After Effects - Animated Infographic Video & Data Visualisation

Animation TIP - Anticipation - Up before down - graph editor

Daniel Walter Scott

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In this tutorial we're going to look at Anticipation. When things go up before they go down, or left before they go right, or they get big before they get smaller. We're going to learn it, and we're going to learn how to use this Graph Editor down the bottom here.

All right, let's go and do it with this Type. To make it work, what we need to do-- at the moment we've got beginnings and starts playing. Fades in, and it's running a little bit slow. So I was going to save this for a tutorial later on but my machine is having a bad day. It's trying to record the screen for you and do this HD animation at the same time. So what I'm going to have to do is, see where it says 'Full', yours might be set to 'Auto', so it's in brackets. What we're going to do is set it to 'Quarter', so just means the resolution and preview is going to be a bit… you can see, it's gone a little pixelated there. So that versus 'Full'. Doesn't actually change your output. Just means previewing within After Effects is a little nicer. I'm going to zoom out so I can see the edges.

Now, what I want to do is, remember, down here, you see this Type. Remember, 'U' shows me the Keyframes. Now I've got this first Keyframe where it fades in, I'm going to keep that. These last two Keyframes I don't want. I'm going to get it to Transition out for the jump. It's going to stay for a while. Now what I want to do is I want to put in a Position. So we're going to open up Position. Now, a cool little shortcut is, I can just type 'P' on my keyboard. And what it means is, instead of having to open all of this up and find Position, I just tap 'P' on my keyboard. So it's the first letter. S is for Scale, R is for Rotation. It just saves you time jumping around trying to twirl these down and figure them all out. Plus it's a lot tidier. The only one thing a bit weird is you don't use 'O' for Opacity, use 'T' for Transparency. O does something really weird. If you do hit 'O', it ends up way out here. It just means, the Play Head has ended up past the screen in no man's land, you've got to kind of drag it back. Don't click O, you will though.

So where were we, about there, about 3 seconds in. I want it to get it to jump down, so remember, 'P' for Position. And I want to set a Keyframe, and a little bit later-- it's hard to know beforehand how far to keep these apart to make this look real. You have to really play with them afterwards. It's because it really depends on the size of the object you're moving and how much you move it, and how fast you move it. So what we want to do is, we've got our first Keyframe there. Our second Keyframe, I want it to go up a little bit. Not that way, I want it to get up a little bit. Get it to go up high enough. I find, if you do it too low, it becomes really hard to work with. How high is that? Too high. There is a limit to the height.

So it's going to go up a bit and then after a little chunk it's going to go completely down. So I'm going to move it down to the bottom here, so it starts up. Starts down. You saw, I used Position instead of dragging out. It's just easier, I often use the Position Slider. Now by default, looks pretty grabby. So what we want to do is we want to add some Easing. Now if I right click all of these guys, and we're going to use Easy Ease in this case, what happens-- it's not great. So we're going to have to get to using something called the Graph Editor.

Up until now, and pretty much after this you get away with just using Velocity and picking Influence, or using Easy Ease, but now we're going to have to use the Graph Editor. And if you find it a little bit tough, it kind of is for new people, and if I was truly honest with you, I find that little bit tough as well. So, to switch to the Graph Editor it's this little icon here. I've got these icons selected first. So I selected these Keyframes, click on Graph Editor. And that's what's happening. That's why it's looking a little bit weird. Just that kind of weird little jump doesn't quite work. It's because this flow is not very nice. At the moment though the X and Y co-ordinates are stitched together and you can't adjust these little handles. So what we have to do is we need to break them apart. This little X and Y.

You'll notice, when you break it apart, it actually changes. It's one of the quirks for it. Now what we want to do to make this thing look nice is we want-- so this is the two Keyframes. See my Play Head, that's when it's normal. That's when it's up high, and that's when it's down low. So what we want to do is, it looks really good if this is a nice smooth kind of line at the top here. And these ones here, I'm going to kind of adjust. You get to play around with them but this one here is going to come up a little bit. This nice bend often looks good. Let's give it a go. It's got the right kind of rhythm, it's just maybe not fast enough. So we're going to jump back from the Graph Editor. You'll notice that it split them.

When we did that in the Graph Editor we say separate the X and Y. So now we got two of them. We don't really need X or Y. Which is the other one? I can never remember. I’m going to leave them both here because-- so what we're going to do is play around with the timings. So I might just grab this, tighten this one up. This one, tighten it up. Just so that it happens a bit faster. Maybe not quite enough. It's working, it's definitely looking-- I'm going to turn the mute on these two, they're driving me bananas. So it's getting there, right? Switch back to the Graph Editor to make sure we haven's wrecked in here. Switch back, and start playing around with this.

You can kind of start to see. I might go a little higher, so I might get to here. And I'm going to work out if it's X or Y. It's Y, the whole time. So we don't need X, you can just bin X. Just start to clean it up, now I'm going to go zoop. I kind of wrecked it even more, so it's getting higher. Then it's faster, and there's speed in there, so you end up playing a lot with this to see if you can make it work. Now before you leave, I have to make it look nice. It's getting there. Let's have a look at the Graph Editor just to make sure, before we go we haven't wrecked it. There, I think, that feels good.

When I said before it needs to be this perfect curve, actually it will look nice with a little double bend here. So bending kind of out and up. So it kind of starts slow, goes faster in the middle, gets slow again, and goes faster at the end. I'd like to save that to last, a little bit for the end, to make sure you're still watching. Let's spread it out a little bit. It's been ages, kind of making this look great. I'm happy with that. Now to make it look even nicer is to turn the Motion Blur on. Make sure it's on for the actual project, as well as the layer. Let's give it a little go. Looks nicer when it's moving, can you see? I don't know why I add my own sound effects, but I do that throughout this course. It took a little while but there's a lot of finesse when it comes to getting things to feel the right kind of feeling, the right kind of white when it's moving. It's called Anticipation. And it makes inanimate objects look a little more real. Let's get on to the next animation tip.