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One of the first ways people start getting exposure to After Effects is by animating still images. I love to animate stills in After Effects but I actually like to use an old school technique if animating just the scale and the anchor point, rather than flying around in 3D space. Now one of the things I like about how I animate these things, I can save them as presets. So to show you what I'm talking about, let's go ahead and double-click on our sand JPEG image. And here, I'll go ahead and resize it, so we can see the proportions of this image.
Whenever I create a preset, I create a preset based on that proportion. So these two images that we're dealing with were taken with iPhones and they are slightly different sizes. But they are both, basically, this portrait dimension. Let's get started actually creating a preset. I'm going to go ahead and drag the tracks.jpg file down into my timeline. Now, let's make this image a little smaller by pressing S to open scale. And then we can type 70.
Now I want to do a zoom in and tilt down with this image. So I'll start here at the top, and add a keyframe for scale. And let's go ahead and open up our anchor point. So I'll hold down Shift+A to open our anchor point. (SOUND) Now with those two keyframes selected, let's move down the timeline to around 2 seconds. To move the image up in the frame, I'll just click and drag on the Y parameter for the anchor point. And then we can go ahead and increase the scale to a value of somewhere like 85%.
Now let's load up a RAM preview so we can check out this move. And it's a little fast, so I'll just stop playback here and grab my last two keyframes, and just drag them down the timeline to around 3 seconds. Now, just so I have a smooth move, I'm going to go ahead and right-click on these two keyframes, and add an ease in under my keyframe assistant. And we'll do the same for the start. I'll right-click and choose Ease Out. So now we can load up a RAM Preview here and you can see I have a nice move on my image. Still a little fast but none the less a decent move. Must save this as a preset.
In order to do this, I'll press the Spacebar and I'll draw all laugh so around all four keyframes. With that set up, I can go over to My Effects and Presets panel and click on the fly out menu. Here, we can choose save animation preset. It'll choose to save in the default location for presets or wherever you specify. I recommend just saving in, in the default location unless you plan on working in different systems. If you are going to work on different systems, just choose wherever you like. I'm going to go ahead and save mine to the desktop. Here, I'll call this TiltZoomIn.
Now, you could be as descriptive as you like, but I'll go ahead and choose that and click Save. Now let's go ahead and drag our sand.jpeg into our composition. And since it has similar proportions, I'll go ahead and apply the same preset we just used for the previous one. Let's go ahead and move our current time indicator to back around 2 seconds. And I'll trim the start of this layer by pressing Option on the Mac, Alt on Windows and the Left Bracket key. Now, we can apply this preset by going up under the Animation menu and go to recent animation presets.
Let's choose TiltZoomIn. Notice it's automatically applied that preset and if I press 0 on my keyboard, I've got a move in on this other image. That's not exactly the move that I was envisioning so what I'll do is just click and drag on that image. And reposition it in the scene. Since I animated the anchor point, notice the move is now going to move on a separate part of the image. This is exactly what I was hoping for, and just so it starts exactly in the right place, I'll go ahead and just offset that image. Now if you want to animate a transition from one image to the next, I'll go ahead and just move my sand image down in the layer hierarchy, so we'll transition from our tracks to our sand image.
Go ahead and select the tracks. We can go to Effect > Transition, and let's just do a normal Linear Wipe. Let's key frame the transition completion parameter. Move to around three seconds and the change that up to 100% and just so it's not so jarring, I'll go ahead and feather that transition. Now, as we scrub through, we've got a transition from one To the next, so let's go ahead and load up a RAM preview. Now we've created a preset for our pan and scan image moves.
Since we animated that anchor point instead of the position, it's easy enough to reposition any of the pictures you apply a preset to. Since we saved our preset to the desktop, I can easily save this effect off to a jump drive or save it in the cloud, so I can load it up on any system I'm working on at any time. So I hope you've enjoyed this little tip for saving pan and scan presets.
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