Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Editing motion paths

From: After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation

Video: Editing motion paths

Now, I'm going to animate the snowflake along a motion path so it drops into position. If you remember, our title animates from zero to 1 second and 10 frames. I think I'd like the snowflake to fall into position about 10 frames later, so let's cover some tips on moving in time. In the Preview panel, you can advance one frame forward and one frame back. You can also press the Shift key to jump 10 frames forward and 10 frames back. If you have an extended keyboard, I prefer to use the Page Down and Page Up keys to do the same thing.

Editing motion paths

Now, I'm going to animate the snowflake along a motion path so it drops into position. If you remember, our title animates from zero to 1 second and 10 frames. I think I'd like the snowflake to fall into position about 10 frames later, so let's cover some tips on moving in time. In the Preview panel, you can advance one frame forward and one frame back. You can also press the Shift key to jump 10 frames forward and 10 frames back. If you have an extended keyboard, I prefer to use the Page Down and Page Up keys to do the same thing.

Again, I can add the Shift key to jump 10 frames forward and 10 frames back. If you want to go to a precise frame, you can also click in the timecode area and type 1 second and 20 frames to jump to a specific frame. Either way, this will be the point in time where our snowflake ends up in its final resting place. So let's move it into position, and we'll drag the handle, adding the Shift key to scale it. If it was not quite exactly where you want it, remember you can use the cursor keys down and up, left and right to nudge the layer one pixel at a time.

So this would be my final keyframe. I need to turn on the stopwatch for position. A shortcut is to press Option+P on Mac or Alt+P on Windows, and this toggles on the position stopwatch, and also reveals the property in the Timeline. Now we'll press Home to go back to zero. Remember that our title is below the comp at this point. And I'll take my snowflake and drag it up to the right-hand side. You'll see a motion path appearing. I'll position it around here.

As I hit Play, you'll see it's moving into position. I don't need to create the keyframes in the same order that they appear in the Timeline. Now, my motion path by default is using two keyframes, which are called Auto Bezier. Auto Bezier keyframes will have two dots that are just a little bigger than the motion path, and these are representing the handles. As you click on the dot and drag, you can see you can make a curve. Again, there is a dot on this side as well.

If it's little hard to find, just move the snowflake out of the way. When we click on this handle and drag, you'll see a visible handle. This should create a slightly more interesting motion path, and it also drops straighter into position. If you like, go ahead and create a third keyframe, somewhere between the first two, and that will allow you to create an even more complex motion path.

And you can edit that and edit all of the handles till you get a curve that you'd like. As you can see, with three keyframes, I can create a more interesting curve. Let's see what that looks like. There we go. Now, at this point you'll notice that all of the dots look pretty much even. If I wanted to be a little fussier, I'll place the keyframes somewhat in the center. Now in the next lesson, we'll be working with velocity, as well as with the graph editor, so you'll be able to fine- tune your velocity along the curve.

At the end of this lesson, I'd also talk about editing handles and some more keyframe types, but for now, that's close enough for jazz. So I go to RAM Preview and see if there any more changes I'd like to make. Now one change it's very easy to make is to just ease in to the final position. I can select that last keyframe and go under the Animation menu, Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease. Now when I RAM-preview, you'll see that it drops into position a little softer.

If I want, I can do the same thing with the last keyframe to the title. You'll notice that the shortcut for Keyframe Assistant, Easy Ease is F9. If you're on a Mac, you might want to change Expose so it doesn't use the same shortcut. Now when I RAM-preview you'll notice that both layers softly finished their animation. So I'm pretty happy with my animation. It might be a good time now to do an Increment and Save. In the next movie, we'll show you how to add scale and rotation animation to our snowflake.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation
After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation

29 video lessons · 32136 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects Apprentice 02: Basic Animation.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.