Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Animating shape layers, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Backgrounds.
To wrap things up, I've included several shape layers to get you inspired. I'm not going to walk you through every single technique. At this point, you should have a pretty good feel for how these work. But use this as a gallery to show you what's possible. Let's start here with Pucker and Bloat. The pucker and bloat effect is useful to transform a layer. You saw as I used that earlier to take a shape into a bit of a spiral pattern. By key framing pucker and bloat, you can create a simple animated star and you see it goes from a full star here to a pattern to a bit of an explosion.
And all I've done is repeated that shape multiple times. By layering in a bunch of different copies together, it creates an interesting, repeated pattern. There they are. There's my simple star and it's animating the pucker and bloat properties. Next to that is another copy and one more. So, by putting three copies together, I've created a more complex animated shape. Those become a pre-comp, and by repeating it four more times, I've got a simple tile background.
And the use of blending modes mixes them together. But because I don't want it to look too computer generated, toss in a noise layer, and a little bit of an organic texture. Just something simple like that. And you instantly have a repeating, organic texture that has both a combination of natural texture with some interesting geometric patterns. And it's a lotta fun. Next to this, you'll also notice that your shape layers have additional properties. Remember, for every single shape layer.
You can always click the add property. One of those is wiggle. Now, without wiggle, this is a very basic shape. And over time, nothing happens. But when I add the wiggle property, I could choose to wiggle the path. And now you can adjust the size of the wiggle, creating a more organic or rough edged look. You can adjust the amount of detail, so it goes to sharp points, or very soft. You can tell it to be corners, or smooth, so it appears a bit more organic. And now that wiggle is going to animate over time, creating a flowing texture.
If you want you could add phase and spacial phase to add some variation. And these open up all sorts of options. And if you don't like it, just roll the dice by changing the Random Seed. And every time you do, you'll get a completely different combination. Random Seed is literally rolling the dice. And it mixes up the values to give you new, organic options with a simple single slider. So, what does that do? Well, something like this. I created a simple flowing texture and now I have this paint splatter look that's a little bit more animated.
And it didn't take much, just a simple wiggle path property. Inside that same Add command are many more choices. You could do things like a twisted pattern. By twisting my shape layers here, I created a spinning spiral, and this creates a bit of a mechanical texture that's repeating. Take a look up here and you see those repeaters that we learned about earlier, back in action. This is a great example of combining all of the techniques you've learned so far. If we build this up from the background you'll notice, there's that fractal noise.
Creating a seamless pattern, on top of it a tint, in this case using the four color gradient effect you learned about earlier. A shape layer. Just a simple star pattern. Rounded corners and rotating over time with a repeater. And then because everything looks good with the blur on it a nice gentle blur but not using that adjustment in normal mode. Instead of the Gaussian Blur or Fast Blur though, a new effect you haven't yet seen.
Radial Fast Blur, and this effect is really awesome because it allows you to blur from the center. Now, you could choose to blur everything. And it creates sort of this radiating blur. But I like to blur the brightest areas, which creates a fun pattern of lights. And by changing the blending mode. Now, you have a light source that evolves and radiates. And there you have it. A looping background combining several different techniques. And for good measure, if you want to go old school.
You've got the Kaleido effect, and all I did was laid out a couple of simple shapes, blur it a bit, and just like a real kaleidoscope, you can cut the pattern up. The Kaleido effect is a kaleidoscope. You might remember one of these toys from being a child. And what it allows you to do is change the mirroring method. How do these repeat? I'm a big fan of the wheel method. And what happens here is using the rotation property, you can evolve it. This means that it's going to rotate through.
And create a simple, repeated pattern from your sources. Toss on a second instance using another adjustment layer with the exact same effect running. This time though, the mirroring method being changed to flower. And you'll notice I have literally recreated the exact same way that a kaleidoscope worked. If you've ever looked at a traditional kaleidoscope all it really is, is a couple of pieces of plastic sitting at the bottom of a tube. And by tossing in a faceted crystal that creates some repeating patterns.
You get something that looks pretty much like this.
- The role of backgrounds in video
- Achieving proper color and contrast
- Gathering source material
- Working with gradients
- Filtering and blending backgrounds
- Using patterned tiles
- Shooting background plates
- Stacking and blending footage
- Designing backgrounds with the effects in After Effects