After Effects Task – How to prevent unwanted animation


The transition effects in After Effects can seem to be somewhat pointless to many users of the application I meet on my travels. They can also seem a little basic for such a capable motion graphics and effects package. I always tell them they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (except for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire perhaps).
Here’s a little exercise I give them. Take a clip in a comp, it doesn’t matter what. You might even try making a new comp just for this one task. Then apply the Card Wipe Transition. If you are unsure where to find it just type Card into the Effects and Presets panel, It’ll appear.
Now this transition is intended to replicate the effect created by hundreds of people turning over a card to reveal a new image (very popular during some late 80’s early 90’s sports tournaments. I agree, a little jaded now.
However, let me stop you there and cast out your doubting daemons (yes… Got some alliteration in at last). Try changing the completion to 0% and leaving it there. Now pop down to the Camera Rotation setting and change the Y Rotation to 30’. The effects internal camera tracks round for a better view.
Next open up the Jitter Position parameters. Try setting the X, Y and Z Jitter Speeds to 0. This will prevent unwanted animation. Leave the X and Y Jitter Amount Values at 0, but change the Z value to 25.00, now that’s looking more interesting yes?
Use keyframes on the Z Jitter Amount Value to set the start of the animation to 25.00 and 3.00 seconds later set it to 0. Ahhh I hear you say. And now you too are enlightened to the benefits of transition effects (one of them anyway). Now what else can you get them to do? Try animating the Camera. Have fun.