Learn about separating artwork to layers, resetting blending mode, and importing a multilayered Illustrator file.
- [Instructor] In this movie, we'll review the artwork inside Illustrator and I'll share important tips related to preparation of vector art files for animation in After Effects. So we are starting here. We have this relatively empty project. I've also included the final folder, and you will see all of the exercise files so you can always review the final creation, if you want to break it down or review your steps. Anyhow, we will start from scratch.
Well, almost from scratch. Actually going to start with this design that I've created inside Illustrator. So I've already imported as a flattened file over here inside After Effect. I'm going to select it in the project panel, and then I'm going to go to edit and choose edit original. This will launch Adobe Illustrator which, in my case, was already running in the background, and it's going to open up the file. Now, we need to review the file and make sure that we're actually separating all the individual elements that we need to animate inside After Effect.
So make sure you see the layers panel. If not, go to the window menu and choose it from here. In my case, it already on screen, so I'm going to go there and fold down the first element which is the logo. And you can see that it consists of four groups. Now, I already separated the logo and each one of the boxes because I'm planning to animate it inside After Effects. So if I'm going to switch everything off, let's only leave box number one, and then turn on the visibility of number two and number three.
You can see the animation that I'm planning to create. Obviously, I also want to create an animation for the SketchUp logo itself. In other words, I need to separate all of those groups into their own individual layers. So I'm going to make sure that I'm clicking on the logo layer. And in this case, it is very important to just select the logo title over here and not the individual groups inside. Once this is done, I'm going to go to the option menu and from here, I'm going to select this command, release to layers in parentheses sequence.
This will create an individual layer for each one of those groups. Now, the downside is that we lost the names, so we need to rename them, but I'm going to do it just after I'm going to shift select all of the groups and then drag them to be on the higher part of the hierarchy. This is very important in order for After Effects to recognize them. Now, we have a redundant layer over here, the logo layer, so we can select it and click on the trash icon in order to say goodbye to it and delete it from this document.
And now we need to name those layers according to the layer's name. So I'm going to call the first one SketchUp and then this will be box number three. Box number two, of course, and box number one. So the naming is very important because After Effect is going to recognize it. Now, there is another thing here in this document, which is kind of a gotcha. I'm planning to take these blueprints layout and convert it to a shaper inside After Effects.
And currently, I can see by looking at these field circle that it's got a blending mode here inside Illustrator. And this seems to upset After Effect, so we'll need to re-initiate these blending mode when we animate this layer, but for now I want to dismiss it. So I'm going to click on this circle this time and then I'm going to go to the transparency options and I'm going to make sure that it is set to the normal blending mode and then I'm going to click away.
So generally speaking, when you want to animate layers inside After Effect, make sure each one of them is separated into its own layer, and then also make sure that all of the other layers are set to the normal blending mode and this is going to make your life much easier in the future, as we will see in the coming movies. For now, I'm going to go to the file menu and choose the save as command in order to save myself another copy. And I'm going to save it on top of what I've already prepared ahead, which is these SketchUp Layers.ai so you can skip this step and just import this layer which has exactly what we see over here.
Anyhow, I'm going to say save, I'm going to replace this one and I'm going to accept the defaults and also click okay. Now, let's switch back to After Effects, import these and check that everything is according to our expectations. So I'm going to switch applications and now here inside After Effects, I'm going to double click on a gray empty area here in the project panel to invoke the imports dialog. I'm going to select the SketchUp Layers.ai and I'm going to click open. And now After Effects is recognizing everything which is living inside this document.
In other words, it will allow you to select individual layers, but we just want to bring everything as a composition, and make sure that the footage dimensions are set to layer size. This means that each one of the layers will be cropped to the minimal dimensions that it needs to be. All right, I'm going to click okay, and then I'm going to double click in order to see and verify that everything is according to my plan. And it almost is, meaning that we have all the ingredients that we need. We have dedicated layers to each one of the boxes, the SketchUp logo, obviously, the blueprint.
We can see that the blending mode is set to normal, so we are ready to go. The only thing that you need to verify is that you have the correct frames per second, as well as duration. After Effects is going to use the last comp settings when you import still documents, meaning Photoshop files and Illustrator files. So in this case, I'm going to go to the composition menu and choose composition settings. I'm going to leave the dimensions which are, obviously, okay, but I'm going to change the frame rate to 25, which suits my area because I'm working from Europe.
And I'm also going to change the duration. So instead of four seconds, we need to tell a story in five seconds, so I'm going to change it to five and then I'm going to click okay. Now, I'm going to also click once on the zoom out icon, the little mountain, just so I can show you that since we've modified the duration, we need to also extend the layers. So let's take our cursor to the end of the timeline, select everything over here by pressing command A, control A on the PC, and then holding down the option key, alt in Windows, I'm pressing on the close bracket in order to trim the layers all the way to the end.
Actually, stretch them so they will be from the beginning until the end. And that's it for this stage. This is how you review the artwork inside Illustrator and also change whatever needs to be changed in order to prepare it for animation inside After Effects.
- Animating strokes
- Animating scribbles and sketches
- Repeating and revealing shapes
- Using paint to reveal a logo
- Using time displacement
- Creating a particles reveal