Use After Effects Shape Layers Effectively - Learn Grouping and Properties! | Andrew Pach ⭐ | Skillshare

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Use After Effects Shape Layers Effectively - Learn Grouping and Properties!

teacher avatar Andrew Pach ⭐, Animation all the way!

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Brief theory about Shape Layers

    • 3. Populating our Shape Layer Contents

    • 4. Organize your Shape Layer, Contents and Group

    • 5. Animate and offset the first line

    • 6. Adjust all 3 Trim Paths and Stroke colors

    • 7. Use what we created to your advantage

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About This Class

This short class will teach you After Effects usage while creating one motion graphic project at a time! We are going to create this and learn how to utilize the shape layer to it's full potential:


It will teach you useful After Effects shortcuts, usage of various tools and an entire workflow from start to finish to create the above animation. If you are ready hop in any time!


In case you already mastered this class, why not check out my other material:






Want even more?! Check the thread with ALL my animations published here:

All Animations Published by Andrzej Pach - at your disposal! - CLICK THE LINK!

Meet Your Teacher

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Andrew Pach ⭐

Animation all the way!


Hi! My name is Andrew Pach, to my friends known as 'Nigel'! I am an After Effects / PowerPoint / video / graphic design junkie eager to teach people how to utilize their yet uncovered raw design talent! I run a YouTube channel called "andrew pach" which I do with absolute joy and passion. Here on Skillshare, I would like to share interesting, project-based classes that will make your design workflow a greater experience.

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1. Welcome: hello and welcome in this after effects glass in here. I would like to teach you not only in such an animation, but the most important part here. I want to teach you about the after effects container. I want to teach you how you can have multiple elements on one layer in after effects. This is one layer, and when we go down to its content, it has several groups inside. Each of those groups has their own properties, their own key frames. And I want to talk about this in this class about how to use that. How to group that how to populate a shape layer because the shape layer will be the main focus of this class. For example, with such skills, you will be able to create such animations. This will be the example animation that we will create for the sake off this class. This will be a lot of fun, and it's only call for an hour, so it's really a great skills neck in after effects for you to grab if you're not confident in after effects, and if you would like to learn more about shape, layer and about grouping their contents. This would be the perfect way to get this knowledge. I'm ready when you are. We can start right now. See you there. 2. Brief theory about Shape Layers: hello and welcome in this class. It's so nice to see you here. I would like to talk about shape, layers, their usage and how you can contain multiple elements in one container on one shape layer. This is just an example animation, which will do during the process. And let me solo out one of those layers. This is essential to what I want to teach you. Here. Look, this is one layer. Yet we have three separate objects that are flying around on this layer. And this is the entire concept and what I want to teach you here. But first things first. I would like to go about a little bit off theory, so you will get easier into the topic. If you are a beginner in after effects, especially, this will be helpful for you. All right, I'll create right away. A new composition. Five seconds long for allegedly That's completely fine. Okay, I have a totally empty composition. I'll make a new solid layer. Just so I have the background filled out dude something. Okay, this is my background. This is a layer on the after effects timeline. And if I opened the layer this has transform options. This only layer doesn't have many options, but it has to transform options. Those transform options each off those separate and single options are called properties. So you could say that the solid layer in its transform options has several properties. The scale is one of those properties. Position this a property, and everything of those different kinds of layers have different properties. As I right click, select New. You can see I have several types off layers. For example, the light select. Okay, I will make this layer treaty. Look at that. This is a light in after effects. It emulates a normal lighting. As you can see, I I can drag around with this and light like that, apart from the turns from options, because we can, of course, wrote it and move this around. Apart from those transform options, we have also the light options. These are options specific to this type off layer. We have this little icon. This icon informs us what type of player this is, and we have here layer specific properties properties which are within the light options, as you can see, fall off cone angle the cone size and all of that. But this is not what I want to talk about. This this class. I just wanted to show you that layers have properties and different layers can have different types of properties. The layer we will be concerned with in this class is, of course, our beloved shape there. And not only is this my preference, but overall, the shape layer is the basic, the most robust, the most used tool within after offense. It's like new, and I'll select a new shape layer. The shape layer can off course contain shapes within its boundaries. The shape layer itself can contain other shapes. It can contain vector elements that it is so powerful because within the contents, we can not only place shapes we can place. Also, multiple strokes fills all those options. All those properties can be placed within the contents. Then we have layer specific options which we can add, which are Onley available to the shape layer like trim. Pat twist is exact. These all applied to, depending on what content do we have here? We can also group those contents and this is what I want to talk about in this class I want to teach you how to at least a bit better understand content grouping, having multiple objects at once and basically using the shape layer. Now the shape layer in itself as a topic deserves a multiple, our course, all on its own. And it is a topic which could be explored indefinitely. And it's such a huge and vast and daunting topic about Shay players. There could be so many electric. But here I've chosen one example which we will address. We'll create something like that, focusing on having three groups with objects within one layer. Okay, I already, if you like for an introduction, this was pretty extensive, just right a bit at the beginning. I want to killed a complete misconception that if you create a shape, for example, you create a shaped like that and this is all shape layer can muster. So having one shape layer means having on object here. One object here on the right here. That's definitely not true. Yes, we have three objects on three shape players, but just as well we could have all those three objects that we created on this one shape layer, right that it Let's hover over to the next lesson where we'll start our work. I hope this will be a really interesting journey for you. 3. Populating our Shape Layer Contents: All right. How do we get further along this and this animation start out by having a background, you can simply right click, select new and select a new solid layer. Once you have that, please, Instead of creating a shape right click, select new and at a shape layer. This will teach you that sometimes you can work that weight. You want to have a shape layer. This is now an empty shape layer. Nothing is on this layer. You can only see the anchor point. Okay, let me open the layer and I'll start to populate all those things I want. And I know that I want to triangle with lines flying around. So I need to think What would I need for that? Basically, I only need three things. So take a look. It was like that. So we wanted different the airline. It would be best if this is a triangle already. We want a stroke and we want trim Pat, because we want to create an animation like this. Okay, go to camp One having this shapely are opened. Now we will start to work on its contents. And this is very important. I'll add rectangle ellipse Police star end in normal path. I want to add a police star. You can see how a police star looks, but what's cool here? You can always open it and you can reduce its point. That's great when it comes to a police star, because you can always very quickly and very simply, make a triangle out off it by selecting three points. All right, Perfect. Our contents now include a empty because it has nothing on it. An empty police are pat. Okay, let's add something to it. And what's great in the shape layer Options in the at option we basically have. This is only a few tools, but this is everything you really need to create those basic shape animations. I wanted a stroke, so I'll just click on it now. The stroke is behind the police star, Pat, so I want to give it a stroke and default. It gives it at two pixels white stroke. So of course we can see it now because we have a white background. So we can also work with the stroke here. But let me stay consistent. Let me work within this shape. They're here. I'm opening the stroke. And I want to stroke with to be at least 10 points. 10 pixels. Okay, the color color can be changed. I have some simple color schemes here. Why don't you use the same blue one as we did before? This starts to have something remaining in the stroke options. I would like to select the line join instead of meter toe round because I would like to have those curved curved here. Those to be a bit rounded. I don't want them to be so sharp. Later on. Once we have a line will also change the line cap. But this will be later, because later we'll see what happens here. Okay? Closing down the stroke. I want to click. And at another thing, I want to add the trim pats option. Well, in this lecture, I'll just explain me a few basics about this because, as I said, those options would deserve an entire course alone. Fordham. So here I want to stay consistent, and we will use just this one. Dream pats. Let me put it behind the stroke because I want to have it very clear, very precise, and opening the trim pat just to show you what to impacts. Does it taste actual path that we have here and it transit to the amount we want? It can be trimmed from the start from the end, which means from the beginning and end, and it can be offset to move it like that. This is where our animations come into play. Okay, this will be enough for this lesson. In the next lesson, we'll start to animate. We will group and we will rename our contents. And we'll try to populate this one shape layer even more. Let's group everything properly. Let's change the names because right now this is a bit chaotic. See you in the next lesson where we will attack this topic. 4. Organize your Shape Layer, Contents and Group: moving along Going further now. Please do not focus about what the polar star has with the stroke us and what the trim pats has. Because you can click around for these later. I want you to focus on the content on the names on the colors and let me try to, like, set up everything properly. At first, the shape layer by default has an orange line Just for the sake of my private naming, I want to make it green. So I know I did edit this shape layer. I'll click it. I feel cold Dump Dumpster by pressing enter. You can rename everything Dumpster because it has those containers. All right. Going into the contents, I added three things the police star, the stroke and the trim pat. I want to select control. Click on the 1st 2nd and third and I want to show you something. Control G boom! We have a group within the contents of our shape layer our first group. Now what's amazing Here you can move and work with properties. Now, if I would put the stroke outside this group now, the stroke would affect all groups above it. But I want to stroke to be within this one group. I want this stroke to be just for this one. Police start pad. Ok, I selected group, but again later on. This can be difficult. So I will call this triangle Triangle one trying to one. And I know that inside of Triangle one, I have my three items. All right now I can finally start the work. The animation. This will be very, very simple. If I have everything so beautifully set up will only animate the trim pats here. And before we do that Look at that trim Pat and this line. Now you know what the lion cap is for. Let me come closer with my scroll wheel. I want to open the stroke. As you remember. We have to line cap. Just select round cap and boom! We have those around endings. Okay, We are done with the stroke. Now we want to use the trim pats. I want you to go to the very beginning off this animation. I want to put everything on zero. I want to keep framed the end. I want to go about 20 frames forward. You can also see friends here and I want it to be 33% because this will cover one one site off this trying. Okay, this is my initial animation. Don't go with backwards. Keep from the start. Go forward. Another 20 frames, 20 frames from here will be one second and 10 frames. And you see those black lines? This is because high resolution monitor This is something that adobe I didn't address until now. I don't know why I searched some farms and it's it's related to high resolution, but that's person off topic. It's not important. It's just a bit annoying. OK, having a key frame here make it also 33% go back and preview the animation. This is the animation that you should have until now. Boom, boom! Okay, I'll stop at that. In the next lesson. I want to finish the animation for the first group for the first triangle. So not too many things at one time. It No. Right now you should have this animation. This animation is made with four key frames having the trim pats to zero 30 tree zero 30 tree. This will cover the first sight of the triangle 5. Animate and offset the first line: We are doing so great. I had to take a break. But now let's not joke that we have to and get back to work. I'm really satisfied about how far we are along because we have already this line animated . And this is a beautiful part off this animation. Okay? Just toe not make this so boring. I want you to look at the first corner you are in. I would like this animation to finish in the same corner. OK, go at the beginning. I'll show you how to do this. Click on the offset, go to any place in the middle of the animation. But it has to be in the place where that 32% are already on the end. So anywhere here, anywhere where you already see the end of the animation. Now, just take the offset manually. Just like that. If you wanted to go slower, hit the control key and try to hit the upper corner. Okay? Just before it starts to turn. Okay, This is perfect. Now this is the golden key frame, and you want to take this key frame at the end off the animation. You see, I prepared to ski frame for me here, but I'm taking it to the end of the animation now. This will work very properly. Okay, Beautiful. We have an animation like that boom just to make those animations, like a bit more crisp, a bit more fluent, right click key from Assistant Eazy e's Select all of these. One thing I don't know how advanced you are in animation and after effects. I'm doing a lot of things here on the fly because plenty of people already know what they are, and please do not over think it. Just replicate the steps. There will be another time where I'll explain exactly what's rightly key from assistant. What easing he's. And if you would like toa a justice animation easing means how this animation will flow and the entire flow of this emission can be seen on the graph and is or let me select off sent and let me click on the graph editor. This is a visual representation off the animation speed. Before, it was a normal line. Right now it starts slower and then ends quicker again, so this makes the animation a bit more like a bit more friendly for the eye. You can see it kind of slows down at yet. All right, So we have this animation like that. I'll not adjust the key frames more because I believe we are prepared. Let me close the triangle. And I called the triangle. Right. Okay. I called it the triangle. Now click on this group, this group containing everything I'll even close to trim Pat. This group control de control de after effects is some nice. It names it for us. Triangle to in triangle tree. That's also a big benefit. And here we will adjust the offset off those trim Pat's Right now we have trees, triangles. So I want to adjust all the offsets and all the calls. I'll place this in a separate lesson because this, like, requires from you separate focus. And let's tackle that in the next lesson, it will be a really quick and fun one, so I can't wait until we see each other in the next lesson. Souder 6. Adjust all 3 Trim Paths and Stroke colors: Okay. I promise that we will tackle the offsetting and color change in the next lesson. Because right now this is like the problematic part off animation. This is where you have to think about all three layers at a time. Let me select fit and let me make a bit more place here. Okay? I'll maybe come closer, OK? And not fit. I'll I did come closer again. Okay, We have the first animation, so we want to open the triangle number two. We want to open its trim pets and you see how many items we do have here. Now we want to open the trim pats from triangle to and we are only concerned with its offset. No. All three animations are offset from this place to finish in this place. But I would like this to start here and finish here. How to do that? Okay. Again. Go to a place where you already see the animation like one pixels. Ford, take the offset and go as far as you finally are on the next corner. Okay, I'm here about 120 degrees along. I also like the previous key frame and delete it and replace it with my new key frame. Perfect. I have this key for him set up now. I will go forward as previously. Where are they? See this animation and again So much is going on. So if you are smart you can always de select the visibility of Triangle one. Right now we have de select wholesome triangle tree. We are working on Lee with triangle to we want to triangle toe to finish here. So no problem. Take the offset. Go to hear press control just before it starts to turn. Okay, I went too far. Perfect. We have this golden key frame. Delete Replace. I can no puts the triangle one again. Open. See if everything works well. It has to start here and go back here. Boom! They connect and do all right. Everything looks pretty now. Triangle number tree Go again to a place where you already see the animations Open up triangle tree And I see the de selected Open up its trim pass Now you can get confused here , but it's it's really a mother Off off, seeing on which level you are trim Pat, You want this one to start here? Okay, It isn't mandatory that you do this information exactly like it's here. The animation is not important. I want to you to learn how to work with several groups, Several objects on one shape layer and working with several properties. That's the entire difficulty. I would call this intermediate work, even though the the animation itself is very basic. Okay, we have the first key frame. I want to go full work, and I want to make sure, uh, I wanted to finish area. Let me make this visible. Okay, This place is no visible, and I want to move the offset as long as we have this innovation in this place. Okay. This is the ending key frame off the third animation. Now we will delete, replace, and, as you can see, boom. Everything works really well and they connect and they finalize in the places I want. This is the most important step. Okay? I've prepared all those three trim pads options. Now we want to open the stroke. You can see we have color. If you don't want to search for everything, you can press color in the search bar and color will pop up because on this layers. I know that we have only one color property, so it's definitely the right one They want from the stroke. OK, I want to change the color. Like for those other blues boom Just for fun, it looks a bit better. We could also adjust the connection here by adjusting either the key frames or adding a nuclear friends Will this moves along or making those shorter. But you know what? This really looks like? A cool animation I don't really see netted. It's a problem that they connect. So let's leave it like that. All right, This lesson nearly finalized the animation and there is an important take away from this list. Look, we have this dumpster with our tree triangles. It gets a bit problematic if we have so many elements here. That's why I often like to close those items again. So I have them ready to add it. Now we have those three triangles. We can open it up separately. You can close the stroke and we can again preview what is here. If you need to address those key things very quickly, you can press you on your keyboard. Click on the dumpster and press you. You need to remember that you keep framed Onley. Three things to start and an offset off the trim pat. So all those key frames are combined here. And you needed to remember what is what This is why it's so important and so cool that we did a place and name and work with everything very slowly and very well organized. So in case we need to look into it, we have everything very nicely visible. Okay, those key frames look perfect. If they need any adjustment. Like you want this animation to be slower, you take the last key frames. Boom. You put them away and look at that. Information goes slow. I pressed Control Z. I want to bring them back because I believe that the speed of this emission is optimal. May meet just maybe I want this animation to be a tiny bit slower. Okay. Like that? Yeah, Pretty solid. Now I can take this layer. I can close it down to two seconds. If I pick the space bar, it will now loop animate. All right. In the next lesson. Well, round everything up. I may be duplicated objects to make them of it. Interesting. And I was show you what? The advantages of having such a shape layer. But basically, you are correctly done with this entire animation, and at this point, you should have something like that present. 7. Use what we created to your advantage: Hey there. If you already have this animation now, this lesson is just a little fun exercise. So you have this animation and this is while you made are Green Dumpster because right now it's super simple to press control D press are and make it 1 80 degrees rotation. This will make such a animation. So we have to off those dumpsters together and what's beautiful. We have them both in the same core. What we can do now is pressing, for example, control d place them at the top, click here and change their color. For example, toe orange. I pressed again not are, but s because I want to work with the scale. Let's make them a bit bigger, like 100 30% or I see it's not enough there really close together. 100 35 okay. And what we can do, we can select those layers and you can place them a bit forward like 1234 frames for Let us preview what will happen. Really something cool like that. Maybe those five frames is not enough. 65 Uh, where was I? Old page down. Page down. Page down. Page down. page down seven. Okay, seven frames Control D Place them on the top again. Here on the top. Change the color to anything you like s like scale to make it bigger and left old page down . 234567 If I select the shift key, it'll move 10 frames. Okay, so I have three instances off this animation boom. It's a bit crazy. Maybe I would offset it even more because it's really quick. I opened this layer to be a bit longer. Okay. Hey, really. Simple, quick, swift and interesting animation made out off one shape layer. If you have a one shape layer set up so so, Well, then you can just duplicate, rotate scale and use it. So simply again, I don't know how fluent are you in or all those options, like using rotations scale. But this deserves a separate explanation in this class. Once again, I wanted to focus on teaching you how to work with one shape layer, place multiple objects into it and try to create an animation like that. You're supposed toe replicate my steps and learn as much as you can doing so you can watch the videos first to see what I did, then water the videos again and creates the animation together with me. I hope that the pacing wasn't too quick and you were able to learn as much as possible. This is what I desire. This is what I want to teach you here. And I really hope this does the work and you will learn and feel more comfortable in after effects by doing this, what's always rewarding. It's an end result. So no matter what you did today, you have this little and result. You have this little animation and this is something to be proud of and do. For example, render out and set it as your portfolio so somewhere and to remember that you did something like that. If you want to render this just go to composition you have here at the render queue, you should select the output module. Might have some M. O. V modules prepared. If you don't know how, just click here. Select a format, for example, to quick time or those other options like a V I. Quick time in the format options. I have the age 264 The colder at 70% of quality you can see I can shift equality. But this all depends on what you have installed in your computer or what what video? Codex you have. And maybe not. All those options will be available for you if no, just select animation. It's also also a normal render. And you can select a movie animation camp One you can name it as you want. Render boom. And you have this animation on your desktop. How cool is that? Thank you so much for listening to me for this long time. I hope I e I hope you were able to work together with me. And please let me know if anything off that wasn't clear or was too difficult or if it was too easy for you are not useful at all, which I hope it won't. All right, See you. See you in other classes like that. And I had plenty of fun. Recording is so hopefully we see each other again in other tutorials.