Wiggling the rings
Video: Wiggling the ringsBefore we leave this Pre-comp, let's add some automatic animation to the inner and outer ring, and we'll do that by using the wiggle expression. We want these layers to animate in 3D. So let's select all the layers and press R for Rotation. Right now we only have access to rotating these layers in 2D space. So that's the only animation they're capable of doing. I'll undo. We'll toggle on the 3D switch for each of these layers and now we have access to X, Y, and Z Rotation.
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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
Wiggling the rings
Before we leave this Pre-comp, let's add some automatic animation to the inner and outer ring, and we'll do that by using the wiggle expression. We want these layers to animate in 3D. So let's select all the layers and press R for Rotation. Right now we only have access to rotating these layers in 2D space. So that's the only animation they're capable of doing. I'll undo. We'll toggle on the 3D switch for each of these layers and now we have access to X, Y, and Z Rotation.
If you need to remind yourself what each one does, go ahead scrub the X Rotation, the Y Rotation, and then the Z Rotation. What we're going to do is apply the wiggle expression to orientation. But first we'll set up the pose so that each of the dials has a nice interesting relationship to each other. For the inner ring I could set the Y Rotation as something like +60, and for the outer ring I'll set the X Rotation to -60. So they're going to start off with this pose and then the wiggle expression will animate them plus and minus their starting orientation.
So make sure you can see the dials as you're working. So anywhere after two seconds should work, and let's start the expression. To do that I'll press the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, and click the stopwatch for orientation. If you remember from the Expressions lesson the default expression simply says do whatever I'm currently doing. The composition panel also goes blank, because it's waiting for some instructions. The expression should already be selected. So let's replace it with the word wiggle.
Wiggle. And then type open parenthesis. Remember that you need two values for the wiggle expression the first value is frequency. In other words how many times you want to wiggle per second? This particular animation is not supposed to be the hero. So we don't want to be too distracting. So I think something like once per second will be fine. Next, type a comma, and the second value is the magnitude. In other words, the maximum number of degrees the layer should rotate.
Let's just type 25 and that should wiggle plus or minus 25 degrees. Close the parentheses. That's the expression done. And to reply the expressions just press the Enter key on the keypad or click anywhere outside the expression field. We'll RAM preview. It might look a little fast as it's buffering. But it's not too manic when it's playing back in real time. Now since I've applied the expression to the Orientation parameter, it's wiggling the X, Y, and Z. If you only want to wiggle on one axis, you can apply expression just to the X, Y, or Z Rotation.
If you like that effect, go ahead and apply to the outer ring as well. Option or Alt-click on Orientation, and we will replace the default expression with wiggle (1, 25), press Enter, and RAM preview again. So I think we are done with this pre-comp for now. Don't forget to save you're project before moving on.
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