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Lesson 10 from: DaVinci Resolve: Compositing with Fusion

Casey Faris

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Lesson Info

10. Animation

Casey teaches how to create an animation and use it in your video.

Lesson Info


Now that we've covered a lot of the major nodes that we use to make a composition, let's talk about animating things, this is where things get really exciting. You can actually take a value and change it over time and make some fancy stuff. So let's take a look. Here we have our "Houses are fun." Let's say we want this text to start off screen and kind of pop up like this. There are a bunch of different ways to move our text. We could select our text node here and go over to Layout and adjust our center, but again, we really want to make sure that all of the pieces are kind of laid out in our nodes since they're kind of halfway laid out anyway, we might as well have a node that just controls this kind of animation. So, why don't we just do it in the Transform node? So I'll select the Transform node and we can move this up and down using this little arrow, and let's actually just animate this Transform node. So, the way that you animate something is by setting keyframes. A keyframe is b...

asically just telling Fusion that you want something to be a certain value at a certain time. So at two seconds, you want a value to be one, or at 15 seconds, you want a value to be three. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna move backwards and forwards in time until we figure out kind of where we want this text to land. So let's say after about half a second or so, let's do like 15 frames. We want this to be right in the middle of our composition here. We're at the right time, and this text is at the right place. And so with our Transform node selected, I'm gonna go over to here where it says Transform and we're gonna animate the center. And there's this little icon here on the right that looks like a diamond, this represents your keyframe. And so if you click on that and it turns this reddish orange color, what it's saying is at 15 frames we're gonna make this center 0.5 on the X, and 0.5 on the Y. Now, all we have to do to animate something is move to a different time, and let's say, let's move to zero. We could click and add a keyframe here but we don't really need to, we can just grab a value and move it. And that little diamond will turn orange which means that there's a keyframe. We can also see these little ticks on this time ruler here, and if we move back and forth we can see this text flying up like that. So I'll hit spacebar to play this back, and now we have the text flying in. So if you can do that, you can animate things in Fusion, pretty cool. Maybe we want this to fly in a little bit slower, it's just too fast. Well, we can adjust that in a couple different ways. The best way to adjust timing is in the Keyframes panel. If we go up to the upper right-hand corner of our interface here, I can click on Keyframes and that will open up our Keyframes panel here. And here we have a little timeline of all of the nodes in our composition. And what we're looking for is Transform 1, that's where we've done our keyframing, and if we have that selected it'll also select it down here in our keyframes. And if we twirl this down we have these little tick marks here, and let's zoom in to see what's going on. If you use this slider it will go to Narnia and not make any sense, so what you pretty much always do with the Keyframes panel is click on this little expand button, which is called Zoom to fit, and that'll move everything around so it's actually viewable. If I mouse over any of these little tick marks, this is gonna allow me to move them, and that moves the keyframes around and it changes my animation. So if I move this keyframe to be later in our composition, it also moves this little tick down here and the animation goes slower because it's taking longer to go from one place to another. I can also move this beginning one if I want there to be, like, half a second or so before we start our animation, so it starts out blurry and then moves in. So this gets a little bit confusing because if you have this property selected, and I were to grab either of these keyframes and move them back and forth, it actually moves them both at once. This is a really weird, I'm not sure why they do it this way, but you can grab both of these and move them around which is convenient if you want to, but very frustrating if you're trying to move one. So what you do is you select the parent node, Transform 1, make sure that this property itself isn't selected, and when you mouse over it and it turns cyan, you can move this back and forth, and adjust your keyframes that way, pretty cool. So that's kind of how you control the timing of an animation, but there's one problem here. When this comes in, it actually stop really quickly and it doesn't look the best, it doesn't look like it's refined, it just kind of goes, "Eh," you don't generally want that kind of jerky animation anytime that you're doing graphics, or especially if you're doing VFX, so how do we fix that? Well, let's go ahead and close our Keyframes panel here, and I'm gonna open up our Spline panel by clicking on this button here. And this is kind of a similar view but it's really more detailed. It's less about the timing and it's more about kind of how the animation happens in between the keyframes. So, by default it will show empty tick boxes for anything that we have animated, and if I click on this displacement, that will bring up our graph, I can middle-button mouse click, and drag to kind of move this around. And again, I can use our magical Zoom to fit button to show our graph. So this is a graph of the values that we have animated for our displacement here, which is our center. So it starts at zero, and then it goes all the way up here to our ending value. But we can see by this graph, if you were go trying to go up a hill and you're pushing grandma in a wheelchair, right? If you're at the bottom of this hill and it just goes (imitates metal thudding) like this, then you're gonna have a hard time, "Ugh," and grandma's gonna be upset, right? And then when you get to the very top of the hill, and you get to the very top and then it goes (grunts) like this, it's really jerky and awful, right? So what we wanna do is smooth this out so that, you know, grandma still gives us treats, and cookies, and such. So what we can do is grab either of these keyframes, and once we have it selected, we can move this little handle around, and what that'll do is adjust the slope of the hill. And if you want something to kind of come to a stop, usually you want this handle to be flat. And so imagine this, we're pushing gram up the hill now, and it's smooth sailing. It's like, "Oh baby," just comes in nice and smooth, and then at the top it just levels out and it's a beautiful time, right? And you get cookies, and you have a picnic, and it's amazing. Once we have this kind of smoothed out like this, look at our animation. It comes in, oh, man. Comes in so nice, goes (imitates air whooshing), and then just to a nice, even stop. Oh, beautiful. That's pretty much how we want all of our animations. Now, a quick shortcut for that. I'll bring this back to this, mess with our handles here just so we can see the change. If you select any of these keyframes just by clicking and dragging the box around them, and then you hit F on the keyboard for flatten, you can flatten out those handles, and most of the time, if you have something coming in and stopping, that's exactly what you want, you want those handles to be flat. We can also do this for animating this out. Let's say at the end we want it to start here and leave. So we'll kind of go, I don't know, 15 frames or so from the end, and set our keyframe, and then we'll go to the end and push this down, and now we have a new graph here. Again, select both of these keyframes and hit F on the keyboard, and now it moves back down, pretty cool. So those are really the essential parts of animating inside of Fusion. You can animate just about anything that you can control here in the Inspector. So this blur, let's say we want this blur to come in and really not be blurry until we're supposed to read our text. And so let's say at frame 25, that's when we want this to be blurry. I can click on this keyframe, and then at the beginning, let's move this down and we'll just bring the blur down. So now this gets blurry as the text comes in, pretty neat. And that's really the basics for animating anything you want inside of the Fusion page.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

DaVinci Resolve - 17 Shortcuts.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


This is a great course. I'm an absolute beginner to Fusion (although I know a bit about the editing within Resolve). The course walks its students through the basics in a very easy-to-understand process. I feel confident that I can now use Fusion effectively for my videos. Highly recommended.

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