Live Encore: Hand-Drawn Animations in Procreate & After Effects | Fraser Davidson | Skillshare

Live Encore: Hand-Drawn Animations in Procreate & After Effects

Fraser Davidson, Designer / Director / Animator

Live Encore: Hand-Drawn Animations in Procreate & After Effects

Fraser Davidson, Designer / Director / Animator

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9 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Ways to Use This Technique

    • 3. Animating in Procreate

    • 4. Moving to After Effects

    • 5. Animating in After Effects

    • 6. Playing With Color

    • 7. Finishing Touches

    • 8. Q&A

    • 9. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Learn a unique animation technique that combines Procreate and After Effects.

Using the animation tools that Procreate provides can be a great way to add a hand-drawn look into your digital animations. In this hour-long class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—animator Fraser Davidson will walk you through the exact process he follows to create these fun animations.

First, he’ll show you how to create a simple, hand-drawn animated loop in Procreate. Then, he’ll show you all the different ways you can manipulate that animation in After Effects to really enhance it. Along the way you’ll get a deep look into Fraser’s workflow, animating alongside a master at work.

Great for beginners who are looking to become more versed in the various animation programs, or more experienced animators who want to learn a new technique, you’ll walk away with a fun animation and plenty of skills to apply to your own work.


While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

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Fraser Davidson

Designer / Director / Animator


BAFTA Award-winning director and animator. Co-founder and owner of Cub Studio. Has worked with many of the worlds leading sporting institutions (including the NFL, England Rugby, the NCAA, the IOC, Canadian Olympic Committee, Fox Sports, ESPN and more) as both an animator and brand designer.



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1. Introduction: I think in my work, it's been really useful to use the animation functions that Procreate allows you to work with. Using After Effects, you often have a workflow that's quite clean and vector-based, and what this hand animation tool in Procreate allows you to do is really get a sense of traditional animation into that clean workflow. Hello, I'm Fraser Davidson. I'm a Designer and Animator, and I co-run and I'm Creative Director at Cub Studio. I do a lot of work in sports, social media, all sorts of things. In today's class, I'll be showing you how we can take simple animated elements from Procreate and leverage power of After Effects to recolor, multiply, and generally enhance them. I think it's useful both for people that maybe have doubled in Procreate or maybe use After Effects already, as well as total novices to both, because it gives you a little insight into how both work and how both can be used by the other to create interesting and powerful animation. You can follow along in both Procreate and After Effects while we go through the course, you'll also be supplied with pre-made files that allow you to jump in and out of the course at various points. You can find those files in the class Resource section. I hope in taking the course, you get a sense of what's possible in both programs and give you a starting point to create your own animations. Just so you know, this class was originally recorded live and I was interacting with the audience while recording. Okay, let's do this. 2. Ways to Use This Technique: Welcome. Thank you for joining us Fraser Davidson's class. My name's Katy I'm a produce a with Skillshare, and I'll be hosting the session today. Just give us a brief overview what we're going to be doing, what students can expect to come at the class with, and what materials they might use just so everyone has everything to hand. Well, in reverse order, we're going to be using Procreate and After Effects. We're going to animate a very simple element in Procreate a little animated sequence and Procreate's fantastic for that. So hopefully you'll get the sense of Procreate how it works, how the animation function works. Then we're going to bring that into After Effects, which is a more developed piece of software that we're going to take that and using the compositing power of After Effects. We're going to multiply, recolor, add effects, and generally enhance that piece and make something new and beautiful out of it. We could like I said, we're going to use some very simple animation principles. Nothing complicated. You can come at this from as a complete novice. We're just going explore some of the functionality and flexibility that After Effects would allow you to use in non-destructive way to take that element and just do fun things with it in a very malleable way. The element we're going to build is something very simple, a little sequence like this. This is actually this is capturing real time, but it's 15 frames a second. So it should be okay. What we're going do with it is turn it into something altogether more complicated and interesting and just with very little effort on the part of After Effects. In terms of what that represents. You can build all sorts of things making similar elements and duplicating them, recovering them, retiming them, and adjusting them. Here are some other pieces. They're a little bit more complex in terms of the Procreate elements I've created. But essentially it's all the same principles. Taking something and just using very basic functions in After Effects to turn it into these nice patterns or create something that's going to help you work in After Effects. I'm sure as will be explained we're going to give you all these elements. I think you may have had the link already for all these elements. You'll be able to play with them and explore them and of get an understanding of how I've used them to make these pieces. But also you'd be able to like mess around with them in your own time and build your own bits and pieces. Although some of them are a little bit more complicated, I think looking at their sequences, you'll be able to get an understanding of it. Again, I've included all these bits, some spirals, some other interlocking shapes. Just give you a bit more of an overview of why I think this is useful. Here are some of the pieces of work that we'd built that we've used recently and I'm just going to skip through them. These little flourishes that we've used to move between scenes or pull out particular parts of the animation. Here's another little piece I've built using all the same principles, just a looping GIF and a bit of a camera moving After Effects. These are the elements that I've used in other works as the piece that we're working on at the moment. Where we've created something like this, this element that sort a little bit of visual storytelling that allows you to add these little flourishes to the work that you're not building a whole hand animated scene, but you're adding elements to it that help complement things that are more akin to motion graphics. That's the broader context of how we would use those things and maybe how if you're more experienced with After Effects, how this might help you. The last little piece here, just building a number of very simple Procreate elements. We built an entire fun that we were able to take all those elements in from Procreate and turn them in After Effects, turn them into a whole unified fun system. Here's another example of that. So hopefully you get an idea of the power that you're creating something quite simple using the Procreate tools. After Effects gives you that power to multiply that exponentially and make things that are quite complex and interesting. 3. Animating in Procreate: Now, let's get into animating our hand-drawn elements in Procreate. What I'm going to do for parity's sake is I'm going to build the Procreate asset that is essentially what we're going to be using, but when I come to work with it in after effects, I'm going to use an asset that I've pre-created that is exactly the same. Here's one I made earlier asset. Just so that if anybody is following along and wants to open the two after effects files, then we're working with all the same stuff. But otherwise, you don't need to do that. You can use the asset that you make today just the same. What we're going to do, we're going to create and open a new file. For simplicity's sake, I'm just going to use the standard screen size I've got set up here, so a blank page. As you may have seen from the piece earlier, what we're going to do is create an animated particle that moves in a dynamic way along a path. The first thing that we're going to do is create a path. Now, just in case you're interested, you can use any of these. We're going to be working in black and white. It's going to be very simple. You can pretty much use any brush you want, I think. But I'm going to using this dry ink brush that I think can be found in inking. So if you want to be very specific, that's the drawing brush that I'm using there. On layer 1 here, I'm going to create a path that basically does this and then loops around. But I think what I'm going to do is I'm going to build it in half so it's a bit more symmetrical. That's better. There we go. I'm just going to duplicate this layer here and then the transform function, I'm going to flip it horizontally. There we go. Just so that we've got a nice shape to begin with. It doesn't need to be perfect at all. Don't worry, this is just an example part. You can create any shape you want. I'm just going to use this one. Just going to make sure this is central and I'm going to blow it up a little bit here. That should be all right. I'm just going to mark on here where my start point is. I'm just going to start right here. Now, what we're going to do next is turn on the animation assists. If you go into these actions here in the canvas, we've got the drawing guidance, got the animation assist. What that's going to do is turn your layers into a sequence of frames now. You should have a timeline along the bottom and the ability now to add a frame. I've added a couple there. I'm just going to delete this, so I've got two. What Procreate does is it gives you a little onion skinning effect so it'll make the first layer slightly lighter, and as you add more frames, the opacity of that will go down. However, what we want to do is make this layer a little bit muted so I'm going to lower the opacity. Then what I'm going to do is make this a background now. I do that by clicking on it in the timeline and just checking the background function there. What that means is it's just going to keep it in the background for reference throughout the whole animation process. I've got my dry ink brush. My first frame is going to be a tiny little dot. Let's just make sure we're on the right frame. You might have to select the frame in the layers. Even if it's selected in the timeline down here., I think when you start out, you might have to select that first frame. If you just select frame 2 there, and I'm going to draw, it's a bit thick. I'm going to choose a darker color. Here we go. I'm just going to draw a little black dot, and then each time you create a new frame, what we're going to do is add another frame by clicking on the add frame button here. They're just going to keep layering up. You don't need to select that layer every time, it should just automatically make it so that that's the layer that you're drawing on. What I'm going to do now is move that dot ever so slightly along the line. I'm going clockwise here. I'm going to do that again. Now, each time I do this, and you can just follow along while I plug through it here. I'm going to extend the amount of space between each of these dots. I'm just increasing the distance slightly between each of these little dots. What that's going to do is create the effect of accelerating our little dot faster and faster around the line. The larger the distance between the dot, the faster it's going to appear. While it's appearing faster, what we want to do is in another little animation principle, we want to smear it by slightly elongating the dot. The more of these I do, the further apart they get, and the faster our dots moving, we're just going to extend it so it's oval shape. [inaudible] , would you mind zooming out so somebody can see just where you are in reference to the whole image? Yeah, sure. Sorry. Here we are. This is where I started. Perfect. Thank you. I've just moved along. Now, while you're going along, you can check this by scrubbing backwards and forwards along the timeline here just by holding on it and moving. That's how we're moving around. I'm going to just zoom back in, if that's okay, to creating these frames. Again, getting further apart, I'm really starting to elongate our little particle here. Now you can leave quite significant distances between some of these elements. It's really accelerating, getting faster and faster. Now, as I said, you can stop back and forth along the timeline. I don't know if you can see that, but you should be able to. If you hit play on your own composition there, you should get a sense that the dot is starting off slowly and moving faster and faster along the timeline. You can just check that to make sure your animation is smooth and it's doing and it's moving and accelerating at the rate you want it to be doing that. I need to leave. They're going to need a slightly bigger gap there. Now, as I progress around this shape here, the point at which I want the dot to be moving fastest is going to be this point over here where we're opposite the place we started back down here where the dot is moving slowest. So we're having that nice symmetry where it's moving fastest, opposite where it's moving slowest. What that means is it's at that point that we have the longest trail of our particle. I'm going to make this element opposite the start point really, really long. It's from this point now that I'm going to start to slow the particle down again so that it returns to the original position as it gradually decelerates and comes to not a complete stop but the loop is going to have a point where it's moving very, very slowly. If I move around slightly less of a gap than there was before but the shape is still long. I'm just adding a new frame each time. Here we go. As the dots returned back to its to it's stop position, the shapes would tend to be more circular and the spaces between them are getting smaller and smaller. That's just going to have the effect of making it really feel like it's decelerating. What frame rate are you working to? That's a very good question. This is the default frame rate, so it's just 15 frames a second. You can adjust that after the fact or during. You can either do it in Procreate, but you can adjust it in After Effects. You can do that after the fact, you don't have to worry about that before you start. Cannon asks, how do you stop the template layer from getting paler as you create more frames? That is going to be by the beginning here. If you click on that link, and you want to make that a background layer. It will get paler if you don't make it a background layer. Here it is, I've made it a background layer. Click on it again and just check that box. The last little dots, they're going to slowly creep into the final position. Probably a few more on this end than on the start. What effect that'll have is that we'll have dot exit the start position quicker and then take a little bit longer to return to it. I'm doing this fairly roughly. You can spend as much time as possible, but it's still going to have a nice hand-drawn effect to it. If it's not quite perfect, if it [inaudible] a bit, has its own character, don't worry too much about that. Now, I'm not going to quite return to the center position because when the piece loops, the frame from which it starts, needs to essentially be the frame from which it ends. We don't need to create two of them. This very last frame here that I've made, it's not quite right on the center spot as per the first element. Again, you can scrap back and forth through this. There's your map now. I'm just going to hit "Play". You can see how our little dot zooms out and around the top of the kidney shape and then back slowly. About how long is this whole sequence? This whole sequence here is, you have got 48 frames in this one. I think there's 46 in the one that I've added that's a demonstration, one that's in the files that I've sent you. Fifteen frames a second is just a fraction of three seconds. Which means that it's long enough to go fit in the Instagram looping grid. I think three seconds might be the minimum. They may have changed it, but that used to be the case. There we go, that takes about three seconds to loop. That's all working fine there but we're going to make it a little bit more exciting by adding some extra dynamic elements to the loop that give it a bit more of a sense of texture or something a bit more organic. Where it's smearing, I'm just leaving behind these little dots that are going to make some straggling secondary particles. This really long one here will be going really fast. I'm just going to leave a couple of these behind here instead of one. Then I'm going to get back to single particle here. I'm only going to do that on these particles where they're really elongated, the motion's really, really fast and we're really leaving a streak across the screen. We're slowing down again around here, and I think I'm going to make this the last one, just a really small little dot. Now what I'm going to do is with these elements, where they start moving really quickly, we don't want them to just disappear after, just for that frame. Here we are on the frame. I'm going to scrub forwards a frame, and I'm just going to leave a little version of the same dot, slightly smaller, slightly further along, it's such a tiny movement. I'm going to go forward another frame, leave another little dot, maybe one more really small dot, little bit further along. Again, if you scrub through that, once the lead particle's disappeared there, it just leaves that little piece of itself that it then comes to a stop and disappears, just fades out. Going ahead, I want to do that for all the little particles that get left behind. Again, just a little smaller each time as we create grounds. As with all animated stuff, we're just skipping forwards and backwards along the timeline. To make each of them, give them a little check, make sure they're all right. That's slowing down nicely. Here we go. All this is going to do is offer a nice little counterbalance to the speed of the main particle and just give us a sense that like, I don't know, it's almost like a liquid leaving behind droplets as it shoots around. Here's the longest one, I've got a couple here. This very long one, I'm going to have linger a little bit longer than the other smaller dots. Maybe it's moving a little bit faster. All of these new pass codes, are you creating on new layers? No, sorry. I am just skipping forward and backward along the timeline that we got already. Right. All on the same work that we've done previously. Here we go. This one's getting smaller and smaller. I'm just going to do that to the remainder of these. Again, feel free to check them as you go. Make sure that they're disappearing in the correct direction. The slower the main parts is moving, the less time they exist and maybe where the particle's moving fastest and we've got that trail lasting for five or six frames. Down here, some of these are only lasting for maybe two or three. There we go. I'm just going to play that back. I don't know if you can see it there. What I might do is make my background layer a little bit less obvious so that we can see it. I'm just going to turn the opacity down. There we go. Now if you have a look at it, you just get these nice little streaks that get left behind but give you a sense of the path that's been taken, leaving a little wake of extra particles there. At this point, I'm going to move forward. But feel free to either use my example that I've pre-created in the files that can be downloaded or you can use your own if you've managed to finish at the time. 4. Moving to After Effects: Next, let's get into how we move our animation from Procreate into After Effects. I am going to get this onto my Mac so maybe you need to email yourself the file, but we are going to share it as a PSD file, which Procreate will export. That just means that it's natively set up to work in Adobe After Effects. I'm sending it via AirDrop, like I said, might be emailing it, texting it yourself however the way it works best for you. Or you can get it onto the device that has your After Effects on. This is the file that I have given all you guys. This is the same thing. It's just pre-created for you and it's all tied up in the After Effects files in case you want to skip ahead you want to see what I have done and go back and compare your own work. What I am going to do is import that file. What we do now might vary slightly from the file that I have given you. I'm doing my best to recreate it perfectly, but the colors might be slightly different. Some of the effects might be slightly different but, essentially it's all the same principles. I'm just going to open After Effects and then import it and we can go from there. I have given you the file as both start position imported fully. It's all ready to go and start animating with and I have also given you guys the file as a final piece of work so you can pick it apart and deal with it as you want to do. This is After Effects and I'm going to Import my loop. As I said, you can import my file or you can import the file that you've created. I'm going to import this file that I have given you and I'm going to import it as a Composition and that is important because importing this footage will import it as a flat-file. We want to be able to work with all the layers, so we are going to import it as a composition. Here we go. It might bring you up a little screen like this we want to make sure that Editable Layer Style is checked and if I double-click on that, you can see here we go. It's all in there. Every layer is going to be layered on top of each other in this instance. We will deal with that and other things that we are going to have a couple of unnecessary layers that we are not going to use in the animation process and they are the background layer and Layer 1 that we have got here and those are just the background color that Procreate puts into a file and the layer on which we created our little guide. I am just going to select them and delete them and that leaves 46 frames. You could go through and name them all yourself. I have chosen not to for time insanity reasons. What you will notice is I've drawn the piece in black and so what I have now is a series of black dots on the black background. We are going to want to just bring this up so you can see what you are doing but I am going into my Composition Settings. Composition, Composition Settings, my Frame Rate is the same as I made it in After Effects, you might need to change that if the default on your system is something different but have got at 15 frames per second, 46 frames and I'm going to change this background color so I can see what I am doing. I'm going to change it to a mid-gray and hopefully, as you can see, now we've got something that we can work with. What we want to do is basically get this back to the situation where we had in Procreate, where we can see the animation play through in real-time, playing each frame in sequence. I'm going to save this just in case it crashes. What I'm going to do is select all the layers here, and I'm just going to drag them back along the timeline so that they are a frame-long temporarily. Each layer is a frame in length. Then what I'm going to do, I'm going to use the animation assistant to spread them out across time so that we are back to where we were in Procreate. If you look at them individually, you can see each of the layers in sequence. Because of the way Procreate stacks, the files, they start at the bottom. What we do when we do this is select the bottom-most frame, Hold Shift, and select the topmost frame and I've selected all the layers but its done it in bottom to top sequence so that when we right-click and go to Key Frame Assistant and hit "Sequence Layers" and "Okay". You can now see on the Timeline it's spread them all out there. If we scrub through, there we go, we've got our playback. If you hit the Space Bar or zero on the number pad, After Effects will ramp radium. We should have exactly what we want and where we started. I'm going to call this Precomp purely because that is what I've called it in the piece that I have given you guys and it's going to get complicated to represents this correctly if I don't do that. What we want to deal with this layer now is really use it in a way that After Effects does things best by multiplying it, doing cool stuff with the colors, and generally messing around with it as much as we can. 5. Animating in After Effects: Now we can start manipulating our files in After effects to create something more engaging. I'm going to take the pre-comp and I'm just going to pull it into this new composition here. What that's going to do is drag one composition into the other. As we're working towards an output, I wanted you to bear in mind that maybe we'll be posting this kind of stuff on Instagram or the like. So I'm going to go into my composition settings and I'm just going to change the width and height to 1080 by 1080, which I believe is the standard Instagram scale. You'll see that our comp now is actually bigger than what we need, but that's fine. Just grab it and scale down. If you hold shift while you do that, you'll be able to do it proportionally. There you go. If I hit space bar again, you can see it playing within the new slightly smaller bounds. Now, what I'm going to do is duplicate this comp a number of times and just have them overlap each other. But the problem that we have at the moment is that we have gone from a situation where we could see every frame all together to one where now we can only see the frame that we're on. What I'm going to do, and I'm just going to do this for this section, is copy and paste all of our layers back together and I'm going to extend them so that we can see just briefly when I return to pre-comp two. I'm going to change the name of this to color because this is where we're going to be doing our coloring. Sorry to be jumping forwards and backwards between these, that is the nature of After Effects. So we've got pre-comp and color. Now we can see the whole sequence again inside our view. What we can do is I'm just going to copy and paste pre-comp here on the timeline, and in this instance, I'm going to paste it four times. What we can do is look at how we can now arrange these spatially and in time to create some cool effects. What I'm going to do is just rotate. There's four of them so if I divide that by 360 degrees by four, I've got 90 degrees. I'm going to rotate one of them by 90 degrees, one by 180 and one by 270. There we go. Now we've got an array of these. You can see how they're going to interact with each other, but they stacks on top here. They're not particularly arranged nicely so what I'm going to do is I'm going to select all of them. If you adjust the anchor points of each, you'll see how there's a kaleidoscope effect that allows you to drag them in the same direction relative to each one's x and y axis. I'm not going to do too much with it. But the other thing that you could do is just rotate them slightly so I might rotate everything so they're diagonal. I'm just going to mess around with these. So something like that looks nice. You've got almost a kaleidoscopic floral effect going on. Now that we know where all of our elements are going to be situated in space, we can go back and we can take these layers that we created earlier and you can [inaudible] them off for reference later. But for simplicity's sake, I'm just going to delete them now so that we're back, see where we were and we can scrub along the timeline. [inaudible] you just dropped out a little bit when you're explaining what you did with all those layers. Also, if you could just recap on that. So as I said, the reason I turn those layers, it's just so that we can see how our little animated sequence is going to be laid out and we get a sense of where all the particles are going to be. Now that we've done that and I've arranged them how I'd like them to be, I can go back into the pre-comp composition, take those layers, and delete them. So now, we're going back and we've got the same sequence we had earlier. If you're having any trouble with the layer sequencing, I think the version, the file that I've set up, onestart.aep, that should have all the files laid out correctly for this pre-comp composition, if that helps. You hear my now laid out pre-comps as I wanted them, in my kaleidoscopic pattern. If I hit play now, if I make this a little bit bigger, you can already see that we've got a cool little pattern going on where we've managed to duplicate our animated sequence and make it this really fun little geometric sequence. Now, we've moved the elements around in a spatial sense, but what we're going to do now is move them around in a temporal sense. So all of this stuff, you can slide backwards and forwards along the timeline, it's going to create different effects. Because my timeline is 46 frames long, I'm going to try and offset everything roughly so that the loop in a way that everything is spread out evenly throughout the timeline. So each of these four elements, you can see I've moved one of them to 23 frames, which is half of 46, I'd move one to 11, which is not quite half of 23. Please, sir, Please can you recap on just how you rotated them. Yes. Yeah. Thank you. I'll put them back. Here we go. If you select all these layers, and you can either open up the transform thing and go to rotation, we can just hit "R" and that will bring up the rotation for you. I've chosen to rotate them evenly so they're all nicely spread, but you can rotate them any way you want, you can make them different sizes, different amounts of rotation, make them non-symmetric or whatever you want to do, but you can just do that by adjusting that rotation slider. As I say, in my case, I got it so that they're split four ways around this 360 degrees. I'm going to slide all of these elements along the timeline. As you can see, you can move them however you like. I'm going to split them up. We divided the timeline by four. You can see that this is roughly a quarter of the way along half and three-quarters. Because our loop should leave perfectly, what we can then do is we're going to be missing some elements of the animation at the beginning where it doesn't extend back in time. But what we can do is if you select your layer, control and paste it, and then just slide it so that you have the same layer and it starts again at this point here where we've moved the layer along the timeline. I'm going to do that for each of these. So just control and paste and slide it so that it meets at the point that we've split the pre-comp. I'm doing that again there. Now, what you should have is all of these layers moved in such a way that they're now perfectly offset by one quarter of the loop of the animation itself. So if I hit play now, you should have this interesting geometric looping organic. When I created this, I thought they almost feel like fireflies. But what we're going to do now is jump back into our pre-comp and add some effects to this that are then are going to come through again into that color comp. 6. Playing With Color: Now we can start playing with applying some different colors to our animation. I am going to add a new layer. I'm going to go Layer, New, and the Adjustment Layer. What an adjustment layer does is it affects every layer underneath it in this precon-timeline. What I wanted to affect, is the color of our dot. In this case, what I want to do, I'm going to go Effect, Color Correction. You're going to want to have the Adjustment Layer selected there, and then, go Effect, Color Correction, and I'm going to go down to Tint. Now, tint affects the black, and white elements of any image. But what I'm going to do is, I'm going to make both of these white. What that's going to do is everything underneath there, you can now see my dot is white, but I only want my dot, my particle to become white while it's moving fast. I'm going to select where it's moving fastest, which is this point here. I'm going to make the amount that it's white 100 percent. I'm going to just click on this, and that should create a key-frame here on my timeline of the amount to tint at 100 percent. When it's moving fastest, it's going to be white, and then when it's moving slowly, I'm going to select this, and just scrub back down to zero. So there as you can see, it gradually fades up to when it's moving fastest, its whitest, and then, when it moves slowly again, I'm going to drag that down so that it's black. What you should have now is just a little sequence. I'm just going to hit Play on it, and there we go. When the particles moving fastest, It just becomes white. As I said, if we go into this color comp now, that should all propagate through. What we're going to get is this really cool sequence whereby, I said, there's a sense that these little insects or fireflies or something similar whereby when they're really animated, and moving quickly, they glow in this white color. What I'm going to do here is, I'm going to add another adjustment layer that's going to work on top of what we've just created. Again, if I go to Effect, Color Correction, and Tint, while you've got that Adjustment Layer selected, it's going to give you this tint effect that we can now apply to all four of our comps, all of our offset, temporary offset, spatially offset compositions following this sort of theme of, in the case of what I'm making here, fireflies, I'm going to make this white color glowing yellow. Anything that's white, is going to be turned to this yellow here, and when it's black, let's say, let's keep it glowing, but I'm going to make it this sort of pinky-red. Sort of notice the darker color. Now all of that sits under the adjustment layer that you can turn off, and on. But you should, here we go, have a looping gift, it looks something like this. That's going to be the sort of basis of our final composition that we're going to put together, and layer up, and make look, hopefully much more spectacular. Once again, I'm going to take my color composition, which is the piece that we're currently working in. I'm going to drag that into a new composition here. We're inception levels deep, we are three deep here. There's our previous composition, if I play that back, that's all working as it was in the previous composition. But now I'm going to get to working it in a manner that's not dissimilar to Photoshop or something similar. I want to create something using some different effects, but I want this to sit on a darker background. I'm going to go Layer, New Solid, and that's going to create me a solid background. I'm going to go for a dark purple just so that the colors stand out better from what we've got in the previous composition. If I just move that to the back, there you go. We're already kind of starting to feel like this is a little bit organic. Now as I said, I'm going to try my best to make this in exactly the same way that I made the demonstration file, but bear with me if it's, if it's slightly different, it's essentially all the same principle. It's at this point that, if you're familiar with After Effects, you can really apply your own effects. Go nuts, do whatever you like, but feel free to follow along with exactly what I'm doing, and you'll get a sense of the type of thing that you can do in this scenario. 7. Finishing Touches: Now, we can add some polishing effects to really make this animation shine. So if I copy and paste this, so Control up with C, Control up with V. I've now got a version of the same composition on top of the last one and what I want to do is, I want to split blur it slightly. So I'm going to use a gorging blur and that's just going to create a little kind of glow effect around the edge of my existing work. Again, if I just show you them individually, there's the kind of glow effect that we just created and it sits on top of these particles here. If you open up the effects and presets, it allows you to search for effects. So I want to just search for the scatter effect here. In my effects and presets, I'm typing in scatter, I can type in scatter. There we go and in stylize, there we go. So effect, stylize, and scatter and what that does is add a little bit of noise to that glow, so there I don't know if you can see, but it's a little bit speckled now. If I toggle the modes and switches down here, we bring up the Photoshop Illustrator style transfer modes and I'm just going to put that on an Ad. That just gives it that kind of brighter value. There we go. It really enhances the glow. Now, I'm going to go all out on this. I'm going to make another one of these and I'm going to blur it even more and I'm going to scatter it even more. So we've doubled up. Here is the original. Here's the glow that we created with the Gaussian Blur and scatter and then I've created another one that I've put on top of that. There we go, that's all three now. What I'm going to do finally is add a little bit of an echo effect. I'm going to copy the color composition that we started with again and paste that and I'm going to bring it to the back. So if you're following along, that's just another version of the same comp that we'd been duplicating each time to add these layers of effects too. I'll turn off the other ones here and this time what I'm going to do, I go in my effects, so I'm going to go down to time and I'm going to click on echo. What that's going to do, is it's going to create versions over time of the same, it's going to kind of echo the frames that we previously had, is going to echo the frames that exists on that layer across time. You can see if I turn it off and on there. It's adding the previous frame to that layer. So what you can do if I adjust the number of echoes, maybe this will help explain it better. You can see that it adds more and more versions of itself from previous frames so you have this kind of build up of layers of the same composition. I'm perhaps not explaining that very well, I'm going to use three echoes here. I'm going to put, adjust this little decay, which means that they will fade off gradually each frame. I'm going to adjust that to 0.8. There will be a slight fade off of that echo. If we scrub forward along the timeline, you might get a better sense of how this is working. It's just sort of leaving behind a trail of itself. That's going to sit at the very bottom of my composition, behind all the other effects, and hopefully can give us a sense that this is trailing light. What I'm going to do, is I'm going tint to this to a purpley color. The same way we tinted before. Then I'm going to add another blur to it. There we go. Now if I turn the other layers back on, we have some thing like I showed you earlier, where we have this really organic looking kind of firefly composition. These things loop and circle each other and because we've made the loop return to the same position, it should look perfectly for you. There we go. In terms of exporting that, if we want to make a quick, I'm going to quickly show you how to export that. If you go to composition and add to meet your encoder, what that's going to do is open your Media Encoder. If that's something that you haven't pre-installed, don't worry, I don't know why it doesn't exist inside of After Effects itself. It's just a little add on that sort of allows you to encode things outside of After Effects as well. What that'll do is momentarily, it will put something in this queue that will allow us to render out a little video that is perfectly suited to Instagram, Twitter, any of that kind of stuff. Here we go. It's an H.264 file, it's an MP4. I'm going to make sure this renders to my desktop for ease, and then I'm going to hit play and Media Encoder is going to kick that out for us. 8. Q&A: I'm just going to fill the last couple of questions. Can we use fill instead of tint, or does it break their compositions? You absolutely can use fill. That's fine. I've used tint in this case just because we used that black and white effect. If you want there to be extra dynamic color along a composition, then it's quite useful. But yeah, you absolutely can use fill. Is there a reason you duplicate the comps so many times that split up the effects? Does that make the preview render faster, or with the effects look differently if they weren't spit up between comps? That is a dense and complex question. Sorry, I'm just going to sort if my Media Encoder can, here we go, reach its server. Essentially what we want to do is have it work in the most malleable way possible. By having a pre comp that we can go back in and we can maybe adjust, slide these elements around. It just means that, you've got as few key frames as possible that propagate through the whole sequence. So that if you want to adjust the color, for example, of these two elements here to be, maybe you want green and blue, all you need to do is adjust these two nodes in the tint filter. Well, look I'll show you. Let's make it green and blue. Now, that will apply to everything that we've done so far. All of our blurs and glows that we've got, they'll be affected by those changes. We don't have to go in and change multiple color settings for other pieces. It's just a way of using the inherent power of after effects and the way it works in this nodal way, to create something that's changeable. You can go back in now. You can just drop another whole sequence into that pre comp and it'll apply it to everything that we've done as well. You could move around the elements in time, so that they work in a way that they overlap each other in a different way. All those kinds of things that just gives you flexibility to be able to play with it in the way that you want to. 9. Final Thoughts: That's it for today. Thank you very much for joining me and hopefully this gives you a starting point to take forward in your animation process. I've shown you one very explicit use of this. Absolutely, if this is your first time in After Effects, have an explore, open the effects tab, see what you can apply to your layers and I'd love to see the kinds of things that you can create just using these principles and anything else that you discover on your journey with After Effects. Obviously being live, we move through some of these steps very quickly. You can always go back, revisit earlier parts of the course, or jump into the pre-created files and remember to share anything that you've made during this session in the project gallery. Thanks again for tuning in. For more about me and my other Skillshare classes, check out my Skillshare profile.