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Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?

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Steve Davies
Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on May 21, 2018 at 7:24:05 am

I have seen an example of a very smooth movement.

An object moves in from the right to the centre and then to the left off the screen. It is fast at first slows down, but never stops and then picks up again as it leaves.

I had a go but can't quite getting it (I actually wonder if it might be the FPS I am on). The GIF attached is 30fps.

Attached is a screenshot of my graph editor of what I thought would do this slick movement but it's just not quite right.

There are actually 4 key frames, 2 are on top of each other in the center. Is this bad practice??




Digital Designer
stevedavies.io


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on May 21, 2018 at 9:04:15 am

try to use the value graph and you will have much precise control. you will need to separate the dimensions (right click on the position). here's a good tutorial about it:


Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Cassius Marques
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on May 21, 2018 at 1:00:22 pm

Your problem is that you initial and end speed are both zero. You're accelerating, deaccelerating, accelerating and deaccelerating again. 4x instead of 2x.

You have to increase your start and end speed, and give those keyframes more influence,

Cassius Marques
http://www.zapfilmes.com


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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 15, 2018 at 6:36:54 am

You are correct to use the Speed graph, it is designed for adjusting the speed. You probably want something that looks more like this;

https://images.creativecow.net/u/194039/screenshot2018-06-1507.35.01.png



cheers,

Angie

Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices

http://www.angietaylor.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
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Steve Bentley
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 16, 2018 at 3:13:51 am

I'm with Roel., I much prefer the Value Graph. You end up with a shape as pictured below.
As the red (X) curve falls its moves more and more to the left (smaller x values are left) and the as the curve flattens to horizontal the layer's movement slows until the curve is flat and the layer stops moving (in other words it's values stop changing). Then as the curve start to fall again (therefore moving in the same direction) it moves farther and farther left.

Its very hard to visualize an "ease" in a speed graph, especially when that speed changes after the keyframe - you end up with lots of infinite peaks and valleys in the curve. Its also hard to visualize acceleration - the key to any good animation.

There are so few places to use "speed" as an attribute in AE, that I find it makes more sense to use position values, so why not graph those values?
The Speed graph in AE is actually an anomaly in the industry. Pretty much all of the 3D packages (where this graphing thing began) use a value, or "F" curve graph (F because the curve is a Function of position - the value - over time. and isn't position/ time just "speed" in the end?)
I also see in the forums so many people getting into trouble when they are trying to change the speed of something, especially with expressions. AE has no memory of what was happening on the frame before the one it's on, so you can't increase the speed of something if you can't find out how fast it was going before.





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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 16, 2018 at 7:17:02 am

This thread has inspired me to create a new course on the graph editor. I really don't get why so many people have difficulty with the speed graph. To me it is intuitive for adjusting speed. Obviously you can use the Value graph if you find that easier but to me that's like using keyframe view instead of the graph editor because you find that easier. OK, it's a learning curve (excuse the pun!) but it's worth the time investment IMHO.

In my training courses I introduce students to the speed graph in the fundamentals course so that they are familiar with it from the start. they learn it at the same time as they learn how to keyframe in the timeline. Nearly all of them get it and use it regularly to control speed. All of them can create convincing bounces, springs etc easily by hand with just two keyframes using the speed graph. I think these are almost impossible to do using the Value graph.

Just MHO but I feel passionately about the speed graph - I love it! :-)

cheers,

Angie

Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices

http://www.angietaylor.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 16, 2018 at 7:28:16 am
Last Edited By Angie Taylor on Jun 16, 2018 at 7:38:06 am

Hi Steve,

You said "AE has no memory of what was happening on the frame before the one it's on, so you can't increase the speed of something if you can't find out how fast it was going before."

But you can see all of this in the Speed graph?!?!?!

Each keyframe has an outgoing speed and velocity. These are the two points that you see on each keyframe in the speed graph. So, for example, when a ball bounces, it comes in at 100% speed, then damping force absorbs some of the energy, so it leaves at say, 80% of the speed it came into the keyframe at. You can adjust this in the speed graph. You CANNOT adjust this in the value graph.

Similarly, you can't adjust the influence in the Value Graph without adding more keyframes. For example. Say you have a map of Canada. You are animating a car driving from Montreal to Ottowa. The journey has to take 3 seconds. But you can only use two keyframes. There are several timings within this you could use; you could drive quickly for the first half of the journey and then slowly for the second half, or you could start off slowly, get faster in the middle of the journey, then slow down again at the end, or you could go really slowly, then realise you're late so drive the remainder of the way at break-neck speed! 😉 All of this can be done with just two keyframes in the Speed graph EASILY. I'd be really interested to see how you could accomplish this so easily in the Value Graph. Obviously it can be done but I'm not convinced it could be done as easily as it can be done in the Speed graph.

Some of the reasons why it is essential IMHO.

cheers,

Angie Taylor | Creative Cabin Ltd
http://www.creativecabin.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 17, 2018 at 10:18:15 pm

The way I see it is that the speed graph is a simplified graph for simple tasks. it can only affect speed and this is why it's limited. the value graph on the other hand can affect both speed and value means it's the more robust of the two.
creating bounces or overshoots with the speed graph is highly unintuitive IMO. you would need to use negative speed and that graph will look rather crazy. with the value graph it would be very easy to understand and control.

here as a visual examples of 2 very common movement in the world of motion graphics physics and how they compare in value graph vs speed graph:
inertia (or "overshoot")


bounce:


It's very easy to see how elegant once looks over the other.

as for your question Angie to make different speed between two keyframes using the value graph it's very easy to just stretch the bezier handles. the more horizontal the graph, the slower the speed/effect and vice versa. you do have to separate the dimensions though. here's the movement on the x axis:

same movement on the speed graph:


of course if you are curious to how things look in each graph you can just change the graph type to see or use the reference graph.

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 18, 2018 at 7:09:07 pm

"The way I see it is that the speed graph is a simplified graph for simple tasks. it can only affect speed and this is why it's limited. "

I'm afraid I totally disagree. It is far from simplified, it gives me a much more detailed control of timing. Am I really the only person who finds it intuitive and powerful?

"the value graph on the other hand can affect both speed and value means it's the more robust of the two."

Again, sorry but I disagree again. This is EXACTLY why we need a separate speed graph. It's a nightmare trying to control value and timing simultaneously. MUCH easier in the Speed graph.

"creating bounces or overshoots with the speed graph is highly unintuitive IMO. you would need to use negative speed and that graph will look rather crazy."

I don't understand why you think it looks crazy. I guess you are referring to the speed spikes that naturally occur at times when the influence handles are dragged to the max? I find these perfectly understandable too. Time is flexible, it can be bent but it can't be stretched (between two fixed points). Therefore, if you adjust the speed on one side it will have to compensate on the other, creating a bunching up that causes these spikes. But I know immediately what they represent.

"with the value graph it would be very easy to understand and control."

It's definitely easier for most people to understand, I'll give you that. But that doesn't make it better. I think most people say they don't like it because it's a bit more challenging to learn. The same way people say they don't like drawing with paths or working in channels in Photoshop.

I'd like to encourage all Ae users to get to grips with the speed graph - you won't regret it :-)

cheers,

Angie Taylor | Creative Cabin Ltd | Linkedin Instructor | Adobe Community Professional

http://www.creativecabin.co.uk
https://www.lynda.com/Angie-Taylor/2131450-1.html
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Steve Davies
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 7:50:01 am

Thanks for the discussion into this, it is really helpful.

Digital Designer
stevedavies.io


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Angie Taylor
Re: oops
on Jun 19, 2018 at 8:29:28 pm
Last Edited By Angie Taylor on Jun 19, 2018 at 8:33:10 pm

oops


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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 8:30:16 pm

Here's a quick, rough movie of how I would create a bouncing ball animation, using the Speed graph to get fine control over the timing. This allows you to create exponential speed curves to acheive a real THUD as the ball hits the ground;


Bouncing ball in After Effects Speed Graph from Angie Taylor on Vimeo.



cheers,

Angie Taylor | Creative Cabin Ltd | Linkedin Instructor | Adobe Community Professional

http://www.creativecabin.co.uk
https://www.lynda.com/Angie-Taylor/2131450-1.html
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Steve Bentley
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:17:18 pm

Thanks for the movie Angie.

I guess the problem I've always had with the speed graph is the magnitude and impossible-to-see detail of those spikes, especially if the motion isn't so "nine-old-men" and needs to be a graceful sweep or a complex, multi-axis roll. If you could take that graph and blow it up to building-plan-sized sheets, what would those curves look like? Is detail being lost in their compressed shapes? The shoulder and toe of the curves, that are so important in the value graph, never seem to get enough screen area in the speed graph to see what's actually going on. I feel like the shapes of the curves have been compressed to accommodate the small graph area and when I use the handles the peaks can really get away from you.
Because the graph is showing speed (distance over time), but the graph itself is on a timeline, is that graph actually showing "acceleration"? (speed over time)

Personally I don't see a difference in final product between the two methods - in the hands of experienced people (you can get there either way - please correct me if I'm wrong here because I'd like to know what I'm missing out on). But I do see some horrendous easing in projects using the speed graph. 9 times out of 10 when there is an easing issue, the user has gone the speed graph route. Granted this is magnified by lack of user experience and perhaps with the value graph being simpler to grasp, less experienced folk can more easily produce better work.

For me its more a visual feedback issue. I can push one of those peaks farther than you have without seeing much change in the animation, conversely I can change one of the peaks by the smallest amount and it becomes a huge change in the animation. And what's happening in the instantaneous rise to the peak (before the gradual falloff) that doesn't seem to anything? It always feels like I'm mousing with boxing gloves on when using the speed graph, AND I can never make the graph editor big enough to really have the control I need.
I remember when AE finally included a value graph and we left behind the timeline based speed graph that appeared between keyframes; everyone I know let out an audible, "Finally!". To be fair, that old speed graph was made even worse by the too-narrow band of graph area in the timeline.

I find it interesting that we all started with a that timeline speed graph way back when and yet once the value graph came along, everyone (at least everyone I know) went running to the value graph instead of what they knew already. Change is hard for most folks, so why did they change? Why did they switch to something that was new to them? Why haven't other time-based programs adopted this method (Maya, C4D, etc.)

Admittedly there is no one right way to do this and its a potato vs potata thing.

But if there is a feature of the speed graph that is not available in the value graph, I'm all ears. Or if there is a situation where you just can't get there with the value graph, I'd like to discover that too. Where does the speed graph make more sense. Or will the answer be, "always!"

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I truly want to understand the draw of this method for you. It works for you and you speak so passionately about it, there must be something to it that I'm missing.

Regarding my past post on the subject and your questions. I was referring to layers, expressions and plug ins referencing the value coordinates only. There is only one plug in I know that references speed, everything else, including the layer's attributes are indicated by their values and the timeline creates the temporal aspect. So when doing expressions and plugs ins etc where you have to use coordinates (and never speed) to plan your layers' animation, why not stay in that same system when you start adjusting (OMG, I'm going to say it) their speed?
Did I just lose the argument there?😅



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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:33:33 pm

Thanks for your response. I'm glad that you've taken the time to explore the Speed graph's capabilities. I don't think I'm alone in seeing the value (excuse the pun) of the speed graph. I know many other people who use it regularly.

To answer your questions quickly (I'm very tired!) There are several things that are much easier to achieve in the SG. I'm going to create a course on it actually, so I can properly demonstrate the benefits.

By the way, I love the Value graph too and am very glad to have both. I just don't like to hear people dismiss something that I think many people could benefit from using.

I think lots of people don't use it because they find it difficult or confusing. It does take time to get your head round but it's worth the time investment. My advice is not to compare it to the Value Graph, these are not bezier curves. Each KF has two points, the outgoing speed and the incoming speed. The Keyframes (when fixed at a particular time) have a finite amount of time between them. When you reduce the speed at the beginning, it has to increase at the end to compensate. Time is like a piece of metal, it can be bent. But like metal, if you push the ends together too much, it will buckle. This is what happens sometimes in the Speed graph.

I Again, my advice is not to focus on the spikes, just focus on the outgoing and incoming speeds and the influence. I'll post more later once I get some energy back :-)

cheers,

Angie Taylor | Creative Cabin Ltd | Linkedin Instructor | Adobe Community Professional

http://www.creativecabin.co.uk
https://www.lynda.com/Angie-Taylor/2131450-1.html
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:19:34 pm

Thanks. I really don't see how speed graph in this example is helpful to make this ball "real" or "fine". If we are examining this as an experiment then I can appreciate how speed can maintain a motion path and just change the speed. But in real practice, I don't see how this technique gets you anywhere closer to a realistic or fine result. It also is time consuming.

Let me make clear that I think Speed graph is a very useful tool and easy to use and It's my main graph because I don't deal much with bounce/overshoot. For these type of movements I would recommend using solely the value graph. As featuered in this example: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NwNnqJQPC5ZPtl6YRTwWgSGIdGirTGXw

The exceptions for using value vs speed graph other than complicated dynamics/simple ramp is if you want to manipulate the motion path in the composition window, or using path keyframes, or can't/won't separate dimensions. In all these cases you would have to use speed.

There's absolutely nothing I would need more than the value graph for simulation of real physics and it's what I teach my students for several years now when the final exercise for the graph part of the course is making "angry birds" animation ☺
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5wyUt17-tu2MTM1NzUtTHFNdEk

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Steve Bentley
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:27:21 pm

Good point Roei,
Once you have your motion path perfect, the speed graph is a good choice for adjusting the timing. However, the speed graph is anathama for me to the degree that I will precompose the keyframes of the moving object and use time remapping (and another value graph!) to adjust the speed, keeping all the temporal resolution and the motion path intact, and with my beloved value graph.



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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:38:10 pm

"Thanks. I really don't see how speed graph in this example is helpful to make this ball "real" or "fine"."

As I said, this is a quick, rough example


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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 19, 2018 at 9:48:09 pm

I am giving up on this discussion here. I'm genuinely surprised that there are not more people on this forum who can see its value. Anyway, I am going to be doing a course on the Graph Editor and I hope that some people will be open-minded enough to give it a go.

I know many other people I've worked with who also see the uniqueness and brilliance of the Speed graph. I know it's not easy or intuitive to use but neither are bezier curves the first time you use them. Riding a bike is also difficult till you "get it". I hope to convert some of you some day to Speed Graph lovers ☺

Bye for now

cheers,

Angie Taylor | Creative Cabin Ltd | Linkedin Instructor | Adobe Community Professional

http://www.creativecabin.co.uk
https://www.lynda.com/Angie-Taylor/2131450-1.html
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Steve Davies
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 20, 2018 at 8:17:47 am

Will the course be on your site, and urrrm, will it be free? :-p

Digital Designer
stevedavies.io


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Angie Taylor
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 20, 2018 at 9:10:11 am

Hi there,

Yes, it will be on my http://www.creative-cabin.co.uk site. Some of it will be free but some will be for subscribers to help me fund it ☺ I'll keep you posted.

By the way, if you have an animation that you'd like me to take a look at in terms of timing, I'd be very happy to help, just send me your project and I'll see if I can help ☺

Cheers,

Angie

cheers,

Angie Taylor | Creative Cabin Ltd | Linkedin Instructor | Adobe Community Professional

http://www.creativecabin.co.uk
https://www.lynda.com/Angie-Taylor/2131450-1.html
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Am I using the graph editor correcltly with this example?
on Jun 20, 2018 at 12:17:35 pm

Thanks for the discussion and looking forward for that course as well :)

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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