Animating With Parenting: Intro To After Effects (Part 3) | Morgan Williams | Skillshare

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Animating With Parenting: Intro To After Effects (Part 3)

teacher avatar Morgan Williams, Animator / Educator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Review Final Project


    • 3.

      Create A New Composition


    • 4.

      Background Image


    • 5.

      Making The Sun


    • 6.

      Adding Layer Styles


    • 7.

      Making The Earth


    • 8.

      Making The Moon


    • 9.

      Animating The Moon


    • 10.

      Parenting Basics


    • 11.

      Animating The Earth


    • 12.

      Null Objects


    • 13.

      Animating Fly Through


    • 14.

      More Parenting Examples


    • 15.

      Animating Background


    • 16.

      Adding Audio And Rendering


    • 17.

      See You In The Next Class!


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About This Class

Have you wanted to try creating animation or motion design in Adobe After Effects but been put off by it’s complexity?  Have you tried After Effects but not sure you’re really “getting it”? Then this series of classes is for you!

Intro To After Effects Part 3 is the third of a four part series to introduce Adobe After Effects to aspiring animators and motion designers with little or no experience with the software.  If you haven’t yet taken Intro To After Effects Parts 1 & 2, you’ll want to make sure and start with those classes first as we’ll be building on those lessons in part 3.

Perfect for Graphic Designers or Illustrators with an interest in animation or motion design, this series is a comprehensive survey of After Effects fundamentals that will give you a real understanding of the software and allow you to begin creating your own unique work with confidence.

Taught by Morgan Williams, an animator with over 25 years of professional experience and almost 10 years of experience as an animation instructor, this class is packed with professional techniques and practices to make your workflow smart and efficient..

But you won’t just be learning about software; throughout the series, software techniques will be connected to the principles of animation and other “bigger ideas” behind successful animation and motion design work, giving you a strong foundation both technically and creatively.

In Intro To After Effects Part 3, we will learn about...

  • Reviewing working with image layers, effects, and shape layers
    • Working with the Curves effect
  • Working with gradients on shape layers
    • Adding gradients
    • Adjusting gradient settings
  • Working with layer styles
    • Adding a layer style
    • Outer Glow layer style settings
  • Parenting basics
    • Parenting a layer
    • Parenting mulitple layers
  • Null objects & parenting
    • Creating null objects
    • Using null objects with parenting
  • Solo buttons
  • Scalability of Raster vs. Vector imagery

Students will need access to Adobe After Effects CC2018 (v15) or higher.  CC2018 (v15) is recommended as CC2019 (v16) still has some issues at this time.

Meet Your Teacher

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Morgan Williams

Animator / Educator


Hi, I'm Morgan!

I'm a professional animator and a faculty member at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

I've been an animator and animation director for over 25 years, creating animation and motion design for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston. Since 2011, I have been a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design. In 2015 I began creating online courses as an instructor for School of Motion, and now I'm thrilled to bring my animation classes to the Skillshare community!

I am based in beautiful Sarasota Florida where I live with my lovely wife... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Welcome to Intro The After Effects. Part three. This is the third part of a four part series to introduce Adobe after effects to aspiring animators and motion designers with little to no experience with software. My name is Morgan Williams, an animator in motion designer with over 1/4 century of professional experience in almost a decade of experience teaching, animation and motion design. If you haven't yet taken parts one and two of this series, I strongly recommend you stop now and go back through those classes before you start Part three. Each class is designed to build on the lessons from the previous classes, so make sure that you take them in order. This comprehensive survey of the fundamentals of after that is perfect for graphic. Designers and illustrators have either never tried the software or may have tried but been intimidated by this very complex animation, compositing and effects tool. Here in Part, three of the series will be focusing on two of the most useful component of the after effects work. Parenting and null objects will also look at working with radiance on shape players using layer styles and a whole lot more along the way will create this fun animation of the Sun, Moon and the Earth. And as always, I'll be sharing lots of professional techniques and tips to make your workflow smart and efficient. So let's open up after effects and jump right in. 2. Review Final Project: so it's always make sure you've downloaded, Unzipped and opened the project file we've included for this class. Also, if you want to copy the project exactly, we have a library of colors for you that you can import. As we've looked at in previous classes, you simply go to the pull down menu here in libraries, choose import library, choose select library and then navigate toothy library. File here within the footage folder in the Project folder and click open to import that library. But, of course, you're free to just choose your own colors and make the project the way you want to make it . Also remember that one of the first things we want to do is go under file increment and save and save a second version of this project in case we make some terrible mistake and want to start over. We've already set some color settings for this project as well, So if you go under file project settings and click on color settings, you'll see that were set for 16 bits per channel and a working space of S RGB. This will help us preserve our colors when we render, and also note that we have our fast preview setting at fast draft, which I recommend in this class. We're going to focus on the idea of parenting, which is one of the more important and powerful aspects of the after effects workflow, especially when paired with null objects. And we're gonna use parenting and a null object to create this fun little animation of the sun, the moon and the Earth. So we have a finished version of the project here, So let's go ahead and ramp review this and see what we're going to make. So we have kind of a stylized animation of the moon going around the Earth, the earth going around the sun and sort of, ah, sense that we're flying through the solar system in a spaceship and we're gonna use parenting to make putting this animation together much easier. So let's get started by creating a new composition 3. Create A New Composition: So as you'll probably remember from our previous classes, we're going to start by going up under composition, new composition or command end. And we're gonna get our composition settings window. And we'll call this parents and planets. You can call it whatever you like. Of course. And we're gonna make sure we're using the HD TV 10 80 24 preset. That will give us 1920 by 10 80 pixels, square pixels, 24 frames per second. And for this project, we're going to set our duration at seven seconds. And we can just leave the background color at its default black. So now that we have our new composition were ready to start building our background 4. Background Image: now for our background, we're going to use a texture image and then use some effects to change its look and color similar to what we did in the second class in the series. Because I'm working on a Mac I'm gonna be using Mackey commands. If you're using a PC, remember that when I use the command key, you'll use the control key. And when I used the option key, you'll be using the all key. Otherwise, all the other key commands will be basically the same. So I'm gonna go over to my project window a note that we've got things nicely organized. Here we have an audio folder and an images folder, so it's click open than images folder, and we have this texture. J peg. Let's go ahead and click and drag that straight down into our timeline. And this is a very large file, as you can see from the pixel dimensions here. So let's shrink it down a little bit, so we have a little more of this texture and it's not so blown up, so I'm gonna hit the s key for scale and will scale this down until it just kind of fits in the window there. I'm right around 45% scale. I want the background to be somewhat even, and it's it's kind of Grady ated here from very light to very dark. So I'm gonna move it down a little bit and kind of move it towards the upper end of this very large image. But it's still got quite a bit of variation, but it's a little bit more subtle, and this big dark spot here is gonna get covered up by our son so somewhere right about in here now. We obviously don't want this color here, and it's still a little high contrast and very, very bright. So let's start by darkening it and bringing the contrast level down and then we'll tweak the color. So I'm gonna go over to my effects and presets, and we're gonna start with a new effect that we haven't used in this series yet called curves. And it's under the color correction set here. There it is, curves. You can, of course, if you know the name of the effect also searched for it. There it is, and we'll just double click on curves, and as long as we have that layer selected, it'll add the curves to the layer. Now this is another effect that those of you familiar with photo shop will probably be aware of. Curves are very similar to levels and that it allows you to change the exposure of the lightness and darkness of your image. But curves allows you to make these adjustments in a little more of a subtle way. So let's take a look at the way curves works. You'll notice this diagonal line moving through this square here. The bottom part of this line represents the darkest part of the image. The top point of the line represents the lightest point in the image. So if, for example, I take the lightest point in the image here and bring it down, you'll notice that it making the lights darker. Likewise, if I take the darks and move them up on making the darker points lighter, making the whole image lighter, I can also click and drag left and right. So if I take the if I click and move this back, it increases the amount of the image. That is it maximum brightness. So pixels that were only maybe in the top, 75% or so of brightness are now at 100% brightness. Same thing. If I move the darker forward, it pushes more of the dark parts of the image towards the darker tones. Let's hit the reset button here to return this. Now what I want to do is reduce the contrast a little bit, but I don't want to completely remove contrast. If I dragged these up and down like this, you can see I'm really narrowing the band between light and dark. But that's gonna be a little too washed out. And I want to make sure I keep quite a bit of the contrast in this image. But I do want to reduce the contrast to some degree, so I'm going to start by darkening some of these light colors a little bit. So I'm gonna come in a little ways here, and here's where curves gets more interesting. I can click at any point along this path of from dark to light and adjust up and down as I wish. So I'm gonna click here near the lightest part, and I'm gonna click and drag down to make those lighter colors a little bit darker, but again, I'm not completely losing the lightest part of my image here. So I've darkened everything overall, and I've taken a little bit of the contrast out. But I've still got these very, very dark spot. So let's lift these a little bit. So now I'm gonna click down here and click and drag up to even out some of these dark spots just a little bit again. I still have a full range from dark to light, but I've pulled the contrast together a little bit in the middle, and I've darkened the image overall. So look at the difference here, so it's much darker, with a little bit of lower contrast in the mid range is okay now we want to change the color, but I don't want a tent this because I want to preserve some of this really nice variants and the color we've got from the original image. So I'm going to use color, balance, HLs and just shift the color in the image. So let's go to effects and presets and start typing color balance. You could see their color balance. HLS comes up in a double click on that. And now let's shift our hue dial and bring this into the kind of purple Lee blues here. So I'm gonna pull that maybe around 1 15 or negative 1 15 So now we've got kind of a fun sort of purple e blue. We've got kind of purples and the light areas and blues and the dark areas. And that's part of the reason I wanted to use the color balance and not just tent this cause tinting it would just push it all toe, one color, the other, which is sometimes desirable. But I wanted some of this variation in Hue, so I don't just have all blue or all purple. I've got sort of a range, which is nice. Now it's still a little too bright and it's a little over saturated, so let's bring the brightness down. I'm gonna bring it down quite a bit. Bring it to about negative 70 And let's also bring the saturation down just to cool those colors out a little bit. Let's maybe a little too much around negative 15. So now we've got a nice kind of dark space like sky, but with some nice variation in the hues from purple to blue, and we use the curves to sort of initially change the overall lightness and darkness and contrast of the image. So, just to note, if we turn the curves off, look at how much more high contrast it is, how much brighter it is, then with the curves on you. Also remember, I mentioned in the previous class that the order of the effects matters. In other words, aftereffects processes first the curve effect and then the color balance effect. So just to demonstrate this, if I click and drag the color balance prior to the curves, look at how much different the images. So the first thing that's happening is the color is being shifted, and then the curve is adjusting that which makes for a completely different look than if first the curves are adjusted and then the color balance is shifted. So it's important to kind of think through the sequencing of your effects when you're adding effects this way. Okay, we've got our nice space background with our organic texture, and we're ready to make our planets 5. Making The Sun: So let's start by turning on our 16 by nine grit. Now again, Way back in the first class in the series, we set up our 16 9 grid, so you should have that already to go. If not, I strongly recommend you watch. The first and second class is first, since we're building on the lessons from those classes in this one. So I'm gonna go down here to the bottom and turn on our grid. There's are 16 by nine grid, and I want to make sure that under view, we have snap to grid turned on. We want to make sure that's checked on. And then let's also zoom out a little bit because our son is gonna be very large. So So let's hit that comma key to zoom out a little bit so we can see what we're doing a little better. And then remember that we want to de select our background image because if we grab the shape tool and try to draw with our layer selected, if you recall from the previous class, will actually cut a mask in our layer rather than make a shape. So we want to make sure and de select so that background layer is not selected. And then we're gonna select our ellipse tool. So if you don't have the ellipse Still, if you have the rectangle is something remember to click and hold and choose the Ellipse tool And this time we're going to create a Grady int for our son. But let's go ahead and draw the sun first. Then we'll start playing around with the Grady in because it will be a little easier to see what we're doing once we have the shape in place. So let's draw a nice big son. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna kind of eyeball 1.5 squares in from my side here, and I'm gonna kind of go up a little ways and I'm gonna click and drag, and I'm gonna hold down the shift key to maintain our circle. And I'm gonna pull this out until I'm also at the edge here at 1.5 grid squares. Now I happen to eyeball this pretty good. So I actually got my anchor point right in the middle of the circle. But if you draw your son just a little lopsided. Remember to select the layer down below. Here, grab the pan behind tool and just make sure that you snapped that anchor point to the center of your new shape. Now let's name our layer some A. Select the layer. Hit the return key and we'll call this son again. Grab our selection tool. Make sure again that your anchor point is in the center of the circle, which you should remember how to do from our first class. And then let's slide it and snap it to the corner of our frame. So we're basically looking at 1/4 of the sun. Go ahead and hit the period key to zoom in again. Okay, so with our son still selected here, I'm gonna click on the word Phil to get our fill options, and we're going to choose a radial Grady int. So let's go ahead and choose the radial Grady Int. Let's click. Okay, And then let's now click on the Swatch here so we can edit Argh! Radiant. So let's click on that and take a look at what we have here now. You might be familiar with working with Radiance and Illustrator or Photoshop, but We'll just run through the very basics here really quickly. The controls air just a tiny bit different here in after effects very similar to illustrator and Photoshop, but just a little bit different at the top. Here we have our capacity stops so we can make our radiant go from 0% capacity to 100% capacity. We can slide these stops back and forth, or we can create multiple stops in the middle if we wish. Now, in this case, we want full opacity all the way across. I don't know what you're going to default to, but at the top here, black basically means 100% capacity. White means 0%. So let's go ahead and click on the 0% opacity. Stop here and you can see down here we have the percentage valley. Let's just go ahead and crank that up to 100%. So we're at 100% capacity to 100% opacity. Now on the bottom, we have our color stops. Right now. It's just going from white to black. Now, as I've said many times, you can choose whatever colors you want. I'm gonna go ahead and use the colors from my library. But I can't click on this right now. I forgot to open my library window, so I'm just gonna click. OK, for now. Here. Open my library window there, scroll down so I can see my two son colors and will click and open this again. And let's start with our lightest color here. So I'm gonna click on this little color stop Swatch to grab the I drop and I'm gonna choose our son. Yellow are lighter, some color if you want. You can simply use the color picker and choose whatever color you like that. I'm gonna choose the darker color Stop here and again. You can choose whatever color you want here. I'm just gonna go ahead and grab the eyedropper and choose thes son orange color. Now we're gonna come back and edit this just a little bit more. We're gonna change the color midpoint, But let's go to our shape really quickly because you'll notice something strange here with our shape. It's like all orange with just a little bit of yellow. Even though right now we have the colors evenly spaced from yellow to orange. Here in our Grady, an editor. So I'm to go ahead and click, OK, and let's take a look at the shape here. Notice these little symbols that popped up here. There's a little circle within a circle like a target. And then another little circle here, these air indicating the start point in the end point of our Grady int in relation to our shape. Now, also down in the timeline here, you can see the Grady int has been added to our ellipse in the contents were gonna continue with our policy of being a little cautious about digging around in here too much. As I said, shape layers can get very complicated. And you can start to see some of that complication and all of the potential settings here inside the contents of the shape layer. So for right now, let's just close this up and just keep things simple, and we'll just simply edit thesis, art and endpoint of our Grady int with these handy little click and drag tools here. So basically what these allow us to do is click and move the start point of the Grady int gonna command Z back to return that right to the center and the end point of the Grady int with this little circle right here. So I'm just gonna position this. I'm just gonna drag this straight out, and I'm just gonna put it right at the edge of our circle. So our Grady in is going from the center right to the edge of our circle. And now we have sort of what we would expect from a radial radiant in a circle, a nice even stretch from the first color to the second color. But in this case, I want the sun to be mostly yellow. And I just wanted to have a little orange at the edge. So I need to go back to my Grady and editor and edit the midpoint of the Grady Int. So let's click again on the Phil Swatch and this little diamond right here is our color midpoint. I'm gonna go ahead and slide that up pretty pretty far here and set that at about 83%. So now you see, we have mostly yellow little transition here towards the edge and then orange just right at the edge of our son. Let's go ahead and click. OK, now, We have our nice shape layer, son, but I want the sun to glow a little bit. I wanted to have a little shine coming off of it, since it is the son after all. So for that, we're gonna take a look at adding a layer style in the next lesson. 6. Adding Layer Styles: layer styles are another commonality between after effects and photo shop. So if you're familiar with layer styles and photo shop, you're gonna be pretty comfortable with working with layer styles here in after effects. So let's go ahead and select our son, and we can either do one of two things. We can either go up under layer and down to layer styles, and you can see there's all of our layer styles there or a slightly quicker way we can right click on the sun layer and jump right toe layer styles right there so you can see the variety We're not gonna look at. All of these in this class will look at some other ones in some future classes. We have drop shadows in her shadows, outer and inner glows. Bev ALS, different kinds of texture and color overlays, a stroke layer style and so forth. So for our son, we want the outer glow, so we'll go ahead and choose the outer glow to add that to our layer. And you can see it's added to our timeline here, right under our transforms layer styles, and you can just like effects, have multiple layer styles on one layer so we could have an outer glow and inner glow a drop shadow. However, many layer styles we want can all be packed onto that one layer. The blending options will also appear assumes you add one or more layer styles to your layer. This gets a little more advanced, so we're gonna leave that alone for the time being. But if we tab open outer glow, you can see we have the outer glow settings. The outer glow defaults toe having a screen blend mode for the glow. But that, as well as opacity and color or even a Grady int, can be changed at will. So you can really have a glow of any look or style that you want. Also notice that all of these settings have stopwatches next to them. Which means, of course, that they can be animated. One of the great things about after effects is that almost anything can be animated. We're gonna make a few adjustments here. I've actually already got a color picked for my son glow. Once again, you can pick any color you want, so I'm just gonna choose the I drop here and choose that Sun Glo color. If you want, you can click on the swatch and use the color picker to pick any color that you want. The size is sort of the most important, perhaps off the glow settings. As I adjust the size, the glow gets either larger or smaller. Somewhat. Obviously, I'm gonna set this just a little over 100 because I want just a little sort of subtle glow there. Now I'm gonna leave the spread at zero. But just so you're aware, spread is also an important setting for glows. Spread changes, the density of the glow. So as I turn that up, the glow becomes more dense with a soft edge. If I turned the spread up to 100% it becomes almost like a stroke. But we're gonna keep that down zero to just keep a nice soft, even glow. And then I think the intensity is a little high here, so let's bring the capacity down to 50%. Yeah, that looks a little better, So just a subtle little glow coming off of our hot sun. You, of course, are welcome to play around with these settings and create any kind of look for the son that you want. Game in a tab. Closed the layer styles here. I'm gonna tab the some layer closed completely and we're ready to move on and make our earth. 7. Making The Earth: Now let's go ahead and make our earth. Remember, by the way, to keep saving as your working. I'm generally editing out the saves just to make the videos more efficient, but you want to be constantly saving as you work. OK, so we want to make sure that we don't have any layers selected. So if you do have a layer selected click in the empty area of the timeline here to de select, and we're gonna go ahead and grab our lips tool again, and it's initially going to still have our son Radial Grady in. But we'll change that after we create our Earth. And let's go ahead and draw a circle two by two grid squares in size and will name this birth and let's grab our anchor point tool and put that anchor point in the center. We're gonna change this a little later, but for right now, let's put that in the center. And then let's position this now you can place your earth where you wish, but in order to get the framing that I got from my original animation, I want to put it in the same place I use there. So its three grid squares down from the top and five grid squares from the edge. So I gotta just slide this over a little bit. So I'm five grid squares from the edge and three grid squares from the top, and I'm gonna position my earth right there and again. This will just give me a nice framing as it moves through the frame and as our quote unquote camera passes through the scene, all right, we want to edit the colors of our Grady int now, So I'm gonna start by clicking on the radiant Swatch to shift our colors. And let's start with the lightest color Stop here. You can choose whatever colors you like. I'm gonna grab the I drop and choose my light earth color that I'm gonna choose the darker color stop and choose my dark earth color. And I'm also going to return my color midpoint to the center. Now I can either click and drag and slide it. But I can also just type 50% into the location value of that midpoint while that selected and that'll put it right in the center. Okay, Once I've got my two colors in place on either end and I've got my color midpoint right in the centre. I'm gonna click. OK, now, in this case, rather than having sort of the inner glow effect of our Grady int on our son, I want the Earth to feel like it's being sort of lit by the sun to some degree. But I also wanted to feel like a sphere, so I'm gonna offset the glow here. So let's start by placing our end right up in the corner. And then let's take the beginning of our Grady int and we'll move it kind of midway between the centre and the edge of our circle here, and that will give our earth that kind of spherical feeling. Okay, let's close up our earth layer and let's make our moon 8. Making The Moon: so again, making sure that we have no layers selected. We're gonna grab our lips tool once again and I'm gonna go to this little square. It's basically right at the top of the earth and one grid square away right here and again , We're gonna make our little moon just a quick little ellipse right there, half a grid square, high and wide. Let's go ahead and name that and let's grab our pan behind tool and snap our anchor point to the center. Now, here we don't have a grid to snap to, so instead, I'm gonna hold down the command key and that'll allow me to snap it into the center of the shape. Remember that the command key will toggle snapping on it will snap to the edges of layers to the corners of layers in the center of shape players Very handy if you don't have a grid . Or, in this case, if where you want to snap to isn't on the grid. All right, let's again adjust our Grady int for the moon. So I'm gonna select the Ellipse tool again. We're gonna click on the swatch and we're gonna change our color so I'm gonna click on this color stop and grab my eye dropper. This is really just white. I could have just put white in there, but just to make things easy, I made a swatch for my library. And then I'm gonna click on this color stop, grab the I drop and choose the moon Dark color, and we're gonna leave that midpoint in the center. As always, you can choose whatever color you like here, I'm gonna click, OK? And I'm gonna zoom in here so we can adjust our settings on our radiant note that I don't have my little click and drag points for the start and end of my radiant. That's because I have the shape tool selected soon as I select the selection tool. Now I get those little controls again. I've mentioned it before, but it's worth mentioning again. Aftereffects is very sensitive to what is selected, what layers selected, what property within the layer is selected or what effect or tool is selected. All of these things will affect what is happening with the software, what you will have access to or won't have access to or what will work in a certain way or not work in a certain way. So keep that in mind. If you're ever getting frustrated because something isn't behaving the way you want it to start by double checking what you have or don't have selected quite often, that will turn out to be the issue with why something isn't working the way you expect it to. Good example is this again, If I have the Ellipse tool selected, I can't adjust that radiant, which seems counterintuitive because I've got the Grady and editor available to me. But I can't edit how the greedy int behaves on the shape unless I select the selection tool . And then now I can go ahead and adjust those. So let's do a similar thing. Let's put the end point of the Grady in right at the edge of our shape. And let's put thestreet art point of the Grady int right in between the middle of the shape and the edge of the shape, our son, our earth and our moon ready to be animated 9. Animating The Moon: Now, at this point, I can go ahead and turn off our grid, and the first thing we're gonna do is animate the moon rotating around the earth. So to do this, we're gonna want to reset the anchor point of the moon because we want the moon to rotate. But we want it to rotate, of course, around our earth. So we want the pivot point for the rotation to be at the center of the Earth. So let's grab our pan behind tool. Let's grab that anchor point from the moon and let's get near the center of the earth and hold down the command key and will snap that anchor point onto the center of the earth. Now, our moon, if we hit the R key for rotation, will rotate cleanly around the earth. So let's create a simple animation here. I'm gonna put a key frame by clicking on the stopwatch here at frame zero. Then I'm gonna scrub toothy end of our timeline and will just simply put a single rotation . And so I'm gonna click and type in a one to give us one rotation around the earth. And if we ran preview that you can see now we've got the moon going around the earth, so very, very simple. But now, of course, we want the earth to go around the sun. But while the earth is going around the sun, we still want the moon going around the earth. This is gonna be where our parenting comes in. So let's take a look at that in the next lesson. 10. Parenting Basics: So let's talk just a little bit about what parenting is. Parenting allows you to take one layer and make it the child of another layer, which we call the parent layer. And what that means is that the position, scale or rotation properties of the parent layer will also control the child layer. But what makes this so powerful and useful is that the child layer can still have its own independent position scale or rotation animation on its own properties. Apparent layer can have multiple child layers, and you can also create parent child chains so that you have a parent layer with a child layer, and that parent can then be the child of another parent layer and so on up the chain. In this case, our moon layer has its own animation rotating around the earth. But we're gonna make the moon a child of the earth. The earth will then be the parent. And then as the earth goes around the sun, the moon will go with the earth but still be animating around the earth as we want it to be . And let's just make a quick note of why this is so important. if we click back toe are finished version here and think about this a little bit. Imagine if we tried to animate this moon without parenting. What we would have to do is create some kind of crazy corkscrew motion path for this moon following the Earth as it moves along. It would be very difficult to do, and it would be pretty impossible to get it just right. You probably have the moon getting closer and farther away from the Earth. We also have all of this scaling ups. You'd also have to match the scaling as the Earth and the sun scale up as we move through the scene. So this would be incredibly tricky to do without parenting. Fortunately, with parenting, it's really quite simple. So let's go back to our seen here and let's parent the moon to the Earth. In other words, let's make the moon a child of the parent earth. So we're gonna go over to this column here, the parent and Link column, and there's two ways that we can parent things. The first way is the easiest when you don't have very many layers, So let's use that first. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna click on this little squiggle right here. This is called a pick Whip. The parent pick whip and a pick whip is kind of a unique after effects thing. If I click and drag on the pick whip, you'll notice I get this little kind of stretchy, sort of like, rubber band like thing and notice that as I hover over layers, it selects those layers. So what I want to do is I want to click and drag on this pick whip, and I want to click and drag down to select the earth layer. So I'm gonna go ahead and let go. Now, with that selected and now you can see Earth Layer to is entered in the parent column for the moon. In other words, the Earth is now the parent of the moon. Now, before we play around with us a little bit, let's look at another way to do this. I'm gonna click where it says earth and you'll see now I get a pull down menu and I can select none to unparalled the moon from the Earth. But I can also use the pull down menu to parents so I can click on the pull down menu and choose a layer to be the parent for the moon. In this case, the earth pulled on menu is super useful if you have lots and lots of layers and it's too difficult to click and drag the pick, whip and try to scroll down to all those different layers. In that case, the pull down menu is much easier. The pick whip is a little easier if you've got a layer that's close to the layer that your parenting now. I also want you to notice that there's a pic whip here next to the rotation property. In fact, if we open our transforms, there's pick whips for all of our properties. For right now, I would recommend steering away from these. These have to do with creating expressions between properties, which is quite a bit more advanced. So just be careful and aware that what you want is the layer parent pick Whip at the very top here. And if you have a property open like, say, rotation, don't click and drag on that pick. Whip the property pick whip. You want to click on the parent pick whip of the layer. Okay, so now we've got the moon parented to the earth. So if we select the earth now and I'm gonna grab the regular selection tool and if I move this around, you'll see that the moon goes with it. The moon will do whatever the earth will do. Scale, rotation position will all be affected in a parenting relationship. Opacity will not. So just be aware of that. The capacity will be independent, but anything the position, scale or rotation of the earth does, the moon will now do. However, as I said, the moon's own animation of position, scale or rotation will be unaffected and will continue to function. And this is where we can really get some very sophisticated animation very easily with parenting. 11. Animating The Earth: So now let's create the animation of the earth moving around the sun. So just like we did before, we need to change the anchor point of the Earth so that it can pivot around the sun. So let's grab the pan behind Tool. We're going to click and drag the anchor point down to the corner of the frame. The center of the sun will hold down the command key and snap that into place. Now let's open the rotation Property of the Earth with the R key. And in this case, we don't want the Earth to go all the way around the sun. We just wanted to pass through the frame. I'm gonna start by pulling back on the rotation until it's just out of frame at the top of the frame there, and let's go ahead and click the stopwatch to create a key frame right there. And then I'm gonna use the cakey because I have the rotation value open here of the moon and jumped toothy End of my timeline. If you don't have the rotation property open, you can just click and drag and slide your C T I to the end of the scene, and now I'm gonna click and drag forward on rotation and pull that through the frame. Tell it's just out of frame on the bottom. Now know also that we're not putting any eases on these key frames because we want these movements to appear continuous. We talked about that a lot in the second class in the Siri's. We don't want to see or perceive the beginning or ending of these motions. These movements of these planets are just continual from the beginning of our seen to the end of our scene. All right, let's take a look at our animation of our earth going around the sun and the moon going around the Earth achieved with parenting. Perfect. Just what we want now Just think about how difficult or even impossible it would be to get that nice, clean animation on the moon going around the Earth. If we didn't have parenting in the next lesson will look at creating the sense that we're flying through our scene and will use parenting and no objects to get that done. 12. Null Objects: parenting is very powerful, and aftereffects provides us with an additional tool. That, paired with parenting, provides even more possibilities. And that is a layer called a null object. So what is a null object layer? A. No object is nothing null is just another word for nothing. Let's go ahead and make a null object, which will make this a little easier to understand. So to create a null we're gonna go up under layer new. No object. Let's select that, and you'll see that a layer has been created. In this case. It's called null, too, because we already created a null in the previous version of this scene and note that it appears as an empty square, a little empty square with an anchor point up in its upper corner. Note also that it defaulted to being in the center of our frame. It automatically placed itself in the center of our frame, although I can move it anywhere. I wanted to be just like any layer. Now this no object will not render. It will not be visible when we render It is nothing. It is no, but it does have the five transforms it even has opacity, which it honestly doesn't need that doesn't do anything. But just like a solid, it has all the transforms, but simply no visibility of any kind. And all these transforms can be animated just like any other layer. This becomes a very powerful tool in conjunction with parenting, because you can create animation on annul layer. That, of course, is invisible. But then, parent visible layers to that null to create all kinds of animated effects in the next lesson will use this note to create our fly through animation. 13. Animating Fly Through: So let's use this null to create our sense of flying through our scene. So I'm first going to click and drag my no up to the top of my layer stack here and let's give it a name. We always want to Neymar layers. Remember how important staying organized is? So I'm gonna hit the return key and we'll call this planet control. I'm just gonna abbreviate that now. It's important to remember that when we're dealing with scale on rotation, the position of the anchor point really matters. And, of course, the child of apparent Layer is going to also move right along with that parent layer. And if it's rotating around an anchor point in a certain position or scaling around an anchor point in a certain position, both the parent and the Children are gonna move the same way from that anchor point. So with this planet control null, I actually want the anchor point right in the center, even though I could move this null anywhere on the screen I want. But I want it right in the center because I want the sense that we're just flying straight forward, kind of through our planet's so I'm gonna leave this null right in the centre right where it is. But keep in mind, I could move it anywhere I want just like any layer. So we're gonna parent the earth and the sun both to this planet Control null. So I'm gonna select the earth. I'm gonna hold down the command key and simultaneously select the sun. So both those layers air selected I'm not going to select the background. We're gonna animate that separately in a little bit. And we also don't need two parent the moon to the no, because the moon is already parented to the earth. So once the earth is parented to the null, the moon will be the child of the earth. The earth is the child of the no. So the moon is sort of like the grandchild of the NAL and will also be controlled by that null controller with two or more layers selected. I can choose any of the pick whips on any of those selected layers, and it'll drive all the selected layers. So I'm just going to select this pick whip here, and I'm gonna pick whip up to the planet control. No, and now you'll see that the planet Control null is now the parent of both the Earth and the sun. Now, remember that the moon is still the child of the earth. So the moon is the child of the earth. But the Earth is the child of the planet control. So again we can create chains of parent and child relationships. And I also mentioned that a parent can have multiple Children. So in this case, the planet Control has both the Earth and the sun as its Children. So now whatever the planet control does, the moon and the Earth will do. And just to demonstrate that will undo this. Of course, by click and drag on this, I can move all of that stuff around. But I won't change the animation. The animation will still behave just as we created it. But I could move all those layers and all that animation with that one. Control, No, Let's go back here to our starting place. And what we're gonna do is we're just gonna create a simple animation scaling up our moon, earth and sun to give the effect of flying through the scene. So with our parent null selected Let's hit the s key and let's select the stopwatch to create a key frame. Here it frame zero at 100% scale. If we have our other rotation values open, we can use the K key to jump to the end of the scene. Or we can just click and drag R C T I to the end of the scene. And let's scale this up quite a bit. Let's go up to 175%. And now let's ramp review our animation so we'll see the moon going around the earth, the earth going around the sun. But then all three planets scaling up as we fly through the scene. Great looks really cool. Now, once again, think about the difficulty in trying to animate this without parenting and without a null object. The no object allows us to scale up this scene from an anchor point that is not shared by any of the other layers. None of the layers have this anchor point in the center, so we can have these three layers scaling from an anchor point that is different from the anchor points of any of those layers just one of the really handy things about working with dolls and parenting. Now, before we move on and finish up our seen here, let's take a look at a couple other examples of how we can use parenting and parenting and null objects. 14. More Parenting Examples: So let's click on the tab for parenting. Example. One here, if for any reason you don't have parenting. Example. One. Open. You don't have that composition open. Go to your project window and DoubleClick on the parenting example. One comp in the project window. Okay, let's take a look at what we have. We've got sort of a robot arm set up here for you. We've got three arm layers and to claw layers. Let's take a look at the individual layers and let's use thesis olo buttons to do that. Solo buttons are really handy and after effects and allow you to isolate just single layer rather than having to turn on and off a bunch of eyeball layers. So let's start with this arm one layer. If I click in this column here, this is the solo column. If I click right there, I will solo just that layer, and you can see it's just a little segment of the arm. I can de select that, and I'll go back to having all of my layers visible and just a couple quick things about the solo layers. If the layers visibility is turned off the solo button won't be available until you turn the visibility on. Also, you can have multiple layers so load. But keep in mind that at a certain point, if you have, like all your layers, so load you might as well not be using any solos at all, because then it's just the same as just having all of your eyeballs on. So don't overuse the solos. But if you want to isolate one or two or a few layers within a very complicated project, solo buttons air very handy. So again we have the first arm layer, the second arm layer, the third arm layer, and then we have the first claw piece, which is sort of 1/2 moon shape. And the second claw piece, which is the other half of the claw. Now notice that if we turn the opacity down of arm to here, you'll see the arm. Layers are overlapping, and you'll also see that the anchor point for each arm is set at the base of each arm and that the anchor points of the claws are set at the base of each claw where it comes into contact with that third arm. Whoops. Let's turn that opacity back up. Now, if we wanted to animate this robot arm and we wanted to do it without parenting, we would have to animate the position and rotation of every single piece and try to maintain the connection between each arm piece, each claw, peace and so on. And be very, very complicated once again, if not impossible. But with parenting animating this robot arm becomes very simple. So let's set up the parenting structure for this little arm. So the first thing we're gonna do is parent the to claw pieces to the third arm p so the claw pieces become Children of the arm. So whatever Arm three does claw one and two will also do. So we're gonna select claw one, hold down the command key and select clot to Then we're gonna grab the pick whipped for either one of those layers. Click and drag straight down and select arm three, then arm three. We want arm three to do whatever arm to does. So as armed to moves, it moves Arm three. And then, of course, arm three will make claw one and to move, so we're gonna select arm three, grab the pick, whip and select down to arm to now. Of course, we want arm to to do what Arm one does, which is the base of our whole chain here, the root of our chain. So we're gonna select arm too. Click and drag down and select arm one. Now all we have to do is animate the rotation of each of these layers to manipulate our robot arm. So if I animate the rotation of the first arm piece, it moves the whole arm. If I animate the rotation of the second piece, it rotates everything up the chain from that point. So Arm two moves arm three and the claw pieces Arm three moves arm three, of course, and the to claw pieces. And then the two claw pieces can move independently on their own. So again now, animating this robot arm becomes a very simple task of animating these rotation values. Thanks to parenting, feel free to have a little fun and animate your robot arm doing something if you wish. Let's take a look in a second at parenting example, too, and look at another use for Noel objects. Note that with our robot arm here We don't really need a null object because we can use arm one essentially to drive everything else that happens. The position, the rotation, even the scale of arm one will drive the rest of our robot arm. But let's look at a situation where we really need a null object to get the job done. Okay, let's go ahead and click on parenting example to you can see in parenting example to hear that we have a word acceleration. And if we ramp review this, you'll see that we already have some animation created on this layer. The letters kind of hop up and down, sort of like they're a little engine at work. And what we want to do is animate this as if it's a car starting up and driving off the screen. Now you may initially think, well, we could parent all these letters to the A and then animate the A sliding off the screen. But the problem is, is that the A's position value is already animated, bouncing up and down, so we can't parent everything to that letter or any of the other layers because all of these layers already have their position property animated, so this is a perfect opportunity for a null object. So let's go ahead and go under layer new. No object. And let's create that. No. And let's name that no word control. We could go ahead and leave it in the center here, but just to make things a little easier, let's snap it to the center of the A. So what I want to do to do this? Because there's a lot of potential snapping points here. I want to grab the null very close to its anchor point. Somebody grab it real close to that anchor point there, and I'm gonna get very close to that a center and then hold down the command key and snap that to the center. Now I'm going to select all of my layers, so I'm gonna select the A layer at the top. I'm gonna hold down the shift key and select the end layer at the bottom to select all of those layers. And then we grab any one of these pick whips and click and drag up to our word control. Whoops. That looks like I misspelled word. Let's fix that. Not work control word Control And now let's hit the peaky and let's watch our little animation here. So our engine starts up. Let's let the engine start up a little bit, and then somewhere around in here will hit a position key frame to start. The movement will slide to the end of the scene and will click and drag on the exposition. I'm gonna hold down the shift key to make that go a little faster and slide acceleration off the screen. And then let's right. Click on the first key frame here and add and ease out so it eases out and starts up slowly and then zips off the screen. Let's take a look at our finished animation. There we go. So it's like our car starts up and drives away. Imagine if you will, that you tried to animate not only each letter going up and down, but each letter going up and down and animating off the screen once again and be impossible to keep the letters together the way you wanted them to. It would be a big mess and a whole lot of time and trouble, whereas now we just have these two simple position key frames and we've got that whole word animating for us. So just a couple of other parenting examples here for you. But this barely scratches the surface of what's possible with parenting and Noel objects. These two tools together can really create some very complex animation very easily. 15. Animating Background: all right, we're ready to finish up our little parents and planets seen. So let's go ahead and click on the tab for parents and planets. And let's just create a little scale movement on our background to emphasize this sense of flying through our scene. Now we could have parented the texture to our planet control, but we don't want these to scale in exactly the same way. We want the background to scale a little more slowly, not quite as much, because we want to create a little sense of parallax the idea that things in the distance move more slowly than things close to us. Like when you're driving in a car and a sign along the side of the road moves by you very quickly. But the mountains in the distance move very slowly, so we want our background to scale up just a little bit. But remember that our background is very large. If I click on it here, our anchor point is way down here. We don't want it to scale from there. We want toe scale it from the center. And luckily we have our planet control now right in the center here So we have something easy to snap to. We could turn our grid on and snap to our grid, but we can just snap right to that null anchor point. So I'm gonna grab the pan behind Tool. When I grabbed the anchor point of our texture And when I get close to that no, I'm gonna hold down the command key and snap it to the anchor point of that. No, no. Note that it will also want to snap to the corners of the null to the sides of the null in the middle. You want to make sure and snap it to the anchor point up in the corner of that no. Now also note that are texture is very large. It's much larger than our 1920 by 10 80 composition and its scaled way down to 54%. Which means that we can scale this up quite a bit without starting to see the pixels in the image. And this is an important note here. When you're working with raster imagery versus vector imagery. The moon, the Earth and the sun shape players are all vector images, which means because they are being essentially generated by the software that they are infinitely scalable. They will still look crisp and clean, no matter how big you scale them. Raster imagery, because it is made up of individual pixels, is not infinitely scalable. Once you size up raster imagery past the 100% scale value, you're going to start seeing those pixels. Now you can go a little over 100% and it won't look too bad. But it will start to get kind of soft and fuzzy looking. And as you continue to scale up past 100% eventually you'll start seeing those individual pixels, and it'll look really bad. So you need to be very conscious of the pixel dimensions of your raster imagery and make sure that you have enough pixels to place or scale that imagery the way you want or need to . And another important note. If you're used to working in a photo shop, especially doing print work, you need to understand that the number of dots per inch of a raster image doesn't matter. The Onley thing that matters is the pixel dimensions, because in the world of after effects, film, video and animation, everything is 72 dots per inch. So if you import an image into after effects that was 300 dots per inch, it will simply become 72 dots per inch, and all you will have to work with is the pixel dimensions inherent in that image, whatever they happen to be. So this is an important idea to get comfortable with when working in after effects. Pixel dimensions matter dots per inch does not. This texture is well over 1920 by 10 80 so it's good to go. It's weakened, do a lot with it, but we still can't scale it past on 100% without it's starting to look funky. But in this case, we have plenty of room to work. So now that we have our anchor point in the center, let's just create a simple scale animation here. So I frame zero. I'm gonna hit the stopwatch to add a key frame here at 45% I've got key frames open here so I can use the K key to jump forward. And let's just scale this up a little. Let's just go 5% up, so I'm gonna just type in 50%. So just a little bit of scale on that background, not a lot. So it feels that it's very far in the distance. Let's go ahead and ram preview that there We have a nice sense of movement and are seen, but our planet seem much closer to our background because of that sense of parallax. They're scaling a lot more than the background is, which makes the background feel further away. Okay, we're ready to add our audio and review our render procedures. 16. Adding Audio And Rendering: We already have a completed audio track for our little seen here. Let's just copy and paste it into our new scene. So let's tab back to parents and planets finished. And let's select our audio layer here, Command see to copy will go to parents and planets and command V to paste. Let's drop that at the bottom of our stack. Let's just do one last little color code here. Since this color is so similar to the blue of our three shape players, let's just change that to something different. Just to differentiate the texture layer will leave the blue shape layers and the red no layer. Those do a good job of kind of separating each of those layers out and again. Our projects for these first classes air so simple that the color coding is maybe not as critical as it will be once your projects get much more complicated. But I urge you to get into these good habits of naming and color coding your layers. In fact, we should probably call this layer background and this layer audio Okay, we're ready to add to the adobe media encoder que Now we've done this a couple times now, So I'm gonna go through this a little more quickly. We want to make sure that the comp that we want to render is selected and the timeline windows selected. We're gonna go under composition. Add to media encoder que Remember, we want to be patient at this point. Remember to wait until the media encoder que has opened and it is added your composition to the Q. Then we're gonna click on match source. High bit rate. Be patient again as the export settings are opened and we're going to scroll down, change arbitrate encoding two to pass, change our target bit rate to eight and change our maximum bit rate to 10. Then we'll click. OK, and we're all set to render our final animation. Remember that you can click on the output file link to jump to your rendered movie right in the finder to review it 17. See You In The Next Class!: as I'm sure you could see during this class. Parenting and null objects are incredibly useful tools that open up a ton of creative possibilities. We also looked at working with radiance on Shay players, adding layer styles, and we learned about the awesome curves effect as we created our parents and planets animation. I hope you learned a lot in this class and that you'll join me for the final class in the Siri's, where we'll look at the very powerful technique of pre comping. Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you in part for