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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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