Create a Cool Gradient Animation | Motion Design A. | Skillshare

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Create a Cool Gradient Animation

teacher avatar Motion Design A.

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

6 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. introduction

    • 2. Creating the shapes

    • 3. Adding Color and Elements

    • 4. Animating Using Expressions

    • 5. Final Animations

    • 6. Final Touches

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About This Class

Download the attached zip file where you will find the source video to work with. I have also included my final After Effects file and final render video for you to use as a reference. 

Share your finished video in the Project Gallery.

Complete the prompt I share in each video that will lead you through the process of creating a this data info graphic in After Effects, step-by-step. You can choose to do all the videos in one sitting OR watch one video every day for 12 days — it’s up to you.

At the end of this class, you’ll have created this gradient animation that you can use for your portfolio. 

Meet Your Teacher

Motion Design Academy (MDA) aims to deliver high quality courses in the Adobe Creative Suite software.

We also offer courses detailing the production techniques necessary to begin and grow into an experienced top notch designer and animator.

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” - Maya Angelou

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1. introduction: Welcome to the motion design Academy. I'm absolutely and I'll be your instructor for this course. I have over 10 years of experience with various clients. And in this course, I'll be teaching you how to make something like this. I'll be walking you through how to make these. I'll also be talking about the principles of motion, tips and tricks and things that might just come up while working in the industry. All right, I'll see you in class. 2. Creating the shapes: Okay, so to start, we're going to start a new composition. New composition, 1280, 720, 23, 9, 7, 6, ten seconds. Okay? And we're going to just jump right in. Okay, so first thing we're going to do is we are going to create a background. And in order to create this background, I'm going to create a new solid. You can go into layer, new solid. I'm going to actually just use the hotkeys. And I'm actually going to use the hotkeys for the rest of this class. Apple, why? That's a black solid. I'll press okay with it. I'm going to go into my effects and presets. I have this setup the way it is if you're not seeing that, you go to Window effects and presets or Apple five. I'm gonna put up until now. The reason why I find that here instead of in here, is because I know what I'm looking for. There are just a bunch of effects that I always use. Like we'll drop shadow gradients, like I just kinda know them off the top of my head so I don't need to go into layer. So I'm going to pick fell and just double-click it, and it defaults to read. For now I'm just going to bring it back down to black. Eventually we're going to make it well, we might as well just make it the color you're looking for. I'll just make it like kind of a bluish black. And you can see this is the hex number. So if you see this number, you want to copy exactly what I'm doing. You can, you want to go off and you want to make your own thing, you can do that as well. And I'm going to label this BG, lock this. And then we're going to go in and create our gradients. These are background elements. So I'm going to make a new composition, call this gradients. Or I don't know, it's just like a shape. And I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to create a shape layer. Now if I want to create a shape layer, I can just go into the pen tool and just start drawing directly. And you'll see it already makes a shape layer. I'm gonna go ahead. I'm going to just make any kind of shape. And you can do any shape you want. And I'm gonna go ahead. And now how I'm getting these curves is basically I'm click dragging. If you don't want those curves and you went hard angles, you just click, click, click, click. But I want this to have a really organic feel. So I'm going to click and drag and then you can even alter your shape by just kind of dragging it like so. And kind of modify these. So I like that, That looks good to me. I'm going to go ahead. I'm going to make the fill y and put the stroke all the way down. Okay, so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to add an effect to this. And what I'm going to add is I'm going to add a turbulent displace, going to look to her pupil in this place. And you can see it's right here. Also the great thing about this Effects Presets tab is it tells you exactly like what. Parameter it's under. So if I go into effect and then distort, you'll see turbulent displays there too. So we're just going to press, double-click it and it'll apply a turbulent displace to it. Now if you look at what I've done, as if you just look at the default. This is what it looks like. Basically what it did is it kind of made it something like it is wavy kind of movement. The great thing about turbulent displaces. It's really great for things like smoke, like animating a flag. If you combo it with fractal noise, it creates this really great like smoke type of thing. In fact, I'll show the US. So that's you real quick. If I press Apple, why just going to create a solid and I'm going to put a fractal noise. And you'll see fractal noise gives you these clouds. But if you add it with the turbulent displace, kind of creates this wavy movement to it. And you can just go further and further and enhance this. But you can kinda create some great smoke, some clouds and went and really have some nice animation going with it. I'm gonna go ahead and delete this, but just something to think about. So you can see with this turbulent displace it, the main parameter here that we're going to work with is the evolution. And by moving the evolution around, you can see how it makes this sort of blobby kind of animation, which is really what we're looking for. So I'm going to undo that. And I'm going to change some of these parameters around. The amount is pretty high. So I'm going to bump that down to exophilic 18. And you can see much more subtle, not as noticeable. The size I'm going to make it much bigger. So you can see that by making it like this. Or if it's smaller. Differences are, I'm going to let this run like for 80. And then with the offset and the trivial and the sort of offset, you can click this and then pick the point you want it to offset at. And you can see by moving this around, you create this sort of innovation. So some of the nice things you can get, you can see you I given by going here, it creates a really nice distortion from it. Without it, it would be like that. And now it's like this. So it's sort of changed, it's distorted it a bit. But really where we get into things is with the evolution. So we're gonna go down, we're going to toggle this down. The contents shape. I mean, the effects turbulent displays. And I'm going to move this up a little bit so you can see what I'm doing. All right, So I already showed you before what the evolution does. It kind of creates this sort of nice movement. And what we can do is to get this to kind of rotate around in a cycle, we can actually write an expression. So to access this expression, or you should do is go over this stopwatch, hold down Option or Alt, but hold on Alt and then click evolution. You'll see that you get this red perimeter and this shows up. This is where you can write an expression. And expressions are great tools to use to speed things up. And we're going to talk about two of my favorite expressions. But we're going to put with this one, we're going to talk about time. So with this, whenever using things that have rotation or some sort of evolution or for me, I mean, because I'm not someone who knows all about how to write expressions. But what I do know is whenever I see something that has this wheel, I know that you can use the time expression similar, right? Time times 20. And that basically means it's going to rotate around 20 times. So we press Enter. You can see the animation very, very subtle, which is exactly what we're going for. We're going for this sort of organic kind of amoeba like feel to it. So this is kinda good for what we've got. I'm going to go ahead and I'm actually going to turn this into a 3D layer. And I'll explain why we're doing it later layer, we're going to have a camera, but I'm going to turn us into a 3D layer. And then I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to duplicate this six times. 123456. Oops. Okay. Six times. And then I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to change the opacity of each one, the opacity and the position of each one. So this one, I'm actually the same, the same, but this one, I'm going to change its opacity to 80. Actually, I'm going to do all the opacities first a, make this like 70, makes this 50, make this 30, and make this 20. Now you don't see anything that's being done because they're all on top of each other. And that's where we're gonna go ahead and we're going to move this position around. And the position we're going to move, we're going to move it in z. Okay, so I'm going to change the position of all of these. So I'm going to move this position and I'm gonna make sure I see what I'm doing. So I'm going to make sure I see what I'm doing because I can't really tell exactly. So I'm going to do two views. And, and this one I'm going to make, I just want to see things from a different angle. So when you use custom view one and you can see this is our, our blobs. And I just want to make sure I can see how each thing is positioning itself out. So NCO, IC. So what happens when I move it in Z is a kind of pushes it back, right? And what I wanna do is I want to start this one is furthest back, so I'm gonna make this like 100. That's furthest back. I'm going to move this layer back to 800. Yeah, there we go. Okay. I got a little confused there, but you can see what's going on and you want to make sure you're doing this from opacity for most opaque to lease, okay, moving it in the, the Z position. So remember back to P, I'm going to make this six hundred, four hundred. You can see that there's a pattern of moving this and it's all even numbers. And so it's created this nice sort of, you know, opacity shape here. And then you can see what I'm doing in z space. And the reason why I did, I put them into views because I got a little confused wondering how, how this was all moving itself back. But now that I know it's happening, I can just go back into one view. Alright, so I have our gradients and I'm going to close this out. I'm going to go back to our main comp which is compound. You can name it something different if you want. And I'm going to go ahead, I'm gonna make these 3D layers. 3. Adding Color and Elements: This is sort of our blob. We're going to recreate and move this position, this around. But I'm going to go ahead, I'm going to create a gradient. Gradient. And you can see there's all these different types of gradients. This one's a good one. I'm actually going to use the Gradient Ramp. Okay. There with this, I'm going to pick my different colors. So when we got red, I'll make this one glue. You can see we've got a nice kinda gradient applied to this. This isn't affecting the background even though it looks like, but it's not. And you can move this around. This is basically the start of the ramp and this is the end of the ramp. So by moving them around it, it creates this different kind of movement to it. The next thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to just create a couple of shapes. The reason why I'm creating these shapes is because I just want to offset the animation that we've created just to kinda give some stuff going on in the foreground. And like creating shapes, we created it through the pen tool, but now we're also going to use the Ellipse tool and make sure nothing is selected and then shift drag and just create a bunch of circles. Now see what happened was I just kept Shift dragging and so it made it on the same layer. Don't wanna do that. I'd want them to be on separate layers. So just click anywhere in the timeline and then go back and shift drag. Click on the timeline, go back and shift drag. Okay, So we have, there are three shapes. I'm going to change this up a little bit. I'm going to keep one as well. I'm going to make this on the stroke. So basically we go into our fill. That means no, no color. Okay. Go into stroke and kind of bump it up. And to our liking, that one, I'm going to leave it at 26. Gonna go into this one, do the same thing, take the fell out, but it's nothing. Press Okay. Get this one. Want to give it a light stroke? And those are our three shapes. Now I'm gonna go ahead, I'm going to grab this gradient ramp that we did and just copy it onto these. Now they're getting completely lost. But that's okay because we can always adjust this. You can see that's blue. This one will move this exact kind of blue. I'm going to leave this the way it is. My change it later. Make sure these are 3D layers. Okay, so we covered an expression before and that was time. And now we're gonna go ahead and we're going to cover another expression that I really like, which is the wiggle expression. I've used a wiggle expression and some other courses, but I'm going to use it again here and we use it in the position. And I'm going to show exactly how you can get this really nice drift using a wiggle and this entire animation that we're doing here. No, no keyframes, no plug-ins. Expressions and the most basic expressions. You can use, the wiggle perimeter in the scale. You can use it in the rotation, you can use it in the position, you can use it in the opacity. It's such a powerful expressions when my favorites. Okay, so I'm going to go ahead and I'm gonna put something in the position, press P and then press alt, stopwatch and you see transform position. So I'm going to put a wiggle. And then in the parentheses is the x and y. So for the axon of a 0.1 comma 300. So if X is moving in 0.1, you can see that it moved it around a bit, so we're just going to move it back down. I'm still on the shape thing, press V to get that move tool. And sometimes you gotta move it around and z to find it because of the wiggle all kind of change it. So sometimes it hides behind the background. So you just gotta move it around until it decides to show up. I'm going to change the gradient because now it's sort of make this a little bit more. I might make it blue. Looks good. So if I solo this just to show you what's happening, then press Enter. You can see like what a nice sort of sod all really subtle soft movement it's having, which is what we're going for, which is why we were doing those things with the turbulent displace and everything like that. For me, show you if I put the x position up to 300. It'll move around like crazy. There'll be like bouncing like that's probably happening. And if I move both of them to 0.1 and it wouldn't move at all. So I'm going to put this back down to 0.1. And I'm actually going to copy this and do exactly the same thing to the other ones. We're going to go here, we're going to press P. I'm going to press P and then press the Alt, and then copy paste that again P, Alt, copy paste. And just kinda see how things are moving with it. Alright, so this is just sort of a sample of how it's moving. And you'd see it's moving pretty well. It's got this really, really nice drift and movement to it. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to create a new camera. So I'm gonna go to layer new camera. Press. Okay? And now that we have this as a camera, we can kinda animate the camera movement and I'm just going to go ahead. I'm going to kind of reposition our main blob and scale it up. And then I'm going to duplicate this and kinda move this around like so. Duplicate it one more time. Move this c here. So you've got this nice sort of kind of gradient and movement. I'm trying to find where this shape disappeared off too. So again, you want to pull it, well, this one's fine. We're going to find this one and pull it around and z forward to kind of find where it is. Oh, I see is it's just that it's color coupling that n is picks up a negative blue. Okay? So I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to save this. 4. Animating Using Expressions: Okay, so I'm gonna go ahead, I'm going to ram preview this. And you can see the animation that we're getting. Now, I'm looking at this and I'm thinking I might just have two gradients, not three. Kind of want to get rid of this one. Remembering this, I'm actually going to rotate this and z so that it kind of creates this kind of thing. Might scale this one down a little bit. I might move this in Z. Let's scale this down a little bit to open up, sorry. She is creating like a nice little opening between the two. And this color wise, I'm going to change this and make it sound like something like that. And see how it works kinda well together. Yeah. I think we can animate the camera. Or you know what, I think I'm going to add this up a little bit. I'm going to add some text. I'm gonna put it right in the middle there. And you can write anything you want. I'm just going to write motion school, rotate this. And I want to make this really keep this really small because I don't want this. You can place it anywhere you want and make creative title. But I just want this to be like just a subtle, a subtle fun thing. And in movies, guys up a little bit. So motions go just barely since in the middle. Yeah. Okay. Now I'm going to go ahead. I'm going to move this camera around. And you can see how it fell off at that point, but it doesn't really bother me so much. We can animate it around to send the physician maybe. But I'll be really loose. So right here is when we kinda like it being in the middle pin. And what this will just move it up. I'm just picking arbitrary places. To make sure that it kind of stays in mind, we're going to preview it. And one thing I noticed about this, as I forgot to make it a 3D layer, we're in a 3D camera world, so it's very important that this is a 3D layer and that could change a lot. So now that we're watching this, it's like, Yeah, this looks pretty great. Like it looks like a breathing living thing. Excel's are like, I don't know, just some sort of Milan thing is that the shapes, we don't really see him as much. So we gotta kinda play with the position. So I'm just going to go into the middle and just make sure everyone is visible. Well, this guy, maybe even to the top. And this, so notice this is because of a gradient, but I don't think it is. I think it's because we move this wave forward and it got lost completely. Sure not to accidentally grab your gradient. I'm going to grab this and move this and x. They ever watch this one return. So one thing that I'm noticing is that this shape is headed straight for is that this shape is headed straight for motion school. Put a text, so I'm gonna move it around a little bit and then preview that. So this is what we've got. And yeah, it's like this living breathing animation idea like how they cross. I just don't like it when it goes over, That's Hex. But it's kinda nice. It just feels like it's a live. We could play with the gradients, kind of altering these a little bit. In particular, I'm looking at this top one. She might leave this very red. And then this one. And when I say brain, make this a little more blue. But keep this section reds and just to keep them kinda poverty. Okay. 5. Final Animations: So the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to animate the camera. I'm going to actually animate the camera in its position. Kinda go towards the ends. And a quick way to, if you want, if you want, you can crunch the numbers, which is a great way to do it too. I've actually just going to press C. And what C does is it brings you to this. And we keep pressing it. You get all these different parameters. X2, rotate and move. So I'm just gonna move it so subtly. And then go to the beginning and move it started here. Actually, there's a lot more to move with in the beginning. So I'm going to actually go back to the end because I really liked what we had as our p.sit getting frame. Move this back to how it was. Now you can see there's something weird going on. And the reason why there's something weird going on is with the background. The background is cutting out because it's originally this was a 2D layer, but now it's not big enough to cover that sort of movement. So all we have to do is just scale it up and make sure that these bounds aren't inside or outside. So we've got it, so now we're just going to watch it. Okay, so this is our animation and I like how the circle, the red circle kinda comes out of this gradient. I like how it crosses over. I like the movement of this. It's very like organic and it's flowing. I think. I'm happy with the way motion school they're meeting. It is possible that manually animate this. So it goes down and up and down and up so it kinda match the movement. We can also add a wiggle position to it too, just to add a really slight drift. But I think I kind of like how it's static right now. I think maybe the only thing I'll do is I'll add a keyframe of this at the end just to make sure it kind of stays up and it's constantly moving. So I'm gonna press U and go back into my position and press V to go to the Move tool and just move it up and why. It's a really, really just a subtle, nice movement to it. Okay, so I'm watching this in my thinking and moves down and it does. This is really nice how it's moving down, but then kind of shoots back up and I feel like it happens a little too early. So I'm gonna go right here and actually move this keyframe. That's been moving down the whole time. So yeah, you can see it's like barely moving. It's so at its own rate. And it's kinda nice how it's just so subtle. Now I do want to move this a little bit. And then kind of press K to go to the keyframe, see how that was looking at was this one Okay. Yeah. So yeah, you can see very, very soft and subtle movements, different rates, but all feeling very organic. Kind of it's like this breathing, moving thing. We can also add eases to make a kinda give it some more life. Instead of doing like ease in and ease out, I'm just going to grab all of these keyframes by just dragging it like that. And then I'm going to press F9 and that automatically make it gives it an ease. Again, you can go through and do an easy ease if you check out some of my other classes, if you want to learn more about easing, I talk a lot more about that in depth. This is our movement and you can see it's very thrifty, very subtle, very eased. Yeah. It feels like it's like just living, breathing abstract image. 6. Final Touches: So we're going to add some final touches to this. And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to create an adjustment layer and just add some final, really subtle but things to kind of enhance the look of it. So I've in my adjustment layer and then I'm gonna go in and I'm going to go into effects and presets. And I'm gonna start with this CC Lens. Cc Lens. We've got gotta spell. Okay. Now the minute I add this on, you can see that it's created this crazy circle distortion. But I want to talk a little bit about the perimeters. The center is at the center point. If I move this around, you can see it changes it around a lot. And this in itself is a pretty fun animation. I'm sure you can make some pretty interesting abstract shapes do that as well. But we're going to do is we are going to kind of expand this out so it's a bit bigger. And with size. If I kinda really scale this out, you'll see it goes back to our original image. So if I toggle this down, It's a very subtle thing, but it kind of as sort of this different kind of shape to it finishes off the edges. And it's quite nice. I mean, I might bump it up a little bit more. Here. That works. The convergence. I'm going to bring it down just a little bit. And basically what that does is if I put this to 0 or like a kind of shrinks it in. And if I bring this out a lot at stretches it out, That's the Mexican bring it to. So I'm actually just going to bring this incident, does it a little bit. Now I'm going to just toggle this like that. You can see that's what CC1 has done. Next thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to come in and make a change the color around and curves in levels are, are my, kind of my favorite color correction. So right-click curves and move this down and show you what I like to do a lot with curves is if you move this up here, we'll make everything lighter. If you move this down, it'll make everything darker. Usually my rule of thumb is I like to move it up a little bit and then move this down a little bit. Just kind of creating this sort of nice S curve. And that's actually used a lot with all animation. If you've taken my other classes and you know about easing in and easing out and using the curves and always kind of creating a nice S curve of Bezier curve. And that's sort of used a lot in design language, that's used a lot in animation. It's just this like this, this shape that kinda This sort of S curve, It's used with math and cosine and with also with the golden ratio and stuff like that. But this curve is used a lot with motion graphics. If you're animating things using curves. If you're using stuff with design, this sort of pattern is just a good one to know and always just something to keep in mind. So if I toggle this on and off, you'll see the difference. It kinda sharpens it up. But I might even make it more subtle. But know that, that, that sort of pattern is, is an important pattern in InDesign and an animation. Last thing I'm gonna do is I want to have a really, really, really, really subtle Fast Blur. I guess I'll use, well, that's a box where I just want to a password. I'll use a legacy one. And I'll put this up one. So you can barely see it, but it's doing something in the details. And I'm actually going to click Repeat pixel edges. Now, you don't see this unless I put a massive blur on it. But you'll notice on the edge, if I don't have this clicked, the edges which you can't really see in this example. But it'll come, it'll create this weird border. So that's why I kinda put repeat pixel edges. It doesn't have this strange border. And bring this back down to one. Next thing I'm going do is I'm going to add some noise just to give it some like a nice sort of texture to it. Very subtle again, I'm just gonna put it at 1% so you can barely notice it, but it's there and it's doing something. So since we put that blur on and now I'm gonna put a sharpened on. And I'm going to bump this up a little bit. So you can see where that, the very subtle but just to kind of offset that blur. And our final thing we're going to do is Byron's just going to roots. And if I up this up a lot, very subtle, but again, it does, it does add stuff to the color. And I'm going to pump up the saturation a little bit. So once again, you'll see I feel like the saturation might be a little too much, but just a nice subtle touch to it. All right, so these are our adjustment layers are effects to kind of add the final touches, I'm gonna go ahead and save and render this course. Okay, so this is our final render. And you can see it has this very great organic sort of feels like these are like living breathing creatures. Everything's moving at a different rate. And we created this animation using expressions to my favorite expressions is just a wiggle expression and the time expression. And we created this entire animation using no keyframes. The created it using only those two. Well, we didn't animate the camera and the type, but we pretty much created most of this animation just using those two expressions. We covered a lot in this course. Outside of those expressions, we also covered 3D layers. We covered a really great effect called turbulent displace, which is used commonly a lot with anything that kinda needs to have this sort of distortion like moving flags are animating smoke. And then we also used a lot of gradients to kind of create this sort of look. And it's really great to see how these shapes move through the gradients and change colors. And then we covered the camera, we animated the camera. And finally we covered a lot of really great visual techniques, just adding final, final touches like curves, like CC Lens, like noise, blur, sharpen environments using that in combination really kinda created this subtle character to this animation piece. Alright, well, I hope you learned a lot in this class, and I'll see you in the next one.