Animating With Ease in After Effects (V1) | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

Animating With Ease in After Effects (V1)

Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

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15 Lessons (1h 20m)
    • 1. Stop Right There!

      0:46
    • 2. Course Trailer

      0:45
    • 3. Getting Started

      7:20
    • 4. From Groups To Layers

      2:23
    • 5. Prepping For Animation

      9:55
    • 6. Laying Out Your Objects

      7:45
    • 7. The Graph Editor

      11:50
    • 8. Anchor Points Matter!

      7:25
    • 9. Ease That Motion!

      5:58
    • 10. Animating Overshoot

      8:19
    • 11. Working With Graphs

      11:57
    • 12. Creating A Loop

      2:06
    • 13. Exporting from After Effects

      0:47
    • 14. Saving a GIF in Photoshop

      2:03
    • 15. Thank You!

      0:24
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About This Class

You've learned the basics. Keyframes are in your toolbox. Now it's time to take the next step as an animator and unleash the power of After Effects' graph editor!

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This class is for anyone looking to take control of the look and feel of their motion design. Whether you've been using After Effects for years, or you've only just started learning the program, this class will be easy to follow along. I'll teach you everything you need to know about easing in and out of of every bit of motion you create, and help you develop an aesthetic that will make your work stand apart from others'.

If you've never used After Effects before, I recommend that you take my other quick class, The Beginner's Guide to Animating Custom GIFs, first. Then you'll be prepared for the content of this class.

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Class Outline

  • Easy Animation. Jake will teach you how and when to use the tools in After Effects to control your animation and create a polished result. Whether you are a professional animator or just beginning to learn animation, Jake’s class will improve your skills and sharpen your work.
  • Creating your own. After completing this animation course, you’ll be asked to design your own animated house with the tools and shortcuts that Jake has taught you. You’ll be invited to share screenshots of your progress when you post your file, so that Jake can not only evaluate your final animation, but your process and organization skills, too. If you have questions along the way – that’s okay! Jake will monitor his “ask me anything” discussion board so that you have a direct line of communication to him if you ever get stuck.
  • Learning your toolkit. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of speed and value graphs in After Effects and how to use them to your advantage. Plus, Jake will share workflow tips and keyboard shortcuts that will help make your animation work more efficient and fun.
  • Step-by-step instructions. Jake will explore how to break down complex designs into simple, manageable pieces. You’ll see how to bring a design from Adobe Illustrator to After Effects, and how to approach it as a sum of parts that you can easily animate individually.
  • Prepping for animation. You’ll learn how separate groups of design objects into layers and then gather multiple layers together to “precompose” better, more controlled animated movements.
  • Laying out your objects. Jake will explain how to use your original artwork as a reference tool to line up your layers and keep them organized. You’ll also get to know essential keyboard shortcuts that will help you save time – whether you're working on game animation, face animation, or want to create simple animated .gif files at home.
  • Using Graph Editor. In a clear, concise demonstration, Jake will demonstrate how he uses the After Effects graph editor to customize, control, and smooth out his animation. By the end of these animation classes, you’ll be able to manipulate keyframes, adjust the speed of their movement, and influence how those frames move over time.
  • Working with anchor points and graphs. You’ll work with anchor points to animate objects using the scale property. Jake will also touch on how to use graphs to animate complex designs with multiple layers.
  • Easing motion and looping your design. With Jake’s instructions, you’ll know how to customize the order and timing of your layers’ animations and be able to make an unlimited number of designs, freeing you to be as creative as you like! When you are happy with your work, Jake will talk you through how to create a loop so that your composition is as exciting to watch break down as it was to build up.
  • Creating a .gif. Jake shares step-by-step instructions for exporting your work from After Effects by saving it as a Quicktime file or photoshopping it into a GIF. He’ll also give you crucial troubleshooting techniques for scrubbing your work to ensure that your animation displays correctly no matter where it ends up.

Transcripts

1. Stop Right There!: Hey, it's Jake and I just want to stop you right there and say, do not watch any more of this class because I've updated it. There's now an animating with ease version two and a link to that and in the notes of the video right now. Basically in the time since I made the first version of this class, I've become a better motion designer. I've learned better techniques, and this one has become outdated. Now I didn't want to delete this class in case you've already taken it in your class project is here, there's a whole lot of class projects and discussion on the community tab. So I want to just keep all that active, but the new class just has so much better techniques, the content is twice as long. I promise that even if you've taken this class before watching the new version, you will absolutely benefit from it and learn better techniques. So head on over there and I'll see you in that class. 2. Course Trailer: Hey, I'm Jake Bartlett and in this course we're going to be animating with ease in after effects. I'm going to teach you how to use the graph editor, so you can take control of the motion in your animations. Whether you've been using after effects professionally for 10 years or you just opened the software for the first time yesterday. If you're not using the graph editor, you don't have full control of your motion. In this course you'll gain a full understanding of both the speed and value graphs and how to use them to your advantage. For the class project, you'll be designing and animating a house from the ground up. Along the way, I'll share some of my workflow tips and tricks as well as keyboard shortcuts for working efficiently in after effects. By the end of this course you'll be animating with ease. I'll see you in class 3. Getting Started: First, I just want say thank you so much for enrolling in my class. I'm super excited to be teaching on this subject. I truly believe that the graph editor is the most valuable piece of knowledge that I can pass on you. It's amazing what it can do to your animations. Now if at any point you feel confused or you feel like I didn't explain something clearly enough, please go to the Discussions page and leave a comment on the Ask me anything thread, and I will be more than happy to work through something with you and definitely go back and revise these videos to make future students learning experiences easier. Let's get into this project. I'm going to walk you through how I made this house animation. It might look pretty complicated, but it's actually really simple, there's just lots of layers to it. Pretty much all of the animation uses the graph editor in some way to smooth out the motion. Let's get to it. The first thing I did was design my house inside of Illustrator. Typically, I like to design my artwork inside of illustrator and then bring it into After Effects and recreate it there. I just prefer to design inside of Illustrator because I feel like I can get stuff done quicker. You can see here that this is my reference image. This is the house that I grew up in. I just used that as a visual reference and design my house as closely to it as possible. It's very simple, not a lot of detail, just some rectangles, some triangles, and then a couple of custom shapes down here for the bushes. If you're new to After Effects, I want to encourage you to keep your design as simple as possible. You don't want to overwhelm yourself. Now if you've been using After Effects for a while and you want to do something a little bit more complicated by all means, go ahead. There's no limit to the amount of detail you can put in. It's just depending on how much animation you want to have in it, the longer it will take you to make. But I'll leave that decision completely up to you. For the class project, I'm going to stick to this. Before we get going, I want to just explain a little bit about my layout in After Effects. I've only opened up the panels that I think I'll be needing for this project. It's okay if your layout doesn't look like this, but just know that if you see a panel that I have opened that isn't opened on yours, just go up to the window, drop down and you can see all of the different panels within After Effects. First let's bring in our artwork. I'll come over to the Project panel, right-click inside of it and go to Import File. I'll grab my house file from Illustrator and hit "Open". Now we have it inside of After Effects. Next, I want to make a composition by coming down to the New Composition button and clicking on it. I want my company to be 800 by 600 pixels. I chose the 800 by 600 because I want it to have a four by three ratio, and I know I don't need it any higher resolution than that. If you want this to be HD, feel free to change the resolution to whatever you want, but for this project, I'm going leave it at 800 by 600. I want my frame rate to be 30 and the duration of my comp to be about 20 seconds. I don't think my animation is going to be that long, but I just want to give myself enough workspace in case I need it. I'll hit "Okay" to create my composition. Then I'll bring my artwork into the composition by clicking and dragging on the file until it snaps the center of the composition and let go. Next, I want to convert my artwork into a shape layer so that I can animate it inside After Effects, it's a little easier. To do that, I'll right-click on the file, scroll down in this menu until I get to Create Shapes From Vector Layer. You'll see that that hid my original artwork and created a shape layer that looks exactly the same. The problem is that everything is on one layer. If I open up this layer and go into the contents, you can see we just have a whole bunch of groups that all represent each individual shape within my artwork. We need to separate the different shape groups into different layers so that we can animate them more easily. To do this, I'll make a little bit more room by moving my mouse between the Timeline panel and the Composition panel until my mouse turns to this little double arrow. I'll click and drag to make my panel a little bit bigger so I can see more of my timeline. Then I'll scroll up until I get to group one, I'll click on the first group and see that we've selected part of this light. If I zoom in by pressing the period key on the keyboard and then hold space bar to temporarily change to the hand tool, I'll click and drag to reposition. We can see that group one is just a portion of that lamp. Groups one to four are that lamp on the right-hand side. So if I click on Group four and then shift click on Group one, I have all four groups elected. If I press Apple or control on a PC plus G, that will group all four groups together. Now with the new group selected, I can press Enter on the keyboard and rename the layer, right lamp and press enter again to confirm the rename. Now we just repeat this process for every object that I want to separate into a different layer. Next I want do the left lamp, which should be the next four groups. There it is, I'll group it by pressing Apple G or control G on a PC, rename it by pressing Enter, left lamp, Enter again, and I'll just do this for the entire piece. I'll zoom back out on my composition by pressing the comma key on the keyboard, and then reposition again by holding space bar to bring up the hand tool. I want to talk a little bit about how I'm going to animate this. I want to break up all these windows into individual layers, but I also know that I want to animate them all exactly the same way. So really I just need one of the windows and then I can make five duplicates of it after I've animated it. If I scroll through my group and find where one of these windows are, here we go. Groups 35 and 36 are this window. If I group those two together and rename it, upper window, then I can just use this single group to make all five duplicates. I'm not even going to worry about these other four windows right now. Then I'll do the same thing for the lower windows, I'll find out where one of those are. So groups 30-32, are one of the lower windows. So group those together, rename it, then I don't have to worry about the other three lower windows. For anything that has multiple copies of the same animation, I will only need one instance of. If I find out where one of my bushes are, here we go, since it's a single shape, I don't even have to group it again, I'll just rename it to bush. Then let's find the door. Groups 19-26, group those together, rename it door. To make sure that I have all the objects for the door, I'm going to just turn off the eyeball for that group. Sure enough, all of those objects are within that group, so we're looking good. Next, there's this doorstep and then the base of the house. Then the last group is the siding, and the trim, and the roof. I think that's everything that we need. Now we can get rid of any of the groups that aren't renamed. So I'll select all of those groups and hit "Delete" until I'm left with just the groups that I renamed. Now I have all the different elements that I need separated out into different groups so I can more easily break this into multiple layers. I'm going to rename this layer by having it selected and pressing enter and then calling it house elements master. I want to name it that so that I don't accidentally modify that later. I'll always make a duplicate of it before I change anything inside it. That way I can always come back to my original elements if I ever need to. The next thing I should mention is that you should get in the habit of saving all the time. I have not yet saved my project and that's really bad. So let's go ahead and do that. I'll name mine house filled and hit "Safe". After you've saved your project initially, all you have to do to save again is hit "Apple" or "Control S". So remember to save your progress all the time. 4. From Groups To Layers: The next thing we need to do is separate all of our groups into different layers. Let's start with the upper window. To do this, I will duplicate my master layer and rename it "Upper Window", then I'll open up this layer and go to the "Contents" and then I want to delete everything about the upper window group. I'll select all my groups by clicking on the first one, holding "Shift" on the keyboard and clicking on the last one and then "Command" clicking or "Control" clicking on a PC on the layer I want to keep to de-select it and then press "Delete". Now this layer is just my upper window and if I solo the layer by clicking on the "Solo Switch", you can see that's the only thing in that layer. Then I'll do the same thing for the Lower Window, I'll duplicate my master layer, rename it "Lower Window", open up the contents, select everything, de-select Lower Window and hit "Delete". That layer just confirm that's just our lower window and we're looking good. Now something I just noticed, I have both lamps, but they're both going to be animated the same way. I really only need one of them. I'm going to delete my left lamp from my master layer because I know I don't need it and then just rename this layer to be lamp. Then I just continue to break down this layer in all of its individual elements until I have a layer for every shape group. Now instead of making you watch all of that, I'm going to use the magic of editing and just cut to when it's done. There we go, I've got all of my groups separated into different layers. The last thing I want to talk about really quickly before we get into animation is organization. It's extremely important when you have complex animations with lots of different layers that you stay organized and that's why I specifically named each one of these layers to reflect what's actually in them. If I would've left everything is those group numbers, it would have taken so long to figure out where the base layer is or where the bush layer is. So trust me on this one, organization is very important to having an efficient workflow. Make sure that everything is named clearly. Now that we've broken everything into layers, named a properly, we can get into setting everything up for animation. At this point, there are two things you can do for your class project before moving on. The first is just design your house. It could be the house you grew up in, one that you live in now, or even a fantasy building like a castle. Once you haven't designed, create a class project and post a screenshot of your house there. Then bring your house into artwork effects and break it down like we did in this video. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in an Ask Me Anything thread. 5. Prepping For Animation: At this point, you should have designed your house, brought it into After Effects and started breaking it down. Now we're going to start prepping it for animation. Some of these objects are going to be a little bit more complicated to animate than others. For example, the siding is going to be much simpler to animate than the door, because the siding is just a big rectangle, and the door has a bunch of little features on it. So even though we've broken up all these separate objects into layers, we're going to break certain objects down even more to make animating them even easier. To keep my composition as clean as possible, any object that will have multiple layers required to animate, I'll most likely be pre-composing. Pre-composing is something that we're going to deal with a lot in this project. You can think about it simply as a way to group multiple layers together. If I click on the upper window, I want to pre-compose this layer, by going to "Layer," all the way down at the bottom, click on "Pre-compose." This will pop open a window that will let me rename the new composition that we're creating. So I'm going to name this upper window pre comp. Then there's some more options that you don't really have to worry about at this point. Just make sure that move all attributes into new composition is selected and press Okay. Now you'll see that our shape layer has changed to a composition. If I expand this a little bit so you can see the full layer name. We see that we have upper window preComp just like we had named it. If we look in our project, we have a new composition that's named Upper Window preComp. If I double-click on this composition, you see our new composition that just has our upper window layer in it, exactly as it was inside of our first composition. You'll also notice that the new comp size is exactly the same as our original comp. I'll go back into my Upper Window preComp, and now we can break this shape layer into multiple layers. I'm going to give myself a little bit more room to work. Then I want to change my anchor point so that instead of being at the center of the composition, is at the center of my layer. The easiest way to do this is through a keyboard shortcut. Its "Option" command "Home," or "Alt" "Control" "Home" on a PC. Now if you're working on a laptop, you most likely don't have a "Home" key. I'll undo by pressing "Command" or "Control Z" on a PC. You can do this same command by right-clicking on the "Layer," going to transform and then clicking on center anchor point in layer content. That just repositions the anchor point to the center of the layers contents. That is one of the most handy keyboard shortcuts I have ever learned. Next, I want to center my window inside of the composition. To do this, I'll come over to the aligned palette. Now remember, if you don't have the aligned palette open, you can find it by going to window, and clicking on a line. That disabled my window, so I'll click on "Window Align" again to bring it back up. If you've ever used the aligned palette inside of Illustrator, this works exactly the same way. You can align whatever you have selected to different points on the composition, or if you have multiple objects selected, you can change this to align to the selection. I want to center this in the comp. So I'll come to this button right here and click to center it horizontally, then I'll come to this button and click to center it vertically. Now because the anchor point was centered inside of the layer, I know that the layer is perfectly centered within my composition. Now, the size of the composition determines what the bounding box is, inside of our main composition. Even though the window is only taking up this much space inside of the layer, we have all this extra empty space that still represented by that preComp. So I'll go back into my preComp, and I want to change the size to match the window a little bit more. I'll go to composition, composition settings, then I can move my window over and then just scale down the width and the height, until it matches the window a little bit better. This doesn't have to be perfect. The numbers don't have to be rounded. I'm just trying to get it as close to the size of the window as possible. I'm going to unlock the width and the height so I can change them independently and scale the width a little bit more, and then I'll give myself a little bit more height just so I have a little bit more room to animate. Once it's roughly the size of the window, I'll press "OK." Then I go back into my comp 1, and now you can see that the bounding box is updated to the new size of the preComp. This will just make things a little bit easier to move around. We don't have to worry about the positioning just yet, we'll come back to that in a little bit. Now if we go back into this preComp, I'm going to zoom in. If you're using a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can move the wheel in and out to scroll in and out on the composition. I'll just zoom in until I get to about here. We're zoomed into 200 percent at this point. That's why the edges look a little bit fuzzy, but that's okay. Now I just want to break these three rectangles into three different shapes. There's no wrong way to do this. If you'd rather use solid layers instead of shape layers, feel free. For example, if I wanted to make a new solid layer, I would go to layer, new, solid, makes sure that it's white, press "OK, " press "OK" again. Now I have a new solid the size of my comp. I could come up to the mask tool and draw a mask, hold down "Spacebar" to reposition it, and make it the size of my window, and that's one way to have the shape of my window. Nothing wrong with doing it that way, if that's how you feel comfortable. If I get rid of my mask, I also could have just scaled this down to be about the size of my window. That's another perfectly acceptable way of doing it. I prefer to work with shape layers, so that's how I'm going to recreate this window. I'll delete this solid click on my "Shape Layer" and just like before, I'm going to duplicate the window, open up the contents, open up upper window, and select the first two objects and press "Delete." I'm just left with the larger outside rectangle. I'll collapse this layer and rename it Frame. I'll duplicate this layer again, bringing on top, open up the contents, delete the second two layers, rename this layer Lower Glass. Then I'll duplicate it one more time, bring it up, open the contents, delete the first and the last, and rename this Upper Glass. Now if I disable my original layer, I have all three rectangles separated in different layers. Now this window is all set up for animation. If I come back out to my original composition, let's do the same thing for the lower window. I'll start again by pre-composing this layer, by going to layer, pre-compose, rename this Lower Window preComp. Make sure to move all attributes in the new composition you selected and press "OK." Now before we go into that new composition, I want to note that every time we make a new composition, our project structure gets a little bit messier. At this point I'm going to start organizing my files. If you come down to this icon, you can make a new folder in your project. I'll name this preComps. Then I'll select my two preComps, and bring them into that folder. I'm also going to take this opportunity to rename my comp 1 composition to House-Build. That way, down the line when I have lots of different compositions, I won't get confused as to what's what. Now if we go into our Lower Window preComp, again, I want to center the anchor point with the layer, so I'll do that by holding "Option" command "Home" or "Alt' "Control" "Home" on a PC. Then I'll go to the Align palette, click on the horizontal alignment and the vertical alignment. Then I will change my compositions settings, so that I can scale this down to be the size of the window again. Once I'm happy with that, I'll press "OK" and then I'll break down this layer in the same way. Now I have all my different elements separated into multiple layers. Next, I'll do the door. We're going to layer, pre-compose, rename it Door preComp, press "OK." Go into that composition, center the anchor point, align at the center of the composition and change the composition size press "OK." Then because this has a little bit more detail to it, I'm going to zoom in on the door. I want to start by focusing on this window, since it has a bunch of tiny little pieces. I'll duplicate the original layer and disable it, go into the contents, and find that set of groups, that's just that window, and then I'll group those together, and delete all the other groups, so I can focus on just those elements. Now the way that I built this was by doing a half circle here for this base part, doing three different lines for the glass separations, and another half circle for the outside frame plus the glass. If I turn off the other groups, you can see that it's just a half circle with the fill color, and then a stroke for the frame. Now the way that I want to animate this, I only need to break it into two separate layers. I'll rename my layer to be Window, duplicate it, go into the contents and delete everything except this little half circle. Then rename this Window Reveal, and then delete that half circle out of this first layer, so now I have two separate layers. One for the smaller half circle and one for the rest of the window. We'll get into how I animate it a little bit later. But for now that's all I need to do. Then I can turn my original back on, and break down the rest of the door. Now my door is separated in individual layers. Now the last object that we need to do this to is the lamp. I'll select my lamp, layer, pre-compose, rename it Lamp preComp, move all attributes, press "OK," go into the layer, click on the "Lamp," "Option" command "Home," "Center Horizontal," "Center Vertical" and then change my composition settings, change the size, press "OK." Then I'll zoom in and start breaking this down, and that's that. 6. Laying Out Your Objects: I have all the complex elements separated into their own layers inside of precompositions, so I can animate everything very easily. Obviously, this does not look like the artwork, and that's because we only have one copy of each object and they're not placed where they need to be. To do this, I want to turn on my original artwork layer, if I scroll down to the bottom of my comp and enable my original house layer, then I'll turn off everything except my upper window layer. If I click on this first layer, scroll up and shift click until this layer, and then hold ''Command'' or ''Control'' on a PC and click on this last layer, then I can turn off the eyeball for all those layers all at once, so I'm left with just my upper window [inaudible]. Now, I'm going to use my original artwork as a reference, I'm not going to get caught up with aligning everything perfectly, I'll just use it as a reference. So I'll zoom in a little bit and then with the selection tool, I will click and drag on this layer until it's about where I want it, then I'll duplicate this layer by going to edit, duplicate. Now, before I click this I want to point out, that if you look on the right side of any menu command that has a keyboard shortcut, it lists what the keyboard shortcut is, right there. Keyboard shortcuts are essential for speeding up your workflow, I use them constantly and they save me tons of time. So I want to encourage you to start learning these keyboard shortcuts for commands that you use a lot. Duplicating layer happens all the time inside of After Effects, so I'm going to press ''Command D'' or ''Control D'' on the PC to duplicate my layer. Now, we have two different copies, with the second one selected, I'm going to click and drag to get my window positioned roughly where I want. Now, I know I want all my window centered horizontally, so to make sure that I only move my window left and right, I'm going to hold shift on the keyboard so that I can only move it left or right or up and down and then I'll get it to about where I want it and let go. Then I'll do this process again, press ''Command'' or ''Control D'' on a PC, click, ''Hold down shift, reposition'' that looks pretty good. Then I'll click on this centered window again, duplicate, click, ''Hold down, shift, reposition'' this way, duplicate one more time, click, ''Hold shift, drag'', and let go. Now, we're going to use the align palette one more time to make sure that there's equal spacing between each one of these windows, so I'll select all of my windows by holding shift and clicking on the others and then I'll come to my align palette and see that align to layers is set to selection, this should automatically happen when you're clicking on multiple objects. If it's still set to composition for you, just make sure that it's changed to selection and then I want to come down to the distribute layer section. This button here will distribute all of my layers equally on a horizontal axis, so if I click on that button, all of my layers were just repositioned ever so slightly so that there's equal distance between each layer, I'll undo one more time. If you watched the layers, while I click on this button, you can see that they all just moved a little tiny bit. Now, I know that they're all equally spaced, but I don't think that it's perfectly centered in the composition anymore. Now, like I said, you don't have to make this perfect, but I'm going show you how just in case you ever need to. I know that this layer is my center window, so what I want to do is link all these other layers to that layer. To do that with all of my layers selected, I'll come down to any one of the selected layers, pick whips, click, ''Drag down'' to the first layer, which is my center window, and let go. That will parent all of the selected layers to the layer that you had selected, which in this case is the center window, parenting links the transform properties of the child layers to the parent layer. If I click and drag on my window, you can see that the position is affecting all of the layers, and if I were to rotate this, the rotation changes as well, so it's linking all of these layers to a master layer. I'll undo to get back where we were. Now, if I come to my align palette and makes sure that align layers two is set to composition, I can click on the horizontal center alignment, and now my windows are centered horizontally with equal spacing between each window. Now, let's do the same thing with the lower window, I'll turn that layer on, reposition it to about where I want it, duplicate by pressing ''Command'' or ''Control D'' on a PC, shift click and drag, duplicate again, shift click and drag, duplicate one more time, shift click and drag. Now, because there's no window in the center vertically distributing these layers won't work the same way, if I were to do that, it spreads them out in a way that I don't like. To get around this I'll undo, I'm going to make one extra duplicate of my lower window and put it in the center just temporarily, then I'll select my other windows horizontally, distribute them, parent them to that central window, click on the center window alignment at the center, and then delete that layer. Now, I have my four equally spaced windows centered horizontally, then I'll turn on the door, drag that down until it's about where I want it, and then centered horizontally. I'll turn on my lamp, click and drag that until it's about where I want it, duplicate it, click shift and drag until it's about where I want it, and then I'll do that same trick again. I'll duplicate this lamp a third time temporarily position at roughly in the center, shift click on the other two features, horizontally distribute them, parent them to that centered layer, select that layer and then horizontally center it on the composition, and then delete that temporary centered layer. Now, you can see the things are not lining up perfectly to the original artwork, and that might be because my original artwork wasn't perfectly centered, but because we're doing it this way with the aligned palette, we can know that everything is lining up perfectly. Next, let's do the bush, I'll select that layer and then click and drag it to the top of the layers palette. Now, I'm actually going to want to precompose this bush as well, not because there are multiple objects, but because I'm going to be using the same animation for all four bushes, and if it's precomposed, I only have to animate it once. I'll precompose the layer by going to layer precompose, renaming it, bush precomp, press ''Okay'', go into that precomp, click the layer option ''Command home'' or ''Alt Control home'' on a PC center it in the composition change the composition size, then come back onto my original composition. Then I'll click and drag this layer to about where I want it, duplicate, shift click, and drag, duplicate, shift click, and drag, duplicate, shift click, and drag. Then again, I'll make a centered layer, distribute all of these layers horizontally, parent them to the center layer, center them on the composition, and then delete the temporary object. Next, let's do the doorstep, this one does not need to be precomposed, so I'll snap the anchor point to the center by holding option ''Command home'' or ''Control Alt home'' on a PC, and then make sure that it's centered horizontally on the composition and that one's good to go. Then we'll do the same thing for the baseboard, set the anchor point to the middle, center it horizontally, and then we'll do the same for the roof. Set the anchor point to the middle, center horizontally, I'll take the trim, do the same thing, the siding, and that's it. If I turn off my original artwork layer, we can see that we have all of our individual elements separated into the layers, centered nicely and we can move on to animation. The next step for your class project is to get back into After Effects and break down your artwork into multiple layers for every object that you want to animate. Once you're done, post a screenshot of your composition showing me that you have layers broken out into individual objects or precompositions, and you'll get bonus points if you kept your project organized. 7. The Graph Editor: This is the single most important unit of this course. If you haven't been already, now is the time to start paying attention. I'm going to take a little pretour from the class project and show you exactly how to use the graph editor inside of After Effects. So let's get started. Now we get to talk about what this whole class really is about, smoothing out your animations. I've set up a little demo to explain a little bit about how After Effects handles motion between its key frames. I've animated this dots position across the screen with just two keyframes. This trail that it's leaving behind is a representation of every frame of its motion. If I step back one frame at a time. You can see that these outlines are exactly where that dot was on every frame between those two key frames. Right now it's just a linear movement from point A to point B. The dot travels at a constant speed. It's pretty boring. One of the most common ways of smoothing out animation in After Effects is using the built-in Easy Ease preset. If you're familiar with animation at all inside of After Effects, you've probably used this before. So let's take a look at what that does to our animation. I'm going to select both my keyframes by clicking and dragging a box around them. Then I'll right-click on one of the keyframes, go to Keyframe Assistant and choose Easy Ease and immediately you can see that our trail is updated. Now there are more outlines bunched up at the front and the tail end of the animation and more spread out in the middle. If I play this back, you can see that the dot takes a little bit more time to speed up into its motion and then slows down more gradually at the end. For many After Effects users, this is where they stop. They just apply the Easy Ease Preset, call it good, and move on to the next thing. But you're taking this class so you can learn how to not be like every other After Effects artist and take control of your motion. So I'm going to show you how to completely customize this motion using After Effects graph editor. To open the graph editor, you come down to the timeline and click on this button right here. Whatever property you have selected in your timeline will show up in the graph editor. So I'll click on my position value and a curve appears in my graph editor. I'm going to give myself a little more room so we can see what's going on here. There are two different types of graphs inside of After Effects. By default, After Effects is going to choose the one that it thinks you want to use based on the type of property that you're editing. This is called the speed graph, and it's displaying the speed of this dot over time. So at the beginning of our animation a dot isn't moving. So the speed value of the dot is zero and you can see zero pixels per second at the bottom of this little window. If we scroll through to the middle of the animation, our curve is shot up and at the top of the curve, it's traveling at about 1,530 pixels per second. Then if we scroll up further to the end, it comes back down to arrest at zero pixels per second. These two dots on either end of the animation are the keyframes that we set back in our original timeline. You can manipulate these keyframes to adjust the speed of the dot overtime. These handles allow you to adjust the influence that each keyframe has on the speed curve. So if I were to click and drag on this handle and pull it towards the left, you can see that the influence percentage is increasing. At the same time if you look up in the comp window, you can see that the outlines of every frame are bunching up towards the end of the animation. That's because we're modifying their speed curve. I let go here, we can actually predict the speed of the dot based on the curve. Right around seven frames is where the dot is going to be traveling fastest at around 3,100 pixels per second. So if I play this back, you see now that the dot takes much less time to take off and slows down much more gradually. It's a completely different feel. If I were to grab this handle as well and drag that all the way out. Now there's a point in our animation where outlines aren't even overlapping. If I preview this animation, you can see that the dot is traveling extremely fast in the middle of our animation and takes a while to start up and to slow down. Now let's say I didn't want my animation to start at a resting position. I'm going to set my keyframes back to Easy Ease by drawing a box around them to select them, and then clicking on this button for Easy Ease. Then I'll increase the speed of my first keyframe by clicking and dragging it upwards. If I started at around 1,500 pixels per second, we can see that our curve is making a constant arc down to a resting position, but starting pretty quickly. If I preview this, our animation reflects that curve. You can see that it starts out fast and it's constantly decelerating to a resting position. If I grab this keyframe speed influence, I can exaggerate this even more. But since I increase the influence of this speed handle, the speed at the start is actually not the fastest point anymore. To make sure my curve constantly decelerates I'll grab this influence handle and turn it all the way down. The highest point of the curve will always be the first frame. Let's preview that and now we have an extremely fast-moving dot that slows down to a resting point. Now, like I said before, there are two different types of graphs inside of After Effects. I've heard some people talk about the speed graph, like it's the worst thing in the world and I've heard this exact same thing about the other type of graph. Nine times out of 10, I personally use the speed graph most of the time it does exactly what I needed to and I have as much control over my motion is I need. But I'm going to ahead and show you the other type of graph because it is a little bit more versatile and lets you do the same thing, but in just a little bit different way. So first I'm going to set my keyframes back to linear by selecting them both holding option or alt on a PC and clicking on one of the keyframes. Now we have our linear motion represented by a straight line on our speed graph. If I come down to this little icon here and click on it. I can choose to edit my value graph instead of my speed graph, which right now is set to auto select. If I choose value graph, our graph is a little bit different now. The biggest difference is that we have two different lines instead of one. These two lines are representing the two different axes of the position value. Now the way that we have our position value setup now, I can't edit these graphs influence handles. I have to separate my X and Y position values into their own properties. To do that, I'll right-click on position and say separate dimensions. Now I can select the two different axis independently of each other. My animation of this dot is only moving on the X-axis. So I can actually get rid of the Y position keyframes by clicking on the stopwatch. That way we can just worry about the X position value. So if we take a look at this graph, now we've got a straight line going at an angle. Instead of representing speed, this line is representing a value. So what it's saying is at frame zero, our X position of this layer is set to 130 pixels because that's where it happens to be in the composition. Now my comp's width is set to 1,280 pixels. So the far left side of my comp would be a value of 0 and my far right side would be 1,280. So this line is saying that at frame 0, X position is set to 130 pixels. At the end of the animation, this layers X position is set to 1,150 pixels. Because the keyframes are set to linear, our graph is a straight line which proportionately spaces out every framed equally. So in our speed graph, this is represented by a straight horizontal line, and on our value graph is represented by an angled line. Now if I were to reverse these two keyframes by selecting them, right-clicking, going to Keyframe Assistant and saying time reverse keyframes. Now our dot travels in the opposite direction and if I go back into my graph editor and look at just the X position, our graphs angle has now switched to be in the opposite direction. That's because at the start of the animation, we're now on the right side and at the end of the animation, we're on the left side. I'll undo this to get back to our original animation. Now let's see what happens to this curve if we apply the Easy Ease by coming down to this button. So just like before, animation is updated to have more frames at the beginning and the end of the animation and less in the middle. Instead of having an arched like our speed curve did, we now have an S-shaped curve. Now that I have handles on each one of my keyframes, I can adjust my curve. Just in the same way that I adjusted my speed curve, increasing the length of this handle will bunch up more of the frames towards the end of the animation. If we read this curve, we can see that that makes sense. At the beginning of the animation, the value is pretty low and not too far into it. It starts picking up to be a higher value and it starts to level out right around frame 15, which is halfway through the animation. The rest of the animation has pretty similar values. So the dot comes to a gradual stop. If I preview this, you can see what's happening. If I bring this handle in to the left, we again will exaggerate this motion even more. So at this point, it doesn't really seem like there's any benefit to use the value graph over the speed graph. But here's what the value graph can do, that the speed graph can't. I'll set my two key frames back to Easy Ease and let's say I want to animate this to be a little bit more cartoony. I'm going to back up to around frame 25 and set a new keyframe at this point by switching to the Pen Tool up here, or by pressing G on the keyboard. Then I'll click on this point to add a new keyframe. Because we have a new keyframe, we have new handles that we can adjust. I'll switch back to the selection tool by clicking up here or pressing V on the keyboard. Now I can adjust the handles of this keyframe to modify my value curve. So if I go a little crazy and adjust this to be a weird shape, let's try to read this curve before I play the animation back. At this point our dot will be on the left side of the screen. It will ease into its motion and come up to a point of about 1,100 pixels. So pretty far on the right side of the screen. But then you can see that our curve is now dropping down back to a lower value of around 1,045 pixels, and then it comes back up to a resting point of 1,150. So what we should see is that our dot travels to a certain point, comes back a little bit and then finally it comes to its resting point. Let's preview that animation and sure enough, there it is, right at the end you can see that it does this little wiggle move before it comes to the last frame. Now, I would not have been able to do this nearly as easily inside of the speed graph. If I switch back to my speed graph, you can see what that looks like. The reason why it's easier to do this type of motion inside of the value graph, because I can just grab the handles of the value graph and adjust them to whatever I want. Inside of the speed graph. It gets a little bit more tricky because you can't adjust the angle of a handle, just the height and the influence. I can actually look at both graphs at once. If I click on show reference graph. Now we can see the motion of our dot being represented by both graphs at the same time. So the baseline for our reference graph would be 0 pixels per second. You can see that it speeds up, slows down a whole bunch until it comes to a negative speed, which is where the dot travels backwards and then speeds up pretty quickly again and drops off to its resting point of 0. In on our value graph, we can see the same thing just represented in a different way, eases into its motion, gets to a point of 1,130 pixels, backtracks down to about 1,035 and then eases into its resting point of 1,150. If I click and drag on this keyframe, you can see that both curves are updating at the same time. So if you're having trouble understanding what's happening between the two different graphs, I want to encourage you to just play around with it and try turning on the reference graphs. So you can see both types of graphs at the same time to really get a grasp on what's going on when you're adjusting these handles. Now, like I said before, nine times out of 10, the speed graph does exactly what I need it to, and I don't need this extra control. It's only when I am doing very specific types of animation that need a little bit more finessing that I'll use the value graph. So get in here, mess around with it. Try to get a feel for both graph editors and ask any questions if you're running in any trouble. I can't stress the importance of this unit enough, using the graph editor is the key to controlling your motion inside of After Effects. At this point, you need to get into the program and start messing around with the graph editor. Setup some shapes and animate them on the position, scale, and rotation values to see how the graph editor affects each one of those properties. Also switch between the speed and the value graphs to see how those are different. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the ask me anything discussion and rewatch this video if you need to. Then post any of the experiments that you came up with while messing around with the graph editor. 8. Anchor Points Matter!: Now that we've got a little bit of an overview of the graph editor, let's start animating the house and use the graph editor to customize our motion. But before I go any further, let's clean up our project a little bit because it looks like I have some preComps out in the main area of our project. I will just move them into our preComps folder and we're good to go. I know I want to animate most, if not all of these objects using the scale property. I don't really need the objects positions to move around and I don't think I'll be rotating anything, so we should be able to do everything that we need to just by scaling. Let's start with the upper window. I'll just move over one of the copies, and then double-click on it to go into the preComp, and now we can focus on this object. Now, for every object, I want to animate from the back to the front because if I animated the to glass panels first, they would just be floating there and it would look like nothing was holding them up. I want to start with the frame and then animate the two pieces of glass. I know I want this animation to start with nothing visible. Since I'm going to animate the scale, that means you just need to scale from 0 to 100 percent. If I select all three layers by clicking on the first one, holding Shift, and clicking on the third one, I have all three selected. Now, I could twirl this arrow down, go into my Transform and then set a key frame for the scale, but a quick shortcut for getting to scale when you have any layer selected is just pressing S on the keyboard. You can see that that brings up the scale property for each layer. At this point, I could just click on the stopwatch to add a key frame for each layer. But another way I can add a key frame is holding Option or Alt on a PC and pressing S. That will set a key frame for the scale property of whatever your selection is. These are just quick shortcuts that you don't necessarily have to know, but if you start memorizing them, it will speed up your workflow tremendously. Now that we have scale key frames of 100 percent set on each layer, we need to move them forward in time. One way you can move key frames around is by clicking and dragging them. Or another keyboard shortcut is holding down Option or Alt on a PC and tapping the right arrow. Every time you tap it, it moves the key frame forward one frame. If you press the left arrow, it goes the other direction, and if you hold down Shift at the same time, it will move your key frames forward ten frames at a time. That's a really quick and easy way to move your key frames specific distances. With my key frames at zero, I want to move them forward 30 frames. I hold Option or Alt on a PC, Shift and hit the right arrow key three times. Now, my key frames are set at 100 percent at frame 30. I'm going to zoom in on my timeline a little bit by pressing plus on the keyboard and then scroll over so I have a little bit more room to work. Then I'll move my playhead back to frame zero. Now, we need a scale key frame set to zero for all three layers. With all three layers scale properties still selected, I can simply click on one of these values, type in zero, and press Enter, and all three layers will change their scale to zero percent and automatically set a key frame. Once you set a key frame, if you go to any other point in time that hasn't had a key frame yet and you change the value, another key frame is automatically generated. I don't need this key frame there right now, so I'm just going to hit Delete. Now, sif I play this back, our window scales from 0 to 100 percent. But it's super boring because the key frames are linear and it's all scaling from the very center of the frame. If we look at these layers individually, you can see that the anchor point of each layer is in the exact same spot, which is the center of the composition. I want each layer's anchor point to be at the center of its respective layer. If you remember the reposition anchor point shortcut, you hold down Option, Command, and press Home or Alt Ctrl Home on a PC, that will snap our anchor point to the center of the contents. Again, if you don't have the Home key on your keyboard, just have your layer selected, right-click, go to Transform and Center Anchor Point in Layer Content. Now, each one of our layers has the anchor point centered in its own contents. If I play that back, you can now see that our glass is scaling from the center of its own layer. But what if you didn't want it to scale from the center? What if we wanted to look like it was growing from this point upwards? Well, we can do that pretty easily. If you come up to your Tools, this one right here is called the Pan Behind tool and you can see in parentheses, it's also the Anchor Point tool. If we choose that tool, I can then grab this anchor point and move it around freely. Wherever I set this anchor point is where my layer will scale from. If I play that back, you can see that this window's animation is scaling from the bottom-right corner. If I was to move it to the top-left corner, now, it's scaling from the top-left. This is very important to understand because it affects multiple properties of the layer. If I [inaudible] this layer, collapse this layer, and open it again, I can see all of the transform properties. I'm going to take up the scale key frames just for now and then set my anchor point back to the center. If I set a rotation key frame, move it back to the beginning of the animation, and then change this to, say, 90 degrees, my layer rotates from 0 to 90 around the anchor point at the center of the layer. If I was to change this anchor point at the top-left corner and preview that, you can see that my rotation animation is completely different because it's basing the rotation of the anchor point of the layer in the same way that the scale is based off the anchor point. If you're ever trying to scale or rotate something in a certain way and it's not turning out the way you want, it might be because of where your anchor point is set to. Remember the Pan Behind tool and how the anchor point affects your animation. I'm going to undo until we get back to our scale animation. Now, let's talk about how we could get this to scale from the bottom up. Well, I could freehand try and position this just right so that it animates from the bottom up, and that might be close enough to what we need, but how could we be more precise? Well, After Effects has a snapping feature that allows you to place anchor points much more precisely. If you come up to the toolbar and click this Snapping checkbox, now when I move my anchor point around, you can see that it snaps to different points on the screen, not just based on this layer, but everything within the composition. If I wanted this layer to scale off at the top-right corner of the frame, I could do that just by snapping the anchor point to that point and letting go. Then I animate that and you see that our scale is now coming from that corner of the frame. But what we want is to move this anchor point to the base of that layer. Because we have Snapping enabled, we can note that that's exactly the base of that object. I'll play that back, and that looks pretty good. But right now, it's scaling on the x and y-axis, both. It's growing to that point. What if we wanted to just scale on the y-axis? Well, all we have to do is unlink our x and y-values by clicking on this little icon. Now, if I go back to the beginning, I can adjust the x and y-values independently. If we leave this set to 100 on the x-axis, when we play this back, you can see that now it's growing from the bottom up. But the width is the same the whole time. I think that's how I want to animate that shape, so I'm happy with that. Next, let's do the same thing to the top-layer, except animate it from the top down. I'll switch to my Anchor Point tool, click and drag the anchor point until it snaps to the top of that layer, go back to the first frame, unlink the x and the y, set the x to 100 percent, preview that. Now, it's scaling from the top down with a constant width. Last, I need to decide how I want to animate the frame. I think I'm okay with it scaling from the center, but this time, instead of going from one side to another, let's have and animate from the inside out. I'll go back to the first frame, unlink the two properties, leave my x set to zero and change my y to 100, and preview. You can see how playing around with the anchor point and the different values will give you different looking animations. 9. Ease That Motion!: Now I've got my core key-frames set, it's time to use the Graph Editor to ease them. Let's focus on just the frame. I'll solo that by clicking on the solo switch, and I'll collapse these other two layers. Now if I go into my Graph Editor and click on the Scale property, give myself a little bit more room to work and we're looking at the value graph again. I'm going to switch mine back to the speed graph because it'll work fine for what I'm trying to do. Now because the Scale property has two different values, we have two different graph lines again. I'll click and drag a box around these two key-frames and I'll apply Easy Ease again. The reason I want to apply Easy Ease is because it brings the starting and ending points down to a resting position, which is how I typically want things to animate, starting and ending at a resting position. So it's just a good place to start. This time instead of clicking on this button, I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut, which is F9 on the keyboard. Now, for PC users, it's as simple as pressing F9. For Mac users, you most likely are going to have told them the Function key, which is right next to the Home key, and then press F9 on the keyboard. That's because the way that the operating system is set up, those keys also function as volume controls and playback controls for music programs. You can change this around by going into your System Preferences and go to the Keyboard section, but then you'll have to hold down the Function key to do things like changing the volume. So it's up to you how you want it laid out. I typically leave it the way it is and just hold down the Function key and press F9. All right, now that we have eased key-frames, let's play that back and see what it looks like. It's a little bit better, but let's exaggerate this motion a little bit more. I want it to take longer to open up and much longer to gradually get to its resting point. So I'm going to select the first key-frame, grab this Influence handle, and drag it out. Now one other thing that I should mention is that my handle is being snapped to the current position of the key-frame. That's because I have this Magnet icon turned on which is snapping. This will allow my handles to snap to each other and to the base. If I turn that off, it'd be much harder to keep that value at exactly zero. So typically I worked with it on. But if you're having trouble getting it to be at an exact zero, that's probably why. Okay, so I'm going to reposition this handle so it has a little bit more influence on the motion, and then I'm going to drag this one all the way to the left to 100 percent influence. Let's see what that looks like. That's pretty cool. I'd say let's leave that for now and then make the glass on and see how they work together. I will un-solo this layer, collapse it, and then come out of my Graph Editor, move forward in time until the window is at least the width of one of the glass panes. I want to move my two glass pane layers to that point in time so that they don't start animating on until the window frame is covering up the entire width of those two layers. Click on the first layer, Shift-click on the second layer, and then click and drag them until they go to that point in time. Now the first layer animates on, and then the second two come on after it. I'm pretty sure I want the curves of both of these layers to be the same, and you can actually edit multiple layers speed graphs at the same time. So if I click on these two layers and press S to bring up my scale, I can open up the Graph Editor, click on the first layer scale, Command or Control-click on the scale of the second layer, and now both layers scale properties are being represented inside of the Graph Editor. Draw a box around all the key-frames and ease the key-frames again by pressing F9 on the keyboard, and then I'll do the same type of speed curve as I had on the frame. I'll select the first two key-frames, drag out the influence a little bit, and then I'll grab the last two key-frames and drag that influence all the way out to 100. Then I'll preview that animation. I'm pretty happy with the way that looks. Now, I'll just stagger these layers a little bit, so they don't animate on at the exact same time. Then I'll select both layers and move them back in time just slightly. The whole thing happens a little bit quicker. That's basically it for the upper window. Now if I go back out into my House-Build Comp and I preview this animation, you can see that because I have multiple copies of the same preComp, inside of this Comp, the animation that we just applied to the single window is being duplicated across all the copies. This is why preComping is so handy. Now let's say I don't want all these windows to animate on at the same time. What if I wanted to start with the first one and then move outwards in both directions? Well then, with all of my layer selected, I will Shift-click on the middle one to de-select it, then I'll hold Option or Alt on a PC and press Page Down. That moved all of my selected layers forward one frame. Then I will Shift-click on the next two windows, so I just have the outer windows selected, hold down Option and press Page Down again. Now these layers are offset in time in a way that will cascade the animation. If I preview this, it's a little hard to see because I only offset them one frame at a time. If I offset them again by say three frames, 1, 2, 3, and then I Shift-click on these two windows and add three more frames, 1, 2, 3, it's more dramatic. You can see now that the first layer to animate on is the center, followed by the ones on either side, and then finally, the ones on the very outside. Let's say I wanted to animate it from the left to the right. Well, I'll reset these layers back to the first frame by dragging my playhead to the first frame, and then pressing the left bracket on the keyboard. That will move all of your selected layers in points to the playhead. So this time with all five layers selected, I'll Shift-click on the first one, move the rest of them four frames forward, 1, 2, 3, 4. Move my playhead forward so I can see what's going on. Shift-click on the next layer four frames forward. Shift-click, 1, 2, 3, 4. Shift-click, 1, 2, 3, 4. Play that back. Now they're animating from left to right. For this project, it's completely up to you how you want to animate your house on. But there's pretty much an unlimited amount of ways that you could do this, between customizing the way that your layers come on, and then the timing of the layers in your main Comp. You can make something completely different looking than what I have here very easily. So it's up to you to be as creative as you'd like. 10. Animating Overshoot: Let's go back into our preComp and see if we can make this animation a little bit more exciting. I'll collapse these two layers and go back to our frame layer and press "S" to bring up the scale. Then I'll go into the graph editor and select the Scale property and this time I want to switch to my value graph. If I select my keyframes and reset them back to easy ease, I'm going to solo this layer so I can just focus on it. Right now the animation is going from the center outwards on the x-axis, but it's still just going from point A to point B. I want to add a little bit more character to this animation. To do that, I'm going to backup to right about here and set another keyframe by clicking on the "Add keyframe" button, and then I'll click and drag on this keyframe until it goes above the value of the last keyframe. Now our layer is going to animate from zero to being wider than 100 percent and then scale back down to 100. If I click and drag on this new handle, you see that it's not affecting this handle as well. To fix that, I'll hold "Option" or "Alternate BC" and hover over the keyframe so you can see that my tool is now changed. If I click, that will get rid of my handles and then if I click one more time, it brings the handles back. Now those two handles are linked together because they're linked, our curve will be nice and smooth. If I were to hold down Option and click on that handle again, I can move it independently, but then our value curve comes to this point at a certain angle and then completely changes directions, and it will result in a very jaggedy animation. I'll go ahead and play this back so you can see what I mean. See how it bounces there at the end. It's almost like it's hitting a wall. It's not what I'm looking for. If I hold "Option" again or "Alternate BC", click on the keyframe and then click one more time, now I have a nice smooth curve. I'll click on this handle and hold the "Shift key", and that will snap the handles to being straight across. I'll modify my handles just a little bit while holding the shift key, so that the value gets to that point pretty quickly and then eases out into its final destination. Let's preview that, and now you see that our animation is doing a little bit of a bouncing animation and that's what I'm going for. This type of curve, going past its final value before coming to a resting point, it's called overshoot. It's a very common technique in animation and can add a lot of personality. I'm going to exaggerate this a little bit more by clicking and dragging on this keyframe upwards, so it goes even further outwards. We'll play that back. Now you can see that the width goes even further out before coming to its final point. If I click and drag the keyframe backwards in time, I can speed up that initial animation. If I wanted to, I could add another keyframe here by switching to the Pen tool, by clicking on the tool up here or pressing "G" on the keyboard, adding another keyframe, switching back to my selection tool by pressing "V" on the keyboard or clicking right up here. Then click and drag this keyframe down below the final value, shift clicking to make this curve horizontal, adjusting my value graph a little bit and then play it back and now we've got an extra bounce. I'm going to go ahead and select these two keyframes and then move them backwards a little bit in time, so they happen a little bit quicker. This gives the layer to some elasticity. You can give your objects distinctive feel visually using this technique, I like the way that looks. I'll unsolo this layer and then preview the animation again. Now, if I switch back out of my graph editor, I can move the second two layers back in time to right about here, so the whole thing happens quicker. Let's do that overshoot animation again, but this time from the center of this layer. I'll solo this layer, go into the scale of that layer, reset the anchor point to the center of layer by holding "Option Command Home" or "Alt Control Home" on a PC. Preview that animation and see that now it's coming from the center. But I'm actually going to switch my first keyframe back to being 0 by 0, so it scales completely from the center of the frame. It's not happening exactly the way that I wanted to, because the easing for one axis is not the same as the easing for the other axis. To fix that, I'll select both keyframes, ease them by pressing "F9" on the keyboard and now they're animating at the same pace. Let's do the same trick again by going about this point, adding another keyframe by pressing "G" to bring up my Pen tool, click switch back to the selection tool by pressing "V", click and drag upwards. You'll notice that I couldn't move both of those anchor points at the same time. This is where things can get a little tricky with the value graph. If I try to move this upwards and set that value, and then I try to move my second access to that same point, unfortunately, they don't snap together. It'll snap to a different keyframe, but not the same keyframes other axis. The way that I can make sure that this axis value is set to the same axis values as this one, I can simply come over here to the Scale property click on the value I want applied to both, copy by pressing "Command C" or "Control C" on a PC, then clicking on the second value and pasting. Now both of the value points are on the same spot. Then I'll just adjust these handles to match as closely as possible and play that back. We've got a nice little overshoot. I'm going to bring this keyframe backwards a little bit. Then add another keyframe right about here. Click and drag till it's down below the last value. Ease the keyframes by pressing "F9" on the keyboard and then click and drag on these handles to adjust my value graph, and just finesse this a little bit so that I can see visually that the curve is going to represent the type of motion that I want. Then play that back and that's a little bit extreme. I'm just going to finesse this a little bit. Preview that and just adjust that a little bit more. This is really how I approach every animation. You just got to play with it until it looks the way that you want it to. Here I'm running into an issue where I can't place my point where I want to because I have snapping turned on. If I disabled that, I can then place this exactly where I want it and then turn snapping back on. Then I think I just want to move these two keyframes in a little bit. I'll select the two keyframes, hold "Option" or "Alt" on a PC and press the left arrow a couple times, and then do the same thing for the last keyframe. Preview that. I'm pretty happy with that. I'll unsolo this layer so we can see what it looks like altogether. That's looking pretty good. Now, what if we were to change the anchor point of this layer to be say in the top left corner and now our overshoot happens in this diagonal direction. Again, just play around with your graph editor in combination with the anchor point and just try experimenting with some things to see what you can come up with. I'm going to move that anchor point to the top and see what that looks like. I like that. I'm actually going to copy and paste these keyframes to the other layer, so I can have the same type of animation. Get rid of that last keyframe and then my anchor point is already set where I want it. I'll preview that. Now I've got a completely different looking animation than when I had the first time. Let's go back to our main comp and see how that looks. Very quickly, I was able to change the look of the entire animation so far. This is the basis for what we're going to do for the rest of the house, we'll animate the lower windows in the same way. There's just an added element of this top triangle. The door is probably the most complicated just because it has a few extra elements. Then there's the lamp, the bushes, and then the main components of the house. You can add as much or as little detail as you want. It's completely up to you. 11. Working With Graphs: Let's animate the door next since that's a little bit more complicated. I'll double-click on a "PreComp", give myself a little bit more room. Again, I pretty much want to animate from the back to the front. Let's start with the frame. I'll solo that layer. This one I want to grow from the bottom to the top. I'll move my anchor point to the bottom, making sure that I have snapping turned on, and snap it to that point right there. Then I'll open up scale by pressing S on the keyboard, and I'll go to frame 30 instead of keyframe by clicking on the "Stopwatch". Then I'll move back to the beginning, unlink my two scale values, and then set the y-scale to zero. Now we have the animation of the door growing from the bottom to the top. But these are boring linear keyframes. Let's go into our Graph Editor, and this little handy button will fit all of your graphs to view. If I click on it, you see that that zooms in my timeline, so I can focus on my curve a little bit more. Again, I'll ease the keyframes by selecting both of them, pressing F9 on the keyboard. Now we have a nice little S-curve. I'm going to make the door frame take a good amount of time to get up to speed before it overshoots, and then rests at the last keyframe. I will add another keyframe right here, move it upwards, probably a little bit further, click and drag hold Shift, and then adjust the curve a little bit more, and I'll play that back. Let me zoom out so we can see the whole door. Now we've got a pretty decent size overshoot, that might be a little bit too tall, so I'm going to grab the keyframe and pull it down just a little bit. Then let's move it back in time a little bit by having it selected holding Option or Alt on a PC, and pressing the left arrow. Preview that. That's a little bit better. We'll add another keyframe right here, drag it downwards, Shift, click. Just my curve a little bit more. Once you do this enough times, you'll start to notice that you can actually tell how extreme you're overshoot is going to be just by looking at the curve, but it's really just something you have to experiment with and get used to. Let's preview what that looks like. It's taking a little bit too much time to animate on initially, so I'm just going to reposition some on my keyframes. Preview that. You know what? I might add one more keyframe with a little bit of overshoot right at the end. I'm going to disable my snapping just so I can reposition it a little bit more accurately. Then that should be pretty good. That is not good, so let's reposition these keyframes a little bit more. See how that goes. I think you need to decrease this value. Another way that you can adjust the value instead of just clicking and dragging the keyframe is by just adjusting the value right here. Now, simply clicking and dragging, it's pretty hard to be very accurate, but if you hold down Command or Control on the keyboard, you can adjust in a much smaller scale. I'll just adjust this until it's about where I want it, and preview that. That's pretty good. I want to adjust this value as well, so it's not so extreme. Then I just want to space these out a little bit more. That looks pretty good, I'm happy with that. Let's move on to the next layer which would be the door. Since this one animates up, why don't we animate the door down? I'll solo this layer. Reposition the anchor point to be the top, and then I can actually just copy and paste these keyframes. Since the overshoot is already figured out, and apply it to the door layer, to see if it works the same way. If I preview this, it looks fine. But something I just thought of is that, that is actually going to push the door past the point of the frame. I don't want that layer to go outside of the frame. This time instead of doing an overshoot, I think I'll just do point A to point B and just customize the curve a little bit. Since I'm not doing anything complicated, I don't really need the value graph, so I'll go back to the speed graph just so you can see a little bit more of how that one works. I'll select both my keyframes and reset them back to easy ease by pressing F9, and then I will grab my speed handle and drag it out to around maybe 65 percent and then do the same thing for this handle, round 65. Preview that. That's pretty good but I want to exaggerate it a little bit more. I'll go around 85, and let's see what that looks like with the other layer. I think that looks good, it just needs to be re-timed a little bit now, so I'll bring it forward in time until right about there, and I'll zoom out on my timeline by pressing minus key, preview this. I think the animation is just happening a little bit too slowly, so I'm going to grab my second keyframe and drag it backwards in time a little bit. Cool. Let's do the top next. I'll un-solo these two layers. Now, because of the overshoot, I probably don't want the top to start animating on until about this point. I'll solo the layer and move the layer to that point in time by pressing the left bracket again to move the endpoint of that layer to my play head. Then I'll move my anchor point to the base of that top layer, I'll zoom in by using the scroll wheel and reposition by holding down the space bar to make sure that it's exactly where I want it. Now, the reason that After Effects is saying that that's the base of my layer is because if I enable my shape path visibility, you can see that that's where the actual path for this layer is appearing. The reason why the shape goes outside that path is because this layer has a stroke. If there was no stroke, that would be exactly where we would want it, but because I have the stroke on it, I need to turn off snapping so that I can reposition this by hand. Just like moving any layers around, if I hold down the Shift key, it will snap to being only in the left or right, or up and down in positions. Hold Shift, and move it until it's right about the base of the layer, and now I can animate it the way that I want. I'll set a scale keyframe by holding Option or Alt on a PC and pressing S. Then moving forward 20 frames by holding Option Shift and pressing the right arrow twice or Alt Shift on a PC, and then I will scale this down to zero on the y-axis. Now it animates and a growing motion from the bottom up. Let's select our keyframes, go into our graph editor, easy ease them by pressing F9 on the keyboard, and then adjust the speed handles until we come up with something that we like. I'm fine with that animation, I don't think that one needs overshoot. I can un-solo this layer and makes sure that it is timed well with the other two layers that we've already animated. I think it could come out a little bit sooner, so I'll bring it back to about here. See what that looks like. I like it. Now I'm giving this very thin gap between the two layers. I'm just going to select the top one and move it down a couple times by pressing the down key on the keyboard. Now, if I play this back, looks pretty good, there's no gape and we can move on to the glass. Let's solo the window and the window reveal layers. I'll zoom in and I want to animate these two layers from the base as well. I'll reposition the anchor point to the bottom. Again because this layer has a stroke, the snapping feature won't work, so I'm just going to do this by I. I'll do that again for the second layer as well. Then I'll go to a frame 20, maybe set a keyframe for both layers on the scale property by holding Option or Alt on a PC, and pressing S, and then scroll back to frame zero, and scale them both down to be zero. Now, they both scale up from the base. Very basic. I'm going to clean up my timeline a little bit so I can focus on these two layers. Now, what I actually want to happen is to have this window reveal layer be covering up all of the glass as the main window layer scales up, and then have it scaled down to its resting value. I actually want to shift these two keyframes forward 20 more frames. Instead of setting this one to zero, scale it up so that it covers up all the glass. That way we get to this point without seeing any of the glass and then it scales down to reveal it. The problem is before that point, it doesn't scale down. Now, the way that I'm going to fix this is instead of setting a keyframe, is parenting the window reveal layer to the window layer. That way the window reveal layer follows whatever transformed properties have already been set for the main window layer. If I scroll backwards, you can see that the second layer is scaling with the first layer and then scaling down to its resting value. Now that we have our keyframe set, we can go into our graph editor. I'll go into the graph editor, select the keyframes, easy ease them by pressing F9 on the keyboard, and make some exaggerated motion. Do the same thing for the second layer. Easy ease, exaggerated motion. Preview that. I think the motion is pretty good now it's just a matter of timing. I will come out of my graph editor, and then shift these two keyframes backwards in time a little bit. They start coming down a little bit closer to the time that the first layer is done scaling up. Right about there, preview. But I'm actually not too happy with this motion, so I think I want to adjust the speed handles a little bit more. I'll select all my keyframes and go into the graph editor. Now you see if we can actually adjust to different graphs at the same time. This first one is our main layer, and our curve goes in this direction because it's scaling from a lower number to a higher number, so the speed would be in a positive direction. Our second layer though, is starting at a higher value and scaling down to a lower value, so the speed is happening in a negative direction. That's why these two curves are mirrored. Now what I want to do, is adjust the last keyframe of both layers at the same time. I'll do that by drawing a box around the second two keyframes. Then I'll adjust the handles, and you can see they're being affected that same way. This is a very handy way of adjusting a multiple properties. I'll make this a little less dramatic. Then I'll select the first two keyframes and increase the influence a little bit, and see what that looks like. That's just a little bit smoother of an animation. I still want to adjust this timing a little bit, so I'll select those two keyframes, and move it back in time by pressing Option or Alt on a PC, and the left arrow. I'll preview that again. I think that looks pretty good. Let's come out of our graph editor, un-solo these layers, zoom out, and then preview the whole animation. Pretty good, except that I forgot to re-time my window, so I'll just drag that forward in time until the door is behind where the window would appear. Then preview that again. I think that looks pretty good. Now we can come back into our main comp, preview that animation, and we're one step closer to having the whole house animated. For your class project, you should be all set to animate your house. Go ahead and be as complicated, or as simple as you'd like with your animation. Once you're done with that, go ahead and move on to the next video for exporting. 12. Creating A Loop: This is my final animation. You can see that I added a little bit more detail, I changed the colors, and I added a background. Once you're happy with the way that your animation looks, then we need to loop it. To do this, I'll put my final animation into a new composition. I'll come over to my Project panel and then drag the House-Build composition down to the New Composition button. That will automatically put my House-Build composition into a new composition that's the same dimensions, frame rate, and length as the original composition. Then I'll rename this comp to be "House-Build-Loop". Then I'll come down to my composition and find where the finishing point of the animation is. So right about here is where I want it to loop and go backwards. First, I'm going to trim this layer to end at this point. To do that with the layer selected, I'll hold down "Option" or "Alt" on a PC and press the right bracket, and that will trim the layers out point to the play head. Then I'll duplicate the layer by pressing "Apple D" or "Control D" on a PC so I have two copies of my animation. What I want to do with this second layer is reverse the animation. To do that, I'll right-click on the layer, so go down to "Time" and then click on "Enable Time Remapping". This will bring up two Keyframes and a new property called Time Remap. The Time Remap feature allows you to change the time code of a composition or a piece of footage to whatever you'd like. It automatically generates a Keyframe for the starting value and the ending value. So if I go to the point of the composition where I want it to loop and I set a new Keyframe, now I have a Keyframe for the end of the animation. Next, I'll delete this last Keyframe because I don't need anything after this point of the animation. Then I'll select these two time Keyframes, right-click on one of them, go to Keyframe Assistant and say, "Time-Reverse Keyframes". That will swap the two keyframes. So now my second layer is starting at the end of the animation and working its way back to the beginning. If I move this layer over, I can snap it to the end of the first layer by holding "Shift", and now if I preview the animation, we'll see that the house builds on and then animates off. 13. Exporting from After Effects: Now that we have our loop, we need to export it so we can turn it into a GIF. To do that, I'll have my loop composition open and then go to composition, add to Render queue. That will open up the Render queue panel where we can customize how After Effects will output our animation. Now, I have some output module presets already created. That's why mine is set to progress 4.2.2. Yours is most likely going to be set to Lossless. That's actually just fine for this project. I'll have it set to lossless and then I just want After Effects to save my file on the desktop. I'll click on the Output two and make sure that it's set to the desktop and press Save. Then we can hit Render. Now after effects is exporting our animation into a QuickTime file then we can then open up and turn into a GIF. 14. Saving a GIF in Photoshop: Next, I want to open up Photoshop, then I'll open up a file inside of Photoshop, and when you open up a video file, the timeline panel inside Photoshop will open where you can scrub through to make sure that your animation is displaying correctly. I'll go to File, Save for web, and then come up to the preset drop-down, scroll to the top and choose the first one, give 128 deterred. Then you'll get this little loading screen on your malice. Don't worry if it takes a while because Photoshop has to process the entire video file. Now that it's done, you're seeing a live preview of how your animation is going to look once its exported. If you're not happy with the quality, you can increase the colors or adjust the dether percentage. Playing around with these values will increase or decrease the quality of your animation. Another thing that will decrease the file size is if you change your image size to 400 by 300 and that will just cut the resolution in half but greatly decrease the size of your animation.I don't really need my animation to be as big as 800 by 600, so I'm going to go ahead and leave it at 400 by 300 to cut my file size down. If you look down in the bottom left corner, Photoshop will estimate what size your final GIF will be once you export it using these settings. So 469 kilobytes is a great file size and won't take much time to load it all online. I would say the maximum GIF size that you want is five megabytes, but keeping it to one megabyte or less is preferable. Once you're happy with the way everything looks and the file size, the last thing you have to make sure that you do is come down to this little drop-down and change your looping options from once to forever and that should be the last thing you do because changing settings can sometimes reset this back to ones. I don't know why it's one of the most annoying features of Photoshop, just make sure that it says forever before you hit save. Now that I'm done, I'll hold it safe, make sure it exports to my desktop, hit Save again, and now if I come to my desktop, I see my new GIF, press Spacebar to preview it, and there we go. I've got a looping animation of my house build, and I'm now ready to post it to the project page. 15. Thank You!: All right, that's it. Congratulations, you've completed my course. Again, I want to just say thank you so much for taking my class. I would love to know what you thought about it. Be sure that you post your final project to the project page. If you have any questions, feel free to ask it on the Ask Me Anything discussion. Thanks again, and I'll see you next time.