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After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating scale, rotation, and opacity


From:

After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Animating scale, rotation, and opacity

At this point, my snowflake is animating into position. I think I'll make it more interesting by also animating scale, rotation, and opacity. I'll select the Snowflake layer, press Shift+S to reveal Scale, Shift+R to add Rotation, and Shift+T for Opacity. Now I'd like these keyframes to synchronize with the last position keyframe. You can do that by adding the Shift key or by using the Keyframe Navigator. Now when I turn on the stopwatches for Scale, Rotation, and Opacity, I know they will be in sync with the Position keyframe.

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After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation
2h 19m Beginner Jan 25, 2011 Updated Nov 09, 2012

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Trish Meyer leads beginners through a gentle introduction to Adobe After Effects: from creating a new project and importing sources, through arranging and animating layers, applying effects, and creating variations, to rendering the final movie. However, this is no paint-by-numbers exercise. Trish demonstrates how she makes creative decisions and saves time through the use of keyboard shortcuts and smart working practices. Additional movies explain further details about how After Effects works under the hood. Her measured pace helps even those completely new to After Effects understand the program so that they can use it effectively on their own projects. Exercise files are included with the course.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Starting a project from scratch
  • Building a composition
  • Arranging and transforming layers interactively and numerically
  • Animating parameters including motion paths
  • Applying and re-using effects
  • Creating variations and rendering the final movie
  • Importing layered Photoshop files
  • Understanding alpha channels
  • Avoiding common mistakes
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Animating scale, rotation, and opacity

At this point, my snowflake is animating into position. I think I'll make it more interesting by also animating scale, rotation, and opacity. I'll select the Snowflake layer, press Shift+S to reveal Scale, Shift+R to add Rotation, and Shift+T for Opacity. Now I'd like these keyframes to synchronize with the last position keyframe. You can do that by adding the Shift key or by using the Keyframe Navigator. Now when I turn on the stopwatches for Scale, Rotation, and Opacity, I know they will be in sync with the Position keyframe.

When you're turning on multiple stopwatches, by the way, you can just drag across them, as opposed to clicking each one individually. I'll press Home to return to zero and decide what Scale value it should have. Let's say I think it needs to be bigger, maybe even 100%. Remember, I don't really want to go above 100%, so let's just type 100%. Since my snowflake will fade up over time, I'll never actually see it quite this big.

For my Rotation value, I have to bear in mind that my second keyframe is at 0 degrees. So if my first keyframe is a positive value, as it animates it will animate counterclockwise. If I want the layer to animate clockwise, this value needs to be a negative value. Feel free to set the Scale and Rotation values to taste.

I'll press Home again and set the Opacity at the beginning to 0%. You'll see the layer will fade up over time, rotate clockwise, and scale down into position. Now, if you remember, I did ease into my last position keyframe. When you're easing one property, you may want to make sure the other transformation properties are also easing. So I'm going to select the Scale keyframe and then Shift+Select the Rotation keyframe. Another handy way to select multiple keyframes is to marquee around them.

So with both keyframes selected, I'll press F9 to apply Easy Ease. I don't need to worry that the Opacity keyframe. Now in the next movie, we'll be adding our foreground videos, so let's save our project, and we'll move on.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation.


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Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2012. What changed?
A: We added new movies on using the exercise files that come with this course, and working with the Global Performance Cache in After Effects CS6. We have also added exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.
 
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