for your animations, like parenting, to have one layer follow the animation of another layer.

Or if you want to reverse keyframes in the time line, you can select those keyframes and go under the Animation menu. Under the Keyframe assistant, we could reverse those keyframes. So, I know that was a lot, but since you got through it, you've covered a real work flow for adding key frames into a working animation.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .


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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
 
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
 
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