Inspired by the opening animation for Community, Trevor Penner set out to create something similar in After Effects and walks through how to create a crumpled paper animation with the use of TrapCode MIR.
inspired by watching the opening animation of the television show ‘Community’ to create a similar look
TrapCode MIR lends its self well to this effect, allowing you to get a 3D look right within After Effects using a custom paper image as a base. Trevor also rounds out the look of the animation using RedGiant’s Mojo.
Noise can be the bane of any image, but when you rely on a fairly clean image as a base for visual effects, it becomes crucial that the less noise there is the better. Here, Dawnrunner’s Geoff Peck shows how to use Dark Engery’s Anti-Matter plugin in After Effects
to De-Noise shots easily.
Dark Energy is your next-gen weapon against noise, and your ally for better-looking images
There are plenty of De-Noising solutions for After Effects, some as part of the standard AE bundle, and other such as Neat Video’s DeNoise provide some great tools. The Dark Energy plugin for After Effects is composed of two modules, one for making noise and grain features, and the other for removing them, in Matter and Anti-Matter respectively. One of the main differences distinguishing Dark Energy is that the plugins is geared specifically for 4k.
The Dark Energy plugins are only for Windows, after a failed KickStarter attempt to bring Dark Energy to the macintosh back in September, falling drastically short of its goal to port the plugin to other software packages such as Avid, Resolve, NUKE, and SCRATCH – with a stretch goal for providing the plugins for OSX.
The second installment into character rigging in After Effects, David Legion places the focus on demonstrating how to set up a rig that can be used to control a character’s face in After Effects.
how to setup a rig to control your puppet’s face
The first part showed how to create the characters face so that it can be animated with some degree of rotation using Mettle’s FreeForm Plugin for After Effects and displacement maps
David walks through the process for creating the rig, sharing techniques for using Nulls and the After Effects Puppet tool together, and creating slider controls that will create the animation for the character’s face. Check out the tutorial for Create A Facial Rig For Your Puppet in After Effects here.
Calvin shows how to prep the js libraries, getting them ready for use in the After Effects scripting workflow, and as an example, shows how to integrate the Underscore.js library into a simple After Effects Script. Calvin notes that some JS Libraries are developed for other “platforms” such as being specifically designed for use on the web, so choose wisely.
Evan Abrams takes a look at After Effects Shape Layer Repeater engine to create radial motion graphics and animation easily, showing how simple it can be to get some pretty great looking animation quickly.
The shape layer repeater is a powerful and excellent tool that you should for sure know about and exploit often to make amazing graphics quickly and cheaply
Evan starts out with a simple example and explanation, moving and expanding on that premise to create some more interesting animation, and presents a couple of scenarios to experimenting with. Shape Layer properties are one of After Effects’ shining jewel features; If you understand the options and parameters that are available to you with Shape Layers and their corresponding additions, you can soon realize some pretty complex animation without a lot of hassle.
Creating a button press animation is pretty simple. Creating a button that can be changed, edited, manipulated and have the button press animation still all work is a little more interesting.
Here, Mikey Borup shows how to rig a simple flat-look 3D button in After Effects so that it can be used over and over again in projects that require a button.
A sweet 3D button all rigged up in After effects and ready to be pressed
Mikey shows how to create the button from one After Effects Shape layer, and sets up some controls that will not only animate the button, but also change some of the buttons attributes easily, including the extrusion length, the rounded corner radius and all the color that make up the button.
At times it can feel like the After Effects 3rd party and extension market is actually larger than After Effects itself, with developers filling in large corners of what functions seem to be missing, or weak in AE.
It is because of this that we may often forget that After Effects on its own can be used to create a lot of the effects that are offered by third party developers, and proving that point, FloMotion posts a look at creating a mirror ball animation completely in After Effects without the use of any special third party plugins or effects.
how you can create this mirror ball animation without the use of any third party plugins
The mirror ball animation not only features, of course, a 3d spinning mirror ball, but also some volumetric light effects for a slick and polished look. FloMotion notes that the composition uses the cel pattern effect, glow, sphere, fast blur and turbulent noise…clean and simple.
It can be easy to get lost in the sea of codec’s and formats available for creating content, and this is not just a concern for new users of After Effects, but there are also a lot of misconceptions floating around with even the most advanced users.
Here, James Whiffin unwraps some of the mystery behind file formats and codecs, and discusses which can be general use for common workflows, as well as describing advantages and disadvantages of some video codecs.
In this tutorial, we’ll look at which file formats and codecs are more as well as their advantages and disadvantages
James takes a look at some of the things to considers when choosing a file format and codec by discussing a couple of scenarios defining the balances between file quality and bit depth, channel support, compatibility, rendering speed and encoding and final file size. Check out the tutorial to find out What File Formats and Codecs are Best for What?
Text animation in After Effects can be quite flexible and simple once you understand what is going on before you realize the possibilities. Here, Evan Abrams demonstrates using the Wiggly Selector as part of the After Effects Text Animators that can be animated.
The wiggly selector is like the wiggle() expression and does about the same thing but with a lot more control and flexibility in key framing how things operate
Evan had a previous look at using the range selector in Ae, but the Wiggly selector works a bit different than the range selector, in that it is performing the After Effects Wiggle Expression. Evan notes that the Wiggly Selector can provide more control and flexibility in its operation, allowing you to apply keyframes, something that can’t be done with the wiggle expression (by default) itself.
Sharing his character animation techniques and workflow, David Legion starts a nine part tutorial series which focuses on the character’s face including lip-sync, rigging and animation.
The series starts out with a look at using Mettle’s FreeForm Plugin for After Effects that uses a displacement map for the head and the character’s face allowing you to have a degree of flexibility in a 2D character by being able to rotate the character’s head in the animation.
you will learn how to create an effective displacement map, which will be used with the FreeForm plug-in. Once applied, this helps to create a 3D face in After Effects that can pivot 180 degrees, an enormous time-saver in character animation
Looking at the series overview, this will prove to be a very valuable resource for the After Effects character animation pipeline where David uses After Effects and native tools like the puppet tool as well as Mettle’s FreeForm, MamoWorld’s Auto Lip Sync, and even Cinema 4D.
- Part 1: Building a Displacement Map for the character’s face.
- Part 2: Rigging the face using Puppet pins, nulls, and expressions.
- Part 3: Create control expressions using custom sliders.
- Part 4: Automated lip syncing using MamoWorld’s Auto Lip Sync.
- Part 5: Create a working jaw with simple shapes.
- Part 6: Create a swinging head of hair for you puppet using simple code.
- Part 7: Create controllers for the heads and eyes.
- Part 8: Switching out language tracks but retaining your lip sync.
- Part 9: Using Cinema 4D to create a basis for your displacement map.