Simple Animation in After Effects Ep9/48 [Adobe After Effects for Beginners]

Simple Animation in After Effects Ep9/48 [Adobe After Effects for Beginners]


Hello and welcome to the ninth video in
this Beginner’s Guide to Adobe After Effects. In this tutorial, I’m going to
demonstrate how you can create a simple animation in After Effects. So in a
previous episode we learned about keyframes and how they are used to
create animation sequences in After Effects. Now it’s time to get more
hands-on with keyframes. In this video we are going to be covering the following
topics: Adding keyframes, setting keyframe
properties and duplicating properties. After this video you will have a good
understanding of how to use keyframes to animate. So let’s get into it! So here I
am in After Effects and I have a project open demonstrating a simple animation
sequence that we are going to create in this video. This is a nice and easy
animation exercise which will help you get started and understand animating in
After Effects. Here I have a circle animation moving from left to right and
as the circle moves it also changes size and opacity. In this tutorial we are
going to learn how to animate: Position, scale and opacity. So right now I am in
preview mode, so I’ll press spacebar to stop it for now. So before we start the
tutorial let’s take a quick look at what we will be creating. Now if you want to
follow along with this video and create your own animation like this you will
need to download the project folder. You can download the project folder for a
small fee the download link with instructions is in the description. The
download folder comes with lots of exercise documents we will be using on
this course that have been carefully developed to aid your learning
experience. The folder also comes with document resources such as videos,
graphics and images you can use to build your first video presentations from
scratch later on in this course. To get the full learning experience I recommend
you get the project folder. Download link with instructions is in the description.
So with the project folder open, clicking in to the S2 essential practise folder then
into folder 9 simple animation, then in to the preview folder and open the
simple animation preview After Effects file and you will have the same document
I have opened here. So here we have a simple animation that is 10 seconds long
and we know this because we can see the seconds displayed in the time ruler at
the top of the timeline panel. So I’ll click and drag my time indicator across
here to 5 seconds, at 5 seconds the circle has moved from
the left side of the screen point A to the right side of the screen it’s at
point B and if I continue to drag to 10 seconds the circle moves back to point A.
So the start and end of the animation appears the same. Now if I drag my time
indicator between 1 and 5 seconds we can see that as the circle moves from point
A to point B the size and opacity changes, when we get to point B at 5
seconds the size and opacity is the same as Point A. Now as I continue to move to
10 seconds, the same animation happens on the way back to point A, so if I hit
spacebar to preview, this appears to be an infinite animation as the end is the
same as the start. OK so what’s going on in the timeline panel? So if we look
carefully in the timeline panel, we can see we have one shape layer called
‘circle’ now we can tell this is a shape layer because of the icon next to it. In
After Effects a shape layer is represented as a star. In this instance
the layer bar color is set to purple, so under our purple shape layer we can see
some keyframes and if we look carefully over to the left in the timeline panel
we can see the keyframes are set for position, scale and opacity. So first
let’s pay attention to position. So here we can see we have a keyframe at the
start, one keyframe in the middle and one at the end. Now I’ll click and drag my
time indicator to the start of the timeline, so in the timeline panel at the
very start we can see we have a keyframe for position.
Now this keyframe is setting the value for this position in the visual
composition panel above at point A. So I’ll click and drag my time indicator
across here to 5 seconds, at 5 seconds the circle has moved to the
other side of the screen to point B. In the timeline panel we can see we have
another keyframe for position, now this keyframe is setting the value for this
position in the visual composition panel at point B. Now if I continue to drag to
ten seconds the circle has moved back to point A, in
the timeline panel we can see we have a keyframe at the end for position. Now
this keyframe is setting the value for this position in the visual composition
panel at Point A. So to move from left to right it takes three keyframes to do it.
1 a keyframe for point A, 2 a keyframe for point B and 3 a
keyframe back to point A. Now let’s pay attention to scale. So here we can see we
have a keyframe at the start, three keyframes in the middle and one at
the end. Now I’ll click and drag my time indicator to the start of the timeline
and in the timeline panel at the very start we can see we have a keyframe for
scale, this keyframe is setting the value for scale in the visual composition
panel above at Point A. So I’ll click and drag my time indicator across here to
the midway point between point A and point B. At this point the circle has
decreased in scale in the timeline panel, we can see we have another keyframe for
scale , this keyframe is setting the value for scale in the visual composition
panel at the midway point. Now if I continue to drag to five seconds the
scale of the circle is back to its original size at Point A. In the timeline
panel we can see we have another keyframe for scale, this keyframe is
setting the value for scale in the visual composition panel at point B, if I
continue to drag the time indicator across here to the midway point between
point B and point A, at this point the circle has decreased in scale again and
in the timeline panel we can see we have another keyframe for scale, again this
keyframe is setting the value for scale in the visual composition panel at the
midway point. If I continue to drag to 10 seconds the scale of the circle is back
to its original size at Point A and in the timeline panel we can see we have a
keyframe at the end for scale. So to change
the scale of the circle between point A and B it’s taken five keyframes to do it.
1 a keyframe for scale at point A, 2 a keyframe for scale at the midpoint to
point B, 3 a keyframe for scale at point B, 4 a keyframe for scale at the
midpoint back to point A and 5 a keyframe for scale back at A. Now let’s
pay attention to opacity. So here we can see like with scale we have a keyframe
at the start, 3 keyframes in the middle and one at the end. Now I’ll click and
drag my time indicator to the start of the timeline and in the timeline panel
at the very start we can see we have a keyframe for opacity. This keyframe is
setting the value for opacity in the visual composition panel above at Point
A. So I’ll click and drag my time indicator across here to the midway
point between point A and point B. At this point the circle has changed
opacity. In the timeline panel we can see we have another keyframe for opacity,
this keyframe is setting the value for opacity in the visual composition panel
at the midway point. Now if I continue to drag to 5 seconds the opacity of the
circle is back to full. At Point A in the timeline panel we can see we have
another keyframe for opacity, this keyframe is setting the value for
opacity in the visual composition panel at point B, if I continue to drag the
time indicator across here to the midway point between point B and point A, at
this point the circle has changed opacity again and in the timeline panel
we can see we have another keyframe for opacity. Again this keyframe is setting
the value for opacity in the visual composition panel at the midway point. If
I continue to drag to 10 seconds the opacity of the circle is back to full at
Point A and in the timeline panel we can see we have a keyframe at the end for
opacity. So to change the opacity of the circle between point A and B it’s taken
5 keyframes to do it. 1 a key for for opacity at point A, 2 a keyframe for
opacity at the mid point to point B, 3 a keyframe for opacity at point B, 4 a
keyframe for opacity at the mid point back to point A and 5 a keyframe for
opacity back at point A. So with that overview let’s now see how you can
create this animation from scratch. So to help you I have prepared a simple
worksheet for you. So with the project folder open click into the S2 essential
practise folder, then into folder 9 simple animation, then into the template
folder and open the simple animations template After Effects file and you
should open a document like this. So here I have the same document I just showed
you but without the animation applied. Now if we look in the timeline panel we
can see a circle shape layer at the top. Now if we come into the timeline panel
and click the triangle next to the purple square, this will toggle down to
reveal the contents and transform options. If I click the triangle next to
transform, we can toggle down the position, scale, rotation and opacity
options. So here we can see that there are no keyframes applied to position,
scale or opacity. This is blank ready to animate. So let’s begin.
So when animating in After Effects it helps to take one step at a time, it
helps to focus on one part of the animation and when that is in place, we
can then focus on another part. So first I’m going to start with position. So I
want my circle to start at Point A and reach point B at 5 seconds. So first I’ll
put down a keyframe for position, now the first thing to learn about keyframes is
when you place a keyframe it will be placed wherever the time indicator is on
the timeline. So first I will make sure my time indicator is right at the start
of my composition, with my time indicator at the start of the composition I’ll
carefully come over to the transform properties to the left of my timeline
panel, next I will click on the stopwatch icon next to position. Upon click you
will see the first keyframe appear on the layer.
Next I will drag my time indicator over to five seconds on the time line halfway
through my composition. OK so with my time line indicator at five seconds, this
time I’m going to come into the composition panel above and click on the
circle. With it selected I’m going to click and drag the circle across the
screen to point B. Now once I release the circle at point B we can see a new
keyframe for position has appeared in the timeline. By moving the shape at 5
seconds to a new place in the composition panel it has created a new
keyframe. So now if I click and drag the time indicator back to the start and
back to 5 seconds we can see the circle move, excellent! We have just created the
first animation. So now we have one keyframe to start and one keyframe to
end the sequence. So now I’ll move the time indicator back to 5 seconds, next I
want to place another keyframe, but this time at the end of the composition. So
I’ll move the time indicator across to the end of the timeline. Now at this
point I want my circle to move back to point A, exactly where I started, now I
could drag the circle back across like I did a second ago, but how am I going to
be sure I’ll put it in the exact same place? Well here is a quick tip, what I’m
going to do next is come and click the first keyframe for position. With it
selected I’ll press Cmd C on Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy, with my time
indicator at the end of the timeline, I will now press Cmd V on Mac or Ctrl
V to paste, upon pasting we will now see a new keyframe appear at the end and the
circle has now jumped back to point A in the composition panel. By copying and
pasting the first keyframe at the start, we are pasting the new value at the end
of the timeline. So if I now click and drag the time indicator back to the
start and press spacebar to preview we will see the circle move from point A to
point B and then back to point A again. Because the end of the animation
sequence is the same as the start when previewing like this it appears to be an
infinite animation. So we have one keyframe at
the start at Point A, one keyframe to move to point B in the middle of our
timeline and one keyframe at the end to go back to point A, easy!
So that’s position done, now let’s look at scale. Now for this animation I want
the circle to scale down and then up again between point A and point B and I
want to do this on the way to point B and on the way back to point A. So first
I’ll put down a keyframe for scale, so first I’ll make sure my time indicator
is right at the start of my composition, with my time indicator at the start of
the composition, I’ll carefully come over to the transform properties to the left
of my timeline panel and next I will carefully click on the stopwatch icon
next to scale. Upon click you will see the first keyframe appear on the layer,
though this time under the position keyframe. So next I will drag my time
indicator over slowly, watching the circle as it moves across to point B,
when the circle reaches the midway point I’ll stop. So looking in the timeline
panel we can see that the time indicator is now halfway between the first and
second keyframe for position, this is exactly where we want it to be. So next
I’ll come over to the transform properties in the timeline panel and
focus on the scale property, right now we can see the scale of the shape is at
100%, what I’m going to do now is put my mouse cursor over the 100% value until I
see my mouse cursor change to arrows pointing left and right. Then I’m going
to click and drag the value down to 50%. Upon release the size of the circle will
be reduced to 50% in the visual composition panel and we will see a
keyframe appear for scale in the timeline, perfect! So next I will drag my
time indicator over to five seconds to the exact point of the keyframe for
position. So right now we can see that the circle is still at 50% at this point.
At this point I want my circle to be back to the same size it was at Point A.
So just like earlier I’m going to come over and click on the first keyframe for
scale. With it selected I’ll press Cmd C on Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy
and with my time indicator exactly at five seconds, I will press Cmd V on Mac or
Ctrl V on PC to paste. Upon pasting we will now see a new keyframe appear for
scale and the circle is now back to 100%. By copying and pasting the first
keyframe for scale at the start we are pasting the same value here. So now if I
click and drag the time indicator back to the start and back to 5 seconds we
can see the circle move and also change scale down and up exactly how we want it.
So as I continue to drag my time indicator from 5 seconds to 10 seconds I
want to create the same scale animation on the circle moving back to point A as
I did moving to point B. so next I will drag my time indicator over slowly
watching the circle as it moves across back to point A, when the circle reaches
the midway point I’ll stop. so looking in the timeline
panel we can see that the time indicator is now halfway between the 2nd and 3rd
keyframe for position. So what I’m going to do here is copy the keyframe which
holds the value for 50% I created earlier.
So I’ll carefully select the keyframe at the midway point. With it selected a
press Cmd C on Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy and with my time indicator
exactly midway I will press Cmd V on the Mac or Ctrl V on PC to paste. Upon
pasting we will now see a new keyframe appear for scale and the circle is now
back to 50%, nice! So as I continue to drag my time indicator across to 10
seconds I want the circle to change scale back to 100%, the original size. So
again I’m going to use the same copy and paste technique, so I’ll click on the
first scale keyframe at the start of the composition to select it, with it
selected I’ll press Cmd C on Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy and with my time
indicator exactly at 10 seconds I’ll press Cmd v on Mac or Ctrl V on
PC to paste. Upon pasting we will now see a new keyframe appear for scale and the
circle is now back to 100%. By copying and pasting the first
keyframe for scale at the start we are pasting the same value here again, great!
So that finishes the scale keyframes. So if I now drag my time indicator back to
the start and press spacebar to activate preview we can now see the circle nicely
scales down and up as it moves from point A to point B and back again.
So that’s scale done, so I’ll press spacebar to stop the preview and drag
the time indicator back to the start. Now let’s look at the last effect we want to
apply to this animation. Now for this animation I want the circle to change
opacity when it scales down then appear back to 100% opacity when it scales back
up again and I want to do this on the way to point B and on the way back to
point A. So first I’ll put down a keyframe for opacity. So first I’ll make
sure my time indicator is right at the start of my composition. With my time
indicator at the start of my composition I’ll carefully come over to the
transform properties to the left of my timeline panel, next I will carefully
click on the stopwatch icon next to opacity. Upon click you will see the
first keyframe appear on a layer though this time under this scale keyframe. So
next, I will drag my time indicator straight over to the second scale
keyframe on the timeline, as the scale keyframe indicates the midway point
between point A and point B. We will also see the circle move from point A to the
midway point in the composition panel. This is exactly where we want to be, so
next I will come over to the transform properties in the timeline panel and
focus on the opacity property. Right now we can see the opacity of the shape is
at 100% what I’m going to do now is put my mouse cursor over the 100% value
until I see my mouse cursor changed to arrows pointing left and right. then I’m
going to click and drag the value left to 30%, upon release the opacity of the
circle will be reduced to 30% in the visual composition panel and we will see
a new keyframe appear for opacity in a timeline, perfect! So next I will drag
my time indicator over to five seconds to the exact point of the keyframes for
position and scale above. So right now we can see that the circle is still at 30%
opacity at this point. At this point I want my circle to be back to the same
opacity it was at Point A. so just like earlier I’m going to come over and click
on the first keyframe for opacity. With it selected I will press Cmdd C on
Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy and with my time indicator exactly at 5 seconds I
will press Cmd V on Mac or Ctrl V on PC to paste. Upon pasting we will now
see a new keyframe appear for opacity and the circle is now back to 100%
opacity. By copying and pasting the first keyframe for opacity at the start we are
pasting the same value here. So now if I click and drag the time indicator back
to the start and back to 5 seconds we can see the circle move, change scale
down and up and also change opacity, exactly how we want it. So as I continue
to drag my time indicator from 5 seconds to 10 seconds I want to create the same
opacity animation on the circle moving back to point A as I did move into point
B. So next I will drag my time indicator straight over to the fourth scale
keyframe on a time line as this scale keyframe indicates the midway point
between point B and A, we will also see the circle move from point B to the
midway point in the composition panel. So what I’m going to do here this time is
copy the keyframe which holds the value for 30% opacity I created earlier. So
I’ll carefully select the keyframe at the midway point for opacity, with it
selected I’ll press Cmd C on Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy and with my time
indicator exactly midpoint, I’ll press Cmd V on Mac or Ctrl V on PC to
paste. Upon pasting we will now see a new keyframe appear for opacity and the
circle is now back to 30%. So as I continue to drag my time indicator
across to 10 seconds I want the circle to change opacity back to 100%.
So again I’m going to use the same copy and paste technique. So I’ll click on the
first opacity keyframe at the start of the composition to select, with it selected
I’ll press Cmd C on Mac or Ctrl C on PC to copy and with my time indicator
exactly at 10 seconds I’ll press Cmd V on Mac or Ctrl V on PC to paste. Upon
pasting we will now see a new keyframe appear for opacity and the circle is now
back to 100%. By copying and pasting the first keyframe for opacity at the start
we are pasting the same value here again, great! so that finishes the opacity
keyframes and that finishes the animation. So now I’ll come into the
timeline panel and click on the eye symbol over on the far left of the
guides. Clicking this will toggle the visibility off. Now we have finished the
animation we do not need the guides any longer. So now we can see we have lots of
keyframes in the timeline. Now once they are placed in the timeline you can move
them around quite easily and you will want to do this to alter the way your
animation works. For example by clicking and dragging the middle position
keyframe and dragging left on top of the second scale and opacity keyframe, if I
drag the time indicator back to the start and press spacebar we can see the
effect that has. The circle dashes over to point B real fast then takes longer
to return to point A, this time I’ll drag the second position keyframe back into
the middle but this time dragged the first keyframe up to the second keyframe
for scale and opacity and the last keyframe into the fourth keyframe for
scale and opacity. Now looking carefully just under the time indicator we have
the work area bar. What I’ll do now is place my mouse cursor carefully over the
blue edge on the left then drag in to meet the first position keyframe, then
I’ll carefully place my mouse cursor over the blue edge on the right then
drag in to meet the last position keyframe. So what we have done here is
close in the work area on these few frames here in the middle. So now I’ll
make sure my time indicator is inside this work area and I’ll press spacebar
and we can see the effect that has. We are now previewing a loop between
these points on the animation here, we can see the circle quickly dashes to
point B then back to A again much faster, also the circle changes opacity as it
moves to point B and back again to point A. This gives us a different animation
entirely, so I’ll press spacebar to stop the preview, so now I’ll carefully come
and double-click on the workspace area and this will snap it back to the full
timeline. Next I’ll carefully click and drag the keyframe back to where they
were earlier, I’ll put the start keyframe for position back to the start and the
third keyframe back to the end. If I drag the time indicator back to the start and
press spacebar we can see the effect that has. We are now back to our original
animation. So this is how keyframes are used to animate in After Effects. As we
progress on this course we are going to be animating more and more, expanding on
these principles we have learned in this video to create more complex and dynamic
effects. So to recap some key things to remember are: When placing keyframes we
must first make sure the time indicator is in the correct position on the
timeline. To add a keyframe for the first time we click on the stopwatch. After the
first keyframe is added, to add a new keyframe we need to press the add
keyframe button, the diamond shape over on the far left of the timeline.
Keyframes can be copied and pasted to duplicate values and keyframes can be
dragged around the timeline to edit and change the nature of animations over
time. So once you are happy with your animation come up to file, scroll down to
save as, and what we’ll need to do here is save a new version of our After
Effects animation. Now I’m going to save this in the folder here in the project
folder, you can save this wherever you wish but make sure you remember where it
is as we will be using this in the next episode, here I’ll change the name to
simple animation project and click OK, perfect! Now looking at our animation in
preview mode it looks great but there is something rigid and plain about the
movement, if we look at the animation I previewed at the start, we
see it moves more smoothly and with more flow. Now this is because we have easing
applied to the keyframes, if we look in the timeline panel we can see the
keyframes are different from the ones we just applied to our animation. These
keyframes have different shapes applied, In After Effects this is called Easing. So to add nice smooth effects to our
animations we can apply easing. In the next episode we are going to expand on
the animation we just created and I’m going to show you how you can add easing
to your keyframes in After Effects. So see you in the next video!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. To get the full learning experience and follow along:

    Get the FREE PDF course index and the downloadable project folder from the course overview video here:
    https://youtu.be/uRdfvpQ5rcQ

    Enjoy!

  2. will the project folder become free someday? hehe just asking no offense
    because I really want to learn but I don't have credit card and enough money to pay for it.

  3. hey Gareth can you please let me have the exercise files for free coz theres no internet paying mechanism in my country, Ethiopia. i found your adobe photoshop tutorials extremely helpful. i hope to hear from you.

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