Shape Layers!

I’m enjoying Adobe After Effects more and more as I go through the book!  I really can’t speak highly enough of the Adobe Systems Classroom in a Book series.  The projects they have you do end up looking a bit silly and childish, but they are very, very good at teaching and (just as importantly) reinforcing the essential concepts you need to know to have a good, professional workflow!

Today, I learned what a ‘shape layer’ is.  Keep reading below the cut to find out, and to see my DJ Quad Master animation!

So, this was fun.  After Effects has many of the same shape-building and pattern-creation tools that Illustrator does.  This most recent chapter that I completed re-inforced the proper workflow for starting a new project and creating a new composition.  However, for this one, instead of importing all of the assets, I created most of them.  The background is a rectangle shape filled with a gradient that extends beyond the edges of the frame.  It also has several shapes in it.  I actually made just two shapes…  The rotating sun shapes in the background are a polygon that has been extremely warped and then twisted.  Then I repeated the one shape several times and applied a rotation animation to the original.  The star shapes are a single star that have a ‘pucker and bloat’ effect applied.  Then the original is copied, moved, rotated, scaled and made less opaque several times to create an incremental change.  Basically, with a few very basic commands and just two shapes, it’s possible to create a very full and dynamic background.

In addition to the background, the DJ himself was a regular video (that already had the background masked out) that I imported, but then I applied some effects to make him look a bit ‘cartoonish.’  Finally, the title is regular text with a fade-in effect applied with a yellow rectangle behind with just a couple modifiers to make it look like a stylized version of a sounds wave form.

We’re moving ever closer to a couple of big projects, so stay tuned, and here’s the results of this chapter:

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