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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Blinking with Hold keyframes


From:

After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Blinking with Hold keyframes

I mentioned I wanted to make this blink as well. I can blink either the frame or the text. I think I'll continue with the text since I have already been working with it. Blinking is opacity, so I am going to hold down Shift and press T to a reveal Opacity. Enable 100% for my initial opacity and I will keep that value for all of the time before the first keyframe. And the nice thing about interpolation in After Effects is once you have set an interpolation once, it will remember that interpolation for all subsequent keyframes you create later in time. So I am going to revert this one right now into a hold keyframe. See this squared-off end.

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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
3h 1m Beginner Jan 26, 2011 Updated Nov 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Chris Meyer helps beginning After Effects artists take their animations to the next level. Chris shows how to refine animations to create elegant, coordinated movements with the minimum number of keyframes—as well as slam-downs, whip pans, and other attention-getters. Additional movies show how to reverse-engineer existing animations, create variations on a theme, and master other parts of the program. Even though this course is designed for beginners, even veterans should learn tricks that many experienced users are unaware of. Chris' friendly running commentary lets you in on his mental process as he works on an animation. 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:
  • Understanding how keyframes work under the hood
  • Controlling the Anchor Point to create more predictable animations
  • Mastering the Graph Editor for the ultimate control over keyframes
  • Animating parameters including motion paths
  • Hand-drawing motion paths to simplify complex movements
  • Applying and tweaking Motion Blur
  • Using Hold keyframes
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Blinking with Hold keyframes

I mentioned I wanted to make this blink as well. I can blink either the frame or the text. I think I'll continue with the text since I have already been working with it. Blinking is opacity, so I am going to hold down Shift and press T to a reveal Opacity. Enable 100% for my initial opacity and I will keep that value for all of the time before the first keyframe. And the nice thing about interpolation in After Effects is once you have set an interpolation once, it will remember that interpolation for all subsequent keyframes you create later in time. So I am going to revert this one right now into a hold keyframe. See this squared-off end.

Let's say I want to blink every 10 frames. Shift+Page Down to move forward 10 frames, set that Opacity to zero. Now I am off. Shift+Page Down 10 more frames. I could keep typing in numbers or I could be intelligently lazy. I'll click Opacity to select those two keyframes, Command+C or Ctrl+C to copy them, Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste them. When you paste keyframes the first one will start at the current time, then keep the same spacing afterward.

So there's my paste. There is those two guys copied and I'm going to 10 frames later here, copy all these guys again, Command+C, Command+ V, and there is now all my keyframes repeated in the same pattern. RAM Preview and there is my slamdown animation and blinking at the end. That's what I was trying to do. Hold keyframes are a really good trick and you know there's a lot of After Effects artists who don't even know that they're in the program, even though they have been in there practically since day one. It's a nice little trick when you're trying to create jerky rather than smooth and elegant animations.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation.


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Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2012. What changed?
A: We have updated the movie dealing with Time Display to be applicable to working with different versions of After Effects (from CS4 to CS6). We also added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files, including the new exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.
 
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