Intro to the Graph Editor in After Effects

If you've ever wondered what that "secret sauce" that makes animation look amazing is, this is the place to start. In this tutorial Joey is going to take you through the basics of the graph editor. It may give you a bit of a headache when you first start using it, but once you get the hang of this feature in After Effects you'll see a huge improvement in the way your animations look.

If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we'll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP. 

    00:00:00,522(piano music)
    00:00:10,935(electronic music)
    00:00:19,062- Hey there, Joey here for School of Motion
    00:00:21,156and in this lesson we're gonna
    00:00:22,219take a peek at the Graph Editor in After Effects.
    00:00:25,185I know that the Graph Editor may seem a
    00:00:27,264bit intimidating at first,
    00:00:28,610but if you hang in there through this lesson,
    00:00:30,810you'll be on your way to having
    00:00:32,268better looking animations right away.
    00:00:34,865We can only cover so much in just this one lesson.
    00:00:37,122So, if you really want an in-depth animation training,
    00:00:41,064you're gonna wanna check out our bootcamp animation program.
    00:00:43,870Not only does it entail
    00:00:45,234several weeks of intense animation training,
    00:00:47,871but you also get access to class-only podcasts,
    00:00:51,262PDFs, and critiques on your work from our
    00:00:53,745experienced teaching assistants.
    00:00:56,075Every moment of that course is designed to give you an edge
    00:00:58,881in everything you create as a motion designer.
    00:01:01,483Also, don't forget to sign up for a free student account
    00:01:04,217so you can grab the project files from this lesson
    00:01:06,566as well as assets from any other lesson on the site.
    00:01:09,310And now, let's jump in and check out the Graph Editor.
    00:01:13,377Alright, here we are in After Effects.
    00:01:16,681So, first thing I wanna do is
    00:01:18,675explain a little bit about the way After Effects uses curves
    00:01:23,707and it's, it's a little different than some other programs
    00:01:27,923like Cinema 4D and Nuke and Maya.
    00:01:31,966So what I'm gonna do is just create,
    00:01:34,783I'll just create a new shape, alright?
    00:01:36,741We'll just make a little, a little rectangle here.
    00:01:38,936A little square.
    00:01:39,809Alright?
    00:01:40,892So, if I put a Position keyframe on here, option P,
    00:01:47,411and I go forward one second and I move it over here, right?
    00:01:53,402Let me set my, set my comp right.
    00:01:56,282So let's preview this.
    00:01:57,802Alright, so it moves from point A to point B.
    00:02:01,752Very boring.
    00:02:02,741Doesn't, doesn't feel that good, you know?
    00:02:04,832Feels kinda stiff.
    00:02:06,395So, the first trick that everybody learns
    00:02:08,948is to use one of the, the animation helper kinda presets
    00:02:14,815that come with After Effects.
    00:02:16,697And so, if you select both of these,
    00:02:18,839go up to Animation, keyframe Assistant,
    00:02:22,220you've got Easy Ease In, Out and Easy Ease.
    00:02:26,670And the one most people use is Easy Ease.
    00:02:29,705Alright?
    00:02:30,538And now your keyframes look a little different
    00:02:33,080and when we preview this, you'll see that it,
    00:02:35,690it feels better, right?
    00:02:37,077The, the box sort of slowly starts moving
    00:02:42,376and then it picks up speed and then it
    00:02:43,542slowly decelerates at the end of the move.
    00:02:46,034And this is the way things move in the real world
    00:02:48,176and this is why, you know, when you see animation,
    00:02:53,199you know, you want it to feel similar to this
    00:02:55,280because it just feels more natural to you
    00:02:58,278'cause that's what you're used to seeing.
    00:03:00,517Animation is all about tricking you into
    00:03:02,600thinking things are moving that are not actually moving.
    00:03:05,237And it helps, you know, the illusion if you make things
    00:03:09,511move the way they do in real life.
    00:03:12,678And once you sort of get the hang of that,
    00:03:14,520then you can start breaking the rules
    00:03:15,868and doing really cool things.
    00:03:17,930So for now, we have Easy Ease keyframes.
    00:03:20,440Now, what is actually happening?
    00:03:22,714Like, how is After Effects deciding how fast and how slow
    00:03:27,409and when to speed up the key, the square
    00:03:30,675and basically, how is it setting the timing of this?
    00:03:34,293So, the, the way to understand this
    00:03:36,568is to use this button here,
    00:03:38,783which, is, they're calling the Graph Editor.
    00:03:41,192And it looks like something out of, you know,
    00:03:43,590your algebra homework and maybe that's why people are,
    00:03:46,430are not, you know, really using it a lot,
    00:03:48,970or not as much as they should
    00:03:51,316because it's just a little silly.
    00:03:53,043I mean, look at these cute icons,
    00:03:54,675and then you have this one and it's just really boring.
    00:03:57,449So, what I'm gonna do is click this,
    00:04:01,031and you'll see now we have this graph.
    00:04:02,433And now if I click on position,
    00:04:04,225it will show me what my position keyframes are doing.
    00:04:10,285Alright?
    00:04:11,368I'm gonna show you guys a really handy little button,
    00:04:13,684it's this one down here.
    00:04:16,222Fit all graphs to view.
    00:04:17,429If you click that, it will scale your view to
    00:04:20,399just fit the graph you're looking at.
    00:04:22,011It's very helpful.
    00:04:23,369So, right now, you see this
    00:04:25,945green line down here is totally flat.
    00:04:28,158That is the X position.
    00:04:31,135Sorry, the Y position, okay?
    00:04:33,537And if I float my mouse over it, it'll tell you.
    00:04:36,327Position Y.
    00:04:37,709And that's flat because this cube, this square
    00:04:40,835is not moving up and down at all.
    00:04:42,321It's only moving left to right.
    00:04:45,550So, this curve here, this is the X position.
    00:04:48,883And if you, you know, if you try to visualize this as
    00:04:53,039we're moving left to right through time
    00:04:56,028and at the same time this curve is going, you now,
    00:04:59,939from low to high, and that low to high motion
    00:05:04,005is, is the same as moving left to right.
    00:05:06,009When you, when you increase the X value,
    00:05:09,176you're moving something to the right.
    00:05:10,735So that's why it's going up.
    00:05:12,954And you can see now that it's got a curve to it.
    00:05:16,192And the way that you need to think about this,
    00:05:18,801and it will take a little while
    00:05:19,810but, you'll start to see it.
    00:05:22,438The steepness of this curve
    00:05:25,630tells you how fast something's going.
    00:05:27,529So, if this curve is flat
    00:05:29,910like it is at the beginning and the end,
    00:05:31,510that means it's moving slowly,
    00:05:32,838and if it's totally flat, it's not moving at all.
    00:05:35,607So it's actually starting from a standstill
    00:05:38,266and then it's slowly picking up speed
    00:05:40,721and it, and in the middle here is where it's the fastest
    00:05:43,384and you can see that's where that
    00:05:44,753curve is the steepest, okay?
    00:05:47,759So, this is what's telling After Effects
    00:05:51,088start slow, right about here it picks up speed
    00:05:54,308and it stays fast 'til about here
    00:05:57,699and then it slows down again.
    00:05:59,671Now, you can change that, and that's the beauty.
    00:06:02,273You can make it do things differently.
    00:06:05,433Now, the problem is, by default,
    00:06:06,266After Effects puts X, Y
    00:06:10,515and if you're in 3D mode,
    00:06:12,027it puts a Z value all inside of one keyframe.
    00:06:15,509And what this means is if I select this,
    00:06:17,578I can't actually manipulate this curve at all
    00:06:21,483because this keyframe actually has two values inside.
    00:06:26,894And I'm gonna show you guys how to fix that
    00:06:29,112but in the meantime I also wanna show you the
    00:06:32,178other Graph Editor that's inside of After Effects.
    00:06:35,491And this is the, the sort of, legacy one, the old one
    00:06:39,550that was in older versions of After Effects.
    00:06:41,341And they still include it just in case you wanna use it
    00:06:44,879and I'm gonna show you how it works.
    00:06:46,310It's a lot less intuitive.
    00:06:47,896If you come down and click this little button
    00:06:50,414next to the eyeball and say edit speed graph,
    00:06:54,257now you have a totally different looking graph, okay?
    00:06:57,690This graph is telling you, and it's kind of hard to,
    00:07:02,117it's kind of hard to explain even,
    00:07:03,589but it's basically telling you how
    00:07:04,910fast that layer is moving.
    00:07:07,044Alright?
    00:07:07,997And so, the, the steepness has nothing to do with
    00:07:12,386how fast it's going.
    00:07:13,782The actual value, you know, at this point
    00:07:17,632is how fast it's going.
    00:07:18,738So it's starting at zero and it's picking up speed
    00:07:23,056and then it's, you know, hitting its maximum speed here
    00:07:25,441and then it's slowing back down again.
    00:07:27,837So, you actually can edit these curves.
    00:07:31,876If you select a keyframe, you get these little handles
    00:07:34,453and you can pull them, alright?
    00:07:36,794And that's changing the shape of the curve.
    00:07:39,393And just to show you what that does,
    00:07:40,894if I pull this to the right, okay,
    00:07:44,482what's happening is it's increasing that speed
    00:07:47,172at a slower rate, right?
    00:07:50,113And if I pull this one, now it's
    00:07:51,688decelerating at a slower rate.
    00:07:54,648So when I play this, you can see what it's doing.
    00:07:58,248It really takes awhile to pick up speed
    00:08:01,111and then when it does it shoots over really quickly, okay?
    00:08:04,953So this is kinda the shortcut.
    00:08:07,625If this is the animation you want
    00:08:09,082you can use the speed graph and do it.
    00:08:12,825Most of the time I try not to use it
    00:08:15,074because this doesn't tell me a lot.
    00:08:17,469This is, like, hard to look at
    00:08:19,740and I, you know, don't like, it offends me
    00:08:22,477and so I usually use the value graph.
    00:08:24,376This makes a lot more sense.
    00:08:25,520Now you can see visually, we're going
    00:08:27,563slow, slow, slow, slow, boom, really fast right there
    00:08:31,531and then we slow down again, alright?
    00:08:33,779So, let me undo all this.
    00:08:36,534So the way to use the value graph to
    00:08:39,597change the speed of things is to
    00:08:43,611right-click or control-click
    00:08:46,179on your keyframe for position or for the property
    00:08:50,162and you'll see this option here, separate dimensions.
    00:08:53,213So we'll click that and now we have X position
    00:08:56,335and Y position separated out.
    00:08:58,779So the Y position we can actually turn off
    00:09:00,698'cause this is not moving on Y at all.
    00:09:03,034And X position now, we have a curve
    00:09:05,805and it messed up our Easy Ease
    00:09:08,684but that's okay 'cause we're gonna change this curve.
    00:09:11,624So now because the X position is on it's own curve,
    00:09:15,132we can change this, alright?
    00:09:17,240So the way animations curve work, you know,
    00:09:19,822I explained that the steepness is how fast it's going.
    00:09:23,117So if I pull this handle down like this,
    00:09:27,093and if you hold shift it will sorta lock it to, you know,
    00:09:30,567to straight, straight out.
    00:09:33,905If I go like this, what I'm doing is I'm saying to,
    00:09:37,233I'm telling After Effects we're gonna go really slow,
    00:09:40,929we're gonna accelerate very slowly, okay?
    00:09:43,286And if I pull this up, this, it's the opposite.
    00:09:47,928It's saying immediately start moving quickly
    00:09:50,331and then slow down, alright?
    00:09:52,651And you can bend this curve as well
    00:09:56,001so you can get completely different animations.
    00:09:58,340So what's happening if I do a curve like this, okay,
    00:10:01,990sort of an inverted curve?
    00:10:03,609So this is telling it move very fast right off the bat
    00:10:07,722and then slow way down and if you see, you know,
    00:10:10,937imagine here's your starting point,
    00:10:13,141here's your ending point,
    00:10:13,974imagine cutting that in half, okay?
    00:10:16,342The first half of the animation,
    00:10:18,584or sorry, the second half of the animation
    00:10:20,837almost nothing happens, right, if you imagine a line here.
    00:10:24,930From here to here it's almost flat.
    00:10:27,812From here to here there's a lot going on.
    00:10:30,048Really, most of the movement is happening
    00:10:32,239in the first, probably, third of the animation.
    00:10:36,082So let's go ahead and preview that.
    00:10:38,026Alright, and you can see it just pops out
    00:10:39,717and then slows way down which can be kinda cool.
    00:10:44,614You know, if we, if this cube,
    00:10:48,722sorry I keep calling it a cube, it's not a cube.
    00:10:51,571If this square started off screen,
    00:10:54,107and we may need to, we may need to stretch that
    00:10:57,151keyframe out a little bit now.
    00:10:58,608By the way, the way I just did that, very handy key,
    00:11:01,601hot key, is just the plus and minus key
    00:11:05,374on that top number row, the top, sort of,
    00:11:07,718row on your keyboard.
    00:11:09,372Minus zooms out, plus zooms in.
    00:11:11,757It's just a nice way to do it.
    00:11:13,529So if you have somethin' like that, you know,
    00:11:16,463you're trying to introduce some object into your screen,
    00:11:20,036this is maybe a cool way to do it.
    00:11:21,360You can, you can really fire that thing in there quickly
    00:11:25,291and get a fun little kind of effect like that.
    00:11:27,867And you can really, really crank this too if you want to,
    00:11:32,339you know, so that it, it's just,
    00:11:34,265it's almost all the way there, like, instantly.
    00:11:36,616Like, pew, just like that.
    00:11:39,041Alright, so now what's a different type of curve?
    00:11:40,786Well, if we do sort of your typical S curve, like this,
    00:11:45,846but we're really, we're really pulling these handles out
    00:11:49,012very far, so what's happening is it slowly comes in
    00:11:52,071and then flings itself over and kinda decelerates, alright?
    00:11:57,178And then you could also have, you know,
    00:12:00,725the opposite of the first curve
    00:12:02,201where it slowly picks up speed
    00:12:04,440and then it just stops very quickly, okay?
    00:12:08,921And I don't know, maybe, maybe you want that,
    00:12:11,552maybe it's some sort of jerky kind of
    00:12:13,468experimental thing you're doing and that's what you want.
    00:12:15,573But the key is you'll start to just intuitively know
    00:12:19,397how to shape these things once you do this a few times.
    00:12:22,929And I know if you've never seen this before
    00:12:24,437this may look funky to you
    00:12:26,004but I promise you if you
    00:12:27,713start getting into this Graph Editor
    00:12:30,379and just think of it as an animation curve editor,
    00:12:33,190don't call it the Graph Editor,
    00:12:35,546but it, you know, you'll start to just intuitively know
    00:12:39,118where to pull these things and you'll get a sense of,
    00:12:42,861you know, having a little bit more
    00:12:44,524control over your animation, you know?
    00:12:46,170Now it's kind of really slowly picking up speed,
    00:12:49,486it gets quickly here and then it decelerates,
    00:12:51,692but much, much shorter, you know, over a much shorter time
    00:12:55,781than the beginning, alright?
    00:12:57,296So you have a lot of control that way.
    00:12:59,582So, now I'm gonna show you guys the other great thing
    00:13:02,362about the, the animation curves.
    00:13:06,338So, in the example video that, that I made for this,
    00:13:11,928I just wanted to make something
    00:13:13,144really simple to show you guys
    00:13:14,505and one of the basic things that you would learn
    00:13:18,591in an animation program is how to make a bouncing animation
    00:13:24,152because that's sort of a good example
    00:13:26,982of something that really requires, you know,
    00:13:30,304using some of the principles of animation
    00:13:32,644to make it look right and, and requires using
    00:13:36,880the animation curves to get it to feel like a real bounce.
    00:13:41,306So, the way that I started this was I just, you know,
    00:13:46,959basically said okay, well this box
    00:13:48,965is going to land here and it's gonna
    00:13:51,497drop from off screen, okay?
    00:13:53,143So how many frames should it take
    00:13:55,421to get from here to here?
    00:13:57,563Well I don't really know.
    00:14:00,116I had to kind of experiment and play around
    00:14:02,012until it felt right.
    00:14:03,993But let's just say, let's just try this,
    00:14:06,522let's try 20 frames, alright?
    00:14:08,050That might be too much.
    00:14:08,920So I'm gonna put a position keyframe here
    00:14:12,089and you can see I've already separated out
    00:14:14,286the, the dimensions on the position
    00:14:17,303so I have my X and Y separate
    00:14:18,945and I'm gonna turn X off 'cause I'm not
    00:14:20,797using that right now.
    00:14:22,470Alright so I have the Y position.
    00:14:24,566I'm gonna add another keyframe at the beginning.
    00:14:30,014Okay, so now it's offscreen.
    00:14:32,336Alright, and if we play that that's really,
    00:14:34,665that's way too slow, that's not what we want at all, right?
    00:14:37,042Of course.
    00:14:38,885Now think about what happens when something falls.
    00:14:43,465It's accelerating all the way down to the ground, you know?
    00:14:47,453Things get faster and faster and faster
    00:14:49,109until they hit something, and then,
    00:14:51,868then the direction reverses
    00:14:53,558and now they're going up in the air, alright?
    00:14:55,547And so, you, you gotta kind of think about
    00:14:57,879how things actually work in real life sometimes.
    00:15:00,324I'm gonna go into the,
    00:15:03,801the animation curve editor for this, alright?
    00:15:05,879And you can see right now it's linear
    00:15:07,911which is not what we want.
    00:15:09,836What I want is, I want it to start slow and get faster
    00:15:14,361so I'm actually sort of
    00:15:15,667drawing the curve I want with my mouse,
    00:15:17,123I don't know if that helps you guys.
    00:15:19,306I'm gonna select both keyframes
    00:15:22,464and these little icons over here,
    00:15:25,684these are actually shortcuts to make
    00:15:27,721Easy Ease, Ease In and Ease Out keyframes.
    00:15:31,889So I'm just gonna hit Easy Ease
    00:15:33,664and it'll give me this nice S curve.
    00:15:36,003So this, this first keyframe, this is actually
    00:15:39,033pretty close to what I want.
    00:15:40,538But I want it to, you know,
    00:15:42,192I want this to feel a little bit cartoony
    00:15:44,542so I'm gonna pull this out a little bit further.
    00:15:46,521Now, this is not going to ease into the ground.
    00:15:50,104It's not like there's a parachute
    00:15:51,418on this little orange square.
    00:15:53,296It's going to hit the ground
    00:15:55,566and just come to a dead stop basically.
    00:15:57,519Alright?
    00:15:58,352And that's, that's what happens when things hit the ground
    00:15:59,981so if we preview this really quickly, okay,
    00:16:05,947you can see it doesn't quite feel natural yet.
    00:16:08,556It feels a little slow maybe.
    00:16:10,398So I'm gonna, I'm gonna click
    00:16:12,673and just drag this over and I'm gonna have this
    00:16:16,383not accelerate so slowly.
    00:16:20,063I'm just gonna kind of mess with this curve a little bit.
    00:16:26,380Alright, and, you know, it's trial and error.
    00:16:28,144I'm not, I'm not a super advanced animator by any stretch
    00:16:33,679but, you know, usually I can play around with it
    00:16:36,179until it starts to feel good.
    00:16:38,175Alright, so that's starting to feel pretty good.
    00:16:40,087It kinda lingers and then falls, okay?
    00:16:43,583It's almost like it fell of a table
    00:16:44,969that's just offscreen.
    00:16:46,515Alright, so what happens next?
    00:16:47,667Now it's going to bounce up somewhere, you know,
    00:16:52,132and a good rule of thumb if you're, if you're
    00:16:54,407doin' something like this is
    00:16:55,686just make it bounce up
    00:16:57,192half the height it fell from, alright?
    00:16:59,391And then next time it bounces, you know,
    00:17:02,711half that height.
    00:17:03,811And then, you know, it'll sort of decay
    00:17:06,347and you can also do that with your keyframes.
    00:17:08,460So we're at frame 17, that's how long it took to fall.
    00:17:12,042So, you know, let's just, for easy math
    00:17:15,550let's say 16 frames.
    00:17:17,224So how many frames should it go up?
    00:17:20,727Well half of 16 would be eight frames.
    00:17:23,954So why don't we do eight frames.
    00:17:26,150So from 17 that would be, let's see,
    00:17:30,415'cause we're in 24, so that'd actually be
    00:17:34,563one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, alright?
    00:17:38,960And I'm gonna add a couple of extra frames
    00:17:40,872because I do want it to kind of
    00:17:43,049have a little bit of that cartoony feel to it
    00:17:46,486almost like it sticks to the floor
    00:17:47,790and then flings itself back up
    00:17:49,373and hangs a little bit longer than it should.
    00:17:53,272So I want this cube to now come up here.
    00:17:58,565Maybe about to there.
    00:17:59,636And you can see that as I did that
    00:18:01,319it actually added a point on my curve, alright?
    00:18:04,197Now, it starts here, it falls and hits,
    00:18:08,771when it hits it's not gonna
    00:18:10,975bounce immediately back up like that, okay?
    00:18:14,727But it's also not gonna slowly accelerate like this,
    00:18:17,522it's gonna be somewhere in the middle, right?
    00:18:19,943Because, and this also depends if you're trying to make
    00:18:23,229the ball feel like, like a rubber ball
    00:18:26,592or like a pool ball, you know,
    00:18:28,017like a billiards ball.
    00:18:29,619You know, the material it's made of
    00:18:31,212is gonna affect that too.
    00:18:32,571So we're pretending this is some really
    00:18:34,875flexible bouncy material,
    00:18:37,660so I do want it to accelerate up
    00:18:41,372and then when it gets to the top,
    00:18:43,326it's gonna decelerate and hang there for a second, alright?
    00:18:47,080So what I did was I basically made an S curve
    00:18:50,599but then I'm gonna bend this down just a little bit, okay?
    00:18:54,567So that when it hits it
    00:18:56,378bounces up right away but slower, you know?
    00:19:00,184So let's preview that real quick.
    00:19:02,980Okay?
    00:19:04,375Now that feels way too slow how it comes out of that, okay?
    00:19:09,369So I am actually gonna just
    00:19:10,556shorten this and lengthen that, okay?
    00:19:17,262It's gettin' better.
    00:19:19,696And the whole thing feels a little slow
    00:19:21,389so I'm actually just gonna compress this a little bit.
    00:19:30,955Okay.
    00:19:32,026And you can see, you're probably starting to see
    00:19:34,344the benefit of animating this way.
    00:19:37,215This actually, in a visual way,
    00:19:40,060represents what this square is doing.
    00:19:43,668I almost called it a cube again.
    00:19:45,984Alright, so now, it's gonna fall down
    00:19:49,397and when it's falling it's probably gonna take
    00:19:51,842the same amount of frames as when it went up, okay?
    00:19:54,458So, this was frame 14 to 22, that's eight frames.
    00:20:00,339So go another eight frames and it's gonna come back to here.
    00:20:03,984And all I did was select this and hit copy, paste.
    00:20:07,169Alright, and the motion, it's basically gonna mirror
    00:20:11,355what's happening here except it will not
    00:20:14,215ease into the ground, right?
    00:20:16,324It's just gonna slam into it.
    00:20:20,227So if we play this, right,
    00:20:23,416it's startin' to feel like a bounce.
    00:20:27,962Alright, and this curve is telling you what's happening.
    00:20:31,120Slams into the ground, eases out, stops,
    00:20:34,848eases down and then slams into the ground again.
    00:20:38,032Alright?
    00:20:38,865So now we're gonna go four frames, alright?
    00:20:42,868And you can see where this keyframe was
    00:20:44,833that we just had the square at
    00:20:46,809and I'm gonna go halfway to that keyframe, okay?
    00:20:51,775And basically all we have to do now
    00:20:53,724is make the next curve look
    00:20:55,353just like this one, just smaller.
    00:20:57,433Alright, so if I look at the angle of that
    00:21:00,304I can just sort of mimic that, pull this out,
    00:21:03,922go forward four frames, copy and paste this,
    00:21:10,646and actually maybe I'll copy and paste...
    00:21:15,522No I will copy, I'll copy and paste this one.
    00:21:18,092And you can see it actually, it sort of maintained
    00:21:23,494the angle of this little handle.
    00:21:26,592So it sort of, once you set a curve here,
    00:21:29,617you know you set your Bezier handles
    00:21:30,911for what the curve is gonna do on the,
    00:21:32,909on the incoming and the outgoing side.
    00:21:36,226You can copy and paste those
    00:21:37,516and it'll maintain that for you.
    00:21:40,637Alright, so let's see how our bounce is doin'.
    00:21:44,318Alright, it's feelin' pretty good so far.
    00:21:46,602And what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna have it
    00:21:48,710bounce a couple more times and then we're gonna
    00:21:51,421tweak the curve overall.
    00:21:53,057I'm gonna show you guys how to do that, alright?
    00:21:54,950So, that was four frames,
    00:21:56,740so now why don't we do three frames.
    00:22:01,382Just because.
    00:22:02,317So it's gonna come up about half way.
    00:22:08,500Alright, and then we'll copy this.
    00:22:14,728And I'm just tryin' to make each curve
    00:22:16,095a little miniature version of the preceding curve, you know,
    00:22:19,597and you can kinda see the shape of it.
    00:22:24,853Alright, one more bounce, two frames.
    00:22:28,758Just go halfway.
    00:22:34,826Alright, and this last bounce, I mean, it's so quick
    00:22:37,723that I don't need to mess with the curves too much.
    00:22:43,609Okay?
    00:22:44,442So now we've got a decent, it's not amazing,
    00:22:48,782but it's a decent bounce animation, right?
    00:22:51,743And the speed of it feels appropriate.
    00:22:55,812You know, and you could sit here and tweak this for another
    00:22:58,44010 minutes and probably get it better
    00:22:59,629but the next thing I wanna show you is, you know,
    00:23:01,867how do we make it even more exaggerated,
    00:23:04,925even more cartoony.
    00:23:06,772Alright.
    00:23:07,934So we've got this nice curve here
    00:23:10,970and what we can basically do is just, you know,
    00:23:15,001we can scale our keyframes so we can make this
    00:23:17,033take a little longer but then actually, you know,
    00:23:20,694compress the curves so that there's more action
    00:23:23,962sort of in between the acceleration and the deceleration.
    00:23:28,830So, if you guys don't know,
    00:23:30,724the way to scale keyframes in After Effects,
    00:23:33,448you have to select all the keyframes you wanna scale,
    00:23:35,994and you, and you hold option.
    00:23:38,867And on a PC I'm assuming option is ALT maybe, or Control.
    00:23:44,779So if you, you click either the first or last keyframe,
    00:23:50,097you can't select any of the ones in the middle,
    00:23:51,547it won't work.
    00:23:52,473So if I hold option and click and drag
    00:23:54,247you see how it scales them all, right?
    00:23:57,387So I'm gonna scale them just a little bit longer.
    00:24:00,930Okay, just a few frames.
    00:24:02,475Go back into my curves.
    00:24:03,889Now what I want to happen is I want,
    00:24:07,001let's just play this really quickly.
    00:24:10,406Okay?
    00:24:11,239I want the square to hang a little bit longer
    00:24:16,785at the top of each bounce
    00:24:19,061and at the top, at the beginning, okay?
    00:24:21,770Almost like a, like a cartoon,
    00:24:23,244like when, you know, Wiley Coyote hangs in midair
    00:24:26,739for a little bit longer than he should.
    00:24:29,958So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select
    00:24:32,181all of the keyframes which represent the top of the bounce
    00:24:37,554and then at the same time I can just
    00:24:39,792pull all of their handles so I can stretch those out.
    00:24:43,391And I can stretch 'em out on both sides
    00:24:44,643and you can see that when they're all selected
    00:24:46,704they all respond the same way.
    00:24:49,025Alright, so now let's play that.
    00:24:53,814Cool, so now it's a lot more cartoony
    00:24:56,395and, you know, there's a lot more goin' on.
    00:24:58,572Now, you're probably noticing this
    00:25:00,913doesn't feel exactly right
    00:25:03,907and that's also because when you're
    00:25:05,673doing something like this,
    00:25:08,178generally it's good to use what's called squash and stretch.
    00:25:12,919If you've never heard of that,
    00:25:13,776you can Google it and it will, it will be explained to you.
    00:25:16,260There's a million websites that will explain what this is.
    00:25:18,884And in After Effects, the way that you would do that
    00:25:21,397is you would just animate the scale of this square.
    00:25:26,092I don't wanna spend too much time on this tutorial,
    00:25:28,782so I'm not gonna do that,
    00:25:29,953maybe that's one for another day.
    00:25:32,032But I wanna show you how you can, you know,
    00:25:35,074you can add to this a little bit
    00:25:37,835by creating those little waves that were in the video.
    00:25:42,183Sort of those impact waves that came out.
    00:25:44,343Because using animation curves,
    00:25:46,025it's not just for position,
    00:25:47,702you can use 'em for anything.
    00:25:50,863So the way that I made,
    00:25:53,130and actually let me pull this up and show you guys
    00:25:55,741the way I made these little, these little radiating lines
    00:25:59,622that came out, you know?
    00:26:02,581So, the way I did that was I made a new comp
    00:26:07,612and I called it wave and I added a shape layer.
    00:26:13,200And I wanted, I wanted a square so that it would
    00:26:15,808match the shape of the square that's bouncing.
    00:26:19,345So let's just name this Wave01.
    00:26:22,791Alright, and so right now I need to
    00:26:26,041dive into the contents of this shape layer.
    00:26:28,642Go into the rectangle path and I wanna
    00:26:30,233make this path match the size of my square.
    00:26:36,593Alright.
    00:26:37,426And then I want to delete the fill
    00:26:41,064so I only have a stroke.
    00:26:43,945And let's just change that stroke to two pixels
    00:26:46,411and let's make it black so we can see it a little better.
    00:26:48,767Alright?
    00:26:49,600So this is what I had.
    00:26:50,677And what I wanted was as soon as that square hits,
    00:26:56,182I want sort of a radiating square to pop out of it
    00:27:00,826like an impact wave but I also wanted it to kinda
    00:27:03,066draw and do some cool stuff.
    00:27:04,641So, the first thing I wanted was the size to get bigger.
    00:27:08,863So what I did was I put a keyframe here
    00:27:12,513and I went forward one second and I made it grow pretty big.
    00:27:17,454Alright?
    00:27:18,287And if we ran preview that, that's really boring.
    00:27:21,005Of course, right?
    00:27:23,239So, now we know how to make it feel better.
    00:27:27,703We can add, and by the way,
    00:27:29,476the hot key to add Easy Ease is F9.
    00:27:32,653You should memorize that.
    00:27:34,103It's just a good place to start
    00:27:35,756before you go into the curve editor
    00:27:37,154so I always make my keyframes Easy Ease,
    00:27:39,606then I go into the curve editor
    00:27:42,240and I'm gonna click this button.
    00:27:45,768Alright.
    00:27:46,601So now I have this nice S curve.
    00:27:49,016Now, when that square hits the ground,
    00:27:52,050I want those things to shoot out
    00:27:53,933and then slow down, alright?
    00:27:56,498So, right now, you can see it's slowly accelerating
    00:28:00,140and that's not what we want.
    00:28:01,114We want it to shoot out.
    00:28:02,420So I'm going to invert this curve like this, okay?
    00:28:06,226And then I want it to really slow down at the end.
    00:28:08,331So now let's play that.
    00:28:10,014Okay?
    00:28:10,847Now it feels a little bit more like a pop, you know?
    00:28:12,677Like a explosion or somethin', alright?
    00:28:15,387So that's a good start.
    00:28:17,430So then the next thing I wanted to do was
    00:28:18,896have the, I didn't want the entire square drawn on,
    00:28:22,368I just wanted a piece of it
    00:28:24,158and I kinda wanted it animating a little bit.
    00:28:26,895So I'm gonna show you guys a trick that I like to do
    00:28:30,594and I've done this in a lot of projects
    00:28:32,540and you can get some cool effects with it.
    00:28:35,283What you do is you add a Trim Paths effector,
    00:28:39,496I'm not sure what these are called
    00:28:40,513but you add a Trim Paths to this.
    00:28:44,078And then you open it up and what Trim Paths does
    00:28:46,839is it let's you determine the start and end of the path
    00:28:52,205that's actually gonna be drawn.
    00:28:53,744So instead of drawing this entire square,
    00:28:56,173I can set this to, I don't know, let's say 30,
    00:28:59,872and it only draws a little piece of it, alright?
    00:29:02,132And I kinda want more than that.
    00:29:03,391So let's set it, let's set it to 50, alright?
    00:29:06,037So it draws 50% of the square
    00:29:08,076and then you can use this offset,
    00:29:10,219and I know it's a little tricky to see
    00:29:11,539with the, with the handles on here
    00:29:14,796but now you can see that, you know,
    00:29:17,611I can basically make the little,
    00:29:19,625the Snake game that used to show up on your Nokia phone.
    00:29:23,450So I'm gonna, what I'm gonna do is keyframe that
    00:29:29,667and I want, I basically want it to
    00:29:32,941rotate as the square's growing,
    00:29:38,593so I'm gonna have it rotate,
    00:29:40,508let's say, 90 degrees.
    00:29:45,881Cool, okay.
    00:29:47,611So now if I play this, you know,
    00:29:51,004the scale feels good but that move doesn't feel good.
    00:29:53,964I want that move to feel the same as the scale
    00:29:57,780so I'm gonna select the keyframes, I'm gonna hit F9,
    00:30:01,695I'm gonna go in a Graph Editor
    00:30:03,744and I'm going to make this curve look
    00:30:05,393exactly the same as the other one.
    00:30:07,911And if, it doesn't have to be exactly the same,
    00:30:10,325but if you wanted it to be exactly the same,
    00:30:12,376you can actually select multiple properties
    00:30:15,732and see their curves together.
    00:30:17,694So I can kind of visually check
    00:30:20,045and make sure that my curves are actually looking the same.
    00:30:24,050Alright, so now you get this kind of interesting effect.
    00:30:28,404And, maybe as a little bonus, I'm gonna,
    00:30:30,988I'm actually gonna make this animate a little differently
    00:30:33,616than the one I showed you guys at the
    00:30:35,262beginning of the video.
    00:30:37,620As it offsets, I'm gonna have it actually draw off too.
    00:30:42,649So, I'm gonna, by the way, another hotkey,
    00:30:47,356if you hit U, you may know, it brings up the,
    00:30:51,602the properties on that layer that have keyframes.
    00:30:54,627If you hit U twice, it brings up
    00:30:56,929anything that has been changed
    00:30:59,898which is great when you're working with shape layers
    00:31:01,903because if you've added things
    00:31:03,580or if you've tweaked anything, it'll just show you that.
    00:31:06,299So I want another option in Trim Paths,
    00:31:11,248which is the, the start, right?
    00:31:13,885So you can see I can, I can animate the start
    00:31:16,026and if I animate it to match the end,
    00:31:18,816then the shape goes away.
    00:31:20,418So, let's put a keyframe at the beginning,
    00:31:23,310go forward one second, set the start to 50
    00:31:26,082so it matches the ending, alright?
    00:31:30,023Hit F9.
    00:31:31,381Go into the Graph Editor.
    00:31:33,148Pull this up.
    00:31:37,185This is like old hat to you guys by now.
    00:31:40,242Alright, so now you get this interesting,
    00:31:44,390this interesting animation, right?
    00:31:46,053This kinda funky lookin' thing.
    00:31:48,089And by itself it's not much,
    00:31:49,447it definitely doesn't look like a,
    00:31:50,743like an impact wave or something.
    00:31:52,696But if I, let me scale this layer up a little bit.
    00:31:58,176Alright.
    00:31:59,009I'm gonna scale it up to 200%.
    00:32:00,933That's too big, maybe 150.
    00:32:03,795Alright.
    00:32:04,628If I duplicate this and I scale it's copy down
    00:32:09,818100, you know, 10% less,
    00:32:12,501and then I'm gonna offset it a couple of frames.
    00:32:16,163So I'm gonna hold Option and I'm gonna hit Page Down twice
    00:32:19,601and it's gonna slide that two, two frames.
    00:32:22,662And then I'm also gonna rotate it 90 degrees.
    00:32:26,361Alright, so now I get this cool kind of cascading thing.
    00:32:30,046And I'm gonna do that a few more times.
    00:32:34,277So scale this to 130.
    00:32:37,166Rotate this 180 degrees.
    00:32:47,229Alright, and what do we have now?
    00:32:49,188Now we have somethin' kinda interesting.
    00:32:51,221I actually like this a lot better than the,
    00:32:53,787than the one that was on the clip I showed you guys.
    00:32:57,189So yeah, so you get this kinda interesting impact wave thing
    00:33:00,652and then I just brought that in
    00:33:04,827and I just lined it up.
    00:33:08,901Let me scale this down a little bit.
    00:33:19,971Yeah, and that's basically it.
    00:33:20,804And then I colorized it, you know,
    00:33:22,201I used a fill effect to colorize it.
    00:33:24,063And I had the, you know, I had the square change color
    00:33:28,698every time it landed and some other things.
    00:33:32,011But basically that's all I did.
    00:33:33,236So I'm gonna duplicate the wave
    00:33:36,538and every time it lands I'm gonna add another one.
    00:33:42,110And here's another keyframe for you guys.
    00:33:44,242So, I'm hitting Command D to duplicate the layer
    00:33:47,364and then I'm hitting the left bracket.
    00:33:50,072And what that does is it brings whatever layer is selected,
    00:33:53,404it brings the head of it to wherever your play head is,
    00:33:57,560this, this red line, right?
    00:34:01,234And then at the end there's one more.
    00:34:06,454Alright, so now you can see that, you know,
    00:34:10,315it starts to get a little crazy at the end.
    00:34:12,213So what I did was actually take each wave,
    00:34:17,614the whole pre-comp of that wave and rotate it 90 degrees.
    00:34:22,004180, 270, and then I'll rotate this first one negative 90.
    00:34:30,392So now you actually get kinda
    00:34:32,309slightly different waves each time.
    00:34:35,273So when you have multiple ones playing,
    00:34:39,366you know, they don't overlap as much, you know?
    00:34:42,665And now I'm, now I'm starting to critique this
    00:34:46,644and I'm thinkin' that maybe two frames apart isn't enough.
    00:34:49,460Maybe you need like three or four frames
    00:34:51,359and maybe they should be a little random.
    00:34:55,643Now let's play that.
    00:34:58,757Yeah, it needs a little work.
    00:35:00,287What are you gonna do.
    00:35:01,278Anyway, so I hope that now you guys understand the,
    00:35:07,267the animation curve editor a little bit better
    00:35:09,116in After Effects.
    00:35:10,766And I really, really want you guys to
    00:35:13,621get in there and use that thing
    00:35:15,089because, you know, I've seen a lot of people
    00:35:18,580do things like this, which makes me crazy,
    00:35:21,775where they're animating something and they say,
    00:35:25,124"Okay, I want, I want this cube to be here in a second
    00:35:31,848"but I want it to be almost all the way there by 12 frames."
    00:35:35,769So they go to frame 12 and they just do this,
    00:35:38,924and they, now they have three keyframes.
    00:35:41,669And why?
    00:35:42,502You don't need three keyframes,
    00:35:43,335all you need is two.
    00:35:44,853You wanna have the least amount of keyframes
    00:35:47,346humanly possible when you're doing motion graphics,
    00:35:50,279that is, that is a good rule.
    00:35:52,917Because inevitably when you're doing stuff professionally,
    00:35:56,760it's all gonna change, and if you have two keyframes
    00:35:59,377versus four keyframes it will take you half the time.
    00:36:03,202So, get in there, use the animation curve editor,
    00:36:06,714make your animations feel good and, you know,
    00:36:09,631and just remember that, you know,
    00:36:11,402when you animate this way you can
    00:36:12,821actually see your animation.
    00:36:14,784If you're doing a bounce, you can actually see the bounce
    00:36:18,078and, and after awhile you'll, you know,
    00:36:21,967in a year, if you guys do this,
    00:36:24,415you could look at this and tell me what's happening
    00:36:26,171without actually seeing the animation.
    00:36:28,320And you'll have a common language
    00:36:30,057when you're talking to other animators
    00:36:31,622and when you're, you know,
    00:36:33,280if you ever get to a position where you're
    00:36:34,918supervising somebody and you see that their
    00:36:37,770animation doesn't feel right,
    00:36:39,309you can tell them, "Go into that curve editor and,"
    00:36:40,142you know, you know, "Pull those handles out
    00:36:44,862"and make that deceleration a lot longer," you know?
    00:36:48,070And maybe they won't know what you're talkin' about
    00:36:49,968but you can show them and impress your friends.
    00:36:52,858So I hope this was helpful.
    00:36:54,645Thank you guys as always for watching.
    00:36:57,160Schoolofmotion.com, I will see you guys later.
    00:36:59,840Thank you so much for watching.
    00:37:01,312I hope this lesson gave you some insight into
    00:37:03,525how the Graph Editor in After Effects
    00:37:05,533can be used to make your animations look better.
    00:37:08,286We only had enough time in this lesson
    00:37:09,932to scratch the surface of what knowing the
    00:37:12,092Graph Editor can do for your work.
    00:37:13,991If you want to know more about using this
    00:37:16,439incredibly powerful tool, make sure you check out our
    00:37:19,138Animation Bootcamp Program.
    00:37:20,856Anyway, thanks again, and I'll see you next time.