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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.
After creating this simulation using the connect layers script in Newton, of course, we need to time it to the narration. And, also, add some additional elements. First, let's turn off the mute, in order to hear the narration that we have over here. I'm also going to turn on our background. The red background will correspond to other colors in the same movie. And, I'm just going to make sure that you are aware that we are choosing those colors from our color scheme.
These are the five colors which are consistent throughout the whole movie. Okay so, let's hear it with the narration right now, and note that there is a marker which I've named, click, over here. >> We're faking experiences so we'll have something to share, so we can feel alive. >> So, my plan is to freeze the action when we hearing this click sound and also create a fashionable transition which will imitate the camera click that we have over here.
Before doing so, I just want to move the whole group down at the beginning of the composition. So, I think it will actually contribute to the whole simulation. For that I'm going to create a new null object and I'm going to name it Move Down. Then I want to make sure that I can see all the layers over here. So pressing tilde in order to see the full frame of the timeline. Let's just make sure that this layer is on top right now.
It is 100 in terms of the index number because we have plenty of shy layers over here which we've hidden before. I'm also going to turn on the motion blur for the waltz. We don't need the motion blur for the background. And then make sure to select everything here and parent them to the move down null object. Then let's select it, press tilde in order to return to the full interface, and let's move maybe 15 frames ahead.
So Shift+Page Down and then five times on the page down key. And then, I'm going to hold down Shift+Alt+P in order to create a key frame for the position over here. Move back to the beginning of the composition and just make sure that everything here will be out of the screen. I'm also going to select this keyframe and press F9 to easy ease the movement, and we can enable motion blur and test the result.
Maybe a couple of seconds, we don't need to see everything. >> We're faking experiences so we'll have something to share. >> Okay looks promising. Now we need to freeze the movement over here, so let's find out where our click marker is over here. And when we are freezing it, we don't want to see the ropes anymore. So, just make sure that you are on top of this marker. And then select the ropes, and turn off the visibility.
Now, we need to render a freeze frame out of this. So go to the composition menu. And from here, choose to save frame as file. I'm going to navigate to the exercise files. And under the footage, under artwork, I'm going to save another version of this. Rope Letters number two. You also have the original Rope Letters Freeze.psd with the final composition over here. So let's choose Save. And let's make sure that under the Render settings, instead of Current Settings, we are giving it the Best Setting template so it will render the full resolution result.
The Photoshop format is quite fine and let's hit Render. When the render is completed you can open up the output model and then select the words output model and just drag the result file to the project pilot. We can also close the render queue for now and press F2 to deselect. And we need to once again activate those ropes, once again. And then let's drag the Ropes Letter.psd on top of everything.
And I'm keep holding down my mouse until I'm snapping to the current time indicator. And then I'm going to let go. This means that from this point onward, coordinate with a click sound, we will have a freeze frame. We can also change the duration of our null object, just so it will be a little bit more clearer. Now currently the transition between the moving animation and the freeze frame is a little bit harsh. I'm just going to demonstrate it by creating another program preview.
So you can get a sense of what I'm talking about. >> We are faking experiences, so we will have something to share, so we can feel alive. >> So I want to make it more natural and give it the look and feel of a flash camera. In order to do so, I'm going to go to the Effect menu and from there Channel Category, I'm going to use the Solid Composite effect. This effect will allow you to add the color that you are choosing using one of the blending mode over here and this is what makes it so unique.
So I'm going to set it instead of Normal to the Add Blending Mode, which will then turn the white colors on top of everything. But if I'm going to play with the opacity, we do get an additive field almost like a snapshot of a flash is being taken using this animation and this is what we're after. So let's begin here with the opacity of 100% then move forward maybe one, two, three frames.
And then reduce it all the way to zero. And this of course will mimic the illusion of someone firing a flash on the scene. Okay, let's test the final result by going to the first frame, of course, we'll see it full frame, and then press zero in order to create a grand preview. >> We're faking experiences, so we'll have something to share, so we can feel alive. We're faking experiences, so we'll have something to share, so we can feel alive. >> So this is how you can create letters which are hanging and stretching on rubber ropes, all thanks to the wonderful Newton simulation plugin, with some help from the connect layers script.
All done inside Adobe After Effects.
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