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6.3 Animation in Adobe After Effects

Not everyone has access to a fancy motorized rig to add motion to their time lapses on location. Luckily, there are a few things in post-production that will help you out in this area. In this lesson, you’ll examine some neat features in After Effects that will help you spice up your shots with a little panning and zooming.

6.3 Animation in Adobe After Effects

So I'm back once again in After Effects and this time I've stabilized my shaky pier shot. So let's have a quick look at it. So now it's looking much better than it did before but I still think it's missing something and I wanna add a little bit of dynamic to the shot by adding some simple animation. So if you remember, underneath here we had this Transform menu, and under there you had several different values. And I'm gonna go through a couple of these to show how you can animate them. So let's begin at the end. So I'm gonna use the scale and I'm gonna click on this stopwatch, and what it's gonna do is add a keyframe to the timeline. And if I increase this value, And go to the first frame, zoom back out a little bit. What it's gonna do now is it's gonna calculate the difference between these frames and animate it. So we're gonna have like a very subtle zooming in effect. So this is the poor man's way around not having an expensive dolly but there's more to it than that. So we've just done a very simple linear transition between these two frames. If we click on this graph editor, we can actually manipulate the motion path. So here we see our keyframes, beginning and end. If I select the end frame, I can add a curve to that, so I can add easing or easy ease in. If I click on that what it's gonna do now is it's going to gradually slow down before it reaches the final keyframe. Let's preview that. So it gets to about the halfway point and then it's gonna start slowing right down until it comes to a gradual stop. Let's see that in real time. Smoothly slows down and stops. So you can go completely bonkers with this and make it start really fast or speed up towards the end. And get it to do some rather crazy stuff, but why would you? But obviously you can. Okay? Let's get rid of all of that and let's get back to the start. I'm a bit annoyed by this post here. So, I'm gonna scale in a little bit. I'm gonna make sure the stopwatch is off. I'm gonna reframe my shot. So, I want that just cropped out of shot there. And I'm gonna hit P for Position, and I'm just gonna reposition. So really, I've got a lot of sky to go around with here. But I think that the shot could be better. So what if I panned within the shot instead? So I think what I'll do is animate the position. So again, I want to find my ending frame, so I think we'll end about here. Hit the stopwatch button. Come back to the first frame. And when I move the value it's gonna automatically add a new key frame. And now it's gonna slowly pan from the sky down to the pier. So I get a bit of my cloud in there, and a bit of this foreground, too. So the same rule applies. I could add these easing functions, but let's go back to the idea of the zoom, cuz there's something that bugs me with that. I'm gonna undo those. As for scale, now what you'll notice is, when you scale this, woop, goes right through the middle of the image, and that kind of sucks, right? What we might wanna do is zoom from another particular spot in the image, and not from the direct center. So if I hit A, I can move this anchor point around. But that's really quite fiddly and frustrating. So you also have this option up here, pan behind, so if I click on that I can grab this. Maybe I want the boat to be the point of interest. So now when I scale it's going to scale in from the boat or out from the boat. So maybe I'll do that. Let's go to the end frame, already on it. Click the keyframe, the stopwatch, go to the first frame. And what I'll do is I'll zoom in on that spot so we see the boat first. And now when we watch this we're gonna zoom out from the boat and we're gonna reveal the entire scene. So this is a way to add some dynamic interest to your shots. What I would recommend though is never going over 100% and this is one of the reasons I shoot over when I do these time lapses. Let's see. Around about 100 is there. I think you get away with a little bit more. So even shooting in SRAW, we still get a great area to play with. We still got a lot of flexibility when it comes to cropping our images and animating and panning and zooming within our images. So there's just some simple tricks for animating within After Effects, and we're gonna put these to greater use in Premiere in a short while.

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