After Effects - Animation/Key-framing
         Paul Soultis aka .soulty

This tutorial is now going to continue where the previous page left off.

Adding a filter

  1. Now that we have our animation, lets apply a filter to the layer. Filters in AE are very cool and can be very confusing sometimes, in this tutorial I decided i would not go through the more complicated filter settings but rather show you how to apply and use a filter and let you do some experimenting on your own to see what other filters can do. Most all filters and its settings in AE can be keyframed. They basically work to the same principal as scale, opacity etc.. as you see in a moment. I decided to use a direction blur on this tutorial because the filter is easy to understand and will go with the blur of the rotation of the object. Lets get to it !
  2. Select the image and then go to effect / blur & sharpen / directional blur. Now you will notice that a window will open up with some setting which contains the directional blur. this is known as the effect controls window. To access this window you must first have the Effects control available in the timeline. To get the effect control select the layer and press E on your keyboard, this will bring up any effect that you have applied to the layer. As before if you wish to have the other controls up as well, use shift to bring up scale, opacity, etc.. Now if you ever close the Effects control window, to access it again just double click on the effect in the layer and the window will pop up.
  3. Almost all elements of Filters in AE can be placed globally or can be keyframe, this will make more sense when we apply the filter, so lets do that.

    Now with the effects control visible in the timeline, click on the arrow to expand its options. You will see two controls , Direction, and Blur length. We want the filter direction always to be pointing up and we want to keyframe the blur length to get the effect I'm looking for. To make it easy lets looks at the effect through the Effects control window.

    With the Effects control window available, expand the Direction arrow. This will give us a dial (Photoshop users will recognize this) for this effect we will like to have that pointing up or at 0.0, but we do not want to keyframe this, why you ask?, well if we apply a control effect without Key-framing it , it will be applied globally or applied all the way through the duration of the clip, since the effect is only visible through the amount of blur length we place it doesn't matter if this direction is applied all the way through.


    [ Effects Control Window ]


  4. Now lets put this filter in motion. Go back to your timeline, and move your timeline slider to frame 20 mark. Place your first keyframe here by switching the stop-watch on. I decided to place the keyframe here is because i would like the effect to match the motion blur of the rotation.

    Be sure the motion blur master switch is on if you would like to match the blur a little more precisely.

    [You may want to drop down the preview quality to half or third depending on the speed of your computer, because filters can really be processor intensive.]


    [ Preview Quality Settings ]

    Now move the timeline slider to 1 second mark (30 frames) and change the blur length value to 50.0, then move the slider to 1 second 10 frames or 0:00:01:10, change the blur length value to 100.0 and once more move the slider to the 1 second 20 frame mark and then change the value to 0,0.

    You should now have placed 4 key frames for the filter, Move the RAM range to 1 second 20 and RAM preview the animation. Looks good :)

    Check and compare your timeline with mine so see how you went.
    Check here.

Exporting to a .mov (QuickTime)

  1. The animation is now complete and we now want to render this out. Before we go into the Make movie options we need to make sure of some setting in the timeline are ok before we render.
  2. First we need to make sure that our RAM range covers the whole length of the timeline, move the slider to the 2 second mark. and shift move the RAM range to the slider.

    Next we need to turn on motion blur for our layer. Go to the left of the timeline, where you found the quality (anti-aliased) switch earlier in this tutorial, you will see a M icon and box below it, click that to switch it on.


    [ Motion Blur Switch ]


  3. Now when all that's done, go to Composition / Make Movie, you will be prompted to save at a location, just name it Klogo and click save ( try to keep all your elements in one folder, your image, your AE file, and the rendered movie) Now you will be given a window with a progress bar, a render button and render queue below.

    Click on Current Settings in the render settings, Copy the setting from my screen then ok the settings.

    Now click on Lossless found next to Output Module, Copy the setting from my screen then ok the settings.

  4. That's it click on Render found at the top of this window, and let it render out the animation, when it has completed the rendering a beep will alarm you that its complete, locate the .mov file where you saved to and check out the final result.

    Compare it with my final render.

That's it! Congratulations on completing the Animation/Key-framing After effects tutorial, Now once you have completed this tutorial you should have a better understanding on how to use AE. Go ahead and use the same process for multiple elements in AE, try using vectors instead of imported bitmaps and try using movie files, Practice and have fun creating some great motion graphics!!

If you have any questions about the tutorial or After Effects post them in the Drawing and Design Forum.




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