Creating the inner ring
Video: Creating the inner ringEarlier in this lesson, Trish showed you how to import the Dial artwork which was created in Adobe Illustrator as a composition. We do that for expediency, but also because quite often clients will supply to you their logo or other pieces of artwork as Illustrator files, and we want to give you some experience in handling them. However, you could also create this element directly inside After Effects using Shape and Text layers. So let's see how'd you do that. This composition size is 600x600. So I'll create a brand-new comp with the same dimensions and a good duration of 10 seconds.
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This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
- Building a 3D world
- Working with layered Illustrator files
- Synchronizing to music
- Using text animation presets
- Rendering strategies
- Working with widescreen video, including 4:3 center cut and safe area considerations
Creating the inner ring
Earlier in this lesson, Trish showed you how to import the Dial artwork which was created in Adobe Illustrator as a composition. We do that for expediency, but also because quite often clients will supply to you their logo or other pieces of artwork as Illustrator files, and we want to give you some experience in handling them. However, you could also create this element directly inside After Effects using Shape and Text layers. So let's see how'd you do that. This composition size is 600x600. So I'll create a brand-new comp with the same dimensions and a good duration of 10 seconds.
I'll click OK, Transparency Grid is already on, and that's going to be handy for seeing what we create. Let's look that inner dial first. I am going to select it, right-click on it, Reveal layer Source in Project. And I see that its outer dimension is 248 pixels. So we are going to say that ring is 240 pixels in diameter. I'll go back to my comp. I have No layer selected. I'll go up to my Shape tools and indeed select the Ellipse tool. I don't need any fill, and the red slash indicates No Fill.
If necessary, hold down Option for Mac, or Alt on Windows, and click on it to toggle through the different fill modes until you get to that red stripe. Similarly, we do want a stroke and again, you can hold Option or Alt and toggle through the different modes for that. I don't know what size is going to work yet. So I am going to enter ten pixels as a starting point, and black is a good color for the stroke. I am going to press the apostrophe key to temporarily bring up the Action and Title Safe, because that gives me a centre cross-hair to help me center this circle.
I could also look at the Info panel in the upper-right corner and make sure I am at half of this comps dimensions, 300x300. I'll click and start dragging. I'll add the Shift key to make it a perfect circle. Then I'll add the Command key on Mac, or Ctrl key on Windows, to center it around where I was drawing. I want to drag it out to the size that roughly looks correct, release the mouse, press V to return back to the Selection tool and look at my contents in my Shape layer down here in the Timeline panel.
I'll twirl open Ellipse in the Ellipse Path. I see my size is a bit large. So I'll set it to 240 pixels like we described previously. I see that my stroke width might be a large too. No problem. With the Shape layer selected, I'll just scrub that down until it looks good. Next, I need to add the series of tick marks to go around the inside of that circle. I'd see I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 of these. Okay, no problem. I'll go back to the Shape layer and kind of add those tick marks to a couple of different ways.
The way that we showed in the Shape layer lesson was to use the Pen tool to draw very short little tick marks, and that would work fine. However, an alternate way is to select our Ellipse group and add a rectangle. I am going to twirl it open, set its width to 0, and set its height to the length of tick mark that I want, and again, I want just the stroke and no fill. Set it around here for starting point, then scrub its position until it connects nicely with my ellipse.
I am going to press the apostrophe key to turn off the Action Title Safe just to help clean up the display. Okay, I have one tick mark, but I want ten of them. Well, how do we do that? We'll use the Repeater. I want to repeat this rectangular path. I don't need to repeat the Ellipse path. So I am going to drag the rectangle before the ellipse, add the Repeater and drag the Repeater before the ellipse, but after the rectangle. I'll twirl open its parameters, its transforms, I don't need a position offset, but I do need a Rotation offset.
There is 360 degrees around the circle. There are ten tick marks. That's 36 degrees apart. Press Enter and you see my tick marks are starting to get spaced out. I just need to increase my copies to 10 and now they go all the way around my circle. You might also remember that Trish used the Stroke effect to reveal this piece of artwork. Well, there is a couple of different ways of revealing artwork in shape layers as well. I twirl these up to clean things up for now. I am going to add the Trim Paths operator.
It defaults to after my shape paths. As I scrub the end, you'll see things draw off and draw on. Trim paths will initially treat each of these as individual paths drawn simultaneously or individually, which is kind of fun as well. You can also get other effects by using Merge Paths to say merge after the repeat, then add in the Ellipse path, then trim that whole unit. But anyway, you see how this can work.
I'll twirl this up for now and rename that shape layer, inner circle.
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