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Keyframe types

From: 2D Character Animation with After Effects

Video: Keyframe types

We're now going to have a look at Keyframe Types. Now, we're in the Keyframe Types project, which you can find in the Animating Layers folder. Here, we have a very basic animation, which I'm just going to preview by hitting the Ram Preview button, or hitting 0 on the number pad, to activate a Ram Preview. And you'll see this little guy's moving his arm backwards and forwards, hammering a nail on the wall. Now, we've done a little bit of timing on that. We've made the time where he draws the hammer back a bit longer.

Keyframe types

We're now going to have a look at Keyframe Types. Now, we're in the Keyframe Types project, which you can find in the Animating Layers folder. Here, we have a very basic animation, which I'm just going to preview by hitting the Ram Preview button, or hitting 0 on the number pad, to activate a Ram Preview. And you'll see this little guy's moving his arm backwards and forwards, hammering a nail on the wall. Now, we've done a little bit of timing on that. We've made the time where he draws the hammer back a bit longer.

From the time where he pulls the hammer forward, and I can adjust the timing a little bit by dragging the keyframes together. So, if the keyframes are selected, like the bar there, you basically just click away from them to deselect them, and then click on the keyframes and pull it closer to the other keyframe. That reduces the gap and makes that section a little faster. So, if we preview that, you'll see that now the action of hitting the nail on the head is now a bit faster.

But in After Effects, there are other keyframe types which help you adjust the timing a little bit. At the moment, we're using linear keyframes, as I said. But speed between one keyframe and the next will be completely even. But what we can do is we can use different kinds of keyframes so that the speed builds gradually between one keyframe and another. And that way we create a more fluid movement. As I said, there are various different types of keyframes. So, I'm going to run through some of them for you. So, these are linear keyframes, which animate gradually from one point to another.

You can also use what are called Toggle held keyframes, which will hold on one value until it meets the next keyframe. So, if I right-click on this keyframe, I can choose Toggle Hold Keyframe from that menu, and now the keyframe changes to have a square edge, which means it's held in value. So if I preview that now, you'll notice that, this time by using Space Bar, that the value, if we have a look at that again, the value holds until it meets the second keyframe. In fact, it's so quick we can hardly see it.

So, I'm going to step through my animation one frame at a time by hitting the Page Down key repeatedly. Now, you'll see it only changes when it hits that keyframe. So, if you ever want a value to suddenly change from one thing to another, you can use a Toggle Held Keyframe. Now, if I make that linear again, which I can do by holding down the Cmd key and clicking on it, you'll see that now, again, it gradually changes from one value to the other. So, you've got linear and held keyframes, so those are two keyframe types. Now, a third keyframe type is called Continuous Bezier, and this might not be that easy to see the difference between this and a regular keyframe, but let's have a go at it.

So, I'm going to hit Ran Preview again by hitting 0 on the number pad. We have a look at the timing. Looks pretty rigid. Now, if I select all the keyframes either by dragging a marquee around them or by clicking on the word rotation, what I can do is hold down the Cmd key on the Mac, or the Ctrl key on the PC and click on one of them. And they will all change to circular keyframes, and this circular keyframes are Continuous Bezier keyframes. And if I preview that by hitting 0 on the number pad, you'll see we get a slightly smoother movement.

Okay, it's just a little bit smoother where it changes from one speed to another. Okay, now, if you really want to adjust the speed the other keyframe types that you can use, and I've just undone that. So I just did Cmd > Z or Ctrl > Z on the PC to undo so I am back to linear keyframes. Now, the third keyframe type we are going to use are eased keyframes, and eased keyframes allow you to gradually accelerate or deaccelerate the speed in between the keyframes, and there are three different kinds.

So, we're just going to move the time marker out of the way for a second. Deselect the keyframes, and I want you to right-click on the first keyframe and go down to the Keyframe Assistant menu and choose Easy Ease Out. What that's going to do is it's gradually going to build speed coming out of the keyframe, and then stop at the next keyframe. Now, at this keyframe, what we're going to do is say Easy Ease Completely. Now, Easy Ease will ease on both sides. Now, if you have a look at the first keyframe, notice it's still linear on the way in but it's eased on the way out.

The middle keyframe is eased on both sides, and that's why it's curved on each side. Now, I'm not going to ease the last keyframe because I want the animation to be quite sharp and fast at the end. So, let's just preview that and see how the eased keyframes have helped the timing of my animation. So, I'm just going to hit 0 on the number pad again to preview that. And you'll see we get a slightly slower pull back and a nice fast hammer.

And again, if we want to make that even faster, we can just pull that last keyframe in a little bit tighter, preview it again, and you'll see we're starting to get the timing right for the hammer.

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2D Character Animation with After Effects

27 video lessons · 2779 viewers

Angie Taylor
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