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Lesson 5. Horror Festival Ad > Using a library to store keyframes

Using a library to store keyframes

When designing complex animations, it can be helpful to create a library of keyframes. For the ghost animation, a library of mask shapes for the ghost's body, and mouth has been saved as a separate project, which you will import into your current project.

  1. Choose File > Import > Project, and then select the 05Lib.aep file in the 05Lesson folder. Click Open.

  2. Since you have changed some files in this project, After Effects displays a message telling you that. Click OK.

    The project appears as a folder in the Project window.


    Figure .


  3. In the Project window, click the triangle next to the 05Lib folder to expand the outline of its contents. Then double-click the Ghost Library composition to open it.

    The Ghost Library composition contains a Ghost Body layer with several Mask Shape keyframes, the GAud.mov layer, and the Mouth layer. The GAud.mov layer displays several markers, which will be covered later in this lesson when you'll use them to prepare the audio layer.

    To finish the ghost body, you will choose a few keyframes to copy into your Ghost composition.

  4. Select the Ghost Body layer in the Ghost Library Time Layout window, press the M key to display the Mask Shape property, and then use the keyframe navigator icons (to the left of the stopwatch icon) to move from keyframe to keyframe while you examine each mask shape. (You can also press the J key to move back one keyframe, or press the K key to move forward one keyframe.)


    Figure .


  5. Shift-click several Mask Shape keyframes with shapes that you prefer, and then choose Edit > Copy.

  6. Click the tab for the Ghost Comp Time Layout to activate the Ghost Comp, set the current time to 4:00, click the mask name Ghost Body, and paste.

  7. Click in an open area of the Time Layout window to deselect all keyframes, and then drag the position of the keyframes so that each of them aligns on a second, for example, 5:00, 6:00 and so on.

  8. Preview the animation by clicking the RAM Preview button in the Time Controls palette, or press the 0 key on your numeric keypad.

  9. When you are finished previewing, click Mask Shape under the Ghost Body mask in the Time Layout window to select all the keyframes for that mask, and then right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) any one of the highlighted keyframes and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease.

    Figure . Easy Ease assigned to keyframes

    The Easy Ease function smooths out the rate of change through the keyframes.

  10. Collapse the layer outlines and save the project. Set the work area, and then preview the composition by pressing the 0 key on your numeric keypad to see the results of the Easy Ease function.


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