Motion Graphics Journal

Sand Watch Morph from Danielle Kanuck on Vimeo.

Shapes Madness from Danielle Kanuck on Vimeo.

For this week’s journal, I worked with animating and morphing in Adobe After Effects. The tutorial I followed and where downloaded the exercise files were from Lynda.com -Mograph Techniques: Animating Shapes in After Effects, part 5 and 6.

For the “Sawn Watch Morph,” the first thing after opening the exercise files was to convert the artwork to shapes. After the shapes were named, the layer containing the artwork was duplicated until there were 5. Each layer was named for a different part of the artwork. A radial wipe was applied to the body of the sand watch and then adjusted to wipe from both sides. The top and bottom lines were keyframed by scale with unconstrained proportion so that they would only scale horizontally. An additional transform effect was used to make the lines cover the entire composition. For the glass animation, the anchor points in the path were animated to make it look like sand falling. Every layer (except for the bottle layer) was then parented to a null object in order to rotate them. In order to fill the composition with the cyan/turquoise color, a solid layer was added; it was animated using masks for the top and bottom third. The sand watch was animated using keyframes and moving the anchor points to seem like it was growing and filling the frame. Next, the bottle was positioned near the glass and scaled down so they were the same size. After that, the glass layer was split so that the second part would no longer be a child of the null object and would be able to become a child of the bottle layer. The bottle and glass were scaled and positioned so they would remain in the center of the composition.

For the “Shape Madness” video, part 6 of the tutorial was followed. The first thing that needed to be done to the layers was to create shapes from the vector layers. After rearranging the layers so they corresponded to the new shape layers, the opacity of the vector layers was dropped to 50%. This was done so that the shape layers could accurately be animated and placed in the correct spots. Once in a layer, the repeater function was added. The number of copies was adjusted depending on the number of shapes needed to complete the circle. The position in the repeater was changed to zero and the rotation property in the repeater was also altered to space the shapes out evenly (360degrees/number of shapes). After setting the amount of rotation, the anchor point were used to make adjustments until it was in the correct position. The copies in each layer were keyframed so that they would appear across time. The general rotation was applied by adding an expression to the rotation section of each layer (time*value). A new null object was added and each layer was parented to it. This was done in order to create a smooth scaling animation that takes ten seconds to finish. The effect is that the shapes circles are slowly moving away as more appear. A few layers were duplicated and scaled up in order to have the shapes fill the entire screen. The timings of the layers were manipulated in order to allow the shapes to draw themselves on the screen while the animation was zooming out. Finally, a motion blur was used for each of the layers to complete the look.

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