Animation for Illustration: Creating GIFs with Procreate & After Effects | Heather Seidel | Skillshare

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Animation for Illustration: Creating GIFs with Procreate & After Effects

teacher avatar Heather Seidel, Motion Graphics Designer

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Choosing a Subject


    • 3.

      Finding a Visual Hook


    • 4.

      Sketching in Procreate


    • 5.

      Adding Color


    • 6.

      Drawing Animation Frames


    • 7.

      Getting Started in After Effects


    • 8.

      Animating in After Effects


    • 9.

      Adding Texture


    • 10.

      Sharing Your Animation


    • 11.

      That's a Wrap


    • 12.

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About This Class

Want to create quirky, colorful GIFs that make people stop and think? Learn how to easily animate your illustrations with Procreate and After Effects!

Welcome to the world of animation, where simple steps in Procreate and After Effects combine to bring motion and meaning to your illustrations. Join video journalist and animator Heather Seidel to learn how to grow an idea you feel passionate about into an engaging, ready-to-share GIF.  Starting with an exercise to find a “hook” for your illustration, Heather guides you through every step of her process, from research and sketching to adding motion and texture.

Packed with actionable tips you can implement right away, key lessons cover:

  • Finding a visual hook with research and brainstorming
  • Creating a conceptual sketch that lends itself to motion
  • Drawing colorful animation frames in Procreate
  • Animating and exporting with key tools in After Effects

Adding After Effects unlocks the flexibility to animate multiple elements quickly and make adjustments on the fly all while retaining the hand-drawn look of Procreate. Plus, Heather shares her solutions for staying organized as you make the leap between programs.

Whether you’re looking for a new skill to add to your repertoire or a fun way to express yourself, this hour-long class will help you develop your ideas into colorful, hand-drawn illustrations and animations. Follow along to unleash your creativity, sharpen your point-of-view, and set up your first After Effects project for success!

Note: Access to both Procreate and After Effects are recommended for this class. If you don’t have access to Procreate, Photoshop will do the trick.

Meet Your Teacher

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Heather Seidel

Motion Graphics Designer


Heather Seidel is a freelance visual designer and motion artist living in New York City. Previously, she worked as a motion designer and video producer at NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. 

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Animation can be colorful and fun and still have something to say. Hi, I'm Heather Seidel, and I am an illustrator and animation designer. Today, our class is going to be about making a GIF with the message. In my personal work, I create colorful, corky, illustrative stuff. The pieces that really seem to grab people the most are the ones that have a message behind them or make you think or make you go hmm. I think that with the right tools, you can really find a visual hook for any topic. Today, we're going to be creating a GIF and I'm going to walk you through my process of how I brainstorm it, how I sketch it out and plan for it, how I illustrate it, and then how I bring it into After Effects for the final animation. So it might be intimidating at first to jump into After Effects or to think about creating something frame-by-frame. But I promise you this is going to be a really easy process and I'm going to walk you through every step of the way. Once you're done, I would love if you would share your project below in the gallery. I'm really excited to teach this class today, because I think illustration is such a powerful tool and adding animation to that illustration can only make it more powerful. I'm so excited to have you in this class and let's get started. 2. Choosing a Subject: So in today's class, we're going to be making a quirky colorful type gifts that also conveys a message, and I was drawn to making this because I'm really into the environment and more environmental issues. So I thought this is a really good way to tackle a more serious issue with humor and a lighthearted sense. The tools that we're going to be using today are procreate on the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, good old-fashioned pen and paper, and after effects. If you don't have Procreate or an iPad Pro, you can very easily do this process in Photoshop. It'll just look a little bit different than I show on the class. We're going to go through research. We're going to go through a word trees, we're going to start sketching in Procreate, then we're going to start animating some frames in Procreate, and then I'm going to bring in the after effects and show you guys how I lay it all out. So when you're trying to come up with a subject, try just thinking about the things that you're already really into and really passionate about, and then it's really just about taking that next step to apply those things to your artwork, and it's a lot less intimidating than you might think it is. You don't always have to start out with a message either. You can just start working on something that you think looks cool or something that you might be into and a lot of the time the message just comes out in your work anyway, whether you mean for it to or not. I like to find inspiration from anywhere. Sometimes, I'll be on the subway and I'll see a cool pair of shoes and I want to draw that, sometimes I'll be on Pinterest just mindlessly scrolling and I'll see a color palette that I really like, and I'll feel really inspired about it and feel really drawn to it and I just want to make something out of that. I think that's part of finding your style and finding your own way of making art is by looking at other people's work that you might be inspired by and saying, "What do I like about that, and what do I like about all these different pieces, and what can I draw from that in my own work?" So in my process, I tend to ask myself a lot of questions about what I'm doing. I'll ask myself, how does this lend itself to motion world? I'll ask myself, why this color palette? I'll ask myself, is this really a relevant thing that's going to catch people's eye? I think through that process, you're going to see myself asking myself a lot of questions and I hope it's helpful for you too. So I would love for you to think about what subject you're into or passionate about or something that just makes you feel some type of way. Pick it and follow along with me. If you can't think of anything right away, no pressure. You can just follow along with the one that I'm already doing. So next step, I'm going to show you how I implement my visual research and my word trees into my work to show you how I bring these things to life. 3. Finding a Visual Hook: So a visual hook is just something that picks interests and other people and make sure illustration are a little bit more interesting, and that's why I am going with something that is a bit more conceptual because it draws that interest and makes you think and makes you go. The very beginning of my process, I like to do a bunch of visual research and also make a thing that I call a word tree, in order to hone in my ideas a little bit more concretely. So I think the problem that doing this visual research really solves is you can have all these ideas about what to do or the way that you want to do it, but if you don't have them concretely in front of you, they can just float around, and it can be hard to remember why you wanted to make the thing you're making in the first place. I know that I want to do something about the environment, but I'm thinking of what way I'm going to be able to do that. So first, I'm going to look at my very general illustration inspiration board. It's a huge board, it has probably close to 500 pens on it, and it's just something that I like to go to remind myself of, these are the colors I might want to use, this as a style that I'm already drawn to, or a style that I already do, and use that as inspiration to figure out what the city might look like more generally. So I really like to use Pinterest and my visual research, because I think it has a really clean layout. But a lot of people really like to use Dribble for animations, some people really like to reference Instagram in their work, and so it just really up to your personal preference. So I just want to search for things that are in the broad spectrum of what I'm working on. So I might search for environment, and see what pops up there. So a conceptual illustration combines two different things, and so it tells a message in a different way than just a basic illustration might have. So example, this pen right here, it's conceptual because it combines these two things. So it's a grocery bag upon first glance, but when you look down, you'll see that it has the store window into it, and it combines these two elements in a way that's clever and makes you think. That's really what we're going for here when we're jumping into our illustration. So here's another thing that I might want to reference later. It's really wonderful colorful contrasting piece by an artists that I really like named Yukai Du, and I'm just going to pin that as well. Even though this doesn't really have anything to do with the environment, I'm really into the contrast and the color palette, and it's just something that I'm going to want to look at later. So after browsing on Pinterest for a couple minutes, I've penned all these pens on my board called environment, and some of them are just color palettes, some of them are a bit more environmentally focused. Now, I'm just going to look at some of these pens and ask myself, how could I incorporate something conceptual on here? Can I of ask myself what colors I might want to use and figure out what I'm going to draw. I'm going to jump into the word tree now. So what making a word tree does and what a word tree even is? Is it's just a way for you to take all of these ideas that you already have and shave them down into something simple. So you can find your visual hook that you're going to go for. So I'm going to start off with a really broad word like environment. Okay. So now, I start asking myself some questions. I ask myself, okay, what about the environment? Or what else could I draw upon that has to do with the environment? So I'll start writing some words around the bigger word. Climate. One other? Globe. Just anything that has to do with your topic, nothing is off limits. Just a bunch of word double. You can write it all down, and then you can sort it out later. Smokestacks, I think something with smokestacks could be fun. Heat. Why not? Okay. So from these words, I'm going to make them even more specific and draw out more specific words and to each of these words. So for whether I might have sunny or like hot. I did repeat words and that's just going to happen as you're just coming up with random things, and that's okay. So smokestacks, I might put pollution. Globe. I might do, I don't know countries. Maybe I want to do something with countries here. I might do heats on, I don't know. What happens when something heats up? So I'll ask myself the question like what does something do when it heats up? It melts. So I'll write down the word melting. All right. You could seriously go on forever and write down so many different words, but usually I know when to stop when my page has almost full. So now, I'm going to go in and I'm going to look at each of these words, and I'm just going to highlight the ones that I think I want to focus on. I'm going to do something with a globe. I think I want to do some thing with heat and something with melting. Then I just had another thought, like what are some other things that melt? I'm going to squeeze this into my word tree. Ice cubes melt and ice cream melts. Ice cream can be good. So I think I have a clear line here of something that I might want to pursue. So you're going to circle those two. The reason that I decided to go with this is I think that a globe is something that is very striking and very visual, and it's the planet we live on. So I think people are going to be scrolling and they're going to be instantly attracted to whatever this globe is doing. I think the heat and the melting will be something that blends itself really well to animation, I think we would be able to animate some really nice drips coming off of whatever this thing is. If we decide to do with ice cubes, I think that could be really fun. We could animate the drop coming off the ice cube. If we decide to do with ice cream, I think we could do something really cool, where I don't know maybe like the globe is, an ice cream, and we can just show some of those drops coming off. So now that I've had a sense of direction of what I might do, I'm going to go back on a Pinterest and I'm going to pin some more pens, and I might delete some that don't serve the project well. So I'm going to search for globe. I might specifically look for globe illustration, so I don't get a bunch of globes. I really like the colors in this, so I might pin that to my board. Yeah. So the nice thing about the globe is that it has this natural contrast between the green and the blue that's really striking whenever you're looking at it. So I think I feel really confident about this direction in terms of what it's going to look like visually. So now that I've gone back on Pinterest and pin a few more things, I feel really good about my board, and I think I have a few different ideas of a direction that we could pursue here. So I'm going to go ahead and jump on my iPad and start sketching. So I've showed you guys my process. You guys are free to take this and run in whatever direction you want to go in. Whether that be through a word tree or your own Pinterest board, or going on a site like Dribble for inspiration, just go and collect this visual research, and then we'll meet back up in the sketching phase. 4. Sketching in Procreate: Next, we're going to stop into sketching this thing out. If you don't have Procreate on iPad, you can just jump into Photoshop and this'll work out just fine. So I'm just going to create a new canvas. I'm just going to go ahead and go with the default screen size setting. This is going to end up being way bigger than I needed to be, but that's okay because if I scale it down, it's easier to scale down rather than scale up. Because if you scale up, you're going to lose a lot of quality. So if you want to resize this and move it around, it's a lot easier to make the thing bigger than it actually is going to appear. So I'm just going to create this at the normal standard screen size. Okay. Just going to pinch to zoom out here so I can look at it all. So my settings in Procreate are pretty standard. If you want to adjust anything you can go in here and like add a drawing guide if you would like, but I usually just keep it pretty simple, just the default settings. So now I'm going to grab my pencil here and I'm just going to keep it to black. I use brushes from an artist called Petra Berger who makes them for Procreate, but you can really use any of the standard Procreate brushes that are included in the program. So I'm just going to go ahead and jump in and start sketching some things based off my word tree here. I really wanted to go with like an ice cube or an ice cream type thing something that's melting, so I think that's going to really lend itself well to the motion of this. So I'm just going to go ahead and start drawing, I don't know, like an ice cube. Let's give that a go. This can be really, really rough. It doesn't have to be detailed and you don't want to get into too much detail, because if you do, you can really get caught up in your head about this, and this is just supposed to be a really simple, rough sketch. So here's just a simple cube here. I also have on streamlining on on my brush, which you can turn on or off it doesn't matter. But what the streamlining does as if you make a line, it corrects it. Or if you want a more natural touch to it, it'll just be a little bit rougher. So I'm just going to keep going at this cube. I think I'm going to have maybe like a little puddle here. Just very rough puddle, and I'm might have some action going on here. Erase some those lines. I think maybe I'll superimpose the globe onto the ice cube. So I'm just going to like make general shapes of countries. They don't have to be perfect because it's melting, so I wouldn't sell that too much. So that could be fun, but it also just looks like a cube with random spots on it. So I want to make something that looks a little bit more globey. So I might try to go with the ice cream instead. So let's just see what that looks like. I'm just going to draw a little circle here, put on a little waffle cone here. If it go start trying the countries on their. Like that could be fun. But also I'm worried that if I try the dripping here, that it's going to be hard to really clearly see the drips on this one, because I'll have to compete with the color of this cone here. I might try the Popsicle option instead. So I'm just going to go ahead and start sketching out in that one and see what that looks like. I could just like put the drips here. I think this could work. Maybe some lines for the Popsicle. Yeah. Okay. For sake of sake, I'll just do one more try it like a bowl or something. Maybe I can make this one work if I put it on a different cup or something. So just give it one more go draw a couple different scoops here. Just want to give yourself a lot of different options to think about. I'm just going to erase some of these lines here. Try drawing some of the countries on their maybe that could be like a syrup or something. Yeah. But I run into the same issue with this one too which is that I don't want the drips to have to compete with anything. I don't want them to have to compete with this bowl here even if it's just a simple color. So I think this one might be the winner. I think I might go with the Popsicle stick. So what I'm really looking for a here whenever I'm making a decision about which direction I'm going to go in, is what is lending itself best emotion here. So while I think this could have some potential here with the puddle and I really want to have more stuff moving. So I definitely want to go with something not dripping or melting. Like I put my word tree. So I think that this could be really cool and I would probably put this as like option number two. But what I'm worried about is that the drips are going to compete with that waffle cone background, and I really want the drips to be really prominent in this, and I had the same issue with this bowl over here. So I think that the Popsicle might work the best, just because you have more space to animate the drips in, and you don't really have any competing elements. So now that I've picked which thing I'm going to draw, I'm just going to blow this up. I'm going to start on cleaning it off and I'll just do that by making this a low opacity, any opacity that you can only see it as fine doesn't have to be a specific number. I'm going to create a new layer and I'm going to start making this just a little bit cleaner. So now I've cleaned this up and I've added a few more details. I've added some shading here or the Popsicle indent might be. I've added a couple little drips here, later a little bit more cleaned up. I wouldn't give yourself too much time to sketch because then you get into an overthinking territory, and you don't want to overthink this. You just want to keep the sketches really simple. So I would only give yourself about like 20 minutes to do this part. So now that I've made my decision about what direction I'm going to go in, I'm going to take this, and I'm going to blow it up, re-sketch it and make it a little bit cleaner, and then after that, I'll start adding a little bit of color. 5. Adding Color: Now that I have this thing sketched out in a little bit more refined, I'm going to start thinking about what colors I'm going to use. For a planet, it's a little bit obvious, right? You might use a blue and a green for the countries. I think I might use a more orange beige color for the popsicle stick, because I think that orange beige will really contrast with my blue. Or if you're going with a different concept, the colors might not be so obvious. So you might want to go to your pin board and sample some colors or if you really like some colors that you pin on the board, you can just try it to use some similar ones on whatever works for you. So I'm going to go back to my Pinterest board here, and reference then look at some globes that I have pinned. I really like this one because it has that blue, and that green on the country, I think that orange just really contrasts well with this. So I think I might go for a similar color palette to this one. So now I'm going to create a new layer for the colors, and I'm just going to jump right in and start playing with them. So I picked out a couple of different colors that I think might work really well. I have this more purpley blue, this deep green, and this orange color, slush yellowy color, that might be good for the popsicle. It's all trial and error here. So just do whatever colors feel right to you. That blue feels really nice. The green's pretty similar to that one. So I think I might go for the brighter blue as opposed to the deeper more purpley blue, because I think it's going to contrast a whole lot better with these colors. So now that I have my color palette picked out, I'm just going to go ahead and start filling it in. So I'm going to just start a new layer here with just my blue color on it, to the base of the popsicle. I'm actually going to go back and name this, Blue Base. Awesome. So I'm just going to sample this color here, and I'm just going to do that by holding down on my finger on the blue color, so that's should simplify that for me. I'm just going to go ahead and start filling this end. I might decide like what I'm coloring this end that all maybe I want to make it a little bit longer, or shorter and that's totally okay. It's therapeutic filling in your coloring, it's like a coloring book. Make a new layer for the next one. It's going to hide this layer, and rename this layer here, countries. The reason that you want to make sure that every piece of your illustration is on a different layer, is if you decide to go back and change something. You want to be able to go in and just isolate that layer and be able to change only that. So because I know that the drips are going to be a separate part of this, I'm not going to draw them into my final sketch just yet, as you see them in the rough. Because I know that I want to get myself separate layers in order to animate that bit. So we're just going to put the animation to the side for a minute. Another handy trick that you can do, if you don't want to manually color in all these little things, is if you connect all of these lines, you can just drag this right here, and it should fill in if you don't feel like coloring the whole thing. So I'm just going to continue to fill these little spaces in, and then I'll jump into coloring in the popsicle. One little thing that I'm going to do too, is I'm going to add a little bit of an indentation or a shadow where the popsicle might go a little bit inward. So I'm actually going to do that by drawing two little black lines here, adding it on a new layer. I'm correcting that shadow. So you can actually get a straighter line too, if you take the pen, and you press it down, and you just hold it. That'll give you like a nice straight line. But I don't like my lines to always be completely straight, because I think it looks a little bit less organic, but it's really more of a personal preference. So now that I have these I'm going to go in here. I'm going to change the blending mode. I might try soft light, let's see what that looks like. So that creates the illusion of just being a little bit darker in that region. But I think that's a little bit intense, I'm just going to turn it down a little bit. That looks good. Keep it about there. So with the color palette, I would just say stick to a color palette that you really like and really works for you. I have a signature color palette that I always go to, and a pallet with really bold bright colors mainly primary colors on it. I'll just use your visual research that you've done in reference to that. When you choose each color, I would just go in, and make a separate layer for each color. So if you want to go back and change it, it's a whole lot easier. Now that we've chosen our color palette and colored at our popsicle, I'm going to go ahead and jump into doing some animation inside of Procreate. 6. Drawing Animation Frames: So I would really just think of frame-by-frame animation as a bunch of pictures strung together in order to make a motion. Don't be intimidated by this, it doesn't have to be perfect. The movement is going to be going so fast that you're not going to even notice if one frame is a little bit off. So you can really choose anywhere between four frames to 12 frames. I'm going go a little bit in the more detailed section of those. So I'm probably going to choose 12 frames. You might use more frames if you're doing more detailed motion, but if you're doing a simple gesture like a wave, you might be able to do that and only four or five frames. It really depends on the motion. So again, I'm really into references. I really like having references for the work I do. So I'm just going to go ahead and hop on YouTube and start looking at videos of water dripping, so I can get an idea of how this thing is supposed to look when it's falling down the Popsicle. Let me try like water drip. Here is dripping water slow motion HD, and this will give us a really good idea of what happens when water drips down. Okay. So you can see here that the drop gets a little bit longer as it's falling faster. So that's something we're going to keep in mind as we go forward. Let's see if I can find something else of like water collecting on something before it falls. This could be good. This is actually very helpful. Looks weird but this is exactly what I want my motion to look like even though this is very slow. So it gets skinnier here before it falls, and then when it's falling as we saw in the other video, it's going to get longer as it falls. So we're going to try to emulate that kind of motion inside of our frames. So I'm just going to go ahead and jump in and start annotating the drips. Because I know that these are my final colors, I'm not going to worry too much about separating my colors on each layer because I feel really good and really confident about these colors. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a separate layer for each phase of the dripping. So I'm going to start here and just get that little bit of a drip on there and a little bit of a drip here. I'll just move this layer here. So you'll see I'm putting the green and the blue on the same layer, and that's fine in this stage because I already know what colors I'm going to use. So it's not a big deal to blend the colors on this one. I'm just going to add another drip right here. All right. So that's going to be my first layer. Now that I have this first drip sequence drawn in, I'm going to go ahead and add a new layer. I'm going to take this layer, and I'm going to lower the opacity so I can still see it, but only a little bit, and the reason I'm doing that is I want to use this previous drip as a guide to where my next drip should be going. So that way it's not going zigzag, it's going to be going in the same line. So continuing with the colors here, just going to sample this, and I'm going to bring this down just a little bit more, and I'm also making it just a little bit skinnier. Because as we saw in our reference video, the drip gets skinny as it separates. So even trim that up a little bit with the eraser tool. Then I'll go down, and because I can see this, I know exactly where it's supposed to go next. So that's just going down a little bit further and so is this one, it's a little too far. So that's our next step of our phase. Actually, I forgot a little bit of blue here. Go back and add some of this blue here. So that's our second phase of our drip. So now I'm going to lower this one. I'm going to lower this one even more, just adjust this until it looks right. So now there are two low opacity layers here that you can use as a reference, and the reason that you want to do that is so you can see how your motion is shaping up. So now I'm going to go into the third layer. Rename this Drip 2, and naming this now is just going to save you a whole lot of time later when you go to organize this in After Effects. So next I'm going to make this even longer and skinnier as if the drop is just about to break off. Now this is where you can start separating the drips. So going to lower that. Once you get to this, you can also start getting rid of some of your layers towards the bottom, so that way things don't get cluttered and you're not confused as to what stage you're on. So you just keep going on with that process. You're going to take these drops even further down until they are pretty much gone. Really you're going to want to use the minimum amount of frames needed to convey your motion. A rolling animation is the closer that your frames are together, the slower the movements and the further away they are, the faster the movement. So if I had these drips right here, I'll just erase this real quick, overlapping each other a lot like that, that motion is actually going to be slower than if I had them further apart. So I've just gone ahead and drawn the rest of the layers because this can be a tedious process. So now I have these all very clearly lined out. I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to make them all into one nice consolidated group. So I'm just going to select each layer in my drips sequence. I'm going to press this group button up here, and now it's all nice and packed into this one thing, and rename this drips, and that's it. The reason I like to group things is just to make sure layers panel a lot less cluttered, and you're able to minimize the amount of layers going on. So I'm just going to zoom in here and show you what I did with these drips a little bit more clearly. So as you can see it emulates that motion that we saw in that reference video, which is that it squeezes in right here in the middle and then it drips out, gets longer until it just fades away. Yeah. So each one too is going at a slightly different speed, and that's just to add a little bit of dynamic motion to this, so that way it doesn't look like it's all dripping at the same time. So I've drawn my Popsicle, I've added my drips, and I think I might actually want to add some secondary elements in here, and I think I might want to draw some clouds going around the Popsicle as it's stripping. So it looks like it's happening mid-air. So I'm going to add some nice little clouds here, and I don't really know what color I want to make the clouds yet. So I'm just going to make them black, and I'll worry about the color later. So I really think of the clouds as more of a secondary animation. I want the focus to be on the drips, but I think adding a little bit more movement will give the piece an extra visual interest to it. So now that I've made my clouds, I'm just going to go in rename cloud, and I'm just going to group these together as well. Name this group clouds, and I'm not going to worry too much about the composition of these clouds or where they are right now because I can just arrange them in After Effects and move them in the way that I want to. So you can add a background and procreate if you would like to, but I'm just going to go ahead and do that part in the After Effects, so I can play with the colors the background a little bit easier. So now that I have my secondary elements and like my clouds and I have my drip animation looking really nice, I'm going to go ahead and click this button. Go to Share and export these as Photoshop files, and now that I have these, I'm going to go ahead and AirDrop them to myself on my computer. Cool, there they are. All right. So now that you've seen me sketch my frames on my project, you can go ahead and start sketching your frames in yours, and after that, we'll meet up and After Effects. 7. Getting Started in After Effects: So we've just air dropped our files from our iPad to our desktop, and so now we're just going to create a new folder on our desktop and call it Popsicle, and we'll just store all our files over here. All right. So we're just going to go into our Downloads folder, which is where our files air dropped to. We're just going to name this Popsicle art, and just drag that on the Popsicle folder. So let's go ahead and jump into aftereffects. So now that we're in After Effects, you can see you can start a new composition here, this is going to your timeline area, and this is where you're going to actually import your files. So I'm going to go ahead and select my files from finder on my desktop, and I'm going to import this Popsicle art into this over here. So this is really important. You're going to want to make sure that when you import your Photoshop files, that you have it set on composition retain layer sizes. That's because if you import it as just footage, it won't go into separate layers. So it won't be possible to animate it that way. So make sure you have it on composition retain layer sizes, and press okay. So compositions work a lot like nesting does and premier if you're familiar with Premier, or like grouping does in Photoshop. What it does is it just allows you to focus your work area and to one different section, so you don't have tons of layers just filling up your timeline. So now you have this composition over here, we're just going to double-click it. All right. So here it is. First thing I'm going to do is I'm going to change the canvas size of this composition to a square so we can make a square gif out of it and put it on social media. So how I'm going to do that is I'm going to go to composition settings. First, I'm going to unclick Lock Aspect Ratio, and I'm going to make this 800 by 800, awesome. So now you can see that the Popsicle is giant in comparison to the canvas. So next one what I'm going to do to make sure that's all scaled down is I'm going to create a null object. So just think of this null object as the thing that all of the other layers are going to attach to. So I'm going to select all these layers, I'm going to press Shift to make sure I have all of them. I'm going to use this little tool right here, which is the pick whip, and I'm going to parent, I'm going to click and drag to parent this to the null. So basically what that means is when I move this null, everything I've made is going to move with it. The reason I'm doing that is so I can scale it down. So again, the reason I made this so big is that if I did want to resize it, I wouldn't lose quality by doing so. I'm not really feeling this white background, so I'm just going to go ahead and delete it, and I'm going to click this button to toggle transparency. So that way, I'm not seeing a black background, I can see this background instead. So awesome, we have our Popsicle, we have it on the canvas size that we want to have it on for social media, and now I'm going to go ahead before I start animating and I'm just going to add a colored background to this, and I think I'm going to start playing with the color of the clouds as well. That's something that you can do inside of aftereffects as opposed to doing it in Procreate. So I'm just going to press command Y to make a solid color from my background, and I'm just going to go in here and play around. I think this beige color works for me, so I'm just going to press "OK" and see what that looks like. I'm just going to drag this background down to the very bottom. So these are all of my layers. As you can see, a lot of them are really similar to the layers that you saw inside of Procreate. I have my thumbnails, I have my palette I drew over here, I have my rough sketch. But because I'm not going to use these, you can just go ahead and delete them. So because I grouped my layers together in Procreate, it created a composition inside of aftereffects. Now I'm going to open this final, and so this layer is going to have my base layer, it's going to have my shadow, and it's going to have all my drips. So you'll also see in the drip's folder that all my drips are there. So I have them all labeled out and ready to animate. 8. Animating in After Effects: What we're going to want to do before we start animating, we're going to want to go ahead and select all of your layers. We're going to press T, which stands for transparency. We're going to just want to make sure that all of these layers are at full opacity. We put these at a lower opacity when we were drawing them, so we could see where each layer was as we drew. But now that we're hopping into the animating phase, we're going to want to make sure these are at full opacity so everybody can see our drips. So I think that all of these are now full opacity. I'm going to select all of these again, and I'm going to press U to condense them. So I'm going to make each of these drips about two frames long. I'm just going to see how that times out. I might have to adjust that later. So now I'm going to go ahead and trim my layers to where my blue play head is, so they fit nice where my endpoint is. I'm just going to drag that over one more frame. As you can see, each of these is two frames long. So I think two frames here it's going to be really good. I think that's going to be our sweet spot. But if you want this to be a little bit of a slower motion, you can drag this out to four seconds, move your layers over right here, and see how that plays out instead. So I'm going to go ahead and right-click here, and press keyframe assistant sequence layers, press okay. Now, I'm going to zoom out here with this button below, move the play head over. I'm going to play this. So that's nice but I think that's a little bit too slow. So I'm going to go ahead and pause it. Press Command Z to undo a couple times, and I think I'm going to go ahead and move this back to two frames and try it out again. Press right-click, keyframe assistant sequence layers, okay. Move this back over here and I'm going to see how that plays. I think two frames probably works the best here, it feels the most natural, but for your motion or for your frames, something else might be better, so definitely play with how many frames each layer should be. Okay, so once you have these all laid out, you just want to make sure that this endpoint is set to the last bit of your frame there. As you can see we still have all of this room and we don't want to have that because otherwise it's going to play your layers and leave this big blank empty space. So you don't really want to have that. You want to make sure that everything is trimmed up and tidy. So we're going to go to composition. We're going to go to trim comp to work area. Now, everything plays smoothly and a nice slope. Now that I have the drops figured out, I'm going to go ahead and go back to my final composition and see how that plays. Awesome, looks great. Now the only thing is, this is just playing one quick motion for about one second and then it does nothing. The way it is, it's going to be pretty boring. So what we're going to want to do is we're going to want to duplicate these drip layers. So they keep dripping onwards. I'll probably do that for about five seconds or however long that you want to do it. So we're going to press Command D and give ourself five copies of this layer. So I'm going to take the second layer. I'm just going to drag it over the first one. Take the third, do the same thing, give myself a little bit of an overlap and do the same with the last too. Let's just see how that plays out. All right, looks pretty awesome. One small detail just to be aware of is that when you start this, you just see a little bit of the drop here, and if I loop it and it ends here, it's not going to loop perfectly. So I'm just going to take these, drag it out one frame or so. That way I get that clean line in the beginning, and I get that clean line at the end. So now that you have all of these layers in a row, what you're going to do is you're going to want to trim your work area. So what that's going to do is that's going to give you a smooth loop. Now ready. So that's looping good. After Effects knows that when I move this section over here, that it's just going to play the section in this area. So if I move this over, it'll stop. But because we want this to loop, I'm just going to go ahead and move this back-end. I'm going to go ahead and go back into my popsicle art composition and just watch what happens. It's going to stop at five seconds. So what I'm going to want to do is I'm going to trim this once again by moving this work area right here in my final composition. Just play that one more time. So that's looking pretty good. So now that I've tackled my drips, I'm going to go ahead and animate my clouds. I think what I'm going to do with these is I'm just going to do a really simple secondary movement of moving them from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen. So I'm just going to go ahead and play with the color of these. So we're going to jump into the effects and presets panel right here on the set of After Effects, and I'm going to go ahead and type in the word fill. I'm just going to drag that right onto the clouds layer. Cool. So now you can see our clouds are red, and while that's very colorful, it's probably not a natural color for clouds. So I'm going to go ahead and press this red button here, and I'm going to change that to a more white color. All right, and that's looking pretty nice. I'm going to drag this clouds layer underneath my final layer. Now I want to make them actually move across the screen. So I'm going to go ahead and select it. Press P for position because I want to move the position. I'm going to drag these clouds over to the left side, so I'm just going to press this and to make this go even faster, I'm going to press Shift, and now I'm going to drag it. It will move a lot quicker that way. Now I'm going to press this stopwatch button to set a keyframe. That's basically just telling After Effects, "Hey, I want to start my motion here." So we'll set a second keyframe later and that will end the motion. So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to leave my play head to the very end of my work area, and I'm going to drag my clouds holding shift to the other side. It may look like nothing now, but when you go to play it, you'll see them move. That's because when you move the clouds to the end here, After Effects sets another keyframe automatically for you. So that way it registers the motion. So now that you have this last keyframe set in place, all of this space in between is where your motion is happening. So if you wanted to make this movement a little bit faster with the clouds, you can just drag this last keyframe a little bit closer, maybe halfway and see what that looks like. Let that render out, all right, and that's a little bit faster. So you're going to want to adjust the speed of the keyframes to whatever motion that you're doing. But for me, moving it to the very end I think works really well for this. So I'm feeling really good about my looping animation right now, but I think I'm just going to take it one step further and add a little bit of texture and maybe add some contrast to my animation. So now that you've seen the way that I like to work in After Effects, I would encourage you all to go ahead and take your project files, drop them into your own sequence and go ahead and start animating some stuff. 9. Adding Texture: So if you're going from more of a flat look, maybe adding a texture isn't for you but I like to add texture to some of my gifts just to add a little bit of visual interests and give it a little bit of depth. So what I'm actually going to do is, I took some photos of my sidewalk outside of my apartment earlier today, and I'm just going to use that as a texture. It has this nice grit to it and it's going to add a little bit of depth, a little bit of something to my animation. So you can find a whole lot of textures online if you wanted to, I like to go out and snap photos of random fun textures I see on my walk to the subway. So you can do whatever works for you, but I just snapped a photo on my phone and I'm going ahead and AirDrop it to myself on my desktop. So now that I've airdropped this texture to myself, it's on my desktop. I'm just going ahead and stick that in a popsicle folder. Awesome, and I'm going to open it, and so this is looking pretty interesting but I'm just going to want to go ahead and make some adjustments to this to make it more of a texture. So I'm going to open it in Photo shop. So now what I'm going to do to this is, I am going to make it black and white. That's looking okay to me. If you want to, you can go ahead and adjust some of these things too, and when you do, you might see a little bit of detail come out that wasn't there before, and that might just add a little bit of visual interest as well. Okay. That's looking good to me. So I'm just going to back to the adjustments panel. So we're going to into the curves part of this, and that's just going to add a little bit of contrast. So I'm going to go ahead and press right here and drag this down. If you're familiar with Photoshop then this might be second nature to you already. Okay. That's looking good, and that's looking contrasting. So I'm going ahead and save this as texture, and press okay. So now that I've finished my texture, I'm just going to go ahead and drop that into After Effects. Okay. So, our setting is now on composition retain layer sizes from when we imported the popsicle, but I'm just going to want to set it to footage because I only need one layer, and that's the texture layer. Okay. So we have this nice texture in here. I'm just going to ahead and scale this down a little bit and play with that to figure out the right position. So I'm going to press S for scale on the texture layer. I'm just going to scale this done a little bit, and I might just move it around a little bit, and find a good place for this. I like this little dark gradient on the bottom here, so I might just place it right there. Okay. So now we want to make sure that this texture is really subtle, right now it's super harsh. So I'm just going to press T for opacity. I'm just going to bring this down to something really low. Let me try it on 20 percent. Okay. So another thing that you can do to this texture to try to blend it in, is you can play with the blending modes which are right on the sidebar and aftereffects under mode. So there's a lot of options here, but I normally just stick to soft light or overlay. So if you want to take this texture to the next level and add even more motion to it, what you can do is you can animate the texture. So I'm just going to press P for position on my keyboard, and I'm going to add a position keyframe. I'm also going to press S on my keyboard for scale, and I'm even going to press R on my keyboard for rotation. So that's a lot of key frames. We're going to press U to view all of them. So now we're going to jump a few frames ahead in time, doesn't really matter how many, because we can adjust it later, and I'm just going to move this texture and make it look a little bit different so I might scale it up, I'm I rotate it a little bit just so it looks a little bit different from the previous keyframe. So now this is really important. If I just play it out like this, there's too much going on there. It almost looks like a mistake or like some noise. So you just want it to jump from texture placement to texture placement. So how we're going to do that, is we're going to set these as hold keyframes. I'm going to select my keyframes. I'm going to right-click. I'm going to press keyframe interpolation. Right now they're set to linear. We want to set them to hold, so we can hold the placement of each position. I'm going to press" Okay". So you're going see a difference in this, in that in between these keyframes, there's no motion happening. As you can see, it kind of jumps from position to position, and whereas before when it was linear, it had motion going in between these two areas. So what a hold keyframe really does is it just jumps between each position instead of giving you that smooth motion in between the key frames. So, now that I have these two, I think that's good. If you wanted to, you could go in and adjust it a couple different times, keep rotating it, keep scaling it, playing with that, and after-effects will recognize that you used hold key frames in the past. So It'll make sure to make these hold keyframes as well. So we have three different positions going on here. I'm just going to drag these to the beginning. I'm going to play this out. Okay. So I've got three here, and now what I'm going do, is I'm going to just duplicate these just like we did with the compositions earlier. So I'm going to press Command C, and command V to paste it. So I'm going to paste it again here, and again here, and I'm just going to keep pasting these keyframes until I reach the very end. I'll delete these two because they're hanging off. Okay. So let's just play this through. All right. So that just adds a little bit of movement your texture. So I still think this movement is a little bit too fast. So what I'm going do, is I'm going to hold down Option, I'm going to click and drag these last keyframes. So what that's going to do, is that's going to make sure that my keyframes are still evenly distributed, but it's going to allow the movement to go a little bit slower, and it's going to reduce the amount of key frames that we have in our work area. So I'm going go ahead and delete these extra keyframes, and I'm going to play it now. All right. So that's a lot more subtle to me, the texture's moving a lot slower, and I think that's really good because it doesn't distract the motion of the drips or the clouds, which I really want to be the key motion areas. So this is just one example of a texture. Sometimes I go out and I'll take pictures of brick wall, or blinds, or a cool marble table that I see. So you can really apply this technique to any texture that you might have a photo of or again, you could just go online and find a texture there. I've also provided a lot of the textures that I've already made in the class resources section if you want to pick them up there. Okay. Now that I've texturised this and my motion is in place, I'm feeling really good about this. So I think I'm ready to go ahead and jump into exporting 10. Sharing Your Animation: Now that we've made our awesome artwork, now we're going to export it. So we're going to export it to different ways in this class. We're going to export it as an MP4 so you can upload it to Instagram, and we're going to export it as a GIF so you can upload it to your other social media. So because we've selected this area here as our workspace, it's only going to export this area. If we had this further out here, it would export all of this. So because we only want to export this part, we're going to make sure to drag this right back in. So now that we have our work area selected, we're going to go to File, Export, and we're going to actually add this to Adobe Media Encoder Queue. This is a program that's separate from After Effects. So it looks like this made it over to the Media Encoder. You're just going to want to check the settings to make sure they're all good. So I'm just going to go in here and select this. I'm just going to change this preset to Match Source - High bit rate. So another black bars are gone, and it should be all good. I'm just going to press Use Maximum Render Quality to make sure I get a really nice clean export. So that looks ready. So I'm going to go to output file and just click this link here. I just want to make sure this is actually saved in my Popsicle folder so it's easy to find. Popsicle art for the name is absolutely fine. So now I'm just going to press this green play button, render it out, and going to minus that down. So if you look in this folder, you'll see your awesome artwork, and it is totally ready to share on Instagram. So now that we've made this MP4, we're just going to jump into making our GIF. So the first way that you can make a GIF is using a plugin called GIF Gun, which is what I like to use just because it cuts a few steps out of the process. But you absolutely don't have to use it and, you could just as easily do this with a website like GIPHY. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to go to Window, open up GIF Gun, make sure my work area is nice and tight, and then I'm going to go ahead and press Make GIF. So if you go to your Finder Window, something should automatically pop up, and here is your GIF. So because this is in a weird folder, I'm just going to go ahead and move this to my Popsicle folder. So if you don't have GIF Gun, you can just use the website like GIPHY. So I'm just going to go ahead and drag this MP4 from earlier onto the Upload Window, and I'm going to press Upload to GIPHY. All ready. So now you have your GIF. You can either go to the Copy Link button and share link with your friends or you can go to the image itself and right-click it, and press Save Image As, and save it to your Popsicle folder, and there you go. So this might seem like a whole lot of steps for something so simple, but different platforms have different formats. So just use the one that's best for you. 11. That's a Wrap: That's a wrap. You've seen my entire process from brainstorming and word tree to actually animating the key frames. I really hope that this class gives you guys the means to use your illustration as a way to express something that you're passionate about or a way to connect with the world. I would love if you would upload your projects in the project gallery below, and if you have any questions at all, I'm happy to answer them. I'm so happy that you guys have taken this class and I can't wait to see what you've come up with. 12. Explore More Classes on Skillshare: