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Understanding positional keyframes

From: After Effects CS6 Essential Training

Video: Understanding positional keyframes

Now if you're joining me from the last video you know we went ahead and made adjustments in the Keyframe Editor to the Scale parameter. In this video, we're going to make adjustments to the Position parameter for the word Eco. So if you just look at the RAM Preview here, you can see we have Kinet pop-up and then Eco just sort of appears. So I want to have Eco move in a similar fashion to the Scale effect that we did, but we'll do it using Position and we'll actually convert this layer to a 3D Layer just by clicking this box, and now you notice when I press P to open up my Position data, I have a parameter for Z. So it's X, Y, and Z. We'll work backwards just like we did with Scale by just moving our playhead a little bit down the timeline here and marking a Position keyframe.

Understanding positional keyframes

Now if you're joining me from the last video you know we went ahead and made adjustments in the Keyframe Editor to the Scale parameter. In this video, we're going to make adjustments to the Position parameter for the word Eco. So if you just look at the RAM Preview here, you can see we have Kinet pop-up and then Eco just sort of appears. So I want to have Eco move in a similar fashion to the Scale effect that we did, but we'll do it using Position and we'll actually convert this layer to a 3D Layer just by clicking this box, and now you notice when I press P to open up my Position data, I have a parameter for Z. So it's X, Y, and Z. We'll work backwards just like we did with Scale by just moving our playhead a little bit down the timeline here and marking a Position keyframe.

Let's expand the work area duration just a little bit by dragging to the right and press I to move to the beginning of the layer. Now to see which way this is actually going to move, let's click and drag on the Z parameter and yes, we want to make an adjustment all the way back by clicking and dragging to the right. Let's actually have this disappear down to around 5,000. There's a slight issue with this and that's the fact the anchor point is off to the left-hand side, but I actually kind of like that this is going behind the word kinet and really, if I want it behind I can just drag it underneath kinet because kinet is still a 2D layer.

So it's just going to sit right on top of Eco thinking that it's actually behind it, and it's going to give us the visual trick that it looks like it's actually peeking out from behind the word. We have our first two keyframes, let's preview this animation. Okay, that start to look pretty cool but I want Eco to kind of bounce out there a little bit. So let's add a third keyframe. I'm going to move my playhead out to the right here just a few frames past where it was before, and I want this keyframe to be exactly the same as the previous one.

And to do that, we'll use this Keyframe button here on the left-hand side of the timeline. That added another keyframe, so if we press J we can move back to our middle keyframe, and let's drag to the left just so it pops out a little bit. So if we scrub through you can see it's going to pop out and then land. Let's load up a RAM Preview again and that looks pretty cool. I want you to select all the Position keyframes by clicking on the word Position and open the Keyframe Editor.

Now in here you'll notice I only have changes along the Z axis. So if we scrub through, you can see I've got kind of a sharp change that's happening here and that's happening because, if we look at our keyframes, these are linear keyframes. So to smooth this out, let's click on this, and instead of clicking Ease down here in the lower right, just right- click on it and here we could choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease.

Now when we choose Easy Ease, it looks like nothing has really happened here and something has, if you notice the velocity down here, it's going to kind of smooth out. But if you want to see things a little more closely, what you need to do is zoom in. See if I click on this to the right, it's going to zoom in and here if I scroll up in the timeline here you can see it's kind of made this a little bit larger in the scene, so I can sort of see what's going on. And let's just press the Spacebar to grab the Hand tool and just sort of move our canvas over so we can sort of see what's going on here in our Viewer.

I want to try and draw handles out from this parameter and if you hold down Option, it looks like you can click on this and drag out. But you notice nothing is happening here and that's because these are Position keyframes and they actually have all three parameters X, Y and Z active. In order to actually control the value of an individual parameter with handles, you need to break it out into its own separate value, and the way you do that from within the Graph Editor is to click this button here in the bottom.

Now when I click on that, notice if I click and drag directly on the keyframe, it just kind of snaps and moves around. That's not what I want to do. Okay, so let's undo that, Command+Z, and now you want to hover over the point and press Alt or Option and click and drag and now this is going to give you the ability to draw some handles out over this keyframe. Now one of the things that's interesting about dealing with this, is notice I can change how long the handle is or how smooth this change is on one side but not really match it on the other.

If I click back on this side, notice even though they're working in tandem, I still have to kind of adjust if I want the lengths to change. If I wanted this to kind of break apart, here let's scrub down here so you can see what's happening, it's going down back across. If I wanted there to be like a sudden change, I can hold down Alt or Option again, but when you click on the handle, it will actually allow you to make a change independent of the other side.

This way, now when it comes up, it's just going to stop rather abruptly and then kind of bounce out. Well here let's preview that and you can see-- Eh, it's kind of okay. It's not exactly what I was looking for, so I'll just drag this handle back down here again. If I hold down Option and click on the handle again, it sort of snaps it back so we're making adjustments like we did before. So now let's preview this animation. And that's pretty cool, that really gives a kind of an organic sort of realistic bounce.

Notice it kind of bounces past and then down again and then sort of wiggles almost like it's in Jello. So this is kind of one of the things that you want to do when you want your animations to kind of really step up a level. You want to accentuate, or over accentuate, the specific moves that they are creating, and a lot of times I find the fastest, easiest way of doing that is by making those changes in the Keyframe Editor.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS6 Essential Training
After Effects CS6 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 55727 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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 15s
    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 21s
    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 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    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 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    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

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