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Tutorial: Synchronizing Layer Animations Using Parenting in Adobe After Effects CC 2014

This tutorial demonstrates a versatile and flexible technique that will match animations between layers you choose to connect to enhance, simplify, and accelerate your animation process.

In this quick tutorial, we’ll look at using parenting inside of After Effects CC 2014. The goal of these tutorials is to provide you with some quick and easy tips on using After Effects to enhance your videos. Parenting is a neat way to have one layer or object control other layers within your project. Overall, it is a great way to speed up your animation time, and it gives you the ability to test out different effects and looks.

Creating a New Comp

We’ll start with After Effects open and we’ll create a new composition by clicking the New Composition button in the Project panel (Figure 1, below). The Composition Settings dialog opens (Figure 2, below Figure 1). Here we can give our comp a name and adjust the rest of our timeline settings. We’ll use the 1080 preset that is already selected and then we’ll press the OK button.

Figure 1. The New Composition button

Figure 2. The Composition Settings dialog

Adding Layers

With our composition created, we will start adding layers to this project. To begin, we’ll navigate up to our Shape tool and select the Ellipse option from the drop-down menu (Figure 3, below).

Figure 3. Choosing Ellipse from the Shape menu

Now we can click in our Composition panel and drag to the right to create our shape (Figure 4, below). Holding down the Shift button will allow you to create a shape with even proportions. You can edit Shape options like fill and stroke in this area here but we will leave that as is for now.

Figure 4. Creating a shape

Adding Text

Now let's go ahead and add some text to this project by navigating up to the Type tool and selecting it. We can begin to type in our Composition panel. You can adjust options like font and size in the Character panel (Figure 5, below). You can view any panel that you are not seeing by enabling specific panels under the window options.

Figure 5. Adding and adjusting text. Click the image to see it at full size.

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