18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2015 10:24 PM by joeyhathorne

    Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?

    joeyhathorne

      Hey guys, im working with a clip of someone jumping up into the air and coming down at someone. The jump up is relatively short due to my camera panning up already but on the decent of the jump, the actor comes moving both horizontal and down as he gets closer. The problem im having is with the graph editor. I tried using it before on this same scene and got frustrated to the point of almost throwing my computer out the window so i stopped working on the scene and just moved on with the rest. Well, this is my last scene so i have to figure it out. The graph editor seems to work with curves ( which blows my mind in a bad way). All i want to do is when the actor is descending from the jump, i want it to seem like because hes getting closer and falling, he should be going faster. Why cant i just delete key frames and speed it up? Why does it have to be adjusted on a curve basis? i feel like this is more complicated than it needs to be. Im pulling my hair out over here so question 1. Adobe can you please simplify this keyframe process? I mean cmon... there are easier ways than this. Question 2. Anyone have a better idea of how i can pull this off? To me and what i am trying to do, this graph editor is garbage. Thank you for any help you can throw my way.

        • 1. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          There is nothing complicated about it, you just need to learn this stuff. The only failure with AE's flavor of the graph editor is treating temporal and spatial interpolation separately (unlike in most 3D programs). Otherwise there's really nothing to it.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
            joeyhathorne Level 1

            Is there a way to keep it from being curve based? every time i try to achieve something with it, the curves just become more wavy.. any ideas of the best most straight forward tutorial? im having to speed up both size key frames and position key frames in the descending part of my scene but keep the actual jump in the beginning the same and untouched.

            • 3. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
              dissidently Level 1

              joeyhathorne wrote:

               

              i feel like this is more complicated than it needs to be.

              You have absolutely hit the nail on the head here.

               

              Since After Effects was initially created, there's been multiple other ways to define and articulate animation of objects and elements.

               

              For some reason Adobe prides themselves in picking the worse single way to do anything, and then compounding that by pairing that with the next worst way to do things.

               

              And because Adobe controls the market, others have felt the desire to replicate their mistakes without much concern for thinking about how things could be done better, simpler, easier, faster and more efficiently.

               

              Until someone does, you're stuck learning the clunkiest timeline mechanic known to man.

               

              I strongly suggest watching the videos Mt Mograph does on youtube about motion, and specifically those about his plugins. He has at least gone some ways to making things better within AE for basic animation.

              • 4. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                joeyhathorne Level 1

                im glad im not alone in this. If we could just click the keyframe dots and delete them, how easy would that be? ill check out the tutorials you mentioned. Thank you for responding. I wonder if there is a program out there i can use to make this scene not so.....frustrating.. i have thought about moving the scene to my buddies mac to see if i can final cut this scene... maybe i can try that too.. 

                • 5. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                  dissidently Level 1

                  It's probably better to spend a few hours watching Mt Mograph youtube videos, to see if you can penetrate an understanding of how AE actually works.

                   

                  If, after a few hours of that, you can see your way to understanding, then persist.

                   

                  If not, seek something else. But it won't be Final Cut or Motion, as they are exactly the kind of software I was referring to as having copied their mistakes from AE.

                   

                  The easiest way to do 2D animation is actually in 3D software.

                   

                  But there are bigger learning curves to becoming intimate with their initial paradigms and approaches, first, and then 2D becomes vastly easier to do in these 3D apps.

                   

                  Since you're on a PC, I cannot strongly enough recommend learning 3ds Max. It is the finest single piece of creative software on the planet.

                  • 6. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                    dissidently Level 1

                    Actually, the more I think about this, the more strongly I feel compelled to tell you to go learn 3ds Max 2016.

                     

                    You can get a 30 day free trial, and if you spend the rest of the summer focused on learning 3ds Max it will give you a career and an insight into creativity that no other piece of 30 days and a single software application can possibly provide.

                     

                    And I get the feeling you're new to animation and digital creativity, so you should really start with the best that's on offer, and not become encumbered by illogical idiosyncrasies and issues of the After Effects way of doing things.

                     

                    Towards the back end of that 30 day period with 3ds Max you'll come to understand After Effects rightful place in the animation world -- as a compositor -- blending differing renders and elements from 3ds Max to attain the looks and timings you need.


                    That's what After Effects shines at. Everything else it's kind of terrible at, and you're far better off using something like 3ds Max. This is even true of 2D geometric drawing, at which 3ds Max is in an entirely different class of capability when compared to Illustrator.

                     

                    But 3ds Max has a long entry learning curve, during which you'll wonder about many things. However a good book, and a solid 4 hour in the app practicing and testing things with purposeful effort, combined with a solid 4 hours reading each day and you'll come out the other side a new person, with an entirely new vision of what is possible and how to achieve it, for just about anything. This kind of vision is simply not available via any or all of the Adobe products.

                     

                    3ds Max (and Maya, and Cinema4D to some extent) provide an holistic view point of digital creativity unlike anything else available. They're polished and honed like no other software, for genuine productivity and creativity. They're massive things, almost best to think of them as operating systems for creativity rather than as single software packages.

                     

                    My personal preference is definitely 3ds Max, but there's not much of what I've just said that doesn't equally apply to Maya and Cinema 4D.

                     

                    3ds Max is simply better at everything and has the widest array of plugins and extensions, and now a visual scripting system that's truly mind bending.

                     

                    And, from these 3D apps, you can then branch to 3D game engines. Which are another world entirely. In them you can simply place a ball, and it bounces!

                     

                    But you kind of have to learn 3ds Max before you can enter that space with ease and purposefulness. Consider 3ds Max the ideal gateway drug to the correct use of After Effects, real time game engines and 2D design and animation... with 3D as a bonus!

                    • 7. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                      Mathias Moehl Adobe Community Professional

                      joeyhathorne schrieb:

                       

                      im glad im not alone in this. If we could just click the keyframe dots and delete them, how easy would that be?

                       

                      I don't understand your problem. You can select and delete keyframes. You can delete many keyframes at once and then delete all of them at once.

                      If you want to modify many keyframes simultaneously, KeyTweak is also an option:

                      KeyTweak - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com

                       

                      You don't need to use the Graph editor if you don't need full control over the curves. You can use the "easy ease" to get some default curves or set the keyframe interpolation to linear. For a bit more flexibility, you can also use Ease & Wizz

                      Ease and Wizz - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com

                      • 8. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                        dissidently Level 1

                        You don't understand his problem because it's one of the imagination vs perception vs reality. It's a problem experts don't have precisely because they've narrowed their vision to the confinements they excel in.

                         

                        Sometimes this is referred to as "The beginners mind". When confronted with something that can be perceived as well thought out and designed, but is not, this can cause huge initial barriers to understanding of what are (in absolute truth) arbitrary, legacy bound restraints that simply shouldn't be there.

                         

                        A quote on the concept of the beginners mind, from a guy that wrote a book on it: "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."

                         

                        Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects are rife with these kinds of issues for the beginner. The beginner perceives what is possible (his imagination) in conjunction with his initial perceptions of the interface and its operability and potential for interaction and creativity. Only one of these is truth - that's his imagination. The reality is that the initially impressive looking UIs of Adobe products are nothing but antiquated restrictions with some lipstick on.

                         

                        Nothing about their operability and functionality has been re-designed in decades. They're so antiquated they're living fossils of a software design and approach that should be in a museum showing what not to do.

                        • 9. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                          Mathias Moehl Adobe Community Professional

                          Now you explained in detail why I didn't understand the problem. But can you also explain the problem in words that I am able to understand?

                          It looks like the original poster of the question is having some specific issues.

                           

                          "Why cant i just delete key frames and speed it up? Why does it have to be adjusted on a curve basis?"

                          Well, you can delete keyframes. And you move keyframes closer together to speed things up. You can also set your spatial interpolation to linear, if you don't want to work on a curve basis.

                           

                          "If we could just click the keyframe dots and delete them, how easy would that be?"

                          As said above, you can delete keyframes or where is the problem with that?

                          • 10. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                            dissidently Level 1

                            His expectations and imagination of how the software works is at odds with how it actually does work, what it actually does, how computing based creative works as a whole, and how video is even presented to be manipulated within a computing based editor of video.

                             

                            He's at the stage of wonder and excitement. And about to have it all pulled to bits by the very nature of software in the Adobe world.


                            The best way for him to achieve his goal in the shortest possible time is to use time ramping in Premiere.

                             

                            Do you know a simplistic tutorial for him to use that? I don't.

                            • 11. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                              joeyhathorne Level 1

                              What I meant by deleting key frames wasn't time line based key frames. I know those can be deleted/edited. I meant the ones in the video screen that where you can see the route and "dots" your animation is going to take. I was saying if we could not adjust a graph and just delete dots from the video screen, how easy would that be rather than trying to adjust the space between the dots using a graph chart? Just seems like that would be easy to impliment. I'm pretty sure, last time a attempted this scene I changed it to linear (can't remember how now) and was still having trouble with it. I also don't like how the graph editor moves my.animation when I mess with it. I want to keep everything where it is and just make the ending of the animation faster. Just having trouble with it. To Diss, I have 3ds max. A newer one because I wanted to try my hand at modeling. I got pretty far but there is a lot to learn. My problem with any of this stuff has always been retention of information. Anyone have a fix for that? ;P

                              • 12. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                adamneer Level 2

                                All I can say is that wishing AE worked a certain way is getting in your way of actually learning how it does work.  The graph editor is a great way to visualize timing curves and quickly modify motion without having to adjust keyframes individually.  What you are suggesting would be the opposite of that, where you are wanting to manually adjust individual keyframes via the preview window.  The easiest way to learn to use the graph editor effectively in my opinion is to start by setting the editor to the timing curve editor and disregard the position/value editor for the time being.  Looking at the graph editor in timing curve mode gives you a very visual friendly reference of how your motion will speed up/slow down/remain constant.  Just as the name implies, you are looking at a graph, where as the line goes up, speed increases, and as it goes down, speed decreases.  If the line is perfectly horizontal, the speed will be constant (linear) and if the line is curved in any way, speed will ramp up or down accordingly.  Set a keyframe for your first position and another for your end position, then highlight them both and click the easy ease icon near the bottom right of the screen.  Then drag the handle of each keyframe towards the other until you get a timing curve that suits the acceleration and deceleration you need.  For gravity based acceleration (a jump up and land) you would want your first keyframe eased out very slightly, and then your second keyframe would be almost vertical as the curve ends, since the ground stops your motion rather abruptly.  The second keyframe handle can actually be dragged in towards itself to achieve this, rather than dragging it out towards the other one.  Anyway, this is all probably meaningless without a visual reference, so just Google some how-tos on the graph editor and there's bound to be tons out there.  Stop being frustrated that the program doesn't work exactly how your brain wants it to.  Everyone has a different idea of what makes the most sense to them and to many, the graph editor makes perfect sense and works very efficiently.

                                • 13. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                  joeyhathorne wrote:

                                   

                                  Anyone have a better idea of how i can pull this off?

                                   

                                  Sure -- familiarize yourself with Time Remapping.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

                                  • 14. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                    joeyhathorne Level 1

                                    I had to complain a little because I was in a fit of slight rage. I will look more into the graph editor tonight when I get a chance and see what I can come up with by messing with what mode I'm working in. It just is not my style of work flow and I still think there could be two ways of doing something in a single program to encompass all types of video editors out there like myself. Just had to throw my two cents on it. The process could be stream lined. For Dave. I'm semi fimiliar with time remapping and was toying with that idea last night but it kept messing with my animation so I may look into that further. The scene I'm working on is comprised of footage of an actor looking up and then the other actor is green screened and placed into the scene as the jumper. A lot of the time, this complicates so things like Twixt or which I was toying with but it kept wanting to undo my keylight effect on the video.

                                    • 15. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                      I'm still scratching my head why you're making such a big deal out of the graph editor.  It's just one way to skin a cat.

                                      • 16. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                        joeyhathorne Level 1

                                        My reply started off aimed at the comment above you but I just don't like the set up. I can see it  being useful on certain things I just feel like for what I'm trying to achieve, could be easier. I just have to mess with it more I guess... I may end up just cutting the video in half and editing both halves of the scene separately and put them together after. That may be another option..

                                        • 17. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                          Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                          Ah, clever cutting -- always an option when you've painted yourself into an AE corner.  I've used it from time to time myself.

                                          • 18. Re: Something more simple and easier than the graph editor?
                                            joeyhathorne Level 1

                                            So for some reason i cant set the graph editor to linear or auto bezier. They are greyed out for some reason... Why is that? im trying to mess with the graph editor a little more and im trying to change 4 keyframes. 2 being size and 2 being position.