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Keyframing in 3D

From: After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

Video: Keyframing in 3D

Next, let's just keyframe a really simple animation of these two layers, just so you can get a feel for what's the same and what's a little bit different about handling 3D layers in After Effects. First I'm going to go ahead and start these off in the same distance away from me, the same Z dimension. By the way, when two layers have the same Z dimension, then sorting order in the Timeline panel does matter as to who appears in front of whom. And I'm going to put Enter a New just slightly above Dimension, as we had before, maybe a little bit of on overlap, just like that.

Keyframing in 3D

Next, let's just keyframe a really simple animation of these two layers, just so you can get a feel for what's the same and what's a little bit different about handling 3D layers in After Effects. First I'm going to go ahead and start these off in the same distance away from me, the same Z dimension. By the way, when two layers have the same Z dimension, then sorting order in the Timeline panel does matter as to who appears in front of whom. And I'm going to put Enter a New just slightly above Dimension, as we had before, maybe a little bit of on overlap, just like that.

We're going to animate both Position and Rotation of these layers. I'm pretty close to my ending pose, so I'm going to go later in time, like somewhere around say 3 seconds and just set up a bit of a Rotation for these layers. Now, remember, don't animate Orientation, animate Rotation. And I'll go ahead and give myself a little Rotation, perhaps like this. Then let's enter the same Rotation in the opposite direction for my other layer. Go to +50 there. Now, since you have three different Rotation parameters for each layer to worry about, it's important to remember to enable keyframing for the right property, for the layer you actually intend to animate, such as Y Rotation.

I'm going to make sure that I enable keyframing for that. And since I mentioned that I also want to animate the Position, I'll enable keyframing for the Position values for both layers at this at rest time and Position. Okay, I'm going to press Home to return to Time 0 in my composition and let's animate a bit of a move. I want this Enter a New layer to rotate, maybe starting from around say there. I'll type in 70, just because I happen to like even numbers, and we'll have the other layer rotate from the opposite direction, -70. Next, let's edit the Position.

Let's have Enter a New fly down from close to us and Dimension fly towards us from further away. So we're scrubbing the Position value for Enter a New. Now, again, notice as I bring the layer closer to me, it gets larger. You can also animate the Scale for 3D layers, but just keep in mind, their perspective related to how close or how far away will also automatically scale these layers as well. Let's have fun and start it from maybe around here, which is -900, and again, have the other layer do the opposite animation. Start from +900.

You notice as the layers get close to you, they scale very quickly. As layers go further away from you, the change doesn't happen nearly as fast. Again, that's just natural perspective you'd expect in the real world. I'm going to End my Work Area a little bit earlier here, maybe just 10 frames after my keyframes, then press 0 on numeric keypad and RAM Preview. And there's my very simple animation, flying down and coming towards me. Maybe I want to make some tweaks to that, so just have the fly down in position happen much sooner.

Do this for both of these layers. I'm pressing Shift to snap the keyframe in my Current Time Indicator, and I'm going to select them and change them into Easy Ease keyframes so that the layers align more softly. Preview, and then the rotation continues on after they land. 3D layers, by the way, react very well to Motion Blur. You might notice I've already enabled Motion Blur for the composition. But once again, I need to also enable it for the layers I want to be blurred.

I'll move it somewhere earlier in time where the layers are really moving fast. I have both layers selected, so I just enable for one and both layers will get Motion Blur. And After Effects actually does calculate a very nice Blur in 3D, that takes into account the Position, Scale, and Rotation layers as they move. Preview again. It takes a little bit longer to calculate, particularly as these layers get very close to me. But there's our animation. So as you see, very basic keyframing in 3D isn't much different than keyframing 2D layers.

A couple of other things I want to note before we go on. These text layers continuously rasterize, so they stay nice and sharp, particularly when Motion Blur is off. So we don't need to worry about starting off with really large text layers to look good in 3D. However, as you have pixel-based layers, like video or photographs, the closer they come to the camera, the more they're going to be scaled up, and the more important it is that you have a lot of pixels and a lot of resolution to start with. And I'll talk a little bit about scaling in 3D in a sidebar at the very end of this lesson.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

54 video lessons · 14206 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      2m 47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Comparing 2D and 3D
      5m 30s
    2. Rotation in 3D
      4m 47s
    3. Keyframing in 3D
      4m 55s
  3. 15m 9s
    1. Multi-planing workaround in 2D
      3m 21s
    2. Using 3D views
      6m 45s
    3. Natural multi-planing in 3D
      5m 3s
  4. 13m 9s
    1. Keyframing a fly-in
      5m 24s
    2. Editing 3D motion paths
      5m 43s
    3. Auto-orienting a layer along its path
      2m 2s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Adding a camera to a composition
      9m 0s
    2. Comparing camera presets
      2m 48s
    3. Using the camera tools with the active camera
      4m 48s
    4. Using the camera tools in the alternate views
      4m 50s
    5. 3D view options
      1m 58s
    6. Animating a 3D camera
      6m 20s
    7. Creating an orbit camera rig
      5m 42s
    8. Extending your camera rig
      4m 31s
    9. Auto-orientation with 3D cameras
      7m 33s
    10. Depth of field blur in CS5.5 and later
      5m 47s
    11. Controlling the focal plane in CS5.5 and later
      5m 12s
    12. Iris properties in CS5.5 and later
      6m 16s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Creating a 3D light
      6m 35s
    2. Working with Point lights
      3m 20s
    3. Working with Spot lights
      3m 48s
    4. Creating shadows
      10m 13s
    5. The Light Falloff feature in After Effects CS5.5 and later
      5m 19s
  7. 48m 6s
    1. Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6
      3m 26s
    2. Extrusions in CS6
      3m 39s
    3. Bevels in CS6
      5m 39s
    4. Bending layers in CS6
      5m 35s
    5. Transparency in CS6
      4m 20s
    6. Refraction in CS6
      4m 6s
    7. Targeting Surfaces in CS6
      3m 23s
    8. Reflections in CS6
      7m 35s
    9. Environment layers in CS6
      5m 40s
    10. Quality vs. speed in CS6
      4m 43s
  8. 11m 33s
    1. Quizzler challenge for CS6
      1m 42s
    2. Quizzler solution for CS6
      9m 51s
  9. 41m 6s
    1. Vanishing Point Exchange in Photoshop Extended
      9m 18s
    2. Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects
      4m 38s
    3. Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 7s
    4. Creating 3D objects using Repoussé in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 46s
    5. Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier
      8m 17s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Introduction to dimensional stills
      3m 41s
    2. Cutting up the source image
      2m 25s
    3. Repairing the layers in Photoshop
      8m 26s
    4. Animating the resulting layers in After Effects
      6m 26s
  11. 25m 27s
    1. Rotation vs. orientation
      3m 15s
    2. Understanding the axis modes
      4m 4s
    3. Scaling issues in 3D
      4m 57s
    4. OpenGL acceleration in CS5 and earlier
      6m 23s
    5. Fast previews in CS6 and later
      6m 48s

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