Hello, i'm completely new with AE...I know only the basics..even less. I started a course in AE just a few days ago. They gave us this task to put a swing set, with 2 balls on each side, and animate it. now i'm having trouble keeping the balls in the same path as the swing set..so I found out about the "Parents" option...so made the swing the parent, and the 2 balls the "sons" if you will. so far so good, once the swing is swinging, the balls go with it. now once the swing reaches to the top, I want the ball to separate itself from it and jump to the other side of the swing...so I need to turn the parent option off..but once i do that it cancels what i did so far..(balls moving with the swing together)...
how can i parent them temporarely..like put it into to the timeline, and once i don't need it anymore, i remove it, but it will save the swings movement with the balls on the timeline...?
AE does not have native keyframeable constraints. Such stuff is done through expressions or by rigging your hierarchy accordingly. In your case one simply would not parent the balls to the swing, but a secondary Null object that rotates in the same place as the swings. After that it doesn't really matter anymore - you can easily keyframe that secondary helper object and everything parented to it without affecting the swing.
An easy option would be to split the layer at the top of the swing, remove the parent from the duplicate, then complete your animation.
Many seemingly complex problems can easily be solved simply adding a layer or a copy of a layer. Rigging, expressions, and other options would unnecessarily complicate this project. They would be great to learn, and would make revising the project down the road easier, but for a first assignment it might be overkill.