Intro to After Effects | Jared Freitag | Skillshare
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11 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Comps

    • 3. Layout

    • 4. Toolbar 1

    • 5. Toolbar 2

    • 6. Animation 1

    • 7. Animation 2

    • 8. Effects 1

    • 9. Effects 2

    • 10. Rendering

    • 11. Thanks

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About This Class

After Effects can be an intimidating program with buttons and layers and comps and weird layouts, but it doesn't have to be! I'll walk you through step-by-step the basic tools in After Effects to make this lesson as simple as possible. Whether you're brand new to After Effects or someone just looking for a few new tips, this lesson is for you. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Jared Freitag

Animation Supervisor


I have been squash n' stretching in the animation industry for 8 years; primarily as a freelance animator. I walk the line between Character animation and Motion Graphics to bring stories to life. I run a small animation studio named Backwoods Animation where big things are happening.

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1. Intro: my guy's chair with backwards animation and after effects can be scary but doesn't have to be a tiki several years to fully understand out for effects and click, they finally made sense. It's a very powerful tool, and in this course I'm gonna walking through some basic techniques and tools. You'll be losing just to get your feet away so that by the end, of course, we're gonna create a very simple animation. Some effects added to it just to show you that it's not that scary. It's gonna be a fun course. I'm gonna very easily and simply walk you through it step by step, so it's started. 2. Comps: to start a project in after effects. The very first thing you need is a composition. I'm gonna explain to you how to set up composition and what a composition is, so let's get into it. So to begin this tutorial, we need to start by opening after effects. So I have mine pinned to the toolbar at the bottle. I'm also using Adobe CC 2019. You may have a newer version or an older version in either way. It's fine. They really haven't changed the functions that I'm gonna be talking about in several years so you can follow along just fine with either version. And once this loads up, we're going to start off by talking about compositions. It is the very first thing that you have to set up when opening after effects. So you can either click this new composition button here, which is nice and easy to use. Or you can go composition new composition. So going from the top to the bomb, we start with the composition name. It's always good to name your composition so you can keep it clear as to what you are working on. And I'm gonna call my intro to e interest after effects, which is what the tutorials about you can select a preset if you know what you're using. Um, I honestly don't know what a lot of these do other than change frame rates and your your high definition. It defaults to HD TV 10 80 29.97 on. That's typically what I use. So when talking about a composition, your composition is essentially just your work area. It is the dimensions of your screen with all your objects or your video within it. And um, yeah, it's essentially just a stage. It's where the performance happens, and that's like, I don't know, the easiest I can explain it so, however wide you're composition is is how wide it's gonna be on a screening. So your standard screen is, Ah, is an aspect ratio of 16 9 and so whips. Let's get back into that. 16 by nine is your aspect ratio. So that's basically 1920 by 10 80 in pixel sizes. And that's what I usually use. And then square pixels is fine. You don't need to worry about any of this stuff now. Frame rates is, is something that you want to make sure you lock in before you start animating. You want to know what your frame rates gonna be? If you're working with a client that's using film, your film could be anything from 23.97 seconds to 24 you know, up to 30 and even up to 60 frames per second. So you need to know what kind of footage you're gonna be using. If you're creating your own animation, I would suggest starting with 29.97 seconds. That is a standard, high definition frame rate. And if you're not sure what a frame rate is, it's essentially how many frames do you see in every second? So with the 29.97 frame rate, you're seeing almost 30 frames in one second playing back. If you go down to something like 12 frames per second, you're only seeing 12 frames in one second. Um, film is traditionally 24 frames per second, and then anything below that your eye starts to detect. You're going to see a little bit more chop in the frame rate. An animation is where you're going to see that the most animation goes down to a standard of, like, 12 frames per second. And then anything below that you're really going to see and it's gonna become very artsy, almost like a like a paper cut out or stop motion type feel anyway. Long story short, 29.97 seconds. That's a good way to go and your resolution. This can change throughout, but despite standard default, it goes to full. And that's fine, unless you have, like, a lot of objects that you're animating and then it can get pretty intensive. But you don't. To be honest, you don't have to worry about what you set your resolution to, because you can change it very easily. Your start time code in your duration thes are where your animation or your footage is going to start on the composition and this is how long of a composition timeframe you want . So let's say that you want a 12th animation. Well, this goes milliseconds seconds here, then it goes minutes in this section, and then it goes all the way up two hours in the final section. Um, so if you want a 12th animation right here, is where it's gonna go. 10 seconds if you want. A minute in 10 seconds. You'd put a one right there for this turn tutorial. We're all gonna need maybe 10 seconds if that Probably not even. And then we can go. Background color black. Leave that His default. That is fine. And then in the advanced, you don't really need to worry about this stuff because we're not gonna be using three d. You don't have to worry about it right now. As long as yours looks like this. We are good to G O. So inside here we have our composition. It's a black square, and this is what our render will pick up is anything within this black square is what the camera will see. This is transparency, so you can toggle it on and off. So it shows you that we now have. We currently have a transparent background. As you start to fill it with objects, your composition will lose its transparency. The objects won't lose their transparency. But your composition will, um so that's basically it. And if you come over here, Teoh your project file tab, you'll see our composition is nicely named and it's right there called composition, and it tells us how long or what the duration of our composition is. It's 10 seconds. So within this project tab, this is where all of our files air gonna go. It's going to start to fill up with things like solid files. It's gonna Philip with Mawr compositions that you will correctly have named. And this is where you could import any files such as illustrator files or Photoshopped files or movie files or audiophiles. All your files will come in to right here. 3. Layout: So in trying to make sense of everything, the next thing we're gonna talk about is the layout. How does after effects look, and how should it look for you? There's several different settings, and I'm gonna walk you through the settings that I use on creating and after effects layout . So now that we've talked about composition, let's talk about the layout of our after effects. The layout that I typically used is called animation, So if you come to this double arrow, click it you can click animation, and that way you can kind of follow along with what I am doing now. As you start to learn after effects and you get a feel for your own style and comfort, you're going to start to change this on your own. And over time it's gonna, you know, become much more effective, inefficient for you as you start to learn things that you need don't need, um, and it really becomes up to your own personal preference. And then once you have a layoff that you like, you can save it, and it'll always upload to that that layer. There's many different to choose from, and it really depends on you know what you're trying to dio. If you're gonna be doing effects, they have a tab for them. And it it essentially mainly all looks the same. It just gives you different presets here in this little sub folder. This category here. So I'm gonna default to animation, and we'll call it a day. 4. Toolbar 1: So now we're going to get into the meat of it. We're going to start talking about the toolbar. What are the tools do? How do you create things with them and what they therefore let's talk about it. And I'm gonna easily explain to you that little toolbar at the top of your aftereffects file. Let's get into it. Next. We're going to talk about tool bars. So your toolbar is a very quick shortcut to all the things that you need when editing footage or animating motion graphics or character animation. And I'm gonna highlight some of the things that you will need, and I'm gonna pass over the things that you do not need. Eso starting off, we have the selection tool. The selection tool is it's just something that you're going to use all day every day. If you're in after effects, you will be using the selection tool. I have mine selected right now so you can have the click this or just hit V on the keyboard . And essentially, this selects anything within your composition. It's just a way of selecting things and then manipulating them, whether it be the position or animating it or the scale of it. Anything. Next we have the hand. Now. Hand tool comes in very handy pun intended because it allows you to move around your composition. Now if you're at a distance, if you're out of distance like this, it's kind of pointless. Like why would you move your hand around to the far corners of your work area? Where it really shines is when you zoom in closely and you can start to really fine tune some of the details that you have within your composition, and that's that's a very useful tool. I typically don't click this. If I'm gonna be doing the hand tool, you can get to it by holding the space bar and then clicking around with your mouths so you can move it around nicely. Another way to do it is to hold down the middle mouse button, clicked out and then you can drag. Uh, my dexterity is not that good, so I always do space bar and click with the left mouse button. Uh, next we have the zoom tool. The zoom tool is pointless. You click it, it zooms in. You hold Ault. It zooms out. Uh, you might think that it's useful and it is. But there's an easier way. If you just scroll forward on your middle mouse button, you zoom in, and if you scroll backwards, you zoom out, thus eliminating the need for the zoom tool. You don't need it. Next. The rotation tool. It allows you to rotate your objects. So when you select an object you can rotate. Um, the easy shortcut for that is W If you hit double you on your keyboard, you can rotate. And a lot of these tools are gonna make more sense when we start actually designing things . So once I start to design something, I'll show you these tools again because they're just they're a staple. You're gonna need them and you're gonna have to use them, so I'll go over it again and again. So don't worry if you're not keeping up just yet. Next is the camera tool because this is a intruder. After effects were not going to talk about three D, You will not need this tool, so do not worry about it. But just for your sake of mind hits see on the keyboard and you can pull up a list of camera options. Next is the pan behind tool. That one is hard to explain. So, um, maybe I'll show it to you, but for now, you probably don't need to know it. But if we have time as a bonus, I'll explain what the pan behind tool does. So next we have, um, some shapes. I'm gonna walk you through some of the shapes that we have. I'm just gonna change these colors real quick, and then I'll talk to you about that later. Um, I'll pick a cruel color. All right, So starting off with our shape, this is called the Rectangle tool. Now it shows up as you can hit Q on the keyboard to pull it up and to cycle through your shapes. So there's a rectangle shape around the rectangle shape you lips, polygon and star. I will start with the rectangle. Now, the rectangle tool is simple. As it sounds, you click. You drag and you create a rectangle. You can create a custom sized rectangle or, if you hit shift on the keyboard, you create a perfect square. Or also, if you hold, um, shift and control, you create a square right from where your mouse cursor has clicked and it comes out from the center of that. So I am just gonna create a square and then hit V on the keyboard. So another thing that we're gonna talk about is kind of a complicated thing. So now I have created what's called a shape layer down here in my my, um, timeline. This right here is called your work area or Well, I'm sorry. This is your timeline time, ruler. And essentially, because we have set up for 10 seconds, there's 10 seconds worth of frames right down here. So down here within our our composition work area are shapely or one I'm gonna rename square. And this essentially controls the square so you could have multiple shape layers square to is now, over here, we have square one and square to, and the more that you create, the more it fills up. Makes sense. So now we have multiple squares. There is a difference between a shape layer and then the contents within the shape layer. So for this shape layer, because it essentially is a file, it holds whatever you put inside of it and because I haven't selected I can create and the lips inside. So the contents of my square shape layer are any lips and a rectangle, and I can animate them individually by holding. If you hold control and click on an object, you're essentially you're selecting a subcategory of your file or of your shape layer. If I select my shape layer, I can move everything at once, okay, and make sure that you're using your selection tool to do this. So hit V on the keyboard to move. And if I hit control click. Then I select a subcategory, which is my rectangle or my circle. And each one of these has its own set of transform options so I can adjust the scale of the Ellipse. I can even adjust the skew of the ellipse and all of these things air animate, herbal the rotation so I can animate objects within my shape layer. But I can also animate just the shape layer as a whole so I can rotate all the objects in my shape layer. I can adjust the scale of my shape layer, and I can do things like rotation on even opacity. So whenever you're animating, make sure you're animating the right, Um, the right thing. So there were times when I was first learning after effects that I would animate things in the subcategory, and then I would realize, Oh, I I did it all wrong. Like he didn't want anime. Just this. I wanted to animate everything. Um, so just know the difference of what you're doing. The reason that you would want to animate something in a subcategory, like maybe the rotation of this and the scale of this and, you know, have things doing weird things. Um is if you're doing something like, in effect, like if I have bubbles that are coming up and they're all kind of like deforming in a interesting way to make it look like bubbles, I can have that all on one shape layer. And then I can animate those bubbles moving up together. So that's one option. You might want to do that. Okay. And then I'm not going to talk much about the other tools. They're kind of self explanatory. So if you select off of your shape layer, you can then create another shape layer. But if you're Shea player selected, you will continue to do sub category shapes within the contents of your shape layer. So just make sure that if you're trying to create different, um, shape layers, select off and then create a new shape, select off and then creating new shape. So it's really a matter of being very aware of where you're placing an object as you're designing something. It happens to me all the time that I'm I'm trying to create something on one shape layer and I realized that I've clicked off and then now I've instead of having some, you know, like cool shape that goes along with my square I'm like, OK, cool Looks like Looks like my squares melting. I love it. Great. Now I'm just animate this thing. 00 man. And that's then that I realized I didn't actually put this on my square shape. So just be sure that you're animating in the right place Now you can if you have done this and you realize Oh, no, I want that on there. You can come down into the contents of that shape, select your little squiggly path which is shaped one go control. See? Then, if you come down here and you open up the contents and click it. Then you can go control V and it paste the shape onto that area. But because I've moved my square around, um, things aren't gonna line up, but you can get a pretty accurate, um, copy. You just have to move it around a bit sometimes. So that's a way to fix that mistake if you happen to make it. 5. Toolbar 2: Okay, so we talked about shapes, and I just showed you a little bit about the pencil. But let's talk about the pen tool, so I'll delete that and start over. So your pen tool. If you're familiar with Adobe Illustrator or photo Shop, you're gonna fit right in with this. It functions the same way it is an adobe product. After all, it might have a few variations that don't quite match up, but that is easy enough to learn. So if you hit G on the keyboard, it'll pull it up. And essentially, you just start clicking and it creates these points. And as the points click, it creates a line, and it's basically it's dot to dot um, if you hit V on the keyboard, a little black era was Show up and you can move the paths around, and you can create whatever shape you need. It's really great at creating organic shape shapes, and it's also great at creating very rigid, um, rigid shapes as well. So it's very verse toe. Now, why would you want to? Maybe why would you do this? Let's say that you want to make a square. Why would you make a square like this versus, um, actually creating a score like this. Well, it really depends on what you're trying to do. Either Square is fine. This one is maybe a little bit harder to control as far as like getting those perfectly square edges. Um, but let's say that you were going to animate this whole thing. Um, with this square, you can only go up and down, and you can on Lee kind of scale it like this in this. So you're kind of limited to what you can dio. But with this one, if you're gonna animate it, you can do some really cool stuff. So, like, you can squash and stretch and move this around, Um, you can even skew it so that, you know, it's like hitting at different angles, you know? So there's a lot more you can do with this square using the past shapes. Another way to use the pencil is if you click and hold, you're going to create, you're gonna pull out thes control, handles these these control and manipulate the path. So as you click and pool, it creates a very intuitive organic shape, and this is very useful for creating organic objects or following a line that you've created, maybe by sketching at first, and then you can follow the curve. So this is a great way to create some really beautiful, um, designs, organic designs. And again, if you hold control and click, I'm sorry, shift and click you can manipulate. That's where duplicated it. So if you go control and then shift on one of the one of the path points, then you can manipulate the path you can change the arc in the curve. Another thing we're going to talk about is the ad. Vertex Tool is kind of self explanatory. It gives you the option to add more if you need more. And then the delete Vertex tool is self explanatory. It deletes the ones that you don't need. But the other tool that is very convenient is the convert Vertex Tool. So if you come to a path and you and you want that path to kind of follow a different pattern, well, the way to do that is to break up the vertex paths, and what this does is it allows you to bend the Vertex in a much different manner So as you bend it out, you can create some pretty cool shapes with it and then hit V on the keyboard, and you can manipulate them so that it creates something like, I don't know, like a bear claw or a cloud. So just play around with it and see what you can come up with. So now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the shape itself or the stroke on the shape. So if you come down into your contents, you're going to see this shape that we're gonna be dealing with, which is this kind of cloud shape, bear climbing and know what that is. Now your path is essentially just your path. This is where you'll animate you, kid, and you can animate it. But I want to talk to you about the stroke. If we come down on the stroke, you're going to see you can change the color of the stroke through here. This is not the only way to do it. There's an easier way to do it, but you can change things like the opacity of the stroke and the width as well. More useful tool is learning about line cap in line joint. Right now, it's default to a but cap in a miter joint. And so if you click it, you can change it from a but cap to around cap. And it doesn't change anything because we are. We're dealing with a very we're doing. We're dealing with a closed circuit so that everything is connected and there's no break in this object. But if we create something with a break, you can see it's squared. And when we come into its stroke and change it to around Cap, you could see that rounds it off. Let me show you that again. But cap, round cap, I guess the irony is that this looks more like a but then this does so, uh, there you go. But this is the round cap. Anyway, let me show you about the miter joint. So right now we have what's called a miter joint, and you can see this very sharp blink edge. It comes to a point. If we change it to around joint, it rounds it off, and it gives it a nice, smooth look. There's another thing called the bevel joint, and that just kind of it. It cuts it at, like a 45 degree angle. So it really it's up to you as faras what your designs gonna be. Let's see. So that talks about the stroke. I want to talk to you a little bit about the color now. So if you come up here to your fill, you can get rid of your fill. You can have a solid You could have a linear Grady int which, um, basically you fade from color to color or, like, two dark. Or you can have a radio radiant. Let me talk to you about a linear radiant. So as you set up a linear ingredient, this is where one color starts, and this is where the other car color ends. So by creating or by pulling this blue bar from one side of your object to the other, we're gonna be creating a radiant. The way to manipulate it is to come up to this color box. And if you look inside, you'll see this is where our Grady int happens. You can do things like pull the color out, and now we have we have just one color to another. We can change it to any color we want, and it doesn't matter. But you can also add colors in. So I could change this to, you know, like a yellow. And I could change this to a dark purple, and you can really start to play around with it and they create some cool stuff. I kind of like that Looks cool up. Top these air, your opacity ease. So on this side are a pass. It is 100. But you can lower that 20 and you'll see it goes from zero up to 100. Um, or you can change it the other way around so that it goes from 100 to 0, and I'm just gonna click. OK, so that talks about those different kind of things. Next, we have a stroke. The stroke has all of the same options. You could have no stroke. Solid, uh, linear and a radio radiant. I'm gonna leave minus a solid. And then you can change your pixel size because I'm selecting my shape. Layer everything within my shape layer. The stroke gets adjusted. If I decide that I only want to select this cloud shape, I can then adjust the stroke on that individually. So that's how you select those in adjust the strokes. Now that is basically all you need to know. As faras designing goes, you know, the pencil. And now you know the shape players. Uh, actually, let me do one more thing about the shape layer. So this rectangle tool, if you come down in here into the rectangle path, you're going to see a few things, primarily the roundness option. Right now it's square and it has pointy edges. But you can adjust the roundness of this thing to make it very rounded. This actually eliminates the need for your round rectangle tool. These two tools are the same. There is nothing unique about them. The only difference is that when you create a rounded rectangle by default, it creates a round rectangle. But you can dio the exact same thing. There is no difference. Okay, so if you make a design with one or the other, they're interchangeable. Don't worry. So that's basically it. And then you can also change the size of the square if you're gonna be scaling your square or your circles or any other shape that you have. I suggest instead of scaling it like this because you're gonna see what happens to the stroke. You see that stroke? See how it gets thin on the edges in big and wide at the bottom. That's because we scaled it. Your scaling option does not maintain or lock your stroke to a certain width. It basically it scales it as well. The only way not to do that is to adjust the size of your square in here. And then your stroke will stay uniform and consistent throughout your entire set on whatever you're building. So use caution in scale from here. Okay. All right. So that wraps up the design aspect of this. Um, if you have questions, ask. But now we're gonna go into you animation. I'm going to show you guys some basic animation principles. 6. Animation 1: Well, by now you're feeling comfortable. You probably feel like a pro. So let's get into animating. This is the fun part. You're gonna make something come to life. I can't wait. Let's get to it. All right. For the animation, let's get into a few basic rules. So whenever you have a shape layer that you want to animate, the first thing you need to do is look at where your anchor point is. You can see that My anchor point is this little cross hair, this blue cross hair, and that determines where your object of rotates. And it also determines where your objects scales, so it scales ended the blue point. Typically, whenever you animate something, you want your anchor point to be at the place of, I guess most use Where is it going to be most useful for me? Because I'm animating this circle or this ball? It'll probably be more most useful in the middle of my circle. So how did you do that? I'm gonna show you right now If you hit. Why on the keyboard? This is your pan behind tool or your anchor point tool. By selecting this little cross here or your anchor point, you can move it anywhere on the map. Like I said, I won't mind to be in the middle. So how do I get it exactly in the middle, it seems to be just kind of going wherever I put it. And here's what happens if you eyeball it in the middle. It's not perfect. You can see my My ball is kind of like wobbling around the center. I don't want the wobble. I want to be smooth. So if you hit why on the keyboard, hold control? It's gonna snap. It'll snap to in an area of closest interest. Okay, Since I want mine in the middle, it snaps to the middle. Now, if I hit W on the keyboard, which remember, is our rotation tool now when I rotate, it's perfect. There's no wobble, and that's what we want. So now what we're gonna do is we're gonna start to talk about animation. Now that we've set up our anchor point, we're ready to animate. So if I select my shape layer, the first thing I want to animate is the position. So I'm gonna hit P on the keyboard and you can see it pulls up your position If I click the stop watch. What the stopwatch does is it essentially notifies this computer that this is a point that I want you to remember. It says this. This place in space on your composition is a point of interest. Remember it. This is your key frame so that as I move forward on my timeline, I'm now I'm now progressing toe one second. And then if I just grabbed my shape layer and move it over, you can see it creates all these dots. But what happened is that it? Um, it set a new key frame when I moved it. And it's telling the computer, Now, remember this position over here, this is a point of interest I want you to remember, and the computer fills in the rest. It says If I'm going from point A to point B, well, I have to have a key frame for each, um for each frame in between. So that means that there are there should be 20. There should be 30 dots total. So there's a dot adult because we have 30 frames in one second, which means we need 30 dots. If I If I hit and on the keyboard, it trims my work area. Okay, so this is essentially what My computer is gonna play back these air the frames. It'll play from 0 to 1 second, and I'll show you up here. If you click preview, here's the way that I'm set up. So my shortcut is space bar, and that's just basically means play. Then I have cash before playback. My ranges sets the work area. My play from is that start of range and my frame rate is 29.97 seconds. I'm not skipping any frames and my resolution is set to full. If I have a more complex scene, I might go down the half or even 1/3 but because it's a very simple just circle, I'm gonna leave it to full resolution. I don't need a full screen, so I'm gonna make sure it's not checked, and then you can check these two. So now when I come down here and hit play, you can see it moves, okay, and that looks pretty good. But what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna duplicate these things, and I'm going to show you a little way to get some finesse. So if I do that, if I duplicate shape, layer one I now to shape players, but you can't see him because they're overlapping. So what I'm gonna do is I'll hit you on the keyboard and when you hit you, it brings up your key frames. So if I select my position, I can shift and move upward. And then if I hold position on the bottom one, it highlights my blue. My key frames blue, and I can shift and move down. I want you to understand, though, because I have because I'm on my key frame. It works. If I move it here and start to move, it doesn't work because it's adding a new key frame. But if you make sure that you're over a key frame and you have your object selected, then you can move all your key frames at once. All right, so now I want to show you it will do a full loop. The way to do a full loop is now go to two seconds and we're gonna copy our first key frame control, see and paste it right there at the end and now does a full loop, and we'll do the same thing to the bottom one. And now we have to adjust their workspace and on the keyboard while you're at 22 seconds. All right, so now we have some good movement. Now, I want to show you something on this top one. I'm gonna select position all my key friends, get highlighted blue and then hit F nine on the keyboard. Now, when we plan, what we've done is something called ease in and ease out. Okay, so you're saying that it kind of this top one, it slowly moves out, and then it zooms into its resting position and slowly eases into that so it gives more cushion. This basically just gives a more organic feel to it. So if you can just hit f nine and it's gonna make your animation flow quite a bit better than this bottom one, this bottom one looks very boring. It's robotic and stiff, so that's just an easy way to fix that. Now we can do other things like, um well, just maybe the scale so you can hit s on the keyboard and we can start to do some cool stuff with scale. We'll go over here toe one second, and we're gonna scale it so that it looks like So it looks like we're maybe going out into space and they're coming back in tow, in the camera frame, okay? And what we'll do for this top one again will hit F nine on the key frames. Now, let's just see what happens. That's pretty cool. It looks like it's going away from us and you can see that the top one is much smoother. There's something happening that I want to address. So this happened sometimes is that the computer tries to overcorrect things. So we have these control arms, and what's happening is that these control arms are pushing our animation a little bit further than what we need. So if we select this one, you can see that this control arm shoots way out here. If you hold Alz on the keyboard and then start to move, you could see what happens. We're now gonna pull our animation back. We can actually just pull it to the square. We're gonna pull it back here, and we're gonna try to get it as close as possible. I'm gonna show you exactly how it makes it look so much better when you don't have these little key frames over shooting. Because what's happening? Is it pushing it? Bey ond are resting point and we're getting a little bit of Ah, a little pop in there. So now let's look at this and see if it looks better. So I'm gonna hit space bar. All right, that looks better. Yes, I love it so you can see how smooth the top one is. And all we did was hit F nine. The bottom one does not have f nine, so it's very stiff and robotic, so it's always a good idea to actually come in here and make sure that your anchor point airline points are hitting right. But this also brings me to another point. These control the position of your path so I can start to move these around and get some really cool shapes. And if you come over here to convert Vertex Tool, you'll be able to pull up both sides. And if you can't on, then what you're gonna need to do is click on the key frame that you need to manipulate, and then you can do so. Let's move that out of the way. Let's see if this works. All right? I'm just having a hard time getting that one to do anything. Why are you doing that? Oh, well, okay, so we'll do this and you can start. Teoh. Really make it do exactly what you wanted, Teoh. And once you've broken up your paths, you want to make sure that you hit V on the keyboard and use your selection tool to manipulate the rest and then come back to your convert Vertex tool and move things around. And I'm really confused as to why it's not letting me move this one. Usually, I don't have a problem, but something is happening. Oh, well, let's just do that and see how it looks. All right, we're getting some cool movement. So that's how you animate along a path is you can set up different paths path positions, and it's gonna is going to stick to it. If you're really having trouble and you need to manipulate this guy back here, then you can move that key frame that's getting in the way and just put it back into position. Oh, that's why. Sorry, guys. Okay, so now that we have some now that we have key frames in the scale and we have key frames in the position, what you're gonna want to do is select your shape, layer and hit you on the keyboard. And what that does is it pulls up all the key frames within your shape, layer. So this is the problem I was having is that I kept selecting the scale option and trying to manipulate the curve. But what I needed to do was select the position option, and then I could adjust the curve. So what we'll do is I will a copy of the N key frame and put it back in zero. And now, with this one selected, what I can do is hold Ault on the keyboard and pull this one around, and I'm trying to match these two as close as possible. I want them Teoh look very similar so that we have, like, a very nice loop. So now when I hit, play has this cool kind of effect. But you can also move it around so that we're gonna get this. Maybe we'll do like a figure. Eight. Who? I like that. All right, Figure eight. Let's do it. All right. That's kind of working. It's not the best, but it'll do. All right. So have fun with it. You can manipulate the path that your animation follows and do some really cool stuff. Just have some fun with it. 7. Animation 2: So now we have animated solid objects. Now I want to animate a organic option. So let's say that we have We have kind of like this, the lips tool. So using the pin. So I'm gonna draw out a shape, okay? And once I get a shape, that looks kind of like how I want it, what I'll do is all hit. Why? On the keyboard. And then I'm gonna move my anchor point around to the center, okay? And then coming to key frame one. I'm gonna hit p on the keyboard key the position that I'll move forward toe one second. Oh, you know what I did? I move the anchor point on the, um, object within my shape layer. So that's good to do to, but I needed toe also move the anchor point on my shape layer, so make sure it's all blue. And it's not this white square blue right case. There were all we're gonna go all blue, get why, and then we'll move it to the center. Okay, Now we can go forward one frame or do one second. We'll move it over, and then I'm gonna move it back at one second do. Okay, that I'm going to select all my key frames. Hit F nine on. Then I'm gonna do basically what I did with the 1st 1 I want I want that look to it. I wanted to kind of, like, move around, cause there's gonna be an organic shape, so we'll try the lips thing again. We'll see how that works. Let's just play. So it looks all right. Not too bad. I think I want this moving quite a bit faster. So what I'll do is I'll do a one second animation instead of a two second animation and on the keyboard. Now, I have one second here, Okay? And the reason I'm doing that is because I want to get some smear. I want to get, like, a squash and stretch happening so that I can show you how to animate the path of these things. So if I come down on my contents, I select my shape layer. I'm gonna key the path at one. That zero. Uh huh. And then as my enemy as my blob moves, I'm going to just pull it up and in almost like it's stretching. See that? And maybe this will come up a little bit like so All right. And this might be a little bit too much, but maybe it'll stretch right there. And then as it hits, it's gonna settle back to zero. Maybe it'll offset just a little bit. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna stretch it out to this side, pull it in like so. And then as we hit at zero will come back. Teoh, our original frame control CNB. I'm gonna Spacey's at a little bit better. All right? That's not too bad. Another thing we can dio is we're going. Teoh will animate the rotation of this thing so that as he goes down, maybe we'll have a rotation already. What? Kid? Right here. It needs to be following the path. So you want to make sure that it's always in line with the path that we're on. So they're right here. It's gonna be basically vertical, actually, no, that's too much. We wanted to be like that. I think that'll work, and this will be lips. This will be upward and will pasted back to zero. Okay, so now there's a few key frames in here. I think this one needs to be zero. Or maybe it needs. There's something it needs to dio. Okay, I like that. And I kind of drops down. Oops, drops down and then very quickly moves upwards. So maybe I could just delete that one. We're just trying to line these up, so they hit pretty accurately. So here, it needs to drop down this way. All right, That looks pretty good that I'm gonna f nine and we'll just hit play, all right? It's not too bad. There's a little pop when it comes to this side. Try understand what it is. It's this guy. So let's select it, hit you and let's hit F nine for these paths. All right, That's not too bad. I feel like there's something weird happening because it dad made it. All right, There we go. We just weren't looping properly. So you want to make sure that you're starting key frames are exactly the same as your ending key frames. Then once you have that set up, then playing it should look just fine. Okay, so that walks you through the path shapes. So it's a simple as king your path, and then moving forward on the timeline and adjusting its. You make whatever shape you need. You can do things like animate hair this way always so you can animate things like blobs and whatnot. But it's a very organic way of animating, and you can get some really cool effects with it. 8. Effects 1: Now that you're animation is blowing your mind and you can't believe you did something pretty cool, let's had some effects to it was really make it pop and see what some of the different things are. But you can add and, uh, really make your animation shine that much more that's getting to it. Speaking of effects, that brings us to our next topic. I'm gonna walk you through a few basic effects that you can apply to your animation to make it look much better. Uh, after effects has so much stuff within it. It's a very powerful tool, so I can't cover everything, But I can give you some of the basics on things that I regularly regularly use. So let's get into that and cover the effects. Okay, so we have our animation. We want to apply a few things that might make it look a little bit better. Uh, if you come into your shape layer, it is equipped with quite a few things already. So a few things that we can do is we can select our shape, layer one, and there's things that we can add to it. We can add things like zigzag, um, wiggled, transform with paths, twists. These are some very basic things that you can add that make it look a little bit more organic, a little bit cooler, right? So it might not be something that's gonna work perfectly with you every time, but it can't add just a little bit of subtle change to it that makes it a little bit cooler . So play around with these things and find something that might make your object look better or more organic. So that's simply by selecting your shape, layer and going to this little arrow. Here, add, and you have a whole list of things that you can dio, such as trim paths with trim paths. What you can do is you can go and literally trim your path. Now it effects the film beneath. But if you were to duplicate this path, um, here will say, Delete your trim path on that one, and on shape, layer one will delete the stroke. Now shape layer to weaken. Delete the Phil and you can see we've separated it. So now we have a shape layer that is just a stroke, and then we have a shape layer that is just to fill on. That's a way that you can now, just the trim paths and get some kind of cool, you know, shapes in here. What? Not, You know, maybe you just need a shadow on the bottom. Now you got it. But I'm gonna turn that off Another set of options you have, which is very useful. If you right, click on your shape layer and come to layer styles. You have a whole list of things that you can dio. You can add a drop shadow, and then it's gonna create a sub category called layer styles. If you come into your drop shadow, it's got a lot of stuff. Don't be intimidated. It's all very basic. You can change the distance, have your drop shadow, and you can change the size. The size essentially means the blur. How much blur do you want? And they're Ugo. That's adding an extra level of detail to make your animation pop. Keep in mind, though, the more of these things that you add to your animation, the slower it's going to go. It's gonna make your playback times very long. Let's see what else we can add right click will go layer styles. We can do something called inner glow. If you change the inner glow instead of edge down here to center, you can see is gonna do something pretty crazy You can pull the size of it in and it's gonna create this nice glow that's wrapped perfectly around your object. So now as he hit play, it looks like something completely different, right? It looks more like a jelly or a gummy object. These are some really cool things that are very powerful. You can also change the, um, settings to get, you know, some different things. Just gonna leave it as overlay. All right, that's looking pretty good. Maybe I want to. You're rid of the stroke. Those leave it. Is that okay? And there's a few other things in here. Actually, it's dio color overlay. So if you've created a bunch of objects in you were and you realize, well, I don't want it to be that color you could go through and change each one. Or you could do a simple color overlay and it does exactly what it says. It color overlays, and you can change it. Teoh whatever color that you want. Um, so that's just a very, very quick way of changing the color of your option of your object. 9. Effects 2: So now that we've talked about layer styles and layer effects, let's talk about overall effects whenever I'm doing effects on, um, the composition as a whole. What I like to do is right Click either down here on your layers, or you can right click here on your composition and we're gonna go new adjustment layer. What an adjustment layer does is it is. It's essentially a a file that you can apply all your effects, too, and they unanimously put that effect on top of everything in your composition. This is just an easy way to keep track of all your effects and what objects have effects in them. So coming through your effects package, we're gonna go down the list. So three D channel. You don't need to worry about audio. Um, it's pretty straightforward. If you're dealing with audio, you can apply some basic effects that can get you buy in a pinch. But it's not the best package for using audio in, and then we come down to blur and sharpen and essentially blur in sharpen. There's a lot of different things that you can do in effects that you can apply to create really unique outcomes. But the main thing that you're gonna use learn sharpened for when you're first starting out is adding fake camera blurs. So if you go to camera lens blur, it's gonna basically mimic the effect that a camera would have. If something was very far in the foreground or very far in the background and coming here, the only thing you need to worry worry about look at is your blur radius. You can push the blur radius up, and this is going to make a very slow playback time, so keep that in mind. Blurring things looks cool, but it's very render intensive, Um, or you can lower it to have none, and you can also keep frame. You're blurs so you can have something that is, um, not blurry when it's in the front and then as it goes out, maybe it gets blurry over here a little bit, and then as it comes back, it is no longer blurry. So that's another way of doing things as well. So camera lens blur is pretty cool. That is, your friend. Feel free to use it. I'm just gonna turn it off. So this little FX button it turns off in effect or turns it back on, um, and thats useful for seeing, you know, a before and after of what things look like. Let's go through. We'll see. I don't worry about mocha. Don't worry about Cinema four D Channel. It's not something you're gonna use very often first. Starting out. There's a lot of stuff in here when you're doing compositing and color correcting and even doing some really cool effects. You're gonna use a lot of stuff in here like Sisi composite invert and set Matt. Things like that is what you're going to do, but you don't need to worry about it now. Color correction, on the other hand, is an area that you will probably use quite a bit. So color correction is good for setting the overall warmth or coolness or tone to your scene. You can do things like black and white. It basically changes things to black and white. What else can we dio the things that I used or curbs? This is a big one for me, so if I'm going to be doing a color correction on a scene, you can adjust things like the contrast which is this RGB. You can increase the highlights in deep in the shadows. You can also do things like pullout, read or add red. You can do the same with green and with blue, okay, and so this is a great way of setting a uniform color tone to your overall scene and just giving it that little edge to really sell it. Now, if you're doing stuff that needs to be on brand and doing on Lee solid colors, then you probably don't need to worry about changing the color too much, going back into color correction. Another thing that I use quite a bit would be levels. So levels is just another way of adding some darkness or some lightness to your your scene . If I have an object in the foreground, I might darken it up a bit, so I would I would pull out the lights or push it towards the dark, and then I would also pull out some of the white. Or you could just simply leave this top one and use this bottom one to just the lightness and darkness of something. Now, if it's gonna be in the background, it might be a little bit lighter. So then I would pull out the black and I would let it be light. Okay, so that's something fun to play around with, Um, and then coming down here, we got a lot of stuff to play with. So Distort has some really cool stuff in it. The only thing I can suggest is just jump in there and start seeing what it does, you know? So, um, something like wave work. You see that? It adds his big ripple to your object. You can adjust the sizing and the wit. Uh, let's see how that let's see how it looks. If we really bump it up and then push this with over, you can see it starts wiggling. Look at that and they can change the way of speed. Look, that's so cool. It looks like a fish coming back, doesn't it? Let's in just that. And then we'll let's go like that. Okay, that's maybe a little bit too much. So there's really, really cool stuff in there. Um, So just play around with it, and you're gonna find that you know, a lot of the stuff. I barely even know what it does, cause I don't use it all. There's just so much to use. Let's come down. Expression controls. You're not gonna need to know about that until you're actually rigging things. And, um, doing some very complex builds. So don't worry about that. Generate has some really cool stuff in there. So if you do something like a four color Grady int, you're going to see that it it puts a color ingredient on each one of these little little check boxes. Okay, so as you move through the scene, you're going to see it, Uh, really change colors, All right. And that's a cool way to get, like, some really cool effects like that. Beautiful. Right. Okay, I'm gonna leave that one on because I like it so much. I actually gotta turn way for back on that. I'm going to you scale down the height a bit, and I'll do wave speed, maybe back to, like, three. All right, Alex. Good. Let's see what else we can add. So if we come down here in to generate, there's another thing that I use quite a bit, and it's called light rays. I'm sorry. Light rays is cool. Um, But it's not what I use. Let's see what that does. Sure. See that? All right. That works good. If you have, like, a fool composition with a light source. I'm sorry. The one that I use is a light sweep. Okay, so this makes it look like a piece of metal, right? But the thing that I like to use it for is getting that edge glow. So if I turn off my opacity, what I do is I turn the sweep intensity off, and I make the with really large, like so. And then you can start to adjust things like the intensity and then the edge thickness. So I put the edge thickness down and maybe the intensity down, And then I duplicate it, and I make a much thicker version. See that? So now we're getting this cool lighting effect like it's hitting over here somewhere. Um, you know what's cool is that it kind of, like moves out of light source and then back in. This is just looking pretty cool. I really like it. But let's say that you do want another light source so that your objects stays in lighting the whole time Well, what you can do is you can select these guys again and move him over to where it it rests. So as your animation comes to a point, it roll rest there and then you can change the position of the light. So if I put it down to the bottom, that means that it's gonna be shining down at the bottom. Okay, All right, so that's cool. We're moving from one light source to the other. That's looking pretty good. So let's go back in and see. Generate. There's a lot, A lot more stuff you can do inside of these things on again. I don't have time to tell you everything but immersive video. Don't worry, keying. Don't worry. Maps. You probably don't need to know about it yet. Um, but just to do a very simple demonstration, whenever you do a matte it, essentially it scales it down or it chokes it in. So this is called a simple choker, and you can either scale it in to remove some of the image or scale it out to expand on the edge. Um, this is good when you're doing, like, multiple layers or, um, you need to kind of masks something or smooth it out. That's a good way to do that. So noise and grain, This is more for film, but there is one thing in here that's extremely powerful, and that's called turbulent noise. You can create some amazing things using two turbulent noise, such as like smoke, fire clouds, even water. So turbulent noise is very powerful, and I don't have time to go into it. I'm just kind of demonstrating some of the effects that you can use. Um, and then there's, uh what do we know? You noise? Don't worry about this one and perspective. There is a lot of stuff in here. You can even dio like a spear ISAT effect. You can make make something into a sphere. Now, obviously, this is, uh, it's not a full sphere, but what you can do is you can start to move it around like it's a circle. Look at that looks like a tennis ball. You get all kinds of really cool rotations. So if I had a full image, this would make a perfect circle and you could rotate the circle and you can even change the light source. You know, like heights and all that. This is how you would make a planet or a son using CC sphere, um, and then stylized. So don't worry about these guys. These air plug ins that you don't need to know about stylized is a way to get some really cool looks. Glow is probably the thing that I use the most. I love adding glows. It is my favorite thing to Dio. Let me turn this off. So when we're talking about a glow, you're adjusting the threshold. So this either makes it really hot. If you go down to zero or it cools it down quite a bit for this one, I'm gonna make it really hot. I'm gonna bump my glow radius up, and then what I'll do instead is I'm gonna turn my intensity down quite a bit. So it gives me that hot glow in there. No, I'll leave it up and then I'll start to add the light sweeps in. We'll see how that looks. Four colored radiant. It kind of messes up my four color Grady in, doesn't it? Let's just see how this looks. All right, That looks pretty cool. It might be a little bit too hot, so I'll lower the I lower the intensity. Let's go down to like 0.2 All right, that looks better. That's looking better. So the glow effect is very powerful, and it gives it that nice, warm glow to any scene that you're working on. So play around with that glow setting and see what you can create. Uh, let's see what else we got. You know, a lot of these things I don't use, but they do. They mimic things like like plastics or glass or even liquids. So play with those and see what they do. The final thing that I'm gonna talk about is an effect that I use, um, quite a bit. And if you go time posterized time, you can now adjust your frame rate from 29.97 seconds. You know, all the way down to whatever you want. I'll show you 12 just give you an idea, and by a plan, by applying this effect, you're going to start to get more of that handcrafted feel. It's gonna look more like a stop motion or a hand animated animation. Let me turn off wave warp so it's not so wiggly, so you can change your frame rate from anything from, you know, five frames a second up to well up to 29.97 frames per second. But the cool thing is that you're not locked into your frame rate. You can now adjust it to some extent toe whatever you need. So that is just so cool. Like it looks completely different that way than it does at the original frame rate. So the original frame rate is very smooth and clean. It's very computerized, which could be something you want, but the posterized time. It looks like it's stop motion, isn't it? So play around with that. See if that's something that fits with the animation that you're creating. 10. Rendering: So now that you're animations completely looking beautiful, let's talk about rendering. Let's get you that beautiful Instagram or Facebook or you to post. Let's get into it Now you've created this beautiful animation and you want to share it with the world. How do you render it? And what should I do to render it? Well, it's very simple. Click on your composition, which is anywhere on this great here. Or you can select your composition from here, the one that you want to render When you look at this timeline, remember that this is a 12th composition, but we only animated one second. So if your work area is expanded to 10 seconds, you're going to get a 12th animation. So what you want to do is make sure that your work area is cropped to the length of your animation, which for me, is one second. So would that set up. What we're gonna do is we're gonna go composition, add to render queue. Doing it this way is fine. This is a way that I function for many, many years. You animate in after effects you animate, Will you? I'm sorry you animated enough after effects. Why not render it in after effects? Well, there's a few drawbacks to animating or rendering and after effects. One is that it locks up aftereffects while rendering so that you can't use it anymore. And two, it doesn't have as many rendering options. So I'm going to do quick time and just leave everything as is next. You're gonna want to set up where your wigger animations going. I'm gonna put mine on the desktop from now, and I'll call it Intro to animation. Hurt a eat. It's safe now when I render, it goes quickly because it's a very simple animation on. Then if I come down to my desktop, it should be there. There it is, looping and looking beautiful. Another way to do the render is to select your composition. Once again, go composition. Add to media encoder. This is my new preferred method because it allows me to continue working and after effects while my animation renders, and plus you have several more options for different Codex of actually rendering your animation. It takes a little bit longer to set up because it's connecting the two together and they have to communicate pretty well, but what it once it gets going, you are good. You can set it and forget it. So starting off, I always leave my H 264 That's a good compression size. And then you can leave it at match source. High bright. The only thing you need to change is where you put your animation. I'm going to save mine to the desktop it saved. And then I'm gonna render depending on what kind of animation you have. It could go very quickly, or it could take a very long time. Um, some of these animations that I make they take hours and hours surrender. And if you're on a timeline of creating other things, you don't have hours and hours toe. Wait. So it's always good to have something that can open up. And there we go. So now we have two ways of actually rendering, and these are our files, and they're good to go. So those there are two options of actually animating and rent or just rendering. Basically, um, so now you've rendered your animation Go ahead, posted. I want to see it. Show me what you've made and, um, I can't wait to see it. I hope that this tutorial was easy enough for you guys because after effects is a beast, it is a very intimidating program. I'm aware it's taken me several years to get to this point, so I want to share this information with you to make it less intimidating. It doesn't have to be scary, But as you learn each piece of equipment within after effects, every effect, every tool, it becomes a little bit easier to use. So have fun explore. There are no wrong options. Just create Thanks for watching guys. 11. Thanks: I just want to thank you guys for taking this course. I know that after effects can be very intimidating on. I wish that I had a guide toe walk me through it when I was first learning it took me a very long time to fully understand all that aftereffects has to offer. So I wanted to very simply lay it out for you guys and offer to you something that I never had. Um, but I look forward to seeing what you guys have created. If you have something called a show posted on if you like the video like it and comment, let me know exactly what you need or how the video was for you. And if I forgot anything, please let me know, and I can help you through it. So thanks for watching guys.