With the solid selected, hit T to reveal the Opacity property. Then enable the little stopwatch. This will create an inmitial keyframe. Additional keyframes will be created when changing the value or when you hit the little rhombus shape in the AV columns section. for more details read the Animation and keyframes section in the help.
Once you have create your black solid on top of your movie footage. Select the solid and press "t" to reveal the transparency property of your layer.
Go to the first frame of your black solid layer and clic on the stopwatch. It will create a keyframe (you'll see a little diamond). Now set your opacity value to 100. (100%) go to the 2second mark and set your value again at 100 (even if it's already, so it will create another keyframe). And then go to your 4second mark and set the value to 0. (it will add another keyframe).
And there you go, you have your black fade
For more info about keyframes, you can go through this wonderfull piece of help. Hope that helps !
Thank you both very much. I actually found out how to do this myself but I did it a little differently. I created my black solid and instead of hitting the "T" I clicked the arrow and revealed the settings, then I selected the "Opacity" and added a keyframe at 0 seconds and at 2 seconds and 4 seconds, then I made the opacity 0% at 4 seconds. This method worked but is it the wrong way to do it?
I had another question I don't think you answered that I would appreciate some help with. I need to transition one movie to another how do I go about doing this?
I need to have one movie smoothly transition into the next movie. What is the best way to do this and where can I find more information on how to do this?
If you're new to After Effects, I strongly recommend that you begin by working your way through the materials under the "Getting started" heading on the After Effects Help & Support page.
Regarding your question about transitions: You can have one movie fade out and another appear in many ways. One way is the way that you already seem to be working on. You can manually animate (keyframe) the Opacity property of one layer so that it fades out to reveal the layer beneath it. Or you can use Transition effects. Or you can use the Sequence Layers keyframe assistant.
But first, as I said, you'll really help yourself by reading the introductory material and watching the video tutorials linked to from the "Getting started" section on the After Effects Help & Support page
You can of course do it your way by twirling down the properties to reveal opacity. T is just a shortcut to it .
The easiest way to fade 2 footages together is to use the same methodas your black solid one.
Rveal to opacity of your top video layer, add a 100% keframe on opacity where you want your layer to crossfade, and add a 0% keyframe where you want your crossfade to finish.
Be sure that your 2 videos layers are overlapping during the crossfade. And that's it
Ok, thank you both very much and I will watch those tutorials.
One problem I hope you can help me with though is my black transition. I made it fade from 100% black to 0% no prolem but for some strange reason I am getting horizontal scanlines in places where the black is fading to the movie. I thought it was just doing this because of previewing it in Ram Preview, but I rendered the file and it still appears.
As the animation is playing and the black transition is at approximately 50% you can see some lines following the contours of my movie which are at 100% black.
Does anyone know what may be causing this?