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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating and styling a map


From:

After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

with Ian Robinson

Video: Animating and styling a map

Now if you're joining me from the last video you'll probably recognize this map. We downloaded the files and we've optimized everything, but if you didn't join me from the last video it's important that you understand that this map doesn't exist anywhere in the project files. Watch the previous video, so you can see exactly where we downloaded the files from, but in this video we're just going to focus specifically on creating the map animation based off of this layered Photoshop document. So what we ended up creating was this color map down here at the bottom and a mask.
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  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
7h 57m Intermediate Feb 09, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Converting type from Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Creating shapes from text
  • Using markers in animation
  • Editing techniques for graphics
  • Using type presets
  • Animating type
  • Exploring color correction tools
  • Building animated textures
  • Creating custom vignettes
  • Understanding Lights and Material settings
  • Adding dynamic transitions
  • Rigging cameras for animation
  • Working efficiently in 3D space
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Animating and styling a map

Now if you're joining me from the last video you'll probably recognize this map. We downloaded the files and we've optimized everything, but if you didn't join me from the last video it's important that you understand that this map doesn't exist anywhere in the project files. Watch the previous video, so you can see exactly where we downloaded the files from, but in this video we're just going to focus specifically on creating the map animation based off of this layered Photoshop document. So what we ended up creating was this color map down here at the bottom and a mask.

And the Mask is just kind of give us the ability to isolate the land from the ocean. So we're all ready to go. Let's jump in the After Effects. Now we need to import this layered Photoshop document. I saved in the Psd-Comps folder, but like I said you will not find that inhere unless you've gone through the previous video. So go ahead and make sure to import the file as a Composition - Retaining Layer Sizes and when you click Open you'll get this other contextual menu and you can just leave everything set up the way it is and click OK.

If we double-click our imported document, you notice that it's huge. It's 5400 x 2700. What we need to do is drop these layers into a smaller composition. So let's create a new comp and we can leave it set to the 1280 x 720 at the 23.976 we've been using before, but let's just name the Comp Map-Move and we can click OK. Now when I double-click Map-Move you notice there are no files inhere.

So let's go back to Map_AE and just copy the layers and paste them into Map-Move. When I paste these, notice how large these layers are in comparison to the composition itself. It's also important to understand that these are two separate layers. So what we need to do is make sure that the mask follows the color layer. See if I just select the color layer and move, notice the mask is not moving with the color. So let me just undo that and we'll parent the mask layer to look at the color map as the source by using the pick whip in the parent channel.

Now if the parent channel is in up in your Timeline Ctrl+Right-Click and make sure it's active. Okay, so let's go ahead and scale this map down so we can start our animation. And in general this is going to be a part of the graphics package from the standpoint that typically in a graphics package if you have informational graphics like this you would want to make sure that these maps match the same style as the rest of the show and everything else.

So one other thing we need to do before we start animating is actually import a graphic element that we can use to blend this map with everything else that we've created. So let's go ahead and double-click and import a composition from chapter 11. Now you can import an entire After Effects project. So let's go ahead and just import the 11_01 After Effects project from our AE-Projects folder in Chapter 11. When we click Open notice the entire project is imported into its own folder.

Now if we open up the Board_01 composition you'll notice that we actually have our background created here. I think I want to use the background from Board_02, because it's a little busier. So open up Board_02 scroll down to the bottom and select the Light Gray Solid layer. I want to be able to delete this project after I copy this file over. So what I need to do is Ctrl or right- click on the Light Gray Solid layer to reveal the layer source in the project.

That way it's highlighted right here in the Project pane. Now I can drag the solid down into the Map_AE layers folder and that way when I go back to delete my project folder, I'm not getting rid of this background layer. Now before I do that I need to select the Light Gray Solid in the Board_02 timeline and just copy the layer and go back over to my Map-Move comp and just paste the layer. Now I can go ahead and delete this folder that contains my older composition that we imported.

And After Effects is nice, making sure do we want to delete this? And we can go ahead and click OK. Now to blend this in let's just move our background layer to the bottom of our Timeline and change the blend mode from the color channels from Normal to Luminosity. And now all the landmasses are going to take on the characteristics of this background layer. Now this mask isn't really serving any purpose right now, because all its doing is just creating a layer of black over the ocean and I wanted to actually create transparency.

So to adjust the transparency we've to go to the Track Matte setting with your swatches here and go from None to Alpha Inverted Matte. Now this background layer is also available for the ocean. That's pretty hardcore. What I'm going to do is actually just take down the Opacity of this background layer just a little bit just by adjusting the Opacity down. There we go. So now we have our map prepped and all we have to do is create our zooms in to specific areas.

I want to the map to zoom independent of the background and it's going to do that as long as we just provide our animation only on the layer 2. So let's go ahead and add some keyframes. With your playhead set to 0 let's press Alt+P, or Option+P to set a position keyframe and Alt+S, or Option +S to set a scale keyframe. Now this map animation can be pretty simple, because all we're doing is just zooming into a specific area of the country where an artist would be featured in the show overall.

So let's go ahead and move our playhead down to around 1 second in the Timeline and adjust our Scale up and we'll go ahead and zoom in to the eastern section of the United States. So that's looking pretty good and now all we need to do is just add a blip or something of the sort to highlight an area right around Washington, D.C. [00:06:3535] So let's go up and create a new solid layer and let's change that to white.

And to create a circle it's going to be pretty easy. Just use the Ellipse tool. And if you click in the center and drag out while holding Shift and Command, Ctrl on the PC, that will allow you to create an ellipse pretty quickly and easily. Now I'm going to bring the Opacity of this down just a little bit. There we go, and we can go ahead and animate this popping up in the D.C. area just by grabbing our Selection tool and going to Position and just repositioning this blip a little bit further north.

There we go and we'll just animate the scale. So let's open up the Scale parameter, set that down to 0, and you notice nothing on the screen. Now let's have our blip pop up. We can go ahead and change the Scale to around 120 and then move your playhead down about five more frames and change that to 100. Now let's move our playhead back to the beginning and watch a RAM Preview.

So by all means we could continue polishing this animation by adding some type that appears into the map animation and some other features, but I think you get the general idea. This is how you can create a map animation based off of the maps that we downloaded from the site in the previous video.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics.


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Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

 
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