Introduction To Animating In After Effects (Part 1) | Morgan Williams | Skillshare

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Introduction To Animating In After Effects (Part 1)

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.

      Opening A New Project


    • 3.

      Setting Initial Preferences


    • 4.

      Navigating The Workspace


    • 5.

      Review The Final Project


    • 6.

      Creating A New Composition


    • 7.

      Working With Grid Systems


    • 8.

      Shape Layer Basics


    • 9.

      The Five Properties


    • 10.

      Animating With Keyframes


    • 11.

      Timing And Spacing


    • 12.

      Ease In And Ease Out


    • 13.

      Hold Keyframes


    • 14.

      Motion Path Editing


    • 15.

      Importing Audio


    • 16.

      Timing Audio For Sync


    • 17.

      Animating The Red Square


    • 18.

      Animating The Green Circle


    • 19.

      Animating The Yellow Rectangle


    • 20.

      Animating The Blue Circle


    • 21.

      Rendering The Final Animation


    • 22.

      Wrapping Up


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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to try animation or motion design in After Effects, but have been put off by its complexity?  Have you tried After Effects but not sure you’re really “getting it”?  Then this class is for you!

Introduction To Animating In After Effects (Part 1) is the first of a four part series to introduce Adobe After Effects to aspiring animators and motion designers with little or no experience with the software.

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 Introduction To Animating In After Effects (Part 1), we will focus on:

  • Understanding the basic After Effects workspace
    • Project window
    • Composition window
    • Timeline window
  • Working with basic shape layers
  • The 5 basic layer properties
    • Anchor point
    • Position
    • Scale
    • Rotation
    • Opacity
  • Basic animation procedures and principles
    • Creating and editing keyframes
    • Timing and spacing
    • Ease in and ease out
    • Adding “easy eases”
    • Hold keyframes
    • Editing motion paths
  • Working with audio
    • The importance of sync
    • Importing audio
    • “Timing out” a track with markers
    • Syncing animation to audio
  • Completing and rendering an animation

Software: 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 to After Effects, part 1. This will be the first of a four part series to introduce Adobe After Effects to aspiring animators and motion designers with little to no experience with the software. My name is Morgan Williams, and I've been an animator and animation director for over 25 years. I've created animation and motion design for clients like Sony Pictures, WGBH Boston, Comedy Central, the BBC, and many others. For almost 10 years now, I've been teaching animation and motion design at the Ringling College of Art and Design, online at School of Motion, and now I'm super excited to be creating classes here on Skillshare. In this first Intro to After Effects class, we'll focus on learning the basics of the after effects work space using shape layers, and creating and rendering a simple animation that syncs to an audio track. Along the way, I'll be teaching you professional techniques and practices to make your workflow smarter and more efficient. This class is ideal for students who have wanted to try Adobe After Effects, but might've felt intimidated by this admittedly complex software. If you're an illustrator or graphic designer interested in exploring animation or motion design, and you've had no experience with After Effects at all, then this is for sure the class for you. But even if you've had some experience with After Effects, I think you'll find that the techniques and insights I share will make your workflow better and more professional. By the end of this class, you'll be comfortable with the basics of the After Effects work space, and you'll be able to create simple animations with confidence. In upcoming lessons in this series, we'll expand on these basics and go deeper into this exciting and versatile tool. Let's dive in and get started. 2. Opening A New Project: Now I'm recording this class on a Mac, so the key commands you're going see displayed on the screen are Mac key commands. If you're working on a Windows machine, just remember that when I use the Command key, you're going to want to use the Control key. When I use the Option key, you're going to use the Alt key. Other than that, most of the key commands are going to be exactly the same. Now make sure that you've downloaded and unzipped the project file we've included for the class. It's really important that you follow along with the lesson as I go through it although you're of course welcome to make some of your own creative choices along the way. Once you've downloaded and unzipped that project file, go ahead and launch After Effects. The first thing that you're going to see is this welcome window here. This is a handy starting place to open a project, but we're going ahead and get started by opening the project file that you downloaded. Let's go ahead and click Open Project. Now you can see in our finder here, here's our zipped file and here's our unzipped folder and that folder is our After Effects project folder. In upcoming lessons, I'm going to go into much more depth about project folders. But for right now, just know that this is just an ordinary folder here in the finder. Inside here though is an additional folder called footage and the footage folder contains assets that we might use for our project. Then the After Effects project file is right here. It ends with the.aep and that is the actual After Effects project file. With that project file selected, let's click Open to open the project. Now it's probably a good idea before we get too much farther in to save a version of this project file in case something goes terribly wrong and we want to start over. You'll notice that the project file name ends with v01 or version one. I always version my project files. I actually version renders as well. It's a good way to stay organized and always know what the most recent version of your project or your render is. But it's also a good way to maintain a backup safety of versions of your project as you work. After Effects does have an auto save feature that will be saving versions as you work. But I also like to save versions manually so it's a little easier to go back and find an older version if I need to. Now there's a great little trick that you can use to do this. If you use version numbers on your project files, which I strongly recommend you do, you can use this great little feature here under file. You'll notice that there's the regular Save, Save As, but there's also Increment and Save. Watch the version number here as I choose Increment and Save. Notice that it automatically saw my version number here at the end and it automatically just increase the version number and saved a copy as version two. I can do that at any time and it'll continue to just increase that version number. It's very handy and something I recommend you do regularly especially when you're working on big complicated projects. Right now, because we've saved version two here, if I make some terrible mistake here, all I have to do is reopen version one, Increment and Save. That'll make it version three and I can move forward with my work. 3. Setting Initial Preferences: The first thing we want to do is set some initial preferences. This will just make sure that whatever you do on your screen will match what I do on my screen. Once you get more comfortable with After Effects, you can of course change these preferences as you wish. But I recommend that you set these preferences, the way I'm going to set them now, to make sure that whatever I do on my screen echoes what you are doing on your screen. Let's go up to After Effects preferences, and we're going to start with general preferences right here at the top. Let's go ahead and select that. You'll see all the preference options are along the sidebar here. Now, in the general preferences, we're going to go down to this one here Default Spatial Interpolation to Linear. That's a mouthful and it probably sounds like gobbledy gook to you right now. That's fine. Please just go ahead and check that. Later in the class, we're going to see an example of exactly what this means and we'll talk about it at that point so you understand exactly why I asked you to check that, but for right now, just check that. Again, later on you can come back and change this preference once you're a little more comfortable with After Effects. But this is the way I prefer to work and so that's the way we're going to work in this class. Next thing we're going to do is go down to Display, you'll see under motion path here, right now it's set to no more than 15 seconds. Now the truth is we're just working on a six second animation for this class. But I'm going to recommend that you go ahead and set this to "All Keyframes" for upcoming classes in this series, where you might end up creating an animation longer than 15 seconds. I really prefer this set for all keyframes, pretty much all the time. But of course these are preferences. Later on, you can set your preferences exactly the way you like to have them set. Let's go ahead and click "Okay". 4. Navigating The Workspace: Let's do a quick survey of the basic default After Effects workspace. The After Effects workspace is customizable and can get very complicated once you get into more advanced After Effects work. But let's just focus on the basics here for this class. Let's start with the project window over on the side here. The project window is going to display any assets that we import into After Effects for our work. You can see here at the top we have a wave file that's already been imported, and that's here. We also have compositions that are created within After Effects. A composition is in some ways equivalent to say, a Photos hop file or an Illustrator file. In other words, a composition is a workspace where you can actually create animation. An After Effects project can have multiple compositions. Right now we just have one composition, DrumDesign_FINISHED. You can see it displayed here in the project window. Then you can see that composition is also open in these two windows here, the composition window and the timeline window. These two windows are linked essentially. What we see in the composition window is actually what is going to appear on our screen and in our renders when we render our movies. The timeline window is where our layers live, and it's somewhat equivalent to the Layers window in Illustrator and Photoshop. But the significant difference is that it is also a timeline where we can create animation on those layers. Now, this composition is a finished version of the project we're going to work on in this class. Notice we have a series of layers here and we can see right now the green circle here. If I select that layer, you can see that green circle. I'm going to open up this layer by clicking on this little triangle tab button right here. If I open that layer, you can see the key-frames and animation on that layer. A composition is essentially a series of layers with a timeline with animation on those layers. We can see the results of our layers on our animation and the composition window. We can work with our layers and our animation in the timeline window. Now let's focus on the composition window for just a second and look at some of the settings and how to navigate in this window. At the bottom of the window here, you'll see a whole variety of settings. We're just going to focus on some of the basics for this class. First, we have this pull down menu for magnification. This allows you to zoom in and zoom out of the window. We're looking at this at 50 percent right now. I can zoom in to 200 percent. I can zoom out to 12.5 percent. I can also choose Fit, which will automatically fit it into the window. That's sometimes a good option. Let's go ahead and put this back to 50 percent for right now. On the pull-down menu is fine, but there's an easier and more efficient way to work, and that is with some key commands. On your keyboard, if you use the Comma and Period keys, you can zoom in and zoom out. If you hit the Period key, you zoom in. If you hit the Comma key, you zoom out. There's a much easier way to work and navigate around than using the pull-down menu. Now once I've zoomed in, if I want to zoom in on a particular area, I'm going to want to use the Hand tool to move around. Now I could go up to the toolbar here and grab the Hand tool and then move it around. Let's grab that Hand tool and now I can move this around. But once again, there's an easier way to work with key commands. With just the ordinary Selection tool here, if I simply hold down the spacebar, it toggles to the hand, and I can move around inside my composition. Let's zoom out again here. Now, the next pull-down menu we want to look at here is right next to that magnification pull down, and that is the Choose grid and guide options. You can see right now there's this green grid sitting on top of our image here. That's not actually part of our movie, that's just a guide. We're going to look at this later and reset these grid preferences for our purposes. But for right now, let's just turn this off. I'm going to go to this pull-down menu, and I'm just going to uncheck Grid. Let's just go ahead and uncheck that for right now. You can see now we're looking at our image just as it will appear when we render it. Let's skip over to the resolution pull-down menu. You can see right now it's set to full. In other words, we're looking at this image with all of the pixel information in this composition. This is 1920 by 1080 HD composition. At full, After Effects is rendering all of the pixels in this 1920 by 1080 comp. But notice that we're viewing this at 50 percent. We're only looking at this at 50 percent size. We're asking After Effects to render all those pixels, even though we're only looking at it at half size. Now I can change this resolution to make After Effects perform a little better, which is particularly useful if you don't have such a fast computer. I can click on this pull-down menu and I can choose half resolution or a third resolution or a quarter resolution. Now, none of this will affect the final piece, when you render you're going to render at full resolution regardless of this. This just turns off some of the pixels, so After Effects isn't rendering every single pixel while you work. If we turn this down to a quarter and zoom in a little, you'll see that it looks a little rougher. Once we set this back to full resolution, you can see that it's nice and crisp and clean. If you're working on a project and your computers running a little slow and pokey, and when you're doing RAM previews, which are little render previews, we'll look at that in a minute, if those are running slow, turning this down will help even though you won't be seeing the image at its nicest quality, but you'll still get a sense of the movement and the animation and speed things up a little bit. It can be pretty handy. What I actually recommend is changing this to auto, which means that it will respond to the scale that you're looking at the image. As we zoom out at 50 percent, it immediately goes to half. As we zoom out to 25 percent, it goes to a quarter. That way, it's only rendering what you're seeing, which is really good and pretty efficient way to work. Let's jump down to the timeline window here. We've already looked at the layers that we have. This is very much like a Photoshop or Illustrator layer setup, where the layers that are on top are on top of the image and the layers at the bottom or at the bottom of the image, so that layer stack works just the way it does in Photoshop and Illustrator. But of course we also have a timeline here, and you can see that what we have is six seconds here. You'll see this little blue handle right here. This is the current time indicator or CTI. If I click and drag on that, you'll see that I moved through my animation back and forth over the timeline. You can see the animation happening there as I do that. I can set this current time indicator to anytime in my timeline, say two seconds. If you look over to the side here, you'll see the time code indicator here, which is showing you where we are in time. If I go to one second, you'll see it's showing one second or two seconds and five frames. If you're not familiar with time code, let's just walk through it really quickly, a whole bunch of numbers here. First number here is hours, second number is minutes, third number is seconds, and the last number is frames. We're working at 24 frames per second. We have 24 frames in each second, and then hours, minutes and seconds. You can see as I scrub the CTI, notice the time changing over here in the time indicator. Now, for this project we're going to be working with just six seconds, just a short little piece. But even with a short piece, sometimes you're going to want to zoom in or zoom out of the timeline. Certainly with a longer, more complicated piece, you're often going to need to zoom in and zoom out of the timeline. The first way we can do that is with the time navigator. That's this bar, this little skinny bar up at the top of the timeline. You'll see these little blue handles at the edges. Note that the color blue is often an indicator in After Effects that something is either clickable or selected. You can see our Selection tool is selected, it's blue. Our window here has a little blue box around it. When I click on the composition window, and select back, see it has a little blue box. The little handle for the CTI and the CTI bar here is blue. There's also these little blue handles on the time navigator. I can click and drag on these little handles and I can zoom in to the timeline. Now we're only displaying part of the timeline, only a couple seconds worth. I can click and drag in the beginning here and zoom in even further. Now we're just looking at really just a handful of frames. Now, once I'm zoomed in, I can click in the middle of the time navigator, and I can shuttle this back and forth to move through the timeline, zoomed in in this way. Let's go ahead and return these handles to the edges here, so we're looking at our whole six seconds. I can also zoom in and out of the timeline with key commands. Just like the period and comma keys work to zoom in and out of the composition window, the dash and equal keys on your main keyboard will zoom you in and out of the timeline based on where the CTI is located. There's also a time zoom slider down here at the bottom. You'll see the little mountains and the big mountains, that will also zoom in and out of where your CTI is, but I find this pretty clunky. The Plus and Minus keys are much faster and more efficient way to work. 5. Review The Final Project: Now that we know how to get around a little bit, let's go ahead and take a look at the finished animation that we're going to recreate in this class. Let's take our CTI here and slide it back to frame zero. Then to watch the animation in real time with the audio, we're going to do what's called a ram preview, which is basically just a render that saves to the temporary memory on the computer. A ram preview essentially will look exactly the way your final render will look, but it's just temporary and doesn't create a finished movie file. To execute a ram preview, we simply hit the space bar and it'll begin playing from where the CTI is positioned. The ram preview is automatically set to loop, so it will loop continuously. Let's go ahead and ram preview this animation. To watch it a couple times. Hitting the space bar again will stop the ram preview. You can see we've got a very fun but very simple animation where we have simple colorful shapes reacting to a drumbeat. Each shape responds to one of the instruments in the drum kit and its movement is tied to whatever that instrument is doing. Let's create a new composition where we can recreate this animation. Or of course, if you want you can create your own version of this animation. 6. Creating A New Composition: Now before we create this new composition, I want to point out that I'm going to be using a library of colors that I've already created. If I go over on the side here and click on the word library, I open the little library window and you can see I've got a set of colors already created to help me build this piece. Libraries are a great tool in the creative cloud because they can actually travel from software to software and they can contain colors or other things that you use for your projects. Now if you're interested in using my colors and following along with me exactly, we've included this library file that you can import if you want to just choose your own colors, that's perfectly fine as well. But if you'd like to use the colors that I'm using here, simply go up to the little three line tab here next to where it says libraries. Click that, go down to import library, you'll see this little dialog window here, and you can choose, select library. Navigate into the footage folder, in the project folder you downloaded and you'll be able to select the Ae class one library. I'm not going to do that because I've already got the library in there, but you can just click on that, click open and it will import the library into your library window here and then you can select and use these colors. Now let's create a new composition to build our animation. I'm going to go up to composition, new composition, and you'll see the composition settings window open. Now at the top here, you can see we have our composition name window. We always want to give our composition a logical name. As your projects become more complicated, staying organized is really important. So naming layers, naming compositions is a really important part of that. So I'm going to call this drum design. You can call it whatever you like and then we're going to go down to the preset pulldown menu here, it defaults to HDTV 1082997, we're going to change that. I'm going to click on that pull-down menu and we're going to choose HDTV 108024 frames per second. Let's go ahead and click that. You'll notice that gives us the standard HD settings of 1920 by 1080 pixels. It also gives us the HD standard of square shaped pixels and a frame rate of 24 frames per second. Now down at the bottom here, we have the duration of the composition. It defaults to 30 seconds. We're going to go ahead and change that to 06 to six seconds. Make sure you don't delete any of the coordinates when you're typing that in. Now the default background color for a composition is black, but we want it to be this purple color. I'm going to grab the little eyedropper here and I'm just going to go over and select my background purple color from my library. Again, you can choose any color you want and if you click on the background color swatch here, you'll get the Adobe color picker where you can choose hue, saturation, brightness, either with the click and drag tools here, or you can choose them with HSB sliders or RGB sliders, or enter a hex code. Once we've got all those settings, will go ahead and click Okay and you can see that we've got a new composition added to our project window, and that composition has been opened in our timeline and in our composition window. Note that our original composition is now a tab in the timeline window. I can click on that tab over and it'll automatically load the composition window and the timeline for that other composition and I can tab back to our current composition. Next, we'll set up a grid system to make it easier to create and arrange our shapes as we begin to build our animation. 7. Working With Grid Systems: So why do we want to use a grid system while we work? For those of you who are graphic designers, I probably don't need to tell you why you want to use a grid system. Grid systems are a great way to create alignment and proximity relationships in graphic design. But they can also be very useful for illustration, particularly illustration that utilizes topography or other graphic elements. So let's go ahead and toggle our grid back on here. So I'm going to go down to the bottom here and toggle the grid on. But we're going to change the settings of this grid a little bit. We've got a lot of subdivisions in this grid that we probably don't need. We can simplify this and also make it correspond to our 1920 by 1080 frame here. So let's go under after-effects preferences and we'll go to grids and guides. In our grids and guides preference you can see we can change when we have our grid lines, how many pixels between each grid line and how many subdivisions we have. Now I've already done some handy math for you guys. This is another little pro tip here. A 1920 by 1080 frame is a 16 by 9 ratio. If you divide 1920 by 16, you get 120 pixels. If you divide 1080 by 9, you also get 120 pixels. So we can create a 16, 9 grid on our frame by putting a grid line every 120 frames, if you like, you can change the scale of the grid by doing 240 pixels to make a larger grid or 60 pixels to make a smaller grid. But what we're going to use is just the 120 and we're going to use a subdivision of two. So let's go ahead and click okay and see what we get. This is much more useful to us. Now we've got 9 squares on the side and 16 squares over the top. That's our 16, 9 ratio, but we also have the single subdivision. That's very handy in particular with the nine squares up and down, because that will allow us to get a center point here halfway through. So the center of our frame is right there. It'll also give us a little more flexibility with our alignment. Now to make this grid really work for us. We want to make sure we can snap our shapes to this grid. So we want to make sure under view here, that snap to grid is checked. So double-check that. I believe it defaults to that, but just in case make sure that snap to grid is checked on. Now we're ready to start making some shapes. 8. Shape Layer Basics: Shape Layers and After Effects are very powerful. I want to make clear that we're just barely scratching the surface of what Shape Layers can do in this particular class. But essentially, Shape layers are the vector drawing component of After Effects, and are very similar to vector drawing in Illustrator or Photoshop. But again, we're just going to start with the basics. If you're not familiar with the term Vector, vector artwork uses points plotted by the computer to make shapes. Illustrator uses vector drawing primarily, but Photoshop and After Effects both have vector drawing capabilities. Now, this is opposed to raster artwork, which includes things like photographs, scans of physical artwork, or images drawn with a brush tool in Photoshop. Raster artwork uses individually colored pixels to make imagery. Photoshop and After Effects are primarily raster based, but as I said, both have vector components, like Shape Layers and After Effects. We will talk more about raster and vector art in upcoming classes. So up in our toolbar here, you can see that we have our basic shape tool, so if I click and hold here, you'll see we have a rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse polygon, and start tool, which is really just a fancy version of the polygon tool. Let's start with just the Rectangle tool. So we're going to select the rectangle tool. Notice that when we select that tool here, let's just really quickly go back to the selection tool. When I select that tool, I get some additional options here up in the tool window. A fill and a stroke width option. We'll come back to these in just a second, but for right now, let's just go ahead and draw a rectangle in our composition window. Just click and drag with our tool to draw a rectangle or a square, and you'll notice right away the grid snapping that were snapping to those grid lines which is really nice. Now I can make a square very easily just by snapping to these grids, but I can also hold down the Shift key to constrain to a square. Now the default settings for the Shape Layers is this obnoxious bright red fill and the two pixel white stroke. Let's zoom in a little here so we can see that stroke just barely there. Now I can change the width of the stroke by clicking and dragging right or left on the blue stroke width value. I can change the color of the stroke by clicking on the stroke swatch button here, which opens the color picker, but we're actually not going to use strokes for this project so I want to turn the stroke off. I'm going to click on the word stroke which you'll notice is blue. I'm going to click on the word stroke, and you can see I have several options here. I can have a solid color stroke, I can have a linear gradient or a radial gradients stroke, or I can have no stroke at all. I can also change the opacity of the stroke or change the blend mode of the stroke. The blend mode set is the same set you're used to from Photoshop or Illustrator. But we're going to go ahead and choose no stroke and click okay. Now the fill settings are similar in that I click on the word fill and I also have the option for solid color, no fill, or gradients, and blend modes, opacity, all that good stuff is all there. Let's go ahead and change the color here. I'm going to click on the fill swatch button here to launch the color picker. For right now, I'm just going to choose white just while we're playing around with these shapes, but I could grab my eye drop and choose one of my other colors, but right now we're going to keep things simple, but you can choose whatever color you like. Now I recommend now that we're starting to actually make some stuff, that you get into the habit of saving fairly regularly. You can even Increment and save if you want to save a version as we talked about in the beginning of the class. Now let's take a look at what happened in our timeline when we created the square. Notice that a layer was added and it's called Shape Layer one. Now an important thing to understand about After Effects is a Shape Layer is like an empty shell that can hold one or more shapes. So in this case we have one shape in the layer, which is our rectangle and there's our rectangle inside the contents of the Shape Layer. So we have the Shape Layer which is the shell, and then the rectangle living within that Shape Layer. Now let's make an ellipse. But before we make the ellipse, we want to make sure and deselect this layer. Notice this little white box around here, and the fact that we can see this little bounding box around our square, that means this layer is selected and we want to de-select that layer before we make our ellipse, and we'll talk about why in just a moment. Let's deselect and I can do that in one of two ways. I can either click in an empty area of the timeline like this or alternately I can click in an empty area of the composition window, but only if I have the selection tool. Like so otherwise I'll start drawing another shape. Now that we're de-selected, let's go back and grab the Ellipse tool, and let's go ahead and click and drag and we can make an ellipse. We can make ovals, or I can make a circle using the grid snapping, or I can hold down the shift key and that will constrain me to creating a circle. Now note that when we drew this circle or this ellipse, we created a new Shape Layer. It's now called Shape Layer two, and again inside that shape Layer is this ellipse. We now have two Shape Layers, each with one shape inside it, but as I said, a Shape Layer can contain multiple shapes. How do we add a shape to a layer if we want that? What we do is we leave the Shape Layer selected. Before we de-selected the rectangle. Now we're going to leave the Shape Layer selected. Let's just go back and choose the rectangle tool again. Now with that selected, now I'm going to draw a rectangle, and now that rectangle has been added to Shape Layer two. So Shape Layer two now has two shapes in it. Shape Layer one just has the one rectangle. Now this can be useful for creating more complex images with Shape Layers. As I said, Shape Layers are extremely powerful. Right now we're just using the simple basic shape tools, but it is possible to also draw shapes with the pen tool as you do in Illustrator when you're creating vector shapes in Photoshop, and the ability to combine multiple shapes in a Shape Layer is similar to having a layer in Illustrator with multiple shapes within it, and you can create relationships between the shapes to create complex imagery. But when you start getting into animation, it's important to understand that you're going to be animating on the layers and any animation added to the layer will affect all of the shapes within that layer. For this class, we're always going to be creating single Shape Layers. Shape Layers with just one shape so that as we animate, we're animating each shape individually. So again, if we want to create a new shape and we want it to have its own layer, again we're going to de-select, we're going to grab whatever shape tool we want and then we're going to click and drag that shape, and again that will create the new Shape Layer with just the single shape inside of it. Now before we move on, I just want to caution you about something here as a beginning After Effects user. We are really just looking at the very basics of Shape Layers here. There's a lot of power and a lot of complexity buried in the Shape Layer world. It's important to understand that you can actually get into some trouble working with Shape Layers, if you aren't aware of some of that depth if you stumble into it, let say. So let's just take a quick peek at some of the complexity within the Shape Layers. If I tab open the Ellipse within the contents of the Shape Layer, you'll see that a whole bunch of new options come up. Each one of these little triangles being yet another tab, and each one of these tabs having additional options inside them. That includes options for animating the shape itself within the layer. Now until you get much more familiar with working with Shape Layers, I strongly recommend essentially staying out of these settings, particularly the transform settings. If you're just learning After Effects, this can create some massive confusion and behavior that you may not expect or want, and you can really wind up deep in the weeds if you mess around in here too much without knowing what you're doing. Just as you're beginning here, I recommend keeping that closed and stand out of there until you've gotten a little deeper into the software. Let's delete some of this stuff here. Let's delete these two Shape Layers that we created. Let's delete those and let's just stay with this white square for right now, and let's explore the basic animatable properties for this layer. 9. The Five Properties: Almost all layers in after effects, with the exception of audio layers, have five basic properties that you can manipulate and animate. Let's take a look at those one by one. On our shape layer here, we of course have our contents tab that has a rectangle in it. Let's go ahead and close that tab up. Underneath that we have the transform tab. Let's go ahead and tab that open and you can see are five properties. Anchor point, position, scale, rotation, and opacity. Let's go through each of them one by one and make sure we understand how they work and how to manipulate them. The first is the anchor point. This is a very important property because it affects what happens with the position scale and rotation properties, especially scale and rotation. The anchor point is the point of the layer from which movement takes place. The anchor point is represented by this little symbol right here. It's a little circle with a cross-hair on it. Notice that when we create a shape layer, which again is just an empty shell to hold one or more shapes. That empty shell layer defaults to the anchor point being in the center of the frame. So there's our anchor point for the shape layer right in the center of the frame. What that means, and we'll demonstrate this in a little bit. What that means is that when we move the position of the layer, the scale of the layer or the rotation of the layer, all of that movement is going to originate at this anchor point. The position of the anchor point really affects the way movement happens with our layers, particularly scale and rotation. We have the ability to move the anchor point to different positions on the layer in order to get different effects with our animation. There's two ways to adjust the anchor point. They both have particular uses in particular situations. The most common way is to move the anchor point independent of the artwork on the layer. That's what we need to do here because we want to move this anchor point to the center of this square. What we're going to use is the pan behind tool. It's right next to the shape tool right there, the pan behind tool. That's a strange name. This is a tool that actually has a whole bunch of different uses, although this is probably it's most common use. We're going to grab the pan behind tool. Now I can click and drag on this anchor point and I can now move it anywhere I want. Where I want to move it for right now is in the center of our square. You'll notice that as I move that anchor point, the anchor point value, which was originally at zero and zero, now has some different values to it. We'll talk a little bit more about those values in a minute. The other way to affect the anchor point is to manipulate the values themselves, but that creates a very different effect. You'll notice all of these value numbers are blue. That means they can be clicked and dragged on or clicked and values can be typed in. I can click and drag on these values. Notice now what's happening is the anchor point is actually staying in place. But the artwork on the layer, in this case the square, is moving in relation to that anchor point which stays fixed. That's not what we want in this case so I'm going to hit the undo key, command Z, to undo and return that. Our anchor point is once again centered in our square. A small caution here; you want to make sure when you're adjusting the anchor point of a layer that you're not adjusting the anchor point of the shape. Let me show you what I mean. If we deselect here, let's select away from our current shape. Let's grab our shape tool, and we'll just draw a new shape very quickly here. You'll notice there's the anchor point for the layer right in the middle. In this particular instance where I've just drawn a shape, if I immediately go and grab my pan behind tool without selecting the layer first, like so. You'll notice that the anchor point for the layer disappears. Now there's a new anchor point, very, very small in the middle of the shape. Notice also that the bounding box looks different and has these little white boxes instead of the solid blue boxes. What that means is that we now have the shape selected and this anchor point is the anchor point of the shape. Remember I mentioned that shapes within shape layers have their own transforms. Also remember I cautioned you about getting too deep into the weeds with shape layers until you understand them a little more fully. At this point, if I was to move this anchor point, I am not adjusting the anchor point of the layer. I'm adjusting the anchor point of the shape itself and I won't get the effect with the animation that I'm looking for. It's important to pay attention if you see this kind of bounding box and this little anchor point. Be aware that you now have the shape selected and you can see down in the timeline note that the rectangle is highlighted in gray here. The shape is selected, but the layer is not. Watch what happens when we select the layer. As soon as we do that, we get the normal bounding box around our shape and our anchor point is now the layer anchor point in the center. Notice again it's a much larger anchor point than the little one that pops up for the shape. Just be aware that if you draw a shape and select the pan behind tool immediately, you are going to run into this little issue. All you need to do is select the layer again and make sure that you're adjusting the anchor point of the layer and not of the shape. Let's go ahead and just delete that shape, re-select our shape here. Let's go ahead and re-select our selection tool. Let's look at the position property, which I think will help the anchor point property make a little bit more sense. Let's start by talking about what the two numbers mean. Notice that both the anchor point and the position have two values here. The first value is the value in x. X is the horizontal value moving right or left. If I was to click and drag on this first number, you can see that I move forward and backward right to left with my position here. Notice also that took us off of our grid. I can also just click and drag on the layer itself, and then I can snap it back to the grid here. I can manipulate position either by clicking and dragging on the layer or clicking and dragging on the value in the timeline. Depending on the situation you're in, sometimes clicking and dragging on the layer is best. Usually clicking and dragging or entering a value in the timeline is going to be easier and more efficient, especially when you're working on more complex projects. But since we're creating the simple animation around the grid structure, we're probably going to be clicking and dragging on the layer a little more often. The second value is the y value, which is up and down. Once again, I can move up and down by clicking and dragging on this value or I can just click and drag on the layer itself. I can just click and drag and move totally randomly also as well. As long as I have snapping on, I'll continue snapping to these grid points. Notice as I move this around, the values move around as well. If I put the square right in the center, notice that the value is 960 by 540. 960 is one-half of 1920, 540 is one-half of 1080. So I can also center things by simply typing in values. Let's say my square is over here somewhere and I want it in the center. I can actually just click in the x and y here. Just click and I can type in 960, tab 540 return and it centers that square. I can also do simple math within these value boxes. For example, I can click on 960. If I want to go 120 frames in x, I can go plus 120, and it jumps 120 frames. Here's where it gets a little tricky. If I wanted to go backwards, I can't just type minus 120. Watch what happens if I go minus 120, my square actually goes off the screen because it just goes to the value minus 120. Let's undo, and let's just move back 120 frames. In order to do that, I click in the value window here, and I go plus first. The plus basically is telling aftereffects, I'm doing a calculation now instead of going to a negative value and then negative 120. Now I jump back a 120 frames. A little bit confusing, but the fact that we have negative values as a possibility here makes it necessary to add that second keystroke in order to tell after affects what you're doing. Again, I can go plus minus 240, or I can go plus 120 or whatever I want to do, or if I want to return to the center, I can just type in 960 and pop it back into the center. Now I've got snapping engaged here, so I can also just move it around and snap it to things. But in some cases you won't be working with a grid system and using numeric values or just clicking and dragging on a value can be really useful. Now let's just really quick revisit this anchor point quickly just to make sure we really understand what's happening here. Notice right now that are position value is at 960 by 540. In other words, the anchor point is in the center. The layer is centered. Now, if I graph the pan behind tool and I move this anchor point to another position, say down in the corner of the square. Notice that the square is still centered in the frame. The artwork is still in the same position. However, the layer has actually moved. Notice that the layer values are now different because the anchor point of the layer, which determines the position of the layer is now not in the center. My square, the artwork is centered, but the layer is now off center. If I return the value of 960 by 540, now my layer is centered. But because the artwork isn't centered on the layer, the artwork is now off center. This is an important distinction to understand. The anchor point is what determines where the layer is. But the layer can have artwork of almost any kind. It can be a shape or a drawing or typography or what have you. But the anchor point determines where the layer actually is. Now, likewise, right now my position, it has the layer centered 960 by 540. If I manipulate the anchor point values now, so let's do that. Let's kind of goof this up a little bit and we'll just put this in some weird place. If I manipulate the anchor point values, notice that the position of the layer has not changed. The position of the artwork in relation to the layer has changed because I've changed these anchor point values. But the layers position is still centered at 960 by 540. This is an important distinction and it's important to understand the difference between layer position and artwork position and that's determined by the anchor point values. Now let's undo back until this square is back on our grid, and then we can go ahead with the pen behind tool and snap that anchor point back to the center of our square. If you want to, you can snap the square to the center of the frame again or type in 960 by 540. Remember to keep saving as you work. Now the next property is scale, and that is determined with two values again, again X and Y, but now it's a percentage value. When we made our shape here, we made our shape a certain size, so it is at a 100 percent scale right now. If I click and drag on these values up or down, it will change that scale proportionately. Let's go ahead and type in 100 again to return it to its normal size. Now, I can scale out of proportion by checking off constrain proportions, and now I can scale in Y or in X separately. Also note that if I work out these scale values and then check constrained proportions back on, now when I click and drag the scale, it moves proportionately, but with my out of work proportions. If I want to return to proportional scaling, I can do one of two things. I can either check off proportional again and then just simply type in even values and then recheck proportional scaling, and now I'm back to normal here, or let's throw this outer work again or with the values out of work and the proportional scale unchecked, I can option click, it'll automatically take the first value, the X value, and copy it into the Y value and return us to proportional scaling again. Let's go ahead and return that to 100. Now let's also take a quick look at what happens when we change the anchor point. If I take our pen behind tool and let's say move our anchor point to the corner of the square and now manipulate the scale, now notice that it scales up and down from that anchor point. Again, the position of the anchor point is a very important for creating the right kind of effect with the animation that you're looking for. Remember too, that we can take our anchor point completely off the object. I can even take it off the frame if I want to, I can put the anchor point way out here somewhere, and again, I'm going to get a very, very different behavior. Now it almost looks like we're moving the position of the square, but we're not, we're not moving the position. We're just scaling it off of this far-flung anchor point and creating this crazy scaling diagonal movement effect. I'm going to undo back until we kind of get back to normal here. I recommend you do the same. So I'm going to command Z a bunch of times until we get back to the centered square and centered anchor point. Our next value is rotation, which is fairly obvious. There's two values here, but they are not X and Y. Instead, they are 360 degrees in a circle, and the first value is number of complete rotations. Let's take a look at that. If I click and drag up or down on this first value here, the degrees, it just begins to rotate the shape. But watch what happens when I go all the way up to 360. As soon as I hit 360, boom suddenly that first value jumps to one. We now have one full 360 degree rotation plus seven degrees. The same will work in negative too. If I go up again, lets go up again. Now it's two full 360 degree rotations by 25 degrees. Let's just type zeros back in here real quick. Now, one thing I want you to note because it can be a little confusing when you first begin, if I click and drag on this first value, watch the square here as I do that. If I click and drag on that value, notice that the square doesn't move at all. Even though I'm adding 41 full rotations of the square, the square doesn't actually rotate 41 times in front of our eyes. It basically just holds at zero degree orientation, and we're just adding multiple rotations that could be animated if we were to animate this value. Just be aware of that, you're not going to see anything rotate if you manipulate this first value. You will see it though, if you're manipulating the 0 to 360 value right there. Now just like scale, the position of the anchor point will change the behavior of this rotation. Again, if we move our anchor point to the corner of our square and we rotate it, it'll now rotate around that corner, and just like we did before, we can also take the anchor point completely off the circle or even off the frame. Again, we'll get a very different behavior now will get a satellite moving around a planet, a movement or whatever. Let's go ahead and set that back to zero and let's snap our anchor point back to the center. No opacity is very easy to understand, it's just the opacity of the layer, so if I turn the opacity down, the opacity goes down between 0 and 100 percent, pretty straightforward. But remember I can do math in any of these values. I can add plus 10 to the scale. I can add plus 45 to the rotation, and I can do that with opacity as well. Plus minus 10 or plus 5, or I can just click and type in values 100 or zero. Now I show you this partly because I want to give you another little caution here, which is that when you're manipulating opacity, it's very common to say I want this to animate down to zero opacity. I want it to fade away, and so you click and drag on the value and you click and drag it down. Now I got it to zero right there. But it's really easy when you're working fast to get it down to like one or two percent. If you look at this right now, you really can't see that unless you look really, really hard, but it's actually at one percent. You might think it's at zero percent, but it's actually at one, particularly if the background is a similar color to the object. Same thing with a 100, you can scroll up to get it to 100 and accidentally get it at like 94 or 99 and not have it fully opaque. A good rule of thumb, if you want zero opacity, click and type in zero. If you want a 100 percent opacity click and type in 100 percent. Otherwise you might not notice that you didn't get those values all the way, and then when you render, you might find some problems with your render. Sometimes you can't see things may be at a half resolution that you'll see when something finally renders. It's just a good habit to get into. Now that we've learned about our five properties, let's take a look at creating some animation. 10. Animating With Keyframes: One of the great things about the animation process in After Effects is that once you learn how to animate one property, you really know how to animate all properties, because the animation system is exactly the same for any animatable property. But we're going to get started doing a simple position animation. So the first step is to choose where you want your animation to begin. So we're going to take our CTI and move it to where we want our animation to start. It really doesn't matter where, I'm going to start at 12 frames in, you can start wherever you want, but just put the CTI somewhere here on the timeline other than frame zero. Then we want to choose our first value, in this case, a position value, but it could be a scale value or rotation or a property on an effect or anything else that we're animating. So in this case, let's just take our square and just bring it over to the side of the frame. So now we have where we want the animation to start in space and where we want the animation to start in time. So now we're going to go down to the position value here. We're going to click on this stopwatch right here. So we'll go ahead and click that and that will enable animation on this position property. Now, note too that we've created our first keyframe, I'll move the CTI off here just so you can see it. There's our first little keyframe, the little diamond shape right there. Now to set our next keyframe, we simply have to move the CTI forward or even backward in time, and that's important to note. We're going to work forward here, but you can actually animate backwards, as well as, forwards but we're going to go ahead and move forward in time. So let's move forward a few frames. So now we've moved the CTI to another position in time, and then all we have to do is change the value of the property. Now, I can change that value either by clicking and dragging on the values here, I can also just click and drag on the layer to move it in space. So let's just click and drag on the layer and we'll just move it across the screen. Notice that when I change that position value, I automatically created a new keyframe. So once you enable animation, creates your first keyframe, move in time, changed the value, it automatically creates another keyframe. If we were to ram preview this, you can see that we now have animation. Very, very simple. Now I can continue to move the CTI to a position, change a value and make keyframe, so I can keep doing this as long as I want and every time I move the CTI, move in time and change the value, I add a keyframe. Now, I can also move keyframes in time. So I can take a keyframe, click and drag on it and move it back and forth in time. I can also move two or more keyframes by clicking and dragging a box around the number of keyframes I want to move and then I can move all those keyframes together as many as I want. I can also delete keyframes by drawing a box around the keyframes I want to delete to select them. Notice again, that they turn blue when they're selected, then hit the delete key and I can make those keyframes go away. Now, I can also change the value of the keyframes that I've created, but in order to do that, I have to have my CTI on the keyframe I want to change, because if my CTI is out here and I change a value, it's going to make a new keyframe. But if I want to change the value of these keyframes, I can put my CTI on that keyframe and then I can change that value either by clicking on the numbers or clicking on the layer and moving it and change the value of that keyframe. Now, sometimes when you have a long project with a lot of keyframes, it can be difficult to get the CTI right on that keyframe. In this case with only six seconds, it's not very difficult. But you can also use the keyframe navigation buttons here. See the little arrows here forward and back? These will go to the previous keyframe or the next keyframe and that'll just jump right to that keyframe, then again, you can change that value either by changing the numbers there or by clicking and dragging on it up here. 11. Timing And Spacing: Let's pause for just a moment and talk about a big idea that we're just going to touch on here. But upcoming classes on planning for skill share will go into with much greater depth. It's an animation principle that's usually referred to simply as timing, but I prefer to call it by its full name, timing and spacing. Timing and spacing are the two ways to control the speed or velocity of movement. Controlling the speed or velocity of movement is one of the most important ways for animators to create movement that has meaning. Movement that communicates weight, gravity, ideas or emotions. Timing and spacing is in many ways the fundamental principle of animation that underlies all the other principles of animation. Let's start by taking a look at the idea of timing. Timing is the number of frames between two keyframes. In other words, how many frames does it take to get from here to here? Now I can alter the timing by moving the keyframes forward and backward in time. Let's put this first keyframe here at frame 12. Right now between this keyframe at frame 12 and this keyframe at one second, we have 12 frames. Let's go ahead and take a look at that. Let's call that our average speed. Now if we want to make this movement faster, we can move the keyframes closer together. I'm going to take this second keyframe and I'm going to move it much closer to this first keyframe. Now there's just four frames between frame 12 and frame 16 here. Now watch the speed of the movement. Wow, much, much faster. Look about, much, much quicker. By changing the timing between these two keyframes, we've changed the speed or velocity of the movement. Keep in mind they're moving the same distance. We're moving from here to here in both cases, but we're doing it with fewer frames. Let's put it back to one second here. Look at that again. Much slower. Again, moving the same distance. Now let's slow it down. Let's say we want it to be slower. Now we can move the keyframes further apart. I'm going to take this and move this way out all the way out to two seconds here. Now let's ram preview that. Much, much slower. Now we've made the movement much slower. Again, we're moving the same distance. We're still moving from here to here, same distance, but we're taking more frames to do it thus slowing the movement down. More frames between keyframes which would be more space on the timeline between the key frames means slower movement, less frames between keyframes which would be a smaller distance between two key frames on the timeline, mean faster movement. Now that's the timing aspect of timing and spacing. But let's look at the spacing aspect. I'm going to move this keyframe back here to one second. Let's look at that again and just get a sense of that timing there. There's our average speed there. Now the other way that I can change the speed or velocity of movement is the spacing between the two keyframes. Now the term spacing really applies mostly to position movement. But the bigger concept here is the change in value from one keyframe to another. If you're animating scale, or rotation, or opacity, or something that isn't traveling a distance, spacing may not be the most accurate term, but the idea is how much does it change from one keyframe to another? In this case, we're changing from here to here over 12 frames and we get this speed. Now watch what happens when we keep the same number of frames. We're going to stay at 12 frames. We're not going to change how many frames were moving from one keyframe to another, but instead we're going to change the spacing or the values of these two keyframes. Let's start by slowing the movement down. If we want to slow the movement down, we need to bring the spacing closer together. I'm going to take this first value so I want to make sure I'm on this first keyframe and I can use my little keyframe navigation arrows here to make sure I'm on this first keyframe. I'm going to slide this closer to this other keyframe. Then I'm going to jump to the second keyframe. I'm going to slide that closer to this first keyframe. Now let's ran preview this, but note again that we're still moving 12 frames much slower. We've slowed down the movement by changing the spacing between the two keyframes or the value between the two keyframes. How much does it change from this keyframe to this keyframe? Now it's not changing as much, it's still 12 frames. The timing is the same but because this spacing or values are closer together, it's now moving much more slowly. Now if we want to speed up the movement, we do the opposite and we make the change in value between one keyframe and another much greater. Let's now on this first keyframe, let's bring it way back to the very edge of the frame. Then let's jump to this second keyframe and bring that way to the edge on the other side. Now we'll see faster movement, much faster movement. There we go. Less of a change in value make slower movement, and more of a change in value makes a faster movement. Now we've looked at both timing and spacing. We either change the number of frames between the two keyframes, or the value or amount of change from one keyframe to another. In most cases, you'll be able to manipulate both of these things to control the speed of your movement. In some cases, you may only be able to change one or the other. But either way, you now know how you can make your movement faster or slower in order to communicate what you want to communicate with your animation. As I said, I'm planning a more in-depth series of classes for skill share that we'll dive deeper into this and other important animation principles. 12. Ease In And Ease Out: Linear motion is very unusual in the natural world. Almost nothing starts or stops instantly. Most movement takes a little while to get going and takes a little while to stop, accelerating and decelerating, in and out of each motion. A simple example of this would be a car. When you step on the gas, the car doesn't instantly go 60 miles an hour. It gradually accelerates from a stop before gaining full speed. Likewise, when you step on the brakes to stop the car, even if you slam on the brakes, the car doesn't stop instantly. Whether you slam on the brakes, or whether you're stepping on the brakes normally, you're going to gradually slow down before coming to a full stop. In animation, that gradual speeding up and slowing down is called Ease out and Ease in. It's another very important animation principle. Let's add some eases to this movement, so it's a little more natural. Let's start with our Ease out. On the first keyframe here, I'm going to select the keyframe. I'm going to right-click on it, and I'm going to go down to keyframe assistant. I'm going to choose Easy Ease out. Why am I choosing Easy Ease out? Because this is the first keyframe in our movement, and we want to ease out, or slowly accelerates, start slow and get faster out of this first keyframe. It's usually good when you're learning the difference between ease out and ease in, to add a couple words to the phrase. If we think about easing out of a keyframe, we're easing out of a keyframe. Then, later we're going to ease into a keyframe here. If you add those words, that'll help you remember which one you want to use. In this case, we want to Ease out. Notice that, when I made that adjustment, notice how now the little dots are no longer evenly spaced. Look at how they're closer together here, then a little wider. That's the Ease out. In other words, the spacing starts more narrow and gets wider as it moves on, the movement start slower and gets faster. That's timing and spacing again, or specifically the spacing side of timing and spacing. Let's take a look at what this looks like. Can you see that? It's a little bit subtle. But see how the movement now starts more slowly and ease in to that motion. Now, we have no Ease on this side. Notice how it slams into that second keyframe. Boom, it hits really hard right there. Now, just for demonstration purposes, let's take the Ease off of this first keyframe, so we can look at just an Ease in, and then we'll put eases on both sides. Now, you'll notice the keyframe with the Ease out on it has this little C-shaped on the side of the keyframe icon. To remove an Ease, hold down the command key and click on the, Keyframe. It turns back into a little diamond. Diamond is a linear keyframe. Now, we've got our even spacing again. Let's now select the second keyframe. We're going to right-click on that, go to keyframe assistant. This time we're going to choose Easy Ease in because we're easing into the keyframe. Let's choose that and once again, see how the spacing is now no longer even and it gets narrower. The spacing gets narrower as we get closer to that keyframe, slowing down into that key frame. Let's take a look at that now. There we go. You can see it Ease in to that keyframe. We no longer have that abrupt stop. It softly enters that final position. Note that both the Ease out and the Ease in feel much more natural, much less mechanical. Now, let's put eases on both sides, which is generally what you're going to do except in a few specific circumstances. I'm going to right-click on this first keyframe. Go down to keyframe assistant, and choose Easy Ease out because we're easing out of this keyframe. Now, let's ram preview with the eases on both sides. Note that our spacing starts narrower, gets wider, widest in the middle, and then gets narrower again on the other side. It's accelerating, it's the fastest in the middle and then slows down again into the second keyframe. Let's take a look at that. There we go. Now we have nice natural movement. Much less mechanical, much less sharp and harsh. 13. Hold Keyframes: Let's take a look at one more way we can manipulate our movement. Let's say we want a movement to stop and then start again. To do that, we want to use what are called hold keyframes that allow us to hold a value for as long as we wish before we start movement again. Let's pretend we want this movement to stop somewhere in the middle, pause for a second and then start up again. I'm actually going to drag this keyframe out a little bit more, maybe not as far as we did before, but a little ways out to give us a little room to work here. Let's start by dragging our CTI out a little ways and stopping somewhere in the middle. It doesn't have to be right in the middle wherever you want. I'm going to go maybe a third of the way or something like that. Let's say we want the movement to stop here and pause for a second before it continues on its path. What I need to do is I need to add a new keyframe right here in the middle of my two first keyframes. To add a keyframe, that will essentially capture this value at this point in the movement, I'm going to use this little diamond button right here by my two arrow navigation buttons here. That's the add or remove keyframe button. I'm going to click that and that's going to add a new key frame right in the middle. Now you notice the keyframe looks a little bit funny. It's got an hourglass look. That's because we had an ease out from this keyframe and an ease in on this keyframe. When we create a new key frame, After Effects creates what it guesses we want here in the middle. It's guessing we want a little bit of ease in and a little bit of ease out so we get this little kind of hourglass shape. Note that it's not really easing in a lot. It makes a guess at a small amount of ease coming in so it's not actually eased in or eased out. We're going to change this later. Let's start by just turning this back into a linear keyframe. I'm going to hit the command key, click that and we'll just turn that back into a linear keyframe for now. What I want to have happen is, I want it to get to this point and then I want it to stop moving so it doesn't move for a little while. Let's go forward a few frames here. What we're going to do is we're going to right-click on this key frame and we're going to choose toggle hold keyframe. Let's select that. You'll see now we get this little box shape on this side of the keyframe. What that means now is it's going to hold this value, the value at this keyframe. It's going to hold that value until it meets another keyframe. Let's go along here slowly and see what's happening. We're easing out of this keyframe here, we're moving forward, we hit this keyframe here and because of the hold, we're just going to hold that value. You see it doesn't move. Watch what happens when we hit this next keyframe. Boom. It jumps to that next value because basically what the hold says is don't change the value until you see another keyframe and then do whatever that keyframe tells you to do. In this case, it's telling us to be over here on this side of the frame. That's obviously not what we want here. We want it to pause and then start again. Let's make a second keyframe after our pause. Here we are animating along, we stop and we hold. Let's go forward a few frames. Let's add another keyframe once again capturing this value that we've been holding since this keyframe here. I'm going to go ahead over and hit an add keyframe button. Notice it has the same numeric value as the previous keyframe. Once again, we get that kind of funny hourglass shape. Just to keep things clear and simple, let's command-click on that to turn that back into a diamond. Let's take a look at what's happening. We are moving out of this keyframe, we move along, we hit the hold, and we hold until we hit this keyframe, which has the same value as this key frame. Then we start moving again. We move forward to the last keyframe. Let's RAM preview this. We have our little stop and our little pause but notice that the movement is stilted, and that's because we have no ease in here easing into this keyframe and we have no ease out here, easing out of this keyframe. Let's add those and soften this up. I'm going to right-click, remember we're easing into a keyframe, so keyframe assistant, easy ease in and then we're going to select this keyframe. We're easing out of a keyframe, so we're going to easy ease out and now, notice that we've added the little ease in, the little backward c here on this keyframe, but we still have the box on the other side. In other words, we're easing in and then holding on the way out, then we're holding holding, and then when we hit this keyframe we're easing out of this keyframe into our last keyframe. Let's RAM preview that. There we go. Now it looks much more natural with those eases. Boo-boo. We have our nice pause in the middle of our motion. A habit that I recommend pretty strongly is to always put a hold at the end of a sequence of animation if there's nothing else that's going to happen for a while in the timeline to this layer, or nothing's going to happen at all, but especially if nothing's going happen for a while. It's a really good idea to go ahead and put a hold on the last frame of your little sequence. That means when you are ready to start moving again, you're starting clean and you won't have any drift or movement that you don't plan in your animation. Let's add a hold here. I'm going to show you a key command to add the hold. Rather than doing the right-click and toggle hold, instead, I'm going to command-option-click, and that's going to add the hold onto the end. I can command-option-click again to remove it. Don't be thrown by this funny little circle we've created. We'll talk more about these types of keyframes later on. I just wanted to show you how you could add and remove a hold. Let's go ahead and add the hold back on. Let's make sure we have the easy ease in, so let's reselect the easy ease in. We might have lost that when we altered that keyframe. It's usually a good idea to make sure that you've got what you want on that keyframe. After Effects very often tries to guess at what you want to do, which is sometimes very useful and sometimes really not useful at all. We've animated our position value here. Keep in mind that we can animate other properties the same way. Let's, for example, add a little rotation animation. I'm going to find where I want my animation to start. Maybe a little bit after I begin moving, maybe a little before, it doesn't matter. We can start right at the same place. I'm going to start a little after. Let's click on the stopwatch to enable animation. I've got my first keyframe there. Let's go forward. Maybe not quite to the end, doesn't matter. You can play around with the timing later if you want. Let's just add a single rotation. I'm just going to click and type in a one. I'm doing one full rotation, 360 degrees from one keyframe to another. It looks like this. Notice that it pauses in position, but it doesn't pause the rotation. This is going to look a little funny, but that's okay. Let's also add eases on this. I'm going to right-click easy ease out from the first keyframe, right-click easy ease in on the second keyframe. Let's command-option-click to add a little hold on the end just to get into that good habit. There we go. Funny looking because of that pause in the middle but now we've got animation on two properties and we can add an animation on scale. Let's create a scale animation. Click the stopwatch, go part way through. Let's actually go farther. I'm just going to make a mess here. Let's scale it up. Let's ease out. Let's ease in. Most of the time you're going to want to both ease out and ease in. Let's toggle a hold at the end. We're going to have a crazy animation there. There we go. Now we've got all those properties animated and we can animate more. When you're starting out, I don't recommend animating the anchor point. It's available to be animated and in extreme cases there are reasons to do it. I'll be honest with you, in all the years that I've been an animator, it's probably been one time that I've animated the anchor point in all my years of working with After Effects, it's very rare. Usually you're going to set it and forget it in most cases but position, scale, rotation, and capacity all can be animated as you wish. This animation procedure is the same for all of these properties. It's the same for any animatable property in After Effects. 14. Motion Path Editing: Now that we've learnt the basics of key framing animation, let's take a deeper look at manipulating the motion path of a position animation. So let's start by getting rid of some of these keyframes that we created. Now if you want to remove animation entirely from a property, which we're going to do is scale and rotation. You can simply click the stopwatch and it will remove all your key frames and animation from that layer. So you want to be very careful of doing that. Because if you've created tons and tons of beautiful animation and you suddenly hit that stopwatch, all that animation is going to go away and you can want to undo quick to get that back. But in this case, we don't need this scale animation or this rotation animation so we can just get rid of it. Also keep in mind that when you remove the animation, it's going to return to whatever value we see at the CTI. So if I was to click this now, it would capture this value. But I want both the scale and rotation at their neutral values 100 and zero. So I'm going to make sure my CTI is showing those, and then I'm going to click the stopwatch and you can see all the keyframes go away. I'll do the same with rotation, all the key frames go away. Then let's also remove our little pause in the middle of this animation, so we can start with just a straight position movement across the screen. So I'm going to click and drag a little box around those two key frames, hit the delete key, and make those go away. Now we looked before at this blue line which is our motion path moving across the screen, showing us the path of movement of the square. Obviously right now it's just a straight line as we're just moving in the x value from one position to the other. But let's look at a few ways we can manipulate this motion path and create some different types of movement. One of the simple things that we can do is change the value at each keyframe. We've already looked at how we can do that to change speed or velocity by moving a greater distance or a shorter distance. But we did that all in x. We can also do it in y. So I can do that by either changing the value when my CTI is sitting on that key frame. I can change the value say move it in y, or I can click on the layer and move that in y. But I can also simply click on the little keyframe anchor point right on the composition window. Like this, I can just click that and I can move that and it snaps just like anything else. So I can choose where I want this to stop and start just by clicking on the beginning and ending points. We can do this with either one. So I can put my CTI in the middle here and I can move this one around and I can move this one around, I can make it move on different angles. Now if I want to add a change in direction, I'm going to need to add another keyframe. Now as we looked at, we can add a keyframe by clicking the add or remove keyframe button. But we can also do it if you recall, by just changing the value with the CTI at a different point in time. That also goes for being in between two other keyframes. So I can put my CTI in between these other key frames. I can change a value either by clicking and dragging on the values over here in the timeline, or I can just click and drag on the layer and add a keyframe that way by just changing that value. It's just like we were creating the original animation and we move the CTI changed a value. Were just moving the CTI and changing a value, it just happens to be in between two keyframes. Now again, I can click and drag on these points and I can shape this path in any way that I want. Now, I'm sure you're saying, well, what about a curved path? Well, we can make it a curved path as well. So to make it a curved path, we're going to use our regular selection tool here, and we're going to hold down the "Command" and "Option" keys. Once those two keys are held down, I'm going to hover over this middle "Keyframe" here, and I'm going to click, and it's going to give me two Bezier handles. At first they're just going to appear as dots, I've never really understood why that is. Because as soon as I click on one of the dots to manipulate it, I get the full Bezier bar in between. Those of you that are used to vector drawing, will certainly recognize the Bezier handles. But this makes it possible for me to shape the curve, however I want to shape the curve. Now I can also remove that curve, the same way. "Command", "Option", click, will remove the curve and give us that sharp angle again. I can also add Beziers to the beginning and end in the same way. I'll just have a single Beziers handle, "Command", "Option" click, and that'll give me a little handle there that I can manipulate. "Command", "Option" click, and it'll go away. Now, at this point I'd like to just pause for a second and remind you about the preference that we set in the beginning of this class. There it is, default spatial interpolation to linear. Now what that means is that when we are manipulating a motion path, it's going to default to a linear spatial interpolation which means it's going to default to a sharp angle without a curve on it. Now if you leave this unchecked, as soon as you manipulate a motion path, it will automatically add Bezier handles to the points along the path. Now I personally find this really irritating because I don't want Bezier handles anywhere that I don't choose to put them, and I'd rather add them if I need them than have to take them off if I don't need them. Now again that's very much a personal preference and you may decide to do the opposite. But it also avoids a sticky situation that can sometimes arise when you have two key frames at the same position. Sometimes what will happen is you'll get an auto Bezier handle that will stick out and create a little loop forward and back and it will create a little wobble in your movement. I've worked with lots and lots of students over the years, and that little problem has plagued them time and time again. Where they come to me and say, ''why is this moving when I didn't want it to move?'' It's because this was not checked and aftereffects decided, hey, you want a Bezier handle here and they didn't want a Bezier handle there and it was very frustrating. So I always start students with this checked, so that you avoid having Bezier handles appear where you don't choose to put them. Now again, as you get more comfortable with aftereffects, if you decide you want to uncheck that and you want to let aftereffects put Bezier handles everywhere it wants to, go ahead and do it but I personally find this a much more clear and efficient way to work. You put the key frames where you want them, you add the Bezier handles where you want them, and you just have a little more control over it again in my opinion. But that's why I had you guys check that at the beginning. Now let's go back and add a little fun curvature to here and I'm going to show you one last fun little trick here for working with motion paths and that's orient to path. So let's start by giving ourselves a fun path to orient to. So I'm going to "Command", "Option" click on our first point there, and then I'm going to "Command", "Option" click down here. We'll just create a fun curvy path, "Command", "Option" click. Let's shape that out a little bit to give that a little more curvature. Something like that. Okay, let's take a look at that movement. All right, fun. Actually bugs me that this is hitting down at the bottom of the frame here. So I'm going to jump back to that key frame, this let's just move that off the bottom a little bit. There we go. Don't like those tangents at the edge of the frame. Okay, and now let's imagine that the square is like a car on a roller coaster and we want it to orient or rotate along with the curves of the path. Now I could do that by trying to animate that rotation as it goes up and over that curve. But that would be a lot of work and there's a much easier way to do that. So instead, what I'm going to do is I'm going to right click on the layer. I'm going to go to transform and I'm going to choose auto orient. Then I get this little dialogue box and I can choose to turn auto orientation along a path right there. Then notice how my square automatically fits the angle of the path there. Then watch as it moves over the path, it automatically orients to that path. Pretty cool and saves a lot of work and time. All right. We've covered all of the very basics of animating in aftereffects. We've learned how to make keyframes, how to adjust speed, how to add eases and holds, how to manipulate a motion path, and now you really have all the tools you need to create simple animations. So we're almost ready to start building our drum design animation. The next thing we're going to do is look at bringing in audio and preparing to sing to the track. 15. Importing Audio: Now we're ready to start building our drum design animation. So let's actually delete our Shape layer here, we don't need this anymore. The first thing we want to do is get some audio into this composition since we're going to be animating to an audio track. I've actually already got the audio track here imported. But just to walk you through the process, let's go ahead and import a copy of this. We have a copy of this wave file, just so we can experience importing a file into the project. There's a couple ways we can do this. If we go into the project window and go into this blank space here, I can right-click and I can choose import file that's one way that we can do this. You'll notice I can also use the key command, Command I. Either, right-click import file or Command I, Let's go ahead and check that we want navigate into our project folder, into our footage folder and we want choose class 1 beat version 1. Again, this is just a copy of this one so we can learn this process. So we'll go ahead and select class beat 1. We'll click "Open" and you'll see now that file has been added to our project window and we can work with it in After Effects. Now we want to add that wave file to our composition, to our timeline here. So we're just going to click and drag and drop it straight down into this layer stack area of the timeline window to add it to the timeline. We're going to be sinking our animation to this audio track. So it'll be really helpful if we can see the waveform visualization of the audio. In order to do that in After Effects, we're going to first click the little tab button here to open that layer, you'll see there's only one option here, audio. Go ahead and click on the tab to open that option, audio and you'll see you have the option to animate audio level so you can animate, fade ins, fade outs, changes in the volume of the audio and underneath that we have waveform. So I can tab that open, now we can actually see the waveform of the track represented. That'll make it a lot easier for us to sync to this track. 16. Timing Audio For Sync: If you think about it, when you're experiencing most media, movies, television, video games, motion design or animation, the audio is half of the experience. Audio drives emotion and mood helps communicate stories and ideas, gives a sense of realism and place. It's just incredibly important. In general, audiences crave sync between audio and video. They crave that close relationship between what they're seeing and what they're hearing, because that's what they experience in real life. Syncing movement to sound effects and or music, and in particular, when you're working with music, syncing those movements very closely to the beats and accents of that music is a very fundamental and important skill for any motion designer or animator, and will really make your work come alive. Now, in order to create our animation that syncs to this track, we need to do what's often called timing out the track. In other words, figuring out where our beats and accents are so we can structure our animation around that. Let's begin by just seeing how we can listen to the track because we're going to need to listen to it in part. We've looked at how we can open the wave form so we can visualize it. That's going to be a very important part too. But we want to be able to listen to it as we're looking at this visualization to understand what we're seeing here. To just play back the track, we can do a simple ram preview and just hit that space-bar. You can see we can hear the bass and the snare and the double bass kick. We can see the little snare roll here, we can see that and these peaks here. We can see pretty clearly how the visualization of the waveform connects with the track. Now, we also might need to scrub back and forth in order to find specific sink points. We're not really going to have to do that too much with this track because it's such a nice simple clean track where we can see the beat's really clearly. But if you're working with a track that's very dense and noisy, particularly with a lot of distorted guitars or distorted synthesizer, you won't see these nice crisp peaks in the waveform. Sometimes you'll just see a big fuzzy block of sound and it'll be difficult to visually pick out where the beats are. In that case, you're going to want to be able to scrub to find those beats and accents. You'll notice if I just move my CTI over the audio right now, I don't hear anything. In order to scrub audio in after effects with the CTI, what I have to do is hold down the command key. As soon as I hold down the command key, now, I can scrub. There I can find sounds, like there's that snare, boom, right there, boom. There's that bass drum, boom, right there. I can find those moments in the sound, particularly if the sound is very dense and I can't pick it out cleanly with the waveform. Now, what we want to do here initially is just work out our basic beat, our basic rhythm. Most of our animation is going to be structured around that basic beat. A little later we'll look at how we can figure out some of the more subtle elements of the track. But for right now, let's just get the basic downbeat. We don't want to have to just remember where the frames are, where these beats fall. So we're going to look at creating markers. Now, there's two types of markers in and after effects. There's composition markers and layer markers. We're going to be looking at layer markers, which I find to be a lot more useful for this kind of work than composition markers. Our track begins right at the beginning here with this first kick drum right here, will mark that in a minute. But just so we can see it a little more clearly, let's start by marking this first snare. That first snare is one of our first main beats here. If we listen to the track a little bit and we can count these beats out. I'm going to let it loop and I'm going to count them out. 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 1. Those are kind of the main beats we want to lock down just to get our basic structure here. That snare drum is number 2. I went 1,2. Since we have this nice clear waveform, we can just put our CTI right at that peak of that snare. Now, note that I'm not maybe exactly on that peak, but the next frame over I'm a little past it and one frame back I'm quite a bit before it. Understand that the beats or accents that you're syncing to aren't always going to perfectly correspond to where your frames are. Sometimes an accent might be between two frames. Generally, you want to air on the side of anticipating the sound a little bit so you want to go to the frame just before. In most cases, it depends, but in most cases that's going to work. Let's put our CTI there and let's make sure we've got that layer selected. We're going to hit on our numeric keypad, the Asterisk key. That's going to make a mark for us. Now, if you're working on a keyboard that doesn't have a numeric pad, you can also use Ctrl A, and I'll do that here for this first one. Ctrl 8 will also give you a marker on a layer. I'll just also note that I've worked with some students where the Control 8 did not work for them on their PC laptops. I believe on some PC laptops, you're going to want to use Fn P instead of Ctrl 8. I haven't done extensive testing on that, but that was reported to me by a few students working with PC laptops. The Asterisk key on the numeric keypad, Ctrl 8 on the main keyboard, or if you're on a PC laptop and those aren't working, you can try Fn P to create a marker on a layer. Now, there's also a pull-down menu for this. If you go up under Layer, Add Marker there you can see the Ctrl eight, you can do that. But of course, key commands are always a better and more efficient and more professional way to work. We've got our first two beats here, we've got two little kick drums right here but I don't want to mark this first one because it's a little double-click. The second one is probably where our beat is. But let's come back to that, once we've established a little more of a pattern, that's sometimes a good way to work. Let's go to this next snare that we know is part of that beat. So 1,2,3,4. We know that kick drum is definitely part of our main downbeat here. So I'm going to put my CTI right there and I'm going to make an asterisk, and I'm going to hit that next snare too. We're going to work backwards a little bit here. So 1,2,3,4,1,2. Number 2 here, that's this other nice clear snare beat there. Notice that we're seeing a pattern here, that I'm on 0 seconds and 12 frames, now, I'm at 1 second and 12 frames, now, I'm at 2 seconds and 12 frames. You can see that our beat is locked pretty close to our 24 frames per second structure. That wasn't by accident. I plan that when I created this beat for the lesson and it's definitely going to make things a little easier for us. Keep in mind that most of the time when you're working with music, the musicians won't have been so thoughtful as to plan their music for your frame rate. But this method is still the basic method you're going to want to use to work out the structure of your beat. We can figure out here from 0-12 and then we are going from 12 of second over. Basically we have our downbeats every 12 frames. I can just go forward to one second here and you see I'm a tinsy bit off that second kick drum, but pretty close. We'll grab that beat there and then right in between those two beats here again, every 12 frames, we have a beat. This beat here is our last hit as we end the piece. Let's just see how that works. So 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4, 1. We've got our basic structure here, and we've got these nice little markers to connect with that easily. Now, one of the handy things about these markers, is that they will respond to a great set of key commands, that I'm going to teach you right now, that work both with markers and with keyframes. We'll look at that a little bit later. They are the J and K keys. Now that we have these markers that mark out where our basic beats are, if I now, hit the J button, notice that my CTI jumps right to that marker position. Which means I could then add a key-frame or start building some animation around it. If I hit the K key, I go forward on those markers. So J back, K forward. Now, the J and K keys will stop on layer markers they will also stop on keyframes visible on a layer. This is a very handy way of navigating through a project. Remember, we looked at the little key-frame navigation buttons over on the side of the properties that were animated. These J and K keys are simply a more efficient way of doing the same thing. Because they will also stop on layer markers, they're a really efficient way to navigate through your composition. Now, that we've got our track basically timed out, we're ready to start building some animation. 17. Animating The Red Square: All right, let's take a quick look at our finished drum design project and just remind ourselves of what we're building here. The first thing that we'll animate is this little red square scooching across the top of the screen that is timed to the hi-hat of our drum kit. Just to make things a little easier, I've created this guide layer right here, let's turn on the visibility of this layer by clicking this little eyeball switch right here. This is just like the eyeball switch in Illustrator and Photoshop that turns the visibility of layers on and off. This guide layer will just help us lay things out a little more quickly as we put this animation together. Let's go ahead and select that layer and then let's hit "Command C" on the keyboard to copy that layer. Let's click into our "New composition" and Command V to paste that guide layer in place. Note that this guide layer is a shape layer made up of multiple shapes and it is set to be a guide layer see this little symbol right there? That's the symbol of a guide layer, what that means is that even if the visibility of the layer is turned on, this layer will never render when we do a final render. You can make a layer a guide layer by right-clicking on it and toggling on Guide Layer, but it's important to note that with that guide layer toggled on, this won't render, so you want to be careful not to accidentally toggle on layers that you do want to render when you make your final movie. Now, we don't want to edit this or move this in any way because it's giving us the position of all of the objects we want to create an animate here. I'm going to check this little box right here. This is the lock column and when I click that, I now can't select this layer, which means I also can't move it on the screen accidentally. Don't forget to keep saving your project as you work. Now let's go ahead and create our red square. We're going to grab our Shape tool, our rectangle tool, we're going to make sure our Stroke is turned off, and we're going to select our Fill color. Again, you can choose whatever color you want or you can grab the eye dropper and choose the red that I've already created and click "Okay" and then let's just go ahead and draw that little square up on that first guide box. We're going to be making a bunch of layers here, so we want to stay organized. It's very important to stay organized with your work, one of the ways we'll do that is by naming our layer and this is very easy to do. I select the layer, hit the "Return key" and then I can type any name I want, so I'm going to type in Red Square and then hit the "Enter" key to set that. The other thing I'm going to do is I'm going to color code my layers. Note that the background shape guide layer is purple because these are purple. This red square, let's go ahead and make this layer red to help us remember what this is. I'm going to click on this little square right here, and you'll see I have the option of changing the layer color. I'm going to make this Red to correspond with my little red square. This is a very simple project, so I'm using a fairly simplistic way of color-coding, Red square Red layer, Purple shapes Purple layer. But when you get into more complex projects, this color coding can be very useful and you can use it in any way you want to to help you organize your project. For example, if you have a group of layers that are all part of one particular piece of your animation, you can set those to be all one color, or you can assign certain colors for certain types of layers. The important thing is to stay organized. Careful naming of layers and color-coding of layers will really help with this organization, and make your more complicated projects much easier to navigate. This is particularly important if you're collaborating with someone else or if you're working with a client that may require changes. Now once again, as we remember from our Shape Layer lesson, our anchor point is defaulting to the center. Here we want the anchor point in the center of our square. So let's grab our pan behind tool, and we'll grab our anchor point and will snap that to the center of our square. Let's listen to our track again and try to pay attention to the hi-hat sound. The hi-hat is going double time, 1,2,3,4; 1,2,3,4;1,2,3,4. It's going double time here with our main beat. To make things easy, let's add some markers here to our audio track, and let's double these up a little bit. We've got 12 frames here between the first beat and the second beat. Six frames is going to be right in the middle. Now I can pretty much visualize that. I can pretty much see where that center is, but I'll show you another nice little trick here. If I put my CTI back at zero. Remember how we could do simple math with our layer properties? We can do simple math here as well with our time code display, if I click here and type plus six, it's going to jump six frames forward. Again I was able to visualize this. But that's really handy if you need to go a precise distance in time and you've got a longer project and it's a little hard to visualize right where that is. I'm going to go ahead and make that marker there, now to make the additional markers, I can use the same technique. Now I can jump 12 frames since I'm skipping the marker here, so click here plus 12, and it'll jump me 12 frames and I can make that marker. Now we've doubled up our beats there on that layer. Now just a quick note, that's a really nice little trick, but it's always going to work with frames if you just type in a single number. If you want to jump seconds or even minutes, you need to put periods to separate minutes, seconds frame. For example, let's say we wanted to jump two seconds forward. I click in the box and I type two dot or two period. That tells after effects that I want to go not two frames, but two seconds. If I wanted to go two minutes, I would type 2.0. and that would take me two minutes forward. The same rule applies for going backwards, where you have to type plus first and then minus before going back. If I wanted to go back 12 frames, click plus minus 12, and then I jump back 12 frames. Otherwise, I'll actually put my CTI into negative time and the CTI will seem to disappear. Don't panic if that happens. You can just retype in any positive value and the CTI will pop back onto your timeline. Our little red square is ready to be animated. It's going to start off screen and then pop onscreen and then it's going to scooch on each one of our beats. Let's put our CTI back at frame 0 here. Let's select our red square. Let's grab the selection tool and we're going to slide this out of frame. One of the nice things about using grid snapping is that even though we can't see a grid out here off of the frame, it'll still allow us to snap to this invisible grid off this frame. It says if the grid just continues in all directions. I'm going to move our little square. I'm going to move it off frame with a full square in-between, just like we have between these little spaces here. So not right at the edge of the frame, but one click over here so there is a full square size in-between. That'll just make the speed of each little jump the same as we jumped space to space. Let's create our first key frames here. I'm going to close up the contents tab on our red square, and I'm going to open our transform tab and we're going to hit the stopwatch to engage animation and create our first keyframe there with the little square of frame. Now this is our first beat, so we wanted to scooch forward on that first beat and then we're going to have it hold in place for a little bit before it scooches forward on the next beat. Each of our little beats here is six frames. We're going to scooch three frames halfway, have it hold for three frames, scooch for three frames, hold for three frames. That'll give us that high hat feeling, that quick, sharp, snappy high hat feeling. Let's go forward three frames and I'll teach you another good key command here. Command and the arrow keys will scooch forward and backward on your timeline. From the beginning here we'll go 1, 2, 3 and we're right in the middle of these two markers. Remember when we're creating animation, we create the first keyframe, we move our CTI and then we change the value. In this case, we're going to change the value by just clicking and sliding that little pink square forward until it's in its first position. Now because this little square is coming from off screen to onscreen, we are not going to add an easy ease out on this keyframe. Now this is not a hard and fast rule, but in most cases, when something is coming from off screen to onscreen, you are not going to add an easy ease out on that first key frame. The reason for that is if you put an easy ease when something is just off-screen, you'll feel it speed up just as it enters the frame and it'll feel sticky almost like it's stuck to the edge of the frame. It also sometimes gives the illusion that the object is aware of the edge of the frame. What you want is you want the object to feel like it's just in motion and it just happened to enter our field of vision. Now the same is true of the opposite. If we move something from on-screen to offscreen, you also don't want to put an easy ease in on the keyframe that is off frame for the same reason. You don't want the object to feel like it's slowing down, right as it gets to the edge of the frame. It makes the edge of the frame field sticky or makes the object feel like it is aware that it is the edge of the frame almost like it's shy, like it's sneaking out. We're not going to put that easy is out on this first keyframe but we will put an easy ease in on this second keyframe. It eases into this first position on the screen. Let's right-click and add an easy ease in. We're also going to have it hold for three frames. Let's command option click to toggle our hold on right there. If we run preview, [MUSIC] it just snaps onto the frame and stops, which is just what we want. Now let's jump back to that key frame. I'm going to use the J keys. It's going to stop on these markers, but it's also going to stop on that keyframe. Now let's use the K key to jump ahead to the next little marker there, which is where we're going to want our animation to start again. Here on this frame we're going to go ahead and click the add keyframe button to create a new keyframe. Now notice that this new keyframe is a little square. That's because I had a hold placed at the end of this keyframe. When you have a hold in place on a previous keyframe, every keyframe you create after will automatically be a full hold. That means it's holding coming in, it's holding coming out and you'll get this little square icon. We're going to want to return this to a regular keyframe. I'm just going to hold down the command key and click and that's going to turn this back into a linear keyframe, the little diamond icon. Now we're going to go forward again three frames. Command arrow 1, 2, 3, right in the middle there. Remember again, we just want to change the value. Once we've made a keyframe, we just want to change the value. Let's slide the little square forward. That'll make our next keyframe. Now because both of these keyframes are visible, in other words, it's starting and stopping on screen here. We do want to add an easy ease out from this first keyframe and an easy ease in on this second key frame. Then we want to add a hold on the end. Command option click. Will add that hold on the end. Now we can repeat the process. Let's jump ahead using the K key to the next marker, will add a keyframe there at that new position, will go ahead three frames, 1, 2, 3 we'll change the value by dragging forward and we've got to hold keyframes here. I'm going to select both of them together, hold down the command key and click to turn those into linear key frames. Then we'll add an easy ease out on the first one, and easy ease in on the second one and command option click to add or hold. Let's just ram preview this so far and just see what we have, [MUSIC] we have our nice little scooching animation time to that high hat. We need to continue this across the screen. I'll do one more here and then I'll speed up the video a little bit just because this will get pretty repetitive, pretty quick. I'm going to go forward, add a new key frame. Go forward 1,2,3 frames, slide our little square to its next position, select both keyframes command click to turn them into linear keyframes, add an easy ease out on the first one, an easy ease in on the second one, command option, click to make our hold keyframe. I'm going to fast forward through these next three moves here, but I'm going to stop and we'll look at this last scooch off the edge of the frame. Then we'll look at how we can repeat this animation as the little red squares starts back around on the other side. While I'm fast forwarding here, feel free to pause the video to complete your own Red Square animation, but don't forget to stop just before it scooches off screen on the other side. Now that I'm going to do the last little scooch of the square off screen, remember that because it's going from on-screen to off, we're not going to put an ease in on that second keyframe. Let's set that up. I'll jump forward with my K key, I'll click the Add keyframe button, go forward three frames, and click and drag this off screen again, I want to leave a full square width in-between there, select the two key frames, toggle them to linear, add an easy ease out on the first one and no ease on the second one, but we will add a hold key frame at the end there. Let's have a look at what we have. We have our nice little scooching square there. Now, we need to have it continue as it goes off the screen on this side, it needs to come back on the screen on this side, but I don't want to have to reanimate a whole another square here. What we're going to do is simply duplicate this layer. Duplication is a very powerful tool and after effects, you can copy and paste, or duplicate almost anything. In this case, we're going to duplicate this whole layer. So with the layer selected command D to duplicate, and now I have red square two, after-effects conveniently auto names that for us, and I'm going to toggle open the keyframes there so I can see them, and I'm going to click and drag on the layer itself. I can click and drag on a layer and move a whole layer back and forth in time. I'm just going to slide the whole layer forward here, and I'm going to line up the first two key frames of layer two with the last two keyframes of layer one. So as one square is going off the frame, the next square is coming onto the frame on the other side. Now the last thing we need to do is animate the last square falling with our symbol crash at the end. Let's take a listen to that just for the timing here. That cymbal crash happens right here at four seconds when our square is in its second to last position. What we want to do is we want to change this last keyframe. I'm just going to delete the old one. Let's go ahead and delete that old keyframe. We're going to leave the easy ease out off of this keyframe though because we want it to ease out as it's falling. Objects that are falling in space are almost always going to ease out. In other words, they're going to slowly speed up as the gravity pulls them down. So because this little square is falling, it's going to ease out as it falls down. Let's go forward to five seconds. Let's have this fall be one full second long. So I'm going to slide my CTI forward to five seconds here, and now we're going to rather than have it scooch off frame, we're now going to click and drag it straight down and out of frame on the bottom. Now, note that because our first keyframe here had an ease out on it, after effects decided we wanted a little ease on this keyframe too. So you'll see we have this little hourglass shape and you can actually see the spacing on the dots getting narrower as it gets down to the bottom, and we don't want that. Not only is this going off frame, but it's also falling. So it should continually speed up and we shouldn't see it's slowed down by the edge of the frame at all. So we're going to want to change this keyframe by command, clicking on it to a linear keyframe. Now you can see on the motion path how the dots get wider and wider as it speeds up going out of frame. Let's take a look at that so far. That looks good at times out nice, but it feels a little mechanical. It doesn't really feel like it's falling because it's moving so precisely. Let's add a little rotation to it. It's losing control and just falling into space at the end here. I'm going to put my CTI here on four seconds on that first keyframe for the position for the fall and let's toggle on animation for our rotation property. That's going to give us our first little keyframe there, and then I'm going to use the K key to jump forward to the next position keyframe where it's off frame here, and let's add a 90 degree rotation. It's going to rotate about a quarter of the way around. I'm going to click in the rotation value, and I'm going to type 90 for 90 degrees. Now the square didn't move because 90 degrees of course just puts it on its other edge, but as we scrubbed through, you'll see now it is indeed rotating. But we also want the rotation to ease out, just like we want the position to ease out in this fall. So it's losing control here at the end as that last cymbal crash happens, and falling, and the position is going to ease out and the rotation is going to ease out, so it gives us that feeling of falling. I'm going to select this first keyframe, right-click, and we're going to add an easy ease out. Let's take a look at the final animation. Great. That looks really fun. We're ready to move on to our next shape. 18. Animating The Green Circle: Let's animate the big green circle next, that's going to represent our bass drum. So to save a little room here, I'm going to close up these layers and deselect by clicking down here and we're going to go and grab our ellipse tool. I'm going to change the color to our green color here and I'm going to make our green circle. Now, let's go ahead and name this layer and let's color code it. Let's also move it down underneath the red square. Now the beat of the bass drum is not as regular as the high hat beat, so we're going to make some special markers for this bass drum. We're going to do that by actually tapping out the beat as we listen to it. As you are RAM previewing a track with a layer selected, you can tap the asterisk or the control eight keys, and it'll make markers in real time as you tap. This can be really handy for finding especially more complex beats in an audio track. But we have to be a little cautious about how we use this because we're human beings and not robots. We hear a sound that goes into our ear, into our brain. Our brain sends a signal down our arm and then we tap the key. There is almost always a substantial delay between all of that happening, so it's not going to be super, super accurate, but it'll get us in the zone. Because we've worked out the basic beats already with real accuracy down here, we'll be able to tweak what we do with the bass drum as we tap it out. Let's go ahead and play this back and we will tap out the beat. I'm going to let it play once through and then I'll tap it out. I tap that beat out and I got pretty close. But you can see I got off a little bit. In fact, I delayed quite a bit on these, but you can see where I'm close to with those tabs. Obviously, there's a kick drum right at the very beginning there, I didn't need to mark that, that's pretty obvious. The marks I made by tapping here, all I've to do is just click and drag those markers and I can move them back into position. Let's just click and drag those over those spots for the kick drum and we'll add one more at the beginning here because we have a kick drum right at the beginning. It's a good idea to listen back and watch your markers as the CTI goes by, make sure that we're accurate. I forgot the last one there is obviously a kick drum right at the end here and we hit that last cymbal crash, so let's add one right there as well. Now we have our markers for our circle. Let's create our circle animation. Now, what we want the circle to do is pulse to get that feeling of the kick drum, so I'm going to do that with scale and opacity properties. Let's create our first animation right at the beginning here. We're going to start with the circle on screen, that beat is right at the very beginning of the animation. We're going to start with the circle at full size and full opacity right at the beginning. I'm going to tab closed my contents tab. Tab open my transform properties here, and I'm going to click a stopwatch on for opacity and a stopwatch on for scale. I almost forgot we have to change our anchor point because we're going to be scaling this up and down. We don't want to have it scaling to the anchor point way over here, so let's make sure we get that anchor point changed. Let's grab the pan behind tool and snap that anchor point to the center of our circle. Now let's create our little scale animation. We're going to have the circle drop down in scale to get that pulsing feeling and let's stick to the 12, 6, 3 divisions that will keep us on the overall beat structure of the piece. I'm going to go forward three frames, one, two, three and I'm going to turn the scale down to 50 percent. I'm just going to click and type in 50 there to bring that circle down to 50 percent. After it gets down to 50 percent, I want it to just pop off and disappear, so I'm going to go one more frame forward. I'm going to go command, arrow, one frame forward, and I'm going to turn the opacity down to zero. But I don't want it to fade out as it's getting smaller, I want it to pop. I'm going to make this first opacity key-frame, a hold key-frame command, option, click, to make that a hold. Then I'm going to make the last opacity key-frame, also a hold key-frame. It's basically just turning this off and on. Now with the scale, we want it to pop on here at full scale and then decelerate as it scales down. Again, getting that feeling of a punch with a soft decay on it. Once again, echoing the sound of that kick drum. I'm going to not put an ease out on the first key-frame, but I am going to put an ease in on the second key frame and I'm going to command, option, click and add a hold on the end. Because remember it's always a good idea to add a hold at the end of a sequence of a sequence pf animation. Now, because this is right at the beginning here, it's going to be a little bit hard to see. We can play it back with the RAM preview. There, that gives us that little pulse feeling, but we're going to get a better feeling of it when we copy and paste it to these other positions. Now, as I mentioned before, duplicating and copying and pasting is a powerful tool and after effects. We can duplicate and copy and paste almost anything including sets of key-frames, let's take a look at how this works. This is going to make animating the rest of this bass drum really easy. the first thing I wanna do is put my CTI where I want to paste my keyframes.I'm going to use the K key to jump forward to the next bass drum beat here. What I'm going to do is click and drag to select all four of my key-frames here. Then command C to copy and command V to paste and you can see they paste perfectly right where my CTI is. In other words, the first key frames in the sequence sit right where my CTI is and the rest follow. Now because we very intelligently added holds at the end of this animation. Our circle stays turned off, the opacity stays turned off until we hit this next beat, where it pops on and then turns itself off again. Now that we've copied and pasted our first set, we can simply paste the remaining sets in. I'm going to jump to the next beat command V to paste. I'm going to key forward to our next kick drum beat command V to paste. Now we can do these two, together we can select all of these command C to copy command V to paste, there's that whole set right there. Now, on the last one, on the last crash, just like we did with the red square, we want the circle to fall. But we first have to have it turned back on again and we have to return it to a 100 percent scale, so what I'm going to do is, I'm going to grab just the first two frames here of our little beat sequence and copy and paste to turn our circle back on and put it back to a 100 percent scale. Now, I'm just going to have it fall out of frame, so we're going to toggle on animation for position right at this point at four seconds. I'm going to toggle position on, we're going to go ahead to five seconds. We'll have it fall at the same rate, the red square falls and note that I still have the pan behind tool here. I want to switch to my regular selection tool and now I'm just going to click and drag that circle down out of frame. There is obviously no need to rotate it since it's a circle, we wouldn't see that rotation. We just have it sliding off frame there and then of course we want to add an easy ease out on that first key-frame to give that feeling of weight and gravity as it falls. Let's have a look at our finished animation on the green circle. Great, looks really good. All right, we're ready to move on to our next shape. 19. Animating The Yellow Rectangle: Let's animate our yellow rectangle next, which is representing the snare drum. Let's go ahead and close up our green circle layer there and click to de-select and we'll go up to our Shape Layer tool and grab our rectangle tool. Click on our fill color and grab our yellow. We'll click and drag and make our rectangle. Let's change the name of the layer here, and change the Layer Color. Let's also grab our pen behind tool and center our anchor point. Let's also move the yellow triangle underneath the red square. I'm putting the yellow rectangle under the red square just in case that red square crosses over the rectangle when it falls. I'm not sure it's going to, but I want to make sure that little red square is visible and doesn't get lost behind that yellow rectangle. Most of our shapes here don't really cross one another in the animation I'm creating, but I'm building a layer stack here just in case you want to do something different with your animation. Having the big green circle on the bottom, the smaller red squares on the top will just make good visual sense. But it's not super necessary for the little animation we are building right here. But it is good to be aware of your layer stack and think through the logic of what you want on top and what you want behind, especially when you're creating a more complicated animation. Now because the yellow rectangle is representing the snare. Once again, we're going to use our tap trick to get our sense of when the snare hits. Now the snare has a little syncopation to it so we're going to be putting a couple of the beats in between our main beats. Let's play it through once and then on the second time we're going to tap out the snare. I'm not going to try to tap the little drum roll at the end. That I think we can pick up easily from the waveform. {MUSIC} Once again we got a bit off, but close. This first one here is obviously meant to block on to this frame right here. This is our little syncopated beat. {MUSIC}. This one we want to slide back and put in-between these two main beats. You can actually see it in the waveform right there. Now we're a little behind it, but you can see the next frame over, we're a little ahead of it. Remember, we always want to err on the side of being just a bit behind the sound if we're not right on the sound. Same thing here this one needs to move back right to this position here. This one will move back to here and this one will be right in between, once again, right where that waveform is right there. Now the little snare roll here, this we can just do visually because it would be pretty hard to tap that out, so we can see the waveform right there, add a marker, add a marker, add a marker, and basically it's every three frames, so we could also just count off every three frames. There's the last hit that ends our little beat. To be sure we're on track here with our markers,let's listen back one more time. {MUSIC}. We're right on there. We want our little rectangle to slide in and out of the frame, almost like a volume meter on a stereo and we want it to be at its highest point when the snare sound hits. Let's do a little backwards animation here. I'm going to slide my CTI forward to this first snare hit and let's close our contents and open our transforms and let's go ahead and add a keyframe here at the highest point because we're already in that position. I'm going to click on the stopwatch for position here. Now as we've talked about before, once you add a key frame, you just have to move the CTI and change a value but as I also mentioned, we don't always have to move forward in time. We can move backward in time. In this case, let's go backwards, I'm going to hold down the command key and go back three frames. Once again, sticking with this 12-6-3, keep with our overall rhythm,1,2,3 back. Now we're going to change the value, clicking and dragging our rectangle down to the bottom of the frame. You can see we've added a key frame before the keyframe at the top position. Animating backwards like this can be really handy when you create a design and you want it to animate onto the screen, you can set the key-frames where everything is in it's correct finished position, then go back in time to pull everything off the screen so it'll animate on. Pretty common technique for logo resolves and that kind of thing. We're sliding up to where that beat hits and then three frames later, we want to slide back down. Let's go forward three frames, command arrow 1-2-3, and then we'll just copy and paste this first frame which is already selected. You can see it's blue there. Command C to copy, command V to paste, and we paste that value into place. Our little rectangle goes up and goes back down. Because it's coming from off screen and then going off screen, we don't want to add eases here, but we do want it to ease in and out at the top. This time we're not going to use easy ease in or easy ease out, we're going to use the plain easy ease, which isn't really plain. It's a combination of the two, I'm going to right-click, go down to keyframe assistant and I'm going to choose easy ease at the top. What this is, is a combination of an easy ease in and an easy ease out. I'm going to hit easy ease, now we're easy easing in to the keyframe and were easy easing out of the keyframe and you can see we get that little hourglass shape showing us the ease in and ease out. Let's have a quick look at that little animation. {MUSIC} Great, that works good. Now we're going to copy and paste this animation for this next snare hit, but because this is the little syncopated beat, if you listen very closely, the snare is actually a little quieter on this second beat. Listen closely. {MUSIC} If you didn't hear, it's just a little bit quieter than this first snare hit. If you look down at the waveform, you can see that it's quieter. There's the first snare hit. Here's the second snare hit and notice that the waveform is a little bit lower. Let's have that reflected in the animation. But we'll start by copying and pasting it and then will just adjust the value of the top keyframe. I'm going to go to this hit point where the snare hits and I'm going to go back three frames, Command 1-2-3 back. Now we'll copy and paste our key-frames but whoops, I forgot a step here, let's make sure and add that step. Let's command option click "Add our hold" on the end there it's very important because we're about to copy and paste what is essentially the same value but you'll sometimes get a little drift. Sometimes after effects will add a little busy a handle and you'll get a little drift even though the two values are the same. Anytime you want something to for sure not move even if you have two key-frames in a row at the same value, always add a hold to keep it clean. Now that we've got that in place and we've got our CTI in place. Let's copy our three key-frames. Command C, Command V to paste and now we have our second animation, but let's change this value, make it a little bit less powerful, since the snare is a little bit less strong on this point. I want to make sure I de-select first, I'm only changing this one key frame. Let's select that key frame that'll automatically select our layer here. I'm going to click and drag this down two grid squares. It's just not going up quite as far on that second hit. Let's ram preview that. {MUSIC} great that really has a nice feel to it. {MUSIC} Really reflects the sound. Remember to keep saving as you're working here, I'm editing out my saves just to conserve a little time in the video, but keep saving as you work, do a few things and save, do a few things and save, get into that good habit. With our next snare hit, we want it at full blast. We're going to copy and paste our first set of key frames here. We'll go to that snare hit point, command 1-2-3, back, select the key-frames, Command C, Command V to paste and we've got our next snare hit there. With this next one, we can actually copy and paste this whole section. We'll put our CTI at the beginning here. Go back 1-2-3, select all those key frames. Command C, Command V to paste and now we've got our same little animation with our second slightly weaker snare hit. Now as we get to this little drum roll here at the end, three frames apart. We're not going to have time to pop this up and back down with each one of these hits. Instead we'll create a little quick stuttering movement of this rectangle, popping up, up, up, up, up, up and then on the very last one it'll hit the top before falling back down. We're going to use all hold key-frames up until we hit the top here. We already have a hold at the end of our last keyframe from our last bit of animation here. All we have to do to create this first keyframe as a hold is just change the value. I'm going to click and drag on this and I'm going to move it up two squares in the grid and notice it creates automatically a hold key-frame right there. Then I will jump forward with the K key to our next marker, will slide up one square on the grid. Go forward again, will slide up another square on the grid, go forward again, slide up one more square and then finally the last square there at the top. This stuttering motion will match the sharp snare drum hits really well plus, as it builds up to the top, it'll build a little tension before it releases at the end. Now just like we did with all of the other shapes, we want this to fall out of frame. Let's start by making this first position keyframe, a regular linear keyframe. I'm going to command click, so won't be able to animate forward here and then let's also toggle on rotation because we're also going to want to add a little rotation to this rectangle as it falls. Let's go ahead and toggle on animation for rotation and add our first key-frame at the 0 degrees rotation value and let's go forward to the 5 second mark. Then let's add the rotation first because that'll probably affect how far down we have to drag it with the position. Let's have it lean into the frame just a little bit as it falls. I'm going to click on the Value for rotation here, and I'm going to type in minus 40, so not quite 45 degrees just a little gentle tumble over there and then now we can click and drag that rectangle down until the corner is out of the frame. As with all of our other falls, we want to leave these as linear key-frames, but we want these first two key frames set to be easy ease out so we get that gravity feeling. Let's take a look at our finished animation of our yellow rectangle. {MUSIC} Great, that looks really good. {MUSIC} We're ready to create our last shape and finish up our animation. 20. Animating The Blue Circle: Let's go ahead and close up our yellow rectangle layer here and let's deselect by clicking in the empty area in the timeline. We'll go up under our Shape Layer tool here, and we'll grab our Ellipse tool. We'll change our fill color to our blue and we'll create our last circle here. Let's name our circle and let's move it down above the green circle but below the yellow rectangle. That way when the yellow rectangle falls, if it crosses over, it'll be in front of the blue circle and let's go ahead and center our anchor point. We don't have to change our layer color because shape layer is default to blue. Now our blue circle is going to represent our cymbal crash and there's only two cymbal crashes in the audio, one in the middle and one right at the end. Let's just have a quick listen to that. They're basically up the two second mark and the four second mark. We really don't have to do anything very fancy here to figure that out. It's pretty obvious. I barely even need to make the markers, but I'll just go ahead and do it there. Now the sound of the cymbal is a little bit of a softer sound than say the snare or the kick drum, and it has a long decay on it. Also, when you hit a cymbal in real life, it vibrates and shakes. We're going to try to capture that in an abstract way with our blue circle. We're going to have it fade on quickly rather than popping on the way, say the green circle does and then we're going to have it fall out of frame on each one of the crashes. But we'll have it wiggle and vibrate a little bit as it falls to give us that cymbal feeling. Let's go to two seconds where our first cymbal crash happens and let's close up the contents and open our transformed here. Since this is going to be both opacity and position, let's go ahead and toggle on key-frames for position and the opacity values. Now we want the opacity to animate on relatively quickly. Let's start with the capacity at zero and let's just go two frames forward 1, 2, just so it doesn't take too long to be visible to us and let's turn the opacity back up to 100. Now, since this is fading on so quickly with just one frame in between, I'm not going to bother with any eases here. It probably won't make much of a difference whether we ease in or out on either side. But I am going to put a Hold key-frame at the end. Command option-click and put a little Hold key-frame at the end there. Our little blue circle just fades on very, very quickly. Now we want it to fall and wiggle a little bit. But let's first create the animation of the fall, and then we'll add the little vibration, the little wiggle. I'm going to use the K keys and I'm going to go forward two of our little beats here. One full beat or two little half beats here again so everything's structured around the beat as much as possible and let's go ahead, oops, I've still got the pen behind tool here. Let's switch to our selection tool, and I'll go ahead and just drag this down and out of frame and as always, with a fall animation, we want to add an easy ease out at the beginning, no eases on that last key-frame. We just have this. Nice, simple little fall. But now we want to add our little wobble to this. What we'll do is every two frames we'll add a key-frame to this motion path and add some curvature to it. Let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to Command click 1, 2 and what we'll do is we'll just grab the X-value in position here. I want to slide it over. I'm going to go over half of a grid square there. Another nice reason to have the grid is so we can keep track of what we're doing with these kinds of animations. I'm going to go forward two more key-frames, 1, 2 and then we'll drag that back and this time I will go maybe almost half of a grid square but not as far as the previous one. Each one of these is going to get closer to the center. Then I'm going to go 1, 2 forward again, we'll again drag that over this time a little closer to the center line. We'll go 1, 2. Well, actually maybe this last one should be a little more like halfway. Let's go maybe a little bit like halfway, something like that. Then we'll go 1, 2 and we'll drag this one over, very close to the center line 1, 2 and now at this point, we can pretty much just put it right back to the center line. Just to be sure that we have that aligned correctly, I'm going to do a little copy and paste with our X position value here. I'm going to K forward to look at this value. It's 1080. That's easy to remember. I could just type that in, but I can also selected here, Command C to copy, deselect. I can go back two frames, and now I can just paste just in the X-value, 1080. You see how that brings that back into line. Now you might be saying, "Well, you could use snapping." but that would actually snap my position up here and I lose a little bit of my ease out coming down. Now note that all of these key-frames are hourglass key-frames. That's because we added an ease at the beginning here and as we added these additional key-frames, after-effects did its best to guess at what kind of ease in and out we'd want on each key-frame. In this case we want to let after-effects go ahead and do that for us because it's basically reading the Es as it comes down and continuing that as we come down. It's doing a pretty good job. We don't need to mess with those key-frames at all. But what we have right now on our motion path, is a harsh zig-zag and I think this will feel a little better if it's a little bit softer and there's a little bit of a curvature on the motion path. Let's add some Bezier handles and just a little bit of curve to our motion path. I'm going to select not the first key-frame and not the last key-frame, but I'm going to select all the key-frames in the middle all at once and then we're going to hold down Command option and we're going to click and make little Bezier handles on each one of our key-frames. Now the Beziers are a little caddywompus right now as they've just gone into their default mode, once again, guessing what we want. Let's zoom in a little bit here. I'm going to use the period key and zoom in and I'm going to hold down the Spacebar and use the hand to move this and let's just adjust these and give them a little more curvature and a little more softness and straighten him out a little bit too, so they're not so caddywompous. This'll just give our motion path a little more softness. This one we can just turn straight up and down and we want that because we want it to just come down straight after it hits that last position. Let's take a look at our animation. Great. That looks really fun. All right, let's add a Hold key-frame to our last frame here, as we always want to do. Command option-click to complete that little bit of animation and then in this case, all we have to do is just copy and paste it because we're going to have the same cymbal crash animation right at the end here. Let's go to four seconds, we're going to I select all of our key-frames, Command Copy, Command Paste. Now we have our finished animation. Let's go ahead and turn off our guide layer. Even though it won't render, I don't really want to be looking at it here. I want to see what this looks like just as is and we can also turn off our grid so we can just get a sense of what our final animation will look like and let's ram preview that. Really fun. Now we're ready to finish up and render our final movie. 21. Rendering The Final Animation: Now that we're ready to render, let's talk about the two different ways to render out of after-effects. After-effects has its own render engine, the after-effects render queue but when you install after-effects from the Creative Cloud, it also installs the Adobe Media Encoder, which is a separate piece of software that will render after-effects and premier files. Now the pros and cons are basically these, the after-effects Q can give you a slightly higher quality render, but it has fewer options for formatting and compression. It's really only useful if you are delivering a very high quality render to an editor, for example, that is then going to edit it and then compress it or format it for the final delivery. If you are going to be uploading your video to YouTube or Vimeo or posting it online or for social media in general, you're going to want to use the Adobe Media Encoder because it provides a lot more options for compression and formatting for all those different situations but it's important to understand that anytime you're rendering in a format that's, for example, suitable for uploading to YouTube or posting on social media, that file is going to have to be compressed to some degree, which is going to cause some loss in quality. Now this is a big deep topic that we're not going to get into very much in these introductory classes. We're just going to learn a very basic rendering procedure that will give you a nice quality video at a decent, reasonable size that'll work in most situations. Now another thing to understand about rendering and compression is that almost inevitably there's going to be some shift in color. Sometimes colors will be more muted. Sometimes colors will shift a little bit and this is an issue that people who work in time-based media essentially just have to accept to a certain degree because at a certain point you lose control of the situation very quickly. For example, you can take exactly the same video file and play it on two different video players on a computer. It will look different, the colors will look different, the same file. Also, when you upload to YouTube, YouTube uses a different compression than Vimeo uses so the colors will look different on Vimeo as they will look on YouTube. Then you add to that variance the fact that everybody's got different kinds of monitors. Everybody's monitor is a little different. Some are higher quality, some are lower quality. Some people have set their monitors in strange ways so that their monitors are darker or lighter or have shifted colors because of the way they've set them. To a certain degree, you have to let go of too much attachment to the colors that you inevitably very carefully choose for a project. Now one thing that we can do to be able to control our color output a little bit coming out of after-effects is to set the color space for our project. Now this won't make a huge difference, but it will preserve the colors a little bit more than if you don't set the color space. Since we have kind of really precise colors here that we've chosen for this drum design, let's go ahead and set the color space and we'll have a little better luck preserving those once we render. To set the color space of a project, we're going to go up under file, and we're going to go all the way down to project settings. Then we're going to click on "Color settings." You can see here where it says working space none. We're just going to go ahead and choose SRGB and then there's all these other little letters and numbers. SRGB is a good option, and we'll click "Okay" and again, this won't make a huge difference, but it will help preserve our colors just a little bit when we render. Now another thing that we need to talk about and deal with quickly here, when we're looking at the difference between rendering out of the after-effects Q and the Adobe Media Encoder is that the Adobe Media Encoder doesn't read everything in after-effects just the way we would like it to. Specifically, it doesn't read the background color that we chose for our composition. Now the honest truth is that the option for choosing a background color for a composition is a little bit useless and in future classes we're going to look at pre-comping and working with compositions and we'll see how this works a little more specifically. For right now, here's what you need to understand. We chose a color for our background here, and we put our shapes above that background but the truth is that this background color doesn't actually exist. What we're actually doing is placing shapes over an alpha channel or transparency. In After- effects it defaults to showing us a color in the background. It defaults to black. The truth is there's actually nothing here. It defaults to black and then of course we can choose different colors to put in there as we chose this purple. The truth is, there is nothing there. Let's look at that. If we go down to the bottom of our composition window, you'll see toggled transparency grid. Go ahead and click that and you'll see the truth of our composition here. This grid, which many of you will recognize from Photoshop or Illustrator, is telling us that this is transparency. There is not anything here. Now when we render out of the after-effects Q, the after-effects Q will respect the color that we chose for the background and it will render that color. But when we render out of the Adobe Media Encoder, it does not see this color It sees this. Because it doesn't want to render transparency unless we set up some settings specifically to tell it to render this as an alpha channel. Alpha channel just means a transparency channel. If we don't tell it to render this as alpha, it'll just fill this with black and we'll have a black background, which is of course not what we want. Let's leave this checked for a minute just so we can see how the solution here works. The solution is very simple. What we're going to do is we're going to just simply put purple in the background. Now your first instinct might be to say create a purple rectangle shape and put that in the background and you could do that. But honestly, a shape layer is actually more complicated than what we need here. Now we've been using shape layers in a very simple way, but as I mentioned, shape layers can get very complex and have a lot of complexity built into them. After-effects provides a simpler solution to this issue, and it's a type of layer called a solid. Now solids initially will seem almost overly simple to you but the deeper you get into working with after-effects, you'll actually see that solids are very critical and important and also serve when you do need something just simple like a simple background color and you don't want to use something as complicated as a shape layer. A solid in a nutshell is basically just a rectangle or a square of any size of any color. That's all it is, just a square or a rectangle with a color in it. Let's go ahead and make a solid here, and then we'll talk about it just a little bit more. We're going to go up under layer new solid. You'll notice we can also use the key command, command Y, and we'll choose that, and you'll see we get this solid settings window, which has some similarities to the composition window, although it's much simpler. At the top here, we can give this a name and this is going to be our background. I'm just going to call this BG for background. You'll also notice mine is defaulting to 1920 by 1080, yours may or may not default to that. I think it will, I think it defaults to the comp size. But if for any reason your width and your height do not say 1920 by 1080, you can simply click this button right here, "Make Comp Size," and it'll automatically make your solid the size of your comp. But also note that you can type in any numbers at all here, you can make this solid any size you want. It's still just going to be a rectangle or a square, you can't make any kinds of shapes with this but you can make that rectangle or square any size that you want. We want to make sure that the aspect ratio is square pixels, that should be the default, just leave that. Then down below here, we can choose a color, and of course, we want our purple color so we're going to grab our eye drop here. We're going to go over to our library and choose our purple color, and we're going to click "Okay" and now that's going to put our solid on top of our image here. Notice it's just a layer like any other layer. It has an anchor point, it has the five transforms just like any other layer would have. But it is simply a rectangle that is purple, that's all it is. Now we're going to go ahead and drag that down and we'll put that in the bottom of our layer stack here, and now we have our purple background that will actually render from the Adobe Media Encoder. With our color space set and our real background in place, now we're ready to add this to the Adobe Media Encoder queue. Now before I get this started, a very important note for the video here, I'm going to be editing this procedure down, so it all happens a little more quickly. Depending on the type of computer you have, this may go slower or faster, but a big idea is, that when you're going through the rendering procedure with Adobe Media Encoder, be patient. It's very possible again, depending on the kind of machine you're working on for each of these steps to take quite a while. The first thing we're going to do is make sure that the composition that we are going to render is selected here in the timeline, and remember this, we're looking for this little blue outline around the window, so we want to make sure this timeline window is selected. Then we're going to go up under composition, add to Adobe Media Encoder queue. Let's go ahead and select that. Once again, be patient. Once you select this, what has to happen is the Adobe Media Encoder has to open, which will sometimes take a while, and then it has to load the composition into its queue, which can also take awhile. On certain machines, I've seen it take several minutes. Again, I'm going to edit this so it happens nice and quick. But if it's taking longer on your end, just go ahead and pause the video and wait. Don't panic or think that something is going wrong. Just be patient and wait. Once the Media Encoder has opened. You'll also want to wait and make sure that your render has been added to the queue. If you don't see this line here, then you still have to wait a little bit. Again, sometimes this will take a little while. But once you have this window open and your render has been added to the queue, we just need to change a couple of settings. If you set up your composition correctly in the first place, you should see H264, which will be the compression codec for our render right over here. But we do want to change the render settings just a little bit. Let's go ahead and click where it says "Matched source high bitrate." Go ahead and click on that, and again, be patient this may take a couple minutes to load. The next thing that will pop up is the export settings. Here where it says, "Output Name," I can click on this and I can change the name of the video file I'm going to render. It will default to the name of the composition. I'm just going to go ahead and leave that. You can also choose where it renders to. I'm also not going to change that, but if you click on this, you'll get a find a window and you can choose to render to a different location. Where it will default to is to a folder that the Adobe Media Encoder creates within your project folder, and it will default to rendering in that folder. I generally like to just go ahead and use that folder. I think it's convenient and having renders within your project folder makes sense to me. But if you want to change that or change the name, click right there and you can make whatever changes you wish. What we want to do is just tweak the compression settings just a tiny bit. I want to tell you in all honesty that I am not a super tech whiz when it comes to things like rendering. I'm an animator, not a technical director. I'm going to give you some recommended settings, but I can't really tell you exactly why they work. It's a little over my head, technically speaking, the settings that I'm going to recommend to you are the settings that we recommend for all Ringling College of Art and Design, Motion Design students. They are settings that were recommended by the more technically minded members of our faculty. These settings will give you a nice quality video at a very reasonable file size. Again, the whole topic of rendering and render codecs and formatting a video is vast. We're just going to start you with these simple, basic settings that work very well for our students at Ringling. We're going to go down to this little window right here where it says video. You'll see there's a little scroll bar here, we're going to scroll down, and we're going to change these bitrates settings just a little bit. We're going to change the bitrate encoding from VBR 1 pass to VBR 2 pass, this will make our render just a tad slower, but a little bit nicer quality. Then we're going to change the Target and Maximum Bitrate. We're going to bring these down just a little bits, so we're going to bring down the Target Bitrate to eight and the Maximum Bitrate to 10. This will just make our file size a little more reasonable, but it's still going to give us a nice quality video. Okay, that's it. Once we've got those set, we can go ahead and click "Okay" you'll now see custom in the preset here, and now to render our movie, we simply have to click the little green arrow button right up at the top. Again, I'm going to speed through this. Your render times may be different than mine depending on the speed of your machine. But you're going to want to be patient while this renders. Once your movie has rendered, you can click here where it says "Output File," and it will jump to the file on your finder, which is a really handy way to quickly review your video file and see your finished animation. 22. Wrapping Up: We covered a lot in this class. We've looked in depth at the After Effects workspace, working with shape layers, setting keyframes, controlling the speed or velocity of motion with timing and spacing, adding eases and holds, sinking to an audio track and creating and rendering a simple animation. Hopefully you're feeling much more comfortable with After Effects, and excited about the possibilities that this powerful software offers. The professional techniques, tips, and key commands I've been sharing with you will help build good habits and a strong foundation moving forward. I hope you're excited for my next classes in this intro to After Effects series. Now whether you followed along with me exactly for this project or took some creative liberties with the animation, or whether you decided to go back and create your own unique drum design animation. I'd love to see what you come up with. Make sure you post your animation so your fellow students and I can see your work. Thanks so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next class.