Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparation of artwork in Illustrator, part of Mograph Techniques: Shape Animation in After Effects.
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In this chapter, we'll create the beginning animation of the movie. It will consist of couple of stages, starting with the custom wipe animation that we've created in the previous chapter. And then we'll assemble two more parts. One of them is the monkey head animation and the third instance is the digital squirt. All done, of course, using shape layers inside After Effects. I want to show you the final result of this chapter so you'll know where I'm taking this.
And for this, I've opened up Monkey Head Animation Number One, which you can find in the appropriate chapter folder. Let's open up the final comps folder over here. Double click on number four. Start animation. Go to Full Frame. And create a ramp review to see the final result. Okay, I'm once again going to press on the Tilde key to get back to the full interface. We have a couple of things that we already have prepared such as the circle wipe in the beginning of this.
And now, we are going to create the monkey head animation over here. But, before doing so, I just want to show you a couple of options, how to prepare you artwork inside Adobe Illustrator. So, let's close this folder and also close everything over here. And then, let's open up our artwork folder, where you can find the monkey.ai. And this is, of course, an Illustrator file.
I want to examine the file in Illustrator, so make sure it is selected in the Project panel, and then go to the Edit menu and from there, choose Edit Original. This will open up Adobe Illustrator. And we can take a closer look at this file and how it was designed. In the Layer panel over here, we can see that we have a couple of layers, all grouped under the same layer, named Monkeyhead. Now, if we want access to each one of these layers inside After Effects, they all must be at the top hierarchy of this layer panel.
Now, you have couple of options how to approach it. You have the automatic option. Which means that you need to highlight the group, and then go to this Option menu. And from here choose Release to Layers Sequence. This will convert each one of the layers to a different layer. Then, make sure to drag them outside of the group, and, of course, you can delete the group. However, in this case, I'm just going to press Undo twice in order to get to the first initial state, since I've already named my layers, I can Shift select everything and then just drag them outside of the original monkey head group.
Now, I can select the monkey head group, which is empty, and delete it. This is a recommended way to work since we have names for each one of the individual part of the monkey face. It means that if I'm going to save this document, and I'm just going to go to the File menu and choose the Save command. And then return to After Effects. Now, I can right-click on the same artwork which I've already imported as a flat file.
And then from the menu over here, I can choose Replace Footage>with Layered Comp. And this will create an After Effects composition which has the same name. And we also have a folder where everything is separated according to the names that we gave inside Illustrator. So, if I'm going to double click on this layer, we can see that we have a nicely organized composition where each and every layer is separated into its own vector artwork.
This is a great way to work, since you have full control on each and every layer inside this document. Just remember that if you choose to work like this, it is highly recommended to enable the continuously rasterize option here in the switches of the software. And this means that if we are going to scale those elements. Each and everyone will continue to look nice, pristine, and clean inside the software.
Of course, this is a great way to work if you need to make some changes in a later state to the Illustrator vector art. Every time you will return to the Illustrator document, for example, and change one of the layers. I'm just going to highlight the eyes and mouth over here. And choose a different color by double clicking on the color picker. And for this example I'm just going to say that it will be pink. Then I'm going to save my changes.
Return to After Effects. And After Effects will update the artwork automatically. However, I'm not going to use it like this. So, I'm going to undo couple of steps until I return to the previous step Which means that, that monkey head now, is still a flat artwork and I want to convert it to a shape layer. We'll show you exactly how to do it, in the next movie.
- Creating a basic circle animation reveal
- Cascading animation with masks and modes
- Dividing shapes and painting them in over time
- Revealing text
- Building a repetitive shape animation
- Morphing between shapes