If you are creating animation of any type, the function curve or graph curve editing of the animation is an essential part of the process. In After Effects, the animation graph editor is slightly different enough from other animation applications to feel tricky.

Here, Joey Korenman from the School of Motion takes a look at using the graph editor for adding to animation in After Effects, explaining what animation graphs are and how they are incorporated in After Effects.

In this tutorial, I attempt to demystify the curved editor in After Effects, and to give you an understanding of how powerful animation curves are

By default, I think After Effects shows some strange velocity curve in the Graph Editor, which isn’t helpful at all. Clicking the choose graph type and options button in the editor, selecting the “edit Value Graph” from the list will make more sense.

Animating basically is something changing over time, and in its simplest form animation can be drawn out by means of a graph. If we plot time going from left to right on the horizontal axis of the graph and use the vertical axis for the “something” we are able to visually and almost intuitively see the animation in the form of a line or a curve, or a series of curves.

The vertical axis can represent any value, if you are animating the position of an object on the Y axis, then the graph’s vertical axis will be Y over the horizontal axis which is always time.

The issue in After Effects that makes it a bit strange becomes the position of AE’s origin. As an example when you are having something bounce up and down, the representation in the graph appears upside down, but actually is not relative to what After Effects deems zero on the Y and zero on the X in the comp window.

Joey does a great job of explaining and introducing the After Effects graph editor when creating animation, check out the tutorial for Intro to Animation Curves in After Effects here.

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