Join Ian Robinson for an in-depth discussion in this video Timing animated vectors, part of After Effects Guru: Working with Vectors.
Now that we've got some rough animations hacked out into our project, what we need to do is go back and polish some of those animations. And of course, just take time to really look at the finer details of how this is being built. To start, let's actually load up a RAM preview. This looks relatively okay, but everything is animating into the scene pretty much all at once. So what, let's offset the appearance of each of these different elements. First, let's group our different elements in our project, so layer five is our power type.
I turn that off and on, you can see that's actually black text that you can't quite see. But it is supposed to be grouped with this outline text. So I'm going to select layer one and drag it down just above layer five. That way, I know they're grouped together. Also, let's go ahead and select both those layers. And click on the color chip here and change it to orange. That way, I know those two layers are grouped together. Now, to offset the appearance of these layers, let's click and drag both of these layers down the time line to start around frame 115.
If you look up in the info panel in the upper right corner, you can see where the in and out points are set. So, here we've got our line that's coming in. We have our vector map and then our power grid. So let's change the timing for our vector map arrow. I'm going to click on the arrow layer, and hold down Shift and Click up through layer one. Let's go ahead and change the color for these to green. Again, this way we can more clearly see exactly what we're working with. Now, I'm going to move this down the timeline here, just a little bit so we can see. Okay, we've got our line coming in, then our arrow, and then our power grid.
So, let's select layers four and five, and drag them down not to start until about two seconds in. Okay, that's looking pretty cool. I want to animate the appearance of this black background element. So, let's go ahead and scroll down to rectangle one. This is my background element. I'm going to go ahead and press t to open up the opacity, and you can see it's set up at 100% opacity. Let's go ahead and have this flicker between zero and 90%.
So, let's start by adding a keyframe at zero and then we'll move up to about seven frames in the timeline, and change that to 90%. We can move a couple frames down, maybe frame ten down to zero. And the fact that these aren't actually spaced out evenly is perfectly fine. I want it to be somewhat random. But since I am keyframing it, I do want to have some semblance of control over this. So what I'll do is select all these keyframes.
And copy them and make sure that I am positioned a little further down the time line and then paste a new keyframe. So, it's going to sort of flicker into the scene here. Now, I want to resize the spacing for all of these keyframes, so I'll just draw a lasso around all of them, and hold down Opt, or Alt on Windows, to squeeze the appearance down to around one second. So as that comes in, it's going to go ahead and flicker and then appear. And we'll leave it up at around 90%.
Now, our vector arrow for the vector map is animating in kind of a rough fashion, so let's go and select the arrow. And press the u key, and you'll notice we have linear keyframes. So I'm just going to go ahead and right-click on my right keyframe, and just add an ease in for that keyframe. So it's going to slowly kind of slide in. Also, we can stylize the color of this arrow. I'm going to go up under Effect> Color Correction and just tint the color.
Let's change the color from white to an orange sort of color. Okay, I'll make it a little more saturated. Okay, great, and just so it pops off the background, let's go to Effect>Perspective and add a Drop Shadow. Here I can soften that drop shadow up a little bit there and now we're good to go. Okay. So, let's go and preview our animation.
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- Analyzing how vectors behave across the Adobe Creative Cloud
- Animating titles from Photoshop
- Creating custom type from Illustrator
- Importing and copying vectors from Illustrator into After Effects
- Animating with shape layers
- Timing animation vectors