After Effects CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Retiming video footage


After Effects CS6 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Retiming video footage

Have you ever watched one of those Hollywood movies where you see somebody running down the street and then it goes into super slow motion? Well really what's happening with that, they were originally shot with a high frame rate camera. So super slow motion was created because, let's say, the footage was shot at 200 frames a second, and then they played it back at 30 frames a second. So you get a much slower motion. I think there are plenty of us that get lots of footage that wasn't shot with a high speed camera, but people still want to slow it down and speed it up.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 16s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 22s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 28s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 17s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 20s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 34s
  13. 15m 57s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 25s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 16s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 40s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 39s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course After Effects CS6 Essential Training
8h 41m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the workspace, important preferences, and the cache
  • Importing footage and comps
  • Relinking missing footage
  • Creating type, shape layers, and masks
  • Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
  • Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
  • Timing animations to audio
  • Building backgrounds with effects
  • Rendering with the Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder
  • Animating 3D type
  • Smoothing shaky footage and retouching footage
  • Keying green screen footage
  • Working with 3D: extruding shapes, adding ray-traced lighting, and more
After Effects
Ian Robinson

Retiming video footage

Have you ever watched one of those Hollywood movies where you see somebody running down the street and then it goes into super slow motion? Well really what's happening with that, they were originally shot with a high frame rate camera. So super slow motion was created because, let's say, the footage was shot at 200 frames a second, and then they played it back at 30 frames a second. So you get a much slower motion. I think there are plenty of us that get lots of footage that wasn't shot with a high speed camera, but people still want to slow it down and speed it up.

And usually, as a rule of thumb, I like to think, okay, I don't want to slow my footage down slower than, 30% lower than it was originally shot. And that's just a rule of thumb, so I can create smooth projects. But before you can even deal with any of that, you need to have a base understanding of what the tools are, and how they function. So let's start by looking at our project here. If we look in the timeline, we have an MPEG-4 file and if we select it up in our Project panel, you can see it was shot at 23.976 frames a second.

Now it exists in a composition that is also 23.976 frames a second. So when we make changes, I don't want to slow this down much less than maybe 17 or 18 frames a second. Let's look at how re-timing actually works. When you select the layer in After Effects, there are time controls you can easily get to by going up to the Layer menu. Now we need to have the layer selected in the timeline. There we go. So now when we go to the Layer menu, we can go to Time.

Now within Time, there's an option for Time Remapping. But if you're just very quickly trying to play footage backwards, you can enable Time-Reverse Layer. Now let's see what happens with this. I'm going to scrub my playhead to about 2 seconds and let's have this footage play to here and then play backwards, and then play forwards again. So if I selected this layer, and went up under Edit, I could Split it, which now it exists on two different layers, and I'm doing this because I want this top layer currently to play backwards.

So let's rename that Reverse. So we'll select that, and press Return on our keyboards and say Reverse. Okay. Now move your current-time indicator down to around 4 seconds, and split the layer again. The key command to split the layer is Command +Shift+D or Ctrl+Shift+D if you're on a PC. Now let's rename layer 1, Turbines. I'm just leaving it the same basic name as 3 because we're not adjusting the time for that layer.

When you reverse a layer, it's literally going to reverse. So see this light gray area on the outside of what we've actually chosen to show. This is the area that got trimmed out. Well look at what happens when we go up under Layer, and go to Time, and choose Time-Reverse Layer. It's playing backwards and it literally flipped the entire layer around, but it knows we want to show the specific frames. So Now this front section that used to be over here is now over here.

You can see it's going to play in reverse because of these red lines. If we load up a RAM Preview, watch what happens. It's going to play, and then jump backwards and then jump forwards again. That's because these frames actually shifted around in the timeline. So let's select Layer 1 and duplicate it, so we have a clean layer to start with. I want to solo this layer, and then I'm going to bring its start point back to the start of the timeline by clicking and dragging on it.

In here, I want to show you how we can create a variable time remapping where it changes over time. In order to do that, let's go up to Layer > Time, and go to Enable Time Remapping. Notice when Time Remapping is enabled, I have a keyframe at the beginning and at the end of my footage. Now this is better illustrated when we select Time Remap in the timeline and then open up our Key Frame Editor. In here, you can see a line that represents how the footage plays.

As long as this line is at an angle going upwards, it's going to be playing in a "forwards" direction. Anytime that it's flat, it will be stopped or paused. So let's get started by moving our current-time indicator to 2 seconds, and going over to the left side of the timeline to add a keyframe here with the Keyframe Navigator. Go ahead and click right there, perfect! And now let's move to 4 seconds and add another keyframe.

Now we haven't done any Time Remapping yet, because we haven't made any adjustments to these keyframes. Select the second keyframe you added and drag it down in the timeline. You should notice snapping, if it's not snapping you want to toggle this magnetic button here. So with the magnet, it snaps. It's perfectly flat compared to the other keyframe. If I drag that up and down, it will be flat. So what's going to happen when we preview this? It will play forwards in normal time at the front section, and then it's going to pause, and then play back a little bit faster.

See how this angle is steeper back here? That's letting me know it has to play faster. So there, it stopped, and then there, it picked up again, but it's playing at a faster rate, and we stop playback. If you want to round this out, what you can do is right-click on the layer, go to your Keyframe Assistant, and choose Easy Ease. That will give you your handles. So let's do that for the next keyframe. Right-click on the keyframe > Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease.

Notice how smooth it made the second handle. That's just because it's trying to ease it back into that higher velocity. So if we press Home and load up a RAM Preview again, you should notice it easing in, pausing, and then easing back out in terms of the motion. It may take a second to load on your system. Don't worry, it will get there. All right, I'm going to press the Spacebar so I can watch my RAM Preview for what's cached so far. Now as you can see, I'm getting some stuttering that's happening and that's just because it's playing at such a low frame rate.

Let me stop playback one more time. Just so you can see what it looks like, let's click on the second keyframe and drag it all the way down. Now notice, when I hover my mouse over the keyframe, it's telling me I'm at 4 seconds, but the Time Remap is saying play the frame from 0 seconds at this point. If I hover over here, it's saying, play frame 2 seconds at 2 seconds. So let's load up another RAM Preview, and you'll see it speed up, slow down, and speed up again.

(video playing) Okay, so now you've seen what it looks like when it speeds up, goes in reverse, and then goes back. Just understand when you adjust your keyframes forwards or down the timeline, you will be changing how fast the frame rate changes because the curve will have to change accordingly. If you wanted to smooth out an individual section, you could draw a lasso around the keyframes that you're trying to adjust, and you'll get this bounding box that pops up if you have this key active.

This bounding box will allow you to drag the keyframes out in proportion to each other. Just to understand when that smoothes out, notice how sharp this angle is. Okay, so that brings me to the last thing we're going to talk about with time remapping. Let's close our Keyframe Editor, go up under Layer > Frame Blending. In here, you have Frame Blending options. So as you remap your footage, sometimes you'll notice that it stutters or it looks a little ragged.

That's because Frame Blending is off. Frame Mix is the next step up from being off, where it mixes frames by adding or creating new frames, and then, Pixel Motion will not only add and create frames, but it will actually analyze each individual pixel between the frames to create the smoothest motion possible. Just understand when you choose this, it's going to add a lot more time to your render time. But I can tell you the rewards are well worth the wait. Now you understand how time remapping works directly on the layer, there's one other area where there's time remapping you should check out in After Effects, and that's in the Effects area.

So go to the Effects > Time, and then you can see there's a whole host of different effects that you can apply to layers to make time adjustments. If you would like to explore time remapping and time adjustments more in depth, you should check out another title on our library called After Effects Apprentice 10: Time Games.

There are currently no FAQs about After Effects CS6 Essential Training.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed After Effects CS6 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.