Monday, March 17, 2014

Graphs and Animation Combine, Oh My!

I generally learn tutorials pretty quick, but every once and a while my head gets stuck on something that I have to stare at for at least 20 minutes. After I finally get it, I feel like and idiot but then I just turn around and want some more! Sound familiar?

Today's brain stretching adventure... the graph editor. I did a simple tutorial on how to make a ball bounce. It was good review on keyframing and an introduction to easy ease keyframes, but it also challenged me to work around in the graph editor which is something new to me. The graph editor shows visually the intensity of the effect, whatever that effect might be. Shoot, it doesn't even have to be an effect. It might just be something like position or scale. Regardless, the higher the line goes, the more intense the effect and the lower the line goes, the less intense. That gets a little confusing when the ball I'm animating is going down but on the graph editor, the line is going up! Why do you do this to me After Effects? I was already backwards when I had to learn how to work in Z space but now backwards lines in graphical forms too! My brain is growing so much right now. After Effects I hate you now, but I will love you later... I'm sure of it.  My struggle now will make it easier to relate to the high school students I teach this to eventually ;)

Anyway, straight lines show a constant change in the effect while a curved line shows an accelerated change or decelerated change. Slope also plays a big factor as well. A steep line indicates a fast animation while a gradual line indicates a slow animation. I only animated Y in this bouncing ball thing (the green line above), but I could have also animated X (red flat line, no change). It's amazing how much control you can have with this program. Unfortunately, I have little to no control at this point. After Effects is an animal I'll just have to tame as I move forward. Here's the graph editor and the infamous bouncing ball. 

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