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4.2 After Effects Keyframe Easing

Linear keyframes are fine, but more times than not you will want to ease the motion. In this lesson, you will learn how to add easing in After Effects to smooth out your keyframes.

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1 lesson, 00:49


2.Getting Started
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What Is After Effects?

Main Panels


After Effects Tools

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3.Compositions and Layers
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After Effects Composition


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After Effects Keyframe Basics

After Effects Keyframe Easing

Spatial Interpolation

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FAQ Conclusion

4.2 After Effects Keyframe Easing

In this lesson, you will learn how to smooth out your keyframes with easing. In the previous lesson, you created something like this. Sometimes linear keyframes, which is what these are and that's indicated by their diamond shape. These are totally fine and they work just fine for lots of different things. Sometimes, you may want to smooth things out to get a bit of a smoother look. I'm gonna show you how to do that here. So to start, I'm going to take these bottom keyframes here for scale rotation and opacity, and I'll select them by clicking and dragging a rectangular marked key or as I like to say, a box. And I'm just gonna hit the Delete key. Then, I'm just gonna hit P on the keyboard to only select the position property here. I'm also going to adjust some things up here. So actually, for now, I'm going to go ahead and get rid of the position keyframes as well, and I'm also gonna change this text. So with the text selected, if I just double-click it, it's gonna select all of the characters, and then I'm going to just delete all of them except the K. [SOUND] And now, I'm going to grab the anchor point tool, which is Y on the keyboard and I'm just gonna move the anchor point over here, inside the K. Now, if you don't have this snapping button enabled right here. When you're moving the anchor point or when you're moving a layer, you can enable snapping by holding down Ctrl. That will temporarily enable snapping when you are moving something around. And you can see the anchor point will snap to one of these transform handles around the edge or will snap right to the center of the layer. So either way, move the anchor point so that it is right in the center of that K there. Then I'll grab the selection tool and I'll just move it up a little bit. I'm gonna bring the play head back to the beginning and set a key frame. And then I'll go, let's say two seconds and then I'm gonna move it straight across the screen. Now, as you're moving, as you are clicking and holding, if you hit the Shift key on your keyboard, that will lock your movement to horizontal, if you're mostly moving horizontal. Or if you're mostly moving vertical, it will sort of snap it to the vertical plane, and that can be really helpful. Either way, just kind of move it across the screen. I'm also going to change the work area here, which is this bar here, and I'm going to shrink that down to about two seconds and ten frames. That way, when I hit the Spacebar to preview the animation It will loop and if looping is not turned on by default for you, you can jump up here to the Preview panel and with the Spacebar selected here. Just make sure that this is set to loop and not play once, which is that icon right there. All right, so what I wanna do is show you the difference between the first type of animation that you created which has this linear temporal interpolation. Which means the type of interpolation it's doing overtime is linear. It hits the gas, maintains that speed, still the same if we look in the graph editor. Constant speed and then it drops off. And I wanna show you the difference between this and something that's a little bit smooth or something with some easing. So with your layer selected you can come up here to the menu, go to edit and then duplicate source of command or control D on the keyboard. Then if you hit U on the keyboard that will bring up any keyframes that you have created. If you click on position, that will highlight all of the position keyframes, whether it's two or a 1000. And if your play head is over a keyframe, and you can tell that it is because if you look right over here, this button which is the add or remove keyframe at current time is highlighted blue. If we move this just a little bit to the right you can see that it is not, so with all the position keyframes selected and with your cti over one of your keyframes you can move all the keyframes. At once, in this case, I'm just going to click on the Y here and drag it down. And now, I've duplicated that animation, but I've moved this top layer here down. So we can see the difference between this one and this bottom one here. The next step is smoothing this out so let's select these keyframes again and then if you right click on your keyframes there is an option here under key frame assistant and you can choose Easy Ease, Ease In, Ease Out. And Time-Reverse Keyframes, those are the only options we have available. For now let's choose Easy Ease, which is also F9 on a keyboard. And let's preview this animation. This K right here is moving along at a constant rate of speed. You can see that again if you look at the graph editor here. But this one starts slow increases speed until it gets to the halfway point, and then it starts slowing down, And the effect is that, we get a much smoother start, and smoother finish to this animation. If you jump back into the graph editor here, you can select one of the keyframes and then you get access to one of these handles here. You can see on each keyframe I have a handle. And if you click one of these handles and drag to the right, you can see you can change the shape of this starting curve here. Likewise, you can change the shape of this ending curve here. Where before, we had kind of a nice gentle arc, now we have something that, well you can see just from the graph is going to start slower, and then it's gonna start to increase speed, more in the middle of the animation. And it's gonna do so much more rapidly. And in fact, right here it's gonna be going a lot faster than it was previously. And then it's gonna start to slow down pretty dramatically until it reaches the last keyframe here. So let's preview what this looks like by hitting spacebar. So this is smoothing it out even further we're getting a much slower start but the speed that we're achieving in the middle is a good bit faster. And one way you can see that, is by enabling motion blur. So I'm going to enable motion blur. And this says, it enables motion blur for all layers with the motion blur switch set. Now, two layers that we have here, do not have the motion blur switch set. And again, if you don't see the layer switch pain here. And you're looking at the transfer controls pain here, just hit this tango right down here or F4 on the keyboard. So if you enable motion blur for both of these layers you'll see that things that are moving faster are more blurred. So let's just play this and watch the motion blur. If you take a look at what's going on right in the middle, you can see this is blurred a lot more than this top layer, and that's a good indication that it's moving quite a bit faster. Now you can take this shape and you can do all kinds of things to it. You can move the handle all the way to the left, and then take this handle and pull it as far as it will go, and this will create almost an exponential curve here where it starts, and it's going really, really fast. You can see, look at this it's 10,000 pixels per second. But only for like a frame, and then it drops way down. Or, you can do the opposite. This sort of motion almost makes it look like it's being sucked in by a magnet or something. Or you can do any combination in between. You can have it start moderately slow, and then finish really slow. Or maybe start it out a little bit smoother, maybe something like that. The point here is to show you that you can take one set of keyframes that have the same values, the same start position and the same ending position. And you can totally change the movement in time, or what's happening in between them, the interpolation, if you will. Down here, we have linear interpolation, which is just a constant speed from point A to point B. And then up here, we have something more along the lines of a or a curve where It starts slow, it builds up and then we start to slow down gradually. It's smoother or in another way, you could say that it's eased. We're easing into the motion and we're easing out of the motion. Or we're easing into the animation, and we're easing out. You can apply the same concept of adjusting the temporal interpolation, that's a big word. But that basically just means what's happening in the time between the two keyframes, basically the speed of the animation to anything that you have animated. It doesn't have to be with position. It just so happens that position is really easy to demonstrate and it's really easy to see what's going on. You are gonna see more of these ideas and concepts used in some up coming lessons but for now, it's time to move on to the next lesson where you are going to learn about spacial interpolation.

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