Easy Animated Icons in After Effects | Megan Friesth | Skillshare

Easy Animated Icons in After Effects

Megan Friesth, Motion Designer

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22 Lessons (1h 10m)
    • 1. Welcome

      0:57
    • 2. Class Project

      1:34
    • 3. Illustrating Icons - Part 1

      4:35
    • 4. Illustrating Icons - Part 2

      2:37
    • 5. Getting Ready for Animation

      2:49
    • 6. Importing AI files in After Effects

      2:21
    • 7. After Effects Tour

      3:03
    • 8. Setting Keyframes

      5:18
    • 9. Converting Vector Layer to Shapes

      1:02
    • 10. Animating Lines Drawing In

      5:19
    • 11. Animating Along a Path

      4:39
    • 12. Orienting Along a Path

      2:07
    • 13. Adjusting Anchor Points

      2:13
    • 14. Parenting - Part 1

      2:14
    • 15. Parenting - Part 2

      3:50
    • 16. Scaling In - Part 1

      5:10
    • 17. Scaling In - Part 2

      5:10
    • 18. Masking

      3:14
    • 19. Easing

      4:50
    • 20. Finishing

      2:03
    • 21. Rendering

      4:05
    • 22. Thanks!

      0:38
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About This Class

If you’re a graphic designer, illustrator, or anyone wanting to learn 2D animation, this is a great place to start! Learn or practice Adobe After Effects by creating a fun set of animated icons. You’ll learn how to:

  • create icons starting with basic shapes in Adobe Illustrator.
  • prepare your icons for animation.
  • bring your icons into After Effects.
  • set keyframes to animate scale, position, rotation and more.
  • animate lines drawing in and out.
  • create a simple mask to hide parts of a graphic.
  • animate an object along a path.
  • export your animations as a GIF or movie file.
  • and much more!

If you've never used After Effects before, you may find it helpful to check out my free After Effects orientation video and guide first.

After this class, check out:

Transcripts

1. Welcome: [MUSIC] Welcome to Easy Animated Icons in After Effects. If you're an illustrator, graphic designer, or anyone wanting to learn or practice After Effects, this is a great place to start. Hi, I'm Megan Friesth, an illustrator and motion designer from Boulder, Colorado. In this class, I'll walk you through every step of my workflow. I'll show you how to create icons using basic shapes in Adobe Illustrator, how to prepare them for animation, and how to bring them into After Effects and animate them. Finally, I'll show you how to create a GIF or movie file so you can show off your work. You don't need to have any experience with Adobe After Effects for this class. It will help if you're comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, but that's also not a requirement because I'll show you the basics. If you want to jump straight into animation, you can download My icons. If you're ready to learn or practice After Effects by creating some fun animated icons, then let's get started. 2. Class Project: For the class project, you'll animate a set of icons, either mine or your own. Why icons? Well, animation is communication tool. You can use it to evoke emotion, tells a story, indicate functionality, or educate. Icons are like a universal language. When you put the two together, you get something really special, plus animated icons are really easy and great way to learn After Effects. There are many different styles of icons. What kind of icons will work for this class? I'll be working with icons that are mostly made up of simple shapes with strokes or outlines. You certainly don't have to use this style, but I will show you how to animate lines drawing in, and that may not work for all styles. Start by coming up with a theme, brainstorm all the icons that could fit the theme. Create a class project on the project page and post your icon ideas. Then pick a few of your favorite icons from your list to illustrate. If you find that some icons aren't working out, you can always go back to your list and try something else. As you're building your icon, start to think about how you want them to be animated. This may influence how you build them. But don't worry if you don't have it all planned out yet. Post your illustrated icons in the class project. Finally, animate your icons. You can publish your icons one at a time as you finish them, or publish them when they're all complete. If you're eager to jump right into animating, feel free to download my icons as ready to animate Illustrator files. If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on the community page. Let's get started. 3. Illustrating Icons - Part 1: We're going to start an illustrator in case you're more comfortable with Photoshop. I just want to let you know that you can certainly use Photoshop to create graphics, to animate in After Effects. But for this class, it will be easier to follow along if you use Illustrator, will need to convert some of the layers that make up the icons into vector shapes. If you use Photoshop, you'll end up needing to re-create many parts of your icons and After Effects. Here I have some icons I've made. You can download these icons if you're eager to jump straight into animation. I won't go through every step in recreating these icons, because I want to focus on animation in this class. But I'll show you my basic workflow. With that, I think you'll be ready to create your own icons, even if you're not a pro at illustrator. The first time when I like to do in creating icons is to make myself some guides so that I can make all the icons the same size. For these guides, I just use a shape that's a 200 by 200 pixels square. I put that on its own layer and locked it so it doesn't get moved around while I'm working. Let's take a look at how I built this pencil. I built this rotated 45 degrees, so that made it a little bit easier to get things lined up. You can see if I ungroup this, it's made up of a rectangle with the top two corners rounded. To get to the rounding tools, hit the direct selection tool and then drag these little circles. If you only want some of the corners rounded, then just select that corner and move it. Or if you want to rounded, hit shift and then select the second one. To get this shape, I used a rectangle and then a circle and cut it out. I'm going to see what sizes rectangle is by going to the transform window. It's 22 pixels, all this make it exactly 22. Then I'm going to click and hold on my Shape tool to get to my Ellipse tool and then release on the Ellipse tool. Or you can just say L in the keyboard. Then clicking anywhere to get this little pop-up window, I'm going to enter my 22 pixels. It's the same size as my rectangle. Then I'll drag this into place. I want to make sure that they're lined up. I want the circle to be in line with the rectangle and they don't want the rectangle to move. I'm going to select both and then click the rectangle again. That's going to align it to my key object, which is the bold one, the rectangle. Now that those are aligned, I can select them both again, go to my Pathfinder tool. If you don't see the Pathfinder or any of the panels here, you can always find them under window. Now I'm going to use the minus front tool to subtract the circle from the rectangle. There we go. Then, to duplicate this, you can do Command C, Command V, Copy and Paste. Or you can also select hold Option or Alt, and then drag out. In the animation, I'm going to have the pencil draw on this line. To create this line, I just use the Pen tool. That's P on the keyboard, and then clicking and dragging to make a curve. Don't worry if it's not perfect the first time you can always go back and edit the handles with the direct selection tool. The Pen tool is great if you want a really unique shape. But if you are a perfect wave like this one on the paintbrush, I'll show you how I achieved that. Let me turn off my guides for a second. I started by drawing a line with the Pen tool, click and then hold shift, click again to get a straight line. Then hit enter to end the line. Then I went back and added two anchor points onto my line. Then brought one up and one down with the direct selection tool. Then with the round corners, I just select those in round the corners. Now I have a nice wave. To make this a completed shape, I can go back to my Pen tool, hover over the anchor point, I didn't like that slash line. Then click to continue my path. Then to finish off the path, you're going to hover over the last anchor point and we take it that circle icon and you know, you're closing the sheep. 4. Illustrating Icons - Part 2: If you look at my icons, you can see that they're all made up of basic shapes like circles and rectangles. I use the Pathfinder tool a lot to cut out different shapes and then I round the corners to make them more organic looking. Let's take a look at the eyedropper. To get this color inside of the eye dropper, I took the eyedropper shape, I'll show you that over here and then took a rectangle. I'm going to color it the same as that inside. We're just going to use the eyedropper, the actual eye dropper tool for that and then, I'm going to bring this to front with Shift Command and right bracket. Then I'll select both of these and to go to the Pathfinder and choose Intersect. Now I need to recall that and there we go. The tip of the pencil, the pencil lead, was also made in that same way. Let's take a look at how I made this shape in the scissors. I started with the circle and made another circle inside of my circle, then I use the Pathfinder to cut those out. Then this piece is a rectangle. You'll see that when I'm moving my shapes around. I have these guides and they snap things in place. To get those guides if you don't already have them, go to View and Smart Guides or hit Command U. Now I want to make sure that this rectangle is not protruding into the inner circle. I'm going to go to the right selection tool and then take this anchor point and drag it over so it's not in center. Now I'll select both of these shapes and unite to merge them. Then I run around this inner corner and then the edge. By selecting this anchor with the direct selection tool, I'll get the round corners tool and then I'll just drag that out to round it, and same here. Hopefully, that helps you see how I tackle illustrating icon using basic shapes as building blocks. Now have some fun creating your own. Remember, if you ever have questions or get stuck, reach out on the community page. 5. Getting Ready for Animation: Before we start animating, we'll need to separate each icon out into its own file. I'll show you how to get your files ready for animation with this color swatch. I'm going to select the whole thing, copy it, and then open a new file. I'm going to create a new document that's 300 by 300 pixels and now I'm going to paste my icon onto my art board. I want to make sure this is in the exact center of my art board. If my icon is grouped, I can go to Align , make sure it's set to Align to Artboard and then hit "Center and Center". If my icon wasn't grouped, here's a quick little tip. My icon is off-center. I'll select the whole thing, and then I'm going take half the width of the art board, which is 300 pixels, so that'll be 150, and I'm going to put that into the x and y value in Transform panel and now it is centered. Next, I want to separate each piece of the icon that I want to animate into its own layer. If I were to import this file into After Effects as is, I wouldn't have any control over each of these layers. It would be just one object. A quick way to do that is to go over to your Layers panel, select everything, hit the hamburger menu appear and then choose Release Layers to Sequence. Now I have layer 1 and then all the rest of the layers are nested inside of layer 1. Make sure that you take all of the layers two through six that are nested in layer 1 and you drag them up and out so that now each layer is on its own and nothing is nested. Now it really helps when you're animating if you have all of your layers named. I'm going in and name them, and I have this extra empty layer and I'm just going to select it and hit the trash cane to delete it. Now I'll save this and it's all ready for After Effects. Being organized goes along way when you're working with Illustrator files in After Effects. I like to keep all of my files for our project in a folder. I have my easy animated icons folder, I have an After Effects folder called AE, and an Illustrator folder called AI. I have each one of my icons in its own file in this folder. When you import files in After Effects, it's going to remember where it found those files. If you ever move one of these files, After Effects won't know where you put it and it will say missing footage. So make sure you're staying organized with the folder structure like this, and don't move any files once you've imported them into After Effects. 6. Importing AI files in After Effects: Now you're ready to start animating. Fire up after effects and then start a new project. Now we need to get those Illustrator files that we made. We are going to go to File, Import, File, then locate your Illustrator files. The first file I'm going to import is the pencil, so I'll click on that. Then import as, I want to choose Composition, Retain Layer Sizes. That's really important. If you don't see that option, click this option button down here. Import as Composition, Retain Layer Sizes and click Open. Now you'll see that in your project panel you have two new things. The first is the pencil and this is a composition. The second is a folder. Now this has all of your layers in it. If you double-click the composition to open it, you'll also see that it has all of your layers. In your timeline, which is down here, you have each of the layers that you made in Illustrator. What is a composition? You can think of it like a movie clip. It contains many layers, which can be things like graphics, text, or video footage. You can put compositions inside of other compositions, like how a movie is made up of many different clips. Let's take a look at our compositions settings. To get to those, you're going to go to Composition and then Composition Settings or hit Command K. I can rename my composition here at the top if I wanted to. When you import a file from Illustrator, it'll default the width and height to the same width and height as your art board. Minus 300 by 300 by frame rate is 30 frames per second, and you have other options here. Typically, I like to work in whole numbers when I'm doing animation, so I usually pick 30. But if you're doing a gif and you need the file size to be nice and small, you can also choose 15. I'm going to stick with 30. Your duration is how long your composition will be. Mine is going to be four seconds. The last option here is background color. I'm going to click on that. I have my hex code from my background color copied, so I'll just paste it in there. Once you've chosen your settings, click "Okay". You can always get back to these settings later by going to Composition, Composition Settings or hitting Command K on the keyboard. 7. After Effects Tour: If you're new to After Effects, I'll give you a little tour. If you're a regular, feel free to skip this video. At the top, we have our tool bar. This has tools like the selection tool which is very similar to the selection tool in Illustrator. The hand tool which lets you grab your composition and move it around. If you want to set that back to the center, you can always go here and set it to fit. The next is the zoom tool. You can click to zoom in. Another way to do this is to use the comma and period keys on your keyboard. Always if you want to center something perfectly, you can use this drop down Menu. You also have your rotation tools, pan behind tools, shape tool, pen tool, text tool, and brushes. Next we have our project panel. This is where all of your assets will go. When you import files from Illustrator or even Photoshop or movie footage, anything like that will show up here. If you want to make a new composition, a blank one, you can hit this "Composition" button right here. That'll bring up your composition settings. Set your settings and hit "Okay" and you have a new comp. If you want to delete a comp, hit the "Trash Can". Next, we have our composition panel and that's where all of your animation is going to play. If you're on a computer that's running slow, you can set your resolution to half, third or quarter, to make it play back a little bit faster. Down across the bottom of the screen, you have your timeline. This is where you do most of your work. If you click on the first layer, you can toggle down and you'll see transform, toggle down again and you have some properties that you can animate. We'll talk more about those in the next video. If you want to hide a layer, you can use this eye ball Icon. If you want to see only one certain layer, you can hit the "Solo" button here. That will show you only the solo layer. Over on the right, we have our "Preview" button. These are Play, Next Frame, Last Frame type of buttons. Also, keep in mind that if you don't see any of the panels that I have, you can always find them under Window. My Workspace right now is standard but you can create your own workspaces or try out any of these. Also keep in mind that you can move these panels around just like in Illustrator. Next, I have my Effects and Presets. In here, you can get all sorts of different effects. We're not going to be using any in this class but if you want to explore those, there's plenty of resources for that. You also have Libraries. In Illustrator, I set up this color library with the three colors that I use in my icons and I can access that here in After Effects. There you go, the After Effects UI in less than three minutes. In the coming videos, we'll dive deeper into how to use this interface. 8. Setting Keyframes: How do you create animation and after effects? It's all based on key frames. Let's take a look. If I toggle down this pencil layer, I have all of these different properties than I can animate. If I hit this stopwatch right here on the scale property, it's going to set a key frame that says blue diamond right here. Then if I go forward in time to about one second, then I'm going to set another key frame. There's a few ways to do this. I can hit this ad key frame button, and now I have another key frame, but this key frame is the exact same as the first one, so no animation is happening because no values are changing. So I can go in and put in a value. I can either type in a value, or I can click and drag over the value. Now I have a value of 190, and now my animation well put. If I want to change one of the values, I just make sure that my time indicator is on that key frame and then change the value. Another fun part of after effects is that you can actually put in math right here. I could do like 100 divided by 30 and it would do the math for me. If you want to get rid of an animation, you can just delete the key frames. Playback in animation, you can scrub along the timeline, but to play in real time, you're going to want to use the preview button, the play button, or hit the space bar on your keyboard. Keep in mind if you have a lot going on in your composition, your animation might play back slowly at first. This is because after effects needs to render it, that means it needs to calculate what each frame looks like before can play it back to you. In the info window, it'll tell you if it's playing back in real time or not. When you're playing back an animation, it will only play in the designated work area and that is this area between these two blue bars. If I drag my work area to one second and time frames and then hit play, it will keep playing that same area over and over. Let's say I wanted to animate the position of this pencil. I'm going to hit the stopwatch to start a key frame. I want to move ahead in time, and then I'm going to just pick up my pencil on my composition and drag it over. Now I'm holding Shift to make sure it goes in a straight line. That's another way that you can set a key frame. Now say for some reason that I wanted this line to move as well. I can actually just copy and paste these key frames onto my line. Now you can't see the key frames, but they're there. If I toggle down, then I'll see them, and now if I play back the animation, you can see that both my line and my pencil have the same exact position key frames. There's a lot of shortcut keys that can speed up your workflow here. If you hit U, it's going to show just the properties that have key frame set. If you hit U again, it will close them all, so that's a really helpful one. You can also hit P on the keyboard to bring up position or S for scale, T for opacity. and the list goes on and on. Let's go back to the position. I'm just going to delete the position on the line because I don't want that, but say I want my pencil to move in an arc. I'm going to hide the line for now because we don't need it. You can also edit the motion path of the line. If you click on one of the anchor points, you'll see that you get these pezi handles and you can drag those just like you would use pezi handles in Illustrator. Now when I play back the animation, I can see that my pencil is going to move up and back down. I'm going to turn back on my line to show you one more thing, and I'm going to delete these key frames. One way to delete key frames is to click the stopwatch that'll do their turn on and key frame or off all the key frames. Also, if you have key frames, you can just select them and hit delete. As you can see, each of my layer stretches across the whole timeline. If I wanted my pencil layer to end so that my pencil is no longer visible after two seconds, I can just drag that layer. Wherever this bar is, that's where you'll see the layer in the composition, but when there's no more of the bar, you won't see that layer in the composition. Also, the order of the layers matters. As you can see, the pencil is covering up the line, but you can just drag to move layers on top of one another. Don't forget to save your file by going to File Save or command S. Then save it into the same main folder as your icons, but you can put it in its own folder if you'd like. If you're an After Effects newbie and you're feeling overwhelmed, I get it. I just gave you a lot of info. Now's a good time to pause and play around in After Effects. I think you'll start to see that it's not so bad. 9. Converting Vector Layer to Shapes: When you import graphics from Illustrator, your layers will be vector layers. But sometimes, you may want to edit the actual shapes that you've made in Illustrator. To do that, you're going to select the layer, right-click, go to "Create", then Create Shapes from Vector Layer. Now After Affects has made me a new layer, and added the word outlines, so you know which one it is. I'm going to hide the pencil for a second. If I toggle down on this new shape layer, I'm going to have a new thing called contents, and if I go into that, I can actually see the path. This is the same path that I had in Illustrator. I can actually go in, and edit the path, and if I undo that, I can set key frames and animate the path. I don't need the vector layer anymore, so I'm just going to delete it. If for some reason I needed it again, it's always going to be in this folder of layers. 10. Animating Lines Drawing In: I want to animate this path drawing in, so I'm going to toggle down, go to the Add button, and then hit "Trim Paths." Now, I have a new option for Trim Paths, so I'm going to toggle that down. I have three properties that I can animate. Start means the start of the line, so that's going to be right here, End means the end of the line, so over here. I'm going to set a keyframe at one second, for the End being at a 100 percent, then I'm going to go back to the beginning and bring this down to zero. Now, you can see that my line is animating in. What if your line didn't animate in the way that you expected it to? Well, you can go up to Path and reverse the path direction. Now, it'll animate in from the other direction. What if I wanted to animate my line coming in from the center? I'm going to delete these keyframes, then I'm going to set the Start to 50 percent and the end to 50 percent, and I'll set keyframes. Then I'll go forward in time and set the Start to zero and the End to 100. Now, you can see that it animates in from the center. I'm going to delete these keyframes and show you what the Offset means. Offset is going to move your line along its path, just like that. From my pencil animation, I want my line to animate in like this. Let me show you another example of how you can use this effect. I'm going to import, Command I, my paintbrush. Always make sure to choose Composition Retain Layer Sizes. I'll double-click to open that. I have these drips coming off my paintbrush. These are actually strokes that I created in Illustrator, but here, they're just vector shapes. They're actually hidden right now. What you're seeing is a shape called paint back and that's just a shape that I merged my strokes together into this shape. You'll see why I did that in a little bit. But for now, I'm just going to hide that layer and then show these stroke layers. But they're not strokes because they are just vector layers, so I'm going to select all of them, right click, Create, Create Shapes from Vector Layer. Now, I can delete the Illustrator versions because I won't need them. Next, I'm going to toggle down on the first one. Click "Add", "Trim Paths", and I'm going to set a keyframe at one second for 100 on the End and then go back in time and bring this to zero. I want this to come down and drip off. Now, I have the paint coming down, but I need the top of the line to animate down as well. At about halfway through, I'm going to make a keyframe on the Start and then go forward in time, and then bring the Start up to 100. You can see that now my line is animating off the other way. Let's play this back to zero, one sec. That's pretty much what I wanted, that looks like a drip. I can take this Trim Paths, make sure that you have Trim Paths selected, hit Command C to copy it, and then Command V on each of my other layers to paste it. Now, if I hit U on the keyboard to show all my layers with properties, you can see that these keyframes have been pasted onto every layer. Let's play that back. They all drip at the same time. That's not really what I was looking for, so let's stagger these layers. Maybe I want the middle one, so the third one to go first, then the second one, so I'm just going to highlight these keyframes and drag them forward in time a little bit. Then maybe, I want the fourth one to go next, so I'll drag these ahead to, let's see, how about 25 frames. Then the last one, number one, I will bring forward to here. Let's see what that looks like. Not bad. Now, I'm going to show my paint layer, the paint back layer, that's that one that's a solid shape. Now, you can see that each layer comes off, but now since I have this paint back layer turned on, it's going to work in a loop. I have my paint dripping and you can see that it's continuously looping nicely. 11. Animating Along a Path: I want my pencil to draw this line in. I want the pencil to follow the path of the line. To do that, I'm going to go into my line layer. I'm going to go down to the path, make sure you select the bottom path. Hit "Command C" to copy that path. Then go up to your pencil layer, hit P on the keyboard to bring up the position. Select position, and then hit "Command V" to paste. Now my pencil is going to move in that shape. But the tip of the pencil is not on the line. So with all of these position Keyframes selected, I'm going to pick up the line and position the tip of my pencil to the end of the line. Now I'm going to move my Keyframes back to the start because that is where the line starts drawing in. My line is drawing in faster than my pencil is moving. That's because these end Keyframes are not at the same time. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this last key frame on the pencil and drag it in so that they are lined up. Now you may have noticed these little dots, they adjusted when I moved that last key frame. These are a special kind of key frame called rove across time. To get to them, you right-click a Keyframe and select this grayed-out layer that says Rove Across Time. By default, when you copy and paste a path into a position, your G frames will Rove Across time, which is what I wanted because it made it really easy for me to adjust this, to get to the time that I wanted. Now if I play this back my pencil is drawing in my line just as I wanted. I want to make all of my animations looping. So I need to get this pencil back to the starting point. But first I'm going to make my composition a little bit wider so my pencil doesn't ever get cut off. I'll just hit "Command K" to bring up the settings. Let us make this 500 by 500. All right, so my line will draw in. Then maybe I'll wait like five frames. Then I want my pencil to rotate. So I'll set a key frame for rotation. I hit on the keyboard to bring up the rotation property. Then I'm going to go let's say say two seconds, rotate this to about 180. I also want to move the position at the same time. So I'm going to hit U on my keyboard to bring up all of the properties that are animated. Hit a position Keyframe. Now when my pencil is rotated so that the eraser is down. I want to reanimate this path so that the line becomes erased. So I'm going to take these Keyframes that were the path animating in, copy them, and paste them where my time indicator is now. They're a little bit off because of the rotation. With these position Keyframe selected, I'll just adjust the path a little bit and now it's going to move along the path. Now I just need to set this line to erase. Let me hide the pencil so you can see this better. I'll toggle down to my trim pass set of Keyframe for start, because I want the start of a line to animate from 0 to 100, which would be over here. Then I'm going to go ahead to three seconds and animate the sub-frame to 100 percent. Now the line is animating out. Let's play back the whole thing. There is just one more thing to do and that's to get the pencil back to the starting frame so that it's a seamless loop. I'm going to go about five frames after the erasing ends, hit the rotation and position Keyframes. Then go to about the end of my timeline. I'm going to set the rotation to zero, and I want the position to be the same as it is at the start. So I'll just select this Keyframe, copy and paste it. Let's take a look. 12. Orienting Along a Path: Let's take a look at another example of when you might want an object to animate along a specific path. Let's make a new comp. I'm going to use the pen tool to draw in a path. I don't want the fill, so I'm going to toggle down into my shape and just delete the fill. All right. Now I'm going to go into my Shape Tool, go down to the star tool just for fun, and making sure that my original layer is not selected, so I get another layer. I can make a star. Now I want the star to move along this path. I'll go in, make sure you copy the bottom path, go into the position and paste. You can see that my star is now off-screen. This is because the anchor point of that star was way over here while the star is over here. The anchor point is where the shape will rotate around. I need to realign my anchor point so it's in the center of my star. I'm just going to undo that position. I'll just delete those and then bring my star back into screen so you can see it. Using the Pan Behind Tool, which is this guy, or you can hit Y in the keyboard, drag the anchor point into the center of the shape. Now it'll rotate around the center of the shape. Now I'm going to copy my path again and paste it into position. Now my star will move along the path. But what if I wanted the star to angle itself nicely along the path? You can see that it's always in the same orientation. It's not rotating at all as it moves, which is kind of unnatural looking. I'm going to right-click on my shape which is the star, go to "Transform", then all the way down to "Auto-Orient". It's going to bring up this pop-up. I'm going to choose "Orient Along Path". Now you can see that the star rotates as it moves along the path. 13. Adjusting Anchor Points: Let's animate these color swatches fanning out. I have my circle which my color swatches will rotate around. If I start to rotate this layer, I'm going to hit on the keyboard to bring up the rotation property. You'll see that it rotates around its anchor point, which is right in its center. But that's not what I want. I want it to rotate around this circle. What I'm going to do is hit "Y" on the keyboard or go up here to the Pan Behind tool. Then I'm going to take this anchor point and move it to the circle. If I hold command, it will snap into place. I need to do that on every layer. I'm going to saw all the second swatch and the circles so that it's easier to see and do the same thing, and again on this layer and finally my last layer. Now I want to set rotation keyframes on my swatches. I'll select the three swatches here on the keyboard to bring up the rotation property, click the "Stopwatch" to make a keyframe, and then go back to the beginning. Then I'll drag this so that it's behind the cover. I know I have these in 30 degree increments, so I can just type in the numbers. Now they're fading out. If I wanted to stagger the animation, I can just slide these keyframes forward in time. Let's see how that looks. Now I need to animate them going the other way, so I can make it loop. I'm just going to set another one of these keyframes and then go forward in time and copy the beginning keyframe of each layer. I also want to stagger this animation, so I'll drag these back a little bit. Let's take a look. 14. Parenting - Part 1: At this point, you know enough to create some simple animations on your icons. The best way to really learn After Effects is just to practice. So hopefully you've been setting some keyframes alongside me. You may want to take just a little bit of time to get comfortable with what we've gone over so far because in the following videos, we're going to go into some more intermediate techniques to take your animations to the next level. If you're ready, let's get started. Let's talk about parenting, not the kind of crying and dirty diapers, parenting and after effects means that one layer, the child layer, has the same animation as another layer, the parent layer. For an example of how parenting works, I'm just going to make two shapes. The first will be a circle, and the second will be a square. Now I'm just going to put the anchor points in the center of these shapes and then let's color them a little difference so you can see them easier. My square is going to be the parent layer, so I'm just going to select the layer, hit Enter and then I can rename it and my circle will be the child. First I'm going to set some physician keyframes on the parent layer. Now I'm going to take my child layer, make sure that's selected and then go over to this little spiral tool. It's called the pick whip, and I'm going to take the pick whip and drag it onto my parent layer. Now you can see under parent link, this child has a parent called parent, very creative naming. When I play this animation back, you can see that the child is following the parent. You can do that for all different properties. If I were to change the scale of the parent, the child will also scale. To unparent layer, just go to the drop-down and select None, and now they're unlinked. 15. Parenting - Part 2: Now let's go back to the color swatches and I'll show you how I added a little bit more interesting animation by using parenting. I took my three swatch layers and I parented them to my cover. Now you can select multiple things at a time, and then use the pick whip to parent. Another way to parent is obviously to go to the drop-down and select a layer. Now all three of these swatch layers are parented to the cover layer. Now the cover doesn't have any animation on it right now, so you won't see anything changing at this point. I'm going to have the cover rotate slightly, so it motivates the swatch booklet opening and closing. I'll rotate Rotation, and then set a keyframe and go forward in time, maybe about here, and set another keyframe. Now you can see that when I rotate the cover, all three of the swatches are rotating too. But, they all have their own individual animations as well. The animation from the cover is in addition to the existing animation on the swatches. It doesn't matter which keyframes you set first. Now let's see what this looks like. Let's make that so it loops. I'll just copy this last keyframe, paste it, and then copy the beginning keyframe and paste it at the end. Now let's add some position to the cover to give it a little bit more motivation for opening. I'll set a position keyframe, then I'll hit "U" on the keyboard to bring up all properties that have keyframes. Then I'll go forward in time. Maybe when the booklet is not open, I'll bring the position down. You can see that I've forgotten to parent the circle to the cover. If I were to parent this right now, you can see that it's always going to be off-center, even if I move this. What I need to do is go back to where the positions were lined up and then parent the circle. Now I can keep setting my keyframe. I wanted this one to be up and this one to be down. Let's see what that looks like. It should come back down when it's closing, so copy and paste that keyframe, and copy and paste the beginning to the end. This is going pretty slow and I think I need to offset the keyframes a little bit, so that the position and rotation of the cover is motivating the booklet to open. I'll just spend a little bit of time adjusting my keyframes and making sure that the animation comes out the way that I want it. This is all a lot of trial and error, so you'll just have to move your keyframes around, see what works, see what you like. It takes some time and a lot of practice. Here's what I came up with for now. We're going to come back to the color swatches animation in the easing video. So stay tuned for that. 16. Scaling In - Part 1: Up until this time we've animated looping movements on our icons, but you can also animate an icon from nothing into the icon or from the icon into nothing. Let's do that on this here camera. I'm going to [inaudible] my main background there. Now, if I were to test scale keyframes on this and set that to zero so it scales in and you can see that my stroke is scaling as well. It's a really thin line here and then as it scales up, the stroke scales as well. That's because this is all one layer. That's not exactly the effect that I want to go for. I want the stroke to stay the same width the whole time despite it scaling up. Let's see what happens if I convert the Illustrator layer to an editable shape layer. This is our editable shape, but the same thing happens, my stroke is scaling as well. If I go under Contents, I have a group with a path. Unfortunately, After Effects doesn't know that this is actually a rectangle with rounded corners. We're going to have to recreate the shape and after effects, but don't worry, that's not that hard. I'll just close that up and then go to my shape tool, make sure of the rectangle tool, and then just trace this. I don't want this fill, so I'm going to click the word fill and hit the none button and all my strokes were seven points. Now you can see that you've made a new shape layer. Under contents, you have rectangle and then you have rectangle path. Under that, you can actually adjust the size and the stroke will not change widths. It's always going to be the same width. That's the trick to animate the shapes, size rather than scale and your stroke will always remain the same. If you wanted to animate the stroke getting thicker, there's also an option for that under stroke. I want to just keep mine at seven the whole time and set this back to line up with my original layer from Illustrator. Now I'm going to add some rounded corners, and I'll just delete this layer. I will size this up and I'm going to put this size down to zero. It will scale up just how I wanted it. You can do that on all of your other layers as well. You can delete your Illustrator layers if you don't need them because you've recreated them. To rename a layer, just select the layer, hit enter and then you can rename. Hit enter to finalize that name. I'm going to do the same thing for all of my layers here on the camera. When I made this rectangle, it has pointy corners, but if you notice my other one from the Illustrator had rounded corners. How to fix that is to go into stroke and then choose round join. If you have a layer that needs a fail but it doesn't have one, you can hit the add button and then fill. Make sure you drag it into your shape and then you can go and change the color under color. To create these two lines, I'll just use the pen tool. To create this lens flare, I'm just going to create a full circle and then use trim paths to get just the portion that I want. On this circle I'll go in add trim paths so then I'll go in and set it to about 25 percent. Then I'll move the offset so that it lines up where I want it. I can delete the original. Now you notice that that line has butt caps, they're flat. I'll just go into the shape and the stroke and where it says butt cap for the line cap, I'll choose round cap and same with the other line. 17. Scaling In - Part 2: At this point, it's probably helpful to align all of my anchor points to the center of their lines. So using the Pen Behind Tool or "Y" in the keyboard, just drag all of your anchor points in place. Remember that holding "Command" will snap them to the center. Once you've recreated the shapes that you needed to in After Effects, you can use the Align tools to make sure that they are aligned up again. Then to scale each part of my camera in, I'm going to use the Size rather than the Scale so that my strokes maintain their same width the whole time. So an easy way to get to the Size property rather than toggling down a bunch of times. You can also just go into the Search Box right here and type "Size". I'm going to set size key frames for all my layers. So they'll size from zero to their final size. For the two lines, the photo slot and this decorative line, I'm going to animate the Trim Paths to animate those in. So add "Trim Paths" and then I will set the End and the Start to be 100 and zero at one second and then go back and set them to 50, so it animates out from the inside. Let me solve this. You can see that it animates In to Out. Then I'll just copy these Trim Paths onto the Photo Slot. You'll see that the key frames have been copied and pasted and it animates in the same way. All right, so now if I play back what I have, everything is scaling in at the same time and it looks like a mess. I'm going to go back and stagger my key frame so that pieces come in one at a time. First, I'm going to work on this main camera layer. Right now, It's just scaling in from the center. But I'm going to make it a little bit more interesting. So first I'll delete the last key frame. I'm going to have it scale out and then up and then out again. I'm going to hit this "Constrained Proportions" to unlock the Constrained Proportions here. Then I'll make the x value 80; so now it's going to go from 0-80, so it animates out. Now I'm going to animate it up. So I'll go maybe, 140. Then I'll go to "one second" and animate this out to 160. Now I have it going out, up and out again. Now I'm going to add Overshoot. Overshoot is where you go past the initial value that you want to end up at and then back to it. This is the value that I want to end up at; 160 by 140. I'm actually going to drag this one out to five frames in the future and then hit this to be 170. Let's see what that looks like. You can see it extends a little bit further than we needed to and then goes back. That's called Overshoot, and it just adds a little bit of interest to your animation. All right, so now I'm going to go through each layer and offset the animation so that each thing comes in one at a time or slightly overlapping, just to make it look a little bit cleaner. I'm also going to add an Overshoot on the outer lens. So go forward about five frames, set a key frame, and then go back to that second to last one and just make that a little bit bigger. Then I'll add in my inner lens. Last I'm going to animate the glare. Right now I have the glare coming in and it needs to be staggered just a little bit more. So my glare is scaling in, but I also want to animate the Trim Paths. So I'll add Trim Paths, and I'll bring this down so that I have about 25 percent. I'm going to animate the offset. At the end of the animation, I want it to end up over here. The beginning of the animation, I want it to come in, maybe it rotates in. Here's what I have so far. We'll come back to this camera in the final video about easing. 18. Masking: I'm going to make another version of my camera that just loops and show you about masking. I can actually just select this composition, hit Command D to make a duplicate, and then hit Enter to rename it. I'm just going to rename it Camera Loop, and then double-click to open. I want to delete all the key frames that I have. It's not going to animate in, it's just going to animate a loop, and then, I'll bring all of the layers so that they start at the beginning by hitting the left bracket. I should have nothing animating. You can see here I have two photos, and I want to animate them coming out of the camera. Let's start with photo one, and I'm going to just hide it for a second. Making sure that I don't have anything selected, I'm going to go to my Shape Tool, the Rectangle Tool, and then draw out a shape. I'm going to rename this Mask, and then drag it above the photo number one. On photo number one, I'm going to go to toggle switches in modes, if you don't already see this option, and that is the Track Matte option. Under Track Matte, I'm going to select Alpha Matte mask. That's going to show just the area of the photo that is within this shape that I have named Mask. There are different kinds of mask that you can use in After Effects, but this is the only one we're going to cover in this class. Now, I can animate the photo coming out of the camera, but first, I want to be able to see that line. It looks like my mask is a little bit too high, so I'm just going to take that and move it down. There we go. All right. Now, I want to animate my photo coming out of the camera. I'll set a key frame for the position, go back in time, and then, just move it up. You can see that my mask is hiding all parts of the shape that aren't within this mask. Now, when I play the animation, it looks like I have a photo coming out of my camera. I can animate that all the way out. Now, you can see right here, my mask is cutting off the bottom, and I actually want it to show the full thing, so let's just make this a little bit bigger and move it down into place. The eye dropper is another good example of when mask come in handy. I had already planned this out in Illustrator that I was going to use mask. I made myself a mask shape layer, which is just the same as my main eye dropper shape, and I made myself a square, which is called the inner. I'm just going to take the inner, go to Track Matte, Alpha Matte mask, and now, I can animate the inner and it's being masked out by the main shape. As you can see, mask can be a super useful tool for showing only parts of a certain layer. 19. Easing: So far we've just been using the default linear key frames. Those are the ones that look like diamonds, but there's actually different types of key frames. I have two shapes here, a square and a circle. Then I'm just going to use to demonstrate what easing means. Right now, the square and the circle just move across the screen at the same rate, the whole time. This is a linear movement. Now let's see what happens if I add easing to the circle. I'm going to highlight both of their keyframes, right-click on one of the keyframes, go to keyframe assistant, and then Easy Ease. Now let's play it back. You can see that the circle is starting off slow, then it's going faster, and then it's going to end slow again. Adding easing to your keyframes makes the animation a little bit more interesting. You can actually adjust how the easing works. I'm going to highlight my linear keyframes and go into the graph editor. Now you can see that the red line is mapping the x position, and just is a straight line that's increasing linearly. The y position is not changing, so it's just this green flat line. Now for my eased keyframes, if I go into the graph editor, you can see that it goes in more of an arc. Now this is showing you the value across time. You can see that the slope of this line is how fast the value is increasing. At the middle here, it's increasing fastest because the slope of the line is deepest here. Right here, it's going slowly, then speeding up, and then slowly again. You can change the type of graph that you see with this button right here. I can also show this speed graph and that shows maybe even more clearly that it starts slow, goes fast because it's the highest point in the graph, and then goes back to slow. You can also adjust this graph to change the easing on your keyframes. Now, my circle is going to go really slow, then extra fast, and then back down to slow again. Let's go back into our color swatches icon and see how we can make this animation more interesting by adding easing to the keyframes. The first thing I'm going to do is just select all of my keyframes, right-click velocity assistant, Easy Ease. If you want to use the shortcut key, it's F9. On a Mac, make sure you press the Fn key and then F9. Now let's see what this looks like. It looks a little bit better. If I want to get really precise on the movements of these keyframes, I can go into the graph editor and edit all of the graphs. Now if you have position, you'll notice that you can't edit this graph. What you'll need to do is click on position, then right-click and separate dimensions. This will make it so that you have a y position and an x position that you have keyframes for. I don't actually have any x movement, it's just going up and down. I'm just going to delete all these keyframes by clicking the stopwatch. Now I can go into my graph editor, so make sure you select keyframes first, and then I can adjust the handles to adjust the motion of my animation. Now this will take a lot of tinkering to get exactly how you run it, but just play around with it and have fun. Remember that you can see the value of your keyframes over time, or you can see the speed over time. I found it a lot of times easier to use the value graph when you're editing in the graph editor. It can take a really long time to get used to the graph editor. It's pretty complex. If you don't want to deal with that right now, maybe you're new to After Effects, the best thing you can do to enhance your animations is to right-click on any keyframes that are just traditional linear keyframes. Go to velocity assistant, an Ease Ease. You also have other options for Easy Ease in and Easy Ease out. Let's see what those look like. Easy Ease in is going to give you this style of keyframe. If I opened my graph editor, I can see it's going to start pretty linear, and then end slowly. Then if I undo that, I can also do Ease Ease out, which will do the opposite, and it'll start slow and linear. Play around with the easing on your keyframes to enhance your animations. 20. Finishing: Once you have all of your icons animated the way you want them, it's time to export them. First, I'm going to show you how you can put all your icons together in one composition to export. So I'm going to hit this button right here to create a new composition. I'm just going to make this 1920 by 1080 because that's a standard size and I'll just name it icons. All right, so now I have this comp called icons that I'm currently in. I'm going to go to the project panel and then drag each of my other icons onto this comp. You can see that they are added as a layer in the timeline. Now I have all six of my icons in the same comp. You can see that I've added some polish to my icon. So I made this little squiggle a little bit smaller. So it's not making such a dramatic movement, and it fits with my other icons size-wise. I've added some easing to all of the animations. I've actually added a fake 3D effect when my photo comes out of the camera. I'll give you a hint, I actually use paths to do that. It's not actually 3D but that's more of an advanced topic which we're not going to cover here, but stay tuned for an upcoming class. You can see that my paint brush and my color swatches, after I fine tune the animation ended up only needing two seconds. So I want those to loop over four seconds so that they don't just disappear because my other animations are four seconds. The easiest way to do that would just be to duplicate these. I'll select my paintbrush, hit Command D to duplicate, and then just drag this so that when one paintbrush ends, the next one starts. That'll be pretty seamless so you no one will ever notice and do the same thing with my color swatches. Now I have a seamless loop of all of my icons. 21. Rendering: Now I need to export this in After Effects terms to render it, so it can be played as a movie file. The easiest way to do this is to go to composition, add to render queue. Now open this render queue which is just a tab, inside of the timeline, and I have this new thing to render, which is my icons. So, I'm going to go in, click on the, you'll probably see lots of it right here. Click on that and it's going to bring up these settings. So I like to export mine as Apple progress 422 because I'm on a Mac, and that's the best format that I've found. It's really high quality. So, you can also choose any of these other ones, whatever fits your needs. Now this is going to export MOV file to our MOV. If you want to export an MP4, I'll show you a different way. You actually can't export MP4 straight from After Effects. MP4s are great because they're a little bit more compressed, and they have more widespread capabilities. So they're good on iPhones, and for things like Instagram, and Facebook. So now, once I've got all my settings set, I want to make sure that I output this to the right place. So I'll just click this, and then I'll navigate to where I want to export this, and click "Save". Then to start the exporting process, I'll just hit "Render". When you hear that lovely noise, you know, it's done. So now I can go to my Finder, and then now I can find my MOV file in Finder. I can open it up in quick time if you're on a Mac, and there we go. So if you want to export an MP4, there's an extra step. So I'm going to go back to my icons composition, then go up to the top menu, click composition, add to Adobe Media Encoder Q. That's going to open up Adobe Media Encoder. What Media Encoder is, is a program that all it does is export movie files, or different types of files, like even animated GIFs. Once Media Encoder opens up, you'll see the project, ready to export here. You can also just drag in an MOV file if you've already export that. The settings I use to export an MP4 are H.264, and then I just set this to match source, which is by default. Then you'll see that it's going to make an MP4. To get to any of these settings, just click. So, for format, I've chosen H.264, and you can see it's exporting an MP4. Make sure you export video and then, If you have audio, you can export audio, or if you don't, you can uncheck that if you want, and then hit "Okay". Clicking here will let you navigate to where you want to save the video. Then just hit this green play button to start the render. When the render is done, you should find a shiny new MP4 file in your finder menu. Now if you want to export a GIF, you can also do that through Media Encoder. So, I'm just going to take my MOV file, and drag it into Media Encoder. You can also send the file from After Effects to Media Encoder, like we did the first time. So, this time I'm going to click "H.264", to change the setting to animated GIF. I'm going to change the name, just two icons, and click "Render". Now I have an animated GIF, and I can open this up in, a web browser. So I find animated GIFs to be best for websites, where you want the GIF to loop over and over and I find MP4s to be good for social media like Instagram, and it'll loop automatically. 22. Thanks!: Congrats on completing this class. I'd love to see what you've created, so make sure you upload your work to the class project. If you posted on social media, please tag me @explanimated so I can see it there. Make sure to follow me on Skillshare to stay up-to-date on upcoming classes. If you enjoyed this class, I'd really appreciate it if you left me a review. If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on the community page. If you have other topics you'd like to learn about, let me know. You can check out my work @meganfriesth.com or on Instagram @explanimated. Thanks so much for watching this class. Happy animating. [MUSIC]