Week 3 - After Effects Catch Up
Over the summer SCCA offered an Introduction to After Effects class that I was unable to take because of a conflict with my summer internship. I spent this week catching up with the video lessons that Nathan (the instructor) recorded from that class.
The week1 lesson began with a very basic introduction to all the panels in After Effects, and an explanation of keyframes and how to use them. We then did some very basic transformations on some stars with the position and rotation properties, and saw how the position of an object's anchor points affects its behavior when animated.
Week 2 was all about strokes and keyframe velocities. We learned about easing keyframes and built a few short animations of loading bars, loading wheels, and a 'laser light show'.
These stars all have the same keyframes, but different anchor points.
In week two we practiced easing our keyframes.
'Trim Paths' allowed us to animate this 'laser light show'.
Simple animations from weeks1 & 2
In the third week's lesson I dove into the graph editor, and learned about both the value graph and speed graph, manually adjusting velocities and fine tuning some behaviors for a circle that went back and forth across the screen. Nathan introduced the animation concept of overshoot, and we practiced incorporating this into our animations.
We also built a simple app widget animation with customized overshoot movements for both scale and rotation. The lesson ended with a quick introduction to expressions, specifically 'wiggle', which we applied to some stars to create random movements
We practiced the principle of 'overshoot'.
The bottom circle has linear keyframes, while the top circle's keyframes have been eased.
We applied the 'wiggle' expression to one star's position property, then duplicated it many times.
This app widget animation overshoots on both scale and rotation.
Animations from week 3.
Even though I had a little bit of AE experience before this I was really happy with Nathan's teaching style and how basic the introduction was. Up until this point the only lessons I'd seen were YouTube tutorials that I sought out to solve a specific problem, and I can tell that I was really missing some of the basics.
Hopefully I will be able to complete the week 4 AE lesson and begin illustrating my magazine this next week.

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