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

Interpolating in the Graph Editor

From: After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

Video: Interpolating in the Graph Editor

Now, let's use the Graph Editor to refine our animation, change the keyframe interpolation and velocity, and get something different happening besides just my normal linear keyframes. I am going to go ahead and drag my rotation value here and go ahead have it finish later like I was doing earlier, and rotate more so it has a larger value range. I'll RAM-preview that. Okay, but the problem here is that that snowflake keeps spinning well after it lands and then stops. Let's say I want to ease into that final position. There is a couple of ways of doing that.

Interpolating in the Graph Editor

Now, let's use the Graph Editor to refine our animation, change the keyframe interpolation and velocity, and get something different happening besides just my normal linear keyframes. I am going to go ahead and drag my rotation value here and go ahead have it finish later like I was doing earlier, and rotate more so it has a larger value range. I'll RAM-preview that. Okay, but the problem here is that that snowflake keeps spinning well after it lands and then stops. Let's say I want to ease into that final position. There is a couple of ways of doing that.

One, as you may remember from an earlier movie, you can select a keyframe, then use the Easy Ease keyframe type. You can ease both directions or just Ease into the keyframe. Once I do that, I get an influence handle that decides how it's going to interpolate into that value. I'll RAM-preview. You see now that the rotation gradually just comes to a halt here at the end of the animation. Easy Ease is just a default value; you're not stuck with it. Let's say I want an even more gradual deceleration. I'll go ahead and grab this handle and elongate it, so that I've got an even longer ease-in of more gradual slow-down.

If I'm having trouble keeping this handle even, I'll have the Shift key while dragging, and again it will be constrained. So let's try that RAM, and let's see what that looks like. That's a much more gentle landing. I kind of like that. That has a nicer feel to it. It really settles in. As I look in my curve though, I do have a little bit of a funny business going on here where it's not rotating as fast, than having to catch up as we go. If I want to confirm that behavior, I'll look at the Speed Graph to see what going on. I can indeed see that the snowflake is initially rotating faster, then slowing down, and that's the thing about editing keyframes: you're balancing time versus range of value.

They have to add up at the end of the day. So I am going to go ahead and drag this Speed Graph to go ahead and be flatter to start to get a much more constant speed, have a fast rotation here in the middle, then land into my final value. I'll RAM-preview. Now I've got a pretty constant speed at the beginning of the animation and settle nicely into the end. I'll switch back to my Auto-Select, so it shows me the value graphs. Now I've got a nice curve going into the rotation of that snowflake.

The other thing I see as wrong in this animation is this real hitch, this discontinuity in the position value for that snowflake. Let's smooth that out. By going back again to an earlier movie in this lesson, I can go ahead and select those keyframes and change them to Auto Bezier. That will automatically smooth the movement. There is a couple of ways of doing that. One is to use the handy Convert Selected keyframes to Auto Bezier button, which I showed you earlier at the bottom of the Graph Editor. But another is just to use the keyboard shortcut of holding down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows and that gives me the Convert Vertex tool.

Click on the keyframe, and now I have an Auto Bezier keyframe through that point in time, which will give me a smoother animation. I'll RAM-preview, and now I don't have quite the hitch in my motion through here. Again, Auto Bezier is just a set of default values on how to smooth this out. I'll go ahead and play with this curve more, because I notice it's curving up here, coming down kind of sharply, coming under, and going back up again. I prefer that the graph be actually less complex and be smoother to give me more elegant motion. So I am going to go ahead and drag these out a little bit to get a more even movement through that keyframe.

Now you see how it's much flatter and smoother through there. Then play with my beginning and ending speeds, so I have a constant ending speed, and maybe I should have the ending speed come all the way down to zero, so that it just softly lands into place. Okay, once I drag this out, I see I need to start playing around with my timing, so I can smooth out my graph and get the sort of smooth animation I like. Getting close. Let's try that. I'll RAM-review.

Now you see the snowflake has a nice smooth constant motion and settles into place. Frankly, I think it's taking little bit too long to settle, so I'll go ahead and select that last keyframe, shorten the influence handle so it doesn't spend as much time decelerating. Pull this down to smooth out the motion. Pull it up, so that I have a hitch here at the beginning, just creates some nice smooth curves. Let's see how that looks, RAM preview. Yeah, I like that better. Settle in and bounce there at the end of the animation.

Now since I already have an easy end that I've added manually to the end of the snowflake, I can go ahead and add an automatic ease to the end of the Scale Animation and if I want the opacity. So I'll stop again, select my ending scale keyframe, and heck, let's Shift+Select the ending opacity as well, and click on the assistant Easy Ease In. See how that smoothes things out. Subtle, but a softer landing still. And I can play around with that timing, and I play around with the eases more if I want to later on. So I have a little hitch here in this curve.

Let's smooth that out even more and play around that a bit, give some more gradual speed change over time. By the way, remember how you used Option or Alt to convert vertex. I can change this back to a linear keyframe by Option+Clicking again, I'll undo, and I can break these handles by Option+Clicking or Alt+Clicking on the handle. They are joined right now. Click again, now they are separated. I'll undo to get back to my smoother animation. Now it's easy to be working on an animation and lose track of where you started. So something I did earlier is I actually duplicated my starting point for this composition and kept it here in the project as a reference.

So if I want to check whether I am actually improving my animation, I can open up the earlier reference, RAM preview it, see what it looks like. That will take a little second to build the screen and preview bar to get the frames cached into RAM. Yeah, the snowflake is not very exciting. It kind of hitches and clunks into place. Let's go back to my edited version. That's more exciting, has a smoother ending. Again, I might play around with the way it eases at the end as well. That gives you an idea of some basic things you can do to refine an animation.

Now, let's work on coordinating how multiple layers animate in relation to each other.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

32 video lessons · 23082 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 03: Advanced 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 preferences from 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.