Animating Illustrations Using Wave Warp in After Effects | Kay Leathers | Skillshare

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Animating Illustrations Using Wave Warp in After Effects

teacher avatar Kay Leathers, Illustrator/Designer for Motion Graphics

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Project

    • 3. The Wave Warp Effect

    • 4. Illustrate Your Idea

    • 5. Making Layers

    • 6. Importing Your Design

    • 7. Applying the Wave Warp Effect

    • 8. Doubling Up

    • 9. Adding Details

    • 10. Other Ways to Use the Wave Warp

    • 11. Export Your Animation

    • 12. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Hello there, my name is Kay and I'm a floppy dog fanatic...  

In this class, I'll show you how to use the Wave Warp Effect in After Effects to create cute wavy characters like Drivin' Dawg here⤴ The wave warp is such a versatile tool, you can apply it to a wide variety of illustrations, all with widely different results! 

This is a simple, step-by-step exploration of using the wave-warp effect from After Effects on specific parts of your illustrations.

Follow along with me to:

  • Explore and apply the 'Wave Warp' effect in After Effects
  • Illustrate a character with the 'Wave Warp' in mind in ready-to-animate layers
  • Apply the 'Wave Warp' to different elements in your illustrations
  • Export your new animation as GIF and MP4 ready for upload.

This class is aimed at illustrators who want to introduce movement to their illustrations using After Effects or simply for those wanting to know more about the 'Wave Warp'. I will be using Procreate to illustrate, although any layer-based software can be used to create your illustration, such as Illustrator or Photoshop.

All my files from the class are available in the 'Wave Warp Resources file' so you can work with those, although I really recommend following along with the whole class, from sketch to animation, to create your own unique, animated illustration. 

I have been animating my illustrations for quite some time now and I assure you, nothing brings more joy than seeing your creations brought to life through simple animation! If you're ready, let’s do it.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kay Leathers

Illustrator/Designer for Motion Graphics

Top Teacher

Hi there!

My name is Kay and I’m a London-based Illustrator and Designer for Motion. I find inspiration in oddities, individuality and humour.  I can’t help myself when it comes to drawing cute, sometimes irreverent but always lovable characters!

I work a lot on animations, which I love, working closely with creative teams and animators to brainstorm concepts, create storyboards and build assets and characters ready for animation.




It's here! New course out now!

Illustration for Animation: Create a cohesive set of characters in Adobe Illustrator

Animating Illustrations using Wave Warp in After Effects

Animation for Illustrations: Animating Textures and Patte... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, there. My name is Kayla [inaudible] , and I'm an illustrator and design information from London, England. I've been designing now for over three years, working on scripts and concepts all the way through to designing assets and consulting on final animations. Working with animators has been really useful for my illustration career, and I picked up a few tricks along the way, helping me to bring motion into my portfolio of work. More and more clients are looking for illustrators with the knowledge of motion, whether it's advertising, merch, apps, or children books, everybody wants moving image. If a client comes to your website or social media and already sees that you have that extra skill set, you're going to take a lot more boxes for them. If illustration is a hobby for you, that's great. You're going to have loads of fun animating your illustrations. I know it can be difficult going from illustration into animation. Sometimes the processes seem a lot more daunting and more challenging to understand. It's a lot less scary when you have someone to break it down for you, hold your hand a little bit, and it's a lot more fun too. The wave warp effect is such a versatile tool that the possibilities of using in your illustrations will produce wildly different results, all perfectly tweakable to achieve your desired look. The best thing about it, no keyframes. Through this class, I'll teach you step-by-step how to create an illustration in layers ready for animation. I'll then teach you how to apply the wave warp to parts of your illustration. This class is for anyone who wants to start animating their illustrations, whether it's for fun or for work, or anyone who just wants to know a bit more about the wave warp effect in After Effects. You'll need Procreate to illustrate your design, or if you prefer Photoshop or Illustrator, as long as you can illustrate in layers, it's perfect for this class. You'll also need the Adobe Suite, as we'll be using that for animation, such as After Effects, Media Encoder, and Photoshop. By the end of the class, you'll export your animation as mp4 and GIF, ready for upload to add those all-important moving images to your portfolio and to your social media. If you're ready, let's get started. 2. The Project : Thank you so much for joining me on this class. We're going to have so much fun animating our illustrations. Your assignment for today is to share your animated GIF that you make with me on the project gallery. Together, we're going to go through everything that you need to animate your illustration using the wave warp effect. I'll take you through my creative process. We're making an illustrated character for animation, and show you how I take this into After Effects to animate. Then I'll show you exactly how to export in less than a night, and upload your GIF to Skillshare. All you need to do is follow along. Completing this assignment will not only give you GIF, but also an MP4 that you can quite happily share on your social media, and get that all important moving image to chat-based clients. I really recommend following along with the entire process from getting stuck into the sketch to completing your final animation, so that you can fully understand the processes. It's really, really gratifying to watch your own creations brought to life. However, if you're not into drawing right now, I have provided all of my files in the resource folder, so you could even use them. Instead, if you want to get stuck into that animation, or if you want to just use them as reference for your own projects. Not only does uploading to the project gallery give a lot of students some incentives to do it themselves. But I love seeing students work on there. It really gives me an opportunity to address any challenges that you face, and just give general feedback about your work. It also lets me know what you loved about the class and what I can do in my next class to help you out. As an extra incentive, I like to posts lots of my projects on my personal Instagram and share them with the world, and say you can get some extra exposure that way. So if you're ready to start making that GIF and MP4, we're going to explore the wave warp first, so let's open up After Effects. 3. The Wave Warp Effect: Welcome to the first lesson in our class. In this lesson, we're going to be exploring the Wave Warp Effect in After Effects. Let's dive right in. Now, I'm going to be showing you how to set up a project and have a new interface in this lesson. If you already know how to do that, just skip to the time code on the screen now. If not, stick with me I'm going to go through everything we need to start with the Wave Warp today. Let's click on New Project, and here you'll see the After Effects interface. We have a few useful windows open. We have the project panel where our imported files will come in. Our effect controls where we will be controlling the way Warp today. Here's a composition but we don't have one yet, but we're going to make one in a moment. This side we have our libraries which is really useful and our effects in presets where we're going to search for the Wave Warp tool. We also have our timeline at the bottom here. Don't miss that, very important. We are going to create our new composition. You can click here or you can press command N and it will open up our composition settings. I'm going to call it test, because we're just testing out the Wave Warp, and we're going to want a custom preset today. Just unlock the lock aspect ratio and just put 1080 by 1080, perfect size for Instagram in our portfolios, and then select square pixels. We're going to need 24 frames per second resolution full and we're going to see 10 seconds. If we type 1,000 in there it's going to come up as 10 seconds. You can choose a background color for your composition. It doesn't really matter what color is, just make it pretty. I chose for my purples over here in the library with the eye dropper. Let's click Okay, and our new composition will come up here. Now, we're going to draw two shapes today. I'm going to click on the little rectangle here, I'm going to select the ellipse first. Let's select our ellipse. At the moment, not any useful color. Let's make it nice and bright and we're going to rename that layer. Let's press Enter and type an ellipse and then I'm going to select V and click away from that layer. The reason I click away is because I don't want this rectangle to be on the same layer. Otherwise, it's going to be affected by the same things. Even though that's what we're doing in this test today, let's separate it, it's a good practice. Let's make that pink and we have our two shapes there. Now, if we look in our effects in presets panel over here and we start typing wave, you'll see that Wave Warp comes up under distort and it's number 16. Let's drag our Wave Warp onto our ellipse here. We'll see that that ellipse has started to be affected by it. I'm just going to drag my work area down to four seconds and play that and we will see the Wave Warp affecting it there. Now, let's just copy our effect over. We can go to edit and copy with property links and click on our rectangle and then command V, and our Wave Warp will come up and be controlled by whatever we do to the ellipse. We'll see that they'll have exactly the same effect on them. The Wave Warp comes in with one of my favorite wave types which is the sine wave. The reason I love this wave so much is because it's so adjustable and you can just apply it to everything. Naturally in life, everything comes in arc. It have these beautiful waves and everything just makes everything look supernatural. Not supernatural but very natural. Let's say, I can adjust the height here and the width here by dragging or I can start typing in. We can have a nice wide one and you can see that already this ellipse is starting to look like some creature which is really fun. Here on direction, we can definitely see the direction of the wave here. What I really like this directional knob we have that we can switch around, at the moment it's pointing from left to right and we can see that our wave is also moving that way. We can make it go right to left. We can make it go top to bottom. Now top to bottom is really nice because actually if we reduce that back down, we got this watery feeling in our ellipse, which is perfect for reflection by the moon or the sun on the water. It make a beautiful sunset and it literally took three seconds to make, which is awesome. That's why I love the sine wave. Remember you can always type if you wants to change direction as well. Next in our drop-down menu of wave type we have the square. The square is an interesting one. It is quite mechanical looking. I suppose I can imagine sort steam punk robot style. Now, things get really funky when we start fiddling with the height. As you can see, the shapes start to come apart and intersect in interesting ways. Again, you can adjust the width of those. Let's get it back to slightly normal high. Let's change direction. Let's go up and down. What's cool is you can also go diagonally and I just think that's looks a bit of hazard sign or a sticker on something. Again, might be useful, who knows? Let's reset and look at the triangle now, or the Bart Simpson as I like to call it. Again, we can reset those. We can change the direction. Here you can see that the ellipse isn't handling this one very well. It goes bit kinky, but the rectangles still looks great. Some shapes work better with these effects than others. That's reset again, and let's move on to the sawtooth. The sawtooth is an interesting ones. Obviously it looks like teeth, so it's quite useful. If like me, you're a character illustrator. But when it gets really interesting is when you start to change the wave speed. Now the wave speed is just how long it takes to get across from one end to the other. Let's click there up to five and it completely changes the feeling of the wave, is no longer comic, it's panicky. You can imagine James Bond being in a rather worrying situation with her puzzle. Let's reset that one. Next we have the circle. Now the circle, it's okay, it's all right but when it gets really interesting is when we hit the height right up. I just think this shape is amazing. If we just tied the rectangle for a moment, and let's just press R so we get the rotation up and put 90 degrees in there. Let's put zero in here, and now let's get a wave with that base as well, and whoop, not too far. Now it doesn't just look like beautiful smoke trails coming from the bottom. Now at the moment, it could look like someone's wafting around some incense or something like that, but normally will have quite stationary source of smoke, and this is where the pinning and come in very, very useful. Now pinning will pin the effect or pin your shape to a particular area. I want, let's say the source of smoke to be from the bottom edge. Now, if I press bottom edge, not much changes. Now, the reason for this is that the pinning works on the basis of the bounding box. Now, with a shape layer at the moment are bounding box is the size of this composition. You see if I drag it down, we start to see that pinning effect that I wanted. Now we have a definite source of smoke here. We can adjust those bits to make it really more smoky. Yeah, that's nice. The bottom edge there is the source of our pinning, and we can change it, the right edge. We can see that now if I move it along to the right edge, is pin on that side. Or if I want to pin it to the top, we will have to move it to the top there and doesn't have the same smoke effect now because it's getting into something. I suppose you could have it going into someone's nose, but basically all you need to know is that pinning is dependent on the bounding box and if you have a shape player, you will have to create a bounding box for that. I will go into this in more detail in one of our lessons because it's really important when we start to use illustration to that. Let us go for our semicircle. Now, a semicircle is pretty cool. We can make lots of things out of it, but what it really reminds me of, if we get a bit of an angle on it like this, a nice diagonal. This starts to look likes speed clouds coming off something. I think we need to pay more speed there. Don't wait, let's make it a bit faster. It's slower. I will put it two so double speed and then if we just click away and just make a little bit of a cover up, fake mosque and let's have background in that nice purple again. Now we play it like we can see that nice flat road you can imagine a skater or a really fast car speeding along and it's creating this cloud behind it. I'm not sure what's going on with the rectangle. Maybe we'd find a use for it in the future. Do let me know, post it if you can't find a use for this shape. The final one I'm going to show you is noise. We have this fuzzy edge going on, which is quite nice, looks a bit like a rug to me. But when it gets really interesting is when we start playing around with again the height and the width. This time I'm just going to put the height at 43 and then I'm going to put the width all the way up 1,122 very specific, and then I'm going to move that little mask that we made and pop it on here. Then I'm going to play, I'm way too fast right now, isn't it? Let us put it way down, 0.05 speed. That's better. Now to me, this could be a city scape that you're driving past and this is in distance, and it's just tiny detail in the backfill illustration, but already you've just got a city scape with changing three settings and no key frames. The best thing about Wave Warp, no key frames and that will explore exactly like this. Now I do realize that I've missed two bits out the phase and the anti-aliasing, I will definitely go through these in one of our later lessons. Check out that, check out the uncircle and smooth noise as well and have fun with it. Playing with the Wave Warp in this very free way gives me so many ideas to be creative and ideas for my illustrations, I hope it did for you as well. In the next lesson, we will be illustrating our ideas and bringing them to life using Procreate. You can use another program if you wish. If you've got Illustrator or Photos hop is only you can build it in layers, we can animate it using After Effects. I'll show you that. 4. Illustrate Your Idea: In this lesson, we're going to create a sketch based on all of those ideas that we came up with in the previous lesson. For this sketch, I'm going to be thinking about a character illustration, so you can do that along with me, or you can illustrate whatever you want, as long as we can apply wave warp somewhere in that illustration. Let's just remind ourselves for a moment about those beautiful wave warp shapes. Now I just wanted to start on this lovely ellipse shape. The ellipse just looks so beautiful with sine wave on it. I just really want to put it across to you that the ellipse is going to be very useful in our illustrations later. Thinking about my illustration, looking at this lovely sine wave, and putting up the width a little bit, I was thinking of floppy things. Floppy things that I love in life usually belong to dogs; dogs ears, dogs tails, dogs just doing whatever, running in the park, hanging their heads out of the car window, they're my favorite. Dogs are my inspiration today, and hanging the head out of the car window is going to be the subject matter. Let's open up Google, and then we can type in our idea. Now, I usually use Google, or Pinterest, or Instagram, wherever you get your inspiration from is fine as long as you get it from a few resources, and already a great dog. This has got the tongue that I'm looking for, flopping around with the ears, good expression, and that one's great too, imagine that in my illustration, but I just want a bit more flop, and I just fall in love with this guy. He looks so serious, and I could just imagine him with some shades, and its tongue swapping out, ears blowing in the wind, super cool. I'm going to take him as my inspiration, as well as these other dogs. I'm going to use Procreate to start sketching that out. I've got my W references on the screen and I'm ready to start sketching. Let's make a new Canvas. Click on the little plus here, and let's make our Canvas 1080 by 1080 pixels. This is the perfect size for Instagram. I'm going to call the Canvas Instagram, and I've got my pixels per inch at 300. You definitely don't need it to be this high. You can just make it 72 for screen, that's going to be perfect. I keep it at 300 ready for print just in case. Press "Create" when you're ready, and that will come up with our Canvas. Now thinking about our wave warp lesson and thinking about those ideas that we had, I'm going to make sure that my animation, so the sections that I want, the tongue, the ear, whatever else I have are going to be quite centered. I'm going to have my character quite centered on the board. Getting out your color, I have these set of OB colors, they're just my branded colors. If you want to see how I got hold of those, I'll put the time code for my previous course on now, and you can check that out, and I'm going to get a sketch pencil, just going to use this Narinder pencil. Thinking about that concept of having the wave warp in the center, I'm just going to draw a nice waggly shape for my tongue here, and it's just going to be a big sketchy for now. We're just going to go for the general shape and volume of the character here, so the shape and volume of my dog. Thinking about the wave warp, I'm going to need to pin my tongue around here, so underneath the muzzle, so that it's got a clear sense of where the wave is coming from when I apply the wave warp. Just something to think about when we go forward is that I'm going to need this muzzle piece as a little cover up for the end of the tongue. The second piece of animation I'm thinking about is the ear, so let's have the ear flapping out. Nice, and I just put a little mark for the eyes for now. I'm just going to continue about my sketch to get the general volume of the character. Here, because my character is the focus of the illustration, I'm not going to worry about too many details of the car. If you wanted to get more of the background in, obviously you make the character a lot smaller, but here I'm just going to add a suggestion of the car. Let's add some wispy clouds in the background, and we're about done here. Once you're happy with the volume of your character, you can start to refine your sketch. If we turn that layer down, and just add a new layer, we're going to make those refinements now. When I say refinements, you're just going to clean up the flow a little bit, have good interaction of your character within the frame, within the objects, and that will help to really situate your character as if they're really in the scene. Adjust any lines, any curves, and make your refinements. One thing I like to do if I'm not quite happy with the placement of my character, is I can actually use this distort function to reposition and make adjustments as I like it so I can really make it fit. Because this is still at sketch stage, again, it doesn't really matter if I have a really rough area as long as I'm happy with it. So make adjustments using the C tool, and the distort function. Now, I'm just going to change my design a bit and give this guy some cool guy sunglasses because I want this guy to have a bit more of an upbeat vibe than a judgy vibe like the original reference. We're going to give him some '80s Retro Aviator style sunglasses. All right, just the few last little bits, and then what we can do is just check without that layer on, see if we're getting a bit closer to what we want. Once you are happy with your sketch stage, we are ready to move on to the inking stage. Again, turn the opacity down and add a new layer, and then you can select your inking brush. Now I have this cactus brush, which I love. I've made it throughout the years, refined it, and all it is is a studio pen adjusted, and I can put the time code from my previous course where I talk about this brush in detail. Check that out if you want to use the cactus brush, if not, use an inking brush of your choice. Again, this isn't quite the final stage, but we're getting closer. Just really making an effort to make improvements to the flow of your design. Again, what I think is really nice about using this approach of draw and redraw and making your refinements as you go along is that sometimes you will encounter these little mistakes and sometimes they'll end up better than what you already had. As the great Bob Ross says, these happy little accidents can sometimes make your illustration better. I'm pretty happy with this stage. We've got the general look and volume that I'm going for, and in the next stage, we are going to separate the layers and color them in. Great work on your sketch. I'm so excited now to add some color to this chunkie boy. I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Making Layers: Now we have drawn and redrawn our sketch as many times as we needed to be happy with it. It's finally ready for coloring and dividing into those all important layers for After Effects. Thinking about the animation, we are going to consider what our background pieces are which are the non-animated parts, and the foreground pieces which are the animated parts and any cover-ups for those as well. Thinking about my tongue animation first, I know that my pinning is going to be underneath the muzzle here on the left-hand side. Very importantly all animated piece on a separate layer, the muzzle piece will be just a cover-up to cover-up the pinning and make it look like the tongue is coming from the mouth. We'll also need a separate layer for the ear which will be pinned on the left as well, and it's going to be a separate piece. I'm going to continue the head underneath the earpiece just in case it moves a tool in animation, we never have a break in the illustration. I'm going to quickly with three background layers: the car, the body, and the sky, and then I'll go into detail about the animated layers when we get into it. This is the body layer, and I'm just making sure now that my layer is going to be complete underneath the earpiece. This is what I was talking about before. Once the ear is animated, we have no breaks in the illustration. I did the same with the car and I'll do the same just here underneath the sunglasses as well in case I just decide to move them later. With this muzzle piece, we're actually going to draw on up to the corner of the mouth, making sure that we get the nose detail here and the cute little muzzle spots. Then what we'll do, is we'll quickly use this Selection Tool and I'll freehand select the muzzle area, then click the Transformation Tool. I'll swipe with three fingers to copy and paste that. Now that has made a paste of the piece I will need we're going to rename it Muzzle, and we're going to hide that piece ready for later. That will cover up our tongue pinning when we come to animate. I started to create the sunglasses with each part on its own layer. It looks a bit silly right now because it's on top of the nose at the moment, which is very unusual. But that's because I know I have this muzzle piece which I can place on top, so we can conceal that later. I decided to make my sunglasses on its own grid because I had a great idea to animate the shine using wave warp later. I'm just going to mark a guide on the illustration for now. Let's color that in. I did that on a clipping mask, so you just tap and get the clipping mask and that will ensure a new layer shows on that layer below. Let's label them and make into a group, and then label that as well. You'll notice that I label absolutely everything. This is because once we take the file into After Effects, it will also take this naming and we're going to have to talk about later whilst we're animating to name everything. It's very good practice as well if you're an Illustrator working with animators. So label your layers. It looks like we have all of our known animated bits done, we are ready to move on to the animated parts. I'll just color my background, and let's keep the pallet nice and simple. I'm going to start with the back most animated part, the clouds. The clouds are going to be easiest to do. All they are is a nice straight line in the background. We can tap and hold to get straight. Once we apply the sine wave to those, they're going to be a beautiful waggly cloud in background. Let's reduce the sketch a little bit more. Nice. Much better. We've got the other two animated pieces left. Let's move on to the tongue now. You remember back at the beginning, I spoke about the importance of elliptical shapes. We are going to use that knowledge now for creating the tongue. Let's just make it easy on ourselves by soloing the sketch layer and the tongue layer. I'm going to recreate the tongue as an elliptical shape, instead of the wavy shape that we had before. If we apply the wave warp to a wavy shape, we are not going to get the effect that we expect. It's going to look ugly. I will actually show you what happens when we apply the waveform to a wavy shape in a later lesson. So look out for that. You generally want a nice smooth shape and then apply the wave warp to it, and it will look amazing when you animate. Let's color that tongue in now and we'll give it a darker color. I hope you can see that. Then we'll also give it that wet look, a bit of drool, a bit of slobber. Let's name that as Tongue Fill, and we're going to group those all together and label it Tongue. Let's look at it with the other layers. It looks a bit of a mess right now, but we're going to pin the tongue on this left side. If we turn the Muzzle back home and create a fill layer in the same color as the body, we are going to cover up this unsightly parts. As it's the same color, let's think about another technique for coloring in. Let's just turn off the Color layer, and we'll put the layer that we're using on Multiply which just darkens the color. We're just going to fill that in using the Multiply. It's a super handy technique if you want to stick to a minimal palette like I do. Let's just fill that muzzle up until the area at the top and then adjust the fill. We'll adjust the threshold there just by dragging our pencil. Let's put that layer back to normal. We should see that if we put the layers back on, the tongue is covered nicely and the glasses look correct. The last piece we're going to do is the ear. Again, we'll turn off the Color layer so we can see properly. We're going to recreate the ear again as an elliptical shape with the general volume of the ear present. Let's do the same for coloring as we did with the muzzle. We'll just use Multiply so we can fill that in. Obviously with Multiply, it darkens every layer underneath it. So you will see the outer line of the head. But once we put it back to normal, you won't see this anymore. Let's join it up here at the top so the line is covered, and then we'll put the name as Ear Fill. We will name the outlines, and we can group those all together as the Ear group. Let's put that back to normal, and you'll see now that the headline is covered up. We can just tidy that up a little bit. That's looking good now. Let's check it again with all the rest of the layers and turn off the sketch. That's looking really good. I think I'm going to spend a little bit of time adding some shine, adding some final touches but I'll not. I think we are almost ready to animate. We've colored in all the right places, and we've done all of our correct labeling. We are ready to import it into After Effects. See you in the next lesson. 6. Importing Your Design: In this lesson, we're going to export our file from Procreate and import it into After Effects. If you're using Photoshop or similar, you can just skip the AirDrop stage and just save it into a really secure place so that After Effects can always find it. So just a couple of things I want to mention before I move on is that I've just finessed my illustration a bit more. I've also added some shine and I've made sure that everything is labeled so we're ready and prepared for After Effects. The other thing I wanted to mention is that I've left this sketch layer here on the top and this is going to be a reference for our wave warp later on in After Effects. This shape will inform the decisions that we make about the height, the width and the direction of the wave warp effect that we apply. We can just turn that off for now and now we're going to import it into After Effects. What we want to do is press the spanner at the top and we want to share the image as a Photoshop file. That's the PSD, tap that and then your menu will come up. The easiest way to transfer for me is the AirDrop but you can e-mail from here, you could save to your Dropbox, whatever you prefer. I'm going to AirDrop, so I'm going to click here and select the computer and it will come up. Then we just need to accept it on the computer. I save it to downloads and then I'll open up the downloads in the finder and it will be the first one on there. Now, I usually have a folder template that I like to use. In that folder template we have project files and we have all the programs that we would ever need. Let's put that in there and note to me, I haven't named it yet. Let's call it Driving Dog and press ''Enter,'' and that's all saved. We can also rename our photo template and we can call it wave warp. Great. Then we are ready to import that into After Effects. We can import it in different ways. We can go to file and import and file or we can press Command I or my personal favorite, we can just simply drag from finder. What we want to import as is definitely composition, not footage. I just like to keep this composition without retaining their sizes just because it can lead to complications later on. I'll keep it as editable layer styles just in case I need to go back into Photoshop. Let's press ''Okay.'' Then if we double-click that composition, we will see that all of our layers are coming in nice, sketch, shine, ear and so on. Once we're happy that all of our layers have come in nicely we can press ''File and Save'' and then find our folder and make sure we've saved that all properly in there. Let's call that called Driving Dog animated. Well, I'll save it in there and that's all done, we're ready to start animating. That's it. Just remember to double check all your layers are still there, they're all present and correct, and to check that you saved it in a really good place so that After Effects will always be able to find that file. In the next lesson, we are finally going to apply some wave warp to our illustrations. See you there. 7. Applying the Wave Warp Effect: In this lesson, we are going to apply that all important wave warp to our illustrations. For the purposes of my design, and just for simplicity, I'm going to use the sine wave warp to make my dogs floppy parts flap. Let's get going, and from this, we are almost ready to animate, but we have a little bit of housekeeping to do first. We can reduce our warp area to four seconds, which is the minimum amount for mp4 on Instagram. We'll keep our file nice and light, but we can still upload it. Then we are going to take a snapshot. The reason we will take a snapshot is so that if we move anything later on, we can show the snapshot and just realign it. Really useful if you're worried anything's going to move, just take that snapshot. Now we are going to go through the layers and have a look at the ones that we're going to animate. Anything that we animate, it's always nice to pick a color, so let's command and select the ones we're going to animate. We've got Clouds, Tongue, and Ear. Let's change the color for those. Let's make it nice and bright, Fuchsia. Yeah. I'm not going to animate the background, so I can turn that off. I'm not going to animate the car or the body. Now I am going to animate the tongue. What's really important, because it's going to mess you up later on, is to turn off this little button. This little button is continuously rasterized and it can be a right pain when you're trying to animate with wave warps. Just click there and it will turn off. I'm going to come back to tongue copy, so bear with me. The sunglasses for now, I'm not going to animate, which I might show you a little trick with that later. The muzzle, no, the ear, yes and we can lock the shine and the sketch layer. Now that our housekeeping is done, we are ready. We're going to start with the clouds, because the clouds are the easiest one. We're not going to do any pinning with this one. In Effects & Presets, type in wave warp and you can either press "Enter" or drag it to apply it, and there we go. If we press "Play" by the space bar, you'll see the wave warp there. They're going to bring the width right up. Just a little bit like wispy clouds could be speed lines with the car, just to get that impression of movement in the backgrounds. Also just going to slow them down a bit, make it a bit more of a country draft. Yeah, that's looking good now, and we're ready to move on to the tongue. If I just turn off the muzzles so we can see the tongue properly, the tongue is getting to be different to the clouds because we are going to want to pin it underneath the muzzle. At the moment, if we apply the wave warp to the tongue, and play it, you'll see that it isn't pinned. I haven't applied any pinning yet, and even if I tried to pin it on the left edge, it's not going to change anything because at the moment, that pinning is using the whole composition as in this edge, as the bounding box. What we want to do is reduce the size of that bounding box to just around the tongue, so it can begin to see that the pinning needs to be here. Let's just remove that wave warp for now, and to make the composition around the tongue a lot smaller, we are going to need to pre-compose it. Now the reason I said I had two copies of the tongue was because I wanted to show you how to pre-compose. At the moment, this is already in a composition with the tongue outlines and the tongue fill. We don't need to pre-compose that one if we don't want to. If you don't have a group already from your procreate file, you can create one on your single PSD layer here by right-clicking and going to Pre-compose. Or you can press "Command Shift C", and that will open up a pre-compose window for you. Make sure you've got Leave all Attributes checked and then press "Okay", and you can double-click to open that. Here you'll see the tongue on its very own composition and now we can start to adjust that composition so we can get the pinning just right in our illustration. We can use this button, which is called region of interest, that's what I like to use the most, then we can draw out our new bounding box. Now, because we want to pin this left-hand side. Let's zoom in really close and just make sure that's firmly against our illustrations. When we pin, it will be really firmly stuck there. Then if we zoom out, I'm going to leave a bit of room either side of the tongue here because my sine wave is going to travel up and down. So I'm going to leave as much room as needed for that to happen. I don't really need too much on the end, but I'm just giving you a little bit of leeway there. Once you're happy with your region of interest, you can go to "Composition" and Crop Comp to Region of Interest. Now it will come up with our tiny little composition, which is great. Let's go back into driving dog. Our tongue has moved. But we were very smart at the beginning and we took that lovely snapshot, which shows us exactly where our tongue should be. Let's just press "B" and click on the "Tongue", and we can start to drag that into place. We're almost there, it's looking really good. Yeah. Now, when we apply the wave warp and we pin it to that left edge, you'll see that our wave warp very nicely flows out from that left edge where it's firmly pinned. Then we can start to adjust the height and the width as needed. Now, this is the reason that I saved my lovely sketch layer here, see if I unlock it and I have a look at that, I can actually solo that layer so I can see the original wave, and if I un-solo it, I want to replicate this motion. Let's go back to the tongue and let's crank up the wave height a little. Probably a bit too much actually, but we want a lot more width, so let's go back right up, and let's check the sketch. Yeah, we can actually move that along to see and to try and match it to the position of the tongue, and let's just make the height a touch bigger, and the width a little bit bigger. Going to change the direction a little bit so it matches our tongue here. We have it firmly pinned to that left edge. Let's play it with the spacebar, and that is starting to look great. Let's put the muscle back over the top, and it is beautifully hidden. You might notice that I have a little bit of an error coming up just here. Now, I can fix this very easily. It might happen because you can't always predict these things when you illustrate your photo first. You can just press "Command E" and that will open up Photoshop for you. Then what you can do is directly edit this file and then you can cover up that little mistake. Now, it's really important that you don't add any layers or take away any layers because that will completely mess up your after-effects file. Just make the edit to the existing layers and you'll be absolutely fine. I know that I just need to extend this little muzzle outline. If I select the same color and I get my brush, I can just polish that up a little. If you press "Command S" or you go to "File Save" and go back to "Aftereffects", it should just update in there and hopefully cover it up, and to fix it up a little bit more, just going to move that tongue down slightly. There we go. No one would ever know, but you've made that mistake before. The last piece of animation I'm going to do on this illustration is to the Ear here. Now, we'll see that it's already in a composition with our Ear Fill and our Ear Outline, and just like the tongue, we're going to pin it in the certain area. Now, if I look at this and I pre-compose it, it's going to see that left edge where I want to pin it as this whole section here, and I didn't really want that to affect it. I want to rotate this illustration so that we can work with it horizontally and it will be much easier to pin. I will actually pre-compose this group, "Command Shift C" and call it Ear Comp 2, fine. Let's open up the Ear Comp. To get that horizontal, we are going to click on the "Ear" and we're going to rotate it. But if I rotate it right now, it's going to rotate around that center point. We need to move that anchor point to the middle of the ear, and that will just make it a lot easier to work with. Then let's drag that and rotate it until we are pretty much horizontal, and let's make a note of this number minus 25. We would need to rotate it by the opposite back in our driving dog files. Remember, minus 25. Once we've got it nice and horizontal, let's crop it to the region of interest. Good, and make sure we're nice and close. I'm actually going to cut a little bit of that orange off, and then we Crop the Comp to the Region of Interest, and we go back into our "Driving Dog" file. Now, remember that rotation factor. We were minus 25 and the last ones we need to be plus 25 here. Let's move it back into position. Remember we've got that snapshot to just check, and that is looking great. Let's apply the wave warp to the ear, and let's make our adjustments to the wave. Let's take this up to 15, like the tongue, and let's get the wave width right up. Now, because the ear is slightly different, thicker material than the tongue, I'm going to give it a little bit more of a width in there. Most importantly, let's pin it to that left edge. Much better. Now, this is looking really great. I could make adjustments here. If I didn't want him to be on such a country drive, I could note my speed here up to two, he'll be going a bit faster. Let's do the same with the tongue. Now he's going a bit more of a speedy drive through the country, I imagined him on Route 66. Don't forget, it's really important to think about the type of material you are representing in your animation. Just like the difference between the dog's ear and the dog's tongue, wasn't too much. Whereas if you had, say, a silk on a washing line, it will be a very slow, very wide wave in comparison to your flag on a golf court, it'd be very quick and whipping wave. Make sure that you can make adjustments to your sine wave until it looks like the thing you're trying to represent. Now, I've just got a little bit more to add to my driving dog, and I'm going to double up some effects and I can't wait to show you what magic this brings to your illustration. 8. Doubling Up: Congratulations on using the Wave Warp. I'm sure that your illustration already looks amazing. But in this lesson, we're going to look at using two effects to bring even more variety to your Wave Warp. Looking at the original sketch of the ear, we can see that it's got a little bit of a flick upwards more than our current illustration. I can use another effect on top of the Wave Warp, or should I say, below the Wave Warp, very importantly, called CC Bend It. Another distort function, CC Bend It, pop it in the Effects panel, and our ear will disappear. If we just solo our ear by clicking the "Solo" button, you'll see that we have a start which we can put it at the start of the ear, and we can just reposition that a little bit, and we have an end which we can position at the end of the ear. Now, we've tone after effects for the beginning and the end where our illustration is. Now, we can use the Bend It to bend it either way. We can bend it down or we can mend it up. Again, it's going to sit inside that bounding box. If you need to make adjustments to the composition, you can. I'm not going to because I think this is enough of a bend for me, and it's on solo. Now, we have the Bend It making it go a little bit higher. I'm going to turn it down a little bit. Yeah. Just making it a little bit perkier. We can use CC Bend It in that way. I'm going to save that now because I'm really happy with the animation. I'm going to show you another doubling up example. Here is another illustration of a very proud 80 skier. I told you I love the 80 stuff. He is going to have this glorious long flowing hair. Now, instead of an ellipse this time, I've made the hair into this broken egg shape. This is because I want those details in there, so I want those slots. If I un-solo that now, and I've already applied my first Wave Warp effects, you can see, just like a nice flag, it is waving in the breeze. But because it's hair, it's a bit more organic than that, we can double up to make it look more natural. We can Command D or duplicate that effect. We've added another Wave Warp but this is far too extreme now, it's making it go all over the place. What we can do is we can reduce the second Wave Warp, make it a bit calmer. Let's take it down to five. Let's take the width down, just a touch. You'll see now, instead of just the original wave which is quite normal, we're getting a bit more of an effect on each one not all of them are even. How we can emphasize this even more? This is where the phase comes really into play. If we put the facing up, so the waves are now out of time with each other, we can start getting that really interesting, more natural effect to the hair. Now, it keep just doing this glorious hair blowing in the breeze, he just looks amazing. That is two ways that you can add some more variety to your Wave Warp. The first way was to add a CC Bend It to add a bend to your wave, and the second way was to duplicate the Wave Warp and just shift the phasing a little bit to get a more natural flowing look. Experiment with those and see how you get on. In the next lesson, we're going to be adding some detail to our Wave Warp players. See you there. 9. Adding Details: In this lesson, we are going to be looking at adding detail. We're going to do this by using the pen tool and the shape tools in After Effects. With this guy, I actually want to make adjustments to the hair because I feel like it's a little bit too pointy, whereas he is quite rounded. Now, rather than go back into the original Procreate file, which we can see inside the Hair Comp, which is this one, that broken egg shape, we can build a new layer inside After Effects. We don't necessarily need to go back. The great thing about constructing it as a shape layer is we can start layering up shapes and adding more detail that way. Let me just show you how to build in After Effects. Select the Pen tool, and we'll select the same fill as this shape. We'll just press Alt because we don't want a bright red strike, and then we'll start to construct. Now, it's just like Illustrator if you've ever used it, I tend to construct with the clock method. So 12 o'clock, three o'clock, six o'clock, nine o'clock and wherever you come to a point, make a point. Make a point of the point. We've got one anchor point there, one anchor point at 12 o'clock and we just click and drag to bring out the handles. Where it comes to a point, make a slightly more rounded point and then same there and this is just going to be a sharp point. Give that a bit rounding. Six o'clock. Don't worry too much about getting it too precise right now, and three o'clock. Now, if I hold Alt, I can start to adjust these handles so we can fill out that shape. Because effectively, I won't want pretty much the same shape, I just wanted those rounded corners. That's almost there. Great. Now, if I turn off that original Photoshop or Procreate layer and I look inside Skier, we've now got those nice rounded edges with exactly the same wave warp as we applied before. Now, I want to add more detail and I can't have them because I've got that shape layer. Let's just press V and click away from the shape layer, and we're going to create another layer on the top. This time I don't want a fill. I would like a stroke, not bright red, but whites, and I'm going to stick with 10 pixels. Now I'm going to make streaks in his hair so it's going to flow really nicely with the illustration. First of all, I'm going to make our point and drag it out and then have another one. We're going to have a nice curve shape to go with the shape of the hair. Then I'll need to just click the layer and then we can make another one. If I can click the layer and let's make an adjustment just to that one, click the layer and let's have another streak in the center. Click the layer. The reason you have to click the layer in between is otherwise it will just join up to itself like this, which is just not helpful for anyone. Click the layer, make your adjustments and then I've got full streaks all on one layer, which is going to be really helpful. Now if I go back to my skier, great, he's got streaks now, but they're ugly and they're not inside the shape. Let's go back to the Hair Composition. I did actually notice while we were there, that the points were a little bit high so let's just drag them down a little bit. Great. On that layer, what we can do is press the T. The T, Preserve Transparency, will look at the layer below and only show in that layer. When you go back to your Skier, you have this beautiful detail all enclosed within the shape that you made. You can also do this with various things. You can make shapes. You can have different colors in there and it will just apply it to the same layer and apply that wave warp. You can start doing this clipping mask effect with the details and they'll take on all of the properties that you've already put on there so you don't need to double up on anything. Let's go back to our original driving dog here. The great thing about using the little T like we did on the skier, for masking in our effects, we can do that on our shape layers as well that we've made in Procreate. If we open up the Sunglasses Precomp there, here we have the frames and then we have the lenses. I'm going to go into the Lenses Precomp and you'll see in lenses, we have a shine in lenses. I'm going to recreate the shine using our wave warp effect. I'm just going to create a new shape, a rectangle in white, on our layer here, and I'm going to precompose that by pressing Command Shift c. We'll call that Shine Animated. All right, let's get into that comp now. We can add the wave warp effect. There we go. This time as I said in our first lesson, we're going to use the noise effect. I'm going to go a bit crazy with the numbers here and bump that all the way up to 3,000, and then bumped the width all the way up to 3,000 as well and we get this kind of line shape. If I play that through, looks a bit crazy at the moment. But we're going to slow that right down. Let's put in 0.05. We get this kind of autocue style movement in there. Now, if we go back to the previous composition, we'll see that effect happening over here and what we need to do is rotate it slightly so we get that slanted effect. Then we use Preserve Transparency, so it will only show in that layer below. Then all we need to do is have a little bit of a fiddle with where it is so it starts and it ends in the right place, preferably where there's nothing. But then when you have your original comp, you can see the cool glasses effect there in the dog sunglasses. This is my animation complete. You can find lots of really different and creative ways to use the wave warp and actually mask these into sections of your illustration. So definitely try that out. You can also add those details using the pen tool, using the shape tools, and use that all important preserve transparency function to mask them into parts of your illustration. Now that you know about this sort of technique, you can actually factor this into the design stage so that when you're making your illustrations, you can think, "Oh, I can mask this later on." It's a really, really handy technique. I'm so glad to have taught this to you. In the next lesson, we will be looking at different types of sine wave and different types of illustration and how I've combined all these techniques to that. I'll see you there. 10. Other Ways to Use the Wave Warp: The wave warp tool is really versatile, and I know that I've only shown you really the sine wave. In this lesson, we're going to look at how I've applied the different types of waves to different illustrations, and how I've used the combination of all the different techniques of doubling up and adding detail in my illustrations. Let's dive in. This one, Mr. Sharky here is our sawtooth. You can see on the top teeth, for example, in Procreate, I just made this elliptical blob and then I precomposed it, and then added the sawtooth wave type. What's really cool is we can actually duplicate that and change the phase a little bit. Then you start getting a lot more vicious teeth in there, which is pretty cool. We can do the same with the bottom teeth as well. If we move the face along, and then Mr. Sharky starts to look a lot more vicious. Here is my illustration called, smoking is still cool. We can see here that smoke effect that you saw in the wave warp effect lesson. All I've done is I've added two wave warps. You can see these are the circle wave warps, and I added the second one with a little bit phasing just to add some interest to the directions. It's not always similar trail when you're smoking. This was actually already a wiggly file, so this came from Procreate. Obviously, if you add a wave warp to a wiggly file, it's just going to look like this, which is not the effect we're trying to achieve. What I did was I actually created this just elongated, elliptical shape, and then I applied the double wave warp too to get this cool effect using the circle wave. Another very useful wave type. The final one I'm going to show you is the semicircle. You can see this character here is one that I've designed, but I got a very talented, animator friend who actually do the pushing cycle for me. I've just added some extra little bits of wave warp at the end. You can see there's loads and loads of sine wave in here, especially the laces. They've got a really quick sine wave on the go. At minus 5, if we look at the wave speed to make it go from the right to left. Then in the master one, I've also added a little speed cloud here using a semicircle. Also, at minus 5, to match the laces and the speed of the character. Then I've added a rectangle mask over the top just to mask out the road, and there we've got this really cute little speed cloud effect, which were actually well. Each design that you create will require a different wave warp journey. I really encourage you to experiment, try things out, and most importantly, have fun with it. Once you're happy with your animation, you are ready to export, and that's what we're going to do in the next lesson. See you there. 11. Export Your Animation: Once clear experimenting is done and you've checked your animation, you've corrected in the areas, you've doubled up your effects, you've added your details, and you're super happy with it, you are ready to export. We're going to export as mp4, and then we're going to move on to GIF a bit later. To export as mp4, we're going to go to Composition and then Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue. Your file will appear in the window here. Now you'll need to select H.264 from the drop-down menu, and then you'll have to pick a nice place to save it. Let's go back to our desktop folder, Exports, and it's MP4, so put it in videos, and delivered. Just check the file as mp4 there. Press "Save" and then press "Play" and Media Encoder will do its magic. Once that's all done, let's check our file in the folder. Here we go, open that up using Spacebar. Yeah, it's looking good. Make it a bit smaller so it's a bit more representative. Wonderful. We have our MP4 ready to upload onto Instagram. I'll just airdrop that to my phone usually, and then I can upload that to Instagram. Looking good. To save it as GIF, what we can do is then open up that file in Photoshop. If we go to Open With and just find Photoshop on our applications, we'll see that will open up with the timeline here. If you don't know a lot about the timeline, I have another course which is animating patterns and textures using Photoshop for your illustrations. So you can check that out. You don't need to know much about it here, but it's always useful to have the knowledge. To export as GIF, we just go to File, Export, Save For Web, and that will load. It we'll take a moment. Lots of computations going on. Here we will see our GIF come up. What's really nice about working with GIFs in Photoshop is we can see the file size. First of all, really useful. At the moment, this is 1.8 meg. Ideally for GIF, we would want it under one. There's lots of things we can do in Photoshop to reduce the size. One nice thing is we can preview in the browser. If we preview that, it will come up as our image. What's really nice is it says all the settings down here. Then we can start to make comparisons when we reduce the size of the file. Now one thing I can immediately see is this is humongous, way too big for my portfolio here. So let's reduce the size on that first of all. Let's go down to 60 percent, and press "Enter". Let's preview that. Moved down to 1022K. We're getting there. See quality, just a lot smoother. Now I've only used about six colors here. So I can definitely reduce the amount of colors. Let's go down to 16 and try that out. Still looks the same, but we're on 700K instead. It looks pretty much exactly the same. So we've just saved 300K just by changing the amount of colors which is really cool. You can work out some different settings here. You can change the color reduction algorithm. You can change the dither if you don't need to and that will all affect your file size. Experiment with those, have fun. Again, I go more into it in my other course if you do want to check that out. Once we're happy, press "Save", and make sure we're in the right GIF file. We should be. Let's put driving dog GIF. Yeah, great. Press "Save". Then we can check our GIF in our file. Open that up. He's looking great. Now we've exported as GIF, we can upload it to our portfolio and we can upload it to our project gallery. Let's call that drivin, I'm going to put dawg this time to make it more fun. Let's upload that GIF, should open up straight away. It will take a second to load in here. Now it won't play in your cover photo, but just select a nice part of the image. Then we can put a little bit about our process here. Add more details and questions if you need to ask me anything. Let's pop the image in there. There we go, that's our project all done. All we need to do is click "Publish", and then that's uploaded to the project gallery. Important thing to remember that if you go into exports MP4, you add it to your Media Encoder queue and select "H.264" from the drop-down menu. You can then import this to Photoshop and use the Save for Web function, and just fiddle about with all your settings and really get the size of GIF that you want. Once you've done all that, don't forget to upload your GIF to the project gallery. I can answer any questions that you have there. I just love seeing all the projects. So do upload them. I look forward to checking out your work. 12. Final Thoughts: Amazing work you guys. In this class, we found out just how amazing the Wave Warp is, and how it can bring your illustrations to life with absolutely no keyframes. We learned how to design an illustration with the Wave Warp in mind using ellipsis as a key shape to help us animate with the Wave Warp. We learned that we can duplicate the Wave Warp to create different layers in our animation, and we can double up the effects by using CC Bender. We also learned that we can create shapes in After Effects using pattern shape tools to recreate our illustrated layers and add details to them. I bet you have just an amazing animated illustration to share with the world, to share with your friends and family, and they are going to be so impressed. If there's one thing I hope you take away from this class, it's just how simple, how fun, how easy it is to add the Wave Warp to your illustrations. I am so looking forward to seeing all your projects and your uploads. So make sure you add it to the project gallery. If you put it on social media, make sure you tag me and I will share it to my stories. I also have a student work folder in there. So do check that out for more inspiration. All the best with your animation journey. I look forward to seeing you in another class very soon.