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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.
Now that we have a firm foundation for understanding comps and layers, it's time to dive a little deeper into understanding how animation works. In this video, I've laid out multiple layers setup so we can actually drive home all the different kinds of keyframes that you can create and use within After Effects. So to get started, let's select Layer 1 and 2 and press U to open up any of their animations. And this should look relatively familiar. We have some keyframes and I know they're linear, because they're diamond shaped.
So load up a RAM Preview and let's preview our animation. As you can see here, it's a pretty straightforward linear animation. Now I'm going to stop playback by pressing the Spacebar and click up here in my timeline. I want you to click right around 4 seconds. The reason I want to do this is to set the work area, so press N on your keyboard to set the work area. What this is going to do is load up only this first 4 seconds into RAM when we do RAM Previews, since all of the keyframes are set within the first 4 seconds.
So let's move forward and jump into what Bezier keyframes are. So turn off the visibility for Layers 1 and 2, turn on the visibility for 3 and 4, and you guessed it, select Layers 3 and 4 by clicking on one and Shift-clicking on the next and press the U key again to open up these position keyframes. I purposely have left these as linear, because I want to show you how to actually change between all these different kinds of keyframes. So to change these from linear to Bezier, I'm going to click and drag a Lasso around all those keyframes, even though they're on multiple layers, it's okay.
Once all the keyframes are selected I can just right-click on any one of the keyframes and go down to the menu and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease to change this from linear to Bezier. Now with all the different keyframes set to Bezier, let's load up a RAM Preview. Again, I'm just pressing 0 on my keypad to give you a RAM Preview. And as you can see here the words slide in, in a much more natural motion. Now let's turn off the visibility of Bezier and check out what roving keyframes do.
So click and Shift+Click Layers 5 and 6, turn on their visibility and press the U key. Now in here we have four different linear keyframes. And I added these extra keyframes to kind of show you some of the different things that happen when you have multiple keyframes. First thing, you know these lines on the canvas represent motion path or the animation path. These are the paths that these words are going to be traveling. And the dots in between the path represent the speed at which these words are going to be moving.
So the closer they are together, the slower they are moving, and the further apart, the faster they are moving. Roving keyframes are interesting because they'll smooth all this motion out and they do so by actually moving the position of the middle keyframes. So to show you what I'm talking about, let's preview this animation first. Press 0 on your keypad to load up a RAM Preview. And you can see, as the words bounce from keyframe to keyframe, they're actually changing velocity. Now let's press the Spacebar to stop playback and draw a Lasso around all of these keys.
Again, right-click on any of them and this time to activate roving keyframes, you just want to click Rove Across Time. Now you notice the first and last keyframes are still linear, but these other keyframes in between have shifted in the timeline. They are doing this because they actually move where the keyframes live to smooth out the motion. So the words will definitely still pass through each one of those points, I'm just clicking and dragging to kind of scrub through the animation, they still pass through the points, but you notice now all of the points have the same exact spacing.
So if we load up a RAM Preview, you can see with roving keyframes it's going to move at the same velocity all the way through the animation. Now let me stop playback here for one second. One other thing about roving keyframes, if we click anywhere in the gray area in the timeline to deselect all the keyframes, with roving keyframes if you click on either the first or the last keyframe, as you drag them out, notice the spacing of the middle keyframes will change. And even if I try and click on the one of these and move it, look what happens, it changes from a roving keyframe back to a linear keyframe, because linear keyframes have a specific point in time.
Let's just Command+Z to undo that last thing. Roving keyframes will rove based on where the first and last keyframes are in your timeline. Let's go to hold keyframes. These happen to be one of my favorites. Let's turn off the visibility of Layers 5 and 6, and select 7, 8, turn on their visibility and press U. I'm just scrolling down with my mouse so I can see these layers. Now, again, we have linear keyframes. Just draw the Lasso around and then right-click, and instead of them being linear keyframes, we can choose Toggle Hold Keyframe.
When we do that, notice these look kind of like a home plate. And basically that's because they are holding the previous keyframe's value right up until the next keyframe. So notice, there are no little dots along our animation path. That's because it's not going to be moving. So press 0 to load up a RAM Preview and you can see, now with hold keyframes, they hold the previous value until the next keyframe.
So now that you've seen some of the different kind of cool keyframes we can create inside of After Effects, let's get started with our animations.
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