6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2009 9:59 PM by Mylenium

    AE7 Adding Keyframe Question

    the_wine_snob Level 9
      Though Ive had AE7 for some years, Ive never really done that much with it. My animations have been simple enough, that Premiere Pro2 has been adequate. I use Keyframes in it, plus several other programs, and can zip through the more simple animations.

      Now, I find myself with a much more involved Project, and am attempting to do more in AE, than ever before. I am obviously overlooking something basic - just adding Keyframes. Ive gone through the manual, Classroom in a Book, AE7 Studio Techniques, and F1. Adding the initial Keyframe is easy. Adding a Keyframe, where a value changes is automatic. Fine, so far. Maybe its that Im trying to incorporate Keyframe aspects from other programs, or that I am just blind and dumb.

      Ill set up an example from the Project, with just Effect>Motion>Position, and tell you where I have MY problem:

      Composition is 00;01;55;00 long. I have my Asset, as .PSD in the Composition, and its sized as I wish, so Scale =100%. I want to hold the initial Position for 05 sec., so I move the CTI to 00;00;05;00 and click the Stopwatch to place my Position Keyframe at that point. Good. From that point, I want to re-position my Asset and have this take place over 10 sec.. CTI to 00;00;15;00, and adjust my Position, as is required. Good. I then wish to hold that Position for another 10 sec. (as I will Keyframe other aspects). CTI to 00;00;25;00. I want the same Position, as the previous Keyframe. In my Position track, I do not have the ● in my ◄●► array. Its greyed out. Not good. I can convert my last Keyframe to a Hold Keyframe, and then add the new one, but as I want to Ease In & Ease Out for all of the positional Keyframes, so I convert from Hold Keyframe back to regular, then use the Keyframe Assistant. I could also scrub the Position numerals, but invariably, I have to then have made note of the exact position and type it in, as scrubbing back and forth is seldom accurate enough to get it back, exactly where I want it.

      In the appendix, under Shortcuts>Keys for Modifying Keyframes (page 658 printed manual), under Add, or Remove Keyframe: Atl-Shift property display shortcut. OK, Ive been unable to find what the property display shortcut refers to. While the add Keyframe button is greyed out, is disconcerting, as Id expect that it would be active, when the first Keyframe has been added to the Timeline. BTW, this is the exact same for my workstation and my laptop. The only thing in common between the two is 4GB RAM and XP-Pro (32-bit) SP3, so I do not think that I have a problem with the installation, though maybe I have missed something in Preferences, or elsewhere.

      Can someone tell me:
      1.) what Im missing
      2.) what the property display shortcut refers to, so I can use the Alt-Shift combo to add a Keyframe

      Sorry for such mundane and probably elementary questions, but Ive been doing far more work to just add some Keyframes, than I think is necessary. If PrPro can do it with the Add Keyframe button ●, why does it seem so hard in AE7?

      Thanks and I cannot wait for my "DUH!" moment,

        • 1. Re: AE7 Adding Keyframe Question
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
          If I understand you correctly, you simply want to place keyframes at the CTI. I don't understand why your keyframe indicator ◄●► would be greyed out - it shouldn't be if keyframes have been activated by clicking on the parameter's stopwatch.

          Personally, I often just cut and paste equivalent keyframes. Eg: you set your first KF at 5.00, move the CTI to 15.00, and then click on the first KF and copy and paste. The previous keyframe should actually still be selected if you haven't clicked anywhere else, meaning you can usually skip the "click on first KF" step.

          The Alt-Shift combo requires an additional key to function, the same as the key shortcuts which toggle transform property display:
          A=Anchor Point, P=Position, S=Scale, R=Rotation, T=Opacity

          So, Alt-Shift-P will set a Position keyframe, Alt-Shift-S will set a Scale keyframe, etc.
          • 2. Re: AE7 Adding Keyframe Question
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Thank you for the response.

            I'm at a loss, regarding the ● being greyed out for the Add Keyframe aspect. I have the ◄ and the ► (if the CTI is within two existing Keyframes), but never the ●. That is what I seem to be missing, and on two different installations. Maybe I'm gripping the mouse too tightly? [Grin] Glad to know that it SHOULD work, like PrPro and other Keyframing programs. Now, to make it work for me.

            I now see what the manual and F1 are talking about with regards to Alt-Shift+. Got it!

            Regardless of what I am doing wrong, or my settings don't allow, with regards to the ●, I now have a way to do what I want. Hey, a minor DUH! moment.

            I've also used Ctrl-c & Ctrl-v on groups of existing Keyframes, and that has worked perfectly. I do have to go back and alter some of the various parameters, but that is to be expected. Still, I can get 90% of the necessary data, plus the Keyframes, so there is much less work.

            Hope to explore Expressions, later, when this Project is off the machine, as they look like they'd save a bunch of time and keystrokes with the type of stuff that I'm doing. As I'm still learning much about AE, I'll get to that "lesson" later.

            You have given me two invaluable answers. One is to troubleshoot why the ● is not active and the other is a method to add the necessary Keyframe, where I need it. Thanks.

            • 3. Re: AE7 Adding Keyframe Question
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
              Just wondering, have you clicked on the greyed-out anyway, just to test? It's coloring is kind of feint, but it is still active.
              • 4. Re: AE7 Adding Keyframe Question
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                Exactly. The diamond shape wiull look like it's inaccessible, but it will respond. Just minor lack of UI contrast, simply put.

                • 5. Re: AE7 Adding Keyframe Question
                  the_wine_snob Level 9
                  Gentlemen, you have given me the Rosetta Stone.

                  What my GUI shows (remember on a 17" laptop @ 1680x1050 & dual 21" CRTs at 1280x1024) is basically ◄○► unless I'm over an existing Keyframe, then I get ◄●►. The ○
                  b IS
                  active, but "looks" greyed out. Eureka! Other than the "look," it works just like with PrPro. Told you I was ready for that DUH! moment, and here it is. Why I didn't just click the sucka' is beyond me. The appearance is like PrPro's, when you CANNOT click, say the CTI is beyond the tail of the Clip. Odd, that Adobe chose to display it thusly, but I can live with that.

                  Thank you so much for pointing out what should have been attempted anyway. Guess I'm too respectful of Adobe's GUI, and assume that if something is greyed-out, it doesn't work under the exact conditions.

                  Sorry to have bothered everyone, but appreciate your patience with me. Seemed so odd, as AE is such a wonderful program and offers so much power and accommodates so many different workflows. How wonderfully simple, and how painfully stupid of me.

                  • 6. Re: AE7 Adding Keyframe Question
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                    No problem. That's what we are here for... ;-)