8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2012 11:16 AM by Johnnsen

    Switch pictures on keyframe in animation

    Johnnsen

      I'm not good with After Effects, I'm trying the demo and have a hard time grasping the basics, please bear with me here.

       

      So my question here is, how would I switch a picture, like a body part, mid animation?

       

      Example: I have a fighting character which I try to animate using the puppet tool, he has a torso, two arms and two legs, and a head. All separate image files.

       

      Now lets say when doing a punch, his chest turns towards the camera, or arm changes perspective, or his fist goes from clenched to an open hand. How would I switch the image file at a keyframe so it has a different perspective? I know that in flash I could just put a different image in the next keyframe, but since each image file is a layer in after effects, I'm not quite sure how I could do this without cluttering it all up. I suppose I could add a layer for every single different version of bodyparts, but that would make the whole thing pretty confusing.

       

      Is there an easier way?

        • 1. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Same thing in AE. Just insert another image and edit the in and out points. No keyframes required.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
            Johnnsen Level 1

            Thanks for your reply. Could you elaborate on that? Not sure I understood it right. So you mean insert another layer? Because whenever I drag a picture into my composition, it creates another layer. I thought I could have, you know, layer "arm" and then a few different versions of the arm that I can use on that layer, like in Flash. It seems that it would get incredibly cluttered when I need to have another layer for each version of a bodypart on the timeline. But maybe I didn't understand it right, I'd appreciate if you could go into detail.

            • 3. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
              bogiesan Level 4

              Each image is a separate layer in After Effects. In Premiere, you edit in timelines ancd a video track can have many different cuts or clips in it. AE is different. But you CAN use a precomposition to control the appearances of all of your layers but that's pretty advanced stuff.

              • 4. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
                Johnnsen Level 1

                So it would be easier to just go with it and have every different body part version on a different layer, then let it show up and disappear as needed?

                • 5. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
                  bogiesan Level 4

                  Johnnsen wrote:

                   

                  So it would be easier to just go with it and have every different body part version on a different layer, then let it show up and disappear as needed?


                  "Easier" is never the key issue in After Effects. The decisions we make in how we choose to approach a project are based on what we need to acomplish and how we will manage the project's changes, never what's easier. Unfortunately for you, the decisions we make to use a particular method are based on our comprehension and experience and skill.

                   

                  I've never been forced to use Flash so I cannot compare how you would approach a similar project in that app.

                   

                  > So you mean insert another layer? Because whenever I drag a picture into my composition, it creates another layer. I thought I could have, you know, layer "arm" and then a few different versions of the arm that I can use on that layer, like in Flash. It seems that it would get incredibly cluttered when I need to have another layer for each version of a bodypart on the timeline. <

                  > Now lets say when doing a punch, his chest turns towards the camera, or arm changes perspective, or his fist goes from clenched to an open hand. How would I switch the image file at a keyframe so it has a different perspective? I know that in flash I could just put a different image in the next keyframe, but since each image file is a layer in after effects, I'm not quite sure how I could do this without cluttering it all up. I suppose I could add a layer for every single different version of bodyparts, but that would make the whole thing pretty confusing.<

                   

                  If you have ten body parts, you will have ten layers. If you have fiver versions of the arm, you will have 14 layers. Some of these layers may only be 1 or 15 frames in length. An experienced AE designer would look at the desired appearance of the various arms and decide how many are really necessary. Can just one arm be used to do the entire punch sequence just by using distortion effects or position changes?

                  • 6. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
                    Johnnsen Level 1

                    Thanks. Is there at least a way to group the layers together, so that I have an "Arm_left" layer group with all versions of the left arm in it?

                    • 7. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
                      bogiesan Level 4

                      See the AE help system for the term PRECOMP or PRECOMPOSITION.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Switch pictures on keyframe in animation
                        Johnnsen Level 1

                        Thanks, I checked that out. Looks exactly like what I was looking for.