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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.
We have these automatic animation which is being controlled via the Weigall expression, and null position layer. The result is that each one of these little spheres is working its way and moving across our composition in a 3-D world. Now, this is very nice but I want to create some kind of an interesting cascades scaling animation so each one of them will appear in a different timing during the, let's say, ten seconds of the beginning of this time.
So in order to do so, I'm just going to select one of the spheres, and then press S to see the scale key phrase. I'm going to create the keyframe at the beginning of the composition with the value of zero for all the three axis. Then I'm going to press Shift and Page Down in order to move ten frames ahead. And then return it to 100%. I'm also going to make sure that this is still selected and then under the Animation menu from the Keyframe Assistant, convert the last keyframe to an easy, ease keyframe.
You can also press F9 of course in order to do so. Now in order to make it a little bit more springy, I'm going to select the Graph Editor icon, and then make sure that I have enough room by pressing on the Tilde. I can get a, a full screen view, and also let's zoom in a little bit into this composition. This will help us to see it a little bit clearer. Then let's take this handle and raise it to somewhere around, I would say, 130%, something like this.
Now let's test the result by pressing Tilde once again, going to the beginning of this, and then press Zero. So we can see that it is just springing out of nothing, so this is exactly what we're after. Maybe we can even make it go a little bit higher. So this is exactly what I need, and now I want to copy the same keyframes to all the other layers. So let's switch back to the regular view.
Select the word Scale, make sure that you are on the first frame over here, and then choose Copy. Then let's select all the other layers, and you can do it very easily by selecting this Label color, and choosing Select Label Group. Aftereffect will select all the shape layers which have the same level of course. So let's unsolo this and go to the Edit menu and choose Paste.
Now, I'm going to press Zero once again just to see or verify that indeed we have the animation that we are after. So everyone of them is appearing in an interesting scaling animation on the screen. And now let's work on the cascade appearance. For that you can close this triangle. And I'm going to go maybe six frames ahead. So press Page Down six times. One, two, three, four, five, six. And then press and hold the Opt key or Alt on the PC and the closing square bracket in order to trim all the layers, which are still selected, to the six frames mark.
We can also zoom out. Now, I just want to verify that they are still selected. So I'm going to press on the Tilde key. And if you want, you can also control the order of the cascade. And for that, you need to reselect them. So, I'm going to deselect everything. And then select the first instance, and then the last one. And actually see that I don't have 30 copies over here, I only have 29. So let's select the last one and duplicate another instance, just so we will be organized.
Because I said so, you don't have to do it, you can still create the animation with 29 layers, it will work beautifully. Alright, so reselect the first layer, which is the original sphere, then Shift Select the top one. And the reason that I did it like this is because now that they are all selected, I'm going to go to the Animation Menu and from the Keyframe Assistant, I'm going to choose this option, Sequence Layers. The sequence layers behavior is sensitive to this selection order.
So now, when I'm going to press Okay, it will respect the order that I've selected it. And the first one will appear, actually, at the beginning of the composition. Once again, this is just my recommendation. You can still work the way you want. And the result may vary a little bit, but you will get more or less the same outcome. Now, we need to extend the duration of everybody until the end of the composition because we just trimmed the layers.
So, press on the End key, on the keyboard. Hold down Alt on the PC, Option on the Mac, and press once again on the closing square brackets in order to change the out, point or to trim the end until the end of this composition. Now press on the Tilde key once again, go to the Start and create another run preview to check the outcome. Now, each and everyone of them is popping in a different location in a different time zone.
Which means that six frame, one after the other, and because we have this nice spring scaling animation, we've created a falloff animation, or cascade animation. So it looks more interesting than the previous state that we started with. At least to my opinion. Now comes the fun part. Now let's connect all these spheres. And create some kind of a meaningful animation between each one of the spheres.
I will show you how to do this in the next movie.
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