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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
Illustration by John Hersey
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Quizzler solution three: Overshoot animations


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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Quizzler solution three: Overshoot animations

The last Quizzler puzzle we're going to unravel is how do you create this overshooting animation with the minimal number of keyframes, and it's really quite a useful trick. Now the obvious way to solve this problem is to use three keyframes: have a starting keyframe here for both Scale and Rotation, come out to the end of my overshoot, put another keyframe there for this Rotation and this Scale, and then add a third keyframe here at my rest position.

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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 solution three: Overshoot animations

The last Quizzler puzzle we're going to unravel is how do you create this overshooting animation with the minimal number of keyframes, and it's really quite a useful trick. Now the obvious way to solve this problem is to use three keyframes: have a starting keyframe here for both Scale and Rotation, come out to the end of my overshoot, put another keyframe there for this Rotation and this Scale, and then add a third keyframe here at my rest position.

However, you can do this in two keyframes instead of three. I'll open up Comp Quiz - Overshoot Comp. I saved this with the Graph Editor open and you see what I've created are two keyframe paths where the handle actually is pulled upward to create an overshooting animation. A typical Ease In animation comes in flat and horizontal along this line. I'll press the Shift key to constrain that. Now I'll do the same for Rotation here. This is your classic ease in to your final position animation and I'll RAM Preview.

But if you want to overshoot that final position, you can pull the handle above the horizontal line. This will cause the graph to now actually go above the at-rest position then come back down into at-rest. I'll do the same with Rotation here, preview, and now you'll see our overshoot and snap back animation. You can do a lot of fun things with the shapes of these curves inside of the Graph Editor. I could go to the other extreme. If I pull this handles below the line, maybe even something like this, instead of easing into my final pose, instead I will rush up to my final poss.

I'll preview and you see how it slams into that position. So it's another fun animation which is easy to create in the Graph Editor, but what you can't really do if you're not in here. You need control of these handles to create unusual animations such as this. Let's do one more trick. Now honestly, this little overshoot and slam, it's not my favorite look. It's kind of unsettling to see this snap back and sudden stop in position. It's visually interesting, but maybe not what a real plant would do, as if this was a real plant.

So let's try variation on this move. Rather than editing the last keyframe in an unusual way, let's go and make a simple Ease In here on these, instead let's edit the first keyframe in an unusual way. Now the default is a linear keyframe, which means no handles. That's no problem. I'll hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, get my Convert Vertex tool and drag myself out of handle. I'm going to do the same thing for my Rotation value. Now that I have handles, I can play around with what they do.

If I want to create an overshoot animation, I need to pull this handle upward and pull it to some considerable length to create my overshoot. See that's a very similar curve as I had before, but now I've got my incoming handle to my last keyframe to smooth out this final approach. So you can see what's going on here. I'm going to go ahead and hit plus a few times and move a little bit later in time, so you can see what's happening with this final keyframe. There we go.

Overshooting, there is a handle for it, then coming back into position. I'm going to zoom back out again and do the same thing with Rotation. Get its handle, drag it really long so I overshoot my final value then use my second keyframe's handle, Shift key to make it horizontal, and ease into that final value. Now let's look at this animation. Now the flower still overshoots its mark, but rather than slamming back in its final position, it more softly settles in to the position.

Now I can change how softly it settles by playing around the links of these handles. Now I know the Graph Editor is daunting and it's not necessarily intuitive for an artistic type, but I hope you can see now how useful it is to master it, because you can create these subtle or complex animations with relative ease, where you'd just otherwise be creating loads of keyframes and really tweaking values and spending a lot of time trying to get the look you want, when it might be as simple as dragging couple handles in the Graph Editor.

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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