Focal Easy Guide to After Effects: For New Users and Professionals

Keyframe Animation

I ve said it before, I ll say it again: If it don t move it ain t animation. The whole raison d tre for After Effects existence is to allow you (the designer, editor, animator, or artist) to animate and composite visual elements into one finished creation.

By permission from Merriam-Webster s Online Dictionary. 2004 Merriam-Webster Inc. (

To paraphrase Merriam-Webster s definition:

  • To animate is to bring your images to life.

Keyframes are the direction waypoints the intervals where an instruction change takes place. They can be created by simple mouse drags inside the Comp Window, or as complex mathematically generated expression subroutines referencing multiple layers transforms and effects. For now, we ll be covering the simpler methods of Keyframe creation and adjustment.

Return to the Logo Risen.aep project. Drag into the Timeline (starting at 0:00), dropping it in below layer 8 ( Purple Glow Rise).

Toggle on the Solo for both layers 8 and 9. Select layer 8 and then press the U key call this the UberKey! Why? Because instead of twirling open an entire layer s properties just to see a few properties Keyframes, when pressed once only the properties that have Keyframes applied will open.

When pressed twice in rapid succession, anything that has been altered from a layer s default settings will roll open even if there are no Keyframes applied, the layer s properties just need to be changed in some form. This is a huge