Hi, I'm brand new to AE. I'm trying to get a nice clean zoom out from a collage of photos. I'm using the 3d camera to pull out. It's a slower zoom at the beginning, and then it speeds up. The problem is the jerkiness when it begins to speed up ( when it hits the key frame). How do I ramp smoothly into a quicker pullout? I'm sure there's a simple solution to this, but I'm also open to alternative ways to achieve my desired effect. Thanks!
Think of AE's camera as a real camera and your comp window as a real set. Layout things the way you would lay them out for real using the top and side views and then move the camera. The speed of the move depends on the time and the distance. It works just exactly the same way a real camera in the real world would. It just take a bit of practice to get it to work the way you want it to.
I suggest you try a Google search for Animating After Effects Camera and watch a few videos. There are a bunch of them out there.
In addition to Rick's specific advice about the camera, I recommend that you take a step back and follow an ordered course to learn the basics of After Effects.
Here is a good place to start to learn After Effects: http://adobe.ly/bjBT3P