It’s been a while since my last post, but we are back with new VFX for the new year!
Keyframes will be your best friend when animating in After Effects and in pretty any motion graphic you will ever make! Many tutorials you will read online and watch on YouTube will tell you to use keyframes to make the certain effect, but they don’t allow you to grasp a full understanding of keyframes! Without a true understanding of keyframes, you will have a hard time creating your own projects. Being able to apply your knowledge of keyframes to your own visual effects projects will open up a whole new world of possibilities.
In this article I’m going to specifically explain how to use keyframes in After Effects, but the concepts described can be easily be applied to other editing systems.
To put it simply, keyframes allow you to change the value of an attribute of a layer or an effect over time. Many basic effects using keyframes involve 2 key frames. The first is on the frame where the effect starts and the second is on the frame where the effect ends. The first keyframe will have the original value of the attribute and the second keyframe will have the ending value. For example, in a motion effect of a title sequence you might have a title fly on screen.
Another example could be an object growing over time.
Another not as obvious example could be the color of a scene changing over time.
Now another very important concept to learn is how to interpret and manipulate keyframes on a timeline. In after effects when you click on an attribute that has been keyframed you will see the keyframe diamonds on the timeline. The diamonds will be on the frames that you inserted the keyframes on. On the timeline moving a keyframe will change the frame at which the keyframe happens. For example moving the first keyframe will cause the effect to happen earlier and longer since you are moving it farther away from the other keyframe. If you don’t want the effect to be longer then just move the other keyframe over as well keeping the original distance.
There is one more important thing to remember when using keyframes in After Effects especially if you are working with motion graphics. Make sure whatever motion effect you are doing, whether it is place, size, rotation etc., that you apply motion blur to the animation! The motion blur makes the movement look more realistic and more professional than without it. Of course if your desired effect looks better without the motion blur then you don’t need it.
So once again keyframes are one of the most important things in all of VFX and animation. Most of the effects that I will go over in the future will involve using some keyframes!
If you want to see some of the projects I have made my Channel on YouTube is CKproductions1000. We release a new video every other Friday!