Say hello to AfterEffects - 2D animation for beginners | Neil Lawson | Skillshare

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Say hello to AfterEffects - 2D animation for beginners

teacher avatar Neil Lawson, Action never stops

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.

      Project brief


    • 3.

      Generating ideas


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Create a colour palette


    • 6.

      Orientation vs mastery


    • 7.

      Tour of the interface


    • 8.

      Keeping organised


    • 9.

      Designing for animation


    • 10.

      Importing assets from illustrator


    • 11.

      Creating assets in AfterEffects


    • 12.

      Animation principles


    • 13.

      Setting keyframes


    • 14.

      Previewing animation


    • 15.



    • 16.

      The graph editor


    • 17.

      Parenting layers


    • 18.

      Null layers


    • 19.



    • 20.

      Track mattes


    • 21.



    • 22.

      Making seamless loops


    • 23.



    • 24.

      3D layers


    • 25.

      Rendering your animation


    • 26.

      Sharing on Instagram


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About This Class

I remember being terrified when I first looked at AfterEffects. I'm going to hold your hand as we tour the interface, investigate some key concepts for working with the software, and examine a few animation principles. I'll share my workflow from concept to published animation and you'll follow the same steps as you make your own animation to post to Instagram. This class is suitable for anyone who is new to AfterEffects and/or 2D animation. It's the class I needed when I first started making animation. Let's roll!

Meet Your Teacher

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Neil Lawson

Action never stops


I went to school at a time when there were no computers and I was discouraged from doing art – "it's alright as a hobby but it can't earn you a living", they said. So I studied English as college before becoming a postman. In my time I've done all kinds of crappy low paid work but I got a break working on a soap opera as a runner and worked my way up to be the Series Script Editor. I gave that up and worked in a skate shop which allowed me to skate more and to start designing and building websites. More crappy jobs later I landed a job at a digital agency as a project manager.  I got really into user experience and then started to push myself in visual design. After I saw someone using AfterEffects I knew I had to learn to use it too. I... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello. I'm Neil. Welcome to my class. Say hello to after effects to the animation for beginners. This is the course that I could have done with taking when I first started out. I'm gonna give you an accelerated understanding of the basics and get you up and running and animating as quickly as possible for your class projects. You created animation in after effects and share their on instagram. It could be a simple or as complex as you want. That's up to you. But this glasses know about mastery of orientation, understanding the component parts and how everything fits together. So as well as functionality will look a process and workflow. And I'll share with you how I approach animation. I put together a short brief to kick things off, so we'll look a responding to a brief generating ideas story boarding, designing, grating assets, animating rendering video and finally sharing that video on Instagram as a way of telling your friends about this cool skill share class you just taken. I've also creates an animation for my project on Be brave from that down as we go through the lessons to demonstrate some of the fundamental concepts and techniques and tools that you need for creating animation in after effects. That sounds good. See you in class. 2. Project brief: Okay, So here's the brief I put together for your class project. I view every animation as a project, and every project needs a brief. It forms the basis for the planning you need to do to make it successful. If you're working for a client, you can expect to brief, but they can very massively in detail and quality. Ideally, you would receive a nicely formatted document, but it could just take the form of an email. It could even just be a phone call. In most circumstances, I'll create my own briefing information I've been given and then share that back with a client. This is the best way to expose any gaps so you can fill them in and establish a shared understanding for the job before you get down to the work itself. This overview describes the what of what you gonna do? One. Keep it. Information is the length. The video has to be at least three seconds long to be recognized as a video on instagram. I've set a maximum because when you're sharing something on social media, you should consider file size. If it takes too long to load, people might not wait around. The other key bits of info is that it needs to be a Seamus loop. No Instagram Loops videos by the folk, but we want to be smart and hide that joint and drying trap people in that loop. I was listening to a lecture on YouTube by this awesome mystic guy called, said a group. He had some really interesting things to say that success. So apparently two million people in the world die in their sleep every night. And so I don't wake up in the morning. If you're watching this, then you made it. Being alive is the only real measure of success. Everything else is a bonus. Let's make it fun. So just in case you need some inspiration or a starting point, here's just a few ideas that might spark something in you to the details on this page of the specific requirements for the video. You're gonna produce these kind of details of vital, and if you don't know them before you start, then you shouldn't really be starting. These will define how things are set up in aftereffects and how the video needs to be output, so we'll refer back to this once we get into the project itself and finally sharing on Instagram, here's a couple of hash tags to make you animations easier to search for on instagram and cheese and egg. That's my handle. So it means I'll get an alert when something gets published. So that's the brief, hopefully provide you what you need to know. If not, then you can also ask questions in the community area. And there's also a pdf version off this brief you can download or refer back to if you need to. 3. Generating ideas: when responding to a brief. There's a couple of things that I always do. The first is mind mapping, so I'm on a Mac, and I use an app called mind node for this. It's a paid up, but it makes me productive so well worth the price. I like it because it's quick and easy to put down ideas and then move them about and group them and create further associations. What you see here is my slightly tidied up brain dump. From when I started thinking about creating the skill share course, I find it helpful to give myself a time limit, say, 10 minutes and just splurge stuff out without getting hung up on the details. As a first step in your class project. Experiment with creating a mind map and see where it takes you. Whether you use an app to do this or good old pen and paper, post the results in a class project. The other thing I always do is sketch ideas. I don't really care too much about what they looked like. As with the mind map. I'm just pouring, blowing things out. Only here I'm using pictures instead of words on as you can see most of this is is pretty incoherent. Allow yourself time just to play around and see where your scruples take you. Even ridiculous ideas can contain a spark of something that's worth pursuing. That somehow I went from this battle for Web supremacy between cats and unicorns to this idea of Linda checking out skill share course, I'm not quite sure how these ideas related. The act of sketching itself allows your subconscious to throw off ideas while your conscious mind is busy drawing trying to keep up. As you can see from these, some knows it's about recording ideas and not producing serious artwork. Have a go at sketching some ideas and post them in your class project. 4. Storyboarding: story. Boarding is an essential part of my process. It lets you see if your idea works is a piece of visual storytelling. It also gets you thinking about how it's all going to move. And when you're working with a client, you can bring an idea to life. For them. It's easy and cheap to change storyboards. Not so with animation. So be good to yourself and get your story board signed off before you start animating. I use the Web app called Boards for Story boarding. I really like it. It's subscription thing. So not for everyone, but there is a free trial for a free option. There's this other app called story Border, which is very good. So a good story, but should use simple sketches to convey what's on screen and have a scene is staged. It also needs a simple description of the action and any camera moves that might be taking place. If you have a voice over with dialogue, then you'd also include what is heard while the action is taking place. So this is the story, but I created for my class project. As you can see, the we've got a text animated into the screen. The text revolves around each other to form a new meaning. Zoom through the over to to settle on Linda, who lifts up a phone. A sculpture logo builds, Lego splits apart. The text comes on and it looks around, which is pretty much what I ended up with. The only thing that's different is instead of zooming in through the O of to, I created a split off that that screen with the text on it, but otherwise that determine what my animation was. And I stuck to that. Andi, I was able to live. The result was in my head, thanks to the story, good. 5. Create a colour palette: for your class project. I'd like to suggest you using restricted color palettes, and by that I mean just give yourself five colors to design with maybe black and white. If you need them. It's constrained. That helps to give you a cohesive design. I like to use this weapon called coolers. Lots of other things you can use for me. This just says it is ease of use and simplicity. You hit space bar to generate different color palettes. And once you found something you like, you can lock the colors you like. Keep generating more. Look these Rearrange them into an order you like. Tweet these using these sliders. As you can see, it's very quick and easy toe. Create a pellet. I want you happy. Then you hit exports. I'll export as a PNG and then I'll take this PNG cook it paste into illustrator And from here I want to add it to the Creative Cloud Library so I can use across all my applications . So just within libraries. So the eyedropper tool shocker. I select the color at the field color here and do that with all these colors so pretty simple and there no all those colors are available in photo shop. Illustrator aftereffects. Whatever eso One more thing just to say about coolers, you can explore other people's pellets that they've created. So you can just cycle through the used to find what you like. Use a search term. And if you create an account, then you can say the parts you've created you can see here. This is the palate I created for this class. So I really went for something that was bright and acidic. Try and catch your eye. Okay, So have a go at creating a restricted color palette using whatever tool you like, and then adds that color palette to class project. 6. Orientation vs mastery: before we get into after effects, I'd like to reiterate that this course is not about mastering animation. It's the orientation. Then once you've got your bearings, you can go off and explore by yourself. I'll be moving at quite a pace to cover the expense of train of after effects. So apologies in advance. When I started doing animation, the stuff I made was shockingly bad. I knew I wanted to make, but the end result was quite a long way off. There's a video. One video, um called The Gap that sums the situation up perfectly is well worth a watch. And I've got a couple of book recommendations. Still, like an artist's by Austin clear on. Basically, it's fine to stand on the shoulders of other artists. Just don't rip them off wholesale. And there's this one must re by Robert Green. And basically no one is born a master, even the people who are considered geniuses, they said long apprenticeships before being recognized his masters. And finally, this one really gives you a kick up the backside. It's called The War of Our by Stephen Press Field. Just get on and do the work. They the rough with the smooth and just keep working away. That's all anyone can do 7. Tour of the interface: So here we are inside aftereffects. My morning CC 2018. You might have a slightly different view than me. I'm in a small laptop, so I'm using this small screen workspace. There are other workspaces default standard. A whole bunch of others. Find one that suits you. I'm gonna stick on the small screen. Now there's a lot of windows and panels which kind of intimidating at first glance, To be honest, a lot of the controls and panels you won't need It's possible to move panels and windows around by clicking and dragging on its name. So, for example, this project I can take it and drop over here. It was snapped to this side. I could take it over here and drop it to this side. If you take something and you see these areas are highlight, if you drop it in the middle, then it will occupy the same window and you be able to tap between both of them. So have a gun. Play around with that. And once you messed it up and you don't know what's going on, got your workspace That burger menu here reset to save layout and there you go you're back in business. This is the project window. It's basically a bucket that houses all the assets and media. You import into your project as well as the conversations. You great within it. There's a keyboard shortcut that you need to know which is command zero. This talk was the visibility of the project window. So if ever you can't see the project window, which happens to me a lot, you can use the shortcut command zero on your back back where you want to be. So before continuing, I create a composition to make things a bit easier to demonstrate. You can think of a composition as a canvas, which has its own timeline. I'm gonna talk to command in to bring up this dialog. Or you could equally press this icon here. We'll go to composition new composition. I'll give it a name, just the dimensions or unnecessary. It's already set to 10 80 by 10 80 as per the *** Um, frame 0 24 I'll keep this frame rate, the specifications said below 30. Basically, 24 is a standard for film on. The theory is that when you get 24 still images and display the one after the other in one second. The eye perceives this is a moving image lower than 24 on the Eiken Start to detect the gaps. Doesn't mean you can't use a life for him, right? Just create a different look. Other common frame. Right? Said 25 for PAL 29.97 for NTSC Uh, for American TV thirties. Very calling for online as well. If in doubt, stick with 24 check situation. I won't mind a 10 seconds long. So this is 10 and OK, no, the settings can be adjusted at any time. I love to need to change the duration of a comp. So to reopen that dialogue, you know its composition, composition settings or used this keyboard shortcut Command K, which brings up the dialogue. And then you can make any adjustments you need to. I just can't sit out of that now I've created that composition. It shows up here in the project window and you can see the composition in the composition window, which is the main do port. Good setting to take note off. Is this one this drop down here on if for whatever reason, your people, its sluggish. It could be because you on an old machine where you're working, something very complex. Then you can just talk the resolution to 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 or whatever on dial speed things up. I like working full of I can, but you think slow down, you can change it there. Another useful setting is this one here, which is the preview. And so this could speed things up is well, if you put on adaptive resolution. I like to keep things on fast draft generally on. Then, when I want to review it properly, are switching back. Teoh this final quality. Okay, so this area down at the bottom is where you will spend the majority of your time. It houses the layers and timeline of the open composition. It's entity at the moment, so create a couple of layers. Just you can see that in action. Go to layer new shape layer. It's automatically selected the rectangle tool, so I will click and drag on the composition window to create a shape on that shape layer, which is this rectangle. I don't like that color. I'm a big fan of teal Okay, um are quite another layer this time a text layer. So new text and that's swapped it to the text tool on the coast is rooting the screen. So I just type Hello. As you would expect, the stacking order determined what is displayed on the composition window so you can quickly see if I swapped the order here. This rectangle now is covering the text. If you're familiar with photo shop or illustrator, then you have a good idea of how layers work. So this is is my simplest view there is that the switches on modes they're available, we'll cover that relates lesson. So that's it for a very quick tour of the interface of hardly scratched the surface. But at least you've been introduced to the fundamentals. 8. Keeping organised: it's important to stay organized both inside and outside of aftereffects. If you want to reduce the potential for chaos to a decent photo structure, and naming convention for your files is the best thing you can do. Teoh. Preserve your future sanity. This is a structure I use for my projects. You don't need to copy this necessarily, but I just want to give you an idea of the principles I apply. So I will have the top level project folder. And within this I have three folders Creative, which is where all the fun stuff goes. Project Oxford with dry stuff in it could be information from the client contract should use whatever on this releases is contains any creative stuff that I've shared with the client. So I was gonna be able to put my hands on it quickly so I could look at the same thing that they're looking at. If they're giving me feedback or whatever, So then the creative folder there are other folders made for files I create with different software. So just to show, we've got after effects illustrator photo shop sketch, the's have this underscore to keep them organized alphabetically. So these will always appear at the top of this folder, structure the's bits and bobs down here. I'll out on an ad hoc basis. I don't necessarily use them through my projects. And so if we're going to one of thes look administrative file, I always have an archive at the top. I don't like to throw anything away. You never know when you want to go back to something. Um, and I was structured the file name with the name of the client in this case, skill. Share the name of the project. Say later, after effects on a description of what that was in that file on with a version number of the end. And I used these to proceeding zeros so that I can go to hundreds of revisions and they will stay neatly in alphabetical order. And it also shows your client that you're willing to go the full distance to give them what they want. There's a great app called post haste by digital rebellion, which I used to actually set up my focus. Each time I start to project, I really recommend this. If you if you're doing a lot, a lot of this type of work. Me. I simply add the client name in the name of the project and it would do. The rest is well worth looking into. So once inside after effects, I will set up folders destruction my project. So within the project panel here and I'm cool on, that's it. Quite another one main come, and lastly, working comes. And so everything that gets imported into after effects or anything I create within it are put within assets. This would be my main calm for the time being. So it's really the main comp, and any pre camps or other compass I use will go in this one here. When you're working on a project, you only really need one aftereffects project file with extension delay. E. P. On this gun has any number of compositions a mistake I made early, almost creating separate aftereffects project files for everything which has drawn output, which made my life very complicated. So just stick with the one 9. Designing for animation: that I mostly used illustrative and designing for animation inspector base and therefore scales perfectly, But I'm just comfortable with it. I will use photo shopped to on occasion if the look requires a lot of textures. But the thing to remember is, if you're using photo shop is to design a much larger size that if when you get into after fix, you can scale things up without things getting junkie and pixellated. But I get too hung up on the tools used whatever feels comfortable. And if you don't have creative cloud or those programs after fix, has you covered anyway? So let's take a quick look. A design file so and find Ah is the photo structure in action Creative illustrator, and it's this on here. The design? A So you can see there's my color palette of imported from coolers. Andi, I've got three main scenes, each of which is on a separate art board, which is the size of the composition 10 80 by 10 80 Andaman upwards, nicely labeled here, seen one scene to scene three, and so I'm going to export these and create a separate file from the different outboards. So do you file say, that's Oh, increment. This There have been any changes, but it doesn't hurt on a click. Save this will bring up these this dialogue options. And I just need to check this save each other board to a separate file. All is selected. Okay, So now if you jump back into the finder, you can see I've got the design will tidied up and put that in the archive. So we've got the latest file there, and I've got a illustrative file for each of my scenes, which I can now tidy up to prepare for import. 10. Importing assets from illustrator: Okay, So in the last lesson, we separated the outboards into separate files. We'll have a look at one of those and prep that for imports after effects. The important thing is anything you want to animate separately needs to be on a separate layer. As you can see here, they're all part of the same one here. However, the subway is a good So I want to keep this learning this red block the same when you use this to this live. So this is structured Well, So if I have this parent selected, I click on this menu. I can release layers to sequence, and this will essentially turn it into layers. So if I select these and just drag him out, this top ones aren t So get rid of this one. Um and I'll name these to live, and it's b k g for background, and that's what we need to do. So then I will say this again. Okay, so we'll switch up into after effects and important file. You can import file by double clicking in the project window here. You could go file import file. Oh, there's the command. Um, I shortcut you could. Right click import file says many options. Why just double click? Okay, so we'll navigate to the illustrator for we just prepped, Which was this one up at the top. It's important that this is sets composition and in this case will do competition retain layer sizes. Um, we leave these unchecked Well, it's good, So open. And so what we see here is that it's brought in a folder, which is God of our layers, and it's also created a composition from those layers. So if we double click into that, we can see that this competition is now active and it has are layers there and you're ready to enemy. And so, just to keep things tidy, this competition will be dragged into my working camps on this folder here containing the illustrator files were going to the assets. Actually, I've recently changed my workflow due to this great new plug in called Overlord by this guy Adam of Battle Axe. He was really created his amazing and plug ins that were worth looking into illustrator file Select the artwork and I just push it into after effects and the whole thing comes through on the layers have been converted into shape players. What I need to do from here really is Tau nine, the layers and that's it. It's really simplified my life. It costs $45 but worth every cent. 11. Creating assets in AfterEffects: so after effects has very powerful drawing tools of its own. There's no need to design in a separate application whatever feels comfortable for you. But let's look at creating assets within after effects. So I created a new composition, was gonna create a new shape laugh you shape layer on and I'll switch over to the pencil, which short cut his G. Make sure that this star, which represents the shape, is selected and not the mask. I'll stick with this field color and I won't have a stroke. Just click and drag. And so there we have a shape that's very intuitive, drawing with a pencil within after effects because it's switches into the direct selection tool. So it's very, very easy to draw on edit. At the same time, you don't have to switch between different modes like doing illustrator, so I find that slightly easier. And and so let's let's rename this so you you select the layer, get return school, shape a person again, and there you have it. Now, if you click off this layer into this neutral area, then it would de select. Still, with the pencil selected, did you start drawing then it would create a new shape layer for you here, so you don't actually needs going to layer create new shape later every time. And that's it. That's the simplest way of creating shapes within after effects. So that's using the pencil. But of course, you can also use thes shaped tools rectangle while click and hold on collecting that. Selecting the lips. Um, I think I'll just change the color here to something different so you can see it better. And then I'm just going to click and drag, never hold shifted constraint to a circle. Or if I don't hold shift, it'll drawn a lip shape. So using the pencil and the shapes, you can pretty much create anything that you need to create for your animation. Okay, so we've looked at the basics of shape players, but there's a lot more to you than let's have a quick look. Look down the rabbit hole. So if I create a rectangle and we'll see what's going on in the shape layer, you've got transform properties, which you can use to animate the shape layer itself. Position, scale, rotation capacity. Then you've also got the contents of the shape layer on my rectangle here. And as you can see, this also has its own transformed properties. And so, as these were animated, But you can have an animation nested within the shape layer animation, which is a useful thing. And if I drew another rectangle with this shapeless selected, you can see that sounded another rectangle to the contents. So these contained within the shade same shape layer, which is a good way of building up complex designs and having that just on 11 shape layer. It makes it easy to manage, but it goes deeper than that. So over here we have this out menu from which you can add more shapes, um, styles and also these modifiers, and depending on what you got selected, it will add the's somewhere in this hierarchy. So if we were in the top layer, if we had emerged parts, so it isn't any different at the moment because the default mode is set to add. If we subtract it, you will see the top one is taken away from the bottom one, and then so we could also style this. If we had a strike, he stood up. You can see, it's our shape, but it's also applying that stroke to the resulting shape. One of my favorite modifies is the repeat, sir. And so this has created three copies off the shape, Um, which you could offset. You can animate that property, Children a boost up the number of copies you've got, and then you can transform it. So the position is the distance between the objects, and it's all these air inimitable. You know, you can create some really nice effects with these and again with the rotation. Yeah, there's a lot of scope for experimentation. There is a course by Jake Bartlett on scholarship about shape players, which would be a great place to go and follow this up. Well, after effects just crashed on me. So as much as I love it, a word of warning, make sure you're safe. You work often. It's not a stable as it thinks it is. So one last feature of shape players that I use all the time is the trim paths modifier. So if I select the pen tool, I'm just gonna draw a line on here. No kill felt. And if we 12 down the shape layer to the consents, saying anything here, so he switches and on. Here we go. So at Jim Potts. Now, what this does is give us control of the started end. So if I drag the end down 20 nothing well, animate that just to show you why. No, Um, some of it for the second and boost the end up. And I'll just set food. Well, we haven't Reese Animation yet, but as a quick glimpse into the future, there you can see it tools online on and then also you can, as you can animate the star. You can do some interesting, uh, things that you could start toe. Remove it at the same times is drawing on. So again, let's move that food. Better 100 on. Let's just pretty do that. As you can see, that gives a really nice trail. Well, I hope that's enough to get you started creating your own assets in after effects, but reach out in the community area if you need extra support. I'm happy to answer any questions 12. Animation principles: so originating from Disney studios and recorded in their book The Illusion of Life. There are a set of 12 and emotion principles that anyone doing animation should be aware off. You're looking at this wonderful demonstration of these principles by center. A lot of Johnny on there's also This is Avignon is a corresponding page on a tumbler, which I slipped them as well. There's a lot of overlap between these different principles, and they're often combined. But for starters, being aware of anticipation, easing and overshoot and going to make the objects you animate for much more alive. And once you got handle knows, then perhaps second reanimation and second reaction will take your animation to the next level. Okay, so this is the loop that I made Is my class project any resemblance? Delinda dot com is purely intentional. I just want it play around with the idea of modern learning on this interplay between books and digital. I can show you some examples of how I've used anticipation in this animation. So yeah, this split here. So this this shift makes you aware that something's about to happen to that, which it then does. It's these doors fly open and also resume into the the screen off the mobile. But before that happens as well, it's just lifting it up. Linda then looks to it and turns towards it, which directs our attention towards it. And then the move happens. So it's about telling something, telling somebody something is gonna happen and then making it happen. Um, and also in this bit here so that the logo starts tow gear up and rotate in one direction before spinning in the other one. So the fact that it moves alerted to the fact that's about to move and then the big move happens. Um, just trying to see, Yeah, I guess that is one small element of overshoot as well. So you can see it here in this, the to how it spins goes past the point where it settles and then comes back and settles, goes too far and then comes back. It just helps give it a bit more life 13. Setting keyframes: Okay, lets animate something already. Let's keep it simple. I've got the rectangle tool Constrain that with by holding shift and just draw a square. And I could see first off the thistle anchor point disappeared in the center of the composition, which belongs to the shape layer. But I would like this anchor point to be exactly in the middle of my shape. So the way you move that is, there's this pan behind tool keep which will cut. Why? So with that selected on the shape layer selected, I can now click and drag on this anchor point on. If I hope command, then it's going to snap to the corners, the edges on the center, which is what I want. No, Come back. Okay, so time, some short cuts, we're gonna access the transformed properties with a single keystroke. Yes, you can 12 down the shape layer on 12 into the transformed properties, but it's much quicker to use a short cut. So we've got P for position s for scale, half a rotation and T for capacity or transparency. As I think of it, s O. That's P s, uh, t. You might want to have to properties animating at the same time. So the way to bring those up is to hold down shift. So what shift P will add it. Shift s shift, our There you go. So, at a key frame, you want to click this little stopwatch here on it will appear wherever you've got the play head. So I'm just gonna move the play head to the beginning of the composition, click the position and you can see that's added this blue diamond to the timeline. And so now if I move forward in time, I can drag my objects where I wanted to go and it was set another key frame. And you can also add key frames in other ways. You could just adjust the value down here, but I like to drag stuff around and see what happens. Now you can see this line that connects the two key frames. Um, it's actually a busier curve, and these are the handles. So if you drag these circles out, um, we can now see this moves along that path. So I had a look at it going straight before, so they go go straight, move the handles, and it goes along the path. Okay, so now you've got some key frames. You can manipulate them in the timeline so you can just select them with the Marquis and drag these about to a different position in the timeline. The animation is the same. If you want to change the duration of the animation, then just de select those select one. We could just move that one. And now the animation is gonna take place over a much longer period of time. Let's just set a couple more key friends close to the scale. Starts 100. Okay, you can see how easy is just to start, um, adding key friends moving about and combining them to get some crazy results. So you can very quickly build up animations just using these properties with everything open. If I hit you, it's gonna close it by you again. It's gonna bring up everything that's had a a key frame puts on it, and then you can also hit you twice. And what this does is bring up all the properties that you could animate, as well as the ones that you would. You have 14. Previewing animation: Okay, so now you're gonna want a preview. You your animation, having set some key frames. Um, And so to do this, you set the work area on the work area is actually this grey bar at the top. So I'm gonna expose the key frames I created, uh, person. You Onda said the work area by dragging the end of this and then you can see within this preview panel, I can either press play here. I can set a short cut. Yes. Another options beaten. Let's worry about that. If I just click play, it's gonna run through the animation. Oh, gosh, that's boring. Okay, stop it again in the space bar. And so what I'll do is select all of these key frames. I'm gonna hold down bolts it is click and drag on one. And what it does that just keeps the proportions of the spacing between them, rove and shrinking. Everything is in proportion. Let's really squashed up. And then I'm gonna take the end of the work area and bring that forward, Uh, and then I'm gonna hit space bow. Whoa. Okay, that's much more interesting. So you can see the process really, of setting key frames previewing and then adjusting the key frames on just that back and forth to get things looking. How you want them to look. Now it's time for some extra keyboard shortcuts. Just so now, if you don't listen to these, you can just do everything with the mouse. And but it takes longer and you're learning. These keyboard shortcuts saved you so much time in the long run. So to set the work area, put the play Hedley when it to start and pressed B B for beginning on. Then you'd like the play heads where you want it to end end for end. It doesn't quite work, but the next week hold on the keyboard. So being in okay, some other keep woodchuck. That's why we're there. I'll just I'll just give you the ones that most important for me because you spend so much time in the timeline. These are insanely useful. So to move the play it forwards and backwards on page up and page down so you can step through. If you hold shift on page up, page down, it does it in increments of 10 to zoom in on the composition. It's command plus command minus and to zoom in and out on. The timeline is plus and minus. Now you can do it. Here's the slider down here, but this is very fiddly. And yeah, I'll just keep going with these shortcuts on there. So if you zoomed in, you can see the whole composition, which happens quite a lot, especially on the small screen. Then shift in question mark. We'll frame everything so you can then see the whole composition. That shift on question look very, very useful. One of the operation you need to know how to perform is setting in and out points off the layer, which is done by clicking and dragging on the ends here. Selection toe. Now again, it's a very good idea to use keyboard shortcuts because he will save you a lot of time. Um, so you can move the whole layer with the square brackets that opening square brackets remove the in point where the play head is on the closing square bracket moved the end point where the play head is to trim. Earlier, you said that play it, and then if you hold down bolts in the opening square brackets that's gonna trim it to that point and again on the other side. If you hold a waltz in the square bracket, it's gonna trim it to the 15. Easing: so easing is a term to describe the speed of an object as it moves into out of a key frame on easing makes things feel smoother and more realistic. So I'm going to do a quick demo just to explain how it works. So we've got these three squares well, at a position keep went all of them. By selecting all I forgot old suppress p and then with the most still selected. And it's gonna go, let's move forward one second and then distract. The more holding down shift constrained the path to a straight line. And there we have it. So you re pre do this, you can see that they will move a constant velocity that modulation in their speed and so toe work on this green one. First on DSO If you right click on this key frame and we go to key frame assistant Eazy E's out and I'm sure you can see that very well. But it's also reflected in the motion path. Are these dots? They were evenly spaced on their closer together, and so if we compare those side by side, the green was lagging behind Now because it is is going from rest. Andi accelerating to reaches velocity but they all start and end at the same point. And so if we go to this pink one on the right, click a key frame assistant, Easy's in again. You saw these dots become closer together, and so if we preview this green was lagging behind the pink one is ahead of the game but then slows down. So they were actually leaving, arriving at the same time. But they look and feel different because of these that's been added to the key frame on DSO . Just finally, we can take the blue one. Selected both of those key frames was a key frame assistant. Easy's and Easy Easy is a kind of catchall, so it will got a key frame with action on either side. You'll have unease into that key frame and and he's out. So this one's easy blues no easing out and easing in. So it's to preview that. So if you do know other experimentation with easing at the very least, just slapping Easy's onto all of your key frames on you. Hopefully see that your movements will look a bit more natural 16. The graph editor: so I'm going to show you the graph. Editor. This is an advanced feature. It's something that gives you precise control over your animation timing. I'm not really gonna go into any debts. I'm just showing you its there. Andi, what's possible with it? So you you know where to go when you're ready. So I've kept the shape from the previous lesson. I would just bring up the position properties I'm going to right click on the position and separate the dimensions because I only want to work on the X value. So I said a key frame. Move it in time. So we've got this linear movement across the the X axis just to preview that that's leaning at the moment. Off slipped. But these key frames and I put on and Easy's on the short cut there is after nine. And so now it's slow out slow in. And so the graph editor is opened with this button here, and there are two grafts you can look at is the speed or the value. So I like the value graph. Andi, Currently this Y position selected as well as the expedition. So let's just select the exposition I can frame that. Just give myself a little bit more room, and so you can now manipulate the speed of the objects over time using the graph. And so, for example, if I pull out these handles, you can see what's happening is that it's slowing in. It's going to slow out and then slow in and this very steep part of the curve it's been moving very quickly, and so I'll use the graph editor for most of it's the easing that I do. I won't rely on the easies as you can do a lot more with it on at points and maintain these different coves and get a lot of different looks. But you can basically do exactly what you want. So you see there's a lot going on and gives you a lot of control. So dig into this further if you think if you think you're ready for it, 17. Parenting layers: so when you pair in a layer, you former connection between it and another layer on the child inherits the properties from the parent. So I've set up a small example here. So it's preview that you can see Mummy, which is this big pink circle, his animating by myself on DSO If we get Little Darling, which is the blue circle on with the pick whip, and we'll drag that over and drop that onto Mommy thes now parented. You can see this in this drop down. Mom is identified as the parent, so if you preview that now, the baby's moving along with the mother. So that's great. And you can unparalled by clicking now back to where we were. You can also just use this for my collection in the first place, but the pick quips more fun, so the situation might occur where you get halfway through the move and you want to drop the baby off on, and in that scenario you would go to edit split layer, which basically creates a duplicate but with a seamless joint between the two. So at the moment you can see in here it's all the same values And so we get little darling to and we just apparent that and there will be preview. They start off together, and then Mommy drops off the baby Taken, go about her business unhindered. 18. Null layers: you can have no layers with layer new. No objects. Now the Nile objects doesn't have any visual properties, but it does have the same transformation properties. So you can still animate this. And typically I will use this as a kind of master. Controllers were grouping things together. So what you do is select you layers, pick with them to the no. And now you can use that. No, either just like Dragon about or animate them. One very cool thing you can do with Knowles is to create a chain of them. I'll just have to demonstrate to explain what this is, but it allows you to pull off moves that you might not otherwise be able to do or no easily . Anyway, So I had a new null to this layer on our position in the corner of this box here Andan parent books to the note, and I want to rotate so I can see I need to open up from the switches so I'll expand this, um, to see the actual values. And so a rotation key frame there move forward half a second and so moving that by 90 degrees boom. Okay, and then So let's create another null. And we will place this one on this corner and we will pair in the previous No. So then you know, And then we can sit a key frame the rotation moving forward off a second again. We'll do that by 90. And this is preview that so this is called this is using those two to create a chain. 19. Masking: masking allows you to remove or isolates part of a layer. You can do it with the shape, tools and the pencil, so I'll select the pencil here on what I need to do. Select the shape of when a mask and switching over to mask mode. So I'm not gonna draw my mosque over this shape unless I closed. It has taken effect, and you can only see the shape through the mosque. The mask is part of the shape layer, so you can get into its properties by toiling down into the shape layer on its by. The photo is set to add, but there were these other modes doing what you expect they might do and and further into the mass properties. So there's a feather, which is useful to soften the edges of your mask. And on day, one thing I would like to do is lock the mosque so that when you select, you object to move it around. You don't accidentally move the most. So I've used masks in my project to help create this split on these kind of panel doors that open. So what I've done is I've taken one of these text layers are Just isolate this so weaken. Just do you that, um, and remove. I'll go into the masked by pressing in. I just said that to none, so we can see restarted with the whole layer. I've drawn this mask on this in this triangular shape. Uh, would you sit to add? Then I've duplicated that layer, which is this one. And then I just changed the mode off the mask from add to subtract eso isolate this one you can see is giving the other side of the door, which would then allow me to animate these individually to pull apart and reveal the lovely Linda underneath. 20. Track mattes: I'll explain what track matte is by demonstrating how I will use one to reveal a piece of text. So I will select the text to That's some texts to that. The sense that up a bit, uh, do not take shape too. Andi. I will draw shape over that. I just want Teoh reveal it on its. Have a soft edge. So I'm actually gonna mask just a bit of this track. Matte Do that by switching from shape mode to mask mode. Just draw over that on day I will sit to subtract. So just chopping off the end there, um and then just well into this mask, a mask, feather de couple. Hi! And wits and just do it on the horizontal. Just create that soft edge there closes up against We can see what's going on. And so with the text, we now specify that we want to use this shape above it as a track Matte. It's an Alfa Matt's the shake Later, Berman. There you go on because it's that's the window. We can now see the text. So now that set up When we moved the window, we will reveal the text so we could move it back here. Set position, key frame, move it forwards. We have a text pretty want to ease into that. It's that's preview and see what we got. Lovely. In my project, I've used trap nets to help make the eye blinks. And the pupils, My eyelids were in fact rectangles that I've animated on, and I want to keep him constrained within the circle of the I. So if we take the eyelid here, then we turn this trackman off. You can see it's this square, but it would stick outside if it wasn't for the the track map. So if we turn the treatment on, just you can see it and I'll isolate that. I normally do my track notes in a lurid color just so that I can see when I forgot to turn them off. And but so that's what's keeping this shape within. So as soon as we turn that check, my on again is constructed within that shape, and this thing the same goes for this the people as well. So yeah, if I didn't have the track met on, then it's actually poking at the bottom. So that's what that's how I've used them in my project. 21. Precomposing: so pretty composing is when you select one or more layers in your composition and then turned them into a composition of their own. So I've got an example here, some boxes animated, and so I would just select this pink and blue one. And that's the layer pre composed. Give it a name removal attributes into the new composition. Click OK, and so what that's done. It's squashed everything into a single composition layer of his own. And so if I press you, you can see there were no key frames available within this timeline. If I wanted to go back to those key frames toe, adjust them, I would have to double click on the layer and there were back in, and we can see those layers again. And there were the key frames that we want to manipulate. Pre composing layers can be a great way of keeping organized. If you've got hundreds of layers, you can tidy up your main com by pre composing discrete parts of the animation. However, if you pre composed too much, then you may struggle to manage them all. And there's no magic un pre calm button eso if you change your mind later on. Picking phone can be a real pain in my project. You can see how I've pre comped various segments of his text section to enable me to treat it as one layer and thereby create this split in that sliding door technique. Um, to navigate into pre comp, you can just double click on the pre camp itself will take you in and you can see here. I've got other pre camps, so I've got some nesting going on so I could go into Linda. And then Linda's also got another pre compare, which is the eyes, Everything. That's the end of the line. In the composition window, it displays the other camps a nested within it up here. You can also hit Tab to bring up this mini flow navigator, and you can jump through the different compositions in your project. Andi, open up a composition just by clicking on the name 22. Making seamless loops: The easiest way to create a loop is to have an action that completes a cycle in the sense of the action returns naturally to the same spot. I'll take this square just to demonstrate. I'll set position, key frame at the beginning, move on in time, the box over to the right. We've owning time again, and I would actually copy Paste that initial key frame to return it to the original spot. And so at the end of that's the end of my preview. And let's preview So the books, clothes backwards and forwards, and this is almost a seamless loop. The only thing we need to do just a zoom in slightly is to go back one frame and set that as the end of the composition now. So when it's one frame away, it will loop around to the beginning, thereby completing the cycle. So there we have it that is a seamlessly if you do nothing else that's perfectly valid on fulfills the brief. So I've taken a slightly different approach with my project. I've taken this linear action that starts and starts with Linda. She holds up a phone on the text appears in the phone and then I have. You just made a feature of the joint really, rather than hide it. And the difference between the first example and this example is that I've offset things so that the joint happens in the middle of the action and therefore the end, the beginning, the end loop seamlessly Anyway, you can dig into this project and have a look on. See how I did it? I find it totally confusing. To be honest, I'm sure I lost a few brain cells trying to work it out. If you need some more inspiration. There's an animated called James Current who is a master of the looping gift. There's a link to this in the notes. 23. Expressions: aftereffects descriptive all. Which means it's possible to drive animations entirely with code. The's scripts, unknowns, expressions based on Java script, I believe, but I'm no expert. I'm quite happy to copy and paste if code here and there but only speak the language. If you know. I mean, I'll show you a couple of quick expressions that are easy to use. So starting with this square, if we bring up the position now, you activate it by clicking on the stopwatch which will bring up this field here, and I'm gonna type. Is we go 10 comma, 100 close bracket and Conan No, I'm gonna click out of this on what we can see here is that expression is added All this movement onto my cube. Andi, What's happening is it's is the frequency in the value. So 10 times a second it's moving up to 100 pixels, and it's kind of a random movement, and this is a great way to add some interest to you have scenes without actually having to key for him anything. There's another expression that I used frequently. I'll just demonstrate that one as well. So if we set a position key frame before it in time. That's another key frame. Copy that one pasted that. And now. So I'm gonna all click on the stopwatch again, and I'm going to write leap outs, open brackets, close brackets, semi colon and then click out. And so when we preview this, you see what it's done that I've only set those three key frames, but it will continue to loot the animation refrigeration of the timeline. So I did use a couple of expressions in my project. Andi. It was in the in the scene where the text blocks what position. So I'm going to recreate that just to show very quickly what I did and why did it. So I got these two blocks to represent the text, and I've created a no. So I wanted to control the rotation off these blocks with to know so parents at thes parented those to the null and so I could do the rotation. Let's just say, said one key for in there, another key frame there said it's 1 80 so basically they sort that's very slow, Boeri, and to know they swap. So this is what I wanted to achieve. But obviously with the text on there, I wanted to stay the right way up. And so the way I did that was to sitting in Both are to bring up the rotation properties now it all clicks on the rotation. And as we saw before, this is where you can actually write an expression. But you can also reference elements by using the Pickwick. So I took the Pickwick and dragged and dropped on the rotation, and I just show you what effect that has. It's not. It's not correct yet, so it rotates. But then that's also rotating. I want to rotate in the opposite direction. So on the end of the expression like that times, which is an Astro X minus one, which basically means take the value of this rotation and return the negative value. So it means that this shape will rotate 180 degrees in reverse on the effects of that is for it to stay put. And so I did that on the other one, also linking its rotation to the rotation of the No again times minus one, and that gave me the effect that I was after and the good thing about this was that I'm just driving that whole animation with one layer on the thes two key friends on which I could Then at ease is too and manipulate and not mess everything else up. It's still gonna keep in sync, and it's going to share that easy. 24. 3D layers: so although we're looking at two D animation, I have to point out the after effects has some three D capabilities. It's not a full three D software. It's quite often called 2.5 D, and the reason is because compositions can only ever be two dimensional, so they're essentially a flat plane. However, these flat planes can exist in a three D space and be moved around and rotated along the X Y and Z axis. I've used up to some extent here in the way that Linda's moving here. She's just to deflect objects, but what I have done, if I just go into Linda here, um, this switch here has turned these layers into a three d layer, and I've introduced a camera. Andi, it's hard to see what's going on from this flat view, but if I switch it to this top view, just pan out. But I'm not sure if you can see very well here. But these are the different layers of Linda, so there's the back of her hair Ah, body and head her lips hair fund. But they're all officer in NZ space, And so what? I've done his animate the camera on its position, and the effect of doing that is giving the illusion of a bit of three D movement, so I don't want to go any further into it than that. I just wanted to point out that it has got this other depth to it that's worth exploring again. Another rabbit hole, few to dive down when you've got the time and inclination. 25. Rendering your animation: when you happy with you animation, it's time to render it. I'm gonna show you how I do it. It's probably know how everyone would do it. And I don't like to rely on adobe media encoder. It keeps crashing on me, which is actually why I ended up with a different workflow. Make sure your work area is set correctly to the beginning in the end, because this is what will actually render on, then go to composition. Have to render queue. If you want to use the media encoder. This is the one for you, but I love it to the vendor key. I don't like this year strike this overhead. Um and so I like to output lossless and then run that lossless video through handbrake. So you just need to specify a location for where you want that to be. Output. It's save and then hit render. So this is the download page for handbrake. It's open source, and it works and multi platform. So I'm on a Mac if your windows you can use it to. And it's a very simple and effective piece of software. So he vo I've got handbrake open. I was open source and I have saved mine to the desktop, which is this file here. Open now. You can see former and before a lot of settings here are just They're correct out the books . You don't really have to tweet tweet very much. The only thing I would do is frame rate. So minus 8 to 24 and I would put constant on their It improves the quality. Um, you might wanna check the picture yet. It's coming out 10. 80 by 10. 80. Would you know we don't have. Okay, so the only thing that you might want to play around with on this is the constant quality. You can set a bit rate. So quite often, if you're uploading to video, it specifies what bit right it would like. But I like to use the slider on. I found it. 22 comes out. Okay. You can probably squash this down to be 17 or something like that. And the lower the number, the better the quality. Um, okay. Andi, to see where we're saving that. Okay, We just let me just begin. Great and start. Okay. So here we go. And find out we can see is my conference. Just double click and see what it looks like. Wonderful. That's great. Ready for instagram 26. Sharing on Instagram: So once you've rented out your video, it's time to share it on Instagram. I only know the process for posting a video using an iPhone, so if you're using different technology, you'll need to figure this out for yourself. I willed it by emailing the video felt myself. Then I opened that email on my phone, where I can look at the video and save it to my photos. Now when I open Instagram, I can choose that video from my library. Remember to add the tags. Hello, aftereffects on skill share and also my handle cheese and egg. And that's it. You're done One final step. If you could please share a link to INSTAGRAM profile in your class project. If you have any questions or feedback on this class, please use the community area on. We can check in there. I'm really looking forward to seeing your projects. Have you having fun? Enjoy it