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In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this movie, we are going to explore and animate rotation, but we are also going to do something we haven't done so far, and that is we are going to animate two properties on the same layer. The good news is that they are completely independent, and they should not be confusing, hopefully. So, let's go ahead and select the Sun layer. And I know I can hit the letter R to reveal the Rotation Property, but let's say you wanted to look at Position and Rotation of the same layer. Well, what I could do is instead of pressing R, which will actually replace Position and will only show Rotation - go back to hit P to hit Position again - I could hit Shift+R, and that will reveal both the Position and the Rotation properties.
Now, actually, I don't need Rotation and Position open at the same time. I just need Rotation, so I am going to hit either R or P to get rid of those properties visually. And I will hit R to get that back. Now, here is the way Rotation works. We have two values here. We have a 0, another 0, and what this is saying, if I click on the right one and move to the right, we have the number of degrees. So, we basically added a 49-degree rotation here. And when it's a positive value, it's rotating clockwise.
And when we go to the left, and it goes to a negative value, we are rotating this counterclockwise, in other words, to the left. And it might be a little confusing on your own if you start playing around here, because this first number, it's a 0. And as we move this, it doesn't seem to be changing anything. Well, this is a property only used for animation. And this refers to how many complete revolutions the object will do. So, if were animating this, and let's say I said 2 15, then this will go a full two revolutions plus an extra 15 degrees.
And so that's what this is telling us here. I am actually going to zero out both of these values, 0, 0. And what I want for the sun is I want it to be rotating slowly but constantly throughout. So, as it rises, it is spinning, and even at the end of the animation after it's popped up, it's still continuing a slow gentle spin. So, what we can do is start at this first frame, click the stopwatch for Rotation, and then we will move in time to the end of the animation, and let's maybe add a Rotation or two.
I will just say two Rotations. So, two complete revolutions over the course of our four-second animation. So, as I drag this, you can see that it's spinning, and because Position is animated, it continues to spin as it moves. So, you can see, they are completely independent properties. We can rotate stuff as we move it, move stuff as we rotate it. It really doesn't matter. Now, as I am looking at this and just scrubbing it, I am starting to think that it might be a little bit too fast. Yeah. That's way too fast, actually.
Let's go ahead and go to that last keyframe. Drag your Current Time Indicator back to the end of your composition, and then we will take this value from 2 to 1, and see if that helps anything. I will go to the beginning, hit the Spacebar, and it's still way, way too fast. So, what I am going to do is take this value to 0, making sure, again, that I am on the last frame of the composition. It's important that you are on that last frame of that composition or wherever that keyframe was, because if you are not on that exact frame, you will not change that keyframe.
You will create a new one. And that is a good way to get really terrible, terrible animation mistakes. So, you want to make sure that when you want to adjust a keyframe value, you are on that exact frame, and this little diamond right here is the indicator that you are currently on a frame with a keyframe for that property. So, now what I am going to do is, let's maybe take this even lower here, maybe somewhere around 90, between 80 and 95 degrees, something like that, and now let's play with it. It looks like it might be a little bit too slow.
No, actually, I kind of like that now that I am looking at it. That's kind of nice. It's kind of nice. Now, you may find that to be a little bit too slow. You may find it to be a little bit too fast. I actually think it's a little bit too fast. I am looking at it again. But we can fiddle with it outside of this movie, but just customize everything, the fading in of the text, the animation up of the hills, and the sun, and the rotation of the sun according to your liking. Not be too esoteric and creepy and weird, but how does this project speak to you? How do you feel that things would move? What would be the speed and the pace? So, that is what you need to know about Rotation, and now onto our final animation property, Scale.
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