After Effects – 12 Principles of Animation (Part 1)

January 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

After Effects - 12 Principles of Animation (Part 1)

The 12 principles are a set of guidelines created by the animators at disney to refine the idea of adding realism to
animated motion. They are practical devices for giving animation rhythm, weight and visual presence or appeal.
1. Timing – the beat of the animation. create a composition 960 x 540 25fps 5sec
2. create a solid 100px x 100px / move to left of comp
3. Move timeline to zero / P for position / click stopwatch to start animation
4. move timeline to 1 sec / move box to right / move timeline to 2 sec / move box back to left
5. this is effectively a ‘beat’ / the Spacing determines the pace of the beat – the tempo or rhythm
6. by adding a hold in the middle of the movement, you create punctuation
You can tune the tempo of the movement by adding another principle – Easing (Slow in – Slow out). This can be
confusing in After Effects – Slow in (ease out) and Slow out (Ease in). Using easing helps change the spacing
and adds subtlety to movement – see the diagram ‘easing.jpg’ on UniLearn.
1. remove the last key on the animation / animation just moves from left to right
2. Select the solid layer / Command D to duplicate
3. P for position and click on position to select all keys / move this layer down
4. select the first key / right click / Keyframe assistant / add Easy ease out
5. Select the second solid layer / Command D to duplicate the layer
6. select both keys / right click / Keyframe assistant / add Easy ease
7. play animation to see the difference between all three layers
By adding Exaggeration to certain aspects of our animated objects we can add further realism, giving the
appearance of weight. One of the techniques here is Squash and Stretch which distorts features or forms.
1. Create a new comp / 960×540 – 5sec – 25fps
2. Create a solid 100px x 100px / use the ellipse shape tool / double click to make a circle
3. Use the Pan behind tool to move the anchor point to bottom of circle
4. Duplicate this layer twice / change colour of solids in solid settings
5. Select all three layers / hit P for position / select stopwatch to start animation
6. Animate all three circles down to bottom from frame zero to 1 sec / then back up to 2 sec
7. move the first key in two or three frames / drag the work area in to two for three frames after end
8. Trim comp to work area / hide left most animation layer
9. select both of the visible animation layers and hit S for scale / click stopwatch to start animation
10. Hit U to show all keyframes on each layer / unlock scale constraint
11. On the middle keyframe, adjust Y scale (right %) to 50 & X scale (left %) to 200
12. move scale keys from frame zero to the frame before the middle to add squash
13. on each layer separately select middle rotation & scale keys
14. move just after middle / select each layer in turn / past both scale & rotation keys from middle
15. This creates a hold at the bottom /
16. repeat this with the scale key just before middle / past the key 5 frames after the hold
17. move keys closer together to increase speed of animation
18. drag work area in and trim comp to work area / play animation to check speed
19. now select the right hand layer and just work on that animation adding stretch
20. move the timeline very close to middle keys on the down stroke / change scale – x=75% y=150%
21. make sure ball is long and thin till it hits ground / copy this scale key to other side of middle
22. exaggerate squash at bottom / make stretch longer on up stroke
23. ball should be round at top (100% x 100%) / add an extra ket to the hold at the top (hover)
24. turn on motion blur for this layer / turn on motion blur for comp
25. Add easy ease for first and last position keys / turn on all layers / adjust timing
26. render out




Illustrator – Marilyn Monroe Illustration

January 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Illustrator - Marilyn Monroe Illustration

This session we began to create an illustration of Marilyn Monroe. We traced around different parts of the body in order to create separate shapes in the future.

Useful tip: To make the lines more smooth, select them and go to Object/Path/Simplify

After Effects: Pin Puppet

January 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

In this session we learned how to create a “puppet” figure and animate it in After Effects. Here is an example I’ve done for this session. Just an experiment here! 😀

Here is a description of the progress:

01 – Download images from Unilearn / Unpack to folder / Import into After Effects
02 – Drag walk images to new comp button / Set duration to 1 sec
03 – Select all layers / Drag to 3 frames / Drag each layer to sequence
04 – Change comp length if required / check comp is 24fps / create folders
05 – Add to render queue / render / save file / rename comp walk
06 – Drag run images to new comp button / Set duration to 16 frames
07 – Select all layers / Drag to 2 frames / Drag each layer to sequence
08 – Change comp length if required / check comp is 24fps
09 – Add to render queue / render / save file /rename comp run
10 – Create a new comp / 1 sec duration / HD 720 / change to 24fps
11 – Import walk as a composition / open this comp
12 – Add walk comp created earlier / drag to bottom / delete scan layer
13 – Change layer order -rt arm & leg / body / head / left arm & leg
14 – Link objects in heirarchy to body / drag body to test
15 – Move object anchors for rotation / place items
16 – Select body layer / P for position / key body every 3rd frame up & down
17 – Select all layers / R for rotate / Rotate & Key all objects every 3rd frame
18 – Add to render queue / render / save file

After Effects: Pages & Motion (2 of 2)

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Marvel Effect:

• Put your pictures to your composition
• Pre-Compose all of them
• Lift them above the screen
• Turn on motion blur on all the layers
• Drag them in a specific time period
• Hit “P” for position on all of them and then animate as you drag them one by one down

After Effects: Pages & Motion (1 of 2)

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Page Turn Effect:
• Create a composition and put all the pictures you want there
• Right-Click on each of them and click Pre-Compose and Ok. This will fit the picture to our composition and enable us to gain the effect we need.
• Add a “CC Page Turn” effect to every picture in our composition OR you can just put the effect on one picture, create the animation and copy it to the other pictures. ( Fold Radius: 100, Light Distance: +123.0, Back Page: None, Back Opacity: 100, Paper Color: Pale Gray)
• Click on the stop watch of “Fold position”, “U” on the picture and create an animation.
• You can also add a “Drop shadow” Effect to make things more realistic ( Softness: 300, Distance: 20, Opacity: 70% ).
• Finally, adjust the position and time of your pictures in the work area and you are done!

After Effects: Working With Sound

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

After Effects: Working  With Sound

In this video tutorial we learned a bit about sound files in after effects and how to create animations in sync with the sound. Here are some key aspects I wrote down from this tutorial:


  • You cannot preview sound the same way you preview video in after effects.
  • Press the “.” key on the keyboard to play the sound.
  • You can also use the “preview” window, located on the right and press “RAM preview.”
  • You can drop down to the wave form on your sound layer to enable a visual review of the file in your work area. That is a great idea to sync music with animation.
  • You can use markers to mart certain areas in your work area (Shift+*) or on your actual layer (Ctrl+*).
  • Then, you can create a new solid layer and start adding effects and animation to your composition.

 After that, it all depends on what you want to create. Just play around with animation and different effects till you find something interesting. 🙂

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