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After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now if you're joining me from the last video, you just saw how I created some swoosh effects using the Stroke effect, and what we're going to do in this video is actually use Vegas to create some swooshes. Vegas is very similar to the Stroke effect, yet it's different, so let's check out how by applying the Vegas effect to this Solid that I've created in our comp. So go up under Effect and we want to Generate > Vegas.
Now, first thing you'll notice about Vegas, the Stroke options we want to actually set that to Mask/Path. Now it's going the stroke on the mask path and we want to change the Rendering blend mode from Over to Transparent. And last thing, just so we can see what's going on in the scene, go to your Comp Settings under View Options, and make sure that masks are actually disabled. Now we can see sort of what Vegas brings to the table. Let's adjust the width of the Vegas effect and you notice, now I have kind of a stream of little points along my path.
And if I move my playhead, nothing is really happening, because in order for this to animate, you need to adjust the Rotation. So if I go ahead and drag the Rotation right or left, you notice I can get an effect that look sort of like streaming lights, which is exactly what Vegas has. So in order to get rid of all these little dots, and just get smaller single dots, we need to decrease the number of segments it takes to actually draw across this effect. So you notice now when we have 1 Segment the next option we have is Length.
And Length is basically over the entire length of the path. So there we go. We'll go ahead and bring that down to 0.3. So, now as we go ahead and click through the rotation, you notice I've got paths set up like this. The cool thing about Vegas is the fact that it'll actually allow you to repeat the same sort of thing over and over and over again. But in order to affect the 3D look, what we need to actually do is keyframe a change in the actual width of this element going across the screen.
So let's start with this stroke actually being way far away. So let's adjust the Width down to something like 2, so it's really, really tiny. And let's adjust our rotations so the Vegas effect appears off the left side. Now I know we can see it off here on the right-hand side, but that's okay; we can change that by adjusting the Start Opacity. We could just keyframe that at 0 for the very, very start. So let's look at that. It's at 1.
Let's keyframe it at 0. And when we move forward in the Timeline, let's go ahead and have this happen over one second. So we want to adjust the Rotation and obviously, we can't see anything that's happening, because we adjusted our Start Opacity. So let's bring that back up to 1, and there you can see the stroke pretty much made it all the way across the canvas with that Rotation option. So I notice we didn't set an initial keyframe for our rotation. So since we're at the end here, let's go ahead and make sure that that rotation gets all the way off on the right-hand side, and we'll create our end keyframe first and move our playhead back here to the beginning, and adjust our Rotation back to the right.
So as we scrub through, we can kind of see what's happening here. So we need a much longer rotation. So let's go ahead and just drag that way off to this side. Okay, there we go. So the fade is happening a little too slowly, but if we go ahead and animate the size change to our brush, let's see what that looks like first. Go ahead and select the Width and keyframe it at 2 at the beginning and let's go right about here, and let's keyframe the Width up.
And yes, let's bring our Start Opacity up here. There we go, and just so we can see all the keyframes we've created, select the layer and press U to open that up. And let's delete this last opacity keyframe, because we don't need it. Now the only issue I'm running into is just this here at the beginning. So we can tweak our first opacity keyframe so it doesn't start fading until right there at the beginning. So when we get over to the end, we want to do kind of the exact same thing with the opacity.
We'll have it start fading right here, and we definitely want it to be faded off before the next one appears, which is actually only a little bit down. So let's move our fade back to the left there. Okay, so as you can see, we've got one stroke moving successfully from one side to the other. The nice thing about our Vegas swoosh is the fact that it actually has a difference in scale from the start of the effect to the end of the effect. And you can definitely adjust that by keyframing or adjusting the End Opacity, but we'll go ahead and leave that at its natural setting right there.
And this color looks pretty drab, so let's change the color from yellow to white. And you guessed it, we can either go up under Effect and use Tint, or we could go ahead and create a Glow Stylize effect. Now with Glow, we want to set the glow based on the alpha channel. There we go. That's looking kind of cool. And we want to reset our colors. So for Color A, let's go ahead and choose something that's a little more orange.
There we go. And then for Color B, let's choose something a little more yellow. Now, since the blend mode is set to Add, if we change it to Normal, you can kind of see exactly what's going on here. What we need to do is crank up the Glow Intensity and the Glow Radius-- there we go--and adjust the Glow Threshold. Ah, there we go. Let's bring the Radius back down and the Intensity back down just a little bit.
Okay, so you get the idea. We can sit here and continue tweaking this, but you can see how we've sort of stylize this based on the glow. So now if we go ahead and move back in the frame, we can watch our RAM preview and see the glowing stroke that we've created using the Vegas effect.
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