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Constant vital signs

From: After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

Video: Constant vital signs

One of the main principles of art is repetition, but with variation. Right now I have five identical copies of those Vital Signs traces; I mean they are going at different speeds and they are randomized a little bit in their shape, but we have five pretty similar lines of vital signs going across our composition. What if we made one of them say be a bit different than the other ones, maybe a different length or do a different pattern? I'm going to pick one that's fairly visible throughout the composition, such as this second one from the top, Vital Signs 2 and treat it a little bit differently.

Constant vital signs

One of the main principles of art is repetition, but with variation. Right now I have five identical copies of those Vital Signs traces; I mean they are going at different speeds and they are randomized a little bit in their shape, but we have five pretty similar lines of vital signs going across our composition. What if we made one of them say be a bit different than the other ones, maybe a different length or do a different pattern? I'm going to pick one that's fairly visible throughout the composition, such as this second one from the top, Vital Signs 2 and treat it a little bit differently.

I'm going to twirl open its Shape Group and maybe rather than have it travel across the screen, it might be interesting to go ahead and have it on all the time. I'll turn off the Trim Paths, so we have a tracery going across the entire composition, that's always present, no matter where the camera move is during our composition. It looks a bit soft later on when it's being blurred and timed to the music, but it's particularly obvious here earlier on in our animation. I'm going to solo that layer so we get a better idea of what's going on, and temporarily increase its Opacity to 100% so we can see it more clearly.

There it is with its blur. Well, the problem with turning off the Trim Paths is that it's not animating anymore. Well, if you remember when we first built this Shape layer, the Wiggle Paths that we used to wiggle that line did automatically animate. We set the speed down to 0 because we did our animation with Trim Paths, but now we need that animation back again. So to pick a good speed for this, I think I'm going to use the same principles I did before of our music tempo being 20 frames and our comp speed being 24 frames a second.

Press Enter, and now I get a Wiggles/Second of .8333. Let's do a quick RAM Preview, see how that looks. (music playing) Yeah, I think that's interesting. Let's put its Opacity back down to where the other layers were. The other layers had a 33% Opacity, so I'll copy and paste that back to this Vital Signs.

I'll turn off its solo switch and now we see it in context with all of my other Vital Signs layers. That's just a simple adjustment to add a little bit more visual interest and also frankly to keep one of those Vital Signs visible for my entire animation. Now that I look at this I might even turn down my maximum blur a little bit so they're not getting blurred quite as much while the music is loud and I can see the Vital Signs a bit more clearly. So that's another slight improvement.

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