Top 5 Plugins for Efficiency in Adobe After Effects | Megan Friesth | Skillshare

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Top 5 Plugins for Efficiency in Adobe After Effects

teacher avatar Megan Friesth, Motion Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

20 Lessons (1h 55m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Plugins 101

    • 3. Class Project

    • 4. Overlord - Set Up

    • 5. Overlord - Core Functions

    • 6. Overlord - Core Functions 2

    • 7. Overlord - Details

    • 8. Overlord - Animation

    • 9. Overlord - Recap

    • 10. Motion - Set Up

    • 11. Motion - Core Functions

    • 12. Motion - Tools

    • 13. Ease Copy - Set Up

    • 14. Ease Copy - Core Functions

    • 15. Joysticks n' Sliders - Set Up

    • 16. Joysticks n' Sliders - Joysticks

    • 17. Joysticks n' Sliders - Sliders

    • 18. GifGun - Set Up

    • 19. GifGun - Core Functions

    • 20. What's Next

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About This Class

Learn how to use plugins to enhance your efficiency in Adobe After Effects. Customize your workflow with tools to optimize the tasks you do most.


Plugins are a piece of 3rd party software that adds a specific function, feature, or shortcut to, After Effects. While some plugins add flashy effects to your animations, some are time-saving tools that make animating more efficient. Some plugins are free, and others have a relatively small price tag that pays off big in time saved.

You do NOT need to purchase any plugins before starting this class. You can watch the class to decide if any of the plugins are right for you.

Get a behind-the-scenes look how I use 5 time-saving plugins, on a daily basis, in my professional motion design workflow.

Who this class is for:

If you're a motion designer who's comfortable with the basics of After Effects, and want to optimize your workflow, this class is for you.

To get the most out of this class, you should understands the basics of:

  • using artwork from Illustrator in your After Effects animations
  • creating compositions
  • working with shape layers
  • setting keyframes
  • adjusting the graph editor
  • rendering

Not sure about some of these topics? Check out my other classes to get up to speed.

What you'll learn:

  • Where to buy and how to install plugins
  • Why plugins can be worth paying for (I don't make any money if you purchase any of these plugins)


Purchase hereUse coupon code "explanimated" to get $10 off!

  • transfer artwork from Adobe Illustrator to After Effects (and vice versa) in a flexible way
  • the benefits of working with shape layers
  • how to utilize Illustrator to set keyframes


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  • shortcuts for adjusting the motion of keyframes with the curve editor and curve presets
  • efficient ways of working with colors
  • tons of time saving tools (focus, null, clone, jump, excite, and more)


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  • when and how to copy/paste easing of keyframes without affecting values
  • when and how to copy/paste keyframe values without affecting eases


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  • when joysticks can be useful
  • how to set up a joystick rig
  • when sliders can be useful
  • how to set up a sliders rig


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  • how to quickly export animated .gifs directly from After Effects
  • how this process compares to exporting .gifs through Media Encoder or Photoshop

After this class, check out my other classes, like:

Find me online:

My website




Some of these links are affiliate links. I get a small cut of the sale, at no cost to you. Even if I didn't get a penny, I'd still recommend these plugins!

Music credit: Underwater by Roa Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0

Meet Your Teacher

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Megan Friesth

Motion Designer

Top Teacher

Hi! I'm Megan Friesth, a motion designer and illustrator from Boulder, Colorado. For my job I create explanimations–that is educational animations–and here I create education on how to animate! I have degrees in physiology and creative technology & design. By combining these two disciplines I create explanimations that help patients with chronic diseases understand complex medical information and take control of their health. When I'm not inside Adobe Illustrator or After Effects, I love traveling, running, skiing, yoga, and doing craft projects.

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1. Welcome: If you save just one second every minute, you'd save one minute every hour. That's eight minutes saved over a typical workday. In a five-day workweek, you'd save 40 minutes. Over the course of a year, that's over 30 hours of time saved, nearly a day and a half. As a motion designer, you know that animation takes a long time. But if you do the math, saving even small amounts of time can really add up. Because After Effects is a vast program used by all kinds of different professionals, customizing it with tools for the tasks you do most can make animation speedier. That's where plugins come in. Plugins are a piece of third party software that adds a specific function, feature, or shortcut to, in our case, After Effects. While some plugins add flashy effects to your animations, some are time-saving tools to make animating more efficient. I'm Megan Friesth and I'm an explanimator, which is just to say that I write, illustrate, and animate educational animations. Over the years, I worked on freelance projects and passion projects, as well as, part of a small in-house motion design team in a large healthcare company. No matter what kind of project I find myself working on, working as efficiently as possible is always the goal. This class is not just a features overview of my favorite plugins. Instead, I'll be showing you behind the scenes of my professional motion design workflow and how I actually use these plugins throughout an example project. I've chosen these five plugins out of many that I've installed because these are the ones that I use on a daily basis. While some plugins are free, some have a relatively small price tag that pays off big in time saved. If you're a motion designer that's comfortable with the basics of After Effects and want to optimize your workflow, then, this class is for you. To get the most out of this class, you should understand the basics of using artwork from Illustrator in your animations, creating compositions, working with shape layers, setting keyframes, adjusting the graph editor and rendering. You can check out my other classes to get you up to speed. I'm always refining my process and finding new better ways to do things. I even discovered some while creating this class. So even if you've used some of the plugins covered, I think you'll still get something out of the class. You do not have to purchase anything before watching this class. You can use this class to decide if you want to invest in any of the plugins covered. If you're ready to enhance your efficiency with After Effects plugins, let's get started. 2. Plugins 101: Plugins are a piece of third-party software that adds a specific function, feature or shortcut to After Effects. There are actually three different tools that you can add on to After Effects; scripts, extensions, and plugins. A script is a block of code that tells After Effects to do something, often a shortcut or automation. An extension is like a script on steroids, and technically, a plugin usually extends the functionality of After Effects. So think flashy effects or physics simulators like Trapcode or Newton. Don't worry though it's not that important for us to understand the difference between scripts, extensions, and plugins. Most animators just use the term plugin to refer to any additional tool that you download and install separately into After Effects. Just know that in this class, I'll be using the term plugin, not technically accurate, but everyone knows what you mean kind of way. A time it might be useful to know if something is a script, extension or plugin is when installing it and finding it in After Effects. But most come with directions and of course I'll go over the ones covered in this class. It's super easy. Once you purchase and download a plugin, you'll get a zip file or a folder. I'd recommend saving all of those folders of plugins in their own plugins folder on your computer and or a backup hard drive. Sometimes when there's a big update to After Effects like for a new year, you'll need to re-install your plugins and it's just super helpful to have them all in one place. You will also be thankful for this folder if your computer crashes or if you get a new computer. Once you install a plugin, make sure that you close After Effects if it was open and then reopen it, then I'll tell you where you can find all the plugins for this class, but most of them will be under window. Let's just open up one of our plugins. Usually it'll open up in this separate little floating panel. Then from here you can either leave them like this, but I find this to be annoying or you can take the plugin and just drag it around. Wherever it highlights this blue is a place where you can drop it. I'm just going to keep mine over here, and then you can do the same thing with other plugins. Once you get your workspace arranged in a way that you like it, you can go to window, workspace and then either save changes to the workspace or save it as a new workspace. I've just saved a new workspace called My Workspace. That's the workspace that I actually like to use. While the plugins covered in this class aren't free, I wouldn't be telling you about them If I didn't think they were worth it. These are all one-time fees, not subscriptions. I use these plugins all the time and honestly can't imagine working in After Effects without them. If you use these plugins a lot, they'll definitely pay for themselves in time saves. If you work at a studio or as an in-house motion designer, your employer might pay for some of these plugins, especially if you can make a case for why they'd save you time, which by the end of this class you'll certainly be able to do. In this class, we'll be focusing on plugins that save you time as you work. I'm not including character animation plugins in this class because that deserves a class of its own. But joysticks and sliders is often used for character animation. It has a ton of different applications though, and at its core, it's really a time saver. Throughout this class, I'll be using this abstract animation to show you how I use the plugins while creating it. I'm not going to be showing you how I created this entire project step-by-step, because I want to just focus on the concepts that will be applicable to many different projects. That way you can learn how to use these plugins in your own projects in the most efficient way possible. While I recommend watching the videos of this class in order because it makes sense for the workflow, you should be all right to skip around if you'd rather. Remember, it's okay if you haven't purchased any of these plugins yet. You can use this class to decide if you want to. 3. Class Project: I just wanted to tell you about the class project upfront so you can be thinking about it as you're watching the class. The project is to describe how you've used one or more of these plug-ins to increase your efficiency on a current project, or how you could have used them to increase your efficiency on a past project. Just write a simple description or go as detailed as you want with screenshots, gifs, videos, and you can post your final animation if you'd like, but no pressure. Because these plug-ins have many different uses, you can use this as an opportunity to enhance your workflow on a current project or something you have planned for the future. Or if you don't have a project idea and want one, animate what you'll do with all of the time saved by using these plug-ins. 4. Overlord - Set Up: The first plugin we'll be looking at is called Overlord, and it's created by Battle Axe. You can purchase it on, for $45. What does Overlord do? Well, in their own words, Overlord is an invisible connection system; a mystical portal between Illustrator and After Effects. Transfer shapes as you need them without importing, converting, or redrawing, the vector workflow you imagine between apps created by the same company. Work with shapes, not files. I think that pretty well sums it up, but of course I'm going to show you exactly how I use Overlord in my workflow. When you purchase and download Overlord, you'll get a folder with these three things in it, so in here we have instructions that will tell you exactly how to install Overlord, and just note that you will need this ZXP installer, which you can get for free at, so just choose the one that you need. Then from there it's pretty easy just to drag and drop Overlord into the installer. Then once you've done that, make sure that you restart After Effects and Illustrator. This plugin, unlike the other ones that I'll be covering also works in Illustrator, and to be precise, this is actually an extension. When you're in Illustrator, you're going to find overlord under Window, and then Extensions, and then Overlord. I already have mine open up, and I like to dock it right down here. Then it's very similar in After Effects, so you're going to go to Window, Extensions, Overlord, and then I like to dock mine right here. One thing I want to show you before we start actually using Overlord is that you can go to the Battle Axe website, and if you go on the Overlord page at the very bottom, there's this Overlord manual, and they have different gif tutorials, the installation guide, and also some video tutorials that show you all of the details of Overlord. This is going to be slightly different than what I'm showing you because I'm showing you my actual workflow and the things that I use consistently, and these video tutorials are going to show you every single feature. If you want to learn more after this class, then you can jump over here and keep learning. Other five plugins that I'll be showing you in this class, Overlord has the biggest learning curve, in my opinion. It just takes a little bit of time to adjust because it's such a big change in workflow, but I think that once you make the adjustment, there's no going back. You'll be so happy you did. That's definitely what happened for me. If you decide the Overlord is just not for you, or that you only want to use it sometimes, that's totally fine, and you can still use all of the other plug-ins in this class. You can just pick and choose what works for you, they don't have to all go together. 5. Overlord - Core Functions: Because Overlord is a connection or a mystical portal between Adobe Illustrator and After Effects, we're going to be starting out in Adobe Illustrator. You can see here that I have this artwork that's an abstract representation of all the plugins that I'll be showing you in this class. I have all of the different layers that I want to be animated separated out and labeled in their own layers. As you know, separating and labeling your layers is important whether or not you use Overlord or not. I know that you're probably familiar with the traditional workflow of saving this file and then importing it into After Effects. I'm not going to go over that here, but I am going to talk about the pitfalls of the traditional workflow so that we can understand why overlord can be so helpful. Let me just import this into After Effects really quick. To avoid confusion, this plugins composition that is my Illustrator file that I just imported, I'm going to rename AI so we know that that's the traditional one imported from Illustrator. This imported Illustrator file is made up of Illustrator vector layers, and so these layers are linked. Working in this way, you need to make sure that you keep the Illustrator file in the same location relative to your After Effects file so that it maintains that link. If you were to move this file or rename it, After Effects would not know what happened and it would say that the file is missing. Now what if I wanted to make changes to this Illustrator file after I've already imported it into After Effects? Well you might run into some problems, so you can change colors pretty easily. Let's say I just wanted to change this color to yellow. I change that. I make sure that I save it, and then I go back into After Effects, and After Effects will think for a little bit and then it will change the color. In that way the link works really well, and I'm going to undo that really quick. What if I wanted to change the shape of something? Maybe let's take this arm right here, and I'm just going to unround the corners, and then I'll save it and go back into After Effects, and After Effects will think for a little bit and then it will make that change. It looks fine, that works great. You'll start to run into problems when you want to adjust this shape and it changes the dimensions of the shape. Let's say I were to adjust this so it was wider, and then I'm going to round the corners again. Now if I save this, go back into After Effects, wait for it to realize that there was a change. Now you can see that it's in the wrong position. I obviously wanted the arm to connect to the hand. If you have complex graphics, this can be really a pain, with this it's going to be not so bad to just realign it. But imagine if you had something that was really complex and it needed to be in the perfect spot like pixel-perfect, this can be really annoying. I'm going to go and undo that really quick. Another problem you might encounter is adding or deleting layers. Now if you want to delete a layer, you can just delete it in both Illustrator and After Effects and it should be fine. But if you wanted to add another layer in Illustrator, let's just add one at the top and I'll just make a circle, and then save this and then go back into After Effects. You can give it as much time to think as you want, but it's never going to import that circle, which is really frustrating. What I've done in the past before the times of Overlord is that I would have extra layers in my project that I would usually just keep at the bottom, and leave them unnamed and those would just be blank layers, in case I wanted to have something else added later on after I'd already imported my Illustrator file into After Effects. Before I import it I would add these extra layers. That way if I needed to add something after I'd already imported, I could just add it to one of these blank layers and it would show up. But unfortunately, this little workaround is not perfect because when you add something to one of the blank layers, it doesn't actually put it in the right position in After Effects once it loads it up. Because of this limitation between Illustrator and After Effects, sometimes your project files can get really sloppy, and you might even need to have another project file for a new layer that you forgot to have or you didn't know you're going to need in your original project file. If you had forgotten to add extra layers or something, and then you would have like these patches that you have things in different Illustrator files and things just can get really messy. The thing that I love most about Overlord is that I don't feel like I have to have everything figured out before I move into After Effects. Maybe I only had part of my design finished and I wanted to just test out some of the animation. Well say I only had these boxes figured out, I could just use Overlord to import these files into After Effects, try out some animation, and then continue working and then import the rest of my artwork later. If I ever want to add a new layer, I can just import that layer when I create it, instead of having like patches or having to use blank layers like the traditional method. Let's switch over from talking about the downfalls of the traditional method to actually using Overlord and seeing why I like it so much. The first thing I'm going to do is just go back into After Effects and let me just show you one button in overlord that saves me so much time. It's just this little switch from Illustrator to After Effects and back. I'm going to create a new composition, and I'm going to call this Plugins Overlord so you know which one is which. I'm going to go back into Illustrator, and I'm just going to start importing my layers. Now, like I said, I don't necessarily do all of the importing at once because I can just so easily go back and forth. But that'll make more sense as we keep going. The first thing I'm going to do, I'll just start at the bottom and I'm going to select my first layer on the bottom, which is this green square. I'm going to hit this push button to move this green square into After Effects. So I push that over. You can see in the green square shows up in the exact place where it was in Illustrator, you'll also notice in the timeline, this little star or also the blue color indicates that this is a shape layer. If I were to toggle down into the shape layer, you can see that Overlord has transferred the information that this is a rectangle. I have these properties like size in roundness that I wouldn't have if I had imported this the traditional way. Let me just show you what I mean. If I go back into my Illustrator version, I'm going to go down to this green square. If I toggle it down, you'll see that I only have the option for transform. I don't have those rectangle properties like round corners, because this is just a vector layer and After Effects has no idea what shape this is. It doesn't know that it's a rectangle. If I wanted this to be a shape layer, I could right-click, go to "Create", "Create Shapes from Vector Layer" and now it's made a shape layer. But if I toggle down that shape layer, you'll see that it just has group and then path. After Effects still doesn't know that this is a rectangle. I don't have those special rectangle properties. But with Overlord, thanks to this little button right here called detect parametric rectangle slash ellipse. If I have this button checked on which I did, it'll retain the information of if this is a rectangle or a circle, which is pretty cool because then I get these properties that I can animate. Let me go back to Illustrator and import more of my artwork. Now you might be worried that I'm going to import all of these one at a time, and luckily I don't have to do that. What I can actually do is click on this little button right here. Comics like fire. It's called split shapes to layers. If I check that one on, then I can select multiple things at a time and then hit push to After Effects, it will push those to After Effects, but it will separate those out into their own layers. Again, these will still have those rectangle properties if they are indeed rectangles, same with ellipses. When you're pushing your layers from Illustrator to After Effects, if you have something like this hand here that has a bunch of different layers within the layer, like this. Then if it's grouped like this hand is, it'll just import that all into one layer, even if the separate into layers is checked because it's a group. I could import a bunch of thing at a time, and hit push. The hand, even though there's multiple pieces to it. Multiple shapes in this hand. Because that hand was grouped in Illustrator, it imported as one layer in After Effects, which is exactly what I wanted. Now if the hand was not grouped, let me show you another example, let's take this hand. I'm going to ungroup it just as an example. Then I'm going to have this split shapes to layers still checked on and then I'm going to push this layer over. Now you'll see that this hand called hand graph editor is broken up into multiple layers. Each piece is its own layer, that's an option if you want it to be imported that way. It's really flexible. Now I'm going to just delete that because I want those to all be on one layer. Also, it's good to note that on this hand, that was grouped when I pushed it over, I imported all on one layer. If I toggle down, I still have all of those same shapes. It might look a little bit confusing because they're called groups, but that just means the shape. If I wanted to animate the finger, or the thumb, or whatever, I still have those shapes which I can animate separately within this layer. 6. Overlord - Core Functions 2: This is what we've imported so far, and I'm just going to go back into Illustrator and import a few more things just to review what you've learned so far. This is the layer that I left off on. When you're selecting layers in the Layers Panel in Illustrator, you need to select so that this little box is highlighted. If you hold down "Shift", you can select multiple. But unfortunately you can't just go up here and it would select everything in between. If you were to do that, and they highlight blue but not the boxes, then it's not going to transfer over into Overlord. You actually have to hold down "Shift" and click each one. But as an alternative, you could just select them on the actual artboard by clicking and dragging like this to select multiple things at once. Now, sometimes that way you'll get things that you don't want. I don't want this. You could also add to the selection by holding "Shift" and clicking like this. Once you have the boxes selected of the things that you want to transfer, then you can just hit the "Push" button to push into After Effects. I had these push shapes to layers button checked, so that imported all of them into their own layers. What you've learned so far is really the core of Overlord. It's just pushing shapes from Illustrator, into After Effects, and maintaining the fact that they are shape layers. If there are rectangle or ellipse, you can also, if you want to, with this button, keep those properties of circles or rectangles. There's two other ways that you can modify the transfer of the shape from Illustrator into After Effects. The first one is this Center Anchor Points button right here. I've had that on this whole time. The anchor point of my shapes have been right in the center of the shapes like you can see right here. I usually have this option turned on because I usually want the anchor point in the center of my shape. If I didn't, I could always change it later, but it's a good starting point to have it in the center. Another option that you have is to have the layers at the comp center. To be honest, I don't use this very much, but it can be useful if you have multiple artboards and you make some graphics that are off of the artboards. This little rectangle right here, if I were to want to add this to my After Effects project file, if I were to push this without this turned on, then it would just be outside of my comp. It might be hard to find, because it might be way far away if you had multiple artboards in a really complex Illustrator file. Instead, what you can do is just go in and check this button on, layers at comp center, and then push that over, and it will just center the layer in the comp. We've talked about the four ways that you can modify the transfer of shapes between Illustrator and After Effects, which are these four buttons right here. But so far, all that we've done is move our shapes from Illustrator into After Effects by pushing them with this button here. There's actually another way that you can move shapes between Illustrator and After Effects. If I had a shape selected, let's just take this pull icon, meta here, and I have that selected here at Illustrator. But say I was in After Effects for whatever reason, and I knew that I had that layer selected in Illustrator, and I wanted to bring that shape from Illustrator into After Effects. Well, I could use the Pull button. I will just click that, and whatever shape I have selected over in Illustrator is going to be pulled into After Effects. The majority of the time I use the push button from Illustrator into After Effects, which is why I showed that first. But sometimes the Pull button can be really useful, and we'll go into more depth into an example of that a little bit later. So far we've only moved shapes from Illustrator into After Effects using either the Push or the Pull button. But there's actually something that you can do with Overlord that's pretty unique. That is to take shapes from After Effects and push them or pull them into Illustrator. Let's take a look at an example of that. Let's say that in the process of creating this animation, I decided that I wanted another shape in here. I went and created that shape in After Effects. I want to get this green rectangle back into Illustrator because I want my Illustrator file and my After Effects file to match, maybe because I want to print out a still image of my design or something like that. What I can do is with this rectangle selected, I can just push it into Illustrator. It's going to transfer over into whatever layer you have selected. You didn't see me do it, but I did create a new layer before I transferred. I'm going to go ahead and push the rest of my artwork into After Effects. A lot of times I do this in pieces because sometimes it's nice to just have only what you're going to work on right then and there. In After Effects, you don't have the rest of your artwork cluttering up your composition. But in this case, I'm ready to have the rest of my artwork in After Effects. You should feel a little bit careful with transferring too many layers at once. I have to admit that I've done too many layers before, and it's actually caused After Effects to freeze. That doesn't happen often, but there's always a limitation. It's going to depend really on your computer a lot. I have just over 100 layers here, and I'm going to put Overlord to the test and see if it can transfer everything at once. First, let me just go in and just delete everything I have in here. Then I'm just going to select everything by clicking and dragging. Make sure that I have split layers checked, and detect shapes checked, and hit "Push". All right, it did it. I don't see anything that's messed up, so I'm impressed. 7. Overlord - Details: I know I told you this wasn't just going to be a features overview of the plug-ins, but I just want to show you a few more things that you should know about overlord before we get back into working on this project and seeing the actual workflow of these plugins in use. Let's say I wanted to add a layer to this, and it's not going to be a problem to add a layer like the traditional method it would be. I'm going to add some text to this layer. I'm going to go ahead and transfer this text. The cool thing is that it transfers it as a text layer. I can already, without having to do anything extra, I can go into my Character panel, adjust the font size, or any of the other texts properties. Overlord automatically transfers editable text. One thing to know is that if you have texts within another layer, it's going to separate out that text so that it can be editable. You can also transfer guides to After Effects. Just use this special "Push Guides to After Effects" button, and then if you don't see anything show up, just make sure that under View you have "Show Guides" turned on. You can also transfer shapes with gradients with Overlord. Notice how I use a different art-board, but I transferred it into the same composition in After Effects. That's something else that you can do. Now, with the gradient, if you toggle down, you'll also see the gradient fill is here, and you can adjust all of these same things that you would if you created the gradient natively in After Effects. Another thing that you might find useful is that you can transfer color swatches from Illustrator into After Effects. To be honest, I don't use this feature very much, but I'll show you my workflow for working with colors in the motion videos. To transfer your color swatches, you're just going to want to select all of the color swatches that you want to transfer, and then use this special "Push Selected Swatches" button, and your colors will show up just like this so that you can use the eyedropper to color pick these. Another super nice detail is that it's made this a guide layer, so it's not going to show up on your rendered animation. Another thing to know is that Overlord works with clipping masks. For this icon here, I've used a clipping mask to crop the icon out on these edges. You can see that here. Then in my After Effects project, you can see that it's added this masks layer and it's working just as you would expect. It's still all in one layer. If you're having trouble transferring layers with clipping mask and it's not working as you'd expect, if your shape or mask involve a parametric shape like a rectangle or ellipse, make sure that "Detect Parametric Shapes" is on, or that "Center Anchor Points" is off. If you have a clipping mask that doesn't involve parametric shapes, make sure that "Center Anchor Points" is off. It might just take a little bit of experimentation to get things to work how you want them to. 8. Overlord - Animation: Now that I have all of my artwork in After Effects, I'm going to move on to animating. I'm going to do this a little bit like cooking show style and I'm not going to show you every step of animating because I want to focus on the important aspects of the plug-ins. The first thing is a word of caution, and that is when I translate this shape layer, even though this shape icon is made up of a bunch of different parametric shapes, I manipulated this icon so many times in Illustrator, by rotating it that even when I imported it into After Effects using Overlord, and I had detect parametric shapes checked. It didn't retain that information that these are parametric shapes, so if I were to toggle down, you'll see that they just have path. So on this, this is the circle layer. It's just a path and it doesn't have the ellipse properties and for all of these shapes that make up this shape icon shape, that's a little confusing, sorry about that, I want to actually animate the shape property so the size of them rather than scaling them because I want to maintain the stroke width. So animating the size will maintain the stroke width, whereas scale would scale everything. You can see what that looks like, my final animation looks like, in this finished project. What I need to do, because this didn't transfer in the fact that these are parametric shapes, is I'm just going to need to recreate this in Illustrator. One thing that you can do if you know ahead of time that you're going to be rotating something like this in your final design, and you want your final design to look final in Illustrator, is you can just duplicate the layer before you rotate it. You can see here I have this shape icon that's not rotated and then that's the one that I'll actually transfer into Overlord and work with because that one will pick up the fact that these are parametric shapes, whereas this one I can make visible in my final design in Illustrator so that it looks like my final design. I just pulled a little cooking show magic on you and I transferred that shape icon from Illustrator into After Effects and animated it. I'm actually going to show you some things out of order because the way I animated this uses joysticks and sliders so that'll be covered in the joysticks and sliders video. But for now, I want to show you how I animated this nice-looking curve in the arm. Let me jump over to my finished animation to show you what I mean. If you watch this arm, it's going to get a little bit wider or less bent, I guess, that's not a real bend, but you can see how it changes shape, but the curve of the arm is always super smooth. I'm going to show you how I maintain that smoothness with the help of Overlord. I'm just going to keep you on the keyboard to see all the keyframes on this hand and I want to line the arm up so it's always attached to the hand. I'm just going to go into the arm, toggle down into Path, and then, there's a time right here at 20 frames where the path is lined up, so I'll just click the stopwatch to set a keyframe there. Then I'm going to go back and I want to now stretch the arm out a little bit to the right and also elongate it so that it attaches to the hand again. If I were to select these anchor points and move them to the right, you can maintain that nice curve. But there's going to be a flat part at the top and I want it to be a nice curve all the way throughout the top. So what I can do instead is just go into Illustrator and I'm going to unround the corners first and then I'm just going to move this over. I think it was about like there. Then I'll go back in and round the corners all the way up. With this shape still selected, I'm going to go back into After Effects and I'm going to make sure that I have the bottom layer path selected right here like this. Then I'm going to use the pull button and this is a really good use case of when I most often use the pull button. I'm going to hit pull, you can see that my shape has been updated, it's updated with that perfect curve. After Effects doesn't have as good of a system of working with rounded corners as Illustrator does. I can utilize Illustrator's rounded corners tool but use Overlord to transfer back and forth and you can see that not only did that transfer the perfect shape that I wanted into After Effects, but it also set a keyframe and since I already set this other keyframe here, it's animated between these two keyframes. In a way, I'm using Illustrator to animate a shape, but all through Overlord and After Effects. Now of course I want to bring this anchor point down, but that's fine because I can just do that by updating this keyframe. I don't need to necessarily go back into Illustrator to do that. I can just update the keyframe here. For the rest of the movement of the hand and the arm, I would just use that same process because these files are not linked in the same way that they would be if you use the traditional workflow of importing an Illustrator file, I can go back into Illustrator and undo those changes so that my final design still looks the way that I want it to. So even if I save this, it's not going to affect anything that I did in After Effects because these are independent shape layers. You don't have to have Keyframe set to update shapes from After Effects to Illustrator or vice versa. You would only set keyframes if you want to animate those differences in the shape. Also when you transfer shapes from After Effects back into Illustrator, there's one little thing to know. I'm going to go to the place in this arm layer where I know that it looks different from what's in my Illustrator file and I'm just going to make sure that I have Path selected and I'm going to go back into Illustrator and make sure that I have that arm layer selected. I'm going to use Pull to pull that from After Effects into Illustrator because I'm already here in Illustrator. I'll just do pull, and you can see that if I toggle down that layer, it's actually created a new shape within that same layer, which is not the exact same thing as what happens when you're going the other way from Illustrator into After Effects. If you did want this shape, you could just delete the old one, I guess, but it's not a perfect transfer. Here's another thing to be aware of when transferring different versions of a shape back and forth between Illustrator and After Effects. It's important to always maintain the same number of anchor points. For example, this arm has six anchor points, so there's one, two. There's actually two on top of each other right here so, 3, 4, 5, 6. But if I were to on round these corners, now I only have 1,2,3,4 anchor points. If I were to transfer this shape back in for this shape, so with this selected, I'm going to pull that back in. Now, look what happened between these two keyframes. This is the one with four anchor points and pointy corners in this position, this keyframe has rounded corners and ticks anchor points. When it animates between the two, it doesn't really know what to do with those extra anchor points. So that's why it's important to maintain the same number of anchor points at all times. Sometimes you can help After Effects out by adding some anchor points where you think they should go. Where I only have four anchor points, I'm just going to add two and now my animation looks a whole lot better. If you're still having issues, but you have the same number of anchor points for the shapes in both of the keyframes, then it could be because After Effects has gotten the order of your anchor points messed up. You know which anchor point is the first one because it has two squares around it, so this one is going to be the first one. But if I knew that this anchor point should actually be the first one, because it was the first one in my other keyframe and then After Effects just switched it with my second keyframe. I could actually just manually reset that by right-clicking, going down to mask and shape Path, and just hit Set First Vertex. Something else that's good to know is that if you want to add a shape like this bracelet to an existing shape that's already in After Effects, you can just make sure that you have that layer selected and then you can either push depending on where you are or pull since I'm already here and I'm just going to hold down Shift to add that bracelet shape onto my arm shape. So holding Shift, Click pull. It didn't actually put it in the place that I wanted it to, but I could go in and move it to where I wanted it to be. 9. Overlord - Recap: Hopefully, you're starting to see how Overlord can really transform your workflow and make it more flexible. You don't have to feel like you have to have everything figured out in your Illustrator file before you start animation. You can go back and forth between After Effects and Illustrator way more easily than using the traditional method of importing an Illustrator file into After Effects. There's a few more use cases when Overlord can be really helpful. As I've mentioned a few times already, when you're working with overlord, you're working with shape layers, and so your files are going to be not linked like they would be if you'd imported an Illustrator file the traditional way. When you have project files linked into your After Effects project like this. When you want to go and share your After Effects project with someone else, then you have to go up to "File", "Dependencies", "Collect Files", and then it's going to collect everything. But you might not want everything and things can get a little bit complicated. But with Overlord, since everything is a shape layer and it's not linked to anything outside of After Effects, it's easier to share your After Effects project file because all you need to share is the After Effects project file and not a folder with other files that are linked into the After Effects project file. Another thing that overlord can be useful for is when you have a graphic or a logo or something like this that you want to use across multiple projects. Instead of having to save this Illustrator file in every project where I use this Illustrator file or make sure that I have it on one place in my computer and never ever move it, instead of doing that and worrying about all those things, I can just transfer the logo and these texts layers with Overlord into my project. These are not linked, so I could just recolor these appropriate colors and make any changes inside of After Effects and not worry if I decide that I want to change this project later or move it on my computer. But there's sometimes a downside to this. If I decided that actually I'd spelled my name wrong or something, and I wanted it to change across every single project where I'd use this file, it's not going to do that because, again, there's no link. You just have to weigh the pros and cons and think about what you're doing and what your goals are. Just as important as knowing when to use a tool is knowing when not to use a tool. In the case of Overlord, transferring shapes that have effects applied to them, like the effects in this Window, like zigzag, for example, are not going to transfer over. In the case of the zigzag, it just comes in as a straight line. But you can usually add a lot of these effects natively in After Effects. You could just go in, for example, and add this exact effect. In this example, it's not a big deal if you do actually transfer the zigzag because it's easy to add it back and nothing terrible happened. Which is unlike some of my other examples. If you have a design that has a lot of textures, if you're using textured brushes like this, the textured brush is not going to transfer, it just going to transfer into a solid line because the brushes are not supported in After Effects. What you could do is you could expand the appearance of the brush, and now these are all little vector shapes. You could theoretically transfer this using Overlord, but if you try to push something this complex you will regret it because your computer will be temporarily so single-mindedly focused on this monstrous tasks that you will feel like you've lost years of your life waiting for it to stop. Obviously, speaking from a friend's experience here. If you use a lot of textures in your work, chances are you might be using Photoshop and in that case you might want to check out Timelord, which is also created by Battle Axe. 10. Motion - Set Up: Motion is a super handy multi-purpose tool created by Mt. Mograph. While it is most expensive plugin discussed in this class at $65, I've personally found it to be worth every penny. Based on a super unscientific poll, I bet that Motion is one of the most common tools for motion designers to have. There are other tools that do some of the things that Motion does and I haven't tried these are done the math, but I think you'd come out ahead just by purchasing Motion instead of multiple plug-ins. Plus there things that motion does that I don't think any other plug-in can do. Let's get into it. If you go to Support, and then Motion Guide, you'll find some helpful tutorials that will show you things that I might not be showing you in this class because I'm just going to be going over the things that I use most frequently, but Motion has a lot of features, so you might find this page helpful. There's also instructions on how to install Motion here. Motion is actually an extension. To find an After Effects go to Windows and then Extensions. I like to keep Motion in right here, and it's this whole area here. Just so you know, your Motion interface might not look exactly like mine, especially these tools right here. I pick these tools out to be here because I use them most and I'll show you that later. Also, you can hover over most things in the Motion interface to get a little description of what it does. 11. Motion - Core Functions: There are so many features to a Motion. Let's just start from the top. If you have nothing selected, up here, you're going to see information about your composition. But not only does this give you information at a glance, you can also change things here. I could click to change the name and then just hit "Enter" to save that, or I could even change the duration. So maybe I'll change this to 10 seconds, and you can see it has updated my timeline. I'm going to go back to five. Or you can even change the frames per second, or you could change the dimensions of your project. You can do all that from right here without having to go into your composition settings. If you have a layer selected, it's going to show you different information up here. This is showing me that this has a blue fill. Then over here is the focus feature. Let's say I want to just focus on this anchor point box over here, but I've got over 100 layers here, so I just want to just have this showing. I can just select those layers and then hit this button right here, and it's going to focus those layers not only in my composition viewer, but also in my timeline. Basically, it just shy everything and hidden it, but instead of me having to click every single layer, it just did that in one click for me. You can also tell that you're in Focus Mode in two ways. One is this blue box around your comp, and the other is this little marker note that's added to your timeline. To get out of Focus Mode, you're just going to push the next button over, which is the little back arrow, and then everything will come back. This might take just a second if you have as many layers as I do, but I think that the time it can save by focusing on things can be worth it. Because when you focus on something, After Effects doesn't have to think about all the rest of the things in your composition, so it's not rendering those things out in RAM preview. Your computer is going to run a lot faster if you have a really complex file. Focus can be a super powerful tool to speed up your workflow, and just focus on what you need both for yourself and for your computer. Next up is the Anchor Point Tool. This is the reason I bought Motion, the first version, way back years ago because it's super handy. What you can do is just center the anchor point or put it in any of the corners or edges. A lot of my layers will already have the anchor point in the center just because of the way that I transferred them with overload, but as you probably know, when you make shapes in After Effects, they probably won't have the anchor point already centered. It's really handy to just be able to click one button to move the anchor point, but that's not all this tool can do. Let's say I already had set some keyframes for this anchor point. Let's say I had some position keyframes, and then I decided that actually for some reason, I needed to have the anchor point be at the top rather than in the middle. If I were to use the Pan-Behind Tool, which is the way that you would move an anchor point without motion, and I were to drag the anchor point up, you can see it's also adjusting the motion path. Now it's going to have changed how my animation looks because it's actually moved the anchor point and the position, but that's not what I wanted to happen. I could just move this point as well, but if I had a more complicated animation, that could be really hard, and it wouldn't come out exactly right. Instead, I'm just going to undo that. Instead, what I could do is just hit this button, and you can see that I'm getting the same effect. The motion looks the same, but my anchor point is moved. Now if I wanted to rotate this, it's going to rotate from the top. To summarize that, the Anchor Point Tool works even if you've already set keyframes. Another super cool thing about the Anchor Point Tool, that can save you a ton of time, is that you can select multiple layers at once and move the anchor point all at the same time. Let's take a look at these Curve Graph Tools, so it's going to be this graph preview and these sliders. First of all, I'm just going to focus in on part of my animation. Also, you'll notice that I've colored my layers just to help me keep organized and know what goes together, and so if you know a certain color for a certain kind of layer, that's not going to be the case anymore because I went and recolor them. I'm just going to focus in on these ones by using my Focus Tool in Motion. I've set keyframes on the hand and the slider graphics within my animation. Right now, these are all linear keyframes besides a couple of whole keyframes because I want this to look like the tool actually looks when it's in use. Right now, my animation just looks robotic and not that interesting. I could just select the keyframes and do F9 or right-click "Velocity" as an Easy Ease, and then from there, I could go into the Graph Editor and start adjusting the graphs to make the animation go slow and then faster, whatever look I wanted to go for. But there's another way to do this that might be faster, and that's to use Motion. I don't even need to do Easy Ease. I could just make sure that my keyframes are selected, and then I have a couple options of how I want to work with this tool. I can use the sliders. When you start using the sliders, you'll see a preview up here of what your graph in the Graph Editor would look like. This is a graph of the speed, so this is going to be going slow, fast, and then slow. This is speed on the y-axis over time on the x-axis. Adjusting the middle slider is going to make this curve more or less extreme, but I can also just grab the top slider to make it more slow in the beginning, or I can drag the bottom slider to make it slow at the end. These numbers here represent the percentage of influence that you would see when you're dragging handles in the Graph Editor. The other way that you can work with this tool is by adjusting the graph, by clicking and dragging on the graph. When you do that, it works in the opposite way. You get the preview of the sliders. Also, when you're clicking and dragging in your graph preview, if you go in the middle while you're dragging, you'll see a darker area right in the middle. If you click up and down and drag on that, then you get this effect with your graph. Also that gray graph that you see there is the original graph. I know what I'm changing it to and what it was. If you ever want to convert your keyframes back to linear keyframes, you can just click this button here. I'm going to set these keyframes to about 70. I could be selecting keyframes on multiple layers, or if you select these keyframes now, since I have my sliders in position, I could just hit this button to apply both the ease-in and ease-out, or if I wanted to, I'll just undo that. Then I'll show you by opening up the Graph Editor, I can just apply the ease-in with this button, or I could apply just ease-out with this button, or both with this button. Whatever you click is going to override the last thing. It looks I get miss these keyframes probably because they don't have the same number. So I'll just apply that again. These buttons down here are presets of different curves that you can apply to your keyframes in just one click. With keyframes selected, you can just click on any of these to apply. You can see when you click on them the numbers of the influence right here, or if you push this button, you can see all of your presets and the numbers for the influence. You can also save your own presets. If you had adjusted your graph or your curves to a position that you liked, let's say I had one that was like 10 and 90, then I wanted to save this. If you hit this little button right here, it'll save it and add it as a preset. Now I can just automatically with one click, apply this to any keyframes. When you're using presets, be careful that you're not just like applying them because it's so easy to do that. Make sure that you're thinking about what you want your motion to look like and what you're trying to accomplish, and then using the presets to accomplish those goals. If you want something to move in slow and then fast, maybe you do want to use this preset, but try it, and if that's not quite right, then go in and adjust your graph. Also it's not as if by using the presets or these slider and graph tools that you're never going to go back into your graph editor to edit curves again. There are times when it just makes more sense to go into the graph editor and you'll see an example of that later. One use case of these curved presets is when you're working on a project and you want certain transitions to be consistent. Say I have things that slide in, maybe it's like a whole scene sides in, and I want all of my slide in scenes to have this preset like slow and then fast. Then I want all of my sliding out transitions do have like fast and slow, that just a random example that's not any rule or anything. I could do that to be consistent within my own project. Or if I was working with another animator, we could decide that all of our transitions or slides between scenes or whatever are going to take one second, and then they're going to use these two presets or whatever we decide. That way you can keep your motion looking similar across different animators. The color tools in motion can be a little bit hidden until you know where to look for them. If you have a shape layer selected, at the top of motion, you'll see a little indicator for the fill, and if there was a stroke, the stroke color of that shape. If you click on that, then from here you have a lot of the same tools that you would if you're in Illustrator. So you could eye dropper from somewhere in your composition. You could adjust with the color wheel here, and when you do that, you'll see a preview of what you're going to get, the new color on the right and the old color on the left. I'm just going to undo that. You can also use the sliders to adjust colors, and even the opacity, or you could change to white, black, or no fill here. Or you can paste or type in a hex number. Then by clicking on the stroke, you have the same options with the stroke, including the stroke width. In this button right here, we'll flip the fill and stroke. The part of the color tool that I use the most is actually these color swatches here. Clicking on the folder shows all the different color swatches that you have already saved, and you can create a new palette from here too. To create a new palette, I'm just going to go into that palette and you'll see that there's nothing in this folder, and I can just select something that's in my composition and hit the Plus button to add that swatch to my folder. You could repeat that process to save more colors into your palette. Or in my workflow, it usually makes sense to get the colors that I've already saved in Illustrator, so you can do that too. In Illustrator, I have all of my colors saved for this project in this folder here. First, I'm just going to go and delete these other folders, and I'm also going to delete all of these swatches just to make sure that nothing else gets imported besides the colors that I actually want. Then with these selected, I'm going to go to the hamburger menu and then Save Swatch Library as ASE. Then you could save these swatches in the main swatch folder on your computer, but it might be a little bit hard to find. You could also just save it in the folder for the project. Then back in After Effects, if you go to this folder icon in motion, and remember if you're not seeing the color tools, you need to make sure that you have something that has a color selected. Then from the folder tool, you can go down to import ASE, and then just navigate to your file and open. Now, you can see that those colors all imported. I also got the black and white in there. If I wanted to, I could just select the color palette, hit the ''X'' to actually open it, and then I could hit the ''Color'', and hit the ''Trash Can'' to delete it. Also, when you're in this folder view, you can click on the name of the palette to name the colors. Then just hit ''Enter'' to confirm that name. You can also delete entire groups here. Then when you want to use these color swatches, it's just as easy as double-clicking on the color swatch to recall the artwork. So that's how I use motion to work with colors in After Effects, because After Effects alone doesn't have the greatest color system. This little bar down here is a little mini representation of your timeline. This can be nice if you have a really long project and you just want to see where you are. This little indicator is where your play head is. While you might be zoomed in on your timeline down here, this is only five seconds, so it's really not that long, but you can still see where your play head is in relation to the whole timeline, whereas looking at my timeline down here, isn't an accurate representation of where I am in the entire timeline. But up here, I can tell that I'm actually pretty close to the start. This blue area up here represents your work area. With these little sliders, you can adjust your work area right from this timeline. Then again, you can see where that work area is in relation to the rest of your timeline. Then if I were to update where my work area is on my actual timeline, it will also update here. To be honest, I don't mess with this timeline all that often, but it is sometimes handy to just glance up at this and tell where you are in relation to the whole project. Again, mostly if you're working on something that's really long, like a couple minutes. 12. Motion - Tools: There's even more to motion than what I've shown you so far. You click on this little lightning bolt down here, you'll see a bunch more tools. Now, I'm not going to go over all of these tools, but I'm just going to go over the ones that I use most frequently. To customize which tools you see in your user interface, you can just go into the tools by clicking the lightning bolt and then the clicking lightning bolt again. and then you can just click to select which tools you want to see or click again to deselect. Then when you're done, just click the lightning bolt again. The first tool that I use a lot is the Null tool. What the Null tool does is creates a null and parent anything that's selected to that null. It also will center the null in the middle of whatever is selected. If I have these two layers selected, I can just hit this "Null" button and it would parent both of those layers to this new null, and it would put the null in the center of these two layers. Now I can easily just control these two layers with this one null layer. The next tool that I find worthy of keeping in my interface is the Rename tool. What the Rename tool does is renames a bunch of layers at once. These little lines, I didn't bother to name in Illustrator because I knew that I could rename them a whole lot faster in After Effects. These are all of these unnamed lines right here. We're just going to select them and hit "Rename" and then I can type in my name right here. Then I can choose to have something after it or before it, and a separator. Right now it's just going to be line dash one, line dash two. That's usually good enough for me. I just hit "Rename". Just like that, everything is renamed. That would be a lot of time to type out line 1, line 2, but this just did it in just a couple of clicks. The Clone tool is definitely one of my favorite and most frequently used tools. I've even mentioned in other classes because I just need it so many times. What the Clone tool does is copy and paste keyframes even across multiple layers. I'm just going to use the Shape tool as an example here because it has keyframes on multiple different layers that I want to copy and paste. Right now I have this animation, but I want to make it loop. Right now it's not looping. I want to copy and paste all of these keyframes again, and then all of the beginning keyframes at the very end to make a loop. Without motion and the Clone tool, if I were to try to copy and paste all of these keyframes at once by hitting "Command+C" "Command+V", After Effects is actually going to paste all the layers again, and that's definitely not what I want. Without Motion, I would have to copy and paste one at a time, and that's a lot of keyframes copy and paste, so not very efficient. With Motion and the Clone tool, I can just select all of these keyframes. Then with the keyframes that I want to copy selected and with my play head where I want them to be pasted, I can just hit the "Clone tool" and it does exactly what I wanted; paste all of those keyframes right there without duplicating my layers. Then I'm going to do the same thing at the end of my timeline. I'm just going to select these keyframes at the beginning that I want to copy. Making sure my play head is where I want to paste them, I just hit the "Clone tool" and it's cloned and now I'll have a looping animation. This works for lots of cases, not necessarily just to make animations loop. It works anytime that you want to paste keyframes even if it's just on the same layer or across many layers. Next up is the Trim tool. This is a pretty basic tool that just adds Trim Paths to a layer. I'm just going to work on this little lightning bolt right here, and I want to animate this with Trim Paths. Normally, you'd have to toggle down, hit "Add" and then hit "Trim Paths." So there's a few clicks involved in that. But with the Trim tool, you can just have the layer selected and hit "Trim" and it's already added that for you in just one click. Not super crazy, but it can save you a couple of clicks, which does save you time. Then to animate this, I would still animate it in the same exact way as normal. The Jump and Excite tools are pretty similar. I just created this simple example to show you the difference. Right now I just have a simple animation where these two circles fall down. I want to add a little bit of a bounce. I'm going to use the Jump tool for that. I'll just select this last keyframe and apply the jump effect to it. Now you can see how the Jump tool gives it a nice bounce. You can go into your Effects Controls and you can either enable or disable this. You have some properties like stretch, gravity, and max jumps that you can change to get different looks. Now, let's look at the Excite tool. In this circle, I'm going to apply the excite effect to this last keyframe. You can see how that gives it a bit of a different effect. The Jump tool looks more like a realistic physics effect, whereas the Excite tool just does a little overshoot animation. As a general rule, I like to use the jump tool for position where things are bouncing and you want to simulate gravity. Then I use the Excite tool for properties like rotation or scale, where I just want to add a little nice subtle overshoot. I'll show you an example of that in my project. But also a good thing to know is that if you decide that you don't want this effect on your layer anymore for either or really any of the effects that add expressions to your layers, you can see that there's expressions added with these effects because the numbers are red. If you wanted to delete this, you could go into the tools and just hit the "Trash Can" icon, and that'll get rid of the effect on your layer. Another thing that you should know is that your keyframe where you set either the jump or the excite property on, needs to be a linear keyframe. You could have easing on these keyframes, but not the ones that the jump worksite is actually applied to. Otherwise, you just won't see the effect applied. But easing on the other keyframes will work fine. Let me show you how I use the Jump tool to animate this bouncing ball in my project. Just to note is that this dotted line is not functional, it's just decoration. Here's what the final animation looks like. Let me show you how to recreate this. Instead of using a circle, I actually used a square. Then I'm going to use motion to center the anchor point. Then I'm going to toggle down the rectangle and click on "rectangle path one," right-click and go to convert to Bezier path. Then I'm going to go to add round corners. Then I can just bring this value up so that it looks like a circle. You might be wondering why I'm doing this because before when it was a rectangle, I had an option to round the corners. But it'll make sense why I did it this way and a little bit because I'm going to animate the path of this shape to make the squash and stretch effect. Now what I'm going to do is go into the position and right-click on position in separate dimensions. Then I'm just going to animate the Y position from here and then down to where the bottom of that blue rectangle is, about like that. I can add easing to this first key-frame. I'll just use a preset and then for the second key-frame, I'm going to apply the jump effect. Now let's play back what we have and I'll just hide the other ball so it's not distracting. The ball has this nice bounce now, thanks to this jump effect and what I can do now is just animate the X position from here. I already know because I've done this and I have this little example for me that about here is where I want the X position to end. Maybe something like that and already with not that much work, I've created this nice bouncing ball effect thanks to this jump tool. What I could do now is just animate the squash and stretch of the ball so that it squashes when it hits the ground and then stretches when it's up in the air. To do that, I'm just going to animate the path like you could see that I've done on the original ball. I'll just go in, go into the path, and then I'll set some key-frames. This first key-frame will be for the nice round circle position and then the next key frame is when it hits the ground and I want it to be squashed at this point. This is where changing the original rectangle into a path is going to come in handy. I'm going to animate these top two points. I'm going to change the color for you, so you can actually see that. I'm going to animate these top two anchor points coming down so that the ball looks like it's squashing. By doing that, I've actually shrunk the size of the ball, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Now I also want to take these ones and just nudge them out to the side a bit so that my ball maintains roughly the same size. Then at this point, I'm going to stretch the ball. So the next key frame over, it's lifting off the ground and I want it to stretch. The easiest thing to do here is just to take the bottom two anchor points and drag them back down to the ground to make it look a little bit sticky and like it's stretching. Now by doing that, I've increased the size of the ball again so I just need to bring the sides in a little bit to counter that. Then at about this point in the arc of the ball, I want it to look a little bit more stretched out than this, a little bit more extreme, so I'm just going to select the bottom two anchor points, pull them out a little bit more, and then bring these ones in to counter that and that's looking pretty good. So far, we have a nice bounce and then the ball just looks deformed because we need to go back to our original shape. Right here is where the ball hits the ground again. At this point, I don't want it to be stretched anymore, I want it to be perfectly round. I'll just copy that first key-frame because I know that one is where it's perfectly round. Then I think the next key-frame over is going to be where it hits the ground and again, I will just apply a little squashing by animating the path. Each time the ball bounces, I'm going to make it squash just a little bit less because it doesn't have as much momentum because it's losing momentum as it bounces. Then same thing here, I'm going to make this stretch a bit. I'm just going to copy the round key frame and then bring these two down to make it stretch. Counter that by bringing this in just a little bit and then we'd repeat those same steps again for the last bounce. Obviously, the last one's not done, but I think you can get the pattern here and a lot of the work was already taken care of for me because I didn't have to worry about what the bounce would look like. I just had to go in and add those secondary details like the squash and stretch because the jump effect already added that bounce. I just applied the effect to the y position, animated the x position until it looked accurate, and then added squash and stretch. The Jump Effect save me a few steps and streamlined this process of making a realistic looking bouncing ball. But there's many other uses of the jump effect too. As an example of the excite tool, I'm going to show you how I have made this little fun rotation animation on this anchor point tool, which has nothing to do with the excite tool but the example still works. I'm going to go into my rotation property, set a key-frame, then go ahead like maybe 15 frames. I'm going to do a little anticipation on this so I'm going to set this back to about negative 20 and then I'm going to make it rotate forwards. I'll bring this up to 180. Here's what it looks like so far. Obviously, we can make that better. I'm just going to apply some easing using motion. I think I want it to go slow and then fast. Let's try this preset right here and let's see what that looks like. It looks pretty good. Let's go into the graph editor. I think I want this one to be a little bit less extreme right here, I'll just adjust this. Maybe something like that. Yes, that looks pretty good. I'm aiming to have this transition between the key-frames be pretty smooth right here. I think that looks better than what it was before. Remember that when you apply excite or jump, you can't have the easing on these key-frames. I'm just going to select this one and set it back to a linear key-frame, and then I'm going to apply Excite to it and let's see what this looks like. Looks pretty good. I could also go into my effects controls. In under property, I could change these values a bit if I want to, let's try a little bit less bounce. Now it's a little bit more settled, not quite as crazy with the excite at the end, it's something like that. If I were to not have motion and I wanted to do this effect, I'd have to set key-frames for all of those different back and forth rotations until it settles into place. That'll take a little bit of time to make it look good. But I think that motion does a pretty good job of doing that all for you. Even though motion can add these cool jump or excite effects to your animations, it's still important to know what motion is doing so that you could create this effect on your own without the plug-in. Sometimes easing these canned effects is not going to give you quite the look that you want and it will make your animations all or more professional to actually be able to do this effect on your own. But that's not to say that there aren't plenty of cases where you can just apply the jump or excite effect to save time. Make sure you're not over applying the jump and excite effect to every single animation. Just make sure you're doing things intentionally. There are a lot more tools in motion that I didn't go over. Just because I didn't go over a tool in this class doesn't mean that it's not worthwhile. Remember, you can always hover over a tool to see a little description of what it does. You can check out the website to learn more. I'll just quickly point out a couple more to you. This Burst effect you can see right over here, just makes a nice burst in just one click and then you get all of these different parameters that you can update to change the look of the burst. That's a good one. Then also, if you ever want to connect layers with the line, you can use this vector tool which can be super handy for creating things like webs or networks and stuff like that. Definitely play around with these tools to discover ones that you want to use in your workflow. 13. Ease Copy - Set Up: EaseCopy is a pretty simple plugin, but it has the potential to save you tons of time and headache. It's created by Mike Overbeck and you can purchase it on The price is Name Your Own Price, which does mean that you could put in $0 and make it free, but if you use this too often then consider paying to support the developer. EaseCopy allows you to copy your eases without overwriting your values and copy your values without overriding your eases. I'll show you what that looks like in just a second. When you download EaseCopy, you'll get instructions on how to install it. But just real quick, basically, you just need to go to your Applications folder, find After Effects, go into the Scripts folder, and then, in the Scripts UI Panels folder, and then you're just going to want to paste EaseCopy right in there. To be exact, EaseCopy is actually a script. Then, define EaseCopy and After Effects after you've restarted After Effects, of course. You're going to go to window, and then all the way down at the bottom, this is where all the scripts live, so just make sure the EaseCopy is checked. I like to keep my docs right over here. 14. Ease Copy - Core Functions: EaseCopy has two main functions. The first one is to copy easing values applied to keyframes and paste those same easing values on another set of keyframes. This differs from just copying and pasting actual keyframes or using the Clone tool in Motion because you're actually just copying the easing influence on the keyframes and not the actual values of the keyframes themselves. So you're only copying a part of the information that a keyframe is telling After Effects about. This also means that you can copy the easing values from keyframes that are a different property than the keyframes that you're going to paste those easing values onto, and you'll see that in this example. In this example, I have keyframes on the position of this hand pulling this handle back and forth. I've gone into the graph editor and adjusted the curve to come up with this. I also have keyframes on the path of the arm, which basically just makes sure that the arm is always attached to the hand, and then also on the curve, which is just animating the path of the curve to make it into different shapes as if this handle were being pulled, and adjusting the curve. If you play the animation back right now, you can tell that the easing on these keyframes is different. Obviously, these ones are linear on the curve and the arm. The arm, you actually can't tell that much because these are always connected, but you can definitely tell that the curve is quite a bit off. It's lagging at some points, and so it just looks a bit disconnected at the moment. What I need to do is copy the easing values of these keyframes and paste them onto both of these sets of keyframes. I can just select the keyframes that I want to copy. Go over to EaseCopy and hit "Copy". This little number right down here is going to represent the number of keyframes that are then copied, so we have six here. Then I can actually apply it to this set of six and this set of six at the same time. Then over in EaseCopy under paste, I'm going to hit "Ease" because that's what I want to paste onto these keyframes, it's just the easing values. Now you can see that these keyframes have gone the ease applied. Now take a look at the difference when I play this version back. It looks a whole lot more cohesive. Without ease copy, you could try to select all of your keyframes and edit them in the graph editor to adjust the easing all at the same time. But sometimes that just doesn't work out so well. EaseCopy can be super helpful, especially when you need the easing to be exact across multiple different sets of keyframes. You can also use EaseCopy to copy the easing between a certain number of keyframes that are on the same layer. Maybe you had a repetitive motion and you wanted that to happen again with the same easing, you could just copy some of the keyframes from that layer, go over to copy, and then paste them on the other keyframes on that layer. I use EaseCopy all the time, even when I'm using presets from Motion. Sometimes I'll forget which preset I've used for Motion, or it would just take me too long to think about what I had done before, and so it's faster just to copy the keyframes with EaseCopy and then paste them onto the keyframes that needed applied. EaseCopy is super-helpful when you create something custom in the graph editor when you're not using presets. Here's an example of when it would be useful to copy the values with EaseCopy. I want all of these lines to be aligned vertically, and I also want them to have the same distance apart. But somehow, we've gotten messed up. But since these keyframes are staggered, I would have to go keyframe by keyframe and line them up, which would be really tedious. Something I could do instead would just be to put my playhead somewhere else, not on any keyframes. Then just use the Align tools, and then I can just align them vertically and also distribute them evenly. Then it's obviously set these new keyframes because I've given them new positions. But what I can do from here is just select these new keyframes, and then go over to EaseCopy to copy these keyframes. Then I'm going to select the keyframes that are staggered and eased in the way that I want them to be. Then I can just go over to EaseCopy, and under Paste, I'll just choose a value. Now, all of these keyframes are in the right positions, and I can just delete these other ones. Now everything is lined up again. Like I mentioned at the beginning, I most often use copy ease. But this is a good example of a situation where it would be useful to copy the values without affecting the easing and if your keyframes are staggered. In this example, you also saw how you can still use EaseCopy even if your keyframes are not spaced out the same amount, and the same goes if you're copying eases or values. 15. Joysticks n' Sliders - Set Up: Joysticks n' Sliders is a pose-based rigging system with limitless applications. If that doesn't mean anything to you right now, it will by the end of these lessons. It's created by Mike Overbeck and you can purchase it on for 39.95. You can get a free trial that last for seven days and only has a few functional limitations. Once you download Joysticks n' Sliders, you just want to paste this file within your After Effects application under Scripts and then under ScriptUI panels. Then after you've restarted, After Effects, you'll find it under Window, and then down here at the bottom, Joysticks n' Sliders. I like to keep Joysticks n' Sliders in this tab behind Motion, and it's the kind of tool that you just set something up and then you don't need to go back to this panel a whole lot, which is why I'm okay with it behind Motion, which I use all the time. Joysticks n' Sliders is often used for character animation, but there's really a ton of different things that you can use it for, which is why I'm including it in this class. Here are some examples on the Joysticks n' Sliders page. Joysticks n' Sliders has two parts like the name implies, they're both ways of rigging your graphics in order to make animation easier. If you're not familiar with rigging, that's okay, this is a good intro. Rigging basically just means connecting your graphics and setting them up to be animated in a certain way. What's the difference between Joysticks n' Sliders? Joysticks is good for things that need to move up and down in the y-axis and also side to side in the x-axis. In this example, I made a very meta joystick to demonstrate this. Joysticks allows you to connect multiple layers and set different poses so that it's easy to animate between those poses. It can give 2D layers a 3D look. Then for sliders, you're going to have two different extreme positions, so the example here for sliders is the shape tool. The shape tool goes from big to small and takes a couple of stops in between. But all of that is set up with sliders so that each little piece that moves doesn't have to be set for every time I want to move the shape bigger and smaller, it's all just controlled with one slider layer. Sliders is good for things that go between two extremes, while joysticks is good for things that need dimensionality and go up-down right-left. I'm not going to cover every single aspect of Joysticks n' Sliders because that could be a class in itself, but I will show you the basics so you can get an idea of how you could start using this in your work by showing you how to set up this joystick with joysticks, and by showing you how I set up this shape tool with sliders. 16. Joysticks n' Sliders - Joysticks: Let's take a look at the joysticks portion of joysticks and sliders by seeing how I rigged and animated this very meta graphic of the joystick. To set up the joysticks rig, you need to set five keyframes. The first one will be for the neutral position, then the second one will be for the rightmost extreme then left, then up and then down. If you forget the order, you can just hover over this joystick button and it will tell you exactly what you need to do. The neutral position is going to be right in the center. This line, that's the stick that connects the ball to the base. I'm going to worry about second, so for now let's just set keyframes for the position of this ball. To see all of the frames like zoom in on my timeline, I'm going to hit the colon key, so now I can see frame by frame, and I'm just going to go to position, set a keyframe on frame zero, for the position to be right in the center, and it's important that you set these keyframes exactly where they need to go. The first keyframe for neutral, needs to go exactly on zero. Now, I want to set the extreme right position, one frame forward in time, so on frame one, I'm just going to drag this over while holding Shift to maintain the vertical position and only change the horizontal position. I think right there is going to be a pretty good where the center of this ball is on the edge of the square, and then on frame number two, which is actually the third keyframe, I want to do the extreme left position, so I'll just hold down Shift again, drag this all the way over to the left, and then frame three is going to be the up position, so I'm going to actually copy and paste this first keyframe right here, and that way I know that I can just hold down Shift and drag up vertically so that I maintain the horizontal position as the same horizontal position as the neutral point. Instead of copying and pasting that first keyframe like I just did, another way to do this would just be to hit the origin button, and this is going to copy the first keyframe, the origin keyframe, onto wherever your play head is, so that can be helpful, especially if you have a ton of different keyframes that are on the origin and you want to paste all of them at the same time to the next key frame, so then you can set the new keyframe from that ordinary position. On this fifth keyframe, I'll just show you an example of that. With the layer selected, I'll hit origin, and then you'll see it just puts it back and sets a keyframe at my origin, and from here I can drag down and go to my down position. Now I have the five keyframes for this ball in the center, the origin, then right, left, up and down. So now I want to set five keyframes on the stick so that it attaches to the ball at all times. To do this, since this is just a stroke, I'm going to animate the path. This position is actually perfect for the up position, so I'll just set a keyframe here on the fourth keyframe for the up position, and then let's just start from neutral, and we'll bring the path, this anchor point all the way to the center, so basically the two anchor points that make up that line are just right on top of each other. Then from here, I want this anchor point to be right in the center of the ball, so I'll just line that up as close as I can get to perfect. Looks good, and then over here, I want that anchor point to be in the center of the ball again. The up position is already done, and then the last one is the down position. Make sure that you're always dragging the same anchor point, so this is the one that connects to the ball, so that's the one that should always be moved. Now lets just double-check to make sure that everything is connected on all the frames. That looks good. Now what I want to do is just select both of these two layers and go over to the joystick panel and hit this create joystick button, and it's going to let me name the joystick. Usually it centers the origin and the controller over your artwork, but in this case it didn't and I'm not really sure why, but it really doesn't matter, because you can just grab the origin layer, joystick control origin, and you can move this over your artwork or off to the side if you rather. I'm just going to put mine right over the artwork. Now I can take the joystick control and just drag it around anywhere within the blue dotted line, which is the origin, and it will interpolate all of the positions within that area. You can tell that the joysticks and sliders plugin has added expressions to the position of the ball because of these red numbers and also to the path, so you're not going to want to animate those things anymore instead, you just want to animate the joystick control layer, which is this one. I'm just going to open up the position of the joystick controller, and you can animate from negative 200 to 200 in the x-direction or the y-direction or both. I'll just set a few keyframes, and then I'm going to make this loop by just copying and pasting the first keyframe, and let's add some just basic easing to these. I'm going to use the motion plugin. You can let see is this preset. Since this joystick controller is a white square, that's a guide layer, so it won't show up in our final render, but still right now it looks weird. I'm just going to reduce the opacity to like 50 percent, so it's easier to see what's going on. When I animated the position of this controller, it automatically added some curves to the motion path, and I don't like the way that looks, so I'm just going to go up to the pen tool, grab the convert vertex tool, and just zap these little vertexs to make them more pointy. That's how I animated this joystick graphic with the joysticks portion of joysticks and sliders. I don't think I've ever said joysticks that many times in a sentence before. Hopefully, you can see that using this method can be easier than setting a bunch of keyframes, especially when you have a lot of layers. If I wanted to do this same animation without joysticks and sliders, I'll have to set keyframes on both the ball and the stick, and I'd have to make sure that they're lined up every single time depending on where I want to put them, and then if I change my mind on some of the animation, then I have two sets of keyframes that I have to work with. With this, I can just easily slide the keyframes around or delete them, add new keyframes, and I can choose any position and not have to realign anything up. This is a simple example, but if I was working on something more complex, the time save would be amplified even more. Joystick controllers can control as many layers as you'd like and be as complex as you'd like, but this was a super simple example of how you can use joysticks to control multiple layers, moving in four directions, right, left, up and down, and everything in between. Here's an example of a more complex use of joysticks and sliders. I rigged the head with joysticks and also the eyebrows, and then the mouth is rigged using sliders, so let's just take a look at the face. Even though this character is made up entirely of 2D layers, I've connected all of the facial features to this joystick controller so that when I move it, it looks like the head is turning in 3D space, even though it's just an illusion. I've also created joystick controller for the eyebrows so she can move her eyebrows to have different emotions, and I rigged each eyebrow separately so that you can control them on their own. Instead of setting right, left, up and down positions, I set positions for the eyebrows to be more straight, for right, more curvy, for left, and then angled up for up, an angle down for down. By doing that, I have a bunch of different combinations depending on where I move the controller of different positions of eyebrows, so she can have lots of different kinds of emotions. 17. Joysticks n' Sliders - Sliders: I rigged and animated this shape tool icon with the sliders portion of joysticks and sliders, so let's just take a look at the final animation. In this case, using sliders was perfect because I just wanted this shape to go between two extremes: a small size and a big size, and take a few stops in-between. Let's recreate this to show you how sliders works. Even though I just have this one shape layer, I have a bunch of little shapes inside of it, and I'm going to want to animate all of these. First, I'm going to start out with the main shape of this shape icon, which is this circle. I've labeled all of these different shapes and just as a note, you can label them in Illustrator and Overlord will transfer them in, but I actually ended up just naming them in After Effects because I forgot to do it in Illustrator. The first thing I want to do is animate the size of the circle, and all of these different shapes are parametric shapes, so either ellipses or rectangles. That way, I can animate the size of them and not affect the stroke width. Whereas if I were to actually animate the scale, you can see that the stroke is increasing proportionally with the size of the circle, and that's not what I want because that's not accurate to how a shape icon, if you are working in Illustrator, would work. Let's just undo that, and we'll work with the size on all of these. With sliders, we're going to be going between two extremes. You actually only have to set two different keyframes. I'm just going to zoom in my timeline by hitting the "Colon" key, that'll show me every frame. On the first frame, we want to set the neutral position. So I'm actually going to go a bit smaller than what I have here, like 120 and I'm going to make sure that I set a keyframe. Then on Frame 1, this keyframe is going to be the biggest extreme, so I'm going to set this up to 250. Now, sliders is actually going to take these two keyframes and figure out a negative value of that, so I'll be able to animate something that's actually even smaller than 120, and you'll see that in just a second. Now, I need to line up all the other shapes so that they line up with this circle. For the square, it'll be just the same thing, animating the size. Then for all of these little boxes, I'm just going to animate the position, so I'm going to go in to transform and then set position keyframes for the correct position of these. I can actually select multiple at once as long as I have keyframes on them. I'm just going to go through first and just set keyframes for the position. Now that I've turned on the position stopwatch for all of these little squares, I can actually just select multiple at once and drag them all at the same time, which will just be a little bit more efficient. When you do this, just make sure that you're not accidentally nudging things because it's really easy to do. I've got all the squares in place, now I'll just do the same thing with this line and that circle. Now, my first set of keyframes on zero is looking good, and now I'm just going to move over to Frame 1 and line up all of these little details on my shape again. Now that I have my two keyframes set for all of the different shapes that need to be animated within this layer, I can go over and set up the slider. Just know that I could be using multiple layers. You don't have to have all of your keyframes on just one layer. You could have multiple like I did with the joysticks example. With this layer selected, I'm just going to go over and hit the "New slider" button. I'll just leave it as name slider control, and now we can close up this layer. Within this slider, I have this slider control. You can also toggle down to find it under Effects, and now I can animate this slider to animate the shape. I'll just set a few keyframes, and I can drag this slider all the way up to 100. Then if I go past a hundred, nothing is going to happen because that's the extreme value. You can also drag into the negative numbers because the joysticks and sliders plugin will automatically try to interpolate and create a negative value for you. I didn't plan to go super low into the negative values, but something like that still looks like it's working, so I could use that if I wanted to. To make sure that this loops, I'm just going to copy and paste the first keyframe to make it the last keyframe. Similar to the joystick example in the last video, using sliders simplifies a bunch of different keyframes into one keyframe. I can animate this shape with lots of different parts that are moving with just this one keyframe, which makes it easier to animate and to change my mind later. Let's just take a look at this animation. Pretty cool. There's a lot going on for just these five keyframes. The mouth in this character animation is a more complex example of how you can use sliders, so let's take a look at this mouth rig. Here is my final rig, and in the mouth controller, this is the slider that's set up, and I have a bunch of different sliders that I can actually animate. I can animate a frown. It's just going to be between zero and a hundred. A hundred is the most frowniest of frowns, and you can't go above a hundred, it just doesn't change anything. Then zero would be neutral and then same with all of these other mouth positions. Under Shocked, 100 would be totally shocked, but I could also do 50 for a different look. I've also made different shapes for different letter sounds so that she can look like she's talking. When I animate her talking, I just use this mouth rig composition, and I use essential graphics so that I can just animate these properties between zero and a hundred so that she can look like she's talking. This is a topic that could be a class on its own, so if you're watching this in the future and I have made that class, you'll find a link to it below this video. For this mouth rig, let me just unlink this controller to show you all of the keyframes that I set to make this mouth work. For sliders, remember, you only set two keyframes: the neutral position and the extreme position. But you can set more than one extreme position. All of these keyframes on zero seconds, zero frames, make up the neutral position, and then each one of these additional sets of keyframes on each additional frame is another extreme. Sliders will work and make multiple sliders, one for each of these. Between here and here will be one slider, and then between neutral and two frames will be one slider; between neutral and three frames will be one slider, and so on. Let me just undo that to get my sliders back. That's why I have all of these different sliders because of all those different keyframes that I set. I hope this gives you a good idea of where you can go with joysticks and sliders. Again, if you're watching this in the future, and I've come out with classes on these more advanced joysticks and sliders topics, then I'll have them linked below this video. 18. GifGun - Set Up: GifGun is a tool by that you can purchase on It cost $29.99. You can get a free trial, but usually the trial either has some limitations on functionality, or only lasts for a limited amount of time. GifGun allows you to export GIFs directly from After Effects. It's a whole lot faster than going through Photoshop or even Media Encoder, and generally comes out with better results. GifGun is technically a script. When you download it, you'll get instructions on how to install it. Then the After Effects, you'll find it under "Window", and then down at the bottom, you'll find GifGun. I like to keep mine over here in a tab with the project panel. GIFs are a good file type to render out when you want to post your work onto a website. Because the GIFs will automatically play through either forever or just once, depending on how you set it up when you render it. If you want to learn more about GIFs, including when, where to use them, and how to balance quality with file size, check out my class, Looping Animated Scenes in After Effects. 19. GifGun - Core Functions: If you don't have GifGun, your options to render a GIF or either Media Encoder or Photoshop. I'll show you both really quickly so you can see how much easier GIFGun is and decide if it's something that you want to invest in. Before I export my project as a GIF through Photoshop, I'm going to reduce the dimensions of my project because to be honest I just tried it in and this was way too big and Photoshop was really slow. From here, I can go up to Composition, add to Render Queue and then I want to make sure that I change the output module to a PNG sequence and then hit Okay, and this is going to render out a series of PNG images, one for each frame. Under Output 2, I want to make sure this is saving in the right folder. I also wanted to save in a sub folder and then just hit Save and Render. Of course, you know this takes a little bit of time. From Photoshop, I'm going to do Command O to open, and then I'm going to navigate to where I saved all of those PNG images. Just double-click to open the folder and then you can just select the first one and make sure that you have image sequence checked. It's probably going to guess the frame rate correctly, but if it didn't make sure that you change it and hit Okay. From here you can go up to File, Export, Save for Web. It might take a while for this window to open. Then when it does, you can adjust the settings and see a preview of what that's going to look like. GIFS can only have a maximum of 256 colors and having a GIF with less colors can make the file size smaller. I'm going to bring this down to 16. It might take a second to think about what this will look like. But actually, this format is a little bit nicer than GifGun because you can actually see a preview before you render out your GIF so you can tell what it's going to look like. In GifGun, you have to just render it out and then see what it looks like. This is nice hover preview. I'm just going to render this out. It's also a fairly decent size GIF, about two megabytes is pretty good. I try to stay under four megabytes as a general rule. Then you can choose if you want this to loop forever or just once, I'll leave it on forever. You can also change the size of your image here and then just hit Save. Then again, you're going to have to navigate to where you want to save the GIF and name it and then hit Save. This part might take some time too. To export a GIF through a Media Encoder I'm going to go up to Composition, Add to Media Encoder Queue. It might take a second to open up Media Encoder and add your project to the queue, but then from here you want to choose Animated GIF under Format, and then under Video settings, you have the option to change the frame rate. Right now it's set to 25 and my animation is 30 frames per second. But unfortunately, that's not a choice. My next choice would be to go to 15 frames per second, but that's also not a choice. That's going to be an issue of exporting with Media Encoder because it might look a little bit glitchy if frames are dropped. Also in Media Encoder, you don't have the option to manually change the number of colors that are displayed in your GIF. But you can change the quality or dimensions. Then again, under Output file, you're going to have to choose where you want to save your project and then hit Render. Of course, this takes a little bit of time, but I'll speed it up for you. Now let's take a look at how to export a GIF through GifGun. I'm going to open up the GifGun tab. First I'll just go into settings to make sure my settings are right. The first section is where you want to save your GIF. A nice option is to output to the project folder because then you don't have to go through and find the correct folder on your computer. This is automatic option, or you can make sure that it saves to the exact folder that you want. Then we have an option to resize the GIF and change the frame rate. I'm going to keep mine at 30. But it's just nice that we have the option for 30 and 15. I'm going to change the max colors to 16 because that's what I used for Photoshop and it seemed to work out okay. I'm going to keep my render preset at lossless. You have the option to compress your GIF if you're working with a big file and you need it to be smaller, you have some options here that you can test out. You also have this option to keep the alpha channel, and this means that you can have a GIF with a transparent background. This is not an option in Media Encoder, but it is in Photoshop. I don't usually use faster resize but if you hover over it, it'll tell you what it does. Same thing for Use Experimental Engine. Checking Pixel Art will give your GIF a pixelated style, and then you can also save a copy of your video if you want to. You have the option to make your GIF loop forever or as many times as you want. Then this option it just means that GifGun will open up the folder when it's done rendering so you can find it to preview it quicker. Once you're happy with the settings, just click "Done", and then just click "Make GIF". Then it's going to take just a little bit of time to get that GIF ready for you after it renders. I chose the option to save the GIF in the project folder and then open up that folder when it was finished. Here's that. Then I find it easier to just drag and drop that into my final output folder than it would have been to navigate to this folder and then save it there in the first place. You can batch export multiple compositions as GIFS at once through GifGun so you would just select multiple and then go into GifGun and choose Make GIF. Here's a comparison of the three different ways to render out a GIF. With these particular GIF, I didn't find a huge difference, but a lot of times the colors will be more vibrant if you go through Photoshop or GifGun. I've also found that there's some weird artifacting in Media Encoder sometimes. So overall, I think that GifGun is a good option if you export a lot of GIFS because as you just saw, there's a whole lot less steps and a whole lot of time saved when going through GifGun. 20. What's Next: Congrats on completing this class. I hope you'll implement some of these plugins into your work well and enjoy all the time that you save. Keep in mind, just like starting any new habit, incorporating these tools into your workflow can take a little getting used to. It might feel like taking a step backwards in order to move forwards, but now you'll be moving forwards at a faster pace. Don't forget to share your class project, a description of how you've used or plan to use any of these plugins in your workflow. Click on my name above this video to check out the other classes that I'm teaching and make sure that you're following me on Skillshare and Instagram to get notified when I have a new class for you. Thanks so much for watching and until next time, happy engraving.