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Building animation

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Building animation

When it comes to creating animation it's all about time, Now notice this second key frame was automatically added.

Building animation

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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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 55627 viewers

Ian Robinson

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  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 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. 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. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. 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. 29m 3s
    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
  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
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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