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Discover how to manipulate time in After Effects. Author Chris Meyer shows how to stop, slow, and speed up footage, and how to combine these techniques with nested compositions, expressions, and the Graph Editor. Along the way, he reveals several important yet somewhat hidden functions, such as the advanced composition setting that ensures predictable stop motion, the Frame Mix and Pixel Motion modes of the Frame Blending switch, and the Time Remap parameter.
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You may remember earlier in this lesson where we used the Preserve Frame Rate option in Composition Settings to preserve a stop-motion feel of one comp nested into another. However, there's a small gotcha that comes with that and a really nice workaround that you might want to use. Now you may remember that we had a pre-comp with our stop motion footage feeding into a final comp we're going to render. Normally in that final composition you will notice that the Frame Blending switch isn't even available for text layers, solids, or nested compositions.
But let's say you indeed wanted that frame-blended look as you went between the stills inside that source footage. The way that you do that is you'd go back to your source composition, make a movie of just a composition, Best Settings, Lossless. That's what I want. And I double-check the Best Settings to make sure it's using this comp's frame rate and set it to be the length of the composition, since I want entire clip, OK. And when we output this we want to re-import this clip back into the project.
I can import it as just any other footage file and then use it as I need to in any other composition, or if I'm certain that I'm done working in this composition, I can use Import & Replace Usage. That will relink the composition chain to use this new rendered footage item instead of this pre-comp. So I'll say Import & Replace Usage, click OK, make sure you actually save the project file somewhere in your drive where you want to, and render. (pinging sound) It's a very quick render.
There is what we call the call the happy-happy, joy-joy sound that After Effects makes when it's done rendering. You can see it's appeared in the Project panel. And you will notice it already says it's used on time. I will see where it's used in; lo and behold, it's used in our Output Rate Comp. Now we have the piece of footage inside of our pre-comp and we get our Frame Blending switch back, and I put this into Frame Mix mode, turn on Frame Blending Preview for this composition, and now you see this echoed image. Let's RAM Preview that.
Now it's done. Rather than having just our stop-motion-photography look, now we have a series of fades between those stills, giving this an even higher production value. So that's another little trick to keep in mind. You cannot frame-blend a nested comp, but you can render nested comps and use the resulting footage in your final comps.
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