Dynamic Screen Wipes

DynamicWipe from Danielle Kanuck on Vimeo.
For this week’s journal exercise, I followed along with a tutorial on Lynda.com: Mograph Techniques: Shape Animation in After Effects. Through the exercise files available with the Lynda course and the instructional videos, I was able to better understand how simple techniques can be layered to create something much more complex.

For this particular piece, I started out with making a Shape Layer and drawing a Circle in the title safe area of the screen. After choosing the color (from the predetermined color scheme), I placed two keyframes to make the circle look as if it was appearing and then engulfing the entire screen.

That Shape Layer was then duplicated twice and each layer had a new color assigned to it. The layers were offset by about 5 frames. A fourth layer was duplicated on top as a mask to reveal the dark gray background underneath.

With all of those layer set in one composition, the next step was to start a new composition and bring in those layers. Since they were brought in as a premade composition, it resulted in only one layer. I duplicated that layer and added a few keyframes to the mask.

In a third composition, I started off with a cyan solid. My second composition was brought into that and duplicated. Once duplicated, I took the pen tool and drew an arbitrary box to define as a new mask. The mask was set to “subtract” and then the layers were offset one frame. This was done twice, so that there were two arbitrarily drawn masks.

The monkey head was part of the exercise files. In order to work with that layer, a new composition was made. The layer was a vector layer as a result of it starting with an Adobe Illustrator file. Once that was converted to a shape layer (with all the groups still intact), it was duplicated. One layer was to focus on the fill, while the other was to focus on the outlines. The outline layer utilizes the trim paths with four keyframes. Both the start and end were used to create a symmetrical look as the lines “draw” themselves.

The last piece was the blue burst at the end, which the tutorial called the “digital squirt.” This was done with one shape layer in a composition. One line with the pen tool is drawn. By utilizing the repeater, rotation, and the trim paths, it looks as if the lines are drawing themselves and disappearing.

After all of the compositions were finished, all that was left was to put them together. There are a few additions that were made during this step. First, a mask was used over the monkey head so that it would appear smoothly when the circle disappeared off-screen. Second, a few keyframes were added using the scale property on the monkey head to make it appear as if it were growing and then shrinking before disappearing as the burst happened.

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