After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
please wait ...
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 am 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 going to be spent on the After Effects Graph Editor. That's the most powerful tool at your disposal to help refine your movements and your speed changes and coordinate movements across multiple layers and multiple parameters. But there are 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 is motion sketch, where you get to hand draw your own animation path. There is smoother, where you get to smooth out kinks in that motion path. There is an Auto Orient, where you can have layers automatically rotate to follow your motion path. And there are 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 are other nice things in After Effects like motion blur, the ability to automatically blur objects depending on their movement.

There is hold keyframes, the ability to create stop motion and slam down animations, and there is also few other tricks to create really nice, smooth, elegant movements in After Effects as well. But first, we're going to 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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2012. What changed?
A: We have updated the movie dealing with Time Display to be applicable to working with different versions of After Effects (from CS4 to CS6). We also added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files, including the new exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.
please wait ...