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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.
So, now that we got the layers where we want them, it is time to add some animation. Now if you scrub the Current Time Indicator - also abbreviated as the CTI - you'll see that I've already animated some of these elements for you, but I'm going to show you how to do all these things throughout this training series. But for now, we're going to animate this little flower here. Now in the professional world, most of the time when you animate, you're going to animate things manually. But After Effects has another way that you can animate things by using something called an Animation Preset.
In most professional projects in After Effects, you really wanted to just sink your teeth in and get a really detailed, perfected animation, a real great final product. But a lot of times, you might be doing some kind of spec work where you just kind of want to get a general idea. Animation Presets, even after you've mastered After Effects, are great for that. So, here is what we're going to do. Let's go over to the Effects & Presets panel. If it's not showing, you go to the Window menu at the top and choose Effects & Presets. We're going to go to the Animation Presets area at the top of the Effects & Presets panel, which you can get to by scrolling up here.
And let's go ahead and open that up. By the way, if Animation Presets are not showing, you can go the Effects & Presets menu over here to the right, click that and choose Show Animation Presets. Now underneath Animation Presets, you'll see a folder called Behaviors. Open that bad boy up, and you can see all these cool behaviors that we can add to our animation. Now I love these things like Wiggle - gelatin, for example, or Scale Bounce - random, would take some time to set up, even if you knew exactly what you were doing.
So, again, what we can do here to save ourselves some time is to Rotate Over Time. Drag this down to the flower petals layer and once it's highlighted like this, then let go. Then as indicated by the name of the Animation Preset, as we scrub this in time, these flower petals will rotate over time. Now, if we back up with our Current Time Indicator, we'll see that when the black fades away, the flower is already there kind of waiting.
I'm not sure I like that so much. So, I kind of want it to fade in as well. So, let's scroll up here, and let's choose Fade In+Out - frames. Go ahead and click and hold your mouse down again. Drag and drop the Animation Preset onto flower petals. So, we can combine multiple Animation Presets. No big deal. Then as we see, this will fade in. Now you might look at this and say, "Well, it fades in, but maybe it fades in a little bit too early." If you don't like that, which now that I'm looking at I kind of don't like it that much, I'm going to just click and drag the layer to the right.
That will make the fade-in happen a little bit later. After the black goes away, then we'll see the background, and then slowly the flower petals will fade in. I kind of like that better. Thus, we see that Animation Presets can save us tons of time. It's great for new users, but even when you're done with this training series and you really know what you're doing in After Effects, don't forget Animation Presets. A lot of pro users just kind of neglect these, because they are seeing this kind of like this amateurish thing, that they are above, but they can save you tons of time, even if you know what you're doing.
Next, we're going to get into the exciting world of effects.
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