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After Effects - Learn Motion Graphic Design

Custom easing using the graph editor in After Effects

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 19 of 53

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Alright, in this video were going to look at using the graph editor in after effects. And its so that we can do custom easing so we can get that anticipation working.

So what were going to do is we’ll preview where were at, it goes along, slides in waits for a little while and then maybe after this maybe about 5 seconds so 500 and about 5 seconds what were going to get it to do is get it to go up a little bit and then down. So first of all its just some basic key framing, so yours might be twirled up like mine. We’re going to be working on the type layer not the water mark so it will be on the type layer, twirl this down and what were looking for is position so we did some positions earlier, that’s when it started left and scrolled in and then we get to wait for a while and its going to stop until then, I want it to wait until it gets to 5 seconds, then go up and then go down after that.

So to do it I need to put in a key frame so between these two key frames here it stays still and then lets scroll along a little bit, we have to play around with the timing for this, anticipation is more art than it is technical science in after effects. You're going to drag key frames around, play with easing, trying to make it feel the feeling that you want it to have. I've scrolled along a little bit, I'm at 9 frames so 5 seconds 9 frames. I'm going to drag it up, I'm holding shift after I start dragging just so it gets to about there and then its going to come down and then how far down, I'm going to get it to I dunno, about there. Maybe at 5 seconds 20 frames. I'm going to get it to come down holding shift, to come all the way off screen. You're not going to see it much in this bottom bit anyway so I'm not too worried about it. So I've got key frames, if I hold shift while dragging this, this is my first one, he's static in the middle, then he's up and then he's down. That’s pretty good, just see what it does. If I hit space bar its actually not bad by default. Because can you see these ones are not diamonds when I put them in, they're the same as the hour glasses, its guess the easing from this and to be honest, we could leave it there. But then we wouldn’t know anything about the graph editor.

The graph editor is probably the most complicated thing in here its not hard but its fiddly and you're going to get lost a half dozen times while you're playing with it. That’s okay, were learning. So what we’re going to do is id like to play around with the easing of these. What we've done previously is we’ve used key frame velocity and we’ve timed in 70 70. Now that’s totally fine, but we want more control rather than just guessing numbers so to do that were going to use a graph editor so what well do is we’ll move our play head so were at this beginning frame here. I've clicked on it and I'm going to click on this thing here called the graph editor and the graph editor is a toggle switch watch, graph editor. Not graph editor.

So you can turn this on and off to get inside this one. Now its showing me, the red one is my x, so this animation earlier on is when it slides in, it goes in slow, gets fast in the middle and goes slow again. But it’s showing my whole animation so what we might do is there's a few buttons down here we can learn and actually its probably just easier zooming in and out. Can you see these little mountains down here, if I click on that one, zoom in, zoom in, I'm dealing with this one here I know because I've used it before that the green one is the y axis, and that’s the up and down axis. The x is left and right, y is up and down. So at the moment its doing some really weird stuff in here. It’s not going really smooth, so I want to smooth this out. What I really want to do is get it to go super smooth, start really slow, go fast and then where it gets to the top of its animation, I know its upside down but its going to go really slow and then speed up. Because at the moment its speeding up and then slowing down towards the bottom again. I want it too keep going so when I look at it falling its going fast.

So to do it we need to split the x and the y is the easiest. So if I click on these guys, you can work on these but you can’t see the little handles and it’s a bit of a pain. So what we want to do is split the x and the y. the only trouble with doing that, if I zoom out when we do it is that see this lovely sexy curve here for the x, watch this if I click on this button, this is the magic one, separate dimensions, it ruins that one, boo. So we can fix him afterwards. All I wanted to do though is click on y over here, you might click on just y, x is still there but they're being disjointed where as before they were sucked in together and they just had the word position, now its got the and y position separately, it gives us a bit more control so I'm going to make sure, I've just the y, if its still stuck on both of them just click outside here somewhere until you get just the y. then I'm going to click on this guy, and you see you get these lovely little handles. So the anchor point is my key frame, so if I toggle back that’s what these little guys are. See thee guys that we've made earlier, these key frames, that’s what these little dots are. Click on y, that’s what these dots are.

These little handles, is the easing. Now, I'm going to make mine a bit bigger. So that you can see what were doing. And I'm going to click on this middle guy here and what I want to do is I want to flatten him out. So what I wanted to do is a couple of things. I know because I've done it before so I'm cheating, I know exactly what I want. But it comes along and its going to come out of this and go slow and then where its going straight up and down, its going to go fast. Its going to go slow, fast and its going to get slow again and then its going to speed off. And that’s what I want. You might have it like this and what it’ll mean is it'll go fast and then slow down at the end there. So I'm going to have mine straight up and down. Come over here, nice. Give it a preview, scroll back, hit space bar, watch it.

I love it. Its kind of cool, gives it a bit of quirkiness, watch. It maybe pauses a bit too long at the top there, can you see it waits because its going quite slow across here. To make it so it doesn’t go so slow is you an tuck these in a little bit, back towards the key frame. If you hold shift they suck in a straight line, I'm going to do it for both of these. It just means its not going to pause for so long at the top, it’s got a bit more of a directional change rather than hanging about. Ready, do I like it, it’s getting there. Now this is where it comes down to the fiddling, its going to depend on a couple of things, how high you lifted it, so my one goes up to a maximum of this, yours might go really high, yours might only go a little bit and it depends on how far these key frames are apart because its going to change it. If you're finding its maybe a little bit, its not great along here. What you can do is you can start stretching these out. There's no difference between dragging these out, holding shift, to get a bit more time or doing it here, because I'm doing the same thing, that is the same as dragging that one there so you might toggle back to this one because it makes more sense.

I'm ignoring the x and just using the y. I want a bit more time maybe spread these out so there's a bit more time between them. Go back into here and they’ll be further apart in here as well. Ready, steady, I liked it better before. I'm going to go undo until my key frames are back.

So this is the fun game, clicking these little key frames, playing with the little handles, holding shift to try and get them to go straight and just trying to play its test, play, test and after you’ve done a few you'll start getting a sense of what feels good in terms of anticipation or just any easing in that case. It doesn’t have to be anticipation. It can just be good old velocity easing. The thing we’re going to have to do though is go and fix our x axis. So I'm going to zoom out, I'm going to go to x and where was that, in here. And I know, and I'm going to share with you what I know I'm going to zoom a little bit. Where did I go, I'm there.

What you can do, if you have a key frame selected, there's a little trick to say, instead of zooming in randomly in the middle there, I can say, where is he there, fit selection to view. So I'm going to hold shift, grab both of thee two guys, can you see it just stretches it across my little window here and I know a nice little ease in ease out looks good like this. This is like s curve where it starts slow and gets in a straight. And that’s what was there originally and it destroyed it when we hit that x y. lets go back, to you editor, I'm going to zoom out a bit so I can see my whole thing. So there's my x and y looking a bit mangled now. so lets go along, preview waits waits waits and then goes down. Nice.

Its not my best work, but its getting there. If you're finding this is really confusing, these x and y ones here don’t do anything. It doesn’t move left and right so you can say go away. Just to tidy it up. There's two y ones here. so there was x ones I got rid of there because its only doing the y stuff there and these two here I don’t need. I think I'm making it more confusing. I should stop talking. So you’ve got left and right at the beginning and the up and down there and were awesome.

Alright, lets hit save, that is the graph editor. Now if you found that extremely complicated because your trainer didn’t explain it very well we’ll look at it a little bit later on to carry on. Don’t worry though, for me it’s probably the toughest bit when you're teaching anybody new is the graph editor. So if you're feeling a bit lost. Don’t worry lots of people do. Alright, lets go into the next video.