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Perhaps this tutorial is not a good example of when to use "Hold"?
it would help if we could see the tutorial, but what you are describing seems that Hold is not necessary.
Or is it perhaps the case that under weird circumstances, the value is not always a constant and so adding the hold is more a "just in case" type habit?
you use hold if you want no interpolation between 2 keyframes. if they are the same this means already there is no interpolation so it's not needed.
I understand that if you want the object to jump from A to B then you would use "Hold".
Yes, Hold is for making the layer jump between keyframes
Is using "Hold" in the above situation perhaps a throw back to earlier versions of AF and now AF automatically knows to keep the line between two key frames at the same value flat?
No. this was always this way in Ae.
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Sometimes, i think because of my workflow, I get what i think is called "positional floating" on a keyframe. It will be a situation like you say: where an asset goes from a to b then spends some time there, then when I'm ready for it to move on from b I set another keyframe where it's meant to start moving again. Occasionally, during that wait period between the two identical keyframes the asset will float away from it's position and then return before it moves. These are the instances where I use a hold. WHen this happens I can see it on the motion path in the viewport like a little loop and I could go in and fix it using the vertex handles but it's just quicker to use a hold. Just another situation where someone might use a hold...it's not always a temporal issue.
Ahh.... I had bumped into a link to the boomerang effect but I didn't click it. I thought they were trying to create a boomerang effect.
But... now I have another question. Who was the voice on the first video? That said, any video that starts out "Go day mate" is a must see
Thank you for all your help.