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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Quizzler challenges


From:

After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Quizzler challenges

One of the most valuable skills you can learn as a motion graphic artist is the ability to watch somebody else's animation and figure out how it was done. Figure out how you would re- create it in After Effects. In that vein, we have three movies we'd like you to look at and try to figure out and recreate yourself. If you have the project files that came with this lesson, you've got access to these inside the Quizzler Movies folder. First, I am going to open up Quizzler Bounce+Squish. It is very similar to the bouncing ball you saw earlier in the Separate Dimensions movie, but you'll notice at the bottom of the bounces something different is going on.

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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
3h 1m Beginner Jan 26, 2011 Updated Nov 12, 2012

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In this course, Chris Meyer helps beginning After Effects artists take their animations to the next level. Chris shows how to refine animations to create elegant, coordinated movements with the minimum number of keyframes—as well as slam-downs, whip pans, and other attention-getters. Additional movies show how to reverse-engineer existing animations, create variations on a theme, and master other parts of the program. Even though this course is designed for beginners, even veterans should learn tricks that many experienced users are unaware of. Chris' friendly running commentary lets you in on his mental process as he works on an animation. Exercise files are included with the course.

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 Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how keyframes work under the hood
  • Controlling the Anchor Point to create more predictable animations
  • Mastering the Graph Editor for the ultimate control over keyframes
  • Animating parameters including motion paths
  • Hand-drawing motion paths to simplify complex movements
  • Applying and tweaking Motion Blur
  • Using Hold keyframes
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Quizzler challenges

One of the most valuable skills you can learn as a motion graphic artist is the ability to watch somebody else's animation and figure out how it was done. Figure out how you would re- create it in After Effects. In that vein, we have three movies we'd like you to look at and try to figure out and recreate yourself. If you have the project files that came with this lesson, you've got access to these inside the Quizzler Movies folder. First, I am going to open up Quizzler Bounce+Squish. It is very similar to the bouncing ball you saw earlier in the Separate Dimensions movie, but you'll notice at the bottom of the bounces something different is going on.

The ball is actually compressing or squishing as it hits. Squishing, by the way, is a really important skill for all sorts of character style or just even cartoon style animations. Let's scrub though this and see what's going on. As we come close here, we're actually compressing the ball and then going back to the normal dimension during the bounce and then when we hit again, compressing the ball again, and then returning back to our normal size. How would you do that? Think about that for a moment. Let's go look at the second movie, Quizzler Butterfly Orbit.

You learned a lot about Motion Path in both the Basic Animation lesson and in this Advanced Animation lesson. Well, watch this butterfly as it goes in a perfectly round-circular-orbital motion path. How would you create a perfect circle for a motion path? It's another one to think on for a moment. Okay. And third Quizzler Overshoot. We played earlier with this flower illustration and making it grow, but how would you create this animation, where it grows and rotates but overshoots the mark and then snaps back into final resting position? What's the minimum number of keyframes you could use to recreate this animation? It's another good challenge for you.

The answers to all of these Quizzler challenges are based on extending techniques you've learned already in this lesson. So with that in mind, try to solve these and when you're done, come back and look at these solutions to see if you got it right.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation.


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Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2012. What changed?
A: We have updated the movie dealing with Time Display to be applicable to working with different versions of After Effects (from CS4 to CS6). We also added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files, including the new exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.
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