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After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
Illustration by John Hersey

Keyframing a fly-in


From:

After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Keyframing a fly-in

I have already cleaned up my display by selecting Close All, and let's go ahead and open up the Comp 03-3D Animation*starter. You'll note that the 3D layer switch has already been turned on for all of the layers in this composition. I'll type Command+A or Ctrl+A to Select All and then P for Position. And we'll see that there's been some slight separation in Z space, between the text, which is pulled towards us, -10 units in Z, and the slabs, which have been moved push back a little bit, +10 units in Z. And as you now know from the previous chapter, if I change my View to something such as Custom View 3, you can see the slight separation between the layers, particularly if I go to Top View.
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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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After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
4h 49m Intermediate Oct 19, 2011 Updated Dec 06, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This installment of the After Effects Apprentice series introduces 3D space in Adobe After Effects. Authors Chris and Trish Meyer highlight key design considerations for working in 3D and provide step-by-step instructions for enhancing a scene with 3D lights and cameras. The course explores integration between Photoshop and After Effects, including modeling 3D objects with Repoussé extrusions and creating dimensional still images, and offers tips on using the different Axis Modes and maintaining maximum quality in 3D. There's also a chapter dedicated to the ray-traced 3D renderer, introduced in After Effects CS6, which allows you to build 3D layers into your composites, with realistic motion blur, depth of field, and reflections.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.

Topics include:
  • Keyframing motion paths in 3D
  • Managing multiple 3D views
  • Auto-orienting cameras along a path
  • Creating shadows
  • Understanding Vanishing Point Exchange
  • Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended
  • Scaling in 3D
  • OpenGL acceleration
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Keyframing a fly-in

I have already cleaned up my display by selecting Close All, and let's go ahead and open up the Comp 03-3D Animation*starter. You'll note that the 3D layer switch has already been turned on for all of the layers in this composition. I'll type Command+A or Ctrl+A to Select All and then P for Position. And we'll see that there's been some slight separation in Z space, between the text, which is pulled towards us, -10 units in Z, and the slabs, which have been moved push back a little bit, +10 units in Z. And as you now know from the previous chapter, if I change my View to something such as Custom View 3, you can see the slight separation between the layers, particularly if I go to Top View.

Here my text layer is in front and there is my slab layers behind. I'll go back to Active Camera for now. Let's say I want to animate these two text layers slamming down into this final resting position. Now, whenever you already have your layers arranged the way that you want, a great time saving tip is to go to the point in time where you want them to be in that position, such as maybe 1 second, and enable keyframing for them at that time. You can click at the Position stopwatch to turn it on, or if you're really into keyboard shortcuts, if you hold down Option on Mac or Alt on Windows and press P for Position, that will also enable keyframing.

And if you had Position hidden, it would also reveal the Position parameter in your Timeline panel. So there is my at rest position. Now let's go back to the start, press Home just to go there automatically, and decide where we want these layers to start from. I'll start with this Under layer, let's say I want it to fly in from this upper left corner. Drag it up in this Position. When I drag in this manner, I am only moving in the X, Y axis, and if you look at the Timeline panel values, you can see those are the only ones changing. Since I want this to just slam down rather than slide in sideways, I also need to pull it towards me in Z space.

I'm going to pull this layer down a little bit so I can see it, pull it forward, or if you find this all to be very fussy, remember you can always just scrub values in the Timeline panel. So let's start say there. I drag my Current Time Indicator, and that's my beginning animation. Now, rather then just go down straight, let's say that I want to have a nice little arc to it, so it seems to have a little bit of a flight path to it as it comes down. Well, just as with 2D layers, you have handles for your Bezier Motion Paths, they are these slightly larger dots.

If you're having trouble seeing these animation paths, by the way, the layer Label Color also affects the color of the Motion Path and these dots that show you where it is at each frame. I might change this layer to something like None, which means white. It now gives me a little bit more contrast to see what's going on. Select a keyframe, and I will see now the Auto Bezier handle coming out for that keyframe. I can either click that handle and drag it out. Or if I'm having trouble seeing the dot, remember you can hold Command+Option on Mac or Ctrl+Alt on Windows, get this Change Direction tool, click on the Position keyframe, then start dragging, and you'll get your handle that way.

So now, here is my fly down from near me in space arching into Position. And I might pull this a little bit further forward so it flies in from above me in the frame. And I think this arc was a bit exaggerated, so I'm going to pull that down, drag the Time Indicator. All right, That's the beginning of my animation. Let's just do the other thing with Pressure very quickly as well. I have already enabled Position keyframe support. I'll drag it down here for starters.

I'll change its Label Color to None or white, so I can see the path much more easily. I can drag it towards me in space, or I can scrub its value. Now that it's gone below me where I can't see it anymore, it's kind of hard to grab. That's no problem, I can just go ahead and scrub its Y value up to where I can see it again, and then drag out its handles to also move it. And again, if you have trouble seeing layers that are off the pasteboard, you can go ahead and resize your Comp panel, or press the spacebar to temporarily get the Hand tool and move the entire view around.

There is my other keyframe. Now, I'll pull in that direction, Shift+/ will re-center your display and maximize its scale. So now I've got my two layers coming down into Position, and then I'll move a little bit later in time, press N to add my Work Area, and press 0 on the numeric keypad for RAM Preview. All right, that's an okay animation. It's frankly not as exciting as I was thinking it was going to be.

And just like you would benefit from having additional perspectives to see how your layers are arranged, having these perspectives will also help you see what's really going on in your Motion Path, and it may not be completely what you expect. So in the next movie, we're going to use these alternate views to help us refine our 3D Motion Paths.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space.


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Q: This course was updated on 12/06/2012. What changed?
A: This was a more extensive update than the other After Effects Apprentice courses. We added three new movies to Chapter 4 that cover 3D camera features in versions CS5.5 and later, such as depth of field blur. We added a new chapter on the 3D ray-traced renderer in CS6, and another chapter featuring a Quizzler challenge for CS6. Lastly, we added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files, and added new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6.
 
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