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When it comes to creating animation it's all about time, in After Effects you can create animation with key frames. Key frames record the settings for a parameter at that specific point in time. Notice I didn't say frame. Since an After Effects comp can support multiple frame rates, each key frame is set to a key point in time regardless of the frame rate of that composition. To show you what I mean we're going to animate the appearance of this H Plus Sport logo over top of our background video.
So in order to see how to add key frames we need to open up the triangle here on the left side of layer one. That'll give you my Transform options. If you don't see the Transform options just open up the triangle next to Transform. Any parameter that has a stopwatch next to it is something that you can key frame. So, since I want to key frame the appearance of this logo, what we'll do is have it slide into place. So, we'll start with it off screen, and then have it slide in to where it exists currently.
Now, the easiest way to do this, is to animate in reverse. So what I need to do is move my current time indicator down the time line to where I'd like the logo to resolve in it's current position, so let's move it down to one second in the time line. We'll add a key frame next to Position. So go ahead and just click the Stopwatch next to Position. You know you've added a key frame because you'll see this gold dime over here in the time line. Directly underneath of your current time indicator. Also, you'll notice on the left side of the timeline, we have a golden diamond as well.
That's letting you know that the current time indicator, is exactly on top of that specific key frame. Now let's move our current time indicator back to the beginning of the composition. And now I'm going to go ahead and just click on the logo and drag it back to the left. Notice as I start to drag, I get this line with dots on it. This line represents the animation that I've now started to create between the two keyframes. The dots are letting me know the velocity that my object is going to move between these two keyframes.
So the further the dots are apart. The faster that object is going to move. Now let's drag it off to the left side of the comp and then if you hold down Shift as you drag it will make sure that it snaps along that X axis. Just make sure it moves off the edge of the page. Now notice this second key frame was automatically added. Each time you add a key frame to an individual parameter. After Effects will automatically add additional key frames to that parameter, since you already set one key frame. Now to navigate between the key frames, go to the left side of the time line.
See we have navigation arrows. So I can go ahead and click on the right arrow to move to the right most key frame and the left arrow to move to the left most key frame. Now in order to preview the animation we need to go over to our Preview panel and load up a RAM preview. Notice the green progress line in the timeline will load up and then once we have a number of frames loaded in, all you have to do is press the spacebar and it will just load up a preview of the frames that you have already loaded in your RAM preview. So, as you can see, we successfully animated the appearance of this logo.
Now what if I want this logo to fade out? Well, let me press the spacebar to stop playback. And just move my current time indicator to about three seconds in the timeline. Right here we'll have the logo fade out. So under the Opacity Setting, I'll just go ahead and click the Stopwatch. Now we can move further down the timeline and then we can change the Opacity parameter to add the second key frame. So I'm just going to go and click and drag on that parameter. Now I've created a second key frame. So if we scrub through the timeline, which is how I like to preview animations.
You can see that my animation. Has been applied, and my fade out has been applied. Now, just as a general rule of thumb for basic housekeeping, if I have a layer that is at zero opacity, I don't necessarily need to see it continually here in the timeline. So, what I am going to do is just click on the right side of that layer. And drag it back towards the left. Now just like we held Shift when we were moving that object off of the canvas, you can hold down Shift. And that layer will kind of snap to the current time indicator.
So what I'm going to do is actually use my navigation arrow here. Next to my Opacity key frames and move back to the last key frame, and then here go back to the right side of that layer and hold down Shift as you drag and it'll snap to end right at that second key frame. So now we know the layer only exists when there's animation or when it's visible. This will also help you keep track of things when you have multiple layers in your composition. But as you can see when you add key frames in After Effects, you're not only recording in objects specific setting at that point of time, but you're also giving yourself the ability to navigate between the key frames.
If you ever decide that you need to change the key frames or move them around. You can click directly on the key frames, for example, if I want this move to happen more quickly, I'm going to click on my second key frame here and just drag it back towards the left. As in drag it to the left I want you to look in the upper right corner of the interface of the input panel. Notice here is showing me exactly what frame I'm moving my key frame to. Let's move it to frame ten. Now this will be a very quick slide in. If we load up another ran preview and press the spacebar you'll see it slides in very quickly and then we have a slow fade out.
Go ahead and press the spacebar to stop play back. So, as you can see, inside of After Effects, when it comes to adding key frames, if you can see a stopwatch, you can create a key frame. Not only are you recording that parameter at that specific point in time, but you're also allowing After Effects to automatically create key frames any time you move your time indicator to a separate point in time. And then adjust that same parameter that you've already key framed. After Effects will only add key frames to parameters that have existing key frames unless you turn on auto key framing, but that's something for a future movie.
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