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Creating a radar sweep

From: After Effects Apprentice 15: Creating a Sports Opening Title

Video: Creating a radar sweep

I've closed the pre-comp from the previous movie. The next element we're going to make is this gradient that sweeps around just underneath the floor. There's also a subtle lightning effects going on that we're also be adding to this gradient. So to get started we'll make another pre-comp. This composition we'll call it Radar and this size for this comp should be 1200x1200. We arrived at this number through trial and error. When you are making elements, take a best guess of what size something like this should be, you can always come back later and resize the comp.

Creating a radar sweep

I've closed the pre-comp from the previous movie. The next element we're going to make is this gradient that sweeps around just underneath the floor. There's also a subtle lightning effects going on that we're also be adding to this gradient. So to get started we'll make another pre-comp. This composition we'll call it Radar and this size for this comp should be 1200x1200. We arrived at this number through trial and error. When you are making elements, take a best guess of what size something like this should be, you can always come back later and resize the comp.

But in general, always make your elements larger than the final size. It's usually better to scale them down slightly than have to scale them up, because they're too small. The Pixel Aspect Ratio, again, is Square Pixels, 29.97. The same duration, 10 seconds as the previous comp, but for this background color let's pick any color except white or black. Our gradient will be white to black. So we want to pick a color, just something maybe in the blue range, just so we can see the gradient on top of this color.

To make the gradient, I'm going to use a Shape layer. I'll select the Rectangle tool and then double-click. And because I have no layer selected, I'll get a full frame shape layer. Now my settings may look completely different than what you're seeing. I'm seeing some kind of gradient, and I'm seeing a stroke. I'll click on the word Stroke, change that to No Stroke and click OK. Let's click on the word Fill. Well, I am actually getting a Radial Gradient.

Your default maybe any one of these four buttons. So click on a Radial Gradient and click OK. In the Timeline panel, twirl down Contents > Rectangle 1, and now you see the Rectangle Path, the Stroke--which we don't need, so we'll delete--the Gradient Fill and the Transformations for Rectangle 1. I'll twirl down the Gradient. The size of the Gradient is controlled by the Start Point and the End Point. I'm going to leave the Start Point set to 00, which is actually in the center of the layer.

But I'm going to pull the End Point out, pressing the Shift Key somewhere around 550. That way I'll have a gradient that stretches almost to the end of my layer. I'll also increase the Highlight Length. This is the next parameter. I'll increase that to 100% so that the highlight is focused around the End Point. Now let's change the Colors. To change the Colors, you can either click on Edit Gradient, or you can click on the Gradient swatch in the toolbar.

In my case I have two colors from red to white. You may have other colors in the center. If you have any other colors, just drag them away so you return to just two colors. The gradient we're going to make is a very simple white to black gradient. The first color--in my case this is red. And I can see that this is the color that's over on this side of the gradient. I'd like that color to be white. So I'll make that white and I'd also like this color to be 100% opaque.

So I'll just click on the Opacity tab and check that that's 100%. The second color, I'd like this to be black. Now my color will gradient for white to black. The tab on top for my opacity is actually set to the correct opacity, 0%. If I increase it, this might be something more like what you're seeing. A white to black gradient, but in this case I really do want this to be transparent. So I'm going to leave that back at 0%. Now remember, you can come back and edit this gradient at any time.

For instance, I could move the Color Stop for the white color. Or, I could select the black color and change it, so that it's not quite so dark. I could even go to little bit of color. So these are all tweaks you can make later. For now I'll just click OK. And the last thing we want to do is just rotate the gradient. I'll select the layer, press R for Rotation, press Home to make sure I'm back at the beginning of the comp, and turn on the stopwatch for rotation. Now I'll press End to jump to the end of the comp, and I'll change the rotation to 2 Revolutions.

I'll RAM Preview, and that looks like a pretty good speed. The funny thing about writing tutorials is that it always looks like you know exactly what you're going to do in advance. But I arrived at this value for rotation after a little trial and error. After we assembled the main comp, you can always go back, speed this up, or slow it down. In the next movie, we'll composite some lighting on top of this rotating gradient.

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This video is part of

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  1. 3m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 17m 38s
    1. Building the grid floor
      8m 48s
    2. Creating a radar sweep
      5m 13s
    3. Adding lightning
      3m 37s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. Building the video panel
      4m 34s
    2. Using the Block Dissolve effect
      3m 52s
    3. Stylizing the footage
      2m 15s
    4. Duplicating precomps
      3m 37s
  4. 21m 22s
    1. Importing Illustrator files
      5m 47s
    2. Working with paths and masks
      4m 54s
    3. Animating the Stroke effect
      4m 20s
    4. Tinting the event names
      2m 42s
    5. Wiggling the rings
      3m 39s
  5. 33m 35s
    1. Starting a new composition
      1m 48s
    2. Spotting music
      5m 55s
    3. Building the floor
      5m 27s
    4. Adding a video panel
      3m 40s
    5. Creating a reflection
      7m 47s
    6. Adding the dial
      4m 7s
    7. Arranging the frame
      4m 51s
  6. 9m 22s
    1. Setting up the final pose
      4m 28s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      4m 54s
  7. 14m 39s
    1. Adding a text layer
      5m 16s
    2. Using text animation presets
      3m 16s
    3. Customizing the preset
      6m 7s
  8. 6m 56s
    1. Adding a Spot light
      3m 41s
    2. Casting shadows
      3m 15s
  9. 12m 7s
    1. Improving consistency
      2m 43s
    2. Adding a 2D background
      4m 29s
    3. Tying up loose ends
      4m 55s
  10. 20m 37s
    1. Overview of Main Comp 2
      3m 32s
    2. Grouping layers
      4m 39s
    3. Animating the swivel
      9m 2s
    4. Assembling the final comp
      3m 24s
  11. 25m 56s
    1. Adding a transition
      7m 0s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a filmic glow
      4m 0s
    4. Increasing the motion blur
      4m 2s
    5. Retiming a video source
      7m 34s
  12. 13m 4s
    1. Exploring render settings
      2m 48s
    2. Outputting for archiving
      1m 15s
    3. Outputting anamorphic widescreen DV
      1m 57s
    4. Creating a 4:3 center-cut version
      2m 31s
    5. Outputting for web
      2m 23s
    6. Exploring components for editors
      2m 10s
  13. 12m 49s
    1. Creating the inner ring
      5m 19s
    2. Creating the outer ring
      3m 9s
    3. Creating the text ring
      4m 21s

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