Third Animation : Morphing

I basically created the silhouettes of famous cartoon characters in Illustrator and then imported them into after effects.

Things Learnt

  • Create a Path on a shape layer

Set a keyframe on the path > copy and paste the paths of the Illustrator image on to the AE path and key it

  • How to Make Illustrator Paths

Initially when I tried to copy and paste the characters into After Effects, all that was appearing was the outline of the shape and not the filled in version I had in Illustrator. To fix this, I noticed in After Effects the pen tool was used to create the shapes, therefore I used that to create a character (instead of the brush tool I’d been using) then copied & pasted it in. Hey presto! It worked.

  • Pickwhipping Colour

I created a background shape and dropped the Colorama effect on it, and then alt+clicked the colour on the fill part of the layer, then dragged the swirl up to the Character’s fill colour. This means that when the colour of the Character layer changes, the Background colour changes as well.


*Make sure there are no gaps on the Illustrator paths

*Group it with the path finder so that its one solid shape

Character Outlines

Character Silhouettes

Harvard Citations:

MtMograph. (2014). Summit 55 – 5 Minute Morphs – After Effects.Available: Last accessed 13th Oct 2016.


Second Animation: Pops

Things Learnt

  • Shortcut for Masks


  • Using Masks for Pops

Create a shape > create a mask > Key the expansion of the mask to animate growth

Mask on add mode, displays more of the original shape, and Subtract hides it.


I also, added lines flowing across the screen by myself to see if I had actually learned how to use the repeater function from the previous video, and I think I can count this as a success.

Harvard Citation

MtMograph. (2014). Summit 49 – 5 Minute Accent Explosions – After Effects. Available: Last accessed 13th Oct 2016.

First Animation: Ball


Things Learnt

  • Centred Anchor Point

When creating a shape (as I have experienced) the anchor points can be all over the show > go to the shape > double click the shape > it will create a shape the size of the comp

  • Create a Uniform Shape

Continuing on from above > go to the the (Specified)Shape Path 1 > Size > and then (on a mac) alt + double click the paper clip and it will make the shape a uniform size > then you can simply adjust the size to your needs

  • Drag object along axis

Hold down shift whilst dragging an object and it will stay locked on the x or y axis

  • Jumping to Keyframes

J – takes to previous keyframe and K – takes you to the next one

  • Copying Keyframes

(Like with the mouse in First Year, when I was trying to do this, I was clicking in the wrong place)

cmd+c on the keyframe you want copied and have the playhead over where you want the frame to go, then cmd+v

Harvard Citations:

MtMograph. (2013). Summit 1.1 – Intro to Motion Graphics – After Effects. Available: Last accessed 13th Oct 2016.


This is currently in progress and the one before it is uploading

Things Learnt:

  • How to Install A Plugin

Download plugin file > go to After Effects > UserPresets > Adobe > Drag & drop plugin

  • Make a loop from a line

Drag and drop Polarise effect onto the layer in question > change setting to “Rect to Pol”

  • Glass Effect

It’s good for making the fractal effect a bit more tendril-like

Harvard Citations:

Ward, C. (2016). Shockwave Tutorial 100% in After Effects! Available: Last accessed 12th Oct 2016.

80’s Intro Logo

Things Learnt

  • How to Add Grid

Drag and drop the “Grid” feature onto the comp and the set it (in my case) to Overlay

  • How to Add Preset Effects

Download preset (in this case the VHS flicker effect) > add to project files > bring into comp > if the background is black set it to screen, if the background is white set it to multiply

  • Light Rays

Go to the effects library > drag and drop the light rays into the comp > you can then animate them racing across the surface of text like I did in this case

Harvard Citations:

Ward, C. (2016). After Effects Tutorial: 1980s Inspired Logo Reveal.Available: Last accessed 12th Oct 2016.

Polygon Tutorials

These are videos showing the different stages of the animated polygons I created following the Video Copilot tutorial.

What I learnt:

  • Create a square comp > Add radio waves effect > can then change the number of sides so that it changes from circles to a polygon, in my case a hexagon
  • Add a mask to the polygon layer and change the wave type to mask (the mask should originate from the centre of the comp) and this lets you warp the mask and therefore warp the polygon shape
  • You can key frame the colour of the radio waves according to it’s lifespan

Adding the displace

  • New solid > Layer Styles > Gradient Overlay
  • Change gradient form linear to angle
  • Pre-compose the gradient layer (turn off visibility)
  • Create new adjustment layer > Add time displacement > Change displacement layer to gradient comp
  • Change the time resolution to get the sliced effect
  • The gradient is the key – white is the beginning and black is the end
  • Maybe add a turbulent displace to the gradient layer for some cool effects

Note: If you create more shapes, drop them beneath the displacement layer and they’ll be affected too

Adding shadows

  • Duplicate comp > add tint to bottom layer (making it black) > Add Scale wipe effect to pull it out > Add linear wipe to add falloff

Add Texture

  • Import a textured image e.g. Brick > tweak the contrast and maybe add a tint > change mode to screen and place above background

Harvard Citations:

VideoCopilot. (2015). Animated Polygon Tutorial. Available: Last accessed 10th Oct 2016.