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Mograph Techniques: Physics Simulations in After Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Connect Layers script intro


From:

Mograph Techniques: Physics Simulations in After Effects

with Eran Stern

Video: Connect Layers script intro

In this chapter, we'll use the Connect Layers script in order to create a >> Okay, of course this is part of the full movie that we are going to explore.

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Mograph Techniques: Physics Simulations in After Effects
2h 0m Intermediate Apr 11, 2014

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Explore how to create complex physical animations inside After Effects using Newton (a third-party plugin) and the Connect Layers (a free script). This project-based course covers a few specific and popular types of effects, such as letters suspended from strings and connected, randomized spheres. Artist Eran Stern shows how to connect any type of element together in a complex 3D array of strings and work with different dynamic simulations in order to create Dormant and Collision as well as Staggering and Kinematic animation types.

These lessons are perfect for motion graphics artists who want to create earthy physics simulations and add realistic motion to their projects.

Topics include:
  • Building a random sphere animation
  • Creating a tree connection
  • Animating letters dangling from rope
  • Creating body types and groups
  • Staggering layer simulation
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Projects
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Eran Stern

Connect Layers script intro

In this chapter, we'll use the Connect Layers script in order to create a sophisticated and complex array of spheres and some strings which connect them. This is what we are going for, so first I want to share with you the final result. So I'm going to switch to full res by hitting the tilde key and create a quick run preview. >> We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone, but we are at risk because the opposite is true.

If we are not able to be alone, we're only going to know how to be lonely. >> Okay, of course this is part of the full movie that we are going to explore. I'm going to turn off, or mute the sound for a moment, and I'm just going to play this once again. Now this is one variation of what we're going to create. We are not going to be imitating exactly the same movement due to the fact that we are going to use this scatter also a wiggle expression.

So your result and my result and the result that you are seeing on the screen in the connects sphere final composition may be a little bit different. But it will convey the same message and will deliver more or less the same graphic result, which you see on screen. For now I'm going to stop the RAM preview, and I'm also going to quit out of After Effects, because I want to show you where you can get this free script and how to install it.

So on the Mac side, just quit under the After Effects menu. Of course on the PC side choose File > Quit. I open up Safari and surf to the motionboutique.com. This is the website that you see over here. Under the blog section, let's go to the scripts section, and scroll down until you see the Connect Layers script. Click on it and then if you want, you can play this short Vimeo movie in order to just get the first impression of what this script will be able to help you with.

So as you see in these examples, there are a couple of very interesting things that you can do using this script. I'm just going to pause this for now and scroll all the way down until I can see the Download button. Press on it and download your copy. When I'm recording this, this is a free script. So you should be able to easily download and install it. I'm going to hide Safari for a moment. Under my Downloads here, I'm going to drill down the Connect Layers download.

Make sure to select these two items. Of course, make sure to read the license information. But we are only interested in these two items. So select them. And then copy them by going to the Edit menu and choose Copy, or pressing Ctrl+C if you're on the PC. And then navigate to your After Effects folder. Now I'm going to use version CC, which is Creative Cloud. You can do the same with version CS6. In both cases, we are after the Scripts folder, so make sure that you select it and highlight it.

And then go to the Edit menu and choose paste or Ctrl+V on the PC. Now, make sure that you quit out of After Effect and then relaunch it again in order to make this script available to you. We are not going to use this script in the next movie, just in the movie after it. But I just want to prepare you ahead of time to make sure that you will have the script and you will be able to follow along.

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