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Animating the parent layer





Setting up parenting

Animating the scenery using parenting

To animate the various elements of the scenery efficiently with the background, you’re going to use parenting. As you learned in Lesson 3, “Animating Text,” creating a parenting relationship between layers synchronizes the changes in the parent layer with the corresponding transformation values of the child layers. In Lesson 3, you used parenting to quickly apply one layer’s scale transformation to another layer. Now, you will use it to synchronize the movement of the objects in three layers—the leaves, full skyline, and the FG (foreground) layers—with the BG (background) layer of the animation.

First, you’ll set up the parent-child relationship between the relevant layers in the Timeline panel.

1In the Timeline panel, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) to select the leaves, FG, and full skyline layers.

2In the Parent column for any one of the selected layers, choose 8.BG from the pop-up menu. This establishes the three selected layers as child layers to the parent layer, which is layer 8, named BG (the background).

_Tip:If you don’t see the Parent column, choose Columns > Parent from the Timeline panel menu.

Now, you’ll animate the position of the background layer—the parent layer—so that it moves horizontally. This, in turn, will animate the child layers in the same way.

1Press the Home key, or move the current-time indicator to the beginning of the time ruler.

2Select the BG layer in the Timeline panel, and press P to reveal its Position property.

3Set the BG layer’s Position values to 1029, 120,and click the stopwatch icon ( ) to create a Position keyframe. This moves the background layer off to the left side of the scene, as if the camera had been moved.

_Tip:A quick way to go to a frame is to press Alt+Shift+J (Windows)or Option+Shift+J (Mac OS) to open the Go To Time dialog box. Then type the desired time without punctuation (as in 1015for 10:15), and press Enter or Return.



4Go to 10:15.

5Set the BG layer’s Position values to -626, 120. After Effects automatically creates a second keyframe and shows you the motion path of the animation in the Composition panel. The background now moves across the composition, and because the leaves, full skyline, and FG layers are child layers to the BG (parent) layer, they also move horizontally from the same starting position.

6Select the BG layer, and press P to hide its Position property and keep the Timeline panel neat.

Animating the bee’s position

Another element of the composition that moves across the scene at the beginning of the animation is the bee. You will animate it next.

1Press the Home key, or go to 0:00.

2Select the Bee layer in the Timeline panel, and press P to reveal its Position property. (The bee is not visible at 0:00 in the Composition panel.)

3Set the Position values of the Bee layer to 825, 120, so that the bee is offscreen to the left at the beginning of the animation. Then click the stopwatch icon ( ) to create a Position keyframe.

4Go to 1:00, and set the Bee layer’s Position values to 1411, 120, putting the bee offscreen to the right. After Effects adds a keyframe.

5Select the Bee layer, and press P to hide its Position property in the Timeline panel.

_Tip:You can also change the Bee layer’s Position values by dragging the layer in the Composition panel (using the Selection tool) until the layer is in the correct position.





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