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Understanding keyframe interpolation

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Understanding keyframe interpolation

Understanding keyframe interpolation is a surefire way to take your animation skills to the next level. In this project, we're going to animate this layer solid to move along the path. That's going to give us a perfect example to show you all the different kinds of variations you can create on an animation Just by adjusting the key frame interpolation. Now, just to make sure everyone's on the same page. I want you to go to your preferences. On the Mac, it's under after effects. Windows, it's under edit. So let's go to our preferences in the general setting. And make sure the fourth option down, default spatial interpolation, is de-selected.

Understanding keyframe interpolation

Understanding keyframe interpolation is a surefire way to take your animation skills to the next level. In this project, we're going to animate this layer solid to move along the path. That's going to give us a perfect example to show you all the different kinds of variations you can create on an animation Just by adjusting the key frame interpolation. Now, just to make sure everyone's on the same page. I want you to go to your preferences. On the Mac, it's under after effects. Windows, it's under edit. So let's go to our preferences in the general setting. And make sure the fourth option down, default spatial interpolation, is de-selected.

Now we'll click OK. I want to enable automatic key framing, and select layer 1. If you don't already have the position data open, press P on your keyboard. Just so you can see whether or not we're adding key frames. And I'll press Home on the keyboard to move my current time indicator back to the beginning, before I create my first key frame. Now, with automatic key framing selected, I can go ahead and click and drag on my layer solid. Making sure not to drag on the anchor point in the middle or any of the control handles and I've already set my first key frame.

So lets move 12 frames down and click and drag, and hold Shift after we start to drag to snap on an axis, and we'll keep repeating this every 12 frames. I just want you to move, the solid down and then hold Shift as you start to drag and move it to the next point. Now I'm sure you can tell that the animation panel looks a little funny, even though I'm just dragging it in very straight lines. I'm going to click on the shape, and then I'll hold down the Shift, okay. So now if we load up our RAM preview, you can see it's not quite exactly what I was thinking.

The first time this happened to me, I sort of freaked out. But if you press the Spacebar and stop playback here for a second, I want you to remember a minute ago when we were in our preferences. If you go to your preferences under the general setting, and enable default spacial interpolation, this issue won't happen. Now since I've already created this animation, I'm going to go head and click cancel for now. Now just so we won't create any more key frames, let's turn off automatic key framing in the time line. Now double click on the linear composition in the comp panel Notice I've already created comps and I did this so you'd have a nice reference project when we're finished making all these adjustments. Now to quickly and easily select all the keyframes for layer one let's click on the word position.

And there we can see our motion path. I just want to change the interpolation by right clicking on any one of the key frames. Since they're all selected, they'll all change. Now if we go to Keyframe Interpolation, there's the option for Spacial Interpolation, and we can change that from auto to linear. Now when I click OK, notice our motion path is snapped along the line. Now getting some visual cues that there is still going to be an issue because the spacing between these dots is different between each area. That just refers to the speed and that has to do with the fact that there are only 12 frames between each one of the key frames. So, if it's only moving a little bit across the page it's going to move very slowly.

And if it's moving a lot it's going to move more quickly. So let's set up a RAM preview so we can check that out. Okay, press the Spacebar to stop playback. Now if you want your animation to move along at a constant speed and go through each one of these points, you can do that by using roving key frames. So let's double click on the rove comp and make sure we have roving Up. Now, for roving keyframes, you want to have a first keyframe and a last keyframe. But you could have all the middle ones rove across time. So, what I want you to do is draw a lasso around all the middle ones, right click on any of them, and choose rove across time.

Now, they'll shift their space in the timeline and what this has done is evened out the speed. So, you can load a RAM preview to check this out as well. So now that's a nice, constant velocity. Now, I'm going to press the Spacebar and stop. We still have a bunch of artificial movements. Because there's no velocity change as it hits each point. It's just linearly, you know, banging through the corner. Now, we want to fix that by actually going to the Ease option. Ease simulates real-world movement in animation.

What I mean by that, when you're in your car, if you start to accelerate, you don't just go from 0 to 60 in 0 time, you slowly accelerate up to that speed. So to ease this animation into its start, what we're going to do is Draw a lass around the first key frame. And this time I'll go up under animation and key frame assistant. And we will choose Easy Ease Out. The reason that we are choosing out to start is that its moving out from its current state into its animation. Now for all the middle ones here I wanted to ease through the entire key frame both in and out.

So if I go ahead And right click on that specific key frame. I can get to the frame assistant again and choose EZ Ease. Now the shape of that is different, showing the ease on both sides and then we can right click on the last one, Key Frame Assistant, and EZ Ease it back into its natural state, where it was if we press home, we can load up a ram preview. And this is a much more natural movement for animation. We still have the varying speeds because of the spacing between the different key frames but it's definitely easing across the different points.

I'm going to press the Spacebar here and we'll show you the last different interprolation setting. Hold. So let's go to the hold comp in the timeline. You could double click in the project panel. And hold key frames are relatively simple. You can just select any or all of them. Right click, and choose toggle hold key frame. This'll hold the current value until it gets to the next point. This is a great way to create an animation where something is popping around the scene. Now I hope you enjoyed the tour we had of key frame interpolation and definitely save this project opt so you have a reference for the future.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 50540 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects UPDATED
      59s
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects NEW
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache NEW
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology UPDATED
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects NEW
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions NEW
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers NEW
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation NEW
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects NEW
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D NEW
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render NEW
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements NEW
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects NEW
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers NEW
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes NEW
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics NEW
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques NEW
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3 NEW
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects NEW
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras UPDATED
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight NEW
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight NEW
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks NEW
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next? NEW
      2m 24s

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