Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Why use shape layers?, part of Mograph Techniques: Shape Animation in After Effects.
In this movie, I want to explain why to use shape layers and also to talk a little bit about the importance of color scheme. But first, let's talk a little bit about why we want to use shape layers inside Adobe After Effects. Well, there are couple of reasons. First, shape layer are very precise. They are vector line art which renders very fast and offers many artistic choices.
They're working great with Illustrator Artwork, and they will also help you to keep the project file minimal. Because this is not a solid layer. This is just something that you'll see over here in the timeline. Because shape layers are vectors, you can select them and scale them to any size you like, keeping the image crisp and sharp. There are also many mathematical operations. Which you can add to the shape layer by opening it in the timeline viewer or by choosing it from the Add menu over here.
So there a lot of options that we are going to cover in this course. One of them is the repeater and the trim path, which we are going to cover in this chapter. You can very easily convert your vector artwork from Illustrator to an After Effects native shape, and I will show you how to do so in a later chapter, and you'll also have a lot of controls under the Contents Menu. This will allow you to select some of the groups, turn them on or off according to your needs. And also you can control the field and stroke properties of each one individually.
There are also a lot of options if you press on the word Field here in the top bar, which will allow you to decide either to use a nonfield, assorted color or one of those two gradients. And you also get to choose how to blend those shapes using the opacity slider over here, or from this list of blending modes. Thanks to the fact that After Effects can preview those changes in real time, you can change your mind and make artistic choice on the fly. You'll have the same options for the stroke as well.
And we will touch on those in a later movie. Shape layers also works great just as other layers with effects, layer styles, masks, and even third party plug-ins. They have a lot of power and they are one of my favorite tools inside the software. Especially if you are working on a motion graphic piece like we are now. I'm going to close this for now, and I'm also going to go to the File menu and from there, I'm going to open our first project.
I'm not going to save this one. And I'm just going to navigate to the exercise file, and open up number one custom wipe dot AEP. Now since I'm working on After Effects CC which is Creative Cloud, I will get this warning that will ask me to convert this project from version 11 which is CS 6. If you want to save your work on a later version, just press Cmd+S on the Mac, Ctrl+S on the PC, navigate to wherever you like.
You can also delete the converted word, and just press Save. Now I want to talk a little bit about the color scheme that we are going to use throughout this course. I'm quickly going to switch to Adobe Illustrator, where I already set up our five primary colors that we are going to use. These colors are variations of the primary RGB computer colors. Which supposed to hint that we are dealing with computer generated graphics or imagery.
Also known as CGI in short. The theme of the movie is about the Internet and all the things that are happening on the computer. So by deciding on these five colors, we can keep a consistent and coherent look throughout the whole movie. I've already imported this file into our main project, and you will see this ColorScheme.ai file across all the project files that I've supplied.
If you want you can double click on it to take a closer look here in the footage panel. You can also fit it up to 100%. But we are just going to visit it from time to time, mostly to sample colors that will accompany us throughout this project.
- 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