Learn how to set up a parenting chain in After Effects. Discover what makes a good parent and several techniques using parenting.
- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of Crish Design and welcome to the After Effects Apprentice lesson on parenting. Parenting is a way of grouping together multiple layers inside an After Effects composition. If you change the position, scale, or rotation of the parent, all the children come along for the ride. If the children have their own animations, they get to keep them, but now they're performed relative to the parent. As a result, you can group together multiple layers, keyframe as few as just one of them, and create complex animations with a minimum amount of work. In this lesson, we're going to show you how to create a parenting chain, explain what does and does not come along for the ride, and talk about what makes a good parent and what makes a good child.
We'll show you how to use null objects, special non-rendering layers in After Effects, and give you a few examples. Example how to create a title animation, how to create special geometric constructs, and how to create an anthropomorphic animation, such as a robot arm, inside After Effects using parenting. We'll also have a couple Idea Corners, where we'll take some of the examples you see in this project and expand upon them to make them finished pieces. There's also a couple of sidebars at the end, one will show you a particular gotcha with parenting and how to fix it, and the other will just show you how to create your own abstract backgrounds using the Fractal Noise effect inside After Effects.
Some of this material is actually not in the After Effects Apprentice book, but parenting is such an important subject, we wanted to show you several different angles. So if this sounds like fun, then let's dive in and get at it.
The After Effects Apprentice series was created by Trish and Chris Meyer. These tutorials are designed for After Effects CS4 through CC, and can be used on their own or as a companion to the Meyer's book, After Effects Apprentice.
- Preparing files
- Making parenting connections
- Arranging the frame and arm
- Using null objects
- Crafting anthropomorphic-style animations
- Avoiding problems with non-uniform scaling
- Animating Fractal Noise
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 11/20/2012. What changed?
A: We added new movies on using the exercise files that come with this course, and added an additional set of exercise files designed for After Effects CS6.