After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
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After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
Video duration: 0s 3h 1m Beginner Updated Nov 12, 2012


In this course, Chris Meyer helps beginning After Effects artists take their animations to the next level. Chris shows how to refine animations to create elegant, coordinated movements with the minimum number of keyframes—as well as slam-downs, whip pans, and other attention-getters. Additional movies show how to reverse-engineer existing animations, create variations on a theme, and master other parts of the program. Even though this course is designed for beginners, even veterans should learn tricks that many experienced users are unaware of. Chris' friendly running commentary lets you in on his mental process as he works on an animation. Exercise files are included with the course.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how keyframes work under the hood
  • Controlling the Anchor Point to create more predictable animations
  • Mastering the Graph Editor for the ultimate control over keyframes
  • Animating parameters including motion paths
  • Hand-drawing motion paths to simplify complex movements
  • Applying and tweaking Motion Blur
  • Using Hold keyframes
After Effects


- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of Chrish Design and welcome to After Effects Apprentice: Advanced Animation. In this lesson I want to share with you a number of tips and tricks you can use to help craft and refine your animations inside After Effects. A lot of the lesson is gonna be spent on the After Effects Graph Editor. That's the most powerful tool at you disposal to help refine your movements and speed changes and coordinate movements across multiple layers and multiple parameters. But there's a lot of other cool tricks inside After Effects as well. For example, there's the often overlooked Anchor Point.

It's the center of all your transformations in After Effects, but also it's a great thing to animate if you're trying to create a Ken Burns style movement across still images. There's Motion Sketch, where you get to hand-draw your own animation path. There's Smoother, where you get to smooth out kinks in that motion path. There's Auto Orient, where you can have layers automatically rotate to follow your motion path. And then there's also really nice things, like Roving Keyframes, a little known feature to control the speed across the complex motion path with just the start and end keyframes. There's other nice things in After Effects like Motion Blur, the ability to automatically blur objects depending on their movement.

There's Hold Keyframes the ability to create stop motion and slam down animations. And there's also a few other tricks to create really nice, smooth elegant movements in After Effects as well. But first, we're gonna start with the fundamentals. How do you navigate between keyframes and what information exists in keyframes underneath the hood that you can manipulate to help smooth out your animations. So let's get started and let's have some fun.

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