Mesmerize: Create Mind-Bending GIFs with After Effects and Photoshop | Rich Armstrong | Skillshare

Mesmerize: Create Mind-Bending GIFs with After Effects and Photoshop

Rich Armstrong, Product Designer

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19 Lessons (2h 2m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:26
    • 2. Looping Theory

      1:18
    • 3. Simply Seamless

      15:43
    • 4. Photoshop Export

      6:22
    • 5. Principles of Mesmerization

      2:23
    • 6. Opposites Rotate

      5:13
    • 7. A Unit of Animation

      1:04
    • 8. Twirly Whirly

      9:43
    • 9. Rolling Flowers

      6:59
    • 10. Falling Flowers

      6:04
    • 11. Endless Ripples

      8:51
    • 12. Inspiration and Reference

      1:19
    • 13. Your Turn

      1:26
    • 14. Bonus: Working With Illustrator and Photoshop Files

      9:50
    • 15. Bonus: Auto Sequence Your Layers

      2:47
    • 16. Bonus: Effects and Expressions

      18:57
    • 17. Bonus: Animating in Photoshop

      4:35
    • 18. Bonus: Parenting, Easing, Inverse Masks

      17:25
    • 19. The End

      0:19
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About This Class

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In this class we’re going to learn about looping mesmerizing animations, the theory behind creating them, and how to create them using Adobe After Effects and Photoshop. You’ll not only learn to create seamlessly looping animations, but you’ll learn how to to make 1 or 2 second GIFs feel like they last forever. We’ll discuss how to create illusions; learn how to animate with both After Effects and Photoshop; and even learn how to code a bit inside After Effects.

By the end of the class we’ll have created some really short animations that, once looped, will feel like they could be watched for hours. It’s not just about GIFs, but really about mesmerizing animation. It’ll be a great way to get into motion graphics and animation as well.

Experience with the Adobe apps will help you in this class, but it’s not necessary. If you feel like preparing yourself a bit more take my Illusions of Depth layer art class – it’s a great primer for what we’re going to cover in this class.

Here's a few examples of what you'll be able to create after taking the class:

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If you want to learn even more about animation, here are some of my other animation classes:



Transcripts

1. Introduction: Have you ever seen an amazing gif or looping animation you just couldn't look away from. One that captured you, one that made you drew, one that made you just sit there and stare. Then have you ever wondered how to make one? In this class, I'm going to show you what I know about creating these looping animations. I'm Rich Armstrong, I'm a designer, a coder and an animator. We'll be using Adobe After Effects to build and create our animations. Don't worry if you're not so good at After Effects, I'll take it slow and explain new concepts bit by bit. Also, the theory we'll cover will allow you to use other animation apps and styles to create your own brand of mesmerizing gifs and loops. By the end of the class, we'll have created some really short looping gifs and videos, which will feel like they can be watched for ages. I'll also show you how to bring Illustrator and Photoshop assets into After Effects. How to do basic animation in Photoshop and in one video, I'll cover some really advanced After Effects stuff. On a precautionary note, however, you may end up sitting and staring at what you create for long periods of time. Feel ready to make eye candy and have a lot of fun. Enroll now and let's start this crazy class. 2. Looping Theory: So let's do some quick theory, it'll help us understand the practical side of things. First thing, an animation, just like all video, is an illusion of motion. It's really a bunch of images passing by your eyes really, really quick, and it tricks your eyes into thinking there's movement. The second thing is that most film and animation we're used to is in a linear format, it has a start and an end point. But this class deals with looping animation. You've probably come across them in the form of online GIFs or Instagram videos, and they're special because they loop forever, and they let the viewer decide when they're over. Then there's the kind of looping animation that mesmerizes you, they make you drool, they make you stare, they make you tilt your head in wonder. Their timeline can be visualized quite simply as a circle with their last and first frames leading on from one another, just like other frames in a timeline. One of the things that makes them so entrancing is that they're seamless, you don't know where the start and end of the animation is. But that's not all that makes them so mesmerizing. There are a few aims of this class. The first is to teach you how to make seamless animations, the second is to teach you the principles of mesmerizing loops, the third is to give you methods to make mesmerizing animations, and the last is that it'd be a great introduction to after effects in the world of animation. So yeah, let's get started. 3. Simply Seamless: In this video, I'm going to introduce you to what After Effects is, and I'm going to show you how to create a really simple, seamless loop. The first thing I want you to do is open up After Effects. If you get a window like this, click "New Project". If you don't and you see something like this, click "File", "New", "New Projects". If this is your first time inside of After Effects, welcome. "What is After Effects?" You may be asking. Well, it's really a mash-up between a couple of different concepts and applications. It's a mash-up between Photoshop, Illustrator, a 3D app, and a video editing app. It's really powerful and really flexible when it comes to animation. But it may just feel like a pilot's cockpit. You may have no idea what any of these panels and buttons and things do, that's okay. I'm going to try and make head and tail of it for you and ease you into it slowly. The first thing I'd like you to do is save your project File, Save As, Save As. I'm going to save all of my project files on the desktop, I'm just going to call this one loops.aep which means After Effects Project. You should have this project panel, if you don't, go to window and click "Project". You'll see that the window or the panel that is focused on or and that we're currently busy with has this blue stroke around it. Now what I'd like you to do is I'd like you to click this little button here, the one that looks like a film strip. Create a new Composition. Now, what is a composition? Well, a composition is like a Photoshop document, and an After Effects Project can contain multiple compositions. My composition name, I'm going to call it flower, and I'm not going to use a predefined preset, I'm going to you use a custom preset, that means that I can change my width and height. Now I'm going to set my width and height to 1280 by 1280 pixels. The reason why I do this is so that it's a square, which means I can share it on Instagram. It means I can take it into Photoshop, and crop it to the image size that I need for different platforms. Now my pixel aspect ratio, let's keep it at square pixels and my frame rate, I like to keep that at 30. You can change this if you want, some people prefer 25, some people prefer 30. Figure for something like 60 is going to animate a lot smoother, but I find that 30 is a great mix between having smooth animation, and having small file sizes. The resolution is how our composition previews what we're playing, so for now we can just keep it at full. As things get more complicated and our computer takes longer to render our compositions, we can change the resolution to half or even a third. Now my start time code, let's just leave that at zero, that basically means we're going to start our composition act, and we're going to start it at zero. Then the duration of our composition is frames, seconds, minutes, and hours. I'm going to change mine to two seconds. If yours is set at a minute or 30 seconds, change it to two seconds. We can then change our background color quite easily, so I'm going to go for a bluish color, maybe a purply color. We can change all of these settings once we've created the composition, but I always find it helps to set it up right the first time. I've also attached a document that explains the different documents sizes and frame rates for your reference. It's really theoretical and a bit boring if I have to put in a video, but you can access it as a text document. So let's create this composition. We just press ''Okay'' and all of a sudden a few things will happen. You'll see that in your project panel there is a flower composition. You'll see that down here which is your timeline panel, you'll have this flower tab, which basically says that this flower composition is now open. If you close it, you can always double-click on it to open it again, and this panel here is your composition preview panel. As something plays in your timeline, so it will appear in the composition preview panel. But now there's nothing in our timeline, there is nothing really in here except our background color, let's create a layer. Layer, New, there's a whole bunch of different types of layers, that's correct, After Effects is amazing. Which one do we want now? Well, let's go for a shape layer. You'll see that now we have this shape layer, but there's still nothing to show. So we can zoom in by pressing "Command Plus" or "Control Plus", or we can use our mouse to scroll in and out. What I'd like to do now is I'd like to add a shape to my shape layer. So I hold down this rectangle tool and I release on star tool, and this is how we're going to create our flower. You just click and drag, and hold down Shift to create a straight star, and when you're done, just release your mouse button. Now we have a star, fantastic. If we go to our shape layer in our timeline panel, we can then click on this drop-down button to access all of its properties. We'll see that it has two main sets of properties, Contents and Transform. So if I go to Contents, I'll see that, hey there's a polystar 1, and I can toggle the visibility of this polystar 1 just like I can toggle the visibility of this whole shape layer. I can add another shape so let's just add a square here, and you'll see that now I have a polystar 1 and a rectangle 1, really cool. Now if we go to the polystar 1, what I'd like to do is, I'd like to center it within my shape layer. The shape layer is actually in the middle of our composition, so I'm going to transform polystar 1, not to be confused with the transform of the layer. I'm going to go to this position, and you'll see that it's at negative x and a negative y value. Now we could just pull this to zero, or we could just click it and press ''0''. All of a sudden it's at 0, x, and if we click here we can press ''0'' and all of a sudden it's at 0, y in the middle, fantastic. Now what I'd like to do is, I'd like to make this more like a flower, I'd like to change the size. Let's just hide rectangle 1 for now, and let's go to polystar path 1. We go into this drop-down, and we can change the number of points. I'd like to keep the number of points at six, or 10, or 12. Whatever you choose, do not choose an odd number. If you're going to choose an odd number, it's going to make it really difficult to rotate. I'd recommend sticking between six and 12 just because it'll be easier to work with. You can change it to six here, and we can change our inner radius, which will then increase the size of our star. Our outer radius, which will increase the size of our star as well. We can change it to something like that. Now, your inner roundness, you can play around with, but I'm going to keep that at zero. My outer roundness, if I hold down Shift, it scrubs a lot quicker. If I don't hold Shift, it's a little bit finer. I'm going to create a flower just like that. The next thing I want to do is I want to change its color. I can either just change its color up here or I could go to Polystar 1, Fill 1, and then change the color here. What I'd like to do is I'd like to change it to plain white. Now, I'd like to start animating my flower. Let's go to Polystar 1 again, and let's start animating it. If we go to transform Polystar 1, we can start to rotate it, which is really, really cool. If we then show rectangle again and we change the rotation of the star of our flower, you'll see that the rectangle doesn't change at all. Now, this is very important because if we go to the Transform of our shape layer 1 and change the rotation of that, you'll see that the whole shape layer changes its rotation. Let's change that to zero again and open up the contents. I'm going to just delete my rectangle. Here, I want to animate this, and I want to animate it over time. As my play head goes from zero frames to one second, I want it to rotate. Now, this might seem quite easy. Let's just change the rotation. This changes to 45. What you can see that happens is that it changes it for every single frame. Not what we want. What we need to do is we need to change this to zero, and we need to click on this stopwatch. What this actually does, it says enable time very stopwatch. It toggles the ability of a property to change over time. Now, if we click this, it means that After Effects is listening for keyframe changes. If we go to one second and we add another keyframe, either by clicking this one, and to remove one, you just click it again. Or you can just change the value. It's going to 46. When we go to zero frames again and we press "Play", either play on our Preview panel, which you can access from Window and Preview, or we just press Space bar, it'll play. That loops automatically, which is great. What this is doing is it's saying, "There's a keyframe here. It's got a value of zero, and there is a keyframe here and it's got a value of 46." What After Effects does is it works out the values of the in-between frames. You'll see that this is 1.5, the next frame is 3.1, and so on, which is really, really powerful. It means that you can just specify two values and After Effects works out everything in between. This is our timeline panel. We can add keyframes, and the keyframes that we select are blue, the keyframes that are not selected are gray. We can zoom in and out with this little slider at the bottom, we can press Plus and Minus to zoom in and out. We can also use these little Time Navigator end and Time Navigator start, dragging [inaudible]. Pretty cool. What I'd like to do now is I'd like to create an animating loop. We go to one second or 30 frames, and then we drag our work area end to there. This is pretty important because if we play within our work area is going to loop within our work area. If we press "Play" when we're not in our work area, it's going to play the entire composition, which is not what we want. If you've got a work area set up, make sure you press Play within the work area. We have a loop. Fantastic. But it's not seamless, not by any stretch of the mind. There's a big jump. What I'd like to do here is instead of animating it or rotating it by 46 degrees, I'd like to rotate it by 360 divided by the number of points in my star. In this case it's six. If your math isn't so good, just do the calculation in this input in After Effects. You press "Enter", and it works it out to 60 degrees. What's really cool about this is that from 0-60, it doesn't actually look like it's rotated at all, or it looks like it's rotated 360 degrees. This is where illusions starts to come in. It means that we can play something for one second and make it appear as if a rotates forever. Here, is only rotating by 60 degrees and then going back to zero degrees and then rotating another 60 degrees. It looks like it just carries on, and on, and on. What's really important to notice here is that if we zoom in at the end of our work area and where our keyframe is, if our work area is off by two frames or even by one frame, it can cause a delay. If I press "Play" now, you see a slight delay. If I just scroll to here again, if I increase this to six frames, you'll see a really long delay, which is really noticeable now. If this is at 28 frames, or even at 29 frames, you'll see that there's a jump, which is also undesirable. Although you may not be able to pick it up, the human eye is really good at picking up something that's off or that doesn't move correctly. You want to make sure that on this last keyframe, that's where your work area end is. What's happening here is that it goes from 28 frames to 29 frames, and then instead of going to where this keyframe is, it goes back to frame 0. That's because the last frame of your loop is followed by the first frame of your loop. Get it, understand it. It's a circle. Our animation never actually gets to 60 degrees rotation. From frame 29, it doesn't get to frame 30. It goes back to zero. Although it's a little bit tricky to understand, it's really cool when you do. Now, we have our looping animation. It's amazing. It's a cool little flower. It loops seamlessly. But now what do we do with it? Let's export it, let's render it. The first thing we need to do is just save it. Let's go "File" and "Save". Then we go "Composition". Let's add to render queue. Once it's in the render queue, it normally default to the best possible settings, it's a lossless file. Fantastic. We're going to export it from After Effects as a lossless file, and then take it into Photoshop, and then export it from there as an MP4 and an animated GIF. We want to say output to desktop, and render. That's the basics of After Effects. In the next video, I'm going to show you how to create an animated GIF and an MP4 from the MOV file that we just rendered. 4. Photoshop Export: In this video, I'm going to show you how to take the MOV file that's after effects rendered into Photoshop for easy exporting. We'll take a really large and high-quality file and export it as an animated GIF and also as an MP4. We go to our Finder, lets go to Desktop and we can't preview it because it's a lossless quality file. If we just drag that straight into Photoshop, we'll get our movie inside of Photoshop which is weird and you'll see this little timeline panel pop-up. If it doesn't, you can access it from window and timeline. I like to just drag this to the bottom until there's that blue strip and then release my mouse button and then I have a timeline at the bottom, much like after effects. When I press "Play Now," you'll see that it loops, if it doesn't loop, just make sure that the loop playback is selected. Now I want to export it for Instagram. Instagram needs videos that are three seconds or longer in duration and because ours is only one second, we need to duplicate this at least three times. Right-click on your layer and say "Duplicate Layer". You could also just press ''Command J or Control J'' and all of a sudden you have three iterations of this loop. What Instagram does, it will then take your video and loop it while somebody is watching it on their phones or on their computers. Once we have three iterations, we go to File Export and then render video. We want to select the folder which is my Desktop and then we want to choose the format which should be 8.264 which means it renders an MP4 file which your phone and Instagram will be able to understand. The preset always use high-quality, the size should be the document size, the frame rate should be the document frame rates and the rest of this stuff play around with it but leave it if you've never changed it before. Then you press "Render". This doesn't take too long, I think it's already done, fantastic. We go to our Finder and we've got flower dot MP4 and there we go. We can then send this to our phone and post it to Instagram. Now for an animated GIF. I'm just going to step backwards a few times here until we just have one iteration of our loop. I want to share this on Dribble as an image, as an animated GIF. Dribble needs files that are 400 by 300 in dimension or 800 by 600 in dimension. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go to image, I'm going to say image size, I'm going to try this as 800 by 800 and then I'll resize it with canvas size now to have a height of 600, fantastic. Now, when I press "Play," I have got an 800 by 600 animated loop. We can then go to File Export, save for web legacy. If you have an older version of Photoshop this may say save for web or even save for web and devices and this is your export screen. If you don't have GIF selected here, you can change it from PNG or JPEG to GIF and then from here, we can change a bunch of settings to either make it really good quality or to make the file size really small. You've got to ask yourself, where is this animated GIF going to be and what is the purpose? If the purpose is to be part of a web page, you want to make it a really small size GIF or GIF. If you want to share it on Dribble or some other sites where you want to show off your expertise, you want to show off your animation skills, I'll try to boost the quality a bit. To boost the quality you want to increase the colors, to decrease the file size, you want to decrease the colors. With this example, it won't really matter because we have such few colors in our animation. If we go for 64 colors, we'll see that it has a file size of 282. Another way to decrease your file size is to decrease your data but in this example it won't make much of a difference because we don't really have any gradients or shadows. The best way to decrease your file size is just to decrease your dimensions. If we decrease this to 400, we will see that the file size goes to 126K which is pretty small. I'm going to just change this back to 800 because I want the focus of this animated GIF to be the animation, not really the small file size. The 282 is pretty small, it's pretty good. Now, the most important thing here is this looping options option. We want to change once to forever. We want our animation to loop for ever. This is the most important thing. Once we set this, once we've chosen all of the options, we can press ''Save.'' I'm going to save it as flower dot GIF on my desktop and just like that, I have flower dot GIF that I can preview. I can then upload this to dribble or to a couple of other places where I share my GIFs, or I can share my flower dot MP4 on Instagram, on Facebook, wherever. Now that we've gone through that entire process, have some fun, play around and make a really simple seamless loop. Upload it to Instagram if you want, upload it to dribble and upload it to your project gallery. If you upload it to your project gallery just make sure that your animated GIF is under two megabytes and if you want to mention me on social media, I'm at Taptapkaboom. That's quite a lot to take in, I understand if you're like, ''Whoa, that just frazzled me.'' Take it easy, watch it again, play around and ask a bunch of questions in the comments and discussion panel. I'm all for questions and I'll try my best to answer them. 5. Principles of Mesmerization: Most mesmerizing animations revolve around illusion and trickery but once you know the formula, they're really simple. Here are a few principles to get you started. The first principle is repeat or repetition. Your whole animation has to repeat, it must loop, it's a no brainer. But also, sub animations in your animation can repeat. Think of what you're repeating and how you're repeating it. The second principle is position. So move things around the screen, making elements start where another ends off, create perpetual movement, keep your audience engaged and keep their eyes moving. The third principle is state, changing elements into another slowly or quickly, and you can change shape, capacity, and other properties and effects over time. Make things grow, make them breath, make them squirm, make it feel alive. The fourth principle is rotation. Rotation is similar to repetition and it's quite easy to make use of. I think it's because when something rotates, no matter how small or bigger it is, it always ends up at the same point, eventually. A clock, for example, is a real life looping animation. The fifth principle is multiple elements. When there's more to look at, well, there's more to look at. With multiple animated elements, there will always be something new to look at, especially if they disappear and reappear at different times during the loop. The sixth principle is message. If your animation has a point to make, besides from just being eye candy, it makes it that much more amazing. No pressure here, it's just the cherry on top. The seventh principle is color. Great color schemes can get people's attention before they've even seen any movement, so consider your choice of color rarely carefully. The eighth principle is speed. Your animation speed has to be just right, not too slow, not too fast, but make it just right. The ninth principle is interest. What effects and interesting things are you animating? This is often an area where you can bend minds and pull out some wow factor. Your style and method of working will always play a big role here. For a quick bit of inspiration, think of Escher, think of Dolly, trippy movies you've watched and weird dreams that you've had. These are few principles to help you on your way, but how you get your audience to stay longer than they planned, is really up to you. I think the best thing is to experiment and see what you enjoy working with. 6. Opposites Rotate: In this video, we're going to take our single layered flower, create multiple layers and we're going to rotate some of the layers anticlockwise and some of the layers clockwise. Let's get into it. The first thing I want to do is I'm going to rename my flower composition to flower 1, so I right-click and I select Rename and rename it flower 1. They're going to duplicate it so that I always have a saved copy of the flower 1 composition, so I can go Edit, Duplicate. Here's flower 2. After Effects does a nice job by incrementing the number. If I double-click on this, it opens up another tab in my timeline panel. Flower 1 and flower 2 look identical at the moment, but they're actually separate videos, they're separate compositions. It's like duplicating a text document in Finder or Windows Explorer. They're different documents, even though at the moment they're the same thing. I'm going to close flower 1, and in flower 2 I'm just going to collapse shape layer 1's properties. Then I'm going to duplicate shape layer 1. I'm going to go Edit and then duplicate. Now I have shape layer 2, and inside shape layer 2, I have polystar 1. What I want to do for polystar 1 inside shape layer 2, is I want to change the polystar's scale. I got to transform polystar 1 and I change the scale to 80 percent. This is different from changing the transform or the scale of the entire layer. I could change the layer to 80 percent which may look like it does the same thing. But what this is doing, is it's transforming the entire layer scale rather than just transforming the polystar 1 scale. Once we've done this, I'd like to go and select shape layer 1 and change full the color to something like that. Fantastic. They're going to duplicate shape layer 2. I can either go Edit and duplicate, or I can press Command D or Control D. They're going to change the scale of this polystar to 60 percent, fantastic. I'm going to change the color of shape layers to something quite similar but a little bit lighter. Like so. I'm then going to duplicate shape layer 3, Command D or Control D, and change the scale to about 40 percent, so let's change that to 40 percent. Then I'm going to change the color of shape layer 3 to again something quite similar, but a little bit lighter. That's how many layers I'm going to go with. You can add as many layers as you want, you can make your layers bigger and you can make your layers smaller. I'm just going to have four layers, and this will be enough layers to bring across the point. What I'd like to do now is, I'd like to change shape layer 1 and shape layer 3's bar colors. I just select this little swatch or little square here, and I can change it. Let's go for yellow. This says that, "Hey, these ones are similar layers, let's treat them the same, and the blue ones, let's treat them the same." I want to change the animation of some layers now. If I start drilling down in here, I can get to rotation, but that is a lot of stuff just to get to rotation. What I can do is I can press a layer and press U on the keyboard. What "U" does, is it shows us the properties that have been animated, which is really cool. We can select all of these layers holding down Shift, hold on Command A, and press U. If it hides it, you can press U again and it will show them. Now we can see that, there's polystar 1 inside of shape layer 4 and it's showing us the rotation. It's showing us the rotation of polystar 1 in each of the layers. For layer 3 and layer 1, I'm going to go to one second, I'm going to change their rotation from plus 60 to negative 60. If I select this keyframe and I hold down command, and I stick this keyframe over here, I can then change this to negative 60, and you'll see that it changes both on shape layer 3 and shape layer 1. Now, when I press Play, it looks really cool. I've got a much more interesting animation than before. There's some laser rotating clockwise, some that are rotating anticlockwise. Fantastic. From here, we can render it as a lossless MOV file, and then take that MOV file into Photoshop, export it as an animated GIF, or export it as an MP4 file. Fantastic. 7. A Unit of Animation: Let's chat theory once again. Say we have a looping animation that is four seconds long and the frame rate is 30 frames per second. In these four seconds, we will have 120 frames to use. I like to call this the units of animation. It's good to know what the units of animation is so that you can create sub-animations within your animation. They take a fraction of the time and thus, loop more than once during the life cycle of the loop. I like to call these sub-units of animation. Then length and frames are numbers that the total unit animation can divide by without decimal places or leftovers. So, examples of sub-units of a four second loop would be sub-animations at last 60F, 30F, 20F, 15F, 10F or five frames long. The sub animations can either be continuously looping within the main loop or they can appear for portions of the main loop's life cycle. Have a look at any seamlessly looping animation, and you'll see this principle at work. 8. Twirly Whirly: In this video, we're going to take our flower animation and make all the layers rotate the same way but at a different speed. We're also going to add drop shadow, and I'm going to show you how to animate the drop shadow. First thing that we want to do is we want to go to flower 2 and duplicate it. You can go Command D, and it creates a flower 3 for us. Let's double-click on that, and it opens it up, and let's close a flower 2. Now what we're wanting to do, is we are wanting to rotate these all the same way. I'm going to make all of my layers and I'll just hold down Shift and select it from the top to the bottom. I'm going to change all of my layers to the same color and then I can rename my layers just to make a bit more sense of shape layer 1, shape layer 2, and so on. To rename a layer, you select a layer and you press "Enter". I'm going to just call this one, I'm going to rename Shape Layer 2, 2, and then Shape Layer 3, 3, Shape layer 4, 4, there we go. The next thing I want to do is I want to change my rotation a little bit, so I go to the last key frame, and they're going to change my bottom rotation to 60 and my third layer's rotation to 60 again, just so that everything is rotating at the same speed. Now, I need to decide which layer is going to rotate the quickest. I think it should be the bottom layer and I think the top layer should rotate the slowest. I'm going to keep my rotation of 60 as the base and then for layer three, I'm going to rotate it a 120 degrees and then for the next layer, I'm going to multiply this by three, so 60 by 3 would be 180. It's really cool that you can do some math and the input and after effects means you don't have to work out things in your head. Here we can go 60 multiplied by 4, 240. Now as things play around, we can see that back layer is moving really quickly, the layer up not so quickly, the layer above that a little less slow, and then finally the top layer is moving at a standard speed. Now it's quite quick, so if I select all of my layers with Command A, I can use this motion blur, which stimulates a shutter duration. If you imagine when it's dark and you're trying to take a photo and you take a photo of someone who's running, they may appear a bit blurry. This is exactly what motion blur does. We can just check that with all of our layers selected, and we can check this which says enable motion blur for all layers with the motion blur switch set, fantastic. If you don't have that, you may need to press "Toggle switches and modes" to make it appear. We go back to zero, and we press "play now". It might take some time to render for that green bar to go from left to right, but once it does and that's really good. If we zoom in here, Command plus, you can see the motion blur on the layers that I'm moving a bit faster and this creates a more realistic effect. This looks pretty good right now. What I'd like to do next is to add some drop shadows, it makes things pop, it adds some interest. I'm going to select my top layer here, layer 4, I'm then going to right-click and I'm going to go to layer styles, and I'm going to select drop shadow. This is very much like photoshop's drop shadow. We've got our layer styles on layer 4 now, so it has contents, transform, and layer styles. This is really important that we created or duplicated the layers rather than duplicating the shapes with inner shape layer, because if we had duplicated the shapes with inner shape layer, when we added a layer style to the layer, we would have added it to all of those shapes combined. We have a drop shadow here, I'm going to change the capacity to 50 percent. I'm not going to use global light because I want to animate that, the angle well let's change it to 90, not quite sure exactly it might need to be 180. The distance we can change to 10, the size we can change to 20. Let's change the distance to 22, and that looks pretty good. You can add some noise if you want, but for now that looks really good. What we can do now is we can go to frame zero, we can select layer styles or drop shadow, but select Layer styles, and press "Command C" or edit, copy and then what we want to do here is we want to select the rest of our layers and go edit and paste. What this should do, is it should copy and paste that Layer style onto all of the layers. Now I'm going to play this, it looks really cool. It's going to take some time to render but once it does, it starts looping, that looks really cool but still it's moving quite fast, so let's change this. I want to animate this exact thing, but over two seconds, instead of just one second. We go to two seconds here, and you see that we can't quite get to it. To change our composition duration and a few other things, lets go to composition, and we go to composition settings, or you press "Command K" or "Control K". Then this window may appear quite familiar, it's exactly the same as when you create a new composition. Let's change our duration to three seconds and press "Okay". You'll see that now we have a bit more space. I can go to two seconds, and let's move all of our key frames to two seconds. You may be shouting at me now because we haven't moved layer 4's key frames, so I'm just going to press "U" and we can just drag this key frame to two seconds. But what happens here is that the layers actually disappear, so I'm going to press "Command A" to select all of my layers and just drag the duration of my layers a little bit further and then I'm going to drag the work area end to two seconds. Let's preview this, see how it looks. Now things should be rendering a little bit slower, if things are taking way too long press "Space", stop the animation, and change your resolution to half or even third. I'm going to change mine to a third. This means it will just render quicker, you'll be able to work faster, but the quality won't be as good. That feels a little bit more natural for me, it's more mesmerizing, it's not just spinning and spinning and spinning, that's really cool. Now the only thing left that I want to do is, I want to rotate the drop shadow as well. It makes it look like there's a light swinging around these flower layers. Let's try it on layer 4. I'm going to go to zero frames, I'm going to zoom out a little bit and I'm going to go to the Layer styles drop shadow. What I'm going to do is I'm going to animate the angle of the drop shadow. Let's click this little stopwatch, which creates a key frame and then at two seconds, let's create a new key frame. At this point, I'd like to say lets animate it a full 360 degrees, which then animates 1 times 360 plus 90. When we play this again, you'll see that, that looks really cool. The drop shadow's moving and may look like there's a light swimming around, fantastic. If you wanted to animate it the other way, we can simply select this key frame, copy it with Command C and then paste it with Command V. It then replaces the key frame that you're on, so now we're at 90 degrees. If I wanted to animate it the other way, I would say 90 minus 360 which would give me 270. Now when I played it, that may look a little bit more natural for you, it's your call at the end of the day. Once you've settled with the drop shadow angle animation, lets go to zero frames and let's copy Layer styles from layer 4, Command C, and then select all of our layers and press "Command V". That should have pasted the drop shadow animation 2, which it looks like it has. There we go. We have a slightly more interesting looking animation, the drop shadow loops, there's various things going on, these various elements moving at different speeds. It's fairly mesmerizing. From here, you can add it to your render queue, you can render it, and then you can bring it into Photoshop, export it as an animated GIF, and export it as an mp4, fantastic. 9. Rolling Flowers: In this video, we're going to learn about precompositions, which is adding compositions into other compositions. While we're doing this, we're going to create a really cool, seamless animation, where there will be multiple flowers rolling across the screen. The first thing I'd like to do is create a new composition. We're going to call this rolling flowers. The settings are going to stay the same, width, height, and the duration can be three seconds, it can be 10 seconds, or we're really going to be aiming for is to create a two second looping animation. Now we have a rolling flowers composition. I'd like to then add flower 3, into the rolling flowers composition, and this becomes a precomposition. I'd like to create a folder just for my precompositions, and I'd like to just call it precomps. I'm going to select flower 1, press Shift, press flower 3, and then drag it into precomps. Then I'm going to drag in flower 3 to rolling flowers, which is now open on my timeline. Fantastic. I'm going to close flower 3, and now I have rolling flowers open. You'll see that, this layer is a little bit different. This is actually a composition, and you'll see that I can't access any of the contents that flower 3 has in it. If I double-click on it, I'll be able to access flower 3 again. I'll be able to change it's properties, and this will update, in the other compositions that it's in. Let's close flower 3, and let's see what we can change with flower 3. We can change the scale, I'll change this to 70 percent, and we can even change the rotation, the capacity, the position. What I'd like to do here, is rename this to layer 1, and then I'd like to duplicate it, so Command D, and then here I'm going to start making multiple iterations of this flower 3 composition. Here, instead of going to my arrow, and then to transform, I'm going to just press P, and this will just show the position. I'm then going to change the position to negative 640, so it's an entire composition width to the left of layer 1. I'm then going to press P, when I have layer 1 selected, and I'm going to start animating both of these layers. I'll press the stop watch on both layers, and you'll see that both had these key frames. I'm then going to go to two seconds, and if you're not quite there or if you're feeling lazy, you can just press this, and end-to-end what you'd like to go to. I'd like to go to two seconds, press Okay, and it takes me directly to two seconds. I'm then going to add key frames, on both of these layers, and then on layer 2, I'm going to ask it to go forward by 1280, and I'm going to do the same for layer 1. It's going to animate an entire compositions width to the right. Let's see how this looks. Looks pretty goo. What we haven't done here, is we haven't changed our work area, so let's just bring that into two seconds. From here, we've just created, a looping animation, with a looping animation in it. This becomes really interesting. The next thing I'd like to do is make it more interesting, and the way that we can do that as add more elements. Now I'm going to try add one flower in the middle. I'm going to zero frames, I'm going to duplicate layer 2, Command D, and you'll see that if I press P, all of the key frames are duplicated as well. What I'd like to do is, I'd like to just add 642, it's a position, which would bring me to zero, I then like to go to the end key frame and add 640 to that. Now we have three stars. When I press play now, there's a little bit of a jump, which is problematic. Now what I'm going to have to do is, I'm going to have to add two more stars, I'm going to have to add one more star at the beginning, and one more star at the end, just so that it loops way better. Let's add the one in the beginning first. I'm going to select my layer 1, I'm going to duplicate it. Duplicate, it's layer 4 now, I'm going to press P, and I'm going to change this to just be 640 pixels to the right and again, 640 pixels to the right at the end. Fantastic. Now when I go to the last key frame on the end of my loop, I'm going to select layer 2, I'm going to duplicate that, send it to the top, and I'm sending it to the top using Command, and right bracket, and if you want to send it to the bottom, you can press Command and left bracket.You can also do this by going layer, range, and bring layer to front, or bring layer forward. It's pretty much the same as Photoshop. Then I press P, and then on layer 5, I need to send this layer to the left by 640 pixels. Then the same would be at the start. Now what we have, is we have the same animation duplicated five times, that creates an illusion that there's just an endless amounts of these rolling flowers or rotating flowers coming by. Pretty cool. We can play around with a bunch of things here. If I select all of my layers, and I press P, the position will go away, and if I press S, the scale will appear, and they're all at 70 percent. If I change this to 100 percent, and see what this looks like, still loops, but it doesn't look so good. We can change this to 50 percent, maybe it looks a little bit better. Looks like it's fine but funny, 70 percent was pretty good. I have a play around there. We can also press R, for rotation and change all of these to, I don't know, 45. Check that out. Looks pretty cool, so you can add this to your render queue, you can render this, and then bringing it into Photoshop to create an animated GIF from it, or to make an MP4 from it. 10. Falling Flowers: In this video, we're pretty much going to be doing the same thing as we did in the rolling flowers video, except we're going to be making the flowers come from the top and go to the bottom. The way that we do it is going to be different. This way that we do it would be really helpful for future looping animations. In After Effects, let's creates a new composition, and we're going to call it falling flowers. The rest of our settings should be exactly the same except for the duration, which should be 10 seconds, and the background color, which we can change a bit. I want to change mine to a blue or turquoise color. Let's create this. I'm then going to add my flower-3 composition as a precomposition inside my falling flowers composition. The reason why the background doesn't come along with it, is that because in flower-3 when I add it to a composition, it's really being added as that, you can see the transparency grid much like you can in Photoshop. To toggle that, you can press this Toggle Transparency Grid button. When you render flower-3 on its own, it will render with that background. If you hide the background, you can change the render settings to render without the background. Whether it's on or off, when you go to falling flowers or rolling flowers, the background with the background of that composition. Let's go to falling flowers. Now I want to change the flower-3 scales, I'm going to press "S" and I'm going change the scale to 70 percent again, and then I'm going to change the name of flower-3 by pressing "Enter" to layer-1, and then I'm going to animate this. I'm going to press "P" for position and then start animating the position. My starting work position, I want this to be 614 minus 1280, which is the compositions height, you'll see that it starts way up there. Then after two seconds, and if it doesn't go exactly where you want it to go, you can either press "Command" or "Control" and left or right on your keyboard, or you can use this panel here to go to an exact time. When I get to two seconds, I want go back to the center and a further 1280 pixels to the bottom. You'll see that when this animates, it animates quite nicely, if we have to then drag our work area to two seconds, it creates a fairly nice looping animation, but you can clearly see where it starts and where it ends. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to duplicate layer-1, Command D, and I'm going to zoom into my timeline so that I can see 20 frames, and then at 20 frames I'm going to drag my layer-2 to start there. It's going to follow layer-1 in time, there we go. If I have to say to layer-2, let me see your opposition, you'll see that the position is offset. Now let's do this again, so let's go further 20 frames, duplicate this. Instead of dragging this time, I'm just going to press the left bracket, and this says to the layer, "Hey you,start here", these flowers will then follow each other. But now if we press "Play", there's a massive jump. They're following each other, but in the beginning there's actually nothing there. There's a few ways to go about doing this, but the way that I'm going to show you is really sneaky and really effective. Let's carry on duplicating these layers, and moving them over by 20 frames. Let's do it again and let's go forward 20 frames. Now we have two seconds of work area, so now what I'd like to do is I'd like to start at one second and 10 frames, like so, and I'd like to end at three seconds and 10 frames. This is a two second animation and let's see how it does, it loops perfectly. What we've done is we've changed the starting time to one second and 10 frames, and then created this looping animation within two seconds over a bunch of layers that are sequenced, which is really clever, really effective. That means that simply by duplicating and sequencing a bunch of layers, we can get this effect that it feels like they are just flowers falling from the sky, amazing. If we zoom into that, we can see it a little closer. Now what's really cool about precompositions, and all of these are the same precomposition, and we can see this by clicking layer name, we change it to source name, and you can see that it's all flower-3. We change it back to layer name, we can name these to our heart's content. If we're to double-click on one of these, we then go to flower-3 and we can start changing these layers. If I want to change layer-3, and let's change its color to something bizarre, like this great turquoise color. We go back to falling flowers, you'll see that all of these falling flowers are now updated, so precomposition is much the same as a smart object in Photoshop. 11. Endless Ripples: In this video, we're going to be creating endless ripples. We're going to consolidate everything that we've learned, and I'm going to show you a few more new things. Then After Effects, let's create a new project, so File, New New Project. We're going to create a new composition and we're going to call it ripple, that's how you spell ripple? Yeah. The width is going to be 128, the height is going to be 1280. I want the duration to be 20 seconds, and the background color to be a really dark color, so maybe let's just go for black. We have a ripple composition it's open in our timeline, I now want to add a shape. Layer, New Shape Layer, and I want the full color to be white, and I will just set that from the get-go. I didn't want to add a circle, so I add an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool, let's just zoom in Command Plus. Let's just add an ellipse. I hold down Shift so that the width and the height are proportionate, and I let go my mouse button. It's not in the center, but let's that sort out now. Shape Layer 1, Ellipse 1, let's go to Transform Ellipse 1 and set the positions x and y to zero. We have our circle setup, now what I want to do is I want to animate it from nothing to a really big ripple. For this animation, I also want to add a stroke. My stroke color I want it to be white and let's change the thickness to 100 pixels. At zero frames I want to change my ellipse path, I want to change its size from zero. Over the course of 15 seconds, let's go to 15 seconds. I want to change that to something pretty big, so I'm just going to hold Shift as I drag this or scrub this, zoom-out, and there we go. Over the course of that period, it's going to animate from zero to the size. What I haven't done is I haven't enabled keyframe animation here, so I'm quickly going to add the keyframe, go back to zero frames and change the size to zero. That means in the space of 15 seconds, it's going to animate from 0-1971 or whatever, which is pretty cool. You'll see that it just starts really quickly with a dot and that's because there's a stroke on it. What I'm going to do is I'm going to animate the opacity as well. On Shape Layer 1, inside Contents, inside Ellipse, I'm going to go to Opacity and the Transform Ellipse 1. I'm going to set a keyframe which would be zero, and then at about two seconds, I'm going to set the opacity to 100. It's going to fade in and then just keep on growing, which is pretty cool. What I'm then going to do is, I'm going to fade the fill out, so the opacity is going to go from 100 to zero in that space of time. As the shape is fading in, the fill is fading out. That's pretty cool. What I want to do is, I want to animate the stroke's thickness. Let's go to Stroke Width from 0-10 seconds, I want to animate the stroke width from 100 to 0, so that as it gets bigger the ripple fades out. But for some reason it's two. I'm just going to drag that to zero again, and that looks really nice. Let's just play this, we can edit it at a later stage but for now I think it's a fantastic. That is one ripple, and now I want to add this one ripple to a new composition. Let's create a new composition, let's change the background color to dark purpley blue, the duration can be 20 seconds. We're really only going to create a one or two second animation, and let's change this to ripples. We can rename ripple to precomp-ripple if we want, and then double-click on "ripples" and add precomp-ripple to the ripple's composition. This plays pretty well. What I'd like to do now is just duplicate this, so Command D, and then in one seconds time, I'd like to say, ''Hey you stature.'' Then another one seconds time, so at two seconds, I'd like to start another ripple, and then another seconds time, I'd like to start another ripple. I'm going to keep on doing this until I get to, say 15 layers. If we have to play this now from the beginning, you can see what happens. You can see how the rippled, bold, let's just zoom in a bit. You can see that they're going away, and at this point it just looks like a looping animation. At what point is this? Well, from about here 11 seconds. Let's start our composition here, let's drag our work area to here. If you don't feel like dragging you just press "B", and then it says the beginning of the work area is here. Then after let's say one second, we set the N of the work area. We could drag our work area or we could press "N" for end, but what this does is it doesn't set exactly where we are, it sets it to frame and front. Let's just drag that slightly to the right, or actually we may not have been exactly where we want it to be, at 12 seconds, it's actually perfect. When we play this, it's looping, it looks fantastic, we've got a bunch of ripples. The only thing I would think to add to this, is that instead of making it 100 percent opacity for every single ripple, I change it to about 30 percent. Let's go into precomp-ripple, and let's change the opacity. If we just drag this a little bit higher, and we press "Shape Layer" and press "U", we'll get all the properties that are animated. What we're doing here is we're changing the opacity of the circles full, and we're also changing the opacity of the whole circle in Shape Layer 1. That means that at two seconds the shape is at 100 percent, and I want it to be 30 percent, that looks pretty good. Let's go back to ripples and see what it looks like. That looks really cool, it looks like endless ripples, exactly what we wanted it to look like, and having the opacity at 30 percent creates some interesting effects over here where it overlaps with some other layers to really cool. 12. Inspiration and Reference: If you need some inspiration and some reference for looping animations, I have created this Pinterest board called Looping GIFs. There's static images, there's videos and there is animated GIFs that you can check out. So have a scroll through that. Then there is also Dribbble that you can check out. This URL is pretty helpful, so check out the popular animated GIFs and also, the recent animated GIFs. Then there's also Ello which for animated GIFs is wow, it's like a treasure trove, amazing stuff here. So if you just scroll through some of these animated GIFs, it's amazing. Check those three links out and then you can always go for a walk. Get outside, take your phone, take your book and pencil, go get inspired in the real world. Then if you want to see some of my work, just follow me on Instagram, Ello or Dribbble. I've been posting a lot of GIFs and videos to these platforms. 13. Your Turn: We've done prac, we've done theory, and I hope it's been enlightening and helpful for you. If you've never used After Effects before or never experimented with looping animations, I can appreciate that it may feel quite overwhelming. If you need to, come back and watch the videos again. That being said, you should have learned enough over the past few videos to create some really cool mesmerizing loops. Do some experimenting, play around, and have fun. When you're ready, upload your creations to your project gallery and either embed them as videos, or make sure you upload GIFS that are under two megabytes in file size. If you're going to share them on social media and want to mention me, I'm @taptapkaboom. If you've enjoyed the class so far, give it a thumbs up, and write a review. It'll help some other awesome students find it, and I'll also get to see where to make my classes better. There are a few bonus videos after this one where you can learn how to import artwork from Illustrator and Photoshop, how to animate on a timeline in Photoshop, how to sequence your layers automatically in After Effects, and how to use code to randomize layer properties in After Effects. These videos are all bonus videos, so you won't miss out too much if you don't watch them, but if you do want to learn more about After Effects, go for it, watch them. Okay, you rock and I'm literally salivating over what you'll create. 14. Bonus: Working With Illustrator and Photoshop Files: In this video, I'm going to show you how to take your artwork from Illustrator into After Effects, and from Photoshop into After Effects. I'm also going to show you how you can copy and paste a path from Illustrator into After Effects. Let's start in Illustrator. Say you've got some smooth artwork, in this case it's a bit of symmetrical layer art, and looks a lot like the flowers that we were working with earlier. The colors are beautiful, but you've designed it as something flat. But now you want to animate it, you don't want to have to recreate the whole thing again in After Effects. What do we do? Well, we can simply import it into After Effects, but before we do that, we need to prepare our file a little bit. Every element that we want to animate needs to be on its own separate layer. We could go and cut and then create a new layer, and paste it, or if we've got something like this, we could select them all, then we could go to our layer's panel, click the little lines here, and say release to layers sequence, which would then create a bunch of layers or sublayers inside of layer 1. We will then drag all of the layers above layer 1, and then delete layer 1. Every single element is now on its own layer. Another thing that I'd like you to be aware of is that if you've got any drop shadows inside of Illustrator, once you take them into After Effects, you won't be able to change them there, you'd have to go back to Illustrator to change them. Also, if you recreate the shadows in After Effects, you can animate them, which is really cool. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to select all of my layers except for my layer 10 which will be my background layer. I'm going to go to my attributes panel, and just toggle the visibility of the Drop Shadow. Doesn't look so punchy now, but that's okay. We're going to save this, so File, Save. We're then going to go to our Finder, and you'll see that there's a star.ai. We go into After Effects next, and from here we go File, Import File. We can also press Command I or we can double-click inside this project panel. I'm going to select my start.ai and I want to open it. I want to import it as a composition, not as footage. If I import it as footage, it basically is a flat file, it's like a JPEG. We don't want to do this. I want to say Composition and the Footage Dimension, I want to retain the layer size. In this case it doesn't really matter, but I prefer to use layer size just because it means that there's no whitespace on the edge of every single layer. What this does is it creates a composition, and it gives us access to all of the layers, so we could actually add layer by layer into a composition. Bu t if we go into the star composition and let's zoom in, it's got a full resolution. We can see that we've got our star again in After Effects, and we can animate all of the layers. If I wanted to animate some rotation, I'd press R here and then just like that I could animate some rotation. If I wanted to add a drop shadow, I would right-click, I would scroll down to layer styles and got to Drop Shadow, just like that. That's the easiest way to get Illustrator files into After Effects. The other thing I want to show you about Illustrator before we move on to Photoshop is how to copy and paste a path. If we create a new composition and we just call it path-example, if I go and say Layer, New, Shape Layer, and I use my pen tool, so with a pen tool you can pretty much just create any shape you want. If I don't do that, just undoing, and I just create one point with my pen tool, and then I go to Illustrator and I select the path. Before I copy it, I go to File or Illustrator Preferences and File Handling & Clipboard, I make sure that there's AICB, no transparency support, checkbox is checked and they're preserved paths is selected. I then copy this. So Edit, Copy, and then go back to After Effects, and I paste it here. So Edit, Paste, you'll see that now it pasted the paths. This is actually a shape layer. My shape 1 is part of the shape layer. I can turn the stroke off, I can change the full color, I can do whatever I want. I can even manipulate the path over time. The other way to do this is not with the shape layer, but with any other layer. Shape layer would also work, but it's easier to explain it with another layer. So Layer, New Solid, and the solid can be a red solid. Fantastic. If I paste it now, so Edit, Paste, what this does is it creates a mask. We haven't explored masks much in this lesson, but it's pretty much the same as a Photoshop mask or an Illustrator mask, and you can invert it to make it look like it's punched out. You can change the mask path over time. You can feather the mask, so it looks like it's a bit blurry. You can change the mask's opacity, and you can also set the mask's expansion, and animate all of these properties, which is really, really fun. That's it from Illustrator's side, I'm now going to take you over to Photoshop. If we go to Photoshop and we have, wow, an illustration, a piece of art. It's pretty much the same as what we had in Illustrator, except all of the drop shadows are layer styles in Photoshop. What we can do here is inside of After Effects, what I'm going to do is I'm going to double click here, or press Command I. I'm going to then import star.psd, and I'm going to open it up. Again, I have the option of importing, and there's footage, composition, or composition-retain layer sizes, which I'm going to up for. You then want to say Editable Layer Styles, this means you can edit the drop shadows, or you could merge the layer styles into the footage. I'd like to edit the layer styles. Let's open up star 2, which is our psd, and you'll see here that the layer styles come with it. It's got a bunch of different options here, but you'll see that the drop shadow has some settings that came from Photoshop, which is really powerful, really cool. What you should be aware of, and I'm just going to undo, undo, undo just so that we don't have it anymore, is that in Photoshop, if you select two layers and you group them, so let's just group those, and I save this, and then I'm going to After Effects, and I press Command I for importing and I import start.psd, and I choose all the same settings, you'll see that when I open star 2, my group is a precomposition. Which is not ideal, but I can then edit those or edit that precomposition. All of these will be available inside star 2 layers. I could theoretically drag in star 4 just like that. Other great thing with importing Illustrator and Photoshop files is that if I go to Illustrator and I change one of these colors to some hideous color, like yellow, I then Command S, which means I save, and then I go back to After Effects, if I open up my star, you'll see that it updated, and other great thing about importing Illustrator files is that they are vector, that means that I can scale them up without them pixelated. If we increase layer 2 size or let's go for layer 3 size, and we press S for scale, and we scale this right up, you see that when we zoom in, it's pixelated and we're only at 50 percent zoom. I thought you said that is vector. Well, you see this little sun over here, if we click it just for this layer, you'll see that it suddenly gets crystal clear, and that's because if you hover over it, it says, for vector layer, it continuously rasterizes,'' which means it stays crisp. Now, if we are to go to star 2, which is our Photoshop document, and we have to zoom in, and do the same thing for layer 3, press S' for scale, and that's pumped this up, you'll see that it pixelates. You want to consider where you want to import your artwork from or where you want to create your artwork. Do you want to create it in Illustrator because you're just used to it? Do you want to create it in Photoshop because you're used to it? You can add your layer styles which will work inside of After Effects. Would you want to create everything inside After Effects? Your style and the project type would then determine where you create your artwork, where you create your assets, and how you go about creating your animations. 15. Bonus: Auto Sequence Your Layers: In this video, I'm going to show you how to automate the sequencing of your layers. Remember in our ripples animation or ripples loop, we had this lovely ripples animation going from the center that would just last forever, for eternity, and remember how much sweat we had to break to go and duplicate the first layer, and then move it to one second, and then duplicate that layer and move it to two seconds, and so on and so on. Well, I'm going to show you a really easy way to do this. If we select all our layers and we press left bracket, all of our work is gone. That means there's only one animation really, all on top of each other. Now, what I can do is I can sequence these automatically. I scroll to the bottom, I select the bottom layer, layer 16, and then scroll to the top and holding Shift, I select my first layer. The order in which you do this is important. The first one will come first and the last one will be sequenced last. Then I can go Animation, Keyframe Assistant and then Sequence Layers. I can then choose Overlap, and then the duration that I overlap it by is the precompositions amount. In this case it's 20 seconds minus the gap between layers, which in our case is one. So 20 minus 1 is 19. Okay. Just like that, we have sequenced layers, so that when we get to our work area, all the hard work is done. Fantastic, right? Amazing. Now, if our precomposition ripple was, say 10 seconds, so we went to Composition and changed the Composition Settings to, let's go to 10 seconds, we went back to ripples, and we did this again. We then have to select our bottom layer, Shift lift our top layer, go to Animation, Keyframe Assistant, Sequence layers, and instead of 19, which wouldn't work here at all, we'd have to go Animation, Keyframe Assistant, Sequence Layer. We'd have to go 10 seconds minus 1, which would be nine seconds, and that would give us the exact same effect, now that our precompositions are 10 seconds shorter. Fantastic. So I just saved you a bunch of time. You need to know a little bit more to do it, but wow, it's amazing. 16. Bonus: Effects and Expressions: In this video, I'm going to show you how to use code inside of After Effects to randomize a layer's properties, properties like position, opacity, rotation, scale, and even some effects that we apply to the layer. We're going to end up creating something like this, and it's going to feel like a party or it's going to feel like traffic, whatever. It's going to be fun. So let's get started. Once we've created a new project and After Effects, we're creating new composition, and this new composition we'll call precomp1. It'll have a height of 50 pixels, and it'll have a duration of one minute. The heights of 50 pixels is because we don't need an entire 1280 pixels to animate something going from left to right that's only 50 pixels high, and the duration is immaterial, but I just like using one minute so that we can have a lot of room to play and I can show you something really cool. Okay, so you've got precomp1. I'm going to add a layer, and it's going to be a shape layer, and in this shape layer, I'm going to add a square. When I press "Shift", there's going be a square and I'm going to put it in the middle for now. Then I'm going to make sure that it's 50 pixels by 50 pixels. Then I'm going to reposition it so it's at the left of the composition. So let's go at minus 640 which puts it there, which is almost at the left, but not quite. So because I know it's 50 pixels high and 50 pixels wide, I'm just going to add half of 50, which is 25, to the position and there we go, it's at exactly the right place now, I'm then going to animate the position, and in one second, I'm going to change position to 640. Again, I'm just going to minus 25 to get it to the exact right position. So this is going to animate from left to right. Instead of changing the work area to this position, to one second, I'm going to make this position loop continually. There's a few ways to do that. One way would be to go one frame to the right and copy and paste these frames, like so and then do this again, one frame to the right and then paste the frames so that now when I play it, it loops. Great. But now what happens if I want to change things around? If I hold down Alt and I click on the stopwatch, you'll see that the values go red. What this allows me to do is manipulate the position of this rectangle on this layer. I'm going to get into some more coding examples later in this video, but for now, what I want to do is I want to loop these values. We can do this by typing loopOut and in single quotes or double quotes would just type cycle. What this is, this is a piece of JavaScript code. After Effects understands JavaScript so when I read this loop out cycle, it does this. It just carries on looping. If we decrease the duration of those two keyframes, check at that, and if we increase the duration, you see all these little green dots appearing. That's because it's looping. Check at that. So that's really cool. We're going to use this a lot. I'm just going to move this keyframe back to one second. So we've got this looping animation without actually changing any of our end work area, starting points. What I'd like to do now is change the opacity as it goes in and out. In the beginning, I like opacity to start at zero. Then around 15 seconds, I'd like opacity to go to a 100 percent and then when it gets to one second, I like the opacity to go to zero. Now check this out. Nothing there, that's because it's looping the position, but the opacity is at two percent, which should be at zero percent. You should double-check this, zero, 100 and zero again. So I'm going to copy loopOut cycle, and then going to hold down Alt or Option and click on a stopwatch and paste this loopOut cycle. So now it's cycling through both of these properties, both position and opacity. The next thing I want to do is I want to change the scale as well and then go from a 100 percent, let's go to frame 15, 100 percent is good there and then let's go to frame 30, 100 percent over there. I'd like to change this to, well, not minus 217, I wanna change it to zero, and the same with the first frame to zero. I'm going to hold Alt and click the stopwatch and then paste loopOut cycle again. So this means it gets bigger and it fades in and out. It's kind of a cool animation. I'm going to leave it as it is for now, but later on, I'll come back and change some properties again. The next thing we want to do is create a new composition. Again, it can be one minute long, but the height I'm going to change back to 1280. Now we have this comp1 and we can call it party. Then I'm going to add precomp1 to this composition. Let's zoom out and let's just preview this. So now when we play, we can see that things are working here. Let's just get it visible. When I duplicate it, it duplicates right in the same spot, not really what we want. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to randomize a bunch of these precomp1 properties. Let's start randomizing its position, its scale, its rotation, and opacity. I don't expect you to understand exactly what's going on with JavaScript or these code snippets that we're putting in, they're actually called expressions, but I expect you to basically copy and paste what I give you and play around with them. I'm going to do the same just so that I don't Babylon about code. I'm going to give you a document where you can copy and paste as you need to. For position, as an example, you just select all of this, you copy it, then go back to After Effects, and then in your position, you hold Alt and then you click the stopwatch, and then you paste it. You click Alt and all of a sudden, you see that this thing has a random position and then put it up there. Now, what's going on here is that the seedrandom line, it basically says, "Hey, we need to make it random, but then don't change it." So if I were to remove this seedrandom line, you'll see that every single frame, this composition is at a different position, which is problematic. So I'm going to undo that. So that seedrandom line is really valuable. Then at the end, I'm basically saying, for this composition, at this point in time, I want to give you an x position and a y position. That's pretty much all you need to know. If I had to duplicate this, you can see that each layer then starts at a different position, which is amazing. So I'm going to just remove these and continue to randomize the scale, rotation and opacity. If I go back to my document, let's then copy scale. Let's go back to After Effects, hold on Alt, click the stopwatch and paste scale. What I'm doing here is I'm setting a random scale between 20 and 150, whereas my position, I was setting a random position between zero and 1280. For rotation, it's a little bit different. We're going to randomize a value between 0 and 360. So let's get a rotation, hold on Alt and paste, which gives us something up here. So if we are to duplicate this now, you'll see that it changes position, scale, and rotation. I'm just going to undo. The last thing we need to do is opacity. So let's just copy this, and I'm going to set an opacity or random opacity between 20 and 100. So hold on Alt, click there, paste, and then click Alt and this will give me a random opacity. So this one at 63 at the moment. Fantastic. If I had to duplicate this, we can get some fairly nice effects going on here. Press "Play." That's pretty cool. We have a looping animation, then if we were to sequence the layers, we would have this really interesting effect. We'll sequence the layers just now. But before we do that, I'd like to add some effects to these layers. I'm going to delete these again, and with a layer selected, I'm going to now add an effect. We go to Effect and wow, there is a lot of effects here. You can either look through them, browse through them, try them out. What I'm going for here is color correction and hue and saturation, which is all the way down here. The other way to do this is to go to Window and open up your Effects and Presets window, which is just over here. In here you can search for an effect. I'll search for hue, and there we go, hue saturation. You then drag it onto your layer, and you'll see that this window appears over here and it's another tab to your project. You got your Project tab and then you evaluate your effects and controls. Now all of your effects can be found in this little drop-down, so hue saturation. But they can also be found in this window here, which sometimes can be a bit easier to work with. What I want to do is I want to colorize my layer and then I want to make sure that the saturation is at a 100. It's always going to be really bright. Then I want to randomize the hue and I went to randomize the likeness. Again, I press Alt and I click on "Colorize Lightness." Here I can paste another expression. My lightness, I'm going to randomize the likeness between negative 50 and negative 20. Let's just paste it in here. Let's go and randomize the color hue. If I hold an Alt and I click again, I can input the value there. The hue, I'll just copy that and come to After Effects, and I paste. I have this totally random square that's animating across the screen. If I then duplicate this precomp, you'll see a change, all kinds of things. When I press "Play" now, that looks really good, doesn't it? What I'm going to do now is I'm going to duplicate this precomp layer about 30 times. I've got 16 here. I'm going to press Apple D, once I've selected them all, and all of a sudden I'll have 32, which is great. I'll just remove 31 and 32, and then I'll have 30 layers. Now I want to sequence them, so let me sequence them. I'm going to sneak them all, I'm going to start with the bottom one, and then go all the way to the top and say Animation, Key frame Assistants, Sequence Layers, and I want to overlap and my duration is one minute minus one frame because I want the offset to be just one frame. Let's go 59 seconds and 29 frames. We'll see here as I zoom in, that over the course of one second, every single frame, there is a new thing happening. I'll have to zoom out of here and go to one second, and I had to set my work area to one second, like so. When I play this, you'll see this party, which isn't exactly accurate because this animation still hasn't had time to do anything yet. Let's move this along, so one second we can start going crazy. Let's just duplicate this once more and move it over one frame. Then we can start at one second, and we can make our loop start at one second and go until two seconds. Now when press "Play," we had this amazing loop. We have a bunch of squares that have random capacity, rotation, random color, random scale, everything is random about them. It looks amazing. Now, this looks fairly placid. It looks cool. Your eye is drawn to different things at different times, and it's interesting, there's lots of elements. But sure, they're the same element. There's a way to changes up. The precomp1, I'm going to duplicate this. I'm going to go into precomp2 now, and whether it was a rectangle. Well, I'm going to change this. I'm going to change its roundness to 100, and all of a sudden it becomes a circle. I go back to my party composition, and let's see, for 15 of these layers, I'll select them all and then I'll drag in precomp2. Then while holding Alt, I'll let go on precomp1. All of a sudden they change to precomp2. This means that half of my precomps are now precomp2, and the other half, are precomp1. Let's see how this looks. Now we have circles and squares, which is even more interesting. What's way cooler is that inside precomp2, we can change other things besides just the roundness of the square. What I'd like to change now is the rotation of a layer. Instead of changing the rotation of the actual shape, I'd like to change the rotation of the layer itself. Let's animate the rotation at a first key frame, and then at one second, I'd like to change this to 360 degrees, which is one rotation. You'll see what happens here. If I zoom out, you'll see that, oh, things are going crazy. There's all weird rotation things happening here, and that's because the entire layer is changing or rotating. Which is really cool. What I'm going to do on this rotation is I'm going to add an expression which says, LoopOut cycle, just so that it continues over and over again. But you may be wondering, well, we won't see it because it gets clipped or it gets cropped. Don't see it, well, so we only see just a little bit there, true. Now if we go to Party, we can see that, hey, this is actually true. Which may be cool sometimes, but not rarely. What we can do here is we select all the precomp2 layers, and then we check this little sun box. This means that for a comp layer, which this is composition layer, it collapses all the transformations. It's basically magic. It means that there's no cropping that occurs. Now there's a really cool party that's going to happen. So we've got these squares flying in places. We've got these circles doing manual rotations around the show. It's pretty awesome. But the only thing that's going to make this better besides adding more precompositions is to make more compositions. At the moment we've got 30 compositions. If we select all of these and press Command D and move them up, we can change the color of the layer if we want. We've now got 60. You can go while here, the more you agile, and more crazy this composition is going to get, and all loops and it seamless, amazing. That's the power of code. That's the power of expressions. That's the power of random. Have fun with that. Copy and paste. Do some research on expressions if you want. Again, render it. Go wild. 17. Bonus: Animating in Photoshop: In this video, I'm going to show you that After Effects isn't the only cool kid on the block, Photoshop can also do some cool motion stuff, maybe not as intense and maybe not with as fine a control and it may not be as powerful, but still you can use it, especially for simple animations. I've got a 1282 by 1282 document here. I'm going to go to Window, I'm going to scroll down until I get to Timeline. I 'm going to get this little Timeline pop up, I'm going to drag it down until I get this blue bar, and then bam, I have a timeline. I then say "Create Video Timeline". If I don't see that and I see Create Frame Animation, just click the dropdown and say "Create Video Timeline", and then you just press the button and bam, you've got a timeline. If you've got layer zero and it's not a background layer, you can always go to Layer, New, Background From Layer, and voila, you have a background. Now let's make a shape. Let's create a rectangle, a square, and I'm just going to show you how to do some simple rotation. Let's go and create a 400 by 400 square. Let's move it to the middle. Fantastic. You'll see that, if we just bring up the panel, that this is fairly similar to After Effects. We can animate the position, opacity, we can animate the style, vector mask position, vector mask enable, what is that? Well, the thing is that if we try to animate position of a shape, it's going to mono that. So it's going to say, "Animating the layer position may not have any effect. You may need to animate the mask." Keep that in mind if you want to animate position of a shape layer. I'm just going to remove that for now and rasterize this. So right-click ''Rasterize Layer'' and all of a sudden, hey, we can animate position. In one second, we can move this around and we can bring in our work area so that when we play this, hey, it does some new thing. If it doesn't do it for you, press this little icons here and select "Loop Playback". That's position really, basically. Let's just remove all the key frames. But where is the rotation? I want to rotate this. That's a little bit of a tricky thing in Photoshop, so the best thing you can do here is right-click and say "Convert to Smart Object". Then you'll have this Transform property. If we want to transform this in one second, let's just click the stopwatch and then in one second like so, we can go "Command-T" or "Edit", "Free Transform". We can start rotating this. If you hold down Shift, it will rotate in larger chunks. "Enter" and we see that, hey, it rotates. Things are looking good. But now what Photoshop doesn't have is that it doesn't understand that something can rotate 360 degrees and then more. If we transform this again, and we had to go round and round and round and round, and then press "Enter" and then press "Play", hey, that's not moving at all. Don't think it's a trick of the eye, it's not moving so fast that you think it's stationary. This thing, actually, isn't moving at all. Sometimes it will even move backwards or rotate anti-clockwise when you want it to rotate clockwise. Check that. It's really frustrating. The way that I've managed how to do this is to remove this key frame, and over a period of a few seconds or a few frames, I can then trick it into doing it. If I rotate just by 90 degrees here, fantastic, go to 20 frames, rotate by 90 degrees here, and then go to one second and rotate by 90 degrees here. If I then press "Play", it'll rotate a bit quicker. There we go. We have a looping animation in Photoshop that we made in Photoshop, and from here, you can export it, you can "File", "Export", "Save for Web" or you can "Render Video". 18. Bonus: Parenting, Easing, Inverse Masks: In this video, I'm going to show you how to use layer parenting, keyframe easing, and inverse masks while we create a sexy looping letter animation, something like this. We're going to start off in Illustrator. Let's go use our Type tool. Just click anywhere on your artboard and press "Shift Z" to get a z. You can use any letter you like. I really like using z because it's symmetrical. Press "Escape" and then let's just scale it up. Hold Shift to make it proportional. That looks pretty good. Then we're going to convert to outline. "Type," "Create Outlines." This means we can't edit it anymore, but that's okay. It means that we can put this right in the middle of our artboard. Before we go to After Effects, we just got a check that our AICB setting is checked. AICB , yeah, that's checked. It means that you can copy this path into After Effects and make sure that Preserve Paths is selected. Let's go into After Effects now. We have a composition here. It's 1,280 by 1,280. It has a background color of black, and it's 30 seconds long. What I want to do here is just create a shape layer, so "Layer," "New," "Shape Layer." Then the shape layer, I want to just create a square. Let's create a square hold down "Shift" to make it square. Then we want to center this. We go to transform Rectangle 1, x position zero, y position zero. Now it's in the middle. What I want to do now is I want to change the size to something quite big. If we change this to 1,280, which would be the composition width and height, that looks pretty good. But now, because we're going to be rotating this square, if we go to rotate down here, when you rotate, we can see the background, which is not ideal. You may want this so you can test it out, but for now, what I'd like to do is increase this to about 2,000. Yeah, that looks good. I'm going to enter in 2,000. There we go. When we rotate this, you can see that we can't see the background anymore, which is fantastic. Now we go back to Illustrator. We just select our zed or our z and go "Edit," "Copy," go back to After Effects, and then click your layer, and "Edit," "Paste." Just like that, we'll have a zed mask or a z mask. When you open up your layer here you'll see contents and masks. Now, this is really masking everything, but the z. I actually want to punch a zed hole into this layer. I'm going to click "Inverted." Voila. Now, I have a hole in my layer and it's a zed hole. Fantastic. Let's just rename this z1. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to change the composition background color, so "Composition," "Composition Settings." We'll just change it to a light gray for now so we can see the drop shadows, "Okay." I'm going to right-click on my z1 layer and we go to layer styles and put a drop shadow. There we go. Let's just see our drop shadow settings here. Change it to 50 percent opacity. Let's change the angle to 90 percent, the distance to 10 percent, and the size to 20. That looks pretty good, I think. Yeah, that looks great. Now, what I'd like to do is I'd like to duplicate this four times, so 1, 2, 3, 4. We'll now have five zed layers and they'll have masks. The next thing, let's go back to Illustrator and let's scale this down now. With the scale tool, you can either press S or you can use this tool over here. If you just double-click it, we can scale it down. If I just preview this, I'm going to scale it down by 90 percent. Press "Okay." Now what I'd like to do is I'd like to select it again and copy it. I'm going to go "Command C." Then you go to After Effects. Now, z5 is my top layer, z4 is my next top layer, and so on. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to go to the z4, I'm going to go to Masks. Or what I could do is I could select all of these layers and just press "M" for masks. I'm going to go to the z4 mask one and press "Command, V." Just like that, you'll see that, hey, I now have a smaller mask. You can see that we're starting to create this really nice layered effect. We're going to keep on doing this for each layer. I'm going to scale this down again. Let's go by 90. I'm going to copy it. I'm going to go into After Effects, I'm going to go to z3, I'm going to go to its mask, and "Command, V." Then we have another layer. Let's go into Illustrator again. Let's scale it by 90 percent again. Press V to select the zed, "Command C." Let's go back to After Effects. Go to z2's mask, "Command, V." We only need to do this one more time. Just like so, move it onto z1, and paste. There we go. We have a bunch of layers. It looks like you're looking down a stack of pieces of paper all with a zed or z punched out of them. The next thing I'd like to do is just color these layers. Let's pick a really cool color scheme, color palette. I'm going to go to Safari, where I've gone to coolors.co, and I've generated a cool color scheme. Let's just double-click this, "Command C," go to After Effects, and let's go into our top layer. I'm just going to press "4" and it automatically highlights the input for me. I go "Command V," and that's the first layer. I'm going to keep on doing this. Select my second layer. Paste. Fantastic. Let's go and get that green third layer, "Okay." Let's go to Safari. Let's go and get this purple layer, "Okay." Then the last one which is this blue layer is that color already. Now, we don't really want our background color to be that gray color. If we go to Safari and we select this purple color. Then we go to Composition and Composition Settings. Let's change our background color to this purple color, but let's make it a wee bit darker. How about that? That looks good. Now, we need to decide on our base layer. What I like to do is to select all my layers, so go command A, just press P, and there's no more property showing. I'd like to animate the rotation of all my layers, so I'm going to go and press R to show just the rotation properties. Then I'm going to animate the first layer, so Z5, and I'm going to use this as my base. You can use the bottom layer as your base or the top. I'm going to use the top one in this example. What I'd like to do is I'd like to animate the rotation in about two seconds. Let's zoom in here a little bit. What we're going to do now is we're going to decrease our work area to two seconds just like so. Fantastic. Then I'd like to show you what parenting is. Check this out. If I go to layer Z4 and I choose the parent to be Z5, and why this is really cool is that as I rotate Z5, you'll see that Z4's layer also rotates. I'm going to select the above layer for every single layer as the parent layer. What makes this really cool is that if I rotate layer 5 and I rotate layer 4, you'll see that everything underneath it also rotates that amount. Layer 3 is listing to layer 4, and layer 4 is listing to layer 5. Really cool. With this in mind, I'm going to then animate just this Z5's position, and then copy and paste that rotation down the layers. Let's add a keyframe over here. Let's set this to negative five. Let's go to one second, let's go one frame backwards, set this to five, and then at two seconds again, let's set this to negative five. That means as a place, we get this slight rocking motion. It's by no means perfect, but it's a start. You'll see that all the layers also do the rocking motion without me having to add any keyframes to any of the other layers. Now, what's really super cool is if I click Rotation and you'll see all of my keyframes turn blue. I press Command C, and then I select all of my layers and press Command V pasting it, you'll see that now, I've got this really sweet animation. Check that out. What's going on here is that, sure, layer 5 or Z5 is rotating by negative five, so is Z4, but then it's going a further negative five. Z3 is going a negative 10, and then a further negative five, and so on. You get this really cool rotating effect. Super, but it's not perfect. How do we make it perfect or closer to being perfect? I'd like to add some easing to my animation. The first thing I'd like to do is select all the keyframes on the Z5 layer, right-click Keyframe Assistants, and then select Easy Ease. You'll see that the keyframes then change shape. Now, if you have to copy these, select all the layers again, you'll see that the animation is slightly smoother. Pretty cool. If we wanted to take this a step further, we could then select Z5 and then press this graph editor. Let's just select the rotation, we can see the graph of the rotation speed. This is showing the amounts of rotation over time, which is really cool. Conversely, if we had to undo, so command Z. If we had to look at the Graph Editor now, you'll see that the rotation or the velocity doesn't change that much. It's at 10 degrees per second, and then all of a sudden it's going negative 10 degrees per second. Whereas if we had to go back, you'll see that the rotation now changes over time. What we can do now is we can select one of these and you could change these manually, much like a pen tool in Illustrator or you could double-click on them and change the settings quite mathematically, which I like. Because it's a looping GIF, it means that I want things to be precise. I'm going to change this to 50 percent Influence on the Incoming Velocity, and 50 percent Influence on the Outgoing. I'm going to do the same for each of these points, so 50, 50. You'll see that my graph starts to change now. We get this really interesting piece of momentum now. Let's just drag this down and press Space bar. You may not be able to see it that much because we haven't copied and pasted our keyframes. Let's just do that. Let's go to all the layers and paste. Now when we play, you'll see that the animation is even smoother. It really feels it's rocking now. Fantastic. That's just one thing that you can do to make this really interesting letter form, rotate. It feels it's rocking. What else can we do now? There's a bunch of things that you could do, but one of the things that I like to do is pretty much do the same thing except with position added to it. With the Z5 selected, hold down Shift and press P. This goes, let's show whatever we're showing and position. Let's then put a keyframe over there, put a keyframe over there, and put a keyframe at two seconds. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to say at two seconds, let's go and minus 25x, and minus 25y. I'm going to copy this keyframe and then paste that keyframe. Then in the middle, I'm going to say plus 25x, and plus 25y. Now, for this example, we can't select position and then copy it and paste it, because Z4's position is actually relative to Z5's position. If we have to go shift P, you'll see that 615 and 615 is somewhere way off. If we have to undo, you'll see that 0, 0 is a position relative to Z5 layer or relative to its parent layer. We're going to do the same thing here. We change position by 25 pixels each here, so minus 25, minus 25. Let's copy that keyframe. Let's paste that keyframe. Let's go to this one, and go to 25 and to 25. You see that now, there's a little bit of movement. Voila, voila. If we then add some easy easing to these keyframes, it makes it even nicer. Let's go to easy ease, and let's change the influence again to 50 and 50. Do the same for all of these. This is just so that we get a really nice smooth rocking animation. Let's go to these over here. Now when we play, you'll see that only the top two layers are animating their position as well as their rotation, and looks pretty good already. Let's go back to zero frames and copy the position of Z4, and then select our bottom three layers and paste. Check it out now. That's really cool. There's a lot of movements, a lot of energy, that's fantastic. Then all we have to do now is select all of our layers, and turn on motion blur, and make sure that our composition has motion blur turned on, and then they'll look even better. Fantastic. From here, we can export it as a lossless MOV file. Then remember, taking to Photoshop make it an animated GIF format or export it as an mp4, and share it. 19. The End: That's it's. I hope you've enjoyed the class and the bonus material as well. Post your loops in your project gallery and share them on social media. Mention me, I'm @taptapkaboom. Most of all have fun mesmerizing your friends and followers. Bye for now.