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Keyframes in Adobe After Effects Ep7/48 [Adobe After Effects for Beginners]

October 23, 2019


Hello of welcome to the seventh video in
this beginner’s guide to Adobe After Effects In this tutorial we are going to
take a closer look at keyframes. In the previous episode we learnt the four
main animation principles you will come to use in After Effects: Position,
Scale, Rotation and opacity. We also learnt where animation is composed down
in the timeline panel. At the end of the video I introduced you to keyframes, the
little shapes that we saw under the layers with effects applied. Now
keyframes are what set the parameters for all effects over time. Before we move
on there are some more details you will need to know about keyframes so you can
be ready to create your own project. In this video we will be taking a closer
look at keyframes, learning more about them, how they work and how they are
managed over time. So in this video we are going to be covering the following
topics: Keyframes and keyframe easing. After this video you will get a better
understanding of how keyframes work so you will feel more comfortable moving
forward. so let’s get into it! So here I am in After Effects and I have
a project open here demonstrating two simple animation sequences. Here I have
two simple circle animations from left to right and as they move they also
change size and opacity. Also notice that even though they are the same animation
they move differently. Now I will be discussing this shortly but for now if
we look in the timeline panel we can see that this composition is five seconds
long and we are currently in preview mode, we can see the red line going along
the timeline to the end then starting again in repetition. Also in the timeline
panel we can see the layers that make up this composition. Here we have two circle
shape layers and a background composition. Now under each circle layer
we can see some small shapes, these shapes are what we call keyframes in
After Effects. Now these keyframes are determining the
animation sequence we see above in the visual composition panel. For now I’ll
press spacebar on the keyboard to stop the preview and I’ll drag the time
indicator back to the start. So what are keyframes?
Well keyframes are used After Effects as a way to set parameters for all
effects over time. Notice that over on the Left we can see that the keyframes
for both these layers are adjacent to the position, scale and opacity properties.
Now in the last episode you saw I only had one animation principle applied to
each shape layer. Here we have three animation principles applied to each
layer. When animating a layer element keyframes are set for each property
individually and we see these stacked on top of each other. For these layers we
have the position keyframes, then under this we have the scale keyframes and
under this we have opacity keyframes. Now if you want to follow along with this
video you can open this document I have prepared especially for this video. This
can be found in the introduction folder in a project folder and you can download
this project folder for a small fee the download link with instructions is in
the description. The download folder comes with lots of
exercise documents we’ll be using on this course that have been carefully
developed to aid your learning experience. The folder also comes with
document resources such as videos, graphics and images you can use to build
your first video presentation from scratch later on in this course. To get
the full learning experience I recommend you get the project folder. Download link
with instructions is in the description. So with the project folder open click into
to the S-1 introduction folder, then into the seventh folder keyframes and open
the keyframes After Effects file and you will have the same document I have
opened here. So if we look carefully we can see that for each property a
keyframe is placed to start the sequence at the particular point in the timeline
and another keyframe is placed to the end of the sequence. A keyframe marks the
point in time where you specify a value for a particular property, at this stage
it may help to think of keyframes as journey points. Basic animations have a
start point and an end point, whereas more complex sequences will have start a
middle and an end point. For example on this blue circle layer we have the
position keyframes then under this we have the scale keyframes and under this
we have opacity keyframes. Notice that the start and end keyframes are
different for each property as each property is animated at a different time
in the sequence. So if I now come to the blue time indicator at the top of the
timeline panel and slowly click and drag from left to right starting from the
first position keyframe along to the next keyframe. We can see the blue circle
moves from the left hand side of the screen to the right. So the first
keyframe is the starting point, point A, and the second keyframe is the midpoint
point B, this is how keyframes work in After Effects. We create a keyframe with
a particular value for a particular effect at one point, then set a keyframe
at another point with a different value and After Effects fills in the gaps for
us. This is called keyframe interpolation, where After Effects
creates the frames between the points so we do not have to animate frame by frame.
For example here we only have two keyframes to get from point A to point B
and After Effects fills in the gaps between interpolating the frames in
between moving the circle across. Now if we look further along the timeline we
can see there is a third keyframe. If I continue to drag my time indicator
further along we can see the blue circle travels back to the start to point A, but
in the context of the keyframes this is the end point. Point A is the start, point
B is the middle and back to point A again is the end. So in this instance the
first keyframe places the circle at Point A and the third keyframe also
places the circle at Point A. These two keyframes have the same keyframe
property applied equaling the same position visually in the composition
panel. So because the animation end sequence is the same as the start, when
we preview this and I’ll drag the time indicator to the start and press
spacebar, it looks like an infinite animation sequence. So that is the
position sequence. So I’ll press spacebar to stop the preview and drag my time
indicator back to the start. Now on the same blue circle layer we also have
keyframes for scale and opacity and we can see there are more applied this time
than were applied to position. So let’s take a closer look. So if we drag the
time indicator from the first keyframe to the second, we can see that when we
arrive at the second keyframe we are at the midway point between point A and
point B and the size and opacity of the circle has changed. These keyframes here
are setting the properties for the scale and opacity of the circle at this point
in time. So from the start to this point the circle gets smaller and changes
opacity. Now if I continue to drag my time indicator right
to point B we can see the size and opacity are back to that of which was at
point A and we have the keyframes here on the layer that specify that. So from the midway point between point A and B, the circle
gets larger and changes opacity back. So between the start keyframe and middle
keyframes for position, we have these keyframes here for scale and opacity
which animate in between. If I continue to drag the time indicator right we can
see that the next set of keyframes for scale and opacity are the same as
previous at the midway point between point A and B and if we continue to move
along to the end of the sequence it appears to be back to the start. So in
this instance for scale and opacity, we have the starting keyframe, the end keyframe
and the middle keyframes in between. A start middle and end. So that’s an
overview of how keyframes are used and how they can be set for various
parameters to create an animation sequence. Now up until this point we have
been focusing on the blue circle. Now if I drag my time indicator back to the
start and press spacebar to preview. We can see the red circle below is the same
animation but it appears to move differently. This red circle is animating
smoothly where the blue circle in comparison appears to move more rigidly.
Now if we look in the timeline panel we can see that the keyframes for the red
circle are positioned exactly the same as the blue. So why is it moving more
smoothly? Well in After Effects we can apply what is called easing to our
keyframes. So what is easing? Well in After Effects we can apply easing to our
keyframes to apply a smooth animation effect. If we look in the timeline panel
and compare the keyframe shapes on the blue and the red circle, we can see a
difference. In this instance easing has been applied to all the keyframes on the
red circle sequence but not on the blue circle. The default keyframes applied to
the blue circle are all diamond shaped, and we can see each keyframe on the blue
circle looks the same, whereas the keyframes on the red circle are slightly
different. Now if I come into the timeline panel and carefully click just
before the first position keyframe on the blue circle, click and drag over all
the other keyframes for the new circle animation, upon release I will
select them all and they will be highlighted in blue. Now if I carefully
come over to the left at the top of the timeline panel above the layer names we
can see an icon here called the graph editor. Now if I click thi,s where the
layers once were we will now see this visual diagram. What we are looking at
here is the momentum of the blue circle shape between each keyframe represented
here by red squares. So here we have the momentum of position, opacity and scale.
Notice how straight the lines are at each point with hard edges at each
keyframe. So I’ll click back on the graph editor button to go back to my layers,
this time I’ll do the same but for the red circle keyframes. If I come just
under the red circle layer and carefully click just before the first position
keyframe and drag over all the other keyframes for the red circle. Upon
release I will select them all and they will all be highlighted in blue If I
come back to the graph editor button at the top of the timeline panel above the
layer name and click this, now we are seeing a very different diagram. Instead
of the rigid lines and hard corners we saw on the blue circle sequence, we are
now seeing nice smooth lines between each keyframe. This is exactly what
easing does in After Effects. In principle easing adds smooth momentum
between keyframe points, which in turn adds smoothness to our sequences. For now
I’ll click back on the graph editor to return back to the layers, drag my time
indicator back to the start and press spacebar to show a preview and we can
see the effect easing has when applied to keyframes. Now if you want to learn
more about easing don’t worry I’ll be going into this in more depth in a
future video. Now it’s important to note that
keyframes are not only used for animation, we can also use keyframes to
apply a whole multitude of effects to video. If we now look over in the project
panel we can see another composition here called video sequence and if we
double click this we will see a new composition open. Now unlike the previous
composition this only includes video, so if I drag
the time indicator over to the left and hit spacebar to preview we can see a
really simple video sequence with a basic transition and color effect
applied. If we look down in the layers panel we can see here we have some
keyframes applied to each layer and looking over on the left hand side by
the layer name we can see the control properties for a variety of things such
as, linear wipe transitions, scale and some color effects. Notice that some of
the keyframes also have easing applied, again to apply smoothness to all the
transitions. So keyframes are the basis of how all animation and effect work in
After Effects. Understanding this principle will help you understand more
complex sequences as we move further into this course. As we progress on this
course we are going to be using keyframes lots more, expanding on the
principles we have learned in this video to create more complex and dynamic
effects. As you progress in After Effects you will learn that all video sequences
created in After Effects are just a more complex and sophisticated version of the
simple animation sequences showcased in this video. So to recap some key things
to remember are: Keyframes are set for each property separately on a layer and
animation or effect sequence will always begin with a keyframe to start and end
with a keyframe to finish. Many keyframes can be applied to a particular property
to create a dynamic sequence and keyframe easing can be added to apply
smoothness in sequences. So up until now I have introduced you to the After
Effects interface and showed you some of the crucial interface structures and how
to use the. Now it’s time to move on and start to get hands-on with After Effects.
In the next video we are going to move into the essential practice section of
this course. In this section we are going to cover all the cool things After
Effects can do, we are going to get hands-on and learn by undertaking a
number of exercises which later in the next section we will use to build a
project from scratch. In the next video we are going to start with one of the
most basic tasks in After Effects. In the next video I’m going to
show you how to manage video in After Effects and how to perform simple video edits. So see you in the next video

7 Comments

  • Reply Gareth David Studio August 22, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    To get the full learning experience and follow along:

    Get the FREE PDF course index and the downloadable project folder from the course overview video here:
    https://youtu.be/uRdfvpQ5rcQ

    Enjoy!

  • Reply Natalia September 25, 2019 at 8:14 am

    At this point I'm totally lost.

  • Reply Sarmad Mustafa October 14, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Well Explained, Everything is cleared.
    Thank You So Much. <3

  • Reply Abrham Getachew October 14, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    PROJECT FOLDER link doesn"t work pls solve this

  • Reply Voltage Tutorials October 14, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    awesome tutorial for beginners, thank you very much!

  • Reply Abrham Getachew October 17, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    but the project folder is not free Gareth?

  • Reply Meti Bekele October 18, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    i would like to to talk to you in box

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