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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®.
The first Quizzler solution we're going to walk-through is this Ball Bounce+Squish Animation. Now this ball bounce is something you saw in the earlier lesson on separate dimensions. We are animating separately in the X dimension and in the Y dimension, but you'll see we have added an additional element, the Squish. Let's go ahead and look at the solution. I am going to open up the folder Quizzler Solutions and open comp Quiz-Bounce+Squish. And by looking at the Timeline, you'll see that we've got a few additional keyframes. Here's our X Position keyframes. As you might expect, a bit of an Easy Ease in there at the end.
Here's the Y Position keyframes. You're very similar with at this point, that bouncing animation, but we've added some Scale keyframes. We're starting the ball at 25%, but then one frame before the ball hits the ground, we are making a keyframe at 25-25, that when the ball contacts the ground we are squishing the ball. We've turned off the Constrain Proportions switch. We've kept the X dimension, the width of the ball, the same, but we've now reduced the Y dimension down to 15%. That's our squish.
And then over the course of a few frames we are animating back to a keyframe of 25-25 again, back to a normally inflated ball. Since the ball is losing energy from bounce to bounce, we're reducing the size of this keyframes. Again, one frame before, we are at full-size, 25, 25. We go to the squish and now we see we are 25 X, normal width, and now 20% Y, not squished as much in the height at the Y dimension, and then over fewer frames we bounce back to normal size, and then as we approach the final keyframes, there's our full-size, and now we are reduced to just a little bit, then we slowly inflate back to normal size, and I put in the Easy Ease on this as well.
So the ball has a more gradual inflation to it. If you want to see this in the Graph Editor, it looks like this. There's that X and Y animation, you saw from separate dimensions. But I am going to turn them off for now and focus instead on Scale. Here's a simple Scale animation, green being the Y dimension. Squish, return to normal, squish less, return to normal, swish, return to normal. There is one other trick we used, however, to make this squish easier to pull off and that's mutilating the anchor point.
Instead of having the anchor point in the center of the ball, we placed the anchor point at the very bottom of the ball. This way we can squish the ball as much as we wanted and not worry about the ball actually lifting off the floor. Since the anchor point is even with the floor and even with the bottom of the ball, we can edit the Y Scale as much as we want and not worrying about then having to adjust the position to compensate for the amount of squish we had in our animation. So this Quizzler actually used two tricks you learned earlier in this lesson. You might also have notice that in our movie the ball was motion blurred.
I have enabled the Motion Blur switch for this layer. To preview it in the Comp panel, I need to also turn on this larger Enable Motion Blur switch and now we have Motion Blur during our bounces.
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