After half term break we returned to VFX with Peter and continued learning the basics of After Effects using a provided primitive logo as a base.
The basic assets were provided to us as an Adobe Illustrator file (.AI), however it wasn’t ready for import out of the box. The three objects within the file were still being treat as one layer by Illustrator and we would need control of each individual shape in After Effects, therefore we needed to break them apart into separate layers. This was achieved by going into the layer options and choosing ‘Release to Layers (Sequenced)’ as shown below. The file was resaved and then imported into After Effects.
We dropped the whole image onto the timeline, dropped its opacity and locked the layer. This would serve as a guide for where we wanted the animation to be at the end of the clip and a useful alignment tool for the individual shapes.
The individual assets were then imported and grouped under a Null object parent so they would still translate in relation to each other. A keyframe was set on the final frame to set where we wanted the shapes to end using the whole image we’d locked earlier as a reference. The next keyframe was then added back at frame one where we scaled everything up, when the timeline was scrubbed the shapes appeared from off screen through the centre of the triangle and scaled down to meet the size of the original image. Further rotations were added to the side shapes to add some interest to the animation, this used the same keyframe method.
The individual layers were then duplicated as we would add whats known as a Track Matte to give a texture to the shapes. This reminded me a lot of using clipping masks in Photoshop and Animate. By this point here is what the timeline looked like.
The textures were imported and each one dragged over the duplicate layer we had just made, then assigned it as a child of that layer. At the bottom of the layer controls there is a toggle switch for another tool mode, this is where track mattes are accessed and you tell the material to use the alpha matte of the duplicate layer. Voila your texture now only covers the area of the shape. Here is the end result.
The eventual goal is to design the logo for our own fictitious company and to create a professional looking animation to promote it. More about this in the coming weeks.