Join Alan Demafiles for an in-depth discussion in this video Navigating layers in the timeline, part of After Effects CC 2017 Essential Training: Editors and Post.
- As an editor, your tools inside Premiere Pro are well made for easily adjusting the duration of your shots and working on the overall pacing of your edit. Conversely, After Effects is exceptionally great at handling animations, and gives you the power to tweak key frames. Just as After Effects is cumbersome for video editing, likewise Premiere isn't necessarily the best tool for creating animation. Although you can, it doesn't always mean you should. So here in this movie, we'll take a look at how to adjust your layers duration, be altering the in and out points, as well as other techniques to navigate layers and the composition.
So After Effects and Premiere have a couple of differences. One of the most important ones, is that inside Premiere your timelines are infinitely scalable. So you can stretch and shrink this to reveal all the way down the timeline, and make space for clips that you want to insert or move down. After Effects doesn't necessarily work that way, unfortunately. So let's switch over to After Effects. With After Effects, you need to define the duration of the composition, either at its creation or if you want to extend this.
So for instance I have this at 15 seconds, if I wanted to increase this time to 30 seconds for instance let's go ahead and come over here to Composition and under Composition settings, this is the same dialog box that pops up when you create a brand new composition. It's here under Duration that you can change that. So 30 seconds, and now if I expand to view the entire timeline here, you'll see I have that added time. So these are the same four clips that I had in Premiere. But you'll notice that this is the other distinction, and that's the layers inside of After Effects.
Premiere works with tracks, and within one track you can have multiple clips strung out together. And After Effects works a little bit more like Photoshop in that you can take your clips and have them layered and stacked on top of each other. So to navigate some of these clips inside of After Effects, let's take a look at moving, or going to in and out points. As an editor you're constantly going to your in and out points. So to do something similar inside of After Effects, you have to have one of your layers selected, and to get to an in point simply hit I, to get to the out point simply hit O.
Now to redefine the in and out points, it's a little bit different. You would have to go to your playhead, or your current time indicator, and for instance layer four here, I'm at 15 seconds, let's go ahead and use the Option + Right Bracket key to define a new out point. And for a new in point, it would be Option + Left Bracket. So there we have in and out points, setting them, and going to them. Now if we wanted to move this clip on down, let's go ahead and nudge our timeline or zoom into it a little bit so we can see.
Now that I've made this break here, you'll see I have a little bit of black space here. I want to move this clip now to the tail of layer three. And while I can certainly click and drag and move this into place, the keyboard way to do it is to select the layer and move your playhead to the end of the clip here, for layer three, and then simply hit Left Bracket. Left and Right Brackets will move the in and out points of that layer to the current time indicator. So if I were to hit this again using the Right Bracket key this time, you'll notice that the out point is now aligned with the current time indicator.
So I'll hit Left Bracket again, that'll get us to the in point. And let's go ahead and take a look at how we can slip shots. You'll notice here on layer three, I've got this effect here where it's kind of a glow, and we're scaling down into place. Let's go ahead and select layer three, and go to Animation, Reveal Properties with Keyframes. Notice the shortcut is U on the keyboard. So here, this is the duration of our shot, the in and out points have been set, but you'll also notice that to the left you have the heads of the shot and the tails of the shot on the right hand side.
So these, notice that the cursor changes, I can click and drag, let's go ahead and park our current time indicator over here, and so once we are out of this effect, all these keyframes are responsible for this scaling down and the glow effect. I can actually slip the shot to get a little bit more heads in there. And notice that the keyframes stayed in place. So now I'm altering the in point of the footage of the shot, but I didn't move the keyframes. And sometimes you want to move the keyframes, and it's simple to do that as well.
Go ahead and select all the keyframes here, and now with that selected, you can move and slip the shot entirely along with the keyframes. Now you might want to nudge your clips, like you can inside of After Effects. You can certainly slide the shots, by clicking and dragging, and that will slide the shots down, but if you want to do it according to frame by frame for instance, well simply select your layer and hold down Option and move Page Up and Down, click Page Up and Page Down to nudge it to more towards the beginning, or Page Down to nudge it later in time.
You can hold down Shift as well when you hold down Option, and that will move in 10 frame increments. So that is one way you can nudge your layers into place. And lastly, inside of After Effects, we have the ability to open up our clips in a Layer window. So, right now we're looking at our Composition window. This is almost like the Program window inside of Premiere. If you wanted to reveal this into a Source window of sorts, then you would just simply double click it, and it will open up into the Layer window.
And much like Premiere's Source window, you can see the entire duration of your clip. You can see its current in and out points, you can slip the shot, notice down here I'm slipping the shot. We now have a different out point in context of our timeline. And you can also set the in and out points here as well. So the Layer window is much like Premiere's Source window, whereas the Composition window is a lot like the Program window. So here in this movie we saw that aside from how After Effects uses layers, versus Premiere's tracks methods, After Effects offers similar functionality for slipping and sliding shots.
As well as setting the in and out points.
- Linking Premiere Pro and After Effects dynamically
- Navigating timeline layers
- Working with keyframes
- Precomping elements
- Animating mask reveals and tracking masks
- Creating elements with shape layers
- Animating shapes and text
- Working with Illustrator files
- Animating a logo
- Creating 3D type extrusions
- Creating a simple camera in Z-space montage
- Keying video with Keylight
- Batch rendering and Dynamic Link rendering
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 07/03/2017. What changed?
A: This update covers changes to the text templates in the April 2017 After Effects update from Adobe.