The Beginner's Guide to After Effects | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

The Beginner's Guide to After Effects

Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

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34 Lessons (5h 60m)
    • 1. Course Trailer

      2:52
    • 2. Getting Started

      7:35
    • 3. Panels

      9:52
    • 4. Workspaces

      5:06
    • 5. Navigating After Effects

      8:30
    • 6. Moving Things Around

      5:48
    • 7. Resolution

      6:45
    • 8. Framerate

      1:47
    • 9. Timecode

      5:01
    • 10. Composition Setup & Parenting

      14:36
    • 11. Precomps & Organization

      7:16
    • 12. Position

      14:14
    • 13. Scale

      3:46
    • 14. Rotation

      2:04
    • 15. Opacity

      1:34
    • 16. Anchor Point

      5:01
    • 17. Pace Yourself

      1:10
    • 18. Scene Setup

      6:57
    • 19. Animating With Keyframes

      35:31
    • 20. Timing vs Spacing

      10:05
    • 21. Hold Keyframes

      22:12
    • 22. Animating With Precomps

      29:35
    • 23. The Score Counter

      18:10
    • 24. Screen Effects

      20:53
    • 25. Animating The Transition

      24:47
    • 26. Working With Text

      29:58
    • 27. Placing The Screen

      5:50
    • 28. The Joystick and Buttons

      12:00
    • 29. Camera Movement

      8:22
    • 30. Final Effects

      6:49
    • 31. Looping The Animation

      7:44
    • 32. Exporting A Video

      9:32
    • 33. What's Next?

      6:29
    • 34. Thanks For Watching!

      2:07
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About This Class

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If you're interested in the world of motion design and are anxious to jump into After Effects with both feet, this is the class for you! The Beginner's Guide to After Effects is a comprehensive course covering everything you need to know to start creating animations in Adobe After Effects. You'll learn all about navigating and using the software as we cover topics like

  • Panels & Workspaces
  • Importing Artwork
  • Manipulating Layers
  • Resolution
  • Frame Rates
  • Timecode
  • Creating a Composition
  • Working with Precomps
  • Layer Transform Properties
  • Keyframe Animation
  • Timing vs Spacing
  • Working with Text
  • Combining Effects
  • Masking
  • Looping an Animation
  • Exporting a Video

And much, much more! Once you've completed this course you'll be fully equipped to move on to any of my other After Effects courses and know that you'll be able to follow along with ease.

Transcripts

1. Course Trailer: Hey, I'm Jake Bartlett and I'm motion designer based in Denver, Colorado. And this is the beginner's guide to After Effects. I've been using after effects since 2001 and I've been working as a motion designer professionally since 2010. So I've had a lot of time using this program and playing around with it to see what I can come up with. If you take a look at my other classes, you can see that there are lots and lots of things that you can do with this software. In this course, I'm going to give you a comprehensive introduction into After Effects so that you can get up and running and start making things move right away. This is not a short class that's just meant to be watched on your couch in an afternoon for enjoyment. This is something for people who are really interested in getting into motion design and seeing how to use After Effects in the real world. For the class project, I'm going to walk you through how to make this a looping animation designed for Instagram. Through this project you're going to learn all about how to use After Effects from just navigating the massive piece of software that it is, to customizing your workspace so that you're only working with the tools that we need access to. We're going to cover animation and how to make things move inside of After Effects and apply effects to those graphics to give it an overall style. Once we finish the project, I'll show you how to export it from After Effects as a video file that you can then share online. Like I said, this is a comprehensive introduction into After Effects. It's for people who are really interested in just diving into the deep end. By the end of this course, you'll have a great understanding of how this program works and how to get it to do what you want it to. Once you're done with this course, you can move on to any of my other courses or any course here on Skillshare that teaches After Effects and feel confident that you'll be able to follow along with no problem. This class is for total beginners. You don't have to have any prior experience in using After Effects or any Adobe application. All you need is a Creative Cloud subscription so that you can download Adobe After Effects. If you don't have a subscription currently, you can get a seven day trial for free, which I'll show you how to do in one of the lessons. I've also put together some resources for this class, like the artwork that you'll be using so that you don't have to worry about designing anything. You'll just be using the assets that I've already created, as well as a couple of PDFs that will help you stay focused along the way and not get lost. This is a long class, but don't let the length scare you. I explain every single step very thoroughly in this course for the complete beginner, and I'm also available to you here on the Skillshare platform. You go to the community tab at any point if you have any questions, just ask them there and I will be more than happy to help you work through whatever problems you're having. If you're pumped up, you're excited, you're ready to jump into After Effects with both feet, then I'll see you in class. 2. Getting Started: I'm so excited that you've made the decision to jump into After Effects. It's a really big program, and there's a lot to be overwhelmed with when you first get into it, especially if you've never used any Adobe software before. But I'm going to walk you through all of it, so don't get too overwhelmed. We're going to figure this out together. One thing I want to talk about first, before we even opened the program, is that After Effects is basically a Swiss army knife of a program. I mean, it can do so many different things: 2D animation, 3D animation. There's even this thing called 2.5D, where it's in between 2D and 3D. You can use it for visual effects, where you're putting special effects and things on top of footage. You can use it for compositing, where you're layering all different types of elements on top of a scene or on top of footage as well. You can use it for color correction. You can use it to do slow motion. That's called time remapping. You can use it for motion tracking, where you're matching a camera's movement. An actual shot footage camera matching that movement to put other elements into so it looks like they were actually there. There's so much that you can do with After Effects, but you don't need to learn all of it at once. In this course, we're going to be focusing on 2D animation, 2D motion graphics. We're not going to get into the realm of 3D. We're not going to be working with any footage. We're just going to learn the basics of how this program is laid out, and how do we start making things move and look stylized and cool. We're going to be doing that through the class project, which you've already seen a little bit of but here's the whole thing all at once. It's going to be for this arcade game called Taco Tuesday, where you're a little taco truck shooting tacos in the mouths of hungry customers. Then we're going to have this high score screen and then it will loop so that you can share this on your Skillshare class project page, as well as on Instagram if you want to share it on social media. That's actually what we're going to be designing it for. That's why it's a square format. Now you do not need to know how to use any other pieces of software. I'm going to teach you everything you need to know to complete this project directly in After Effects. I've already designed the graphics for this class project in Adobe Illustrator, so that you can just bring them in and work with the pre-made graphics. That way we don't have to be distracted by how design works and how to create things like this. Instead just focus on learning After Effects and making these graphics move. Now obviously, if you don't already have After Effects, you're going to need to download the Adobe Creative Cloud software as well as install After Effects through Adobe Creative Cloud. So I'm going to show you how to download that and install a trial version if you're not ready to pay for it right now. To download Adobe Creative Cloud and to start a free trial, just go to adobe.com and navigate to this button right here, Learn about Creative Cloud. That will take you to a page where you can find a free trial of Adobe Creative Cloud. So click on that and then you need to choose a plan. Now, the plan that you're going to want to use is the entire Creative Cloud plan, which has all of the apps. So just click on "Start free trial" and then you can choose what type of trial you want to use. Now, if you are a student and you have a valid student ID, then choose the Students and Teachers version because you can get a highly discounted rate of Creative Cloud after your seven day trial, if you choose to move forward with it. You can save over 60 percent. Individuals pay 5,299 a month, but students can pay 1,999 a month. So just do that, click on "Start free trial" and follow through with the rest of the checkout process, setting up an account and then downloading and installing the Adobe Creative Cloud App, which will then just show up right here on the top of your menu bar where you can find all of your apps, install them, update them, and to install After Effects, you'll just scroll down until you see After Effects and click on "Install". Once you've done all that, you're ready to actually open up after effects, and we can start making our class project. I do want to point out that it is very important that you're using the latest version of After Effects, whichever version is the most recent at the time that you're watching this course, because After Effects is constantly changing and older versions are not going to have all the same features that I have teaching from this course. I'm currently using Creative Cloud CC 2019. That's the version of After Effects I'll be using. If you're using an older version for some reason, just know that all of the features and the interface might be a little bit different than what I'm using. If you're using a newer version of the software, the same is true, but it will at least have all of the same features that I have up until this point at CC 2019. These features will be preserved in future versions. Now one essential part of working in After Effects and really any creative software is learning keyboard shortcuts. Because there are lots and lots of commands that you need to be able to execute when you're making things in After Effects and other software. The keyboard shortcuts allow you to get to those commands much quicker, just with a couple of keystrokes, instead of having to dig through menus and finding those specific commands. I'm going to be using and teaching you keyboard shortcuts throughout this entire course and I'll do my best to call out those keyboard shortcuts every time I use them, just for the repetition, so you can start memorizing these and getting used to using them yourself. But I've also assembled a PDF with all of the keyboard shortcuts that I think that you should learn. So if you're ever working inside of After Effects and you're wondering, what was that keyboard shortcut that Jake told me to use here, you'll have that reference PDF so that you can just quickly find the command, search for it, and just quickly see what that keyboard shortcut is. Also, I wanted to take this time to just point out that if you're working on a PC, your keyboard shortcuts are going to be slightly different than mine. But only the modifier key, like the control or alt or shift keys. All the other keys are the same. So for example, copy on a Mac is command C, on a PC that's control C. So if you hear me say command, and I don't give you the keyboard shortcut for the PC as well, just know that command on a Mac is equal to control on a PC, and option on a Mac is equal to alt on a PC. So don't let that trip you up at all. But inside of that PDF, I'll give you a keyboard shortcuts for both operating systems, Mac and Windows, so that you can see regardless of which system you're using. Another thing you've probably noticed by now is that this course is really long. It's over five hours and I throw a lot of information at you in this course. There's probably going to be too much for you to be able to remember and I don't want you getting lost, not knowing where something was in this course that I taught so that you can go back and review it. So I put another PDF together that is just a big index of basically every single topic and thing that I teach in this course, organized by video with the video number so that you can easily just take a look at that PDF, search for whatever topic or technique that you're trying to review, and see exactly where in this course you need to go to actually re-watch that part of the video. I'm going to include that PDF with the resources. To find that PDF and the other resources for this class, just come to the Project and Resources tab on the Skillshare class. This is not the class that you're watching right now, but this is where you're going to find resources for any Skillshare class, and then scroll down over here on the right, you'll see a resources section. This is where you can download any assets for the specific class that you're taking. Once you have after effects installed, we can move on to the next lesson where we'll actually start learning how to navigate around this program. 3. Panels: Let's just jump right in and open up after effects. Now, I've completely reset my After Effects back to its default preferences. If this is your first time opening After Effects, mine should look exactly like yours. Now, I am recording this at a very small resolution. Everything's going to be a little bit cramped probably compared to your screen, but the only difference is that you'll have more space. Now, here we go after effects just opened up for me and we've got this little welcome window that gives you some information. Even suggests you can watch them tutorials, but we can just ignore this for now and actually just close it. We're not going to need that welcome window, but this is after effects, this is what it looks like, and I realize there's a lot to look at here. I'm going to walk you through a lot of it, but there's also a lot of unnecessary things in here, at least for what we're going to be doing right now. Let's just talk a little bit about what this interface is actually for. What some of these things that we're looking at do. Well, first of all, After Effects, like most Adobe software is a panel based UI system. That just means that there are all these little sections that give you access to different tools and settings for allowing you to work in the program, for example, up here at the top, this panel that's nice and long is our tools panels. We have tools up here that we have access to, some of them we can click on, other ones are grayed out, which means they're not usable currently. But then we've got this section over here in the top left corner, we see that this is called our project panel. If I click on it, you see that it turns blue, indicating that that is an active panel, now, that is the panel that I have selected, and the project panel is like a manager of all the elements that are within our project that we'll be working with. This is where we're going to have assets coming in and anything that we generate inside of After Effects will show up in our project panel. Over here we have the composition panel. This is going to give us a live view of whatever we're working on. Basically the final result of what we're building will be displayed here and it gives you a representation of what we'll have once we export from after-effects. It's our visual composition. Down here it says, "None," but this is actually our timeline panel, the reason why it says none is because I don't actually have any timelines open. There's nothing in my project yet, so it doesn't have anything to display here, that's why it says none. But this is the panel that allows us to manage layers as well as the animation and what these layers are doing over time. That's why it's the Timeline panel. But you might catch me calling it the Layers panel as well, since this is where all of our layers will be displaying. Then over here on the right side we have a whole bunch of different panels and they're all stacked, very cramped and we've got some color themes down here too. The thing about panels is that you don't always need all of them open at the same time, and the ones that we're seeing right now aren't actually all of the panels that we have access to. Every panel serves a different purpose and you're not always going to need access to each one of them. In fact, a lot of these over here we do not need to see, for example, this Libraries panel, we don't need this for our project for this class, because it just gives us access to things like color themes in being able to share assets between computers or between users, and we're just not going to be using it. I actually want to just close this panel so it's not taking up my screen real estate. To do that all I have to do is come over to these three little lines right here and these are the panel options for the library's panel, if I click on that, I have a lot of different options, but the first one is closed panel. If I click on that, it goes away, and the next panel in that stack opened up. This is the Character panel, and this is what allows us to add text and customize the topography within our document. You're probably going to be using this a lot once you get into more and more after-effects projects, but again, for this particular project, at least at this point, I don't need the Character panel open and since I have such limited screen real estate, I'm going to close that. I'm just going to click on that and say close panel. Same thing for the paragraph panel, this goes along with typography. I don't need this open. We don't need to talk about it right now, so I'm just going to close that panel. We definitely don't need access to this tracker panel, it's for something much more advanced that we're not going to talk about. We're going to close that panel, same thing for content aware fill. This Align panel I do use all the time and we'll talk about that in a little while, let's go ahead and just leave that one open. Same thing for the next panel, this has effects in presets. As I clicked on it, you saw that the Align panel went away and Presets panel expanded, if I click on that again, it collapses and expands. You can collapse and expand any one of these panels just by clicking on them. While that might seem useful, I personally don't like working with panels that way, with the panels that I have open, I want to be able to access all of their controls or at least as many of their controls as possible without having to click through them like this, but this is an interface option that we can actually adjust. Again, I'm going to click on that panel Options drop-down button, and it can be for any one of these panels, and then go down to panel group settings. Now this is the settings for this specific stack of panels. All of these ones that are behaving the same and working with each other as I'm clicking through them. If I go into the panel group settings, we have this option stacked panel group checked and that means that it's enabling this feature of collapsing and expanding all of these panels as you click through them, I don't want that behavior, I'm going to go into the panel group settings and uncheck that stacked panel group. Now all of my panels, instead of being stacked on top of each other, are living in this tab world up here, if I click through, you can see that I'm switching through them like browser tabs. Now this isn't exactly what I want either because again, I have to click through them to see all of these different panels. But what this allows me to do is now take this panel group, which we can see the outline right here again with that blue outline, and change their arrangement. For example, I like this Align panel to be at the top, I'm going to actually just click and drag on the Align tab and pull it down, and I've got all of these purple highlights that are indicating sections of this panel group, I can even go over to other panel groups and you can see that those same purple highlights are showing up in those areas. What this allows me to do is basically say I want this Align panel to go to the left, the right, the top, or the bottom of this panel group. In this instance I wanted to go to the top, I'm going to go to this section right here and let go. Now it's pushed that panel up above the rest of this panel group, and it's become its own panel group, you see that that blue outline is now only around the Align panel, which is great. This effects in presets panel I really want that too because that's going to give us access to a lot of things will need, I'm going to click and drag this out and do the same thing, but this time, align it to the bottom of this Align panel, on this lower section and let go. Now that's going to live below the Align panel, but what that did is basically scrunched all of these other open panels down here to where I can't even see them anymore. Well, fortunately, I can just move my mouse between these two panel groups and I get these two little double arrows, click and drag to resize the panels. I can do this for any one of these panel groups, including these ones right here. I can expand this left and right, and it snaps to where after-effects has put the default width for this panel group. Now let's say that I like this audio panel and I want it to live in the same area as the Align panel up here, not next to it, but right in the same group with those same tabs that we have down here. To do that, all I have to do is grab that audio panel, bring it up here and drop it right on that center section, not on one of the sides, but rate in that center section and let go, now we have those tabs. Now I don't actually want this audio panel because I'm not going to be dealing with any audio in this project, I'm just going to close that panel. Now one interesting thing is that you don't actually have to dock any of these panels the way that they are right now, where they're all locked in next to each other. I can actually click and drag on this panel and bring it up to the top and you see that now it's becoming its own window, if I let go right there, this is now an undocked panel, which you may encounter some situations where you want a panel undocked, but 99 out of a 100 times, I usually keep my panels docked, I actually don't need the preview panel open, I just wanted to show you how you can undock one. If you ever needed to put one back in, you just click and drag and you can again reattach it anywhere you want. Like you said, I don't need that open, I'm going to close that panel and the same thing goes for the info panel, that's not going to be very useful for what we're doing here. But now I've really cleaned up my user interface, I'm only left with panels that I know I'm actually going to want to use in this project, and I want to encourage you to customize your user interface in this same way so that you always have the same panels opened that I do, and you don't get lost as I'm working around inside of after effects. This is good time to point out that under the Window menu up here on your task bar, if you go up to Window, this is where all of your panels exist and you can see checkmarks next to the ones that are actually open. There's our Align panel, our affects in presets panel, tools, that's this toolbar up here, composition, project, and timeline right there. But as you can see, there are many other panels that aren't open that we have access to and we're probably going to be opening some of these later on. But for now, what we have open right here is going to work just fine. 4. Workspaces: Next thing I want to point out is right up here, this blue text that says default. This section of our toolbar up here is where we can switch between workspaces, and a workspace is just a predetermined set up of panels in the user interface, so by default, when you open After Effects for the first time it uses the default workspace which we just modified, but there's also a learn workspace as well as a standard workspace, and if I come over to these two little arrows and click on it, you can see that we actually have a lot more. These are all set up by Adobe, and let's just say I want to click on all panels and this is going to be a little crazy, but it's going to open all of the panels that we have access to and put them in this stack, or if I switch to animation, it's going to rearrange the layout and give me access to panels that are pretty useful for animation, or at least what Adobe thinks might be useful for animation, but what's cool about this is that you can create your own workspaces to save the user interface the way that you like to use it. If I click back on default, it's going to go back to the way that we had it, but if I click on the options menu next to default, I can say save as new workspace and then name this something else. We will call it Jake's and click on okay, and now that default text is no longer blue, which means that I'm on a different workspace, and if I click on these arrows again, there we go. Jake's is showing up and down at the bottom of this list we have edit workspaces. If I click on that, this brings up another window that allows me to rearrange what shows up in this toolbar. You see that we have the first section called bar, which is what we see right here and then we have the overflow menu and these are workspaces that basically we're not going to use as often, we don't need direct access to them up here. Now it put mine at the bottom of this list, and because my screen is so small, we actually can't see all of those in here. I'm going to click and drag Jake's all the way up to the top, so that is first in the list and then click on okay, and that updates right there, so that's how you can create your own workspaces, but let's say that as you're working, you maybe open up some more panels, let's open up the character panel again and maybe close the align panel and maybe rearrange some of these panels so that the panel groups are different sizes. Now, this is no longer this default version of my custom workspace that I created, and if I go back to the default layout and then click on Jake's again, then it's going to go straight back to how I had it with all the sizing and position and all of the extra panels, but let's say that I wanted to go back to the way that I had saved it, well all I have to do is click on the option menu next to the workspace name and say reset to saved layout, and then it's going to go back to the way it was when I first saved it, or if you made changes to your layout that you want to preserve, you could also click on that and say save changes to this workspace, and then it will update that workspace with the current layout the way that you have it so that's how you can work with workspaces and it might seem like an unnecessary thing, but the reality is because After Effects can be used for so many different things. Having different workspaces set up at the click of a button that give you access to the tools that you need for specific applications is very useful. I actually have multiple workspaces. I have one with my typically most used tools and panels opened. I have one set up with all of the tools I need for character rigging. I have another one for all the tools I need for character animation. I have a workspace customized for most of my skill share classes. I've a workspace customized for my YouTube tutorials, and it's just really nice to be able to click through one at a time and have my entire interface update the way that it should be for whatever I'm trying to do. Now one last thing I want to say about the interface before we actually move on and start making things, is that you might have noticed the panels that I really adjusted were the ones that were all stacked over here in this group, and that's because these panels right here. The project, composition, and timeline panels are pretty much essential for working inside of After Effects. You can't see what you're working on. If you don't have the composition open, you can't make adjustments to what is in the composition without having your timeline or layers panel open, and you can't navigate around your project without the project panel open, and then there's the tools panel. I don't think I've ever closed this panel. This is essential for being able to switch between tools and have options for those different tools as you're using them. So that's why the majority of what I changed was over on this side. This is kind of the area that I think of as the custom panels that I want open depending on what I'm working on, these ones over here, those are essential for working inside of After Effects. Now you're going to get a lot more insight and explanation of what exactly these panels and do once we start actually making our project, and we're even going to look at some other panels that'll be useful, but as a first step, I wanted to just give you a brief explanation of how the system of panels works inside of After Effects and how to set up your own workspaces. 5. Navigating After Effects: Let's actually start making this class project, and learn things as we go. If you remember, the animation is going to be this arcade cabinet for a video game called Taco Tuesday, and we're going to animate the actual video game happening. Once a little bit of animation has happened, it will zoom into the screen, say highscore, and give the high score screen before it zooms back out in the animation loops, so it can play over, and over again. Now After Effects is completely capable of creating artwork, and there are actually people who make artwork solely in After Effects, but I would encourage you not to do that. When you're starting out, obviously, you should learn how to create artwork in After Effects, and how the tools that After Effects has works for creating artwork, but over my years of experience, I've come to learn that using tools that are designed specifically for design generally have much better tool sets for actually creating the artwork, so I've created the artwork for this class project in Adobe Illustrator, which After Effects can work with. I also use Photoshop a lot for designing artwork, but Photoshop is much better suited for working with photographic elements, or things that need a lot of texture, or more organic hand done looking elements. For more clean looking artwork that is a little bit more cartoony, Illustrator does a really great job, so that's why I created this artwork in Illustrator. In order to use this artwork, we need to import it into our After Effects project, and we're going to do that through the project panel. Now, you could do this by coming up to File Import, or you can find this same import menu just by right-clicking in the project panel, and coming down to import. There are lots of different options here. We only need to worry about one which is the first one file, so I'm going to click on that, and it's going to allow me to navigate to what files I want to import in After Effects. Now, right here on my desktop is where I put the artwork. If you haven't downloaded this yet, be sure to go to the project, and resources tab, and download them there. Now there are four different files here, but I'm only going to start with one which is the arcade cabinet. You can see what that looks like right here. With that selected, I'll click on "Open", and After Effects is going to ask me how I want to import this Illustrator artwork. It's automatically identifying that there's more to this artwork than just a flat image, and it's giving me options on how I want to handle that, so first of all, the import kind is defaulted to footage. Footage basically, just means one flat layer. It's going to treat it as if it was a flat image. If I click on this, the other option is composition. This is the option I want. If I click on that, it actually grays out these layer option controls, which is fine, we don't need those, and brings up this option, which is the footage dimensions. Underneath this menu we have two options as well, the layers size, or the document size, and what this is allowing us to choose is, if we want every layer to be sized basically, to its actual artwork, or to the size of the document that it was created in. It's very rare that I ever want it to be sized to the document, so leave it at layer size, and that's all we have to do. I'll click on "Okay", and what After Effects has done, is created a composition, which this is the icon for a composition right here. With the name of the artwork file, arcade cabinet, and it's given us a folder, which if I twirl it open by clicking on this little arrow, contains all of the individual layers that make up that artwork. So let's view this composition simply by double-clicking on it. So double-click, that opens up the composition, and it's displayed over here in our composition viewer. Now we're not seeing the entire thing right now, and that's because it's actually very high-resolution artwork. It's 2160 by 2160 pixels wide, and that's actually bigger than we need it to be, but we'll get to that in just a second. Let's just talk about how to navigate around this composition a little bit, so that we can see the entire thing. Well, if we take a look at this number right here, 25 percent, this is our magnification ratio. It's how far zoomed in or out we're looking at this artwork based on the actual size of the composition, so if I were to click on this, we can see a bunch of different preset magnifications, so if I wanted to look at 100 percent magnification, I could just click on 100, and now we're in much closer. We can see a lot of detail, and see that there's texture on some of this artwork, but obviously we can't see all of it in this composition viewer. Well, let's go back to that magnification, and take a look at the top. Besides all of these percentages, we also have the option to fit, and fit up to 100 percent. If I just click on "Fit", that's going to fit the composition to the size of my viewer, so if I were to resize this panel by moving my mouse between the timeline, and the composition viewer, I can just click, and drag, and as I do this, I make more room for my composition. You see that it's scaling with the size of that composition viewer, so that's really handy, and honestly a lot of times I have it set to that. Fit up to 100 percent just means that it will never scale this up larger than 100 percent. Which in reality the composition viewer itself is very rarely big enough to actually show greater than 100 percent magnification, so the difference between fit, and fit up to 100 percent is pretty rare to see the difference. The only time that really comes into play is if you're working on a composition that's very tiny, so if this was only 250 pixels wide by 250 pixels tall, that would definitely fit in this composition viewer, and fitting it up to 100 percent would mean that it's never going to be displayed larger than 250 pixels by 250 pixels. So that's the difference between those two. But let's say you want to zoom in and out on this composition without having to go to this menu, and click through these numbers. Well, there's a keyboard shortcut that you should definitely memorize. This is something that's essential to navigating around your composition viewer. If you take a look at your keyboard, the comma and period keys, that's also the less than, and greater than signs on the left, and right of those two buttons. The less than sign on the left zooms out, so if I press that button, you see it zooms out on the viewer, and I can keep pressing that to zoom out the greater than sign, I can press that it zooms in. Those two keys are very important to learn, and memorize how to zoom in, and out, so that you can save time instead of having to click through all of these magnification. Again, the less than sign or the comma key zooms out, and the greater than sign or a period key zooms in. Let's say I'm zoomed in all the way here at 100 percent, but I wanna see a different part of the artwork. Well, there's a tool up here in the toolbar, so far we've been on the selection tool this whole time. That's why my mouse just looks like a normal mouse cursor the arrow, but right next to it is the hand tool. If I click on that, this basically, behaves like swiping on a phone screen. If I click, and drag, I can pan around my composition viewer to just reposition this to maybe a different part of the artwork. Even position this beyond the edge of the artwork so I can see the edge of my composition. This is a tool that you're also going to be using all the time, but you're probably not going to want to have to click on the hand tool just to reposition your composition every single time you do it. There's actually another really easy to remember keyboard shortcut for temporarily switching to the hand tool. I'm going to click on the selection tool one more time, and this time with my mouse hovered over the composition. Instead of switching to that hand tool, I'm going to temporarily hold down the space-bar, and as I do that, you see the my mouse cursor is now the hand. As long as I'm holding down the space-bar, I can click, and drag to temporarily pan. As soon as I let go of the space-bar, it switches back to the selection tool, or whatever tool you had active. This keyboard shortcut works with almost every tool that you can use, so be sure to memorize that, space-bar to temporarily pan around your scene. Let's say, I want to fit this to the composition view again. Well, I could go down to this magnification, and say fit, or there is a another keyboard shortcut shift question mark, and that fits to the entire composition. I know this is a lot of keyboard shortcuts all at once, but the quicker you learn this the better and I'm going to be reminding you of these keyboard shortcuts every time that I use them to help you remember them. 6. Moving Things Around: Let's quickly talk about the selection tool, the one we have active. This allows you to deselect layers in your composition. As I'm moving my mouse over all of these layers, you can see that we've got these little rectangles in the corners highlighting as I'm moving my mouse over them. These corners are indicating the boundaries of the artwork. If I click on, say, the joystick and zoom in by pressing the greater than sign, then you can see the bounding box for that layer where the selection highlight was, so if I move over to one of the buttons and click, there are the boundaries for that artwork in the same place that the highlight was. This selection tool also allows me to reposition that layers. So if I were to grab that joystick again, click and drag it around, you can see that I can just move it around. Now, as I'm doing this, a couple of weird things are happening. I just want to point out really quick. First of all, it gets blurry as I'm moving it and then we see something up here in the right-hand corner that says, adaptive resolution, half. What this is doing, is basically helping After Effects preview more quickly as I'm changing things by temporarily lowering the resolution of my composition viewer until I stop moving things or changing things. This is something that I honestly don't use that often because it can get a little distracting. I'm going to show you how to disable it really quick. First, I want to undo to make sure this joystick goes back to where it needs to be. To do that, just come up to Edit, Undo, and the keyboard shortcut for that is Command or Control on a PC and Z. Again, that's something we're going to do all the time, so try and remember that, Command or Control Z. There we go. That goes back to where it's supposed to be. But to disable that adaptive resolution, come down to this little icon right here, Fast Previews with a little electricity symbol and click, and that's where we'll see the adaptive resolution is ticked on. I want to turn this off, so I'm just going to go to Final Quality Off, and click. Now when I click and drag, you can see that updating is no longer happening. I'm going to let go of that joystick press "Command Z" to undo, and we're back to having our artwork in the place that it actually should be. Now let's talk about the timeline a little bit. I'm going to set this to fit to the comp again by pressing "Shift?" and take a look at the actual layers in the timeline. These were imported into After Effects exactly the same way that I had created them in Illustrator, meaning the layer order in Illustrator is mirrored here in After Effects. This is important because if the background, we're on top of everything, then we wouldn't see anything below it. I'll show you exactly how that works. If I grab this background layer with the selection tool active, click and drag it, and as I do this you see that blue highlight indicating where this layer is going to be if I let go of my mouse, I'll drag that all the way to the top and let go. Now the background is covering all of the layers underneath it. You can think of layers just like layers of paper. If the background piece of paper is big enough to cover everything else and you move it on top of everything else and you can't see anything under it, that's exactly how layering works inside of After Effects with 2D layers. If I move the background down a couple of layers, then we're going to see the layers that are above it in that layer stack, which is the buttons, and then this layer called the control mattes, which we'll talk about later why that layer is even there. But I want to move that background layer all the way back down to the bottom so that I can see everything on top of it the way that it should be displayed. The reason this is broken out into individual layers is so that I can animate the joystick moving around independently from the buttons. I have this frame layer right here, if I click and drag it, the reason that's there is so that I can put something behind it, but in front of the cabinet. So basically what we're going to put onto the screen will go underneath the screen frame, but on top of the cabinet. That's why all these layers are broken up. Now, another thing I want to point out is that this composition that After Effects generated for us has all of these elements in the exact spot that they're supposed to be in, just like I had created them in Illustrator. The composition itself is the same size as what I had created in Illustrator, which is 2160 pixels by 2160 pixels. That's actually twice the size that I need it to be because we're going to be making this animation for Instagram, and Instagram uses 1080 by 1080 for its square format. So even though After Effects give me this composition that I can work in, I actually don't want to use this one for my final animation. I want to create a new composition to house all of these elements in at the right size. Let me close up this folder and we can create a new composition from scratch. Now again, there are a couple of different ways to do this. One of the ways is in the project panel, this little icon that looks like the composition icon is the Create a New Composition button. I could click that, or I could also come up to Composition, New Composition, either one works. I'm going to click on that, and this will bring up the composition settings window. Now there is a lot to look at here, and it's all pretty important that you understand what these settings do. But when you're making a new composition, there are basically three main things you need to think about. How big you want it to be, which is the width and the height measured in pixels, what frame rate you want the composition to be, and the duration of the composition. Those are the three most important things. Now I'm actually going to pause and end this video right here, so that we can actually walk through each one of these settings in a little bit more detail, since it is pretty important that you understand what they are. Let's take a break from our class project for just a second. In the next video, we'll talk about resolution. 7. Resolution: >> What is resolution? Well, it's basically the width and the height of your composition measured in pixels, everything on a computer screen or a phone screen, a TV screen, it's all measured in pixels. If you weren't aware of pixels are literally just tiny blocks of color, and when you put a lot of tiny blocks of color next to each other, you can actually build an image. That's actually what's happening with our artwork right here. If I zoom in really far, you can see those individual pixels right in here even in between all these different shades of purple, you can see those individual blocks in rate in here, especially you can see the way that these transitions from the darker blue color into the purple. It isn't just a solid transition like over here with this line from a solid blue to a solid purple. It has to add all these in-between shades of colors to make this curve a little bit more smooth. When you zoom out to 100 percent, you don't really see those pixels at all, but they are there. That is what makes up any image that shows up on a screen or a phone or a TV. It's all tiny little blocks of color, and the more of those blocks of color you have, the higher quality your image is going to look. Now, if I make a new composition again by coming up to composition, new composition, that first setting that we need to worry about is the width and height or the resolution. That's measured in pixels. Now, when you make a new composition for the first time inside of After Effects is going to default to the preset of HDTV1080 29.97. All of those numbers and letters they don't really matter, but it is going to give you a standard resolution for video, which is 1920px wide by 1080px tall. This is the standard resolution for HD video. It's a widescreen format, and at this point at the time of the recording in the year 2019, it's at least the most common resolution used for video. This is also sometimes referred to as 1080px, because most video resolutions are at an aspect ratio right here of 16:9, that is a widescreen aspect ratio that is very standard in the broadcast industry, as well as online. If somebody tells you to work at 1080px, you can know that they mean 1920px by 1080px, the standard HD frame resolution. Now, there are lots of presets in this drop down menu that you can choose from,but honestly most of them are either for broadcast or for cinema actual film quality, but you are most likely never going to be needing any of that for creating content for the internet or social media. But 1920px by 1080px is a very common resolution to work at with animation and motion graphics. But I'm sure it won't be long from now to where this actually isn't a very high resolution anymore, we're getting better screens every day, people are working at higher resolutions and 4K might become the next standard, which I switched to one of the 4K presets, you can see is actually a really strange resolution, It's 3840px wide by 2160px tall, and the 4K is basically abbreviating 4000px wide. Even though it's not actually 4000px wide. I realized those were some weird numbers, but that is just an easier way to remember what that resolution is called 4K or ultra HD, that's what UHD stands for. But the point is the more pixels you have in your width and a height, or the higher resolution you're composition is, the higher-quality it's going to be.That's a quick little explanation of how you set the resolution of your composition. I'm hit Cancel real quick and just point out one more thing, the reason we can see all of these pixels is because After Effects is a raster program. Raster just means that it is working with pixels to generate its visuals. Adobe Photoshop is also a raster based program. It uses pixels to create artwork, and because they're working with pixels, you can't enlarge them passed 100 percent size without losing quality, let me show you exactly what I mean by that, I'm going to zoom out a little bit to 100 percent, and then I'm going to grab this button right here and scale it up, and to do that I'm just going to grab one of the handles, click and hold shift to scale up until it's really big. As I do this you can see that it all looks pretty fuzzy. This is because it's a pixel based layer. It is a raster graphic and you can't scale up those pixels without losing quality because you're literally just making those pixels bigger. There is no other extra information in there. After Effects actually is trying to fill in that extra information, that's exactly why it's getting blurry. There is no information for After Effects process, it's just trying to guess what the extra pixels that it's missing should look like and that results in a blurry looking graphic. Now here's where it gets a little bit confusing. Adobe Illustrator actually is not a raster based program. It does not work with pixels in the same way that After Effects or Photoshop do. Instead of being a raster based program, it is a vector-based program and vector graphics are mathematically calculated. The benefit of this is that you can scale them up, the bath will just be recalculated and the quality is preserved. We're not really going to be working with vector graphics in this class, but I want to point out that I did create these graphics and illustrators. You would think that the quality of these graphics could be preserved, and it actually is possible to do that inside of After Effects with Illustrator artwork. We're not going to be relying on that vector capability with this class project. Instead, I intentionally created the artwork at twice the size that it needed to be, so that I could get in nice and close on the screen without losing quality. One last little note about vector graphics, is that while After Effects is a raster based program and ultimately what we are seeing is a raster image generated with pixels. You can actually work with and create vector graphics in After Effects. What After Effects actually does is calculates the vectors and then rasterizes them or converts them into pixels. The same is true for Photoshop and Illustrator, both programs can work with both vectors and pixels, but they were initially created for each individual thing, Photoshop for pixels, illustrator for vectors, and over time Adobe has updated each program to be able to work with both, and the same goes for aftereffects. It can interpret both, but ultimately it will output a pixel based graphic. Now, you should have a little bit of an understanding of what resolution is and why it's important. 8. Framerate: Now let's talk about "Frame Rate." If you're not familiar, a frame rate is literally the frames per second displayed in a video. Videos, animations, they're all made up of individual still pictures or frames. Those frames are just played back at a specific speed or a frame rate. The standard broadcast frame rate is actually a fraction of a number. It's 29.97 frames per second. I'm not going to get into why exactly that is, but it is the broadcast standard. Fortunately, we are not working with a broadcast animation. We're going to be making something for Instagram, so we can really choose whatever frame rate we want. In most internet video is actually just rounded off to 30 frames per second. So I can change this by just clicking on the drop down and going to 30 and that will work just fine for us. But for traditional animation and film, the standard frame rate is actually 24 frames per second. We can see that as a preset in this menu as well. This actually has a pretty big impact on how your animation looks, even though there are only six more frames displayed between 24 and 30, it actually changes the way that things look a lot. Here's an example of exactly what those two frame rates look like. The one on the left is a 30 frames per second animation and the one on the right is the same animation with the same timing but played back at 24 frames per second instead, you can see that the animation on the left is noticeably smoother than the animation on the right. So it's very important to realize the implications that your frame rate has on the final product. But hopefully it's not that confusing it's literally how many frames or still images you're going to see played back every second. 9. Timecode: The last thing that you really need to have a good grasp on is timecode. This is how we measure the number of frames in a given amount of time. There are actually two different ways to display this in after effects and most video programs. The default way to display it is hours, minutes, seconds and frames. To make this a little bit easier to understand, I'm just going to create the composition with the settings and say, "Okay." and talk about how this time code works and how the timeline itself works. Now, when we created this, the duration was set to 30 seconds. If we look at this timeline, we can see a little tick marks every five seconds. Zero, five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30. The compositions' duration was set to 30 so 30 seconds is at the very end of this timeline. Over here in the top left corner we see these same numbers in blue, hours, minutes, seconds frames. This is letting me know where I'm in time on my timeline or in my composition. I'm at the very start of it. All of these numbers are zeros. But if I were to click and drag this blue playhead, that's what it's called, it's a playhead and scrub forward, you can see that these numbers are changing as I'm doing that. I can move this to any point in time and let go. This time code is telling me exactly where I'm in time. Because my composition is only 30 seconds long, we're never going to see any hours and we're never going to see any minutes, but we are going to see seconds and then the number of frames that make up that second. Now, our frame rate was 24 frames per second and I can confirm that rate here underneath these numbers, it says, "24 frames per second." FPS is frames per second. What that means is if I go back to the beginning, there will be 24 frames before it resets back to zero and adds one second to the time code. That will continue looping around from zero to actually 23 and then going back to zero. The reason it only goes up to 23 is because frame zero zero is actually the first frame going all the way back to the beginning of the timeline again. This is the very first frame of the animation and the number assigned to that frame is zero zero. The second method for viewing time code is by frames, purely just frames. We're actually seeing that down here in the bottom left corner, there's just a bunch of zeros. As I scrub forward, this number just counts from zero upwards, adding one to every single frame. It doesn't have any divisions like the hours, minutes, seconds, frames timecode display. Sometimes you may want to work with frames rather than this full set of time code. All you have to do to change it is command or control on a PC, click on it and it will swap those two numbers, putting emphasis now on the frames instead of the time code. My time code over here has also switched to just displaying frames. Instead of every five seconds, we're just seeing hundreds of frames, so every tick mark is 100 frames. I can actually zoom in on this timeline to see finer detail in these increments. If I press the plus key on the keyboard, it will zoom in one a little bit. I can keep zooming in further and further to see smaller and smaller groups of frames. If I zoom really far in, I can actually see one tick mark for every single frame of video in this composition. If I switch this back to timecode by pressing "Command" and clicking on the number, now we're going to see the time code displayed a little bit differently. Right here is seven seconds, zero frames. That's what the F is for, is for frames. Then I can move forward to this one and see that is frame two for the seven seconds increment. This has given me a tick mark for every other frame until we get up to eight seconds right here. We count up to 22 frames, 23 and then it loops around to eight seconds. Depending on what magnification you add on your timeline, you'll see more or less detail in your time code. To zoom out, just press the minus key on the keyboard instead of the plus key to zoom in and out. You can also grab this little thing appear the navigator either end to scale from one side of your current view. This little blue highlight mark is where your timeline scrubber is or the playhead, so you can interactively zoom in based on the placement of that playhead and you can even click and drag in this gray area to pan around it. This is exactly the same as grabbing the scroll bar down here. Just so you know it's there, there's also the zoom in and out control down here. We've got a bigger mountain view for zooming in and a smaller mountain view zooming out. You can also click these to do it incrementally. That's how you navigate around the timeline, and how this timecode is actually being displayed what it actually means and how to switch between hours, minutes, seconds, frames and just whole frames. 10. Composition Setup & Parenting: Now you should have a pretty good understanding of what all of these settings mean. Let's make the composition we need for our class project. Like I said, we're not going to be using any presets because these are mostly for broadcast standards or film and we can very quickly type in the numbers we need. Remember the three main things you need to think about when creating a composition are the resolution, which is the width and the height, the frame rate, which is the frames per second that are played back, and the duration, which is how long your composition is going to be. The good news is, all of these settings can be changed after you've created the composition. Being aware of these three settings and what you're setting them up to be before you start working, generally saves you some trouble later on. We are going to be working in a square format. Remember, we're posting this to Instagram, so it's going to be a 1080 by 1080 frame. But if I type in 1080 on the width, let me just do that now, the height changed with it, and that's because there is lack aspect ratio to 16 by 9 was checked, so it's preserving that widescreen ratio regardless of what I set my width and heights to. I can click and drag this to any number and it's always going to preserve that, until I uncheck this number. Now we can type in 1080 on the width and 1080 on the height and it will be a one-to-one ratio or a square. Next up is the frame rate. I don't want to use the broadcast standard of 29.97. I want to change this to 30, just rounded up to 30 frames per second. I know that I mentioned that 24 frames per second is a standard for animation, but in the world of motion design and motion graphics, you have a lot of creative freedom to pick a frame rate for creative purposes. For this particular animation I think that having a smoother playback at 30 frames per second is going to work a little bit better than 24 frames per second, so that's why I'm choosing 30. This resolution down here isn't actually resolution in the way that we've been talking about it with the width and the height. This is purely the compositions preview resolution, which if you remember is, the same as what we're seeing down here. It's just setting the default or the starting resolution for the comp. I'm going to leave that at full. There is no reason to set that at a lower resolution when you're making a new blank comp. Next up is the start time code. You can actually change this to something other than zero, but there's no reason for us to do that, so I'm going to leave it at zero and the duration is defaulted to 30 seconds. That's probably way more than we need for this animation, but I'd rather have too much time than not enough, because I can always trim the compositions duration down before exporting. Its a little bit more work to extend it. It can be done, but it's a little more tedious. At the very bottom, we have background color and this actually doesn't affect anything in the final animation. It's purely the preview of the background color of our composition and leaving it at black is just fine at 99 percent of the time, that's how I do it. I very rarely use a different background color. We've set up all these settings, but before clicking ''OK'', I skipped over the very first setting, which is the composition name. By default it's just going to call it, "Comp one." Comp is short for composition, but I'm going to go ahead and name this what I want the final animation to be called, which is, "Taco-Tuesday" that's the name of the arcade games, so I'll just call it Taco Tuesday and click ''OK''. Now I have an empty composition with that black background color, which is just representing empty space, there's nothing there, and it's the correct size 1080 by 1080, 30 seconds long and we're displaying in our time code, not in the frames view. That's great. Now, I want to be able to get the artwork from our arcade cabinet composition into this comp. You might think that I would just go into the folder that has all of the artwork, all of those individual layers that make up that composition, and drag them in. But let me show you what happens when I do that. If I click and drag, I can make a selection in this project panel of all of these layers and then click and drag them down to my timeline and let go. That does bring all of the layers in, but they've come in in the wrong layer order, and they've all been placed in the very center of the composition. If I just turn off the background visibility for a second, remember this is done by clicking on a little eyeball icon for that layer, you can see that below it is this button 1, and that's right in the center, it's not where it's supposed to be. If I turn that layer off, button 2 is just below that, we couldn't even see it. None of these layers are where they are supposed to be and they're not in the right order. Let me undo a few times. I'm going to keep pressing ''Command Z'' until all of these layers are out of the composition again and collapse this folder. This is why it's so nice than when we imported the artwork, that it after-effects automatically created the composition with the artwork where it needed to be to match the illustrator file. I'm going to go back to the arcade cabinet composition and I want to transfer all of these layers exactly as they are into this composition. To do that, I'm going to start by clicking on the first layer, the number one layer at the top of the layer stack holding down ''Shift'' and clicking on the last layer. It's important that you do it from the top to the bottom and I'll show you why in just a second. With those selected, I'm going to come up to ''Edit'', ''Copy'', keyboard shortcut for that is ''Command'' or ''Control C''. That's something you'll be doing a lot, so try to remember that ''Command C'' for copy. Then I'll go into the Taco Tuesday comp and press ''Edit'', ''Paste'', which is ''Command V''. V is right next to the C, so that's going to be a muscle memory keyboard shortcut to remember ''Command C'' to copy, ''Command V'' to paste, and I'll click on that. Now all of these layers are in this composition in the correct order and in the correct position relative to each other, but not in the correct position relative to this composition, as you can see, it put it in the top left corner. The reason this happened is because my arcade cabinet artwork, remember, was 2160 by 2160, which is twice the resolution of my main comp that I'm working in now, 1080 by 1080, so I need to reposition this artwork so that it fits this composition and scale it down so that I can see all of it at once. All of these layers are selected. With my selection tool, I could just click and drag and move all of them at once like if they were one single layer. It's going to be very hard to know right where that center point should be. From here, if I try and scale them all down at once, I'll just grab the background transform handle here on the side and hold ''Shift''. You see that they're all scaling down together, but they're scaling independently from each other. The reason this is happening is because every one of these layers has its own anchor point. That's what all of these little cross-hairs are in the center of each one of the layers. This is the point that all of the transformations you do to the layers are happening around. Even though I scaled all of these at the same time, they all scaled from their own anchor points, which is why the artwork all separated like this. I'm going to undo back to where they're all still in the relative correct position. What I really need to be able to do is scale down one of these layers and have everything else scaled down with it preserving their locations relative to the layer I'm scaling. This is actually something that After Effects can do really easily with what's called the Parent & Link system. You can create what's called a parent-child relationship between layers, where the parent is the one that is driving all of the transformations and the child inherits all of those transformations. So in this case, the background layer is a square, and I know that I want that to be scaled down and fit to the size of this composition. Because of that, I want this layer to be the parent of everything else, and everything else can just scale down and move in the relative position to that background layer being scaled down in position to fill the comp. To make all of these other layers children of this layer, all I have to do is select them all. So I'll click on one of them, hold down "Shift" and then click on the top layer, and then over here in the Parent & Link column is this little twirly icon called the "Pick Whip". Now if you're not seeing this Parent & Link menu, just make sure that you right-click on one of these columns up here, go to "Columns" and click on "Parent & Link". With all of those layers selected, come over to this twirly icon, the Pick Whip, it is what After Effects calls it. What this lets you do is just click and drag, and you can do this on any of these twirly icons. After Effects will accept this command for all of the layers selected. I can just draw this blue line from that point to any other layer, and as I'm doing that, the layer I'm touching is being highlighted. So if I go down to the "Background" layer and let go, it's going to parent that entire selection to that layer, and we can see in this drop-down menu the name and number of that layer that is now the parent. So what this is now doing is allowing me to select this "Background" layer, click and drag it, and have all of the other elements move with it, even though that's the only layer I have selected. All the other layers are inheriting the transformations I'm applying to that background layer. Because of that, I can also scale this down, hold down "Shift" to constrain the proportions, and everything scales down with it and keeps its relative position to where it should be. Now I could try to position this right in the center of the comp and scale it up nice and perfect, but the chances of me doing that precisely are not very good. So instead, what I want to do is right-click on this layer and use a little shortcut. I'll go down to the "Transform" menu, and in this menu is a set of commands "Fit to Comp", "Fit to Comp Width", and "Fit to Comp Height". Now in this case, the layer I have selected is a square, and my composition is a square. So each one of these is actually going to do the exact same thing. The width and the height are the same pixel value, so fitting either one to the comp's width or height is going to size the other properly. So I can click on any one of these. I'll just say "Fit to Comp Height" and it's going to reposition and scale that layer to fit the comp width. Now that did exactly what I needed it to. Now that that transformation is done, I'm actually going to remove this parent relationship to the background layer, because I don't need the other layers to follow that background layer anymore. So to do that, I'm just going to select everything even though the Background's not parented to anything. Click on the "Parent & Link" drop-down menu and say, "None" up at the top. This is also another way to parent multiple layers to another layer by just selecting one of the layers from the list. But I'm going to change it to "None", and now I can move the background around independently of everything else. Before we move on from here, I want to point out a few more things about that menu in the Transform drop-down. If I just select this frame, this is the arcade cabinet screen frame, right-click on it and go down to "Transform" and say "Fit to Comp Width", you can see it did exactly that. It scaled the layer up to fit the width of the comp. If I right-click on it again and say "Transform", "Fit to Comp Height", it's going to take the height of that layer and fit it to the height of the comp. But because this layer is not a square like the background was, if I were to right-click on this layer, go to "Transform" and say "Fit to Comp", it's going to squish that layer in. So that's the difference between Fit to Comp, and Fit to Width, and Fit to Height. Fit to Comp will do whatever it has to in order to change the scale of your layer to be exactly the same size as the comp, even if that means stretching it or squashing it. So be aware of that if you use any of those commands. Let me undo this real quick and go back just a little bit. If you remember when we copied these layers over, I said it was very important that you select them from the top down. The reason for that is because After Effects is actually paying attention to the order that you are selecting layers in. So if I were to select from the Background, hold down "Shift" and then click on the first layer, this time I'm going to cut, which is similar to copying, it just removes the layers before pasting them instead of just making a copy of them. So to do that, I'm going to go up to "Edit", "Cut", and remember I selected from the bottom-up instead of the top-down. Now if I paste those layers by going up to "Edit', "Paste" or "Command V", my layers are in the reverse order that they were when I cut them. That's what I mean by After Effects is paying attention to the order you're selecting your layers in. Whatever layer you select first is the layer that will be in the top of the list when you paste. So if I want to reverse these again, I need to select the bottom layer, hold "Shift", select the top layer, "Command X" to cut or "Ctrl X" on a PC, and "Command or Ctrl V" to paste. Now those layers are reordered one more time. So that's all I wanted to cover with the layer order. Now that we've transferred this artwork over successfully, I don't need to have this arcade cabinet composition open any longer, so I'm going to close it by clicking on this little "Close" button. Great. Now I want to point out one other thing in this timeline right here, this column, the Source Name. It's giving me the name of the layer, but also with this slash, the name of the file that it came from. This isn't always very necessary, and to actually hide that information, all I have to do is click on "Source Name", and it changes to "Layer Name". So I can switch between those two at any point. Now that all of these layers are set up and ready to go, we can start building what needs to go inside of the screen. But before we go any further, I need to point out that we have not saved our project at all, and that is actually a big mistake. Saving all the time is something you really need to get in the habit of. If we look up here at the top of the bar, it says, ''After Effects - Untitled Project" with a little star, and that star means that this has not been saved. So I need to come up to "File", "Save", and the keyboard shortcut is "Command S" or "Ctrl S" on a PC, very easy to remember, S for save. I'm just going to put this right on the desktop where all of my artwork is and call it, "Taco-Tuesday", and click on "Save". Now that little star is gone, meaning that there are no unsaved changes, and I can be sure that I won't lose any progress. Now we can move on to actually making what's going to go inside the arcade screen. 11. Precomps & Organization: One nice way of working inside of "After Effects" is by using compositions in other compositions. This type of composition is called a preComposition or a preComp for short. Since this composition that we've already made is the one that I'm planning on exporting from this is going to be the final representation of what we want our animation to look like, you can refer to it as the render Comp or your Final Comp. Now I could animate what's onscreen inside of this "Arcade Cabinet" directly in this Render Comp, but we're going to be meeting a lot of layers just for what's going on on this screen and this composition can get really messy really quickly. We're also planning to basically zoom in on the screen at one point in the animation in this comp and it would be a lot easier if everything that was contained in this screen was one layer rather than all of the layers that make up what's inside of it. Because that way we could parent that one layer to the "Arcade Cabinet" and then scale everything up by parenting things to each other just like we did when we rearranged this artwork to fit this comp by parenting it all to the background. So that's how we're going to move forward. Making a new comp that will contain everything that's on the screen. To make a new composition, I'm going to come up to "Composition," "New Composition" and we're back to the same "Composition Settings" window. Now I'm going to start by naming this "Screen".. Now we can think about the three main things, the "Resolution," "Frame Rate," and "Duration." Well, the frame rate is going to be the same. We don't want different frame rates in the preComp than we do in the main-comp. So I'm going to leave that at 30 and the duration can stay at 30 seconds long as well. Again, I'm probably not going to need it to be that long, but just in case I'm going to give myself plenty of working space. So the resolution is the only thing I really need to consider, 1080 by 1080 would allow me to fill the screen, but I'm going to give myself a little bit of a margin just so I can have this work area that's a little bit outside the bounds of the Comp's full resolution just in case I need it. So I'm going to increase this to 1200 by 1200. So there's only 120 pixels extra around the edges, but that might be useful. So we're going to go with 1200 by 1200 and then click "OK". Just like before it opens up the new composition and we have a black background. Now over here in the "Project" panel, you can see that there are now multiple compositions and we have this folder with the artwork layers in it. The more assets that I create inside of After Effects, the busier this Project Panel is going to be. So it is important to stay organized over here. That way you can easily know where assets are if you need to get to them and make changes. So I'm going to start making some more folders. I'm going to click down here on the "Create a New Folder" button, and I'm going to name this one "Assets". Now you can name these folders whatever you want and organize them however you want. But the important thing is that you stay organized. It's just way easier to keep track of things if you have a structure in place. So in the "Assets" folder, I'm going to bring this "Arcade Cabinet" layers, remember this is our Illustrator artwork for our "Arcade Cabinet," bring that into the "Assets" folder, as well as this "Arcade Cabinet Composition" that After Effects made when I imported the artwork in After Effects. So I'm going to move that into the "Assets" as well, and I'll close up "Assets". Next I'm going to make a folder called "preComps" and that's how I like to write "preComps," I don't know where I pick that up, but that's just to force a habit. That's how I write it. So "preComps" folder and then I'm going to grab my "Screen" preComp and move it into that folder. That way I know that this comp on the outside of my folder structure is the render Comp, and anything in here is what makes up other parts of what's inside of that comp. Now let's look at our composition viewer. There's this switch right down here that looks like a checkerboard. It says "Toggled Transparency Grid." If I click on this, my black background goes away and I see this checkerboard pattern. This checkerboard pattern is a universal way of indicating that there is nothing there. This is transparency or see-through. If you can see this checkerboard pattern you know, that there's nothing there. This just allows you to switch between seeing it as a transparency grid or whatever you set your comp background color too. Sometimes it's difficult to see what you're working on on this checkerboard pattern depending on what you're working with. If it was like a white square, it would be hard to see. So if I come up to "Layer," "New," "Solid," and I make it pure white, click "OK" and then make it 100 by 100, click "OK", that's hard to see on that transparency grid. But if I disable it, it's perfectly clear on that black background. So know that that's there to be able to preview differently depending on what you're working with. I'm going to go ahead and get rid of that solid. So what's going to go inside of this "Screen" preComp? Well, everything that makes up the video game. So let's import the other artwork We need to make this video game. So inside the "Assets" folder, I'm going to click on that "Assets" folder and then go up to "File," "Import," "File." Then I'll select the remaining artwork. So we have the Heads of the Enemies in the video game, we have the Taco Truck and we have the Taco itself. So I'm going to select all of those by holding down "Command" or "Control" on a PC and clicking on each one and then clicking on "Open". Now something different happened this time. It did not ask me how I wanted these files imported and that's because I was importing multiple assets at the same time. That's a problem because there are multiple layers in this artwork that I need access to. The Taco Truck is a flat layer, the Taco itself is a flat layer, but inside this file there are multiple heads. Fortunately, I can get After Effects to split up those layers after I've already imported them into After Effects. All I need to do is right-click, go down to "Replace Footage" and then over to "With Layered Comp". So I'm replacing the footage with a layered comp. When I click on that, it changes that artwork into a composition, it brings in a folder with the artwork inside of it, and I now have access to every one of the layers. Now that's done, I'll close this up. I have all of my artwork in here, and I'll start by bringing my Taco Truck layer into the composition by clicking and dragging it out to the center of the comp. Now that we have something in this comp, I'm going to go back to our main comp, find that preComp which is right here, "Screen", and bring it into this comp, just like any other layer. So I'm going to just drag it to the top of my layer stack, and there we go. We can see that Taco Truck showing up. But the Bounding Box with these transform handles you can see are much further out than the Truck itself. That's because the Bounding Box is for the size of that comp, not for what's in it and the comp size, we look at the "Project"panel right here is 1200 by 1200, just like we said it. Because this comp is now within another comp, it is technically a preComposition or a preComp which is why we made a "preComp" folder and put it in that folder in the "Project" panel. But this preComp now behaves just like any other layer. So if I drag this down below the screen frame by clicking and dragging it down to right there between Layer 6 and 7 and let go, now that preComp is showing up behind all of the layers above it in the layer stack. I could click and drag to reposition this. Once we have more of what is setup within this Composition, we'll scale it down and make it look like it's actually there on the Arcade. But that is how a preComp works. So I'm going to go back into that preComp either by clicking on this tab or just by double-clicking on the layer and that will open up the preComp for me. 12. Position: Now that we have a layer in this comp, we need to know how to manipulate it so that we can actually animate it. There are five main Transform controls that apply to basically any layer that you need to manipulate. Over the next few videos, we're going to walk through all of those Transform controls. To see a list of those controls, just twirl down this arrow next to any layer and that will open up the Transform controls. You might see other menu items in other layers, but you'll pretty much always find the transform menu in any given layer. For an illustrator layer, this is the only thing we're seeing right now. Let's twirl that arrow down as well and you see that we have a list of these five Transform properties; Anchor Point, Position, Scale, Rotation, and Opacity. Now the three main properties that you're going to be using in animation more than anything else are Position, Scale, and Rotation. Those three properties can drive basically any animation that you need to accomplish. But the Anchor Point is very important to understand because it drastically affects each one of those properties, and the Opacity is also a very important Transform control to be aware of. But as far as motion goes; Position, Scale, and Rotation are key. Let's start with Position. Some of these are pretty self-explanatory, position is the position of the layer, and if we take a look at these blue numbers over here, these are the x and y coordinates measured in pixels for that layer. Now the layer is centered in the composition and the x and y values are 600 by 600. The reason why the center of the comp isn't 00 is because After Effects is looking at the top left corner as the 00 position on the x and y coordinates. I like to call this the origin of the comp. The position of this layer relative to the origin of the comp is 600 on the x and 600 on the y measured in pixels, and I can give you even more visual proof of this if I come up to View and down to Show Rulers, I'll click on that, and this is going to give me rulers for the composition viewer. If you take a look at the top left corner on the x-axis, that is where zero starts, and on the y-axis, that is where zero starts as well. As I move my mouse around, you can see this little blue line showing up on the rulers to give you an estimate of where your mouse cursor is. If I move right to the center of the anchor point for that layer, this little cross here in the center of the layer, you can see those blue lines on the rulers are pretty much lining up to 600 pixels by 600 pixels. That is how After Effects is plotting out the placement of layers, and with the Selection Tool active, if I click and drag on this layer, you can see down here that the numbers are changing as I do that because the Anchor Point of my layer is changing as I'm moving this around. If I wanted my Anchor Point to be in the top left corner, all I have to do is change this value to 00. Now I could click and drag on these numbers left and right to change their values, but that would be a little bit tedious trying to get that to be exactly zero. An easier way is to just click once and then type on the keyboard 0, press "Enter," then click on the second number, press "0," and then press "Enter" again. Now my layers Anchor Point is directly in the top left corner of the comp. If I wanted it in the bottom left corner of the comp, then I would need to go zero on the x-axis and 1,200 pixels on the y-axis, that's the height of the comp. I'll type in 0, 1200, press "Enter", and there it's in the bottom left. This corner would be 1,200 on y, 1,200 on x, so 1,200 in each of these, and then back up here in the top right corner would be zero on the y, 1,200 on the x. Obviously, you can go beyond the bounds of the comp, you don't have to stay within the comp, the numbers will just count up beyond the width or the height of the comp, and you can even go in negative values. If I go to the left side, you see that my position is at negative 500 on the x. It doesn't matter what your position values are, you just need to remember that they are relative to the origin of the comp, the top left corner. The positive direction for the x is to the right, positive direction for the y is downwards. Let's get this back in the center of the comp by typing in half of the width and height which was 600 by 600, and a quick way to jump from one value to the next without having to press Enter and then clicking in the next one is just by having the first property selected. I typed in my numbers 600, and then I just press the "Tab" key on the keyboard, and that will go to the next value automatically. By type 600 there and then press "Tab" again, it's going to move onto the next property, or if you hold "Shift" and press "Tab", it will go in the opposite direction as long as you're holding down "Shift". "Tab" to go forward one property value, "Shift+Tab" to go backwards one property value. I'll press "Escape" to get out of that and I don't need my rulers anymore, so I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut to hide them, which is "Command+R" or "Control+R" on a PC. Now remember, in our main comp, we used Parenting to keep these layers relative to the background when we scaled it down. If we parent one layer to another, that actually affects the position of that layer. Then let me show you what I mean by that. I'm going to duplicate this layer by selecting it, coming up to "Edit", "Duplicate", which is "Command" or "Control+D" on a PC, click, and now I have two copies of that same layer. Just so this is easier to see, I'm going to move this copy up into the left a little bit, and I'm going to make this layer a child of the new duplicate layer. Remember to do that, just grab the pick whip, foil layer you want to parent, click and drag to the layer you want to be the parent and then let go. Nothing visually changed here, but the position value did change. Instead of being 600 on the x and 600 and on the y, it's 536 on the x and 600 on the y, but my layer didn't change position. Now why is that? Well, it's because when you parent a layer, the position value is no longer relative to the comp, it's relative to the parent. If I click and drag on the parent layer, this layer moves with it, the position value never changes. Just like the comps origin is the top-left corner, a layers origin is also the top-left corner. This copy of the Taco-Truck is at an x, position of 536 and a y position of 600 relative to the top left corner of this Taco-Truck. If I change the position to 0, press "Tab" to go to the next value and press "Zero" again and press "Enter". Now my Anchor Point for that layer is in the exact same spot as the top-left corner for the parent, so that's a very important thing to take note of. If I delete the parent by selecting that layer and pressing "Delete", then this layer no longer has anything to be parented to, and the position value goes back to being relative to the comps origin. Now, there are two more things I don't want to talk about regarding the position property. The first is the "Align" panel. This is the one panel that we left open, it's not really essential to working in "After Effects," but that I use all the time and we're going to be using in this class. Let me expand this out by clicking and dragging us down until it snaps. That's letting us know that we can see everything in the panel there. What this is going to allow us to do is align our layers to either the Composition or to a selection of multiple layers, as well as some more advanced stuff that we're going to get to in a second. But the first most basic thing to use this for is aligning a layer to the composition. All of these buttons down here are what allow you to align this layer two parts of the composition. This first one is aligned left, so we get a line on the left side of this icon and then two rectangles pushed up against it, nice and aligned. It makes sense that if I click on this, it shifts my layers left edge over to the left edge of the comp. If I click on this one over here, the right align, it moves it to the opposite side of the comp. I can also do the top edge, the bottom edge, or the center horizontally and vertically. If I want to center this up really quickly, all you have to do is align horizontally and align vertically. I use that all the time that's why I keep the align panel open all of the time. But you can do more than just align with the composition. I want to make a duplicate of this layer, and to do that to you, just come up to "Edit" and then down to "Duplicate" and the keyboard shortcut for that is "Command D" or "Control D" on a PC. This is another really easy one to remember and you do it all the time. You can even duplicate things inside of your project panel this way. Just know how to duplicate by pressing "Command D" or "Control D' and that makes a second copy of what you had selected. You can do this across multiple layers if you want to, then move it out of the way so we can see both copies. Then I'll make a selection of both of these layers by clicking and dragging with my selection tool until you can see those two highlight boxes around each layer and let go. What this allows you to do now is switch from aligning to the composition to aligning to the selection. Let's say that I wanted this layer to be lined up with the top edge of this layer. Well, I'll just come over to the "Align Top" button and click and that moves whichever layer is lower to the top edge of whichever layer is higher. I'll undo, and the same is true for the opposite direction, I could align to the bottom and it works just the same. We've also got the left and right align, it takes whichever layer is in the most extreme of whichever button you're clicking on, and that's what it bases the alignment on. This is also an easy way to align layers horizontally and vertically so that they're both perfectly aligned to each other. But what if I duplicate this layer a couple more times? I'll make five copies. So "Command D" until I have five layers here and I'll just spread them out all over the comp. I'll make all of them smaller, you don't need to worry about how I'm doing this yet, we're going to cover scale in just a second, but now I have a bunch of small trucks all across my comp. If I select all of them, I can not only align them say, vertically, or align them to the composition vertically. I also have these "Distribute Layers" buttons open now. This is specifically for selections of three or more layers. What they allow you to do is basically evenly spread out the layers based on their size. If I wanted to put the same amount of distance between each one of these layers, I'll just select all of them, and then come over to this one right here, "Distribute Horizontally" and click. Now, every one of these layers has the exact same amount of distance between their angle points. The outer two most layers are the ones that "After Effects" based the distribution on, so those two didn't move, just the ones in between. If I scale all these down just a little bit more, again, don't worry about how I'm doing that, and then just change the alignment of this right edge, I'll make a selection and pay attention to the right and leftmost trucks. When I click on "Distribute Horizontally," all the layers in between moved so that there's the same amount of distance between each layer, and you can do that horizontally and vertically. You can also distribute two edges of layers. Right now every single one of these layers is the same size, so distributing them to the right or the left of each layer doesn't make a difference. But if I were to scale this one down, make this one a little bit bigger and just change sizes of all of these layers, and then reposition them a little bit and then try distributing to the left edge. Now, the same distance is distributed between the left edge of every layer instead of the center of every layer or I could do the right edge. I don't use these very often, but it is important to know why you have access too here in the Align panel. I'll just distribute them all evenly on the horizontal axis again and call it good. I'm going to delete all but two of these layers and l scale these back up a little bit. The last thing I want to talk about is snapping. Snapping allows you to line things up very precisely. If I were to want to say move the backside of this truck to the front of this truck, and try and do that by hand, it could be very difficult to know whether or not I did that precisely. But there's a feature up here in our toolbar the checkbox for snapping, I click on that. This allows you to snap your layers to different things in your composition. If I were to click and drag near the left edge of this layer, you see that now I have a square around, the center-left transform handle for this layer. That's letting me know that this is the point "After Effects" is going to use as reference for snapping to other things. If I move this closer to the other truck right there and just jumped right over and snapped to the right edge of that other taco truck. If I move it up a little bit, it's going to snap right to the center, transform handle on that right edge, and I have that second square icon letting me know that. Depending on where you click on this layer, it's going to snap from a different point. Be sure you know where you are clicking on and this little highlight square when you click, that's what's letting you know where it's going to snap from. But this allows you to snap not only two edges and corners, but also along the horizontal or vertical axis. Let me zoom in here and reposition so we can see. I can go on this y-axis here, vertically on the second taco truck as well as horizontally on the x axis. But clicking this snapping checkbox every time you want something to snap isn't the quickest way to do this. If I uncheck this and I'm back to just freely moving my layer around now, all I have to do to temporarily enable snapping is hold down "Command" or "Control" on a PC while dragging. With this clicked and dragged, I'll hold them "Command" and that temporarily as long as I hold down "Command" enables snapping. That's a much quicker way of working inside of: After Effects." So that is a very useful tool inside of "After Effects" for aligning things and the last thing that we really need to talk about for the basics of the position property. Let's center this backup by going to 600 on the X, 600 on the Y and move on to scale. 13. Scale: Now, we already went over a little bit of scaling in this comp when I fit the artwork to the comp's dimensions, but I didn't really explain what I was doing all that well. Let's talk about the Scale property. You can see that this is measured in percentages rather than in pixels. By default, when you bring a layer in or when you create any layer in After Effects, it's going to start at 100 percent scale on both the x and y, so this layer, as we see it, is 100 percent of its resolution. Just like the position property, I can click and drag on this number and set it to 50 percent, so it's half the size that it was originally. You'll notice that both of those numbers changed when I drag that number, unlike the position where the x and y were separated. Well, that's because of this little icon right here, constrain proportions. It's a little chain link and it's basically keeping those proportions together so that I don't accidentally stretch that layer. If I uncheck that by clicking on it, then I can independently scale the x from the y. Now, it's pretty rare that you would want to do something like that unless it's a stylistic choice. I generally keep that linked, but if I leave it at different proportions than the original scale, and click on this chain link again, now when I scale this down, it preserves the proportions that I had set it to. That's one way to change the scale of a layer. You can also use the selection tool, and click and drag on any one of these transform handles that make up the bounding box for the layer. If I click and drag on the top middle one, I can just scale on the y, same thing for the bottom handle, or on the left and right center handles, I can scale on just the x, either way. I can even go in the opposite direction and mirror the graphic. You can see that now the x value is a negative scale. Or I could flip it upside down by doing the same thing with the top handle. Then we have the corner transform handles. If I click and drag on any of these, I can transform both the x and y scale at once. Now, I could try to get this about where it was originally, at 100 percent, on both the x and y. I'm just looking at these numbers as I'm doing this, but as you can see, it's getting really close, but not exact. I now have fractions of these percentages, and I want this to be perfectly symmetrical again. Well, there's a modifier key that you can press on the keyboard while transforming with the transform handles to snap it to its original proportions. That's just the Shift key. If I click and drag on a transform handle and then hold down the Shift key, you see that it snaps to being at a one-to-one scale again. No matter what I do with my mouse, I can't change those proportions. It's constraining those proportions. Now that that's constrained, I can let go of my mouse and then come down to the scale and just type in 100, press Enter, and because these were linked, it updated both the x and y and we're back to where we started. Just like with position, the scale is relative to the parent. If I duplicate this one more time by pressing Command or Control D, click and drag this over here, and then parent the original to the duplicate, I'm going to scale the parent down by clicking on it, clicking on the transform handle, holding down Shift and scaling. As I do this, even though this child layer is getting smaller, notice that the scale of that layer has not changed. That's because it's inheriting the scale of the parent, and this value is reflecting the scale relative to its parent. But again, if I delete the parent, then my scale jumps down to being 40.7 percent of itself rather than 100 percent the scale of its parent. Okay, let's set this back to 100, center it up on the x and y position. Oops, 600 by 600. That's the Scale property. 14. Rotation: Rotation is really simple to understand. It's just the rotation of the layer. The value is measured in degrees, as well as revolutions. If I click and drag on this number, I can increase the angle all the way up to 360 degrees. As soon as I pass 360 degrees, you see that this zero is now a one. So that just indicates that there's one cycle, or one revolution from the original rotation plus, whatever degrees that you have over here. I can also go in a negative direction. If I click and drag this to the left, you can see there's a negative rotation. My layer is spinning in the opposite direction, and I can go in on negative cycle revolution as well. You can also type in numbers here, so if I want to set this back to zero, I can press "Tab", press "Zero" again, Enter, and I'm back to zero degrees rotation. But we also have a rotation tool up here on the toolbar. The keyboard shortcut for it is w. The reason it's not r is because that's actually reserved for something else which we'll get to in just a little bit. But I'm going to click on that rotation tool. Now if I click and drag on the layer itself in the comp viewer, I can just freehand rotate this. You can see that property changing down here as I click and drag. Just like with position and scale, if I hold down Shift, it's a modifier key that constrains something. This time, it constrains the rotation to 45 degree increments. I'm holding down the Shift key right now. But that's very useful for when you need to snap that rotation to a 45 degree angle. If I keep rotating this, take note that, the revolutions are increasing. After Effects is paying attention to the number of times that I am rotating this. If I go in the opposite direction, I can turn that back down to zero-zero. Again, I'm going to duplicate this layer, move it up here, parent this one to the duplicate. Just to show you that once again, if I rotate the parent, the child moves with it, but the rotation value doesn't change. Once again, all of the transformed controls are relative to their parent unless they don't have a parent. If I delete that parent, there we go. All of these are now relative to the comp again. That's all there is to rotation. 15. Opacity: Next, let's look at the opacity. Opacity and transparency are interchangeable, but they basically mean opposites. Something that is fully opaque is something that is solid. You can't see through it at all. Something that is fully transparent is something you can see straight through, like glass or water. But even those technically have some opacity to them. Air would be a good example of something that is completely transparent even though it's there. At 100 percent opacity, we see 100 percent of this artwork and if I turn this down, you see there's kind of fading out to black. Now the reason it's fading to black is because that's what is behind this layer, this black background. But if I turn on my transparency grid by clicking on this button right here, then we see that checkerboard pattern coming through that layer. I'm going to zoom in by pressing the greater than sign. You can see clearly that checkerboard is showing through the layer. Lowering the opacity makes the layer more transparent. Increasing the opacity makes it less transparent. This number can only go between zero and 100 percent. At zero percent opacity, you don't see anything and at 100 percent opacity, you can't see through it at all. This is the only of these five properties that is not relative to anything else. It's not relative to the content anyway, if I duplicate this, make this layer a child of the duplicate and change the opacity of the parent by going into those Transform Controls and turning it down. See, that does not affect the child layer at all and that's unique to the opacity property. But it's pretty simple to understand. That's all there is to it. 16. Anchor Point: Finally, we have the anchor point and I intentionally left this as the last transform property that I wanted to talk about because it affects the position, scale, and rotation. This little cross layer right here that is the anchor point for the layer. By default, any layer that you create, any layer that you bring into after effects will have its anchor point set the dead center of that layer. The anchor point is where all of these other transformations, positions, scale, and rotation take place around. Rotation is a really good property to explain this, so I'm going to zoom in a little bit just by pressing the greater than sign and then switch to my rotation tool by pressing "W" on the keyboard and rotate this layer just a little bit. Obviously you can see that rotation is happening around the center anchor point that's nothing new I'm going to undo. Now the anchor point is measured in pixels on the x and y axis, just like the positions x and y coordinates. But instead of the values being relative to the comps origin, they are relative to the layers origin. The center of this layer is 216 pixels on the x from the top left corner of this layer, and 216 pixels on the y from the top left of this layer. If I set the anchor point down to 0,0, well, the anchor point is now in the top left corner, but the layers artwork has actually shifted down into the right. Now the reason that happened is because I didn't change the position value. Remember the position is the relationship between the anchor point and the origin of the comp. That didn't change when I changed the anchor points value. Instead, the contents of the layer shifted based on the anchor points position. If I click and drag on either of these values, you can see how it's just shifting around that layer. Hopefully that makes sense, when you are dragging these numbers around instead of actually changing the position of the layer, since the anchor point is what determines that position, it shifting the contents of that layer around that point in the comp. I'm going to undo by pressing "Command Z" and keep pressing that until the anchor point is back in the top left corner. Now that my artwork is not centered on that anchor point, I'm going to switch the rotation tool by pressing "W" on the keyboard and then click and drag to rotate that layer. You'll notice that it is now rotating around that anchor point, just like it was before. But because the artwork isn't centered on the anchor point anymore, the rotation transformation is much different. But let's say we wanted this to rotate around this back tire. Well, let me undo so we're back to the centered anchor point. I could just go to the anchor point value and just modify the x and the y by clicking and dragging. That is one way to do it but let's say that I don't want the layer contents to move. I want to be able to move the anchor point and leave the artwork right where it was. Let me undo again and take a look at another tool. Up here is the pain behind or anchor point tool. This tool, it serves two different purposes, but what we're going to use it for is the anchor point. I'm going to call it the anchor point tool. What this allows you to do is click and drag to freely place the anchor point within a layer's contents. As I'm moving this, take a look at both the anchor point and position. They are both highlighted, which is letting me know that they are both being modified, and watch all of these numbers as I click and drag, they're all changing. The reason they're all changing is because the anchor point is changing relative to the origin of the layer. The position which is measured by the anchor point is also changing because that's the relative position between the anchor point and the origin of the camp. Because both of those values are changing at the same time, the artwork is able to stay in the exact same place. I can just click and drag this and freely put it on that back tire switch to my rotation tool W on the keyboard and now I can click and drag to make this bounce up and down off of that back tire. I'll undo to get back to zero rotation and switch to my selection tool V on the keyboard and show you that the scale is also happening off of that anchor point where that back left tire is. I'll undo back to 100 percent scale. Those two properties, scale and rotation are the most noticeably affected by that anchor points position. But the position itself also is affected as you saw, when I was clicking and dragging that anchor point around. That's why it's so important to understand how to use the anchor point to control the transformations of your layer. Before I finish this video, I just want to show you one more quick trick for getting the anchor point to be back in the exact center of the layer without having to move the artwork at all. Just right-click on the layer, go to "Transform" and then down to center anchor point in layer content. If I click on that, the anchor point snaps right back to the center of the layer and the artwork itself hasn't moved at all. We're back to the way that we started and that's the last of the transform controls. 17. Pace Yourself: I realize you're probably getting pretty overwhelmed with all the information I'm throwing at you. I just want to say, take it slow. If you need to go back and take some of your own notes, rewind a little bit and just review some of this material, don't feel like that's a bad thing. This is a very long course and we're covering a lot of ground.It's not meant to be an easy sit down in an afternoon, watch the class and have a project. I'm really trying to instill some good principles and workflow tips for your entire After Effects journey, so that you're developing good habits from the beginning and really starting to understand how this program works so that you can approach your future projects from a perspective that allows you to really hone in on how to do what you want to do instead of just questioning, how do I do this specific thing. I want you to have a good foundation and understanding of how this program works and how you can start to problem solve your own projects as you move forward. Pace yourself, review some things, mess around in After Effects to see how things happen and just take a break if you need to and come back when you have a fresh mind. 18. Scene Setup: Okay, it's time to actually start placing the elements for what's going to be on the screen. First of all this truck is way too big, I designed it at 432 by 432 pixels but that's larger than it needs to be. Let's scale it down by 50 percent just make it half the size. I'm going to twirl this open, go into the Transform controls and get to my Scale and just type in 50 press "Enter" and because those proportions were linked they both updated at 50 percent and it is now half the size that it was. Now this might even be a little bit too big but we can scale it down later if we need to. The idea for this animation is going to be the video game playing out obviously. As the player you control the truck and you shoot tacos at floating heads that are coming out to reach you. You've to throw a taco at their face before they get to you that will make them eat the taco and disappear. We're going to have this joystick moving around in the buttons pressing to fire the tacos out across the screen to the flying heads that are coming in from the right. Obviously this screen is way too big just for now I'm going to scale this down by clicking and dragging while holding shift on the Transform handle just until the bounding box is slightly bigger than the max width of the actual artwork for the screen. Something like that and I'll try and center this up but that way I know that the edges of the screen are going to be hidden by that frame. But the relative scale assuming here with the greater than sign and pan up with the space bar, that is about the scale of the truck in the screen right now I could make this a little bit tighter in here. Just want to make sure that this line doesn't come in on this frame but we're going to fine tune this a little bit later. For now this is going to serve as a good reference for about how big that truck is in the context of the frame. I'll go back into the screen now and let's just move the truck over to the left side by clicking and dragging on it so that it's on the left side of the screen. We're going to have the heads coming in from the right onto the screen and the truck moving around shooting tacos at those heads. I think we've got three different heads in here, we've got the man, the boy, and the woman and they each have a closed and open mouth so that we can show them chewing. We're just going to alternate back and forth between those to make that animation happened, but we'll get to that a little bit later. For now let's just bring one of the heads out so this Head 1 with the open mouth, that's how we want the heads to look before they have a taco shout at them. I'll bring Head 1 out to a right about here. Obviously that is also too big so I'm going to scale that down by 50 percent as well. But this time instead of opening up the scale for that layer and setting it to 50 percent, I'm just going to select the scale property for the taco truck which is set to 50 percent and copy it by pressing Command C or Control C on a PC. Then all I have to do is select the head layer and paste by pressing Command V or control V on a PC and it paste the property that I had copied onto that layer. So that's just a little time safer there. This head maybe we'll put up here and next let's use the woman's head. Now, this time instead of just dragging the layer out I'm going to use a different technique. I'm first going to select the man's head and duplicate it by coming up to Edit, Duplicate, or using Command or Control D. I have those two copies right on top of each other so I'll move one down a little bit lower. This time I'm going to click and drag over to the comp but not let go. Instead I'm going to hold down the Option or Alt key on the PC and then let go my mouse and what this does is replaces the asset that you had selected with the asset that you were dragging into the comp and it preserves all of the transform properties that you would applied. After effects is literally just swapping out the source layer, so I'm going to do that one more time and duplicate with Command or Control D. Move this out of the way and then bring Head 2 open out again click and drag hold Option or Alt and then let go. Now we have all three of our heads out on the comp but we're still going to need that taco, let me close up this heads folder there's the taco and I'm going to duplicate the truck Command or Control D, click and drag while holding Option or Alt and let go and there's our taco. Now this might be a little bit bigger than we want it to be. I'm not sure yet we'll see what happens once we actually start animating. But the idea is these heads are coming in from the right and the truck is moving around to line itself up with that head and shoot this taco out and into the mouths of these hungry people. Before we do any of that let's put one more element in this comp which is just a solid background color. Because remember if I turn on the transparency grid, there is nothing there that black background is just reference there's nothing behind it. I want to fill it with just a solid color and to do that, I'm going to come up to the Layer menu, go down to New, and there's a bunch of different types of layers in this menu what we want is Solid. I'm going to click on Solid and this gives me the solid settings. Very similar to comp settings, there's just not as many of those settings like nothing like duration or frame rate, basically just the size and the color. Now I want this to be the same size as the composition so I could just type in 1200 by 1200, or there's this handy little button that's called Make Comp Size and if I click on that, it automatically changes the solid settings to match that comp dimensions. Then we have color. Now you can make this whatever color you want just by clicking on that swatch and then moving the hue around on this slider right here and then clicking and dragging your color picker to make it whatever color you want. As I do this you can see that the name is auto generating based on what color it is, so it's automatically giving you a description of whatever color you choose. I want this to be a very dark purple to go along with the colors in the rest of our artworks so something around here probably. I'll click "Okay and I'm just going to rename this BG which is shorthand for background. That way I can identify it in my layers really easily. I'll click on "Okay" and that generates this solid layer nothing in it except that one color and it's filling the comp. Now it's covering everything up because it's at the top of my layer stack so I need to drag it down to the bottom. I'm going to click and drag all the way to the bottom and you see that as I get to the bottom it automatically scrolls for me either up or down. But that way I can be sure that I go all the way to the bottom. There's my little blue highlight letting me know that it's going to go below layer 6, I let go and now all the other elements are on top of it. If we take a look at our main comp now that background is filled in with that dark purple color. Let me just zoom out a little bit using the less than sign and you can see the bounds of this layer are extending beyond the frame. But that's okay we're going to fix that once we've gotten the animation out of the way. The important thing is we now have a color in the background. So let's go back to our screen preComp and we can keep going. 19. Animating With Keyframes: Now we get to have some real fun because we're going to start making things move with animation. I'm just going to move these heads out of the way so we have a little bit more room and I'll get this taco over here as well. I just want to focus on this taco truck. I'm going to zoom in using the zoom tool, which the keyboard shortcut is Z. So I'll press Z and then click on this taco truck wants to zoom in and then switch back to my selection tool by pressing V on the keyboard. All right, let's pan this over just a little bit. The way that animation works within After Effects and a lot of animation software, is through what are called key frames. A key frame is a value on any property. The position, for example, the current value is 208 by 560 on the x and y. A key frame can contain that value, but also place that value at a given time in your comp. Currently I'm at the beginning of the comp at time zero. These little stopwatch icons next to the transform properties are how you set a key frame. So if I hover over the stopwatch for this position value and click, you can see that it turns blue and we have a few more things showing up in our Layers panel. The most important one is this little diamond shape right here. I'll move my play head forward in time just a little bit so you can see it's a diamond. This is a key frame and if I hover over it, you can see that it gives us two different values. First is the time that it is currently at, which is frame zero and then the second value is the position. That's the information that key frame is containing. Let me go forward to one second in time and then change this value. I'm going to grab the x position, click and drag and just shift this over to the right a little bit, looking up here in the comp as I do it so that the truck is now further over here. Two things happen. First, we have a second key frame that's been generated because we modified this property and up in the comp, we now have this line, this dotted line connecting those two position values. Let me show you what happens if I go back to the beginning and press the space bar, which is our preview shortcut. I press Space-bar again to stop it. You can see that the truck is now moving from the first key frame's value to the second key frame's value over that one second of time. If I go right in between those two key frames and then change the value again this time, instead of changing the numbers down here, instead clicking and dragging, you can see that that dotted line connecting these position values has changed. Let me back up to the beginning again. Press space bar and now the truck is moving in this path. What we're seeing here in the comp viewer is called the motion path and it's just a visual path showing you where the anchor point of that layer is traveling over time. If I come down to this new key frame that's still highlighted and click and drag it left to right, it will change the timing of our animation. If I move it far to the left, you see that there are fewer dots on this side of the motion path and more dots on this side of the motion path. Each one of these dots is telling us where the anchor point will be on a given frame. This is frame zero, one, two, three, four, five, six. Then there are a whole lot more dots between six and one second, which would be 30 frames. Since there are a lot more dots in between these two points, we can tell just by looking at the motion path, that the animation is going to go slower between these two points and faster between these two. Let me play this back for you. You see how it goes really fast at the beginning and then slows down. If I move this over to the other side between these two key frames, then the opposite is going to happen. It's going to start out slow and then go fast. I can also delete key frames just by selecting one, clicking on it, and pressing the Delete key and now we're back to just this linear straight across movement. I've been pressing the space bar to start and stop my preview every single time but you can actually set up an area of time in your timeline to loop your animation so that you don't have to keep starting and stopping it again. I'm going to zoom all the way out of my timeline just by clicking and dragging on this slider so we can see these two little blue handles here, not these two up at the top, this is for zooming in and out, remember? But this right here is called, your work area, and it has a start or an in and an end or an out point. If I click and drag this end, you can see that it's kind of highlighting what's between these two points and I can do this on the front end as well. I can even grab in the middle and shift this around. This work area is what after-effects will preview when you press the space bar. So if I grab the out area and just bring this in a little bit more, and then I'll zoom in with the plus key on the keyboard and scroll over to the beginning. If I press Space-bar, even though I'm at the end, press Space bar, you'll see that it's now going to loop around and this little red line is indicating what part of the animation we're seeing as it's playing back. You can even set that work area in and out using keyboard shortcuts, the B and N keys on the keyboard are right next to each other and those set the in and out for your work area. I'm assuming that the Adobe team chose B and N just because they weren't being used for anything else and they were next to each other. That's a hard one to remember, but it is very useful for being able to set your work area very quickly. If I go to say this point in time and press B, the work area start snaps to that point and if I go further out here and press N, then the end of my work area goes to that point of time. I'm going to set this back to around the end of the animation, giving just a little bit of an extra gap at the end there and press space bar one more time and we can see that truck animating. Okay, I'm going to stop it right there and you can set key frames on any property that has a stopwatch on it. If I wanted the truck to grow as it was moving forward, I could do that too. I'll go back to the beginning, set a key frame for scale, go forward to that one second point and then increase the scale. Now if I press Play by pressing the space bar, the truck grows as it's moving to the right. Same thing for rotation. I'll set a key frame at the beginning and then let's say we wanted to flip around like this. So I'll rotate it 360 degrees, one revolution. There we go, and then play that back. This is the very basics of animation in After Effects and there's a whole lot more we can do with key frames. There are even different kinds of key frames, but I'll explain that as we go. All right, let's stop this playback and I don't want this animation to actually happen so let's get rid of these key frames. I could draw a box around all the key frames and press Delete. That's a perfectly fine way of doing this but you need to be very careful when you're removing key frames because After Effects will preserve whatever properties you have at the current time. So because I was at the beginning of the animation when I deleted the key frames, it preserved these properties' values at that point and time. If I undo, Command or Control Z and go forward in time and then press Delete, I was after that second set of key frames so those are the values that After Effects preserved. I'll undo one more time Command Z and if I go right to the middle of my animation and press delete, those are the values that After Effects preserved. So be very aware of that when you're removing key frames, I'll undo one more time and we'll remove all those key frames with the play head at the beginning, press Delete, and there we go. Okay, I'm going to fit my comp to the viewer by pressing Shift question mark and let's start animating these heads. Let's move this taco out of the way and the truck as well. Those two, we'll get to in just a second. This background layer is not going to be animated at all. I don't want to accidentally click and drag it and move it off center like that so let me undo that. To prevent any editing happening on this layer, all I need to do is come down to the layer under this column right here, the lock column and click on that switch. That locks the layer. I cannot select it anymore. I can't do anything to it in the comp and that way I know that the layer's not going to move anywhere. Okay, I'm going to twirl this transform controls up for that taco truck, so they're not in the way and let's start with this first head. I'm going to move these ones out of the way a little bit and why don't we have this one come in from the top right. I need this head to have a starting position off screen so I'm going to click and drag this off the screen to the right. This is where I need to set my first position key frame. I'm going to twirl open the position property under the Transform controls. There's my position property and set a key frame by clicking on it. Next, I want to come forward maybe one second. I'm not exactly sure how quick I want this to happen yet, but we'll just do one second to start and then I want to move this layer over. I'm just going to do this by clicking and dragging while holding shift so that it doesn't go down at all and I'm just going to move this far over here. Maybe all the way over to here. I don't actually want the head to get that far across the screen, but I'll explain why we're doing this in just a second. First, let's just play this back and get a sense of the speed. I think that's a little bit too fast. I want the truck to have enough time to be able to get up here and shoot the taco into the guy's mouth so let me just click and drag this over to two seconds. As I do this, the animation just updates for me automatically, but the playback is stopping at that work area so I'm going to press the space bar to stop, move this work area out a little bit more and play again. That might be a little bit too slow. I'm going to split the difference and pull this key frame back in time just a little bit. I think that feels pretty good, we'll start with that. Now I want to make sure that all the heads are moving at the same speed as they come on, just like when we copied and pasted the Scale property from one layer to another, we can actually copy and paste key frames from one layer to another, I'm going to stop my animation and select this position property, and as I do that, you can see that it is selecting all of the key frames that I have set for that property. With that selected, I'll press "command c" or control C on a PC to copy, and then I'm going to move to this woman's head, go to the start of the animation and paste "Command v" or control v. Now I'll play that back, and the first head disappeared, well it didn't actually disappear, if I turn the visibility of this layer off by clicking on this eyeball right here, you can see that the man's head is still there. The two heads are just directly on top of each other, they're moving at the same speed, but they're in the exact same spot, I need to move that woman's head down. let's go to right about here, and then I'll just click and drag the head down, except I can't do that, remember, when you change a property that has a key frame on it, a new key frame is added for whatever point in time that you're currently at. Let's twirl open the position under the transform controls for that layer and see there's that third key frame that we just accidentally added, I'm gonna delete that key frame, and what we need to do is edit the position values for the two key frames that are already there, and this is actually really easy to do. First, I just need to get my play head to that point in time that one of the key frames is set at, it doesn't matter which one. An easy way to do this is just by clicking on this arrow here, this is the go to next key frame button, and this is the go to previous key frame buttons, if I click on that, it goes to the previous key frame in time for that property or the next key frame in time. Now that my play head is over top over one of those key frames, I'm going to select the entire property by clicking on it. That selects both key frames, and now if I click and drag this layer, you see that the motion path is moving with it, this is editing the values of both key frames at the same time, but preserving the animation between the two. I can know that the speed between these two key frames is going to stay consistent even though I'm changing the position of them, I just want to move this down while holding "Shift" and I think I'll put this one down at the bottom, we'll have the man come in at the top, the woman come down at the bottom, and then the boy come in around the middle. Let's again copy this position over to the boy, I'm going to select the position property, "Command c", go up to the boy's head and press "Command v", and I have my new key frames, but, we have another issue. Because my play head was right here when I pasted, If I tore open the transform controls, you can see that the key frames had been pasted starting at that point, that's another important thing that you need to be aware of. Pasting key frames is also based on the current time, wherever you have this play head started, instead of undoing and pasting it again, I'm just going to move my play head over here, click and drag this key frame, and to make sure that I'm right on that play head, I'm just going to hold down the "Shift" key and that snaps to the play head, there we go. That shift key also works on the play head itself, so if I want to make sure I land right on this key frame, I'll just click and drag the play head, hold shift and it will snap to those key frames as well as the start and end points of your work area, if I move this over here, I can hold down shift to snap that play head to the start or end of that work area, that's done. The timing is right, but I need to get that head further up on the screen, I'm going to hold shift to snap to that second key frame right there, and because both of them are selected, I can click and drag just to move this up while holding shift and we'll put it right about there. Now if I play this back, all three of the heads are moving at the same speed, covering the same distance, what's great about this is that I can stop this animation at any point. Whenever I want them to eat one of the tacos that we fire at it with the food truck, I'll just add a key frame at that point in time, say this is where I want the head to stop, I'll just add a key frame at that point in time and remove the last key frames so that the animation stops wherever I want it to. Let me collapse all of these layers so we can see all of them at once and point out that currently all of our layers are filling the entire composition, they are starting at the first frame and they're ending at the last frame. But I can click and drag on any of these layers and just shift them around in time, as I'm doing this, all the key frames, all of the properties that we've set inside of that layer are moving with it in time, if I don't want this guy's head to start right when the other two do, I'll just drag it forward in time a little bit, and same thing for this one, I don't want that starting at the exact same time as this guy's head, so now that these are stair stepped up, they are staggered in time, I'll zoom in with the plus key and press the space bar to preview. We've got one head coming out at a time, and I think even that is a little bit too close between the second and third heads, but the first two might be good, let me grab that third one, drag it out a little bit and see if that's better timing, and then I'll set my work area a little bit longer as well. I think that's working better, great. Let's start actually animating this food truck and the taco. First of all, where should the truck start? Well, I'm thinking somewhere down here just so that it has to travel a little bit in order to shoot the taco at this guy, and one other thing I just thought of is that this head starts coming out on screen right on the first frame of animation, and I'd like to give myself just a little bit of buffer room at the start of the animation before anything happens just in case I need to time something a little bit differently out in this comp. I'm actually going to go one second forward and then select all three of the head layers that have the animation on them, I'll start by clicking on the first one, "Hold shift", click on the last one, and now I can drag all three of these forward in time at the same time, and again, I'll hold down shift just to snap the front of that layer to my play head, that shift key snaps pretty much anything in your timeline to something else. But that way I know that this layer starts its animation at one second into this timeline. You also notice that the motion paths don't show up for layers if the play head is at a point in time where the layer isn't actually visible yet, and that kinda helps keep your comp if you are a little bit cleaner. We have one second of nothing, the first head, the second head, and the third head. Let's go to one second in time, the first head comes out and right about there, I think is a good spot for the truck to start moving. Let's select that food truck and get to the position property. But this time I'm going to use a keyboard shortcut. Instead of twirling down the transform controls, there are actually keyboard shortcuts to access each one of those transformed properties. Position is really easy to remember, it's P on the keyboard, so I'll just press "P" for position, and you see that not only does it bring up the position value, it only brings up the position value. That's really useful for just managing the space that you have in your timeline and focusing on just the properties that you need access to. If I press "P" again, it collapses the layer, it hides their properties, but I want it visible so I press it one more time and set a key frame on the position property. Now I can do this by clicking, but you can also hold down "Option" or "Alt" on a PC and use that same shortcut key "P" to add a position key frame, and you actually don't even have to have that property visible in order to set that key frame. If I were to select the taco and press "Option or Alt P", it just adds a position key frame and brings up the position property. Now, I didn't want that, so I'm going to click on the stopwatch to remove that key frame and close that layer up again, but the taco truck has now got a key frame right where it needs one, and then we'll just go forward in time a little bit, maybe right about here and move the truck up and to the right just a little bit. Because the idea is that this truck is being controlled by a joystick so it would be able to move not only up and down, but also left and right so we'll move it up and forward a little bit and say that's where we want the taco to get shot out, so the taco isn't going to be visible until at least this point in time. I want to move this layer to the play head, I'm going to do that, hold "Shift" so that it snaps, make sure it doesn't snap to some other layer, but snaps right to the play head, and then move this right over top of the truck. Now, I want this to start behind the taco truck or below it so I'm just going to change my layer order by clicking and dragging this below the truck, and that way we basically can't see it when it starts, right there it comes on, but you can't even see it, let's set up position key frame for that taco truck. Remember "Option or Alt" and the "P" key to set a position key frame, and then move forward a few frames. Now I think the truck might have moved a little too slow because by this point, the head is so close to the truck that you're basically not going to see the taco, I think I'm going to speed up that animation right here just a little bit, maybe move the second position key frame to that point in time, and now that's going to move a lot faster, maybe not quite so fast. I could even just bring this first keyframe back a few frames to make that motion a little bit slower. That way, the truck has a little bit more time to get up there and fire the taco before the head gets to it. I need to update the timing of this taco layer to match that position keyframe, and then go forward a few frames, maybe right about there. Then, click and drag this taco over. Now the reason why it didn't select the truck when I clicked and dragged, was because I already had that layer selected in my timeline, because it's selected, I can just click and drag this over. Now I want to make sure this just moves in a straight line, so let me undo back before I moved it. Click and drag while holding "Shift", and we'll go to right over top of his head. Right there. Just like we have the truck over the taco, I want the taco to be over the heads. Actually, I need to grab all three of those heads. Click on the first one, hold "Shift", click, and then drag all of them down below the taco layer. I'll let go there, and now the taco is displaying on top of the guy's head. Now let's play this back. I'll go back to the beginning, press the spacebar to preview. There we go, so this is actually working fairly well. I think that timing works pretty well. We just need to stop this head from moving at this point in time, and have the taco disappear because he's eating it. This is the last frame that we want to see the taco, so I need to end this layer at this point in time. To do that, I'm going to Zoom all the way out and show you that I can't actually see the end of this layer, because I clicked and dragged it around in time. Normally what I would have done, is grab the end of the layer, clicked and dragged and just made it shorter until it was at that point in time. But sometimes, just like this one, I'll undo. The end of the layer has been shifted beyond the end of the carp and you can't see it. In order to bring that end point or that out point of that layer back, when you can't see it, I'm going to Zoom in here a little bit by pressing plus on the keyboard. There's a keyboard shortcut you can use, and that's holding down Option or Alt and the right square bracket key, it's also the curly bracket key. But if I press "Option" or "Alt" and press that square bracket, it brings the out point of the layer to the current time. The left square bracket does the same for the end point. If I go to this point in time and press "Option" or "Alt" and the left square bracket, then it sets the end point to that point in time. Now I didn't want to do that, so let me undo. I'll go to the second keyframe, hold Shift to make sure I'm right on top of it, and then press "Option" or "Alt" and the right square bracket. Now the layer will start being visible right at this point, animate over and then disappear. That works great, but I messed up the timing. Let's find the point right here on the taco truck that the taco's supposed to start. I'll select this layer and then I can use another keyboard shortcut using those same bracket keys. Instead of holding down Option or Alt, I'll just press the left square bracket key and the end point of that layer jumps to the current time. Same thing for the out. If I press the right square bracket, it moves the out point of that layer to that point of time. But I wanted to start there, so I'm going to press the left square bracket, and now the taco is going to shoot out, go over top of the guy's head and at this point, this is where I want that had to stop moving. I'm going to press "P" with that layer selected to bring up the position value. I need to set a keyframe for that position exactly at this point in time. That's what this button right here is for. It's for adding or removing a keyframe at the current time. It takes whatever value it's currently set at, for that keyframe. I'm going to do that right now. Click on the Add a keyframe button, and then I'm going to delete the third keyframe by clicking on it and pressing delete, so that the animation for that head stops right there. See how the head doesn't move at that point. Let's play this and see what happens. I think this is actually working really well. The head comes out to a certain point, the truck moves up and shoots a taco at it. As soon as a taco gets to the head, the head stops moving. I think we could make the animation for the taco a little bit more fun by adding some rotation to it as well as position. It is a little bit big, so maybe we'll scale it down at just a little bit as well. Let's just twirl this closed and open again, so that we can see all of our transform controls. I'm going to scale this down from 50 to say, 40 percent. That way, it's just a little bit smaller, and then I want to add an animation on the rotation properties. Let's go to the beginning, and set a keyframe for the rotation, clicking on that stopwatch, and then moving forward to the second keyframe and we'll just rotate this, maybe one full revolution, so I'll just type in one on the rotations revolution value. Now the taco is going to flip around as it's moving forward. Let's play that back. I think that's a little bit more fun. It might be rotating just a little fast, so I'm going to click and drag this second keyframe for the rotation value out a little bit more, just so it rotates a little bit slower, maybe not quite so much. I think that looks good. Great. Now we're going to have some more animation's happening. Obviously the mouth opening, closing and then the head disappearing. But before we do any of that, why don't we just move forward with the other two heads and getting the tacos thrown at them. Let's go to the point in time where the second head comes on right about there. This is where I want the truck to move down, so maybe by the time that the head is right here, right about there is when I want the truck to move down. I'm going to click and drag this down to right about there and play it back. There's an issue there. If you pay attention, the truck moves up, but then it immediately moves down and I don't want it moving down until right about here when the head starts coming on. Now, the reason this happened If I press "P" on the keyboard to bring up the position value for that layer, is because after effects will animate or interpolate between keyframes, regardless of where they're set. Even though I didn't want the truck to move until this point in time, there was nothing stopping the interpolation between this keyframe and this keyframe. What I needed to do, is duplicate this keyframe at this point in time so that nothing happens until this point in time. I'm just going to copy this keyframe, command C or control C, and then paste it right at this time, Command V or control V. Now, the truck isn't going to move at all between these two keyframes rate here, but it will move from this point forward. Let's play that back and see what it looks like. Looks great. Now let's just duplicate this taco Command D or control D on a PC, and then move it to this point in time, the endpoint, which remember the keyboard shortcut is the left square bracket to do that. Now the timing is right, but the position is wrong. Let me press P on the keyboard to bring up the position. Make sure my play head is over one of the keyframes. Select that property and then reposition it. I'll just click and drag it over here and play that back. That looks good, we just need the head to stop maybe right there. I need to end the animation for the taco right there, so it's not visible beyond this frame. I'll select it. This time I'm going to do it just by trimming the layer down. You do that just by clicking and dragging on one of the ends. I don't want to go all the way to the play head because as you can see, there's this little tiny highlighted portion beyond the playhead letting you know that the playhead is displaying this frame, the frame after where the playhead is. I want to make sure this taco layer fills out that whole frame. I'll zoom out again on the timeline by pressing minus on the keyboard. Next I need to grab this head and add a position key frame. I'll press P on the keyboard rate at this point in time so that it doesn't move beyond that point. I'll set a key frame by clicking on the, "Add keyframe" button right there, and again, delete the last key frame. Now the head stops right there. We'll play that back to see what it looks like. First head, second head, and then we've got that third head coming in. Now I think I'm going to change the timing of that third head just a little bit so that we have just a bit more time before the truck has to move up there. I'm just going to click and drag this forward just a little bit and play this back to see what it looks like. That might be a little bit too much. Back it up just a little. There we go. This time instead of waiting for the head to be visible for the truck to move, I'm just going to move the truck out of the way a little bit, like the player is anticipating that the next head is going to be coming out from further up on the screen. Let's grab that taco truck and then say right about here. I'll add a position keyframe. That way, nothing happens between where it stopped for shooting this taco out and when I want it to move a little bit more. Between here and where the head starts, I'm just going to have it back up a little bit and move up a little bit. Not a whole lot, just enough that there's a little bit of motion indicating the player is anticipating what's happening next. Let's play this back starting from here. It moves up, shoots, moves down, shoots, and then moves back a little bit before the head comes out. I think that anticipation can happen even a little bit sooner. Maybe I'll back these two key frames up. To do that, I'm going to select both of them by dragging a box around them and then back them up just a little. Truck moves down, fires out the taco and then pretty much moves back right away. It looks like this. You can move around your timeline in the exact same way that you can pan around your comp. That's by holding down the space bar to temporarily switch to the hand tool, and this allows you to click and drag, not only left and right in time, but also up and down in your layers. That's another way to navigate around your timeline. I think I want this anticipation to last just a little bit longer basically until this head comes out. I'm going to drag this second position keyframe out for that little motion. At that point, it can move up and maybe forward a little bit. We'll go maybe just a few frames forward, click and drag the truck up and forward a little bit, and that's where it will fire off the next taco. Let's duplicate this taco One more time Command or Control D, and then move this layers in point to that point in time by pressing the left square bracket. Again press P to bring up the position, select that property, click and drag it to align it to the truck. Then move forward until it's overlapping the head, which it looks like I'm going to need to extend this layer out to be the full animation, maybe right there, and that's where I'll trim the layer off. Again, not before the playhead, but just after the playhead. All right, now I want to move the position of that taco down just a little bit. I'm going to go back to that start of the layer, select the position and then just click and drag this down a little. There we go. We need the head to stop moving right at this point. I will select that had layer,press P to open up the position, add a keyframe and delete the last key frame so that nothing happens after that point. Let's set our work area by pressing "N" on the keyboard that sets the outward area and then preview by pressing space bar, so 1, 2, 3, and you can see that little anticipation movement happening right in here, right after the second taco. But we've got a little bit of a weird movement happening as it is doing that little anticipation. Let me select this truck and zoom in here with my zoom tool, Z on the keyboard and then click and take a look at the motion path. Right here you see that it's actually curved, and you can follow that motion path around. This is after effects automatically trying to smooth out the motion of your animation basically. It's called the continuous Bezier, and Bezier is a term for vector paths which we're not going to get into in this class. But if I select the position property so you can see the entire motion path. Remember, they're these little handles coming off of each keyframe. The squares are where the keyframes are set, but these little round handles are coming off of them. If I were to click and drag on this handle right here, you can see that I can actually manipulate the motion path for that layer without changing the actual position values of the keyframes that I've set. I could mess with these a lot, and really just change up how my animation is happening and then play it back. You can see that the truck is now going in all of these curves. Now, that's not at all what I want. I want the truck to move in straight lines at all times because that's how a video game would behave. To remove those handles, I can actually do it all at once using a new tool, the pen tool. We're not going to be using this tool much in this class, but it is necessary for removing these points. I'm going to click on that pen tool and then highlight over one of the key frames, not the handles, but the keyframes themselves, the square shape. You see that the icon for my mouse has changed. This is the convert vertex tool. Again, not something that we really need to worry about in this class, but if I click on one of these key frames with all of the keyframes selected. It removes all of those handles all at once. Now I only have straight paths, straight animations between keyframes. Let's play this back one more time and make sure that yes, the truck is now moving around in straight lines. That's exactly what I wanted. Now, like I said, After Effects does this type of smoothing by default. But there's actually a preference that you can change in After Effects so that, that does not happen automatically. I want to encourage you to change that preference. To do that, come up to "After Effects" and go down to, "Preferences." Then, "General." On a PC, I believe the preferences menu is underneath edit, but on a Mac it's under "After Effects", "Preferences", and then we're going to go to, "General." This will open up the General tab for your preferences. What we're looking for is a checkbox right here, default spatial interpolation to linear. Remember I said that smoothing was called Auto Bezier, but we want that spatial interpolation to be set to linear, so just make sure that that checkbox is checked. Click, "Okay." Moving forward, adding new key frames will not produce that automatic smoothing. That's how I recommend you work so that you are in control of how your motion paths are bending or not bending. I'm going to fit my comp to the work area, "Shift question mark", and then play this back one more time so I can see the truck moving, shooting the tacos off into the people's mouths and all of those heads stopping right at that point in time. That creates exactly what we want. If you haven't already be sure that you save because you don't want to be losing any of your progress. Remember, Command S or, Control S on a PC all the time. We'll continue with this animation in the next video. 20. Timing vs Spacing: I want to talk a little bit more about animation before we do any more work on this project, so far, all the animation that we've done has been made up of linear keyframes. These diamond shapes are telling us that these keyframes are linear. In other words, After Effects is interpolating or animating between one value and then whatever the next keyframes value is. But we can actually manipulate what happens between those two keyframes so that the motion isn't so linear. We've already taken a little bit of a look at that when we handled those Bessie iPads with the pen tool. Remember, you could curve these motion paths that's manipulating the actual motion path that the object of the layer that we have selected is traveling through its position. We changed all of that to linear. These are all straight linear lines now. There's no curves to them at all. But in the same way that we can curve motion paths, we can curve the timing between keyframes. There are two terms that are very fundamental to understanding how things move in animation and how to make things move the way that you want them to. We're not going to get too deep into this. I have an entire course dedicated to this that you'll be ready for once you've finished this one. But those two things are timing and spacing. At the most basic level, I'm going to zoom in here on my timeline by pressing the plus key. Let's just focus on these two key frames. The timing is the amount of time that it takes to get from this keyframe to this keyframe. It's the timing between those two. At time 1 or at this particular frame of 35, we have the first keyframe and at the second time, which would be frame 49 we have the second keyframe. The timing between those two key frames is set. I can't adjust it that at all unless I click and drag on the keyframe. Now I don't want to do that, so let me undo Command or Control Z. But the second term that we need to learn is spacing. Spacing is what happens between those two key frames. Remember I said that After Effects is interpolating between this key frame and the next. If I zoom in here nice and close with my zoom tool, I got to it by pressing Z and then clicking with my mouse and I pan around with the space bar. I'll switch back to my selection tool with the V key. Let's take a look at this motion path. This key frame right here is this square right here. When I clicked on that, it filled it in. Here's an empty square. If I click on this, watch right here when I click, it fills in. That's letting me know which keyframe I have selected or keyframes. We have the first keyframe and the second keyframe and then the motion trail or the motion path and all of these little dots that represent where the anchor point for this layer travels for every frame between these two keyframes. If I wanted to, I could literally count all of the dots to see how many frames are between these two keyframes. Now, I don't need to do that, but that's what those dots represent. You'll notice that all of them are evenly space. There is the exact same amount of distance between every single one of these dots. That is called a linear interpolation. Remember when we went up to our preferences and change a setting, the checkbox was called default spatial interpolation to linear. This motion path in all these dots are the spatial interpolation between these two keyframes. It's the spacing. Because it's linear, it's even, but we can adjust how After Effects is interpolating between these keyframes or any number of keyframes. Now like I said, this is an advanced topic and I have an entire class dedicated to just it so we're not going to spend a lot of time here. But there's a very useful feature in After Effects called the easy ease that will allow us to smooth out the spacing between keyframes really easily. All you need to do is right-click on a Keyframe, come down to keyframe assistant and then choose Easy Ease. Now we also have Easy Ease in and Easy Ease out, but we don't need those right now. Just easy ease and you'll notice that the keyboard shortcut for this is F9. Now if you're on a Mac and you're using an Apple keyboard then you're most likely going to need to hold down the function key, the Fn key and then press the F9 key. On a PC, you probably have a dedicated F9 key and it's as simple as just pressing it. But for now, just remember to right-click on the Keyframe, go to Keyframe Assistant and then click ''Easy Ease''. When I do that, a few things happened. First of all, this icon is no longer a diamond. It's an hourglass shape. This is indicating that the spacing is being eased from this keyframe in both directions. But our truck also moved. These dots, if you'll notice, if you take a real close look, they're not evenly spaced anymore. They're much closer together on this side of the motion trail and they get more and more spaced out as they approach the second keyframe so let me set my work area to right around these two keyframes. Remember the keyboard shortcut for that is B on the keyboard to set the end point of your work area. Then I'll go to right after the truck animation finishes and press N to set the out area, okay,? Now I'll press space bar to play back. You might not notice that much of a difference. I'm going to pull this down a little bit so we have a little bit more room to see and to really focus in on just the truck. I'm going to turn the visibility of everything else off by clicking on a new switch that we haven't touched yet. This is the solo switch. It's the opposite of the eyeball switch, which is the visibility for that specific layer. Instead, it's solos the layer that you turn it on for so if I click it, now the truck is the only thing I can see. I can solo other layers as well. If I wanted to bring that first head back on, I can just click on that. By the way, I navigated through this just by scrolling on my mouse wheel. You can do that as well. But you can solo as many number of layers as you want. I'll just leave the background and the truck on so we can focus on that. At the start of the animation, because all of these points are closer together in this end, the animation starts off a little bit smoother or a little bit slower. It gradually increases its speed up into that second keyframe. If I right-click on the second key frame, let me just pause it so we can see the motion path. I'll right-click on that second keyframe, go to Keyframe Assistant and click ''Easy Ease'' again. My taco trucks position updated again and my spacing, all of these dots in between on the motion path have also updated. Let's play this one more time. Now again, it is very subtle, but there is an easing out of the first position and easing in to the second position. It's a little bit smoother. To prove it to you, I'm just going to duplicate this layer. Remember to duplicate something you just selected and press Command D or Control D on a PC. Then I'll press P to bring up the position so I can see those two keyframes. Then I just want to offset this over a little bit so I'm going to click on the position value so I select every position keyframe and just shift it over so we can see them side by side. Then I want to get rid of the easing on these keyframes. To do that, to revert a keyframe back to linear, you just command or control click on it. I'm going to do that for both keyframes, Command or Control on a PC and click Now they're back to being diamond shapes. We can see that this layer still has the eased keyframes. Now if I play this back, you can see that they're no longer in sync. The only times that they're in the same spot are on the first keyframe and the second keyframe right on those frames. That's because the timing hasn't actually changed. Remember, timing is just where the keyframes are placed in time. In that regard, these are exactly the same, the same values, at least on the y and at the same time in the timeline. But the spacing between the two is different. This truck has a linear spacing, this truck has eased spacing between those two keyframes. If you play them back, you can really see how they move differently. Okay, now that that's done, I can delete this truck, this second one. What this is going to allow us to do is just have a little bit smoother of motion for this truck. Because if you think about playing a video game as you're moving the joystick, most times the less you angle the joystick, the slower whatever you're controlling will move so since you're moving that joystick with your hand, it's not going to just go from zero velocity to 100 percent velocity instantly. Putting in this Easy Ease on our position keyframes is going to help make the motion feel a little bit more natural. I'm actually going to select all the key frames for the truck. Right-click on one of the Keyframes and this will apply to everything that I have selected. Go down to Keyframe Assistant and easy ease them all. Now when I play this back, you'll be able to see all of that motion is smoother. Now, I realize this is very subtle, but this is the thing that as you get more and more experienced with animation, you'll realize this is what makes animations very pleasing to the eye. Having control of the spacing between keyframes is critical in making something move nicely. I'll un-solo these layers by clicking on the solo switch again on both the background and the truck. Then I'll fit my comp to the viewer shift question mark. That's the only thing that I want to apply easing too, because the other elements in the game are not controlled by the player. It would all be generated by the computer, the enemies are flying in on their own, the taco, once you've shut it, is moving on its own so I don't want to put any easing into that. Just what is being controlled by the user, which is the truck moving around. I think that looks a whole lot better. That's all the easing we need to do for now, but hopefully you now have a basic understanding of the difference between timing and spacing and why they're pretty important when it comes to animation. 21. Hold Keyframes: The next thing I want to do with the animation is have the mouths open and close like they're chewing the taco as it flies into their mouths. So let's just start with the first players or the first enemy's head, and the way that we're going to do this is by switching, just literally swapping the artwork between the open mouth and the closed mouth, if I go back to my project panel and find the 8bit-Heads Layers, there's the closed head. So open, close, open close. That's literally how we're going to animate. Just switching between those two. Now I could just bring the closed head out and put it down here right above that head. Right at the point where it needs to close, which would be right there. Right when the taco goes away. Then I could just duplicate it, trim it to the amount of time that I want it to be visible and just make a bunch duplicates of both layers but that would take a lot of extra layers space in my timeline. There's actually a cleaner way to do this that's much more manageable, and that's through using preComps, which we've already made one preComp which is for the screen. But we can actually make a preComp based on a layer or a group of layers. So what I want to do is make a preComp based on this head and we'll do the chomping animation inside of it, that way in my screen comp, it will show up as one layer and within that pre-comp will be the multiple layers that make up the animation. So to do this, just have your layer or layers selected and come up to the Layer menu and then all the way down at the bottom is Pre-compose and there is a keyboard shortcut for this. You don't have to learn that right now, but there it is, shift command C or shift control C on a PC. When you click on that, we get the pre-compose menu. The first thing we need to do is give it a name, it's automatically filled in a name based on the layer and then just given it Comp 1 at the end. But we could just call this Head 1 because it's going to replace the actual artwork that we have in here. So I'm just going to delete everything after Head 1. Then we have two options and these are pretty important. The first is leave all attributes in screen, which would be the name of this comp and the second is move all attributes into the new composition. So attributes are any effects that you've applied to the layer which we haven't done any effects yet but you'll learn about that in a little bit. As well as any keyframes, any animation that's happening will be left in this comp. Move all attributes into the new composition, takes all of those effects and any of that animation and puts it within the new composition that we're making through the pre-compose function. Now let me move this out of the way. I don't want the position animation to be contained within the new comp because then they can't access it in this screen comp. So in this case, I want to leave all the attributes in screen, in this comp. But there are times where moving all of your attributes into the new composition is actually something you want. So know that there are two options here. For our purposes, we want to leave all the attributes in screen and then click on "Okay". That artwork is now replaced with a pre-comp. We can see the little comp icon. If I go up into my project panel and scroll down, there we go inside my preComps folder is Head 1, and there's our little preview looks exactly the same. Now the label color has updated because preComps or comps in general have this tan color label, whereas Illustrator artwork and other types of assets like that have the lavender label and that label color is even reflected in the comp viewer with the motion path and the transform box. You can even change these colors to anything you want and I've even customized the actual colors through the preferences of the application before but we don't need to get into that. Just know that you can adjust these to be whatever you want. Now that that's done, because we can see that motion path, I can know that those position keyframes did in fact stay within this screen comp. So let me press "P" to bring up the position and there they are. That's perfect. If I scrub through, you can see that animation is still happening, and if I double-click on this layer, on this preComp, it opens up that preComp. In this is just the one single layer that I had selected when I pre-composed it and I have a new timeline with just that one layer that I can do whatever I want to with. So let me go back to the screen comp and then find that point where I want the mouth to close for the first time, which would be right there, right when the taco disappears. I'll zoom in a little bit by pressing plus on my keyboard. One really great feature of preComps is wherever you are in the timeline that you're viewing, if you double-click into that layer, the play head in the opened preComp will be at the exact same spot. So this point in time where my play head is, is a representation of where the play head was in my screen preComp. I need to know that exact point in time because that's when the mouth is going to close. So the way that I'm going to do this is by actually animating the opacity, which might sound a little strange, but it'll make sense once we start doing it. So what I first need to do is duplicate this layer. So with it selected, I'll press command D or control D on a PC and I want to replace this layer with the mouth that is closed. I'm going to go back to my project panel up to the top and find that Head 1 closed layer, and then replace this selection with that layer, which if you remember to do that, just click and drag over into your comp viewer or the layers panel hold down Option or Alt on a PC and then let go of your mouse, and that swaps the source of that layer. Now the position of this head is a little bit off. If I click and drag it while holding shift, you can see that the top of the head isn't aligning and that's really what I want is the top of the head to stay where it is in the jaw, basically to open and close. So let me undo by pressing command Z. What I need to do is shift this to the top of the comp and the easiest way to do that is through the aligned pallet. So with that layer selected, making sure that I'm aligning to the composition. I'm going to click on the "Align Top" button and there we go. Now it's aligned with the top edge. If I turn that layer off and back on, you can see how this is working. The only things that are moving are like the eyebrows, the eyes closing, and then the jaw raising up to close the mouth. So now we need to actually have this animate between the two states. Like I said, we're going to use the opacity to do this. Now, I can bring up just the opacity for both layers using the keyboard shortcut for that property. So with those two layers selected, I'm going to press "T". Now, I know it's weird that T brings up the opacity. But remember, the opacity is the opposite of transparency and the O key is actually a shortcut for going to the out point of the layer. So since that was taken already, I think that, the Adobe team just chose T as the next best choice, even though it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But T is what brings up the opacity when you press it, it brings it up. We press it again, it closes it. That's the property I want to animate so I'm going to make sure that those are the properties that are selected. But with that open, I'm just going to set a keyframe for both opacity values. To do that, I'm just going to click once on the stopwatch and you'll notice that a keyframe is added on both layers. That's because I have both layers selected. So that's a quick way to add multiple keyframes to multiple layers at the same time. I'm going to start by just making the first layer's opacity, the one with the closed mouth zero. If I click and drag on this, you see that it's going to change a both the values at the same time. So first I need to make sure that I de-select the second layer and I did that just by clicking down here and then remaking that first selection. Then I can turn this value all the way down to zero. So it's basically turning the visibility off. But on this particular frame, I want the opposite, I want the mouth closed. So what I actually want to do is grab both of these keyframes by clicking and dragging a box around them and back them up to the start of the animation or the start of the comp. So I'm going to click and drag while holding shift to snap it to the front of the comp. Then I want to basically swap these two values. So I'm going to turn this one all the way up to 100 and turn this one all the way down to zero and that's exactly what I wanted. The problem is, these are linear keyframes, so they're going to animate between these two states. I'll press "N" to set my work area out point and play this back. You can see that they're just animating between their values on those keyframes. Now we've already looked at easy is as a way to smooth out the spacing between keyframes. But there's actually another type of keyframe that eliminates any kind of interpolation, any kind of animation between the keyframes, and that's called a hold keyframe. To set a hold keyframe, all you need to do is select your keyframes. I'm going to do this to all of them at once. Right-click and say Toggle Hold Keyframe. When I do that, we get this squared off edge. You'll see that now there's no animation between those keyframes. This is going to make swapping between these two layers a lot easier. Let me zoom in on my timeline a little bit with the plus key and scroll over so I can see the start of the animation. I'm just going to increase my work area a little bit and we need to plan out how long we want the head to be onscreen before it disappears. So let's go back to the screen preComp and press play, the space bar and I'll stop it right there. Let's think about this. Maybe will have the mouth closed three times, so there's the initial close one. It'll open, close two, open, closed three and then disappear. Let's try that. So go back to the Head 1 preComp, and we have to decide how often we want this to open and close. So maybe close, open, close, open, close, open. That was about a-half second between those and I did that completely on the fly that was just trying to find a rhythm in my head. I was paying attention to where this scrubber was, the play head was, as I was saying that. So let's go forward 15 frames. A precise way to do this is with the page up and page down keys on your keyboard. Page down advances your play head one frame forward, and page up does one frame backwards. You can also do this by holding now command or control and using the left or right arrow keys if you don't have page up and down keys on your keyboard. But if I hold down shift and then press page down, it jumps forward 10 frames. Or page up while holding shift jumps backwards 10 frames. I want do go 15 frames forward. So I'm going to hold down shift, press page down, wants to go 10 frames and then press page down five more times to get 15. So 1, 2, 3. This is where I want the two layers to swap again. Now I would like to be able to just select these two key frames, copy them, command C or control C and then paste them by pressing command or control V and I'll do that, paste but after effects isn't smart enough to know that all you wanted was to paste the key frames instead, it actually copied and pasted the selected layers. Unfortunately, that method doesn't work, I'm going to undo and you would need to copy and paste these key-frames one at a time or one per layer. I'll select the first layers, first key-frame, copy and paste, Command C, Command V and then do the same thing for the second layer. Copy, paste and now they are swapped one more time. Now I need to go 15 frames forward again so shift, page down for 10, five times on page down, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and I'm 15 frames ahead. Then I want to copy these key-frames again. Copy paste, copy paste. Let's play this back to see the timing, so chomp, chomp. I think that's a little bit too slow. Let's take a few frames off of this. Maybe, we'll go every 10 frames instead of 15. I'll just hold down Shift, from this first key frames point in time, hold down Shift and press Page Down to go 10 frames, then I select these two key frames and drag them over while holding Shift to snap to that play head. Then I'll go 10 more frames forward Shift, Page Down, select these key-frames, click, hold shift, and snap to that play head. All right, let's preview this again and set my work areas out point. Chomp, chomp. Even that might be a little bit too slow. So this time I'm going to shift my key frames around using a different technique. I'm going to select all of these key-frames, right here, everything after the first two key frames and I want to just shift them over, say three frames each. To do this, instead of clicking and dragging on them, I'm going to hold down Option or Alt on a PC and press the left arrow key. So left arrow once, twice, three times, and I could do that and the opposite direction with the right arrow key, 1-2-3 with the right arrow goes forward in time, 1-2-3 with a left arrow goes backwards in time. So I moved this group of key-frames, three frames to the left or three frames back in time. Now I need to do the same thing for the last two key frames again, so that the timing is equal between all of these. So I'll select them, hold down Option or Alt and press the left arrow key 1-2-3 times and play it back. Chomp, chomp. Yeah, I think that's a much better speed. Now that we have the timing nailed down, I can copy all of these key-frames at least one layer at a time all at once to make this chewing motion three times in a row. So I'm going to remove my work area out a little bit and start by selecting these three key-frames. Now remember this set of key frames, in this set of key frames are identical. So if I copy these key-frames command C and paste right on this last key frame, nothing changes because this value is the same as this value. So it's just overriding that key frame with the same value. So we wanted to close once, close twice and close a third time. Now it disappears here because at this point in time this layer is still invisible. So I'm going to copy these key frames on the second layer, go to that third key frame and paste and now we should have three of these motions of the chewing, so let's play this one more time, Chew, Chew Chew, perfect. I think that's a great speed for the chewing. After that last bite will just have the head disappear probably seven frames after it closes just to be consistent with the timing that we already have built-in. Let's take a look at what that looks like in the screen princomp. So we'll back up to the beginning of it and press play, that head comes out and it eats, perfect. That's exactly what we want to happen, so let's have him disappear now. So we want this frame to be on screen for seven frames after it's been closed because remember originally we had 10 frames between each one of these key-frames but if I count them, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, we took three frames off of that 10, so it becomes seven. So that's what we want, seven frames after this point in time. Now if you remember, when you move the play head within one comp and then double-click back into the princomp. The play head moves to whatever point you're at in that comp. Well, the opposite is also true, so if I move this play head to the last key frame and then go forward seven frames. So 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and then I jump into the screen princomp, the play head has updated to be at that exact same point in this comp. So I can know that's where I want to trim this layer off so that it disappears at that point. So to do that, remember the keyboard shortcut to trim and out point of a layer is Option or Alt on a PC and the right square bracket. Now if I play this back, the head comes out to chew, chew and disappear. That's exactly what we want to happen, the timing is consistent. We can do this exact same thing to the other heads, but we don't actually have to take all the exact same steps that we did for the first head. Since that's already working, we can kind of duplicate what we've already built with the first head and just swipe out the artwork for the other two heads. So let's move on to this head and I'll start by just precomposing it. So up to layer and then all the way down to precompose. We'll just call this head three, get rid of everything else in that title and make sure to leave all the attributes in screen, that way the animation is preserved right here in this comp. Click OK and while I'm at it, I'm going to do the same thing for the other head. Select it, layer, precompose, select everything after head two and delete it, leave all attributes and click OK. Let's go back to the second head and what I'm going to do is double-click on it to get inside of it and then go back to the first head princomp, and I just want to copy these two layers over to this one. So I'm going to select both of them by clicking on the first one, holding Shift and clicking on the second one, pressing command C to copy both layers and then going into the head three princomp, making sure I'm at the start of the comp and pasting by pressing Command or Control V. Now obviously these are the wrong artworks for this character, but I can just swap out the artwork while preserving that animation. If I press T to bring up the opacity, I already have all that animation there backed in so this way I won't have to redo it. So I need to replace these two layers with the corresponding artwork. First of all, I can delete the head three that's actually in there because I won't need it anymore and then find the head one open layer, that's the one that's on top, and I'll just find head three open, click and drag hold Option or Alt, and let go of my mouse to swap out the artwork. Then I'll select the second layer, which is head one closed. I'll go to the first key frame so I can actually see it and replace that with head three closed. Click and drag that out, hold Option or Alt and let go and there we go. So let's bring up the opacity after effects collapsed all the key-frames there. So I'm going to select them both, press T so I can see them and that just scrub through this and sure enough, it's working just perfectly. Now the timing is not going to be the same because this head comes out at a different time and the trunk shoots the taco at it at a different time, but at least the chewing motion timing within this precomp is correct. So let's go back to our screen princomp and find out where that head needs to start chewing, right there when the taco disappears. So it starts chewing a little bit late, but I'll just go to that exact frame that taco disappears, double-click on that comp, and then shift all of these key frames at once by clicking and dragging to make a box selection and dragging them back to that play head while holding shift to make sure it snaps there. Now this timing should be perfect, I'll go back to the screen princomp, and sure enough the mouth is closed. So if I play from here, it chews, that's perfect and all I need to do is trim the layer at the end. So let's double-click into that princomp again. Go to this last key frame position, and then go forward seven frames. So page down 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 times, go back to the screen princomp and trim the layer there, Option or Alt and the right square bracket. Now we just repeat this process for the last head, I'll double-click in there, those two layers should still be copied so I'm going to go to the start of the animation and paste. I'll delete this head two layer that I won't need anymore and replace head one with the head two artwork. So head one open click and drag while holding Alt, let go of my mouse. Same thing for the second layer, the closed mouth. I'll just bring up my key frames, selecting those layers and pressing T, and then zoom in here with the plus key so I can see where that next layer is. Find head one closed and replace it with head two closed Option or Alt, drag out, let go with your mouse and now I have the source artwork. Now there is one issue and that is that this artwork is sized a little bit differently, so when I swapped it out, you can see that it's not aligned properly to the comp. So I need to select both layers aligned to the left edge and aligned to the top edge and that should now be perfectly aligned where it should be. So let's take a look at this animation and make sure nothing is getting cropped off. Perfect and let's just double-check head three and makes sure the same is true. It's not, I didn't catch that at first, but these layers are misaligned at the top as well. So I'm just going to align them to the left edge and at the top edge for good measure and now everything should be perfectly aligned across all three heads princomps. Let's go back to the screen princomp, and play this back and see what happens. It's looking good now we just need to adjust the timing, which would be rate on this frame here, that's where the mouth needs to close. So I'll grab all of my key frames, press T to bring them all up. Select them with a Bach selection and back them up while holding shift to snap that play head. Then while I'm at it, I'll go to the last key-frame, press page down seven times, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. Jump back to my screen princomp and trim this layer at that point, Option or Alt and right square bracket. I'll extend this work area out a little bit further and play it all back. Head one comes out, head two comes out, head three comes out and they all Chew and disappear. Exactly what we needed to happen. 22. Animating With Precomps: The next thing we're going to do, is add a little accent animation when the heads disappeared, just to give it a little bit more visual appeal. Basically, when the head disappears, so let's say this one right here. When it disappears off screen, we're going to have this little graphic to make it look like, "Poof he disappeared." To do this, we're going to make use of pre-comps, kind of like we did with the animation for the chewing. That way we can move the animation into a different pre-comp. But this time, we're going to actually use multiple levels of pre-comps to make this animation and very easy to adjust and reuse. Let's start by making a new solid, just like we did for the background. Remember, we come up to Layer, New, and then Solid. Command or Control Y is the keyboard shortcut. I'm just going to give this a name, we'll call it Burst. Now, the width and the height are defaulted to the size of the comp, we did not need them to be anywhere near that big. Let's just start with something that's maybe 300 pixels wide and a height of, let's say, 50 pixels. Three hundred wide by 50 tall, and let's make it white, just pure white color. I'm going to click on that color swatch. Bring this color picker all the way up to the top left corner by clicking and dragging it, and that makes this election white. Click Okay and then click Okay one more time. There's our solid layer. Now, this is probably bigger than it needs to be, but we can scale it down in just a little bit. The next thing I want to do right away is pre-compose this layer. I'm going to come up to Layer and all the way down to pre-compose, click on that, and then name this pre-composition the same thing, just Burst, same as the solid. Because we haven't done anything to this layer yet, leaving all the attributes in this pre-comp doesn't apply in the same way as it did for the heads, but I want to show you what happens if I move all attributes into the new comp. Even though there are no attributes applied, let's click Okay, and you'll notice that the transform box is now the size of the comp instead of the size of the layer. If I double-click on that layer, here we are in this comp with that layer surrounded by an identical comp, and that's actually not what I wanted. I'm going to undo, press Command or Control Z and then pre-compose that one more time, so Layer, Pre-compose, switch back to Leave all attributes in Screen, and make sure that this is named Burst, and click Okay, and there we go. The bounding box is the same size as the layer. That is one important distinction between those two. Even if you don't have any attributes like effects or animations applied to that layer. But now that that's done, I'm going to go into that pre-comp by double-clicking on it, and now I have the solid layer and the comp sized exactly to it. Now, I have a bunch of comps open here, all of these other head comps. I want to just clean this up a little bit so I can focus on just the ones I'm working on. I'm going to close all of these head pre-comps just by clicking the little x next to their tabs, so there we go. We're back to the Burst, and we have the screen and the main comp. Now, my viewer is fitting the calm to the width of the viewer. I'm actually viewing this at a higher magnification 100 percent, it's at 231 percent magnification. I'm going to switch this to just fit up to 100 percent, and that way, I can see the edges of my box and my comp in context to its actual size. What I want to do here, is just animate this solid layer moving from the left side of the screen all the way off to where it is now. Let's zoom in on our timeline using the plus key. We can see some smaller increments here. Maybe we'll have this happened over five frames. I'm going to go forward to frame at 05 right there, confirm that is five frames in, and I want to set a position key-frame. Now if you remember, pressing P on the keyboard brings up the position, but holding down option or Alt on a PC and pressing P sets a position key-frame. I'm going to do that option P to set a key-frame at that point in time, because that's where I want this animation to end up. Then I'll go back to frame zero, and then just click and drag while holding Shift until this is all the way off the screen. I'm not too worried about this being 100 percent precise, but as long as we can't see anymore, this should be fine, something like that. I'll set my work area out by pressing N on the keyboard to right about there, and play this back, and we have a very simple animation of this white rectangle filling up the comp. Now, I want that to last maybe five frames on screen, full white. I'll set another key frame on the position, and then go five frames forward one more time to frame 15, and move it off to the right side of the screen while holding Shift. Now, I should have a looping animation. I'll play that, and the rectangle comes in. It stays on for five frames and then moves off to the right. Perfect, it's working exactly how it should be. From here, I actually want to pre-compose it one more time. I'm going to select that layer, come up to Layer, Pre-compose, and then move all of the attributes into the new composition. This time, I do want to check that box because I want the animation to go with the layer into the new pre-comp, so I'll call this Burst Source. Make sure Move all attributes is checked and click Okay. Now again, just like before when I showed you the difference between the two, moving those attributes into the new composition made the bounding box the size of the comp. Now, the size of the comp was actually the same size as the layer, so that didn't actually change dimensions, but my animation is no longer there. If I press P to bring up the position, you see my key-frames are no longer there. The animation is still happening, if I play this back, but I'll have to double-click into that Pre-comp in order to see that source solid layer with the position key-frames on there, so there you can see them and the animation is happening, but in my Burst comp, not the Burst Source, I don't have those key-frames. But that's actually how I want it to behave, so that's totally fine. The next step is to change this comps dimensions. I'm going to come up to Composition Settings. The keyboard shortcut is Command or Control K. I'll click that, and this is where I can change my dimensions. I want to make this a square comp now, so I'm going to change this width to, let's just say 600 by 600. I'm switching between those numbers just by pressing the Tab key on the keyboard. Tab ones goes to the next value that you can modify, Shift-Tab goes to the previous, just like within the layers. Six hundred by 600, that's going to give me a preview of what that comp size will look like, I think that's going to work out great. I'll just click on Okay and then fit this comp to the width again. We'll say fit, and I have my single rectangle there animating on and off. What I want to do now is duplicate this line animating out, a couple of different times to make a cross animation, where this is going off in four directions, so top, right, down, and left. To do this, I'm going to actually offset the anchor point using the anchor point property. The keyboard shortcut to bring up the anchor point is A. That's easy to remember, A for anchor point. Then I just want to shift the layer contents over to the left, a little bit beyond the anchor point actually. Let me click and drag on this X position value for the anchor point and just shift it over, maybe about that far. Actually, let's just round this to a whole number, we'll say negative 60 pixels on the X. Now, this is extending the line beyond the bounds of the comp, so I want to scale it down a little bit. I'm going to bring up the scale by pressing S on the keyboard, S for scale, and then scale it down by clicking and dragging, just until it fits within the comp a little bit. Again, I'll round that off to a whole number of 80 percent. Now, our animation is the same, it's just in a different location. But because the anchor point is still in the center of this comp, I can duplicate this layer by selecting it, pressing Command D or Control D on the PC, and then rotate it. It will rotate around that center point of the comp, since that's where the anchor point is. I'm going to switch to my Rotation Tool, W on the keyboard or I could press R to bring up the rotation property. But for this example, I'll actually use the tool. W on the keyboard to bring up the Rotation Tool, then click and drag this duplicate, and I hold shift to snap it in 45-degree increments, so I have a line pointed straight up now. If I play this back, now I have the same animation happening in two instances. That's great. Let's do this again, but actually duplicate and both at the same time. I'll select both layers by clicking on one, holding Shift and clicking on the next, and then pressing Command or Control D to duplicate one more time. Then I want to drag this up to the top just so they're in a nice order, and then rotate one more time. Click and drag, hold Shift, to snap to those 45-degree increments, and now I have a line going off in each direction. If I play this, I kind of have this Burst animation happening. Great. The next step is to actually pre-compose these four layers one more time. I'm going to select all of my layers by pressing Command or Control A, and then come up to Layer down to Pre-compose, and I'll name this, Burst Cross. You'll notice that Leave All Attributes in Burst is no longer an option, and that's because I'm combining multiple layers together. After effects can't take attributes from multiple layers and apply them to the single new pre-comp that we're generating, so that's why it's grayed out. Move all attributes into the new composition is what we're going to have to use. Click Okay. Now, I have this animation happening on a single layer, the size of this comp. Next, I want to duplicate this layer again by pressing Command or Control D on the keyboard, and rotate this duplicate 45 degrees. I'll press W to bring up the Rotation Tool, click hold Shift, and drag to snap it to 45 degrees. Now, I have this starburst pattern. But if I go forward in time to say, right on the first frame where the lines are starting to animate off, and I move this duplicate layer that we just rotated forward in time, so that the first frame we see the lines on that duplicate our starting at that point. Now we're going to have an offset animation, so let's play that back. Cool. We have a complex animation all being based on one rectangle moving in and out of a comp. I think the timing should be a little bit more offset, so let me extend my work area a little bit. Maybe when the lines of the original copy, these ones here, are maybe about halfway gone, that's when this one should start. Maybe we'll move this forward a little bit and see what that looks like. Maybe even offset at a couple more frames. I think I like that timing better. The first layer starts rate at Frame 0 and the second layer starts at Frame 13. What's so cool about this is because this is all based on this one burst source princomp. I can change the timing in this comp and it will be updated through all of the levels of princomps that we made in order to create this animation. Let's say that I don't want this part of the animation where the rectangle stays on screen to stan screen. Let's just have it move from this point all the way to this point with no stopping in between. The easiest way to do that is just delete these two intermediate key frames where it's holding at that center position. So I'll select those two and delete and then bring this last key frame back to frame 10. So we have a 10 Frame animation of this rectangle to shooting across the screen. Let's now go back to our burst comp and see how that's affected everything. The timing is a little bit different now, I think I actually liked this better because it is just a little accent animation. It's not visible for as along. But I don't like how much time there is between this animation on the front end, ending and the next one is starting. Let's back this one up a little bit, and play it again. Maybe that's a little too quick. That's pretty good. So frame 0 for the first layer and frame eight for the second layer. I think that's great. That's a little glimpse into the power of using princomps to make some complex animations using very basic elements and basic animations. So I think that's going to work. I'm going to close out my burst source, close out my burst comp, and then find the point where I want that burst to happen. So rate when this head disappears, which would be the out point. I can get to that point by selecting the layer and then pressing on the keyboard I for in, O for out, and then go forward one frame by pressing 'Page Down' or 'Command' or 'Control' and the right arrow, that's where this burst needs to start. So let's move this layers in point to this point in time by pressing the left square bracket key that moves the endpoint to the playhead and that animation is now triggered at the right point, but the position is obviously off. I'm going to move that burst rate above the head by clicking and dragging this down in a layers rate there, rate above head one. Then I'm just going to copy the position value for this point in time, which would be the second key frame of this layer. So copy that and paste it anywhere in time on this burst animation. So I'll just paste it right there, and now it's lined up. Let me bring up the position of that layer by pressing 'P'. So you can see that it actually pasted the key frame before that layers started. But it really doesn't matter because I'm not animating the position of this layer. I just needed the value. So I'm just going to delete that position key frame since I don't need any animation, but it is exactly where it should be. The only issue is that it's way, way, way too big. So let's bring up the scale by pressing 'S' on the keyboard and then maybe scale this down to 25 percent. Now, it's much smaller and let's see how it looks. That's a pretty good size, and just don't like how slow everything is moving and the lines at this scale are pretty thin. So I might want to thicken that up a little bit. Let's go back into that burst princomp by double-clicking on it, into the burst cross and then into the burst source. So now we're at bat source element of the line, just animating across. First of all, let's speed it up. So I'm going to back this up maybe three frames. So it's at frame seven now, that second key frame, and it now moves much faster. Let's take a look at the actual burst animation, and then maybe read time this offset a couple of frames. So now that second layer is at frame five, and I think that works better, but the lines are still a little too thin. So let's go back to the burst source, and I need to make the comp height larger. So I'm going to come up to composition settings and change the height from 50 to, let's just say 100. Click 'Okay'. Then also change the size of the solid. Now, I could come up to layer solid settings and change the height or I could also just scale this up by clicking and dragging. I wanted to transform controls until it fills the comp, since we're not going to see the edges of this layer and nothing else is in the comp. It really doesn't matter how you scale it up as long as it's the right height. So now it's much wider and it moves much quicker. Let's go back to our green pre comp and play it back. Yeah, I think that's a lot better. It's chunkier, which I think goes along better with the pixel art and the timing is also nice. It's just a quick little accent animation. With that in place, I'm going to trim this layer down to the last frame of the animation. So right there to lines are gone. So I'm going to trim the layer to that point by holding down option or 'Alt' and the right square bracket. Now I can just duplicate this and reposition it to the other characters heads, and retirement so that it's lined up with windows heads disappear. So I'm going to duplicate that layer, rearrange it so it's above this woman's head, and this time instead of copying and pasting a position property, I'm actually just going to click and drag that anchor point for the burst layer over top of the head while holding 'Command' or 'Control' on a PC, and that temporarily enables snapping. I can go straight over the center of that woman's head, the artwork for that layer and let go of my mouse, and I can know that little cross hair that burst animation is going to be right in the center of that layer. Then I'll just shift this over to the out point of that head animation so it lines up. I need to back it up one frame. There we go. As soon as the head disappears, we see that animation happening. I don't think I actually have that one frame overlap on the first head. Let's take a look frame by frame. We have one frame of blank. I'm going to back this layer up just one frame. Just by clicking and dragging me zoom into my time, I'm going to make sure I got that right. Just one frame of overlap there. The second head should be working as well. Yes. Let's duplicate this one more time. Selected 'Command' or 'Control D'. I'll move it above the next head. Click and drag on that anchor point while temporarily holding command or control to snap at rate over the center of that layer, let go of my mouse and then retain this so that it has one frame of overlap between this layer ending so that we see the animation as soon as that head disappears. All right, let's fit this to the comp one more time. Zoom out on my timeline and play it back again. Okay, so there we go. I think that looks really good. But now that I see it as a whole, I think everything is taking a little bit too much time to resolve and by that, I just mean that I think we have one too many chu's on each one of these heads before they disappear and that burst animation happens. I want this to go by pretty quickly in the final animation. What I want to do is just quickly trim off some of each one of these heads. Instead of ending on, let's see, 1, 2, 3, chu's and then goes off, let's have it end right before the third chu so I'm going to back up one frame from that point where the mouth is still open. Press "Option" or "Alt" and the Right Bracket key to end it right there. Then I'll bring the burst layer that corresponds to that head to that point in time by pressing the Left Bracket, zoom in to confirm there is that overlap. The endpoint of this layer is at the same spot as the out point of the head layer. Now that just goes off screen a little bit quicker. Let's just play this back again, focusing on just the first head and how quickly it disappears. Okay, honestly, I think that's still going just a little bit too slow so instead of opening again, let's have it end right here, right on the second chu. It goes chu once, chu to twice disappear. I'm going to zoom in on my timeline and make sure I'm right on that last frame of the mouth being closed. I'll trim that Option or Alt and Right Square Bracket and then bring back that burst one frame of overlap just like before and let's preview this again. This time I'm just going to set my work area to this spot. Be on the keyboard for the endpoint of the work area. Go past that animation and press "N" to set the end point for the work area and play it back again. That's a lot better. I think once we apply this same timing to the other two heads, everything will move much more quickly like a video game and it'll make our animation just a little bit more compact and fun to watch. Let's use the same timing that we applied to these two elements to the other two heads. Let's find the second Head, chu once, twice and right there. That's the frame we want to trim it at. Bringing this layer back just by clicking and dragging. I'll zoom in to make sure we have that overlap of one frame. Then do the same thing for the last head. Jump one, jump twice and right there. That is the point that we want to trim this layer to Option or Alt, Right Square Bracket and then bring this layer back so that the burst happens when it should. Okay, let's take a look at everything as a whole. It is now much shorter than it was. Let's play that back. Beautiful, I really like the way that this is working out. Now I just want to shift the heads up a little bit. Right here you can see that the taco is pretty much landing on top of the eyes and I'd like to just realign the position of that head so that the mouth is more where that taco is landing. To do that, I'm just going to press "P" to bring up the key frames and I'm already right over top of the second key frame. I'm just going to click on the position value to select both key frames and then click and drag while holding shift so that I'm only moving on the y or x axis but just move it straight up a little bit so it's aligned a little bit better with that taco. The mouse is now aligned with the taco. Then I'll just scale down the taco a little bit more. I think it's a little too big. With that taco selected, I'll press "S" to bring up the scale and it's at 40 percent. Let's just drop it down to 30 percent. I think that looks a little bit better. You can see more of the mouth features around it. I think that's a better scale. I'm just going to copy that property really quickly. Command C to copy and then select the other two tacos. Shift to add to my selection and click on the second taco and paste and even though I don't see it, I can know that the scale has been transferred. I'll press "S" just to confirm it. There we go. These are all at 30 percent scale. I'll just select all of those by holding down Shift and clicking and press "S" one more time to collapse everything. Now I just need to make sure that that burst is in the right position. It isn't currently so let me find that one frame of overlap between those two layers. There we go and that way I can click and drag hold down command to temporarily snap and center that up over the head one more time. Okay, that looks good. Let's do the same thing for the other heads. Here's the next head. Let's find out where that taco lands. Right there. I'll press "P" to bring up the position and select those two key frames. Click and drag it up while holding Shift. That looks good. The taco is already scaled down. Now I just need to reposition that burst so let's find that one frame where the two layers overlap. Hold down command while dragging and let go while it snaps over the center of that head and we just need to do this one more time for the third head so let's find where that taco is. Right there press "P", bring those two key frames up in my selection. Click, hold, Shift and drag, so it's aligned to the mouth. Go forward in time to find that burst. Make sure I can see both layers at once. Click, drag, hold down Command to snap and there we go. Everything has been reposition now and I can play it back and confirm that everything is lined up nicely. Love it. Okay, there's one last bit of motion that I want to add it to this animation and that is the truck. When I brought that truck in I left it as a flat Illustrator file, but actually made it in two layers so that we can add a little bit of animation to it. If you remember, I can replace Illustrator artwork with the composition and the corresponding layers to that artwork really easily. I'm just going to Right-click on this asset in the project panel, go down to replace footage and then go over to width layered comp. I'll click on that and now I have a composition and if I take a look in my actual comp here, the illustrator asset has been swapped to becoming a composition, but all of the animation is preserved. If I pressed "P" to bring up the position, we can see all of our key frames are still there. Nothing visually has changed. But if I double-click into this layer, we can see that the artwork is actually made up of two separate layers. We have the wheels and the truck. What this is going to allow us to do is have this truck animating up and down so that it looks like it's actually moving on a road and give it a little bit more personality. This will be a very simple looped animation so let's just go to the front of this comp, zoom in a little bit so we can see the individual frames and let's say probably every two frames it will move. We'll set a key frame on the truck body right here on the position, so Option or Alt on a PC and the P key to set that position key frame. Then I'll go forward two frames page down 1-2 times. I want to shift this down basically one pixel. Now it's not actually one pixel, but in terms of the resolution of this artwork, basically one-block about the size of the center of this wheel. I want to shift this brown line from where it is down at to this part of the rectangle of the wheel. Click and drag while holding Shift and right there it lines up pretty well. Now, aftereffects is going to interpolate between these two instances and again, to go along with the retro 8-bit style, I don't think I want to interpolate, so I'm going to change these to hold key frames by selecting both of them, right-clicking and saying, "Toggle Hold key frame." Then I'll go forward two more frames, 1, 2 page down on the keyboard and then copy the original key frame, Command C or Control C and paste Command V or Control V, so that it goes back to that original state. Now I have this bouncing up and down motion and if I set my work area right here and play back, we can see what that looks like so it's just bouncing up and down. That actually might be a little bit too much so maybe I'll go halfway between those two states on this second key frame. I'm just going to click and drag this up a little bit so it's about that far and see what that looks like. Yeah, I think that's a little bit better. Okay, now that I have my looping key frames, I can copy all three of these at once. Command C to copy. Remember this key frame is the same value as this key frame so as long as my play head is over top of the third key frame, I can paste Command V or Control V and it will loop. Now every other key frame is the same value. This one and this one are the same. That's the down position and these three are the up position. I just want to continue copying and pasting this so it loops for probably a good 10 seconds. I'm just going to select everything again, copy, go to the last key, frame and paste and then I'll do the same thing every time I do this, it's going to double the length of the animation so I'll copy. Go to the last key frame, paste, select everything, copy, go to the last key frame and paste. Now I need to zoom out a little bit, so I'll click and drag on this little marker here. Select everything again. I'm over two seconds long now, copy. Make sure I'm on that last key frame by holding Shift while scrubbing, paste. Select everything one more time. Copy, go to that last frame while holding Shift, paste and then zoom out to see how long we have. Now this is eight seconds long. That's probably more than enough, but just in case I'm going to go to the end one more time hold Shift to snap and just paste. Now we can know for certain this animation will be plenty long enough. Let's close this taco truck, close up our burst source or burst crossed burst and we're left with our screen and main Taco Tuesday comp. Okay, now our truck is bouncing up and down. Let's play it back and see what it looks like. Very nice, I think with that little detail, we have finished all of the animation that's going to happen in this comp and now we can move forward adding a few more elements in the next part of this animation. 23. The Score Counter: Next up, let's add in a score, the actual players score as you're playing the game. Because when you're playing an arcade game, obviously you need the high score, the high score screen. We're going to add those numbers in up here. Now, there is a text tool and we are going to talk about how to use that in just a little bit. That's the most traditional way to add text to any composition in After Effects. But in this specific case, I need to be able to animate the numbers counting up as the player is throwing the tacos at the enemies. An easy way to do that is actually through using an effect. Now, there are two different types of effects that we can apply inside of After Effects. The first one is a generative effect or something that is going to generate something for you, and the second type of effect is something that basically will manipulate something that already exists. We're going to cover both types of effects. But this first one we're going to do is a generative effect. If we go over to our Effects and Presets menu, this is where we're going to find all of our effects. Now, you can even search in here for an effect name if you know what it's called. That way you don't have to dig through all of these menus because as you can see, there are a lot of menus to dig through inside of this panel. You can actually find all of the effects that are inside of this panel under the effect menu as well. You can see all of this, but I really prefer to use the effects and presets menu because of that search feature. Now let's just look at this panel and how it's set up. Let's go down to say the distort dropped down and I'll click this little twirly arrow. You can see that we have all different kinds of effects inside of this menu. Some of them have some really funny names like CC Blobbylize and Ripple Pulse and Smear. They all do different things and it takes a long time to be familiar with all of them. In fact, I've been using this program for over 15 years and I couldn't name off what every single one of these effects does. There's just too many, and they're not going to be immediately obvious as to what they're actually going to do. This is something that you will just have to experiment with overtime as you learn more about After Effects, you'll be introduced into more and more effects and how they can be useful. But if you just Google the name of any one of these effects with After Effects in your search as well, you'll almost certainly find a page that explains exactly what that effect does and how to use it. I'm going to close this menu up and just point out that After Effects has categorized these pretty well. Distort is going to be a set of effects that will distort whatever you apply them to. Or the color correction menu that's going to be for manipulating the colors of what you apply the effect to. I already said that we're going to be making an effect that generates numbers, so it would make sense to go to the generate menu. This set of effects is all going to be generative affects, something that will be generated when we apply this effect. The thing is we need a layer to be able to apply all of these effects too. Everything in this menu needs something to be applied to in order for anything to show up, and I don't want to apply it to any of the layers that we already have. The most common way of using these effects is by generating a solid layer to apply the effect to, and that's exactly what we're going to do. Let's come up to Layer, and actually this menu is grayed out, and this is something that you should be aware of. Because I was working in the effects and presets panel, it's selected, the panel is outlined in blue. These menu items basically pay attention to whatever panel is active. I need to make sure that the composition or the layers panel is active before going up to Layer, then New, and then Solid. I'll click on that and then give this a name. This is going to be our score. I'll just name this Player Score. I want the width and height to be the entire size of the comp, so I'm just going to click on Make comp size, and the color does not matter, so I'll just leave it as it is and click Okay. We have a white solid on top of everything. It's covering everything up. The effect that I want to find is called Numbers. It's actually not in the generate menu, which doesn't make a lot of sense. But if I close this up and scroll down, there's actually another menu called text, and this is where we're going to find numbers. There's only two effects in this menu, but numbers is right there. Now, again, I could have searched for this, so let me close this up and that way I wouldn't have to remember what menu it's in. I'll just go up to this search bar up here and type in numbers, and there we go, it isolates just that one effect. A way to apply an effect is to have a layer selected and then double-click on the effect or just drag the effect out to the layer that you want to apply it to, either in the composition viewer or down in the layers panel. I'll just drag this over to that player's score solid and let go, and immediately a menu pops up, and this is going to allow us to customize the font that we're using, as well as some alignment options. I'm actually going to leave all of this at the default for now, and you can too. Just click on the Okay button and we'll see what's actually happening. If I zoom in here on my composition by pressing the greater than sign, you can see that in the center of this solid layer which no longer has that white fill, we have a number of 0.000 and it's in red. This generative effect has replaced the contents of that solid layer, and is generating something completely new. We're basically just using that solid as a Canvas for this effect to work on. Over here where our project panel was, After Effects is automatically switched to another panel called the Effect Controls Panel. Just like the name sounds, this is where we have access to our effects controls, and we have a whole lot of settings that we can mess with to control what these numbers actually look like. Every effect has its own set of controls and they might be laid out differently, but this one is categorized and organized very well. First of all, we have the format section. The type is our first option under the format and that is set to number. If I click on that drop down, we can see all different options. Now, number is exactly what we need. You don't need to worry about anything else. I'm just going to leave it just like that and then just jump down to this decimal places setting. Don't worry about anything else right now. I don't actually need any decimal places because I'm just going to have a whole score number. I want to first just turn this number down to zero. I'll click on it once and press Zero on my keyboard and then press Enter. I can modify these property values just like the position or the scale rotation, any of those values. Immediately my number no longer has that.000 anymore. We've gotten rid of the decimal places. Now let's jump down past this fill in stroke and go down to this setting right here, the size, you probably guessed that is the size of the text. Let's scale that up just by clicking and dragging on it to see that you can just freehand increase or decrease the size of that number. Probably something around 92 will work, and then let's go back up to this fill and stroke section. Now I don't know why they put a position value in the fill and stroke category, but there we go, that's where it is. This allows us to shift the position of that number around in the contents of our layer. Under display options, we have fill only, no stroke and that's actually what we want, so just leave that as is, but we can change the fill color here. I'm going to click on this color swatch and then just change this to pure white by clicking, and dragging to the top left corner and then click Okay. We're left with just a white filled number. Now let's go back up to this value, Offset, Rando, dent this out a little bit it's actually random. Value, offset or random, depending on what your other settings are. By default, it's just set to a value. Right now it's set to zero. So our number is zero. But if I click and drag on this number, you can see that it increases by 10s and I can even go to a negative number. This is how we're going to animate the value of our high score. I can even type in a random number. If I wanted 756 points, press Enter. There we go. It doesn't have to be by 10s. Now, I want this score to start out in the 10,000 range. I'm just going to crank this up really far. All the way over to here. Now I'm rate in the range that I want, something like that, 10,206. I think that's good. I'm going to fit my comp to the viewer by pressing "Shift," question mark. Then move this number up to the top left corner, and properly scale it down a little bit. Let's move this up, and you'll notice that as I'm moving this around with the position value, there's this little circle with a cross hair in the middle of it. That is the actual anchor point for this position value. I can actually interactively click and drag this to move it around. I'm not moving the layer, I'm just moving this point for this effect. I'm just going to move it up in the top left corner, right about there, and then probably size this down a little bit. Let's click and drag on the size to make it more about that size. Then reposition it one more time to the left side. Now as I'm doing this, After Effects is taking a little bit more time to respond, and this is the nature of every After Effects project. The more detail you add, the more effects you use, the more layers you have, the longer it's going to take to do things and for After Effects to update, and render the preview. Depending on your machine, that slowdown might happen more quickly or more slowly. Don't panic if things start to move a little bit slower. My numbers are there, but I don't really like the font that, that is using. I don't think it really reflects in an old arcade game very well. Let's change the font to something that fits the arcade vibe a little bit better. Now if you weren't already aware, the Adobe Creative Cloud actually gives you access to a giant library of fonts. If you click on the "Creative Cloud" icon up here and click on the "Fonts" tab, there's a little blue button right here that says browse all fonts. Click on that, and that will open up your browser window and give you access to a huge library that you can search through, and lots of great categories that you can also filter through to help you find a more specific font. Now I'm not going to dive through how to look for fonts or anything, but I am going to tell you the name of the font that I'm going to use, so you can just search for it and download it as well. Under the search bar right here, just type in hydro and then the top family results right here, hydrophilia is what we're looking for. Click on that font, and the way that the Adobe fonts work is by sinking fonts to your computer through the Creative Cloud. You won't actually be downloading this font, you'll just be activating it and then Creative Cloud will sync it to your computer, but this is what the font looks like. It's just an old retro 8-bit looking font. Just make sure that you click on this little mark right here. It'll look like this for you. Activate font to switch it over, give it a second, and then Creative Cloud should give you a notification that it's now available on your machine. Once that's done, you should be able to use it right away inside of After effects. Come back into After Effects, and then we're going to change this font. Now, the way to do this isn't actually within any of the controls rate here, we need to click on "Options" up here at the top with the effect numbers. I'll click on "Options." This brings up that original menu that we just clicked "Okay" on when it came up originally when we applied the effect, but this is where we can actually change the font. I'm just going to click on this text and type hydro and there we go. Hydrophilia shows up. I guess the actual name of the font is hydrophilia iced. There we go. That's all I need to change and I'll click "Okay." There we go. You can see right away that has updated. I'll zoom in here with my zoom tool Z on the keyboard and then click on these numbers a couple of times. You can see now we have more of an 8-bit font and maybe I want to scale this up just a little bit so it's a bit bigger, and I'll move it over just by clicking and dragging a little cross here. Just like before, I can click and drag on this end value slider to adjust that number to whatever we want, but now it looks like more of an arcade font. I'll press "Shift" question mark to fit my comp to the viewer, and now we need to animate these numbers moving up as the player is shooting and talk goes out to the enemies. To do that, we're going to use key frames just like on a position scale and rotation of any layer. But key frame, this actual value property, you see that there are all these little Stopwatch icons next to a bunch of the properties on the effect. That's telling us that these are all properties that can be key framed just like any transform control. Let's go to a point in time where the first head disappears. Maybe you rate when that burst happens. That's when we'll have the score counter count up. I'll go to the first frame that we can see that burst rate there and set a key frame on the value for this effect by clicking on that "Stopwatch." I'll just scroll up in my timeline so we can see that layer, and I want to find that key frame in the layer. This is actually something important. Let me give ourselves a little bit more room by bringing this up and then twirl this open again. Before all we had seen on a layer was the transform menu, but now that we've added in effect, there's a second menu for the effects. If I twirl that open, that's where I can find the numbers effect. You can apply as many effects as you want to a layer, and they'll all show up underneath this menu. If I twirl open numbers, that will bring up all of the same properties that you can change up here in the effect controls panel. If I expand format, that's where we can find the value that we just added a key frame to. Sure enough, right here is that blue diamond key frame icon, letting us know that, that worked. Now, that was a lot of digging through menus and sub menus to find that key frame. There's actually a much quicker way to bring up key frames on any layer. What I'm going to do really quick is just twirl this all closed by going to the root, twirl down arrow right here and clicking on it. That collapses everything, and all I need to do to bring up key frames that are on a layer is a keyboard shortcut, which is U on the keyboard. I don't really know if that corresponds to anything but the U key, if I press it once, will bring up any key frame to value, and that's true for any layer. If I pressed "U" on one of the taco layers, which has key frames on both the position and rotation, I'll press "U." You see it brought up just those properties that had key frames. If I press "U" one more time, it collapses the layer, and that works for any layer that you want to do that on. Now that we have that key frame rate there, I'll zoom in on my timeline with the plus key. We can animate this up, maybe over 10 frames. I'll start rate on that key frame, hold down shift, and press "Page Down" to jump 10 frames forward, then I'll just increase this value. I don't want it to always end with a six so maybe I'll just change this number to say two. So 10,392. Now if I scrub through this by clicking and dragging on the play head, you can see that those numbers are animating. They're counting up between those two key frames. Let me just set my work area around these key frames, B to set the end point, N to set the out point, and then play that back. There we go. As that burst is happening, the score counts up. Let's say I want the score to raise even higher. Well, I'll just go to the second key frame, increase that value even higher, and now those numbers will change more quickly. There we go. Let's do that again on the second burst. Rate where we start to see that second burst is where I'll set my next key frame by clicking on the "Add or remove key frame at current time" button, and then I'll go 10 frames forward, shift page down, and then increase this to something higher. Now I'm not going to be super precise about this. I don't need to add the exact same amount to every one of these point values, but you could if you wanted to. Now it's counting up two different times. Then we'll go to the third burst and do the same thing. I'll add a key frame rate here, shift page down to jump forward 10 frames and then increase the score. Let's play this back as a whole to see how that looks. Give myself a little more room so we can see this easier. Cool, that's working perfectly. Those numbers are now counting up. Now while we're here, I want to point out something. This green highlight bar is something that you probably have been noticing. What this is telling you is that after effects has rendered or previewed all of the frames underneath that green highlight. The more complex your animation, the higher resolution it is, the more effects you're using, the more processing power it takes for after effects to preview it. The first time you play through it, it may not be able to play it back in real time at 30 frames per second. But once the after-effects has gotten all the way through that preview, and you see that green highlight, it can continue to play that in real time. But if I were to change something like shifting this key frame over, you see that highlight went away for a second, and then had to update again, and I'm going to undo because I didn't want to do that, Command Z. But anytime you make a change After Effects has to read, preview or re-render the frames that are affected by that change. Again, depending on how powerful your computer is, this might take longer or go pretty quickly, like mine has been up to this point. 24. Screen Effects: Now let's actually make this look like it's on an old CRT screen, an old arcade cabinet. If we go back to our main composition and just get a sense of what the screen looks like behind the arcade cabinet, it's very computer-generated vector. There's not any detail to it that makes it look like it's actually on an old screen. Let's add some effects to our screen princomp so that we get something that looks a little bit more like it was on an old TV screen. One of my favorite things to do in After Effects is to find ways of using effects to make what you're animating look like something else or like it's on some type of device, like an old arcade screen. There are lots and lots of tutorials on the Internet that explain how to do a specific thing, like how to make text look like it's burning or how to make footage that was shot during the daytime look like it's actually at night-time. I love doing these things in After Effects because there's new discoveries all the time when you're messing with effects and combining them in different ways and then rearranging them into different orders and just being surprised by what you come up with. A lot of my Skillshare classes actually came about that way. What we're going to do here is combine a couple of different effects that will manipulate these graphics that we have so that it looks like it's on an old screen. We're going to be doing this with the manipulative affects, the ones that are actually manipulating what you apply them to rather than just generating something completely new. Now just as an example of how this process works, I'm going to just solo my taco truck. Let's solo that right there and then I'll zoom in Z on the keyboard to switch to my zoom tool and click twice in on here. What I want to do is make this taco truck look like it's glowing. Now, there are many different ways that you can make something look like it's glowing in After Effects but one of the most straightforward ways is by using an effect called glow. I'm going to come over to the effects and presets, double-click on these numbers texts that I still have in the search bar and type in glow. You see that there are lots of different things that are showing up because there are different types of glow that I have access to. But what I want is the one all the way down at the bottom, stylize is the category and there's the effect glow. I'll just click and drag this out over top of the layer and let go. Immediately my truck is glowing. It's as simple as that but there's a lot of controls over here in the effect controls panel for the glow effect that we can manipulate to change the way that this glow is actually looking. If I change the glow radius, this property right here, and just crank it up, you can see that it makes the glow larger or softer. I'll bring that back down to 10. There's also the glow intensity which is how bright that glow is making it look more hot. I'll leave that back at one. Then there's the glow threshold which is like a cutoff on which colors are going to get this glow based on how bright they are. This gray color right here, see it's not really getting the glow unless I turn the threshold down really far. When I do that, then it just blows out white. But if I turn my threshold up really far, the only colors that are really getting the glow are the brightest, this highlight on the window and maybe these red bars and this orange outline. It's a way to limit the amount of a glow that's being applied to the truck. Those three properties are pretty much the ones that I use the most in adjusting the way that a glow looks. But as you can see there are a lot more controls to fine tune this glow even further. Now let me unsolo this taco truck and let's say that I want to apply this to the entire composition, not just that single layer but everything in it. Well it take a long time to add this effect to every single one of these layers one by one, modify the settings and get that glow on everything. I mean, I could just copy the glow that I applied to the truck if I want it to be exactly the same on all of the layers and then paste it on all the other layers. But that's still a lot of instances of the same glow and if I want to make a change, I'd have to replace all of the instances. Fortunately, there's a much quicker way to do this inside of After Effects through what's called an adjustment layer. Let me bring up my timeline a little bit so I have some more room to work in here. I'm going to actually delete that effect out of this layer. I'm going to grab that glow and press "Delete" on the keyboard and then I'll come up to my layer menu. This is where I'm going to add a Layer, New and then down to Adjustment Layer. I'll click on that and it generates an adjustment layer right above the taco truck because that's the one that I had selected. Now as you can see in the cam viewer, it's not really displaying anything. All I have is the bounding box and the anchor point for it. It's the size of the comp. But down here in the timeline, I have this little switch checked. This is the adjustment layer column. You can actually make any layer an adjustment layer but obviously when you make a new adjustment layer by default, it has that switch turned on but really it's just a solid layer with that switch turned on. What an adjustment layer allows you to do is apply effects to it and then anything below it in the layers stack will be affected by those effects. I'm actually going to bring this up to the top of the layers just above the player's score and then I'm going to add that glow effect to the adjustment layer. When I click and drag that out and let go, as you can see now, everything is being affected by this glow. If I turn my glow radius up, it's affecting everything. If I turn the glow intensity down a little bit, it's a basically a universal effect now for the entire comp. But if I drag this down one layer below the player's score, notice the player score is not getting that glow anymore, and that's because the adjustment layers are only affecting what's below it in the layer stack. Keep that up at the top if you want it to affect everything in your comp. This is how we're going to very easily build this screen effect on top of the entire comp. Once again, I'm going to delete that and glow and we're going to add a new effect that's going to simulate the pixels on an old screen. I'm going to come back over to my effects and presets and search for an effect called the ball action. I'll just type in ball and under simulation, we have CC ball action. I'll click and drag that out onto my adjustment layer and let go. I'll zoom in here on my comp so we can see it a little bit better pressing the greater sign on the keyboard and then pan around by holding down the space bar temporarily and you can see what this is doing. It basically turned my composition into a mosaic almost with these shaded squares that look a little bit round. If we take a look at some of the effect controls, down at the bottom we have grid spacing and ball size. If I turn the ball size down, you can see that these are actually dots, these are circles and if I turn the grid spacing up, then those balls get bigger. We get less and less detail out of our original artwork. If I disabled this layer by just clicking on the eyeball, we can see our original art work again and see with clicking that on and off how it's representing what's underneath it. The blank in between all of these balls is actually transparency so if I enable my transparency grid, you can see straight through it. I'll turn that back off. Let's turn the grid spacing down pretty far. I can go all the way down to zero and the dots are extremely small. Maybe I'd want to turn up the ball size a little bit at this grid spacing just so it fills in a little bit more of that black but maybe we'll turn this up to one or two. Let's start there at two and then turn the ball size down just a little bit more, maybe something around 50 and we'll start with that. Let me fit this to the comp Shift question mark and just play this back to point out that the entire animation is still preserved. It is taking longer time for After Effects to preview this now, but now that has gone through the entire sequence, it can play it back in real time. It looks a little bit funny at this magnification, especially because I'm recording my screen at a very small resolution. But if I zoomed in to say 50 percent, it looks a little bit better. If your comp is not looking the way that you expect it to try zooming in to 50 or 100 percent and see if it still looks messed up. Always remember that if you're looking at it at 100 percent magnification and full resolution, that is exactly how it will look when you export. I'm going to stop the animation right there. That's going to give us the foundation for that grid of pixels that make up the actual screen but I want to make it look like this screen is actually emitting light. We're going do that by actually using the glow effect. We've already looked at that. Let's type that back in glow on our effects and presets and scroll down to the bottom under the stylized category and drag that out onto the adjustment layer as well. You can actually drag that directly to the effect controls. I'll just click and drag that out there and now this looks like these balls are emitting light. But I want to adjust some of these properties to make it look even better. We're actually going to be using multiple instances of this glow effect. Let's start with this first instance. Just turn down the radius down low to about two and turn the intensity up pretty far maybe 1.6. I'll turn that off and back on and to turn a single effect off or on, this little effects switch right here is just like the visibility eyeball but for that specific effect so I can turn that off and on to see what it looks like. That brings a lot of brightness in back to all of these balls. That's all I need for that first glow. To give myself a little bit more room in here, I'm going to collapse that effect and the ball action effect and then duplicate this glow. Remember you can do that with Edit, Duplicate or Command or Control D on a PC. I want to modify the radius and intensity and these are the only two properties that we're really going to be messing with. On the second copy, I want to turn the radius up to six. If you're wondering how I know that I want these specific numbers, it's obviously because I've made this animation before teaching it. I just played around with a bunch of different values until I was happy with something, but at this point you can just follow along and use the same numbers I'm using. I'm going to turn the glow intensity down to 0.6. That's what the second glow is doing right there, just makes it a little bit brighter and a little bit softer. I'll collapse that effect and duplicate it again Command or Control D. On this copy I'm going to crank that glow radius up to 38 and turn up the intensity just a little bit more to 0.8. Now it's really blowing out and looking a lot more like light but I'm going to collapse this effect one more time and duplicate it a third time so we have four instances of the glow effect and on this one I'm going to crank the radius out even further all the way up to 183. That really pushes out all this light spilling out from the graphics and makes it look a lot more glowy. Finally, I want to add one more effect that's going to soften everything up just a little bit more through a blur. I'm going to search for what's called a Gaussian or Gaussian blur. G-A. We'll bring it up. Under blur and sharpen you'll see Gaussian Blur. I'll drag that out, and what this effect does is literally just lets you blur the image. If I disabled the visibility of all the other effects by clicking and dragging, to do that all at once, I'll just show you that this just blurs out the image as you crank it up. I'll also point out that on the edges here you'll notice that we get this black area showing up, but I can correct that with this little checkbox right here that says "Repeat Edge Pixels. " I'm going to check that and then I'll turn all of my other effects back on. Now, I don't actually want to blur it out that much. I want to set this down to 2.2 and then press "Enter" to apply that. That just adds the slightest little bit of softness to all of these dots. If I zoom in nice and close here Z on the keyboard and then click with the Zoom tool, it's just softening out this grid just a little bit. Let me zoom back out to 50 percent less than sign on the keyboard, and then pan over with the space bar, and play this back. Now, after effects really is going to take a lot more time to preview each one of these frames, but that is completely to be expected because of all of these effects, I'm stacking on top of each other and I'm viewing this at full resolution, I'm not at all surprised. But now that it's gone through everything, it can play back in real-time and we can see what that looks like. I think this is looking great, I just don't like how much of the detail I'm losing because of how bright everything is. To fix that. I'm going to go back into my Ball Action Effect and turn the ball sized down. Because, the smaller the balls, the smaller dots are, the less glow will be produced by them, if I just turn this down to something around, I don't know, 35, maybe 37, I think that's working a little bit better. But let me zoom out by pressing the less than sign and reposition this and just point out that the background is very dark now. I scroll down to the bottom, my background layer is this really dark purple. But, I'd like to make it a little bit more interesting so that it's not just this one solid color. I'm going to actually solo this layer by clicking on the "Solo Switch" for the background and then unlock it so that I can edit it again. Instead of just this solid purple, I'd like to have it be a gradient from a light purple into a dark purple. To do this, I'm actually going to use another effect, and, this time we're going to search for gradient. This brings up a lot of options, but right here in the middle under the Generate category, we have Gradient Ramp. Because this isn't a Generate category, you can know that this is basically going to replace whatever you apply it to. I'm going to click and drag this out and it gives me a gradient, but it's black to white. It's not the purple color that I had before because it's generating these colors, it's not basing it on what was there. But I can come over to the effect controls and modify these colors. I have a Start color, I have an N Color, and then I have the start of ramp and end of ramp. Ramp is another word for gradients. The Start and N controls actually allow me to reposition where the gradient points begin and end. I can even click and drag on these little controls, just like we did with the numbers to interactively change the way this gradient looks. Now, I didn't actually want to misalign those, so I'm just going to click on the "Reset" button up here, you need this for any effect and it will reset it back to its default settings. This effect also gives you the option to change the shape of the gradient. I could change it from a linear ramp to a radial ramp, and then it's going to be more of a point that ramps out from the center. That's again, not what I want, so I'm going to reset this effect one more time, and, I want to change these colors up. I'll click on this "Start Color Swatch" and we'll pick something, maybe in this hue range right about here, and choose something nice and bright. A lot of saturation somewhere around there. That'll be a nice bright purple color and I'll click "Okay". Maybe add a little bit more pink into it, something like that, and I'll click "Okay", and then for the N color we'll make something a lot darker. Maybe down in here still a lot of saturation and maybe make this a little bit more and blue rather than red. There we can see those colors being updated as I'm modifying the colors, but I think that'll work, I'll click "Okay" and I want to actually bring this dark color further up here. I'm going to grab that little controller for the end of the ramp position, and hold down shift so that it only moves on the y-axis, and then move it up to right about here. That looks good, now, I want this same Gradient Ramp to happen on the bottom half, but I can't just add another gradient because it's going to overwrite what we just did, let me undo Command Z. What I need to do is instead use a different effect that will allow me to mirror this on the other side. I'm going to type into my effects in presets mirror, and there we go, we have an effect called mirror under the distort category. This will manipulate what we apply it to, I'll click and drag this out underneath the Gradient Ramp, nothing changes, but that's just because of the default settings. The first setting that I have in this effect is the Reflection Center, which I can see with this little icon right here that's where the center is. But, the more important setting is the Reflection Angle, and it's set to zero right now, which is why we're not seeing any changes. But if I turn this up to 90 degrees, right there, you can see that is now perfectly mirroring the top half onto the bottom half. If I go back to my Gradient Ramp effect and adjust these controls a little bit, you can see that whatever I do on the top half is being mirrored on the bottom half, and that's how I have my background generated. Now, I think I want toi push this start color to be even a little bit more red or a little bit more pink. Just to bring some more warmth in there, and I'll click "Okay" we'll leave it like that for now and I'll un-solo this layer, and now you can see that my background looks very different than it did before because of all of the extra effects that we have applied through our adjustment layer with the ball action in the glows and the blur. With that adjustment layer on, I'll scroll back down on my background layer and modify my gradient a little bit more. With that selected, I'm just going to bring the dark area down a little bit so it's not quite so dark in the middle. Maybe this brighter color is just a little bit too intense, so I'll click on that and bring the saturation down. This is a really nice thing about modifying colors is you get in a live preview of what's happening in your comp as you do it. I'll adjust the start color to be a less bright and maybe even a little bit more red not all the way up into here, but somewhere around here, and then make it much darker, so we don't get so much of a difference between these two colors. Somewhere around there and click "Okay". Then I'll go into the N color, make this even darker and maybe make it a little bit more blue. That's pretty good, I'll click "Okay" and go back into this dark color one more time, and just because I want to get rid of this band of color. To do that, I'll just drop the brightness down a little bit more and click "Okay" and, I think that's a much better looking gradient. Now, if I solo this layer, obviously the colors look totally different than they did. But with all the effects applied, I think it's a much better result. I might even bring the end of the ramps Y position down a little bit so that the center of my comp isn't quite so dark, something like that. Now those colors are not getting washed out nearly as much on the graphics and the background is a little bit more interesting, I think that's much better. One last thing that I want to talk about in this video is that the effects that you apply are applied in the order that they are stacked in your effects controls panel. We started with the Ball Action Effect. The first thing "After Effects" does to process everything underneath this adjustment layer and your comp is turn everything into the grid of dots that the Ball Action Effect is creating, and, that's all we're using this effect to do. There are a lot more controls that we didn't even touch like this Twist Angle if I just crank this up. You can see that this is actually a 3D effect, and we can really do some crazy things with this grid of dots. I can even scatter all of these dots so that they just kind of explode out, it's a really cool effect. But I'm going to undo Command Z twice to get back to this state, and get back to my point that this effect is applied first and then let the glows are applied one at a time after each other, and then finally, the Gaussian Blur to make everything a little bit softer. But, if I were just to grab this ball action effect and drag it all the way to the bottom and let go; my comp looks a lot different. If I turn that effect off now. And, the reason it looks like this is because all of these other effects, all four of these glows and the Gaussian Blur are applied before ball action. This is what it looks like in the state before we divide everything up into these dots, which looks totally different. That's why it's important to know what order you're applying your effects in, because it has a really big effect on what is happening inside of your comp. I'm going to drag that back up to the top, so we're back to our final state, and now we can move on with the rest of our animation. 25. Animating The Transition: Next we need to build the transition that goes from this screen after the player has cleared all of the screen of these heads into the high score screen. Really quick, I just want to rename this layer down here. To rename a layer I just click on it, press "Enter" on the keyboard and then type in the name. I'm going to call this screen effects because this is the adjustment layer that has all of these effects by turning it off and back on. That's what's converting everything to make it look like a screen. The transition that we're going to build is going to also go underneath that adjustment layer. I don't accidentally click and drag this adjustment layer around, as you can see that is only affecting what it is covering, I'll undo Command Z. I'm going to lock this layer just like we locked the background by clicking on the "Lock switch" right there. Now I can't click on that, I can't make any adjustments to it. If I click on here, it's selecting the next layer down, which is the score up here in the top left corner and that is also taking up the size of the entire Comp because those numbers are actually being generated through the effect we applied. Even though that's all we see, it's actually using the entire solid to make those numbers. I'm also going to lock that layer so I can't accidentally click on it. But as I move my mouse over here, you can see I'm highlighting another Solid which is actually my background if I scroll all the way to the bottom. I'll lock that layer as well and now I don't have any outline. When I move my mouse over here, I can click and drag as much as I want. The only layers I'll be selecting are the ones with bounding boxes that are smaller than the comp. I like to lock those layers just so I don't accidentally make any mistakes, make any changes that I didn't mean to and I think it's just a cleaner way of working. Now that that's done, let's work on this transition, what I want it to be are these angled, diagonal lines that wipe across the screen really fast, like a reflection of something shiny. To do this, we're going to use what are called the Masks and we're going to apply these masks on top of a Solid layer. Let's make a new Solid first by coming up to Layer New Solid and we'll call this transition, just keep it organized and we'll make it the size of the Comp. Its already the size of the Comp and for the color we'll just leave it as white for now and click "Okay." That makes our transition solid and I'm going to leave it at the top of the layers for now just so we can see what's happening a little bit more clearly. A Mask is a technique for revealing or hiding a specific part of any layer and masks in After Effects are vector-based. We're going to be drawing vector paths in order to control them. These two tools right up here. We've already taken a look at the pen tool a little bit, but this one tool, the rectangle tool, these are both for masking as well as creating shape layers. We're not going to jump into shape layers right now but because both shape layers and masks are vector inside of After Effects, you can use them for both purposes. Now another thing about these two tools is that they have a little triangle in the bottom right corner. This is letting you know that there's actually more than one tool underneath this button. If I were to click and hold on that rectangle tool, we actually have five different tools. Rectangle Tool, Rounded rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon and Star. These are all shape-building tools and they can be used to draw masks. Let's just start with a Rectangle tool. I'll let go of my mouse on that and then come over to the solid layer. Now it's important that you have your solid layer selected and then I'm just going to click and drag free hand in this box on that solid layer and as I do that, you can see that I'm drawing a vector path that is revealing whatever is inside of it. Let's just say I want the rectangle to be about this big. I'll let go of my mouse and now that is the only part of that layer that I can see. I'll switch back to my selection tool and click on that layer and you can see that the bounding box is now snapped to just the bounds of that mask. The anchor point for the layer is still in the center of the comp because that's where the center of the solid layer was. Even though we can't see it, the rest of that solid layer is still there. Now if you take a look down in the layers panel, you can see that a new category has shown up within that layer, masks and underneath that is mask one with this little pink label. If I zoom in by pressing the greater than sign on the keyboard a couple of times and reposition with the space bar, you can see that the mask on this solid layers also that pink color right there. If I were to click on that color and just change it, I can make this something that maybe is a little bit easier to see. Maybe I'll make this a bright neon-green color and click "Okay." Now it's much easier to see that path on top of that white solid. Now that we have the mask there, how do we modify it? Well, all you need to do is have your selection tool active and then click and drag on any one of these corners. If I click and drag on this one, I can make it not a rectangle, I can make it a trapezoid or I can manipulate multiple points at once by clicking on the first one, holding Shift and clicking on the next one. Then maybe I'll grab this third one as well and then I can click and drag on any one of those points and modify all of them at once. I'll undo again. I can also drag a box around with my selection tool to make multiple points selected at the same time, you just need to make sure that you have at least one of those points selected before you draw a box. With one active, I'll click and drag and now I have all four selected. I can click and drag on one of these points now and move all of them at once. Now, keep in mind this whole time. I'm just moving the mask around the solid. I'm going to fit my comp to the viewer by pressing shift question mark and remind you this layer is actually taking up the entire comp we're only seeing what's contained within this rectangle. I'm not actually moving the layer around, I'm just moving the mask which is revealing portions of the layer. Let me deselect by just clicking off and this keeps the layer selected but deselected the mask. I can also manipulate an edge. Let's say that I wanted to make this rectangle taller or if I just click and drag right here on this line connecting these two corners, click and drag, I can manipulate the two points that are on either end of that line. If I hold down shift, then I'm going to be able to move it in just the y-axis or the x-axis, or at a 45 degree angle, just like repositioning a layer inside of after effects. Let's say I want to make this much taller and now let's say you like the proportions of this mask, but I want the whole thing to just be a little bit bigger. Well, I can just double-click on any one of these points. That makes a selection of all of them and gives me transform controls for that selection. Now I can click and drag on say the side to make it wider and I can hold down command or control on a PC while I'm doing that, to scale it proportionally from the center, I'll undo that Command Z or Control Z on a PC. If I come up to the top right corner you can see that this switches to a 90 degree to double arrow there. If I click and drag that lets me rotate it again holding Shift snaps in to 45 degree increments or I can move my mouse in a little bit further and right there it switches to the 45 degree double arrow. Click and drag while holding command to scale out from the center proportionally, but also hold down shift on the keyboard to constrain the proportions and that way the rectangles proportion stay the same, but I can make it all a little bit bigger. To apply that transformation, I just need to hit "Enter" on the keyboard and I'm back to just editing my mask regularly. That's the basics of how to make and manipulate masks. If I come down to this Mask 1 and just press "Delete" it gets rid of the mask. Then I can go through and start making other masks. Now one really convenient way to apply a mask is to just double-click on the tool up here in the toolbar. If I do that on the rectangle tool double-click, it applies a mask the size of the layer. Okay? I'll undo that and then click and hold on that shape tool and come down to the Ellipse tool. Now just like the rectangle tool, I can click and drag and I can hold "Shift" to make that a perfect circle. If I undo, I can double-click on the ellipse tool and it applies a perfect circle sized to the layer. That's a quick way of making a circle out of a solid layer. Now that we have a pretty good understanding of all this, I'll undo and make that rectangle mask again. I'm going to click and hold on that ellipse tool, go over to the rectangle tool and then double-click on it. That way it's the size of my layer. It's a nice purple blue color that's easy to see on top of that white. What I want to do is just make this all a little bit skinnier. I'm going to double-click on that path, click and drag on the right handle while holding down Command or Control to make it about that width. Doesn't have to be precise, just something about there is fine, and then I'll press "Enter" to apply the transformation. Next, I want to angle this just a little bit so it's a little skewed. I'm going to press the "Less-than sign" on the keyboard to zoom out a little bit so I can have a little bit more area to work with in my cam viewer. Then I want to click and drag with my selection tool to make a selection of these top two points and skew this over just by clicking and dragging while holding Shift, that it's at a little bit of an angle like that. And then maybe I'll make another selection of the bottom two points. Click and drag, let go and then click and drag while holding Shift, to skew that over just a little bit more. Now we've got this nice angled shape,and I want to animate it moving from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen really quickly. There are a couple of different ways we could do that. First, I want to point out that if I open up the Mask 1 section of this layer by twirling this arrow down, we have some extra options for the mask paths. Let me just give ourselves a little bit more room so we can see all of our options. First of all, we have a Mask Path property. This property is what is storing the data for this vector path. I can actually key frame this and animate it like a lot of other properties. If I were to just say, set a key frame here for the mask path and then move forward in time a little bit, and then manipulate this path, say grab this bottom left corner and bring it up here, and maybe grab this top right corner and move it down here. There's two key frames now, and after-effects will interpolate between those two values. That's one way that we could animate the path. Instead of using this second set of key frames, I could delete that and then maybe make a selection of everything and shift that mask over while holding down Shift on the keyboard, and then that's going to move from left to right. I don't prefer to work this way when all I'm doing is making basic transformations like position transformations, because I don't get any data from the mask path key frames like I would with a position property where it gives me a position value. I'm going to delete these two key frames so I'm back to where I was and we'll animate it using the position property of the layer instead. Before we do that though, I want to point out a few more options, starting with Mask Feather. I'll zoom in here a little bit, pressing the greater than sign and the keyboard and take a look at the edge of the mask, when I turn up the Mask Feather. This basically just softens the edges of your mask, which is very useful in a lot of applications. Let me turn that back down to zero for now and then we have the Mask Opacity. If I click and drag this down, pretty much does what you'd expect. It turns the opacity of that mask down. Now why wouldn't we just want to use the opacity of the entire layer? Well, because every mask can have its own individual opacity. If I were to click on the rectangle tool and then click and drag again on this layer, you see what it's revealing is 100 percent opacity, even the part that's overlapping the first mask. That's why there's a specific mask opacity value for every mask. Then finally we have the Mask Expansion, which if I turn this up, will just increase the bounds of your mask what it's revealing and I can even turn that to a negative value to shrink this down. That could be a cool animation. If I turn it all the way down to where it's gone, you could grow this out to its final state. That's what the Mask Expansion does. I'll set that back down to zero and then I want to take a look at this little drop-down right here on each one of these masks. It says "Add" and if I click on that drop-down, we have other options. That next one in the list is Subtract. If I click on that, you can see that now instead of revealing what's underneath that mask, it's subtracting what's underneath that mask, and all of the other properties still apply. I'm going to turn my mask opacity back up to 100 and you can see what that looks like. These two masks are interacting with each other now. The first one is subtracting, but the second one, where it's overlapping that mask is still adding in. If I set this back to Add and then maybe set the second one from Add to Intersect. Then the only part of the layer that's visible is the part that is overlapping between those two masks. There's lots of different ways that these masks can interact. But hopefully that gives you a little bit of a glimpse into how to use them. I'll just delete this second mask by selecting it and pressing "Delete" so we're back to just R_1 angled bar, and then I'll fit this to the comp by pressing "Shift question mark" and we can animate this using the position property. Let me collapse this layer up and then move the start of this layer to where we want it to be. Probably right after this last layer with this last Burst, right at the end of that animation, and I'll click on that transition layer and press the left square bracket on the keyboard to move the endpoint of that layer to the play-head. I also need to move this down below the screen affects adjustment layer, so that the effects are applied to it. Now this is pure white, so it's going to be very bright after that glow and we don't even really see through it because of how bright it is, but that's okay because we're using it as a transition. We need it to cover up the graphics underneath it so that we have a way to hide them in our edit. I'll zoom back out, fitting the cam to the viewer by pressing "Shift question mark" and now we can animate the position of this light sweep. I'm going to switch to my selection tool, and then click and drag this while holding Shift, all the way off screen to the right so that it doesn't show up at all, and set a position key frame by pressing "Option" or "Alt" on a PC, and the peaky. That sets a position key frame for that layer. I'll move forward maybe five frames, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times on the page down key and then just click and drag this while holding Shift over to the right side, nice and far over there. Now I'll set my work area to right around here, V on the keyboard for the endpoint, and N on the keyboard for the out point, and then press the space bar to preview that. There we go. We just got this nice quick light sweep that might be just slightly too fast. I want to shift this key frame over one more frame. It's already selected, and to nudge this over one frame, I'm just going to hold down Option or Alt and press the right arrow key. Now it moves just a little bit slower. That's exactly what I wanted. Now, I want to go ahead and pre-comp this layer because the transition is going to be made up of multiples of this skewed rectangle, and I want to keep them all nice and tidy just like we did with the burst. I'm going to pre-compose it by coming up to Layer, down to the bottom, pre-compose, and we'll rename this transition. I can get rid of the comp one, and in this case, I do want to move all the attributes into the new composition. I'll click "OK" and that worked, but I want to point something out. The new comp that we just generated is actually taking up the entire duration of this comp. If I double-click into this transition comp, you can see that the pre-comps duration is exactly the same and there's actually a whole lot of nothing before that layer. Now, that's not how I want to handle this pre-comp, and there's actually an option that I could have checked before creating it that would have made it the way that I want it. Let me undo Command Z or Control Z on a PC, and we're going to pre-compose this one more time. Come up to layer down to pre-compose, and this time with move all attributes into new compositions selected, I'm also going to check the box that says, "Adjust composition duration to the time-span of the selected layers." I'll check that box and click "OK" and now the layer was the framework for the new pre-comp. Its starts right where it started before and the pre-comp if I double-click into it, is the same length as that layer. That way my animation happens right at the beginning of the pre-comp. Let me zoom in there a little bit. Press "B" to set my endpoint for the work area, press "N" for the out point, and then just press a "U" to bring up all my key frames, and now I can play this back and see that transition happening. I'll extend this out just a little bit further and now I can continue with my animation. I want to make a second bar now that's a little bit wider. I'm going to duplicate this layer by selecting it and pressing "Command" or "Control D." Click and drag this layer forward in time a little bit so that there's a gap between the two, and then move forward in time and then just extend this out a little bit further. I clicked and dragged on the bar between the two dots and then held down Shift to snap it on that horizontal axis. But I can only go so far with this before we start to see the edge of the layer. I want to make sure I don't go beyond that point. Now just compare those two bars. Maybe I'll drag the right side out a little bit too. Click and drag while holding Shift. It looks like that's about as wide as I can get so that'll be my widest bar, and then let's duplicate this again. I'll duplicate, shift it forward in time, two or three frames and then this one, we'll make nice and skinny. I'll click and drag while holding shift on each edge and make it skinnier and play that back. That's not bad, but I think I'm going to shift this in time just a little bit further. I just moved it one more frame so there's a bigger gap between those two. I also noticed this little white sliver here, which is actually part of this layer, the widest bar. That's happening just because the position key frames from the first layer didn't move far enough to get this solid all the way off the screen. Let me just press P to bring up those key frames and then just shift this over a little bit more, so we don't see that white bar, and that should be good. I think what I actually want to do is reverse the order of these two layers so that the skinny one comes before the wider one. Let me just rearrange the order of these and move this one forward, move this one back, so these two are closer together. They're just offset by one frame, and then the third one comes in, the wide one, right about there. I think I'm actually going to need to make this even wider because I needed to cover up most of the screen. That way it can turn all the layers off beneath it as we transition into the high score screen, and I already know that I can't make the mask wider because then we see the edge of the layer, so I actually need to make the solid wider. To do that, I'm going to come up to layer, solid settings with that layer selected. Solid settings and then move this out of the way, so we can see it, and I will need to increase the width. I'll just double the width by typing in 2400 and click ''Off'' and then click ''New''. Now the reason it says new instead of okay is because I'm modifying a solid that's used multiple times and in order to preserve all of the other versions of that solid, I have to create a new one, so that's fine. I'll just click on ''New'', and this actually modified the angle of my path that basically stretched the path out as I did that. I just really quickly want to modify this by clicking and dragging while holding shift and line that up as best as I can by i like that, but now I have a much wider band and that's probably wider than it needs to be. I'm going to back this up a little bit on the right side, pull it in a little bit on the left side. But that way, right here on this frame, most of the comp is covered and I'll be able to turn off all the layers before this point in time on this frame, and turn on all of the new layers that we're going to create after that point in time. I just want to give a little bit more of a gap here, so I'm going to shift this layer forward and time one frame and play that back. Again, it's not moving far enough off-screen, so I'm going to press P on the keyboard, go to that second key frame and then just shift it over a little bit more and play that back. That looks good. Now I just want to add two more bars on the left side of this wide one and to do that, I'll just duplicate the first two. Select them by clicking and shift clicking on the second press command or control D to duplicate. Then click and drag these up to the top of the layer stack, let go, and then shift them forward in time. Let's see where that wide band ends, right about there and then I'll bring these two layers back, and before this one's completely gone, I'll bring the next one on. Then maybe add a little bit more of a gap between those two. On this one, I think I'll make it just slightly skinnier. There we go, and play that back. There's my really fast transition. This should work really well for me, so I'm going to close this transition comp, and actually I forgot to rename it that second times. Let me go back to the project panel and rename this comp so press enter with it selected and then just select that comp one and delete it. Then I can close out of that transition and see what it looks like in my main comp so let's back this up and play from there. I'll set my work area out point at that point by pressing N and then play that again. Very cool. Now what I can do is find the frame where that wideband is covering up most of the artwork which actually, right there, it's covering up everything. That's where I can just trim the player's score and the taco truck. Let me unlock that player's score layer, select it and shift click on the taco truck, and then trim these layers to this point in time by pressing option or alt and the right square bracket on the keyboard. That way after this frame, those two layers will be gone, and we'll be left with just the background. Let's play that back and there's our transition. One last thing I want to do to this transition is give it a little bit more color because right now it's just this pure, solid white, and I want to give it a more goldie color, more of a gold glow. So to do that, I'm going to add a new effect that we haven't used before called fill. I'll come over to my effects and presets and type in fill and right here under generate, we have the fill effect. I'll drag that out onto my layer, the transition layer and let go, and just like the gradient effect, it gives me a color control and it's replacing what's on this layer, but it only gives me one color control. We're not making a gradient. It's just filling the entire layer with this color, but it's still preserving all of the transparency, all of those gaps in-between bars, which is really great. I just want to change this color from solid red to something more gold so maybe in the orangey yellow colors and it just increased the saturation until we get that little bit of a glow. Now I want to find that sweet spot where it's not pure white, but we don't get a fill with this yellow color. I just want the edge. You can see where it's softer, right here to be a little bit more gold, but the inside to still be nice and bright white right there. Now if I change the hue of this, you can see that it's just making it glow and tinting the white just slightly in whatever hue that we set this to. We'll put it right there in the orangey red area and click ''Okay'' and now that's nice and glowy. Play it back. Give Aftereffects a chance to preview and there we go. We've got this nice and bright transition that wipes across the screen and hides all the other elements. To finish that off, I'm just going to trim the end of this layer to the last frame where nothing is on screen anymore, option or alt and the right square bracket to trim that off and our transition is complete. 26. Working With Text: All right. Now we need to make what happens after the transition which is the high score screen. What I want to happen is have this white go across and the words, high score up here, nice and big right here with the taco that we have under our assets. There we go this taco right at the top, it'll take up most of the screen and then it will scale down and the high scores for probably first through fifth or sixth place will fill in here. It'll say player one, enter your initials, and you'll be able to customize your initials to go in the first place high score. Once all that's done animating on, we'll just loop back to the game-playing using the same transition to get back to a blank screen. Let's go to a rate where we have a blank screen and I'll zoom in on my timeline with the plus key on the keyboard, and we're going to use a new tool to make text and that's this one right here, the uppercase T, this is the text tool. I'm going to click on that and to use this all you need to do is click and then just type some text. Then to apply this, you can hit the Enter key that's next to your number pad on the keyboard, not the Return key, if you press return, that'll just drop down a line. If your keyboard doesn't have the Enter key, just come up and select a different tool like the Selection tool. That commits the text and you now have this as its own layer that you can click and drag around. You see down here in the layers panel it has its own icon, that same uppercase T as the text tool. Some other panels actually opened up for me that you can't see because I just don't have much screen real estate. But if I click and drag my effects and presets up a little bit, I now have the paragraph panel, as well as the character panels showing up. These are stacked in a way that's different from this section of panels. Remember, they can collapse and expand like this. I want to switch that out. To do that, I'm just going to click and drag this Character panel up above the effects and presets and below the Align panel. Right down here I want it to attach it below the Align panel and I'll let go. Then I'll just grab my Paragraph panel, and drag that right on top of the Character panel. Now, those two belong together and they're both separate from my other two sections. First of all in our Character panel, this is where we can control all of the styling of this text. First of all, this little icon right here with two different size T icons, that's the size of the text measured in pixels. So 36 pixels tall. If I click and drag this, that increases the size of the text. You'll notice that everything is scaling from this anchor point still from the bottom left corner of the layer. Now, this is something that's unique to text layers. If I click and drag this over here, the anchor point is defaulted to what's called the base line of the text. If I zoom in here with my greater then sign a couple times and then reposition with the Space bar, this baseline is basically where all of the letters are sitting. If you imagine writing in a lined notebook, every line is the baseline for that line. That's where you going to line up the bottoms of all of your characters. But it's also aligned with whatever justification you have for your text. What that means is where your text is basically oriented. As I typed that text out, it started on the left and moved to the right. So it is left justified. I can verify that by coming over to the paragraph tab, this is where we set justification, and you can see that this little button is selected, it's active. This is the left align text button. If I wanted this text to be centered on the screen, then I would need to center justify it by clicking on the centered text button. Now that anchor point is right in the middle of the text. I can edit this text by double-clicking on it, even with just my selection tool, and then type something else. Something like my name. After effects updates, I can click off of this and you can see the anchor point is right there in the middle. No matter what I do to this text, maybe I add some more spaces in there, it's going to be center justified and aligned centered on that anchor point. I can also right justify it and then the text will move to the left based on that anchor point, but in most cases I use either left or center justified text. Now, here's something important to note. Just like any other layer, I can move the anchor point. Because all of the other transformations like rotation, are still happening around that anchor point. Let me undo that and switch to my anchor point tool. If I click and drag this anchor point over here and then rotate the layer again, it respects that anchor point. However, the text justification does not. I'll undo one more time and then left align my text. You can see that the anchor point stayed where I put it even though the text is aligning to the left edge or the origin of this text layer. That's important to know because if you ever need to get back to the original alignment, you're going to have to double-click on the anchor point tool. Watch what happens when I do that. Double-click, it goes back to where it was originally. You can center align again, right justify again, and it's back to the way that it was. Let's go back to the Character palette and take a look at some more options that we have. We have some color controls for fill and for stroke, stroke is just an outline. We also have the ability to change the font, and I already know that I want to change this to Hydrophilia so that it matches everything else. So let me just scroll down the list. There we see Hydrophilia Iced and a little preview of what that font looks like. I'll click on that and there's our 8-bit font. There are a lot of other really fine tune controls that you can have for your text. But we're probably not going to need to get into much of this at all. For now, let's just type out the text that should be here, which is high score. So I'm going to switch to my selection tool again and double-click to make a selection of all of that text and then type out High Score. I'll click off of this with the Selection tool and there actually is one more setting that we can't see right now because I don't have enough room that I want to use. So I'm just going to grab my Effects and Presets panel and drag it down even further, and here are a few more controls for the Character panel. The one I'm looking for are the two uppercase Ts, which is all caps. If I click on that, my text goes to all caps and even if I type in lowercase letters, it will always be all caps. That looks good. Now, I also want to align this to the center of the comp, so since I want it centered, I'm actually going to switch my paragraph alignment back to the center, and then I'll come up to my align palette and align this layer to the compositions horizontal center. Now, I'll go back to my character palette and just scale it up a little bit, so it's nice and big, and then bring out the Taco layer. So I'll just click and drag that asset out here and let go. I want to make sure this is horizontally centered as well, so I'll click on Align Horizontally in my Align palette, and then just reposition this text, click and drag while holding Shift so that it moves below that Taco a little bit and maybe scale the Taco down just a little bit. So I'll click and drag on one of these handles while holding shift and scale it down to about there. Now I'm going to fit my comp to the viewer by pressing Shift question mark. I want to be able to see exactly where the center of my comp is just for a visual reference. There are guides in After Effects that allow you to do this very easily. If you come down to this little menu right here and click, the first option is called Title/Action safe. If I click on that, I get a couple of boxes with some tick marks on it, but also a center cross hair right in the middle of my comp. You can actually turn that setting on and off, just by pressing the apostrophe key on the keyboard. That's a quick way to enable and disable that guide and it comes in very handy for lining things up nicely. Basically, what I want is for this text and the Taco to seem pretty balanced and centered in this composition. Maybe the texts could be just a little bit larger, push it down just a little bit more, and then bring that Taco down a little bit as well. Then I'll press the apostrophe key on the keyboard to hide that guide, and I think that looks pretty good. But these two layers are not sitting below the screen affects adjustment layer, so they're not getting that screen effect that we built. So let me grab both of those layers, click and then Shift click, and then drag them down below, not only the screen effects, but also the transition because that needs to cover this stuff up over that one frame of transition. Now the effects are applied to that text and icon, and I'll back this up to where I want the layers to be turned on, which would be right here, right where the transition is overlapping everything. I'll press the left square bracket on my keyboard to shift the end point of each of those layers to that point in time, and now our transition wipes away the truck and the score and brings on this text. Let's just preview that section B on the keyboard for the endpoint of my work area, and on the keyboard for the output of my work area and play that back. Cool. I think the Taco actually could be a little bit bigger, I just want to press S on the keyboard to make sure I don't scale it up beyond 100 percent and I did. Let me set that back down to 100 and just move that Taco up a little bit. I like the way that that's all placed. Now, let's make this a little bit more interesting and instead of just having the text appear, have it animate on. Now, there are special animators inside of After Effects called text animators that make animated text really fun and easy. I actually have an entire course dedicated to this topic as well, which you can check out after this class if you're interested. But we can just apply a preset under our Effects and Presets panel. So let me expand this up again, and right at the top you see this category called Animation Presets. I'll total that down and then scroll down a little bit further and find that there's a section for text. Let me total that open and we have a whole bunch more categories. The one that we want is animate in. Now you apply presets in the same way that you apply affects. A preset is just a way to save animations and effects the way that you've set them up. As you can see, many presets come with After Effects. The one I want to use is called decoder fade in. It's going to apply this animation to your layer at whatever point you're at in the timeline. So I'm going to back my play head back up to the start of the layer, so it starts right at the beginning. Then I'll just click and drag this down to that layer and let go. Now if I go forward in time, you can see what's happening. Now, this is a very slow animation. I'll zoom out on my timeline by pressing minus on the keyboard, and then just press U to bring up the key frames. These are the two key frames that are driving this animation and you can see that it takes 1, 2, 3, almost four full seconds to animate on. So let's play this back and see what it looks like. It's unscrambling this text as they are fading on one character at a time. Now, I'm not going to go through explaining how text animators work and how this is even being pulled off with just two key frames, because it's a very advanced topic and like I said, I have an entire course dedicated to it. But all I want to do is speed this up so that this animates on much quicker. So let me just stop that animation and grab the second key frame and pull it way far back. Maybe around there, and I'll probably push this text layer forward in time a little bit just so it doesn't start animating on until most of the transition is already complete. Now let's play this back and see what it looks like. So that goes much quicker and it's just a cool little writing or typing out the text, while also scrambling the letters a little bit, which is just a fun effect. The great thing about text animators is that you can adjust the text after the fact, and the animation will still be preserved. So if I double-click on my text layer down here in the layers panel, that also makes the text editable and makes a selection of everything. So let's just add a little bit more emphasis and add an exclamation mark at the end. So it's high score. I'll deselect that text and we'll play this again. Even though I edited the text, the animation is preserved and updated for your new text. If I want to slow it down a little bit, all I have to do is drag this second key frame out a little bit, and now it just takes slightly more time to animate on, but I think that looks really nice. Next up, let's actually make a duplicate of this text by selecting it and pressing "Command" or "Control D", and drag that copy, down below the first copy. Then I'm going to solo both of these layers, so that we're not distracted by everything else. I want to just bump this second layer down a little bit just before there starts to be a gap here between the two copies. So I want those two to not show any gaps. Then I'm going to change the color of this second layer. So I'm going to go into the character palette, and I can just change the color this way. That adds some depth to the text. But I actually want to push it even a step further, and add a gradient to this text that matches the color palette of what we already have. So I'll come down to my taco layer and solo that as well, and I'll pull two colors from this. Let's add a gradient ramp effect, by coming up to our effects and presets and type in gradient ramp. Here we go. I'll double-click, and then under my gradient ramp, I need to make sure that these points that start and end are aligned to the text better. So let me zoom out with my less-than sign. Click and drag on this point, the start of the ramp and hold ''Shift'' to snap that vertically, and then just align it to the top of the text, and then do the same thing for the end of the ramp. Just align that to the bottom. I'll zoom back in with the Zoom tool, ''Z'' on the keyboard, and then switch back to my selection tool, ''V'' on the keyboard. Now we can change these colors. So let's make the top color, this dark color, just this yellowy-orange color. Then grab the end color and make that this bright red. Now we've got this cool gradient, adding this 3 Dness to the text, and when I turn off all of the solo switches, it looks really cool in this 8-bit look. So let me fit this comp to the viewer by pressing "Shift question mark", and what we want to happen after this text types out is to have the taco and the texts scale down and move to the top, and all the other text fill in. To make this easy and only have to animate one element, I'm going to parent both the high score texts to the taco layer. So with those selected, I'll grab my Pick Whip, for the parent Pick Whip and click and drag to the taco and let go. Now wherever the taco goes, the texts will move with it, and I'll add some key frames on the scale and position, maybe right there in time. So option ''S'' adds a scale keyframe or ''Alt S'' on a PC. Then option ''P'' or ''Alt'' P on PC adds a position keyframe. So that's my initial state. Then I'll go forward maybe 10 frames, I'll hold ''Shift'' and page down on the keyboard to go 10 frames forward. Then I'll scale this down to maybe 50 percent and move that up while holding ''Shift'', to give me plenty of room to fill in the rest of the screen with the high scores. Let's move that nice and close to the top. Finally I just want to select all four of these key frames. Right-click and say, Keyframe Assistant, Easy Ease. That way the animation is nice and smooth and we'll play this back to see what it looks like. Great. I think the timing is just a little bit too quick. Let me grab those four key frames and move them forward in time a little bit. I think that's better. Now we can fill in the rest of the text. Let's add a new text layer by coming up to our text tool. We'll put the places over here. So first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and then their scores, and then the initials of the people who had those scores. Let's start over here by just making the column with the places. I'll click once and I'll type in first. This text is way too big and it's centered justified right now. So let me just expand this character panel a little bit, and try scaling this down. Now I want to point out that that actually isn't doing anything. That's because I don't have any of my text selected. Even though I have the layer selected, the text within it isn't changed because it's not selected, and you can have multiple sizes of text within a single text layer. So first I need to double-click on that text to select it. Then I can scale it down to the size that I want. So maybe something more like that. We'll say 70 pixels. Then I'll come over to my paragraph panel and just left justify it. Then I'll click once at the end of that text, so that my cursor goes right after the T, and I'll press "Return" on the keyboard to drop down a line and type in second. Then I'll go third, fourth, and fifth. That's probably plenty of places to fill out this text screen. I'll apply that text by clicking on the selection tool, and I want to put a little bit more space between each line. This is something that we can actually adjust in the character palette. So let me go back to the character Panel, and I realized that just said character palette and then character panel. That's just a bad habit of mine. When I originally learned Adobe software, I was taught that it was called the character palette, and I think eventually Adobe switched to calling all of these, panels. So if you hear me say palette, I'm sorry, that's just a bad habit of mine. But anyway, the setting that I want to adjust is this one right here, where we have two A's on top of each other with these two arrows, this is the spacing between lines and that's called leading. Right now, it's set to Auto, so it's based on the size of your text and it automatically changes as you change the size of the text. But if you click and drag to the right, on these numbers, you can actually set that spacing very precisely. So let's say just a 100 pixels or maybe 115. You can also click and just type that number and then press "Enter". So now there's some nice gaps between this text. I'll move it about where I want it, and then scroll to the top of my layers and drop it down below the transition. Let go, and now the effects are all applied to that. I don't want all of this text to be red. What I want to do is alternate between the colors that we already have with the taco. To make sure that I'm sampling the right colors, I need to turn off the screen affects adjustment layer, so that we're not manipulating those colors before I sample it. So let me zoom in here with my Zoom tool ''Z'' on the keyboard and click once. For the first line, let's just make that yellow. So I'll grab my text tool, double-click on the word first. Then over in the character panel, I have an eyedropper right here. My fill color is active. You can switch between your fill and stroke just by clicking on them. But with that active, I'll click on my ''Eyedropper'', and this allows you to sample any color in after effects. So I'll choose the yellow color, and that makes that text the yellow and the rest is still red. From here, I can double-click on the second text and then grab my eyedropper again and then pick a green color. Then for the third color, I'll double-click on that, grab my eyedropper and then maybe sample the bright red color. I'll apply that and just reposition, so I can see all the other text, and I'll just repeat this pattern. So next up, would be yellow again, I'll grab my text tool, double-click on fourth, eyedropper and then sample that yellow color. Then finally with fifth double-click on that text, grab the eyedropper, sample the green, and there we go. I'll apply that text and then enable my screen effects one more time. Then press "Shift" "Question mark" to fit that to the comp. So there we go. We've got our alternating colors, yellow, green, red, yellow, green. Now I have two other columns that I need to fill in. But before I do that, I'm actually going to apply the decoder text animation first. So let me just type in my effects in presets, search bar, decode, and there's our Decoder Fade In. I'll move the start of this layer to, this point in time, right about here, right where this animation is resolving and press the left square bracket to shift the endpoint of that layer to that point in time. Then I'll just double-click on "Decoder Fade In", and that will automatically apply it to your selection. Then press ''U'' to bring up those key frames and make this animation much shorter once again. Now let's play this back and see what it looks like. It just brings in all of that text one line at a time. Very nice. Now that all of that is set up, the colors, the spacing between text and the animation, I can actually just duplicate this layer by selecting it, pressing "Command" or "Control D", and then click and drag this text layer over a little bit while holding ''Shift'' and edit this text further. That way you don't have to redo all these colors and all the animation and everything every time that I make a new column. So the first place score will be whatever score, I had mindset to before I transitioned. So right there, 1, 1, 7, 6, 2, 11,762 will be the first place score. So to get into that text, I'm going to double-click on it, and that's selected everything because I was on the selection tool. But then I'll just double-click on the first line again and then type in that number, 11,762. That's all I need to do for first place. For the rest of the scores, I can just make up numbers, but I don't want to click and drag to make a selection of everything because if I type in a new number like 10,886, then I drop down a line and a type in 9,587. You see that it just keeps typing it whatever you had your cursor on previously. So I lost all that color styling. So I'm going to undo a couple of times, press "Command Z" to get back to this text, and then double-click on second again and do one line at a time. So let's say 11,354. These are completely random numbers, we'll do 10,886. Then double-click on fourth and we'll say 10,654, and then for fifth place we'll do 10,312. Then I'll just click off with the selection tool. Now I have all of my high scores there. Now I want to align this to the center of the comp. I could do that by I, just by bringing up the guides with my apostrophe key. Or I could just align this to the center of the composition. So that's what I'll do for that layer. Then I'll just bring this text and column over a little bit. So it's not so far away from this one. If I go back a little bit in time and scrub through this, you can see that they're both animating on at the same time. Now, I'd like to stagger this a little bit. So let me just grab this layer and move it forward, maybe two or three frames, and now they're all going to animate out a little bit more line by line. Now let's duplicate this layer one more time. Click and drag while holding ''Shift''. Just space these gaps out evenly. This is the column that it's going to have the high score initials at. So the first one, I'm going to put in my own initials. So double-click on top score and type in JOB for my initials. The second one, let's do SMB for Super Mario Brothers, will do LOZ for Legend of Zelda, DKJ for Donkey Kong Junior, and we'll do STH for Sonic the Hedgehog. Now, obviously you can put whatever you want in all of these, but that's just what I'm using as filler text. Then I'll offset this three more frames in time. So it is again a staggered from the first two animations. So let's play this back and see what it looks like. Very cool, but here's the thing. My initials shouldn't actually be in here at the start because this is the screen where you enter in your initials. So I want to double-click on this text layer and then double-click on those first letters and then just press the ''Delete key''. That way that line will be empty and I can animate those in separately. So I will just apply that, so that frame is empty. Then we need text down here at the bottom that says Player 1, enter your initials. So I'm just going to duplicate this text layer 1 more time, ''Command'' or ''Ctrl'' D with it selected, click and drag it down here and double-click on it and type in player 1. Then drop down a line by pressing return, enter your initials. I'll grab the selection tool to apply that and let's make this text just white. So with that selected, I can use this little set to white Command to make that white. I'll also center justify that text by going to paragraph and clicking on the center text button. Now that shifts it off center. So I need to make sure to align this to the center or horizontal center of the comp. I'll go back to my character panel, and switch this letting setting back to Auto by clicking on this arrow and then selecting Auto. That brings the text a little bit closer together, and then I'll scale it up just a little bit, so it's a little bit easier to read. So maybe somewhere around there, and then, I'll click and drag it down while holding ''Shift'', so that we have room for everything else on the screen. Now it looks like all three of these columns could be moved up a little bit to make this centered a little bit better. So I'll select all three by clicking and shift clicking on the other two, then click and drag while holding shift. That way all my text is nice and centered. Can't forget to offset this text layer a little bit as well. So we'll go 1, 2, 3 frames forward in that way, that animation in staggered a little bit on that as well. Once that's done typing out, I need to add another text layer right here, that types out my initials. So for that, I'll just duplicate this third column one more time. ''Command'' D to duplicate, double-click to edit, and then type JOB. Now I remembered what the colors were for that line. So I don't have to change anything there. I'll deselect with the selection tool and then just move this up above that layer, so that it happens in sequence and move this over in time a little bit. Now because there are only three characters on this text line, it's going to animate much slower. See how slow that typed out. I wanted to happen a lot faster than that. So I'm going to press ''U'' to bring up the key frames, and then just shorten this up quite a bit. There we go. Now we have that entire screen animating on with just a few texts layers, but it all matches are designed very well. So let me back this up to just before the transition. I'll set my work area over there. Turned off my guides by pressing the apostrophe key and play it back. Perfect. Now all we need to do is transition back to the beginning of the animation, where our score and the truck, are there at this state. So let's pick a point in time somewhere right about there that we want the next transition to happen. I'll grab that transition layer and duplicate it by pressing ''Command'' ''D'', and then click and drag this over to that point in time. So that right after those initials are entered in, will have the transition happen and see if that timing works well. So transition to the high score screen, everything types out. I'm going to need to watch this one more time to get real-time playback. But here we go, high-score, scores, initials and then transition. I think that's good timing. So what I need to do is again, find that frame right there that all of the text is being covered up by, and that's where I'll trim all of these layers off. So let me give myself a little more room. Select those texts layers all the way down to this bottom one, by clicking on the first one, holding Shift and clicking on the last one. And then pressing Option or Alt on a PC and the right square bracket, to trim those layers out points to the play head. Now those will be gone after the transition. Now what I need to do is get the truck and the high score back to this point in time. So that the loop lines up. To do that, I'll just go back, to the beginning of my animation, grab that taco truck and the player's score and duplicate them. Drag them up to the top of my comp, just above all those texts layers and let go, and then just shift the endpoint of that play head, to this point in time right here. So with those layers selected, I'll press the left square bracket to bring those layers back at that point in time, and the transition seamlessly brings that truck and score back in, and as soon as that transition is gone, right on that frame right there, that is where my loop point can be. So I'll press ''N'' on the keyboard to set my work area there. I'll go to the beginning of a comp and press ''B'', and then I'll give myself plenty more room and fit the comp to 100 percent. So we can see this a little bit bigger and play it back. After vax is going to take a little bit of time, to have to re-preview all of this animation. But if we did everything right, once it's finished, it should be a perfect, seamless loop and our animation, we'll be ready for us to put back into our Taco Tuesday main comp, right underneath that arcade cabinet. So let's take a look at what this looks like. Perfect. It loops seamlessly and it looks like it's just going to continue playing forever. That's exactly what we needed. Because we gave our self that full second of buffer time, we can control how much time we want between the loop and the start of the animation. Next, we can go to our main comp and get this looking the way that it should inside of this arcade cabinet. 27. Placing The Screen: Out in our main render comp, Taco Tuesday comp, we can now see the entire animation happening within the arcade cabinet. But obviously it's not fitting inside the frame very well. It's just this perfect square that I scaled down to fit the frame slightly. But if I zoom in here with the greater than sign a couple times and reposition with the space bar. What I need to do is basically warp this square so that it fits the angle of this arcade cabinet frame because the screen is at an angle a little bit, and to fake that perspective, I'm going to need to distort this pre-comp. Let me bring this back up just a little bit. With that layer selected the pre-comp of screen, we're going to achieve this through an effect called CC power pin. Let's go over to our effects in presets menu and type in power, and that should bring up the effect underneath distort CC power pin. CC is just an abbreviation of a company that made a bunch of effects for after effects. But the real effects name is power pin. With that, I'll double-click on it. It applies it to my selection of that pre-comp, and what this effect does is allows you to distort whatever you apply it to based on the corner controls. I have a target cross-hair now showing up on each one of these corners, and I can just free hand grab and drag them around and you can see that it very easily allows me to distort my image. What's really great about this effect is that I can also grab any of these lines, any of these guides click and drag and modify those. As I'm doing this, you can see that all of these position properties, each one for one of the corners are updating. It's just a very intuitive way to make this type of distortion. Let me start by just resetting this effect back to the way that it was, and then I'll grab the top bar up here and just bring it down just above the top part of this frame. Then I'll do the same for the bottom edge. I'll hold space-bar to pan down a little bit. Then I'll grab that bottom bar and bringing it up to the bottom of the frame. Most of my image is within the bounds of that frame, but it is sticking out a little bit on the left and not on the right. That's telling me that this pre-comp is not centered in my composition. Just really quickly I'm going to select that layer, come up to my align palette, give myself some more room here and align it to the center of the composition horizontally. That way I know that it's perfectly centered within the rest of the artwork and I made the artwork centered within the document so that's why I know it's all nice and aligned. Then to get back to my Effect controls, I need to click on "Power Pin" and that brings these controls back up. What I want to do is basically bring in the left and right top corners so that this guideline matches up with the left line and the right line of that frame. I'll just click and drag and again, I can hold Shift to constrain the distortion to left and right or up and down, but I'll bring that into the right until that angle matches pretty closely to the left edge there and I'll do the same thing for the right edge, right about there. Now we can know that the perspective matches really well. Let's go to a frame, maybe the high score frame right there. We can see that now it looks like it's actually on that screen or at least a lot more like it's on that screen. I'll zoom out a little bit and just turn this effect off and back on. You can see that just with that little bit of distortion, we've really matched to that perspective and made this look a lot more believable, like it's actually on this arcade cabinet. With that done, let's just preview our animation and see how it looks. I'll set my out work area at the end of the loop, right about there. I'll press N on the keyboard and then play this back and I'm going to edit out these rendering sections just to save on time. There we go. That looks really good. I think everything is working great other than the score is just getting cut off in the top left corner a little bit. What I want to do is just on this frame, I'll go back over to my screen in pre-comp and find that player's score layer and get to the position property for the numbers effect, and then move it over a little bit and then down probably quite a bit. Somewhere around there and even that is a little bit getting cut off still, so I'll bring it over to the right just a bit more and check one more time. That looks like it's going to fit within the frame. Let's just make sure that moving that doesn't interfere with any of the other graphics. I think that works, and I just need to make sure that I also apply that same position adjustment to the second copy of the player's score at the end here so that the loop matches. We can see this is the end of the animation and this is the beginning. There are two different positions, so I need to move it to 279 by 78. Let's go to that second copy, go see where that is and say 279 on the x and a 78 on the y. Now those two are in the exact same spot. I'll save that and then go back to my main comp and now that score is always going to be within the frame in this main comp. The only other thing that I see is that Enter is getting covered up a lot by that joystick. I think there's enough of a gap between all of this text and this text that I could probably just bump that up a little. Let me go back to my screen, grab that layer, click and drag while holding Shift, and then go back to our main comp and see that looks like. Much better now that's just barely covering up part of the E, but you can read everything nice and clearly. Next will be animating this joystick and the button to correspond to the animation. 28. The Joystick and Buttons: So to animate this joystick moving, which would be moving in 3D space and have a lot of perspective. It's going to be a little bit of trickery since we're using 2D graphics. Now, the way that I prepared this artwork, just so we can see how this is all going to work. I'll zoom in here a little bit with my zoom tool. I have these control mattes on one layer. If I solo that artwork, you can see that it's just the bottom part of the little disk that goes around the joystick and the buttons but because it's on top of those, I can move the buttons that are underneath them down, and it looks like they're being pressed even though the layer is just really moving. The control mattes are hiding that area of the button and the joystick. So let me undo to get back to where that button needs to be, right there, and that's part of what's going to make this animation possible. But for the joystick, we want that to be able to move forward and backward in space because that would be what makes the truck move up and down. Moving the joystick up and down and rotating it wouldn't give us that same effect. So what we're going to do is actually use the same power pin effect to shift the perspective on this joystick and hopefully make it look like it's moving forward and backward. So let's apply that effect by double-clicking on it, and then find the first move of that truck. So that would be right about there. So right there is the first frame and I want to set keyframes for the top two controls on this layer, not the bottom two because these aren't really going to be moving at all, just the top two so that I can squish the perspective in to make it look like that ball is moving away and towards us. So undo and set a keyframe for the top left and the top right properties on that power pin effect then I'll just press U to bring up the keyframes so I can see them easier, and then move forward until the truck stops moving. So right there and I'll set two more keyframes of the same value. So I'll click on the add key frame button for both of those properties, and that way I know where the start and end of this animation will be and basically I just want to move from the starting position into the forward position, hold that until about here and then move back to the starting position. So let's go forward three, five frames maybe, and then just pull these two handles in a little bit. So I'll bring this one in while holding shift. Do the same thing for this one and then maybe I'll also add in a little bit of rotation. Now, I don't want this rotation to happen around the center of the layer. I want it to happen down here at the base of the joystick because that's where it would rotate from. So I'm going to grab my anchor point tool, click, hold shift and drag down to about here and then set a rotation key frame by holding option or alt on a PC and press the R key, that sets a rotation keyframe. I'll back that up to the starting position and then just rotate this forward a little bit, just a couple of degrees, like that, five or six degrees, and now it rotates and angles forward just a little bit. We'll go to about there and I want to duplicate these three keyframes. So I'll select all three of them by clicking and dragging a box around them. Copy with command or control C and paste with command or control V and then get back to our starting position. I'll just zero out that rotation on that one frame, zero, press enter, and then easy ease all of these keyframes. Right-click keyframe assistant, easy ease. Let's preview that, just that little section B for the end point, N for the out point and preview and that's pretty convincing. I think I might be pinching it just a little bit too much at this point and to actually counteract that, I might just grab the selection tool and then grab this bar right here and pull it down just a little bit, just so this doesn't get too distorted, then I'll just copy those two keyframes that I just modified, go forward in time to the third keyframe set and paste and now there's less distortion on the ball. I think that's actually pretty convincing considering that we're doing it through an effect that's just warping the image. So that's good for the first move. Now, we just need to repeat this process for all of the other moves in the direction that the truck is moving. So the next move is going down and to the right a little bit. So let's find that first frame of movement. It looks like it's right there. I'll set my starting keyframes just by clicking and dragging on the add keyframe button, and then I'll go forward in time the same amount as these two. So there's 1, 2, 3, 4 frames between the starting and angled position. So I'll go 1, 2, 3, 4 times on the page down key to go four frames forward, and this time I want to bring these handles out a little bit and then rotate to the right again. So something like that. I switched my rotation tool by pressing W and then just clicked and dragged and that automatically added a keyframe, since we already had keyframes on this layer. So now that goes from the resting position to the down and right position and then let's say this is where it should stop. So I'll backup four frames from there, page up 1, 2, 3, 4 times, add a keyframe, which are the same value as the previous keyframes, go forward 1, 2, 3, 4 frames and then copy and paste these keyframes, the resting position, command C or control C to copy, command V or control V to paste, and let's preview that. So far so good. We've got a couple more moves here. Let's go forward in time. Right here, we've got a little move back and then it goes forward. So this is going to have a few more keyframes but it looks like right about there is where we need to duplicate the starting position. So I'll add a keyframe in all three of those properties. I'll go forward four frames, 1, 2, 3, 4 and we need to move this basically back to the left. So I'm just going to rotate this back a little bit and it just barely moves up. So I'm just going to barely distort this up by bringing these two points in just a little bit and again, dragging this one down. I switched my selection tool by pressing V on the keyboard. That way it just distorts ever so slightly backwards and maybe that rotation is too extreme. I'll change this to negative three degrees because it is a slower move. So the joystick shouldn't move as much. Okay, and then it needs to have a rest at this point. So in this case, I think I'm going to just let it naturally move slower from this position to this position. So instead of copying these keyframes and moving over four frames to the standard resting pose. I'm just going to copy the resting pose, command C, and paste here, command V, and that way it'll just take a little bit longer for the joystick to move, which matches the movement of the truck a little bit better. So let's just preview that portion. Yeah. Actually, I don't like the way that that looks. So let me just grab this set of keyframes again, copy and paste, make sure that's four frames, 1, 2, 3, 4, yeah, and instead of going back to it's resting position, why don't we just have it move straight into it's up and to the right position? That will probably work out better. So maybe at this point I'll grab these three keyframes, move them forward, rotate this forward just a little bit and then pinch these handles in a little bit and drag that down. Maybe bring that end even just a little bit more because this one is a bigger move. That looks pretty good, and I'll find that resting point where the taco truck stops moving right there and then I'll backup four frames 1, 2, 3, 4, set my keyframes for those three properties, and then go forward four frames, 1, 2, 3, 4 and this should be my resting position. Yep, so copy 1, 2, 3, 4 again and then paste. Let's see that joystick movement. I think that's good. It's just the motion right here with the joystick seems to be going faster than the truck. So I'm actually going to try one more time to delete these three keyframes and just see if making that move longer from here to here, and then here works better. So with those three frames selected, I'll delete and play that back again. Yeah, I like that speed better, but what I'm noticing now is that the joystick starts moving to the right before it should. Looks like right there is where it should really start moving. So I'm going to grab these three keyframes, move them forward and then see what happens. Yeah, I like that timing a lot better and with that, I think all of the joystick is done. So let's just preview that as a whole. Yeah, I'd say that looks like the joystick is controlling the truck. So that's done and now we can move on to the button. Now, I think I'm just going to choose the purple button as the one that fires the taco. You can do the orange button if you'd like but we need to go to the first point where that taco comes out, which is right there and then I'll back up, maybe just even one frame and I'll set a keyframe for the position of that layer. So with that layer selected button one, I'll press option or alt and the P key to set a position keyframe and zoom in nice and close here, and then I could just go forward one frame and then drag this down while holding shift until it's all the way down. Not so far that we can see at the bottom here, but just right there so the button's all the way in, and then I'll go forward maybe three frames, 1, 2, 3 and go back to our starting position. So copy this first keyframe command C and then paste the keyframe, command V and easy ease all of these keyframes, right-click on them keyframe assistant, easy ease, and we'll see what that looks like. Set my work area and play that back and I think that lines up pretty well. Now, the reason why I didn't put any frames between these two keyframes is because if you think about it, when you're smashing a button on an arcade, it happens really quickly. So we're literally just going from all the way up to all the way down and then I'm letting a couple of frames happen between when it's down and raising back up when that spring underneath the button is pushing it back up. Okay. So now that I have that done, I can just select all three of these keyframes and copy because I'm going to use the same animation of that button for every time a taco comes out. So I'll just go to the next point where a taco is shot out, right there, backup one frame just before it appears and paste, and then that animation is going to repeat itself right on time with that taco. I'll go to the third taco that comes out, right there, backup a frame and paste one more time and there we go, the tacos shot out and our buttons and joysticks are now in sync with the animation. Let's take a look. Now it looks like somebody is playing the arcade game. We are very close to completely finishing this animation. All that's left is adding a camera movement right here at the transition. So we can zoom in on the screen and more easily read what's being on there, and then polishing everything off by adding a few more effects on top of everything in this comp, just to give it a little bit more of a style. 29. Camera Movement: Let's make that camera move happen. So I want the camera to zoom in on the screen of this arcade cabinet during the transition. So right about here. The way I'm going do this is by parenting everything to what's called a null object. And this is another type of layer that we haven't looked at yet. So to make one just come up to "layer", "New", "Null object", I'll click on that. We get this empty rectangle in the center of our comp. A null object is just an empty layer. It doesn't even render, but it holds all the same values that any other layer does. So if I open it up, I can see the transform controls and everything in there is identical to another layer. What this allows you to do is basically use the null object like a controller for other objects without rendering. So I can collapse this up and rename this null object by selecting it and pressing enter, and I'll call it camera move and then just press enter one more time to apply that, and then click and drag this up while holding shift, so that it's around the center of the arcade screen. Now I can select everything that makes up this arcade cabinet. So starting with the control mats, I'll shift, click down on the cabinet, and then scroll back up to the top of my layers and parent all of those layers to the null object. So I'll grab my pick whip, click and drag to that camera move null object and let go. Now, whatever I do to this null object, like move it around, everything that's parented to it will also move. I can also rotate this or scale it up, and this is how I'm going to fake a camera zooming in to the arcade screen. So I need to undo that, so I'm back to my initial state, and this is where I want the animation to start. So I'm going to add a scale key frame by pressing option or alt, and S on the keyboard to add that key frame. Then I'll go forward maybe 20 frames. So I'll hold down shift and press page down twice, and then zoom in. Now I made my artwork at twice the size that I need it to be to fit this comp. So I can know that I can safely scale this up to 200% without losing any detail in my artwork. So why don't we just go ahead and round that to 200% and scaling it up from that point didn't center the screen very well, just because of the way that the arcade cabinet proportions are. The screen is above the center of my comp. But I can animate the position of this null object as well to get it nice and centered up. So let's go back to the first key frame. I'm holding shift to snap my play head to that frame, and then at a position key frame as well, so option or alt and the p key. Then I'll go forward in time hold shift to snap, and then I'll just click and drag this down using my guides. Remember to get these title safe guides up, you just press the apostrophe key. But that way I can see the center of my composition there and write about there is nice and centered. I'll select all four key frames right-click "Key Frame Assistant", "Easy Ease" that will smooth out my motion and I'll just play that section back B and N to set my in and out points on the work area and press the space bar to play that back. So there's my camera move and I think it could actually be a little bit faster. So why don't I grab these two key frames and back it up five frames. I'll stop playback and hold down option or alt and the left arrow key five times. So one, two, three, four, five and see how that works. Okay, that's pretty good, but honestly, I think it can move even quicker. So I'm going to back it up five more frames. So one, two, three, four, five that's option or alt and the left arrow key. Yeah. I think that's a little bit snappier at that pace and it matches the rest of our animation. So I'm just going keep that distance at 10 frames between the two key frames. I think I also want to scale it up just a little bit more, and I know that's increasing the scale of the artwork beyond its full resolution, but we can get away with blowing this up a little bit more. So let me just scale this up until maybe the title is just cut off at the top of the screen there. Then just reposition this up slightly. I'll zoom in to 100 percent just to get a preview of what this looks like at 270 percent. I think that because my artwork is so basic and it has some grain to it, you don't really notice any loss of quality as after-effects is kind of blowing up the pixels to enlarge all of this artwork. I think this is going to look fine. So let me fit this back to 100 percent and play that one more time. Yeah, I think that looks really good. Okay, now, one thing about this camera move that's a little off is that the background does not move when this arcade cabinet scales up. In reality, if this was an actual camera move in 3 D space than the background would also move as the camera moves in. So I want to match that, but to fake the perspective and the parallax between the foreground and the background. I'm going to scale it up less. So let's set a scale key frame on the background layer by pressing option or alt and the S key as well as on the position. So option or alt and the P key to add position and scale key frames. I'll go forward 10 frames by pressing shift, page down. But now I can't see my background. I can still edit it though. So to do that, I'm just going to click and drag on one of the handles. Hold down shift to constrain the proportions and then increase it about that large. So I'm not really sure how much that's changed. I'm just eyeballing this, but we'll call that good and then click and drag down while holding shift. Just to also get some of that upward movement of the camera, I'll easy ease those key frames by right-clicking on them, going to key frame assistant and then easy ease. Now those two layers are both scaling up and moving down. But if you take a look, I'll just step through these frames. You can see that the arcade cabinet is scaling up larger at a higher rate than the background, and that's really creating that Parallax effect between the foreground and background that's making that a little bit more believable. So let's play that again. You can see that there is some more depth between those two elements now. I think that looks great. Now we just need to go to the end of the animation where it transitions again and pull the camera back out. So maybe right about here, we'll just copy and paste these key frames. So I'll zoom in with the plus key. Select these key frames. Go copy with command C, paste with Command V, and I need to reverse these two key frames so that it starts on the second pose, the zoomed in pose and goes back to this original pose. To do that, I can actually use a command in after effects. So I'll right-click, go to "Key Frame Assistant", and this time I'll click on "Time Reverse Key Frames", and that will literally just reverse their order. So I'll click on that, and now it zooms out instead of back in. I need to do the same thing for the background. So let's go back to this first frame. Scroll down to the bottom of my timeline. Copy these four key frames on the background. Select them command C, command V, right-click 'Key Frame Assistant", "Time-Reverse Key Frames". Now the background is going to move along with that arcade cabinet, and our loop frame will be right there, right when the transition is completed. I'll press N on my keyboard to set the out point, and then I'll scroll back to the beginning of my timeline and pick the frame that I want to loop at. Just before that head comes out, probably right about there we'll say frame 25. I'll press B on my keyboard for the loop, and we'll preview this whole thing. Give myself a little more room here and press the space bar. There we have it. Our completed animation that's 100 percent looping, complete with that camera movement. It's all looking great and all that's left is adding a few final polishing touches to the entire composition. 30. Final Effects: To finish all of this off, I just want to add some final touches using a couple of adjustment layers, so let's start by making one new adjustment layer, by coming up to layer, new adjustment layer. On this layer, I want to add another glow, so let me just search for glow over here in the effects in presets, scroll all the way down and there's glow, I'll double-click, and then modify some of these properties. I'm going to increase the threshold a little bit so not everything is so globally, so somewhere around 85 percent, and that knocks off some of the super bright blown out areas of the purple. I want to crank up the radius really high into the hundreds, maybe somewhere around 338. But that just gives everything this nice, soft glow around the edges. I want to make that a little bit more noticeable, so I'm going to increase the intensity up to 1.4, and now it really looks like that arcade cabinet is glowing, it's got this '80s retro vibe now. Let me just turn this off and back on and you can see everything is nice and soft and those colors are mixing together really well. Next, I want to add a new effect called unsharp mask, so let me close this glow up and type in unsharp, and there we go, unsharp mask under the blur unsharp category. I'll apply that to the adjustment layer by double-clicking, and I know it's called unsharp mask, but really what it's doing is looking for areas of contrast in your image. Between this dark purple and the lighter yellow is a good example, finding those areas of contrast and then increasing the contrast between them. It does less on these bigger areas that are just nice and smooth and flat, and more towards all of these little details. By default, it sets the amount to 15 and the radius to one, but if I increase the amount up really high, you can see that everything in here, I'll zoom in, has really gotten super contrasting and crunchy. If I turn that off and back on, you can see what that's doing. Let me reset that back down, and if I adjust the radius, it's going to extend how far out from those contrasted areas is being affected, so right around here, you can see that we're almost getting like a drop shadow as I increase this out, it's the radius of how far it's adding that contrast. This effect can get out of hand really quickly, as you can see, it's a very drastic looking effect. I want to turn the amount way down to something around 20, and the radius pretty far down to maybe something around 18 or 17, and that just adds a little bit of contrast on top of all of that glowiness that we added with this glow effect. If I turn the adjustment layer off and back on, you can see what that's doing, it's just bringing all the colors together and adding a little bit of softness as well as sharpening up some of that contrast. I'm going to press shift question mark to fit this to the comp, and rename the adjustment layer by selecting it and pressing Enter and just renaming this glow/sharpen. That way can easily identify it, and I'll lock it just for good measure, and then I'm going to add another adjustment layer. Let's go up to layer, new adjustment layer, and what I want to do with this one is create what's called a vignette, and a vignette is just a lens effect that happens in the real world with photography on lenses, where the outside corners are a little bit darker than the rest of the image. It's actually something that most people want to correct in photography, but it just adds a little bit of a stylistic flair to motion graphics. To do this, I'm going to use another new effect called curves, so let me type in curves on the effects and presets panel. There we go. Under color correction, we have curves, I'll double-click this, and what this does is gives us a line moving from the bottom left corner of this grid to the top right. This effect can adjust colors, but it can also just be used to affect brightness. What this graph represents is the dark parts of your image and the light parts of your image, so there are these two points between, and if I were to grab, say, this bottom left one and move it to the right, it's going to make everything darker as well as more saturated, or if I grab this top right one and move it over to the left, it's going to make everything brighter. This might be really confusing to you, and don't worry if it is. We're not going to get deep into how this effect works. But another thing you can do with this graph is add a point anywhere in this line, click and drag, and it becomes a curve, hence the name curves. But as you can see when I did that, it just made the entire image a little bit darker, so I want to bring that down a little bit. Obviously, I don't want it to affect the entire image. Well, just like masks can affect any part of a layer, it can also control what an adjustment layer is affecting. If I switch to my Ellipse tool by clicking and holding on the Shape tool, going down into the Ellipse tool, and then double-click on it, it will make a mask in a perfect circle size to that adjustment layer, and now this curves effect is only being applied to what's underneath that mask. Now, I want the opposite to happen, I want it to affect outside of this mask, so I need to come to the add section of my mask and change that to subtract. Now it's doing what I want, it's darkening the outside corners, but it's obviously a nice, hard, solid, perfect circle. I want to soften that out. Let's expand our mask and find that mask feather property. This is a perfect use for this property, I'll just increase the feather so that it's nice and soft, somewhere around 300 pixels, and now it's fading from that dark into the bright area really well. But it's coming into the center of my comp more than I'd like it to, so I need to grab this mask expansion and increase it so that it backs off of that path a little bit. Let me get rid of my feather, actually, for a second, just turn that down to zero, and you can see that hard edge is now being backed off of my path. Let me turn this back up to 300, mask expansion around 100, and I'll just disable and enable that adjustment layer so you can see what it's doing to the overall image. That's all I need to do for this vignette, so I'll just rename this layer now by selecting it, pressing return and typing in vignette, which is spelled V-I-G-N-E-T-T-E. I'll lock that layer, and if I turn these two layers off and back on, you can see how dramatic of an effect it has on that overall image and really makes everything a lot less flat and a lot more stylized, so with those two things applied to the entire animation, this comp is finally complete, and we can move on to exporting for Instagram. 31. Looping The Animation: Now that we've gotten our animation 100 percent complete, we can prepare it for exporting so that we can share it online. Now, exporting or rendering out of After Effects is a complex topic and there's actually a few different ways that you can do it. So I'm going to try to simplify everything so it's easy for you to understand and cut out a lot of the complex technical details. There are two main ways of getting a video file exported from a composition in After Effects. The first is by rendering it straight out of After Effects, After Effects has a built in rendering engine that will export a video file for you. The second is by using another Adobe program called Adobe Media Encoder. Typically I and most motion designers use Adobe Media Encoder to export their After Effects compositions. There are two big reasons for that. The first is that while you're exploiting something out of After Effects, you can't do anything else in After Effects, it takes up too many resources and After Effects just doesn't allow you to continue using the program until the export is finished. The second reason most of us use Adobe Media Encoder is because it has a lot more export settings to help you make your file size is much smaller when you're compressing your videos. Compression is a really important part of exporting because uncompressed exports are very, very large. The quality is really great but because the file size is so big, they can't stream very well online because the internet relies on smaller file sizes in order to be able to stream that video to your computer. Now one reason why you might want to export and uncompressed video is so that you don't have any loss of quality, which is really important if you're handing off your graphic to somebody else like an editor, who's going to put it into a larger sequence with maybe some sound design and editing it in with other footage. Even then though I still usually use Adobe Media Encoder to export that uncompressed video just so I can continue to work in After Effects if I need to. After Effects on its own doesn't have that much control over being able to compress videos for the web especially, it's much better for exploiting full resolution uncompressed videos. I am going to show you how to use Adobe Media Encoder to export your final render, but it's actually really easy to use so don't be worried about learning another piece of software. Before we do that though, we need to make sure that this is set up in After Effects correctly for export. The first thing you need to take note of is your work area, because this is actually what After Effects is going to pay attention to for exporting. It won't export anything outside of these bounds. Now I've already set my work area to the perfect seamless loop, starting on frame 25 and then ending on frame 273 or nine seconds and three frames, that section of the Taco Tuesday comp, is exactly where I want this to loop. That work area is a little less than ten seconds long. It looks like it's about nine seconds. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but if you're going to post this to Instagram, and that's what we designed this for. There's a minimum video links requirement on Instagram of being at least 10 seconds long. Before we export this video, we're going to need to manually loop it at least one time inside of After Effects and now we will have that built in loop. The video will be longer than 10 seconds and Instagram will accept the video. Another reason why we might want to manually loop it is because if you're going to share this, say on YouTube, you'll want it to be able to loop a couple of times as well and the YouTube player does not have a built-in looping capability. How do we get this to loop. Well we're actually going to precompose this composition again so that all of these layers and all of the animation and contained within it are reduced to a single layer. Let's go to our project panel this time instead of making a selection of all the layers and then going up to layer precompose, we're going to use the project panel to basically nest this comp inside of another comp. This is really easy to do. All I have to do is grab this comp, click and drag it down to the new comp button. When I let go, After Effects is going to make a new comp exactly the same size and duration of that precomp. You can see that now it says Taco Tuesday 2, I'm going to rename this by selecting it in the project panel, pressing Enter, and then removing the two and I'll put another dash and call this loop, and then press Enter to rename it. There's my single layer precomp with the entire animation in it. Now I just need to get back to those in and out points of the work area that I had set in my Taco Tuesday Precomp. Let's go to the first frame that was frame 25. Then click on Taco Tuesday loop. That's moved the playhead to frame 25. I want to just trim the start point, the end point of this layer to that point in time. Hold down Option or Alt on a PC and press the left square bracket that way, it trimmed to that point. Then I'll double-click into that precomp, go to the outpoint of my work area. Hold Shift to snap there. Remember that's 273 or nine seconds three frames. Go back to the Taco Tuesday loop comp, and there my playhead is moved and that's where I want to trim the outpoint. Option or Alt on a PC, right square bracket to trim the outpoint. Now there's nothing at the beginning or after this layer in this composition, but I know that this is the exact looping point for that composition. Now all I want to do is back this up to the first frame of this comp by going to that frame with its selected pressing the left square bracket to shift the endpoint of that layer to that point in time and then duplicate this layer by pressing Command or Control D. Now I have two copies and I can click and drag this second copy over in time while holding Shift to make sure the start of that comp lines up with the end of this comp. Now I have a built-in manual loop between those two comps. Were basically just treating this like a video clip now and duplicating it and off-setting it. Let's do it one more time, I'll press Command or Control D, click and drag while holding Shift to snap to that point in time. Now I have three loops of this animation sequence. That's probably going to be plenty. Now I need to just go to the outpoint of this layer, and to do that quickly, I'll just select the layer and press O for out. I on the keyboard is the endpoint of the layer. O on the keyboard is the outpoint of that layer. That's where I want to set my work areas outpoint. So I'll press N on the keyboard to set it to that point. While I'm at it, I'm actually going to change the duration of this composition to match my work area so that I don't have any of this empty gap over here and I can't accidentally extend this out further and then have a bunch of black video. I'll just go to that outpoint again Press O on the keyboard, press N on the keyboard to set my work area outpoint. Now that the work area is containing the entire sequence, I'm going to right-click inside the work area right here. There's a function called trim comp to work area, and that'll do exactly what it sounds like. I'll click. Now the duration of my comp is exactly the same duration as my work area.If I play back from right here, you'll see at the end it's going to loop around and play as if it just had another clip after it. So it's just going to continue looping forever. That's exactly what we want for Instagram and having those three loops will be great for YouTube as well. It'll be a good long 25 second video. 32. Exporting A Video: Now that everything is prepared, we can actually export this. Now, I'm going to come up to the Composition menu and go down to Add to Render Queue. Now, this Add to Render Queue command is paying attention to whatever composition you have open. Taco-Tuesday-Loop is the current composition, that's what this menu is going to be working with. If I say Add to Render Queue, it's going to open up a new panel called the Render Queue, and give us a bunch of settings. We have Render Settings, what's called an Output module, and then the Output To. Output To is really easy to understand, that's just where you're going to export the video file onto your hard drive. Then, we have Render settings, and this is where we can control how After Effects is handling the export. If you ever do end up exporting out of After Effects, you almost certainly want this set to best settings, and that's why it's the default setting for Render settings. We don't need to get into what all the other things inside of this menu are, so don't even worry about it right now. The Output module is where you can control the video file format that you're exporting out of After Effects as well as the different video codecs or compressions that are being used on that video format. Again, we're not going to be touching any of these settings inside of After Effects, we're going to use Adobe Media Encoder to do this, but that's what those settings are for. While we're here though, let's set our output location. To do that, just click on this blue text, Not yet specified, and then, navigate to someplace that you want to export this video to. I'm just going to stick mine on the desktop, and it names the file, whatever you have your composition name, so Taco-Tuesday-Loop is automatically filled in, and it has the.mov file format, that's a quick time video, but that's really not important right now, just the name of the file is what you want to do here. Choose your location, and then click on Save. Now that that has a location to output to, we have a little check mark under the Render column, and we have a button up here that is now clickable that says Queue in AME, and that stands for Adobe Media Encoder. That's exactly what we want. It's basically saying, take the information that we just gave After Effects about what we want to export and how we want to name it, and send that information over to the Adobe Media Encoder program. That's what we want to do here. Before you click that, just make sure that you save your project command or Control S. That way, you don't lose any progress, and click on Queue in Adobe Media Encoder. This might take a little bit of time to open, especially if you've never opened the program before, but just give it some time, and Adobe Media Encoder will start to open. There we go. This is the little icon down in my doc for it, and this is the little splash screen as the program is loading, and there we go. It's loading all of these kinds of effects and things that it needs to be able to export from After Effects. It can also export out of Premiere, and even some other Adobe applications. So that's why it might take a little bit of time to open. But eventually, here we go. Adobe Media Encoder has opened up, and this is what yours should look like with the layout here. Now, I typically like to change my layout a little bit, but we're just going to work with it as it is. As you can see, it's very similar to After Effects in terms of the different panels and just the way that everything is designed in the user interface. The Media Browser panel is something we don't need to worry about. The Preset Browser we are going to use, the queue is like the Render queue in After Effects, this is what is going to be exported out of Adobe Media Encoder. Then, we have this little Encoding panel which you'll see what that does in a little bit. But right up here, you can see Taco-Tuesday-Loop 1. Now, the reason it added one was because the way Adobe Media encoder works is by actually making a temporary duplicate of your After Effects project file in a separate location to export from. That's why it added the little one at the end of it. But right here under the Output file, this is where I chose to export on my desktop, so that's just showing you the path to where it will be exporting. If I click and drag this over a little bit, we can see this last column, the status is ready, so that means it's just ready to export. Over here under Preset, these are the output or compression settings that you can make adjustments to. Now, like I said, this is a very complex topic. It's another topic that I actually have a course on. But to keep things simple, we're going to base this on a preset so that we don't have to mess with many of these settings. But before we do that, this last column or the first one really is the format, and it says H.264. If yours doesn't say that, click on this little drop-down arrow and scroll down the list until you see H.264. That is the name of a compression format that is one of the most popular for compressing videos for the Internet. It's a very high-quality compression codec and does a really great job of keeping your videos looking good while also making the file size very small. Make sure that's set to H.264, and then come over to the Preset browser. I'm going to make this a little bit bigger, and there are all these different categories that Adobe has given by default. The one we want is under Web video, I'll twirl that menu open, and then, we want the social media category. If I scroll down in this list, you can see that there are presets for Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube. YouTube is the one that we are going to base our compression on. This YouTube 1080p Full HD is the one that we want. Don't worry about what any of that means, just grab that setting, click and drag it over to the Preset, and drop it right on top of your video rate when that gets highlighted blue, let go and that will swap out your preset, and now we're using the new compression settings. But before we export from here, we need to click on this blue text once, and that's going to open up a new window. What Adobe Media Encoder is doing right now, is basically talking to After Effects, reading that After Effects project file so that we can get a preview of it within Adobe Media Encoder. This could take a little bit of time, but just let it load, and eventually it will open up the next window. Here we go. I have a preview of my composition right here inside of Adobe Media Encoder, and it might take a little bit of time to render as you scrub through this, but it is there, it's giving us a good preview of what the animation is going to look like. The issue with this preset is that it defaults to exporting at a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080, which is why we have a widescreen frame, and our square frame in the middle of it. It just puts black bars on the left, and right. That's the only thing I want to change about this preset, is making it 1,080 by 1,080 instead of 1,920 by 1,080. To do that, I need to get to this section over here, underneath the Video tab of this panel. I'm going to try and give myself a little bit more room by twirling up this summary and the export settings, and here we go. Under the Basic Video settings, you can see the width and height are set to 1,920 by 1,080. All you need to do is change the width to 1,080. Click on that number, type in 1,080, press Enter, those black bars on either frame immediately go away, and that is all we have to change. All of the other settings in this window are good to go. Just click on Okay. That preset is now listed as custom because we modified the settings. But without one modification, this preset will be great for both YouTube and Instagram. Now that that's done, all that's left is clicking on this green play button which is Start Queue. You click on that and then our encoding panel starts rendering. You see this progress bar, and a preview of what frame it's currently rendering, and compressing into the H.264 format. If I bring this up a little bit, you can just watch as it progresses through. It goes much faster after that first loop because it's able to just reuse what did it already rendered on the first loop, and just like that, it's done. If I bring up my finder and go to my desktop, there's a new file right here, Taco-Tuesday-Loop.mp4. I'm just going to preview that, and here, we have our exported animation playing back in real time as an mp4 video file. If we check this, it should loop right there, it loops seamlessly, and continues on for its second play through, and then, we'll just watch completely to the end, it loops it's third time, and we want to make sure that it ends right where it should. There we go. We have our final exported video, and the file size is only 37.6 megabytes, which is really great for a full resolution 25-second clip. From here, you can upload this to YouTube so that you can embed it into your class project on Skillshare, so we can see your work, and you can also post this to Instagram. The way that I personally like to do it is by transferring the video clip to Dropbox because then I can go on my phone, use the Dropbox app to download that video to my phone, and then upload it to Instagram through the Instagram app. If you're using an iPhone, another really quick way of doing that transfer is using AirDrop. But whatever technique you use to get it onto your phone, once it's there, you should be able to upload it to Instagram like any other video. 33. What's Next?: Now you've completed this entire course, you've watched through all the material, you can finish making your animation and what I want to talk about really quickly is going back to the very beginning of the class when I said that there are so many uses for After Effects that we have not even touched in this course. Even though this class is over five hours long, we have barely scratched the surface of what After Effects is capable of, and that's part of why I love the programs so much is because I'm able to find new ways to use the software to create new things every single day. Now, even inside of just the topics that we stayed on making motion graphics in 2D animation, there are lots of things that we didn't get to cover and some of those things I have other classes on and that's partly why I didn't include them in this course since this is already become such a long class, I didn't want to get into too much that you can learn about in future courses. Once you have a pretty good grasp on the software, which at this point, by the time that you've completed your project, you should have a pretty good grasp on the program. You will then be able to go on to my other classes, basically picking any one that you want and you should be able to follow along fairly well. There are a few classes where I mentioned in the trailer that there are for more advanced users who have lots of experience in After Effects already. But for the most part, all of my classes are taught from a perspective that anyone can learn regardless of their experience level. One huge topic that we did not touch at all in this class is shape layers, and that's another type of layer inside of After Effects that are vector graphics inside of the raster program of After Effects, it's basically allowing you to create shapes and draw custom paths and objects using primitive shapes like rectangles and circles and stars or by using the Pen tool, which is a tool that lets you draw custom vector paths. You can use the Pen tool lots of different ways in After Effects, not just with shape layers, but also with masks, because masks are vector and all the shape layer tools that you have to draw shape layers are exactly the same as masks. You saw a little bit of masks there when we made that transition with the rectangle and skewed it. You use the exact same workflow for working with shape layers. There's just a lot more you can do with shape layers in the way that you can outline the paths. You can control the fill color and the stroke color separately and there's a lot of different things that you can stylize it within even some animation tools within shape layers. Like I said, I have an entire course dedicated to that, the ultimate guide to shape layers and After Effects. If you're interested in that, go check out that course next. You can also work with 3D layers inside of After Effects. Remember I said there's this 2.5 D that's working with 2D layers in 3D space and that's typically what you do most of the time inside of After Effects. There's an entire 3D engine inside of after effects that allows you to spread out your layers in the z axis and the z plane to give you parallax between things, and I use three layers in lots of my classes. The paper cutout look in After Effects, that's one where I use a 3D camera and enable 3D layers so that you can get that movement, so that you can get a realism with your graphics that make it look like it's in the real world. If you're interested in learning a little bit more about 3D layers checkout the paper cut out looking After Effects. There are even effects that take advantage of 3D space. One of the most common is a particle generator. A particle generator can be used for all things like smoke or flames or even water, and that's a very advanced topic, but also something that as a motion designer, you're probably going to want to know how to use. That's just one of the many effects that we obviously did not touch on in this course that you can learn about all over the internet. If you're ever looking through your effects, list in After Effects and you're curious about what that effect might do, just search the name of it and After Effects on Google and you will almost certainly find a YouTube tutorial that will help you figure out how to use that effect. There are also these things called plugins, which are created by outside parties, companies that are developing tools to be used inside of After Effects that allow you to do something that After Effects can't natively. Videocopilot.net makes a lot of tools for After Effects that I use a lot and one of them is called Element 3D, which is a very advanced 3D geometry plugin. Or you can render 3D graphics inside of After Effects very quickly and there actually is a 3D engine beyond what just the 2.5 D animation allows you to do inside of after effects. That's part of cinema 4D, which is a 3D software that you actually have access to a light version of with the Creative Cloud subscription. If you're interested in cinema 4D, there are lots of classes here on skill share that you can learn about cinema 4D with and how to use the cinema 4D lite version to get into 3D graphics as well. The point I'm trying to make with all this talking is that there is a lot that you can learn from here and you can choose what you want to be curious about, and it's great to be curious. You should explore other areas and just see where your imagination takes you, see where your curiosity takes you and follow whatever path is making you most excited. That's how I learned. I just consumed as much educational material as I could as I was learning the software and just learning about all these different ways to use the program and how to get around and just doing things inside of After Effects. Start to be more curious, have fun, and obviously look at the rest of my classes on my profile. But there are a lot of great teachers here on skillshare that are offering some really valuable insight into how to make things inside of After Effects, so don't be afraid to wander beyond my channel here on skillshare and check out the other teachers as well as YouTube. Obviously that is a huge resource that I did not have when I was starting out. YouTube was not a thing when I was learning After Effects. Take advantage of as many educational sources as you possibly can and just have fun learning. From here go ahead and finish up your class project, finish animating the Taco Tuesday Arcade Loop. Go back and rewatch as many videos as you need to and don't be afraid to ask questions if you run into any trouble. 34. Thanks For Watching!: Well, congratulations. You made it through this entire long comprehensive course of an intro into After Effects. From the bottom of my heart, I just want to say thank you for choosing me and allowing me to be your teacher as you take your first steps into this program that I just love so much. This job is amazing. I absolutely love teaching, so, just thank you for taking the time to actually watch my material. I really hope that you got really good insight into what it's like to work in After Effects and inspired you to want to learn more. That's what I want from this course, is that you're excited now and you're ready to start moving on to bigger things and learn about more ways to use After Effects and make more interesting animations. Please check out the rest of my courses on my profile. I have organized them by topic. Make sure that you expand any of the categories if there is a little downward arrow at the bottom of any sections so you can see all of the courses, and if you're not already, make sure that you are also following me on skill shares so that you can see whenever I post new courses or have updates to share with you. You can also follow me on Instagram at Jake In Motion and see behind the scenes of when I'm making things and other stuff that I'm posting on the Internet. I'd really appreciate it if you left me a review and let me know what you did or didn't not like about this course. That feedback is really important to me because, it allows me to know what I'm doing well and what I might need to work on a little bit in my courses. With all of my classes, including this one, do not hesitate to ask me a question if you run into any trouble. Use the community tab here on this class or whichever class you're taking, so that other students can see your question in case they might run into the same issue, but I will answer your questions. I try to answer them as quickly as possible, but life gets in the way every now and then, so, bear with me if I don't respond right away. But the point is, that I am here to help you, that's part of skill share. That's why this is such an amazing platform. You have direct access to me and I am more than willing to help you with any kind of problems that you might have with my classes. One final time, I just want to say a big thank you for taking this class and I hope to see you in some future ones.