Intermediate After Effects: Shape Layers | Morgan Williams | Skillshare

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Intermediate After Effects: Shape Layers

teacher avatar Morgan Williams, Animator / Educator

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project Overview & Set Up


    • 3.

      Converting Illustrator Files


    • 4.

      Shape Layer Hierarchy


    • 5.

      Merge Paths


    • 6.

      Pen Tool


    • 7.

      Trim Path


    • 8.

      Animate Leaves


    • 9.

      Set Up Grid


    • 10.

      Draw & Animate Sun


    • 11.

      Draw Rays, Stroke Settings


    • 12.

      Repeater & Twist


    • 13.

      Animate Rays


    • 14.

      Import & Animate Leaf


    • 15.

      Draw Snowflake


    • 16.

      Trim Path Animation


    • 17.

      Stoke Width Animation


    • 18.

      Create Main Comp


    • 19.

      Animate Precomps


    • 20.

      Animate Background Colors


    • 21.

      Add Texture & Vignette


    • 22.

      Render Movie


    • 23.

      Render GIF


    • 24.

      Bye For Now!


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About This Class

Looking to expand your knowledge of Adobe After Effects’ powerful yet somewhat mysterious Shape Layers? Then this is the class for you!

Intermediate After Effects: Shape Layers takes a closer look at some of the amazing animation possibilities inherent in this often neglected aspect of the After Effects workflow. Sure, Illustrator might be the best way to create vector graphics and illustrations, but Shape Layers in After Effects are the best way to get them moving!

Perfect for Graphic Designers, Illustrators, or beginning to intermediate Motion Designers with some experience with After Effects, this class will expose students to the amazing power and versatility of After Effects Shape Layers as a tool for animation and motion design.

Taught by Morgan Williams, an animator with over 25 years of professional experience and almost 10 years of experience as an animation instructor, this class is packed with professional techniques and practices to make your workflow smart and efficient.

If you are new to Adobe After Effects, it is highly recommended that you first complete Morgan’s Intro To After Effects series before taking this more intermediate After Effects class. For this class, it is assumed that students already understand:

  • The After Effects workspace
  • Creating basic shapes with the shape tool
  • Creating simple animations
  • Working with precomps
  • Adding effects to layers

In Intermediate After Effects: Shape Layers, we will learn about...

  • Converting Illustrator Layers into After Effects Shape Layers
  • How the hierarchy works within a Shape Layer
  • Adding multiple paths within a shape group
  • Animating Stroke and Fill properties
  • Animating Paths
  • Working with some of the Shape Layer “Add ons”:
    • Merge Paths (Ae’s version of Illustrator’s Pathfinder)
    • Trim Path
    • Repeater
    • Twist
  • Rendering both a movie file and an optional GIF version of the final project

Students will need access to Adobe After Effects & Illustrator CC2018 (v15) or higher. After Effects CC2018 (v15) is recommended as CC2019 (v16) still has some issues at this time.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Morgan Williams

Animator / Educator


Hi, I'm Morgan!

I'm a professional animator and a faculty member at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

I've been an animator and animation director for over 25 years, creating animation and motion design for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston. Since 2011, I have been a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design. In 2015 I began creating online courses as an instructor for School of Motion, and now I'm thrilled to bring my animation classes to the Skillshare community!

I am based in beautiful Sarasota Florida where I live with my lovely wife... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: welcome to intermediate after effects Shape players, an introduction to the powerful, it sometimes mysterious world of after effects shape players for intermediate level animation or motion design students. My name is Morgan Williams, and I've been an animator and motion designer for over 25 years, and I've been teaching animation and motion design for almost 10 years at the Ringling College of Art Design and Online at School of Motion and here on skill share. In this intermediate level after effects class, we'll be creating this animated owed to the Four Seasons. As we create this animation, we'll learn how to convert illustrator layers into after effects shape players. How toe work with multiple paths within a shape layer group will look a animating paths and stroke and fill properties, working with some of the shape layer. Add ons like merge paths, Trim path under the Peter and we'll finish up, rendering both a movie file and an optional simplified gift version of the final project. This class is ideal for students who have a good basic understanding of after effects but might not be aware of all of the advantages that aftereffect shape players offer or may have tried working with Shea players and found it, as many do a bit confusing and frustrated. By the end of this class, you'll be comfortable with the basics of working with aftereffect shape players and hopefully excited about the many possibilities shape players offer for both image creation and animation. So let's dive in and get started. 2. Project Overview & Set Up: make sure that you've downloaded, Unzipped and opened the project file included for this class. Note that we have our project color settings set for 16 bits per channel and an S RGB working space. It's also a good idea to set your fast preview setting at fast draft, depending on the speed and set up of your computer system. If you would like to use the exact colors that we use in this project, and of course, you don't have to, you can choose your own colors. You might want to import the library file. We've also included To do that, go to libraries Import library under location to select library, navigate into the Project folder we've provided into the Footage folder and select the Class Library folder here. Click open and that will open the library in your library's panel. Also note that I'm recording this class on a Mac, so if you're working on a PC, just remember that when I use the command key, you're going to use the control key. And when I use the option key, you're going to use the all key. Most other key commands will be exactly the same. Also remember to save frequently as you work. I generally edit out my saves just to make the videos a little more efficient. But of course, you want to be constantly saving as you work. So we're gonna be exploring some of the options available for animating shape players here in after effects. And as we do that, we're gonna create this animation using simple icons to represent the Four Seasons. Let's take a look at that note that the animation loops, which would make this a great piece to post to instagram, will also look at creating a simplified gift version of this to also take advantage of the looping. But our main focus here, of course, is learning more about shape layers. So let's take a look in the next lesson at how we can import vector images from illustrator and convert them to shape layers in after effects. 3. Converting Illustrator Files: so note that inside the Project folder we've provided there's a footage folder inside there . There's an images folder, and there's a couple of illustrator files here. Let's start by taking Look at Spring version one in Illustrator So we've got this simple little graphic of a plant sprout and note that I've separated the layers into each individual leaf and then the stem layer. Note that when you import an illustrator file in after effects. If you want layers to import as separate, animate herbal layers, you have to make sure and separate them into top level layers. After effects will not see sub layers as separate layers. It will only see top level layers as separate. So let's go back to after effects and import this illustrator file as a composition. So I'm gonna hit command I to import, and we're gonna navigate into that footage folder into the Images folder and select spring version one and down at the bottom. Here we want to select composition, retain layer sizes will click open, and now we have that file imported as a composition. Let's start by re naming our composition, spring pre calm, and let's move that pre comp into our pre comes folder and let's move our Layers folder that has our individual illustrator layers into our images folder just to keep our project window nice and neat when a tab open the pre comes folder here and you'll note, of course, that we already have pre comes from the finished version of the project. But here's our new spring pre compere. Let's double click on that toe. Open it so initially when we import an illustrator file, the layers do not come in as aftereffect shape players, so we can certainly animate them using our standard properties and add effects to them and so on. But we can't animate them using any of the many options and advantages of the after effects shape players. But we can easily convert these layers into shape layers by simply selecting them. Let's select all four layers here and go up to layer down to create and choose. Create shapes from vector layer that will then create shape layers based off of thes vector layers from illustrator with exactly the same ver Texas and busy a handles that were used to create the original image and illustrator. Now that we've converted these we can actually delete these individual illustrator layers were not gonna need them anymore. In the next lesson, let's dive a little deeper into how shape layers are structured, which will help us understand how to work with them moving forward. 4. Shape Layer Hierarchy: although after effects shape layers function in a very similar way to vector images and illustrator, they're structured in quite a different way. So before we move ahead working with our little sprout here, let's turn these layers off temporarily and just make a couple of new shape layers so we can explore this idea a little further. So I'm just going to select the rectangle tool, which has the default red fill and white stroke. And let's just draw a rectangle here, and I'm gonna turn the stroke up just so we can see this clearly. And of course, as soon as we've created that shape, we've added our shape layer. The shape layer includes the contents tab, which will contain this and any other shapes that we add. And then within the contents tab, we have the rectangle tab for our first rectangle. Let's go ahead and tab that open and we can see the different components of the rectangle. First, we have the rectangle path that includes the size, position and the roundness of the corners. Note that all of these can be animated, but I can also right click and convert this rectangle path to a pure busy a path if I wish , and then I merely have the path option. But that means that I can animate the individual points at busy a handles and so on. I'm gonna undo that because we don't need that for this demonstration. But I can convert any of the shapes from the shape tool to appear busy a path with that right click command. Then we have the stroke component, which includes the color of the stroke, the a pass ity of the stroke, the width of the stroke, various options for the cap of the line, various options for the joint of the line and the miter limit, which controls the way the miter joined works at different angles. There's also an option to add dashes to our line. If I hit plus here I will dash my stroke and note that I can change or even animate the width of the dashes. I can also animate the offset of the dashes. If I hit plus again, I get an option to add control over the space between the dashes, which again can be animated. If I hit plus again, I get a second dash plus again I get the gap for the second dash and so on so I can create some really interesting looks and animation effects with the dashes option. But again, we don't need this for now, so I'm just gonna hit minus a couple times to get rid of those. Then we have the fill component, which includes the color and opacity again, both of which are animated ble. Then we have the rectangles own transforms. Now it's really important to understand that these are separate from the layer transforms. There's are five layer transforms. The rectangle itself, has its own set of transforms its own anchor point position, scale, skew, skew, access, rotation and opacity again, all of which can be animated so you can create separate animations of the shapes within a shape layer and then also animate the shape layer, which is in some ways kind of like pre comping. It's almost like you have animations within a pre comp, and then you're animating that pre compass a single layer. But you want to be very careful to be clear on what you're animating, shape transforms or layer transforms. Note that, of course, when we create a shape layer it defaults to putting the anchor point in the center of the composition. If you look here in the transforms of our rectangle, note that the position has some offset values here. If we simply zero these out, it'll automatically center the anchor point within the shape and center the shape within the composition. So note the hierarchy. Here we have the contents, which includes our rectangle, and then the rectangle has it's four components, all contained as part of that rectangle. Now, if we keep the shape layer selected and we add a new rectangle and let's just change some of these colors a little bit now, note that we have our second rectangle, and if we tab that open, it now has its own path, stroke Phil and transform options. So of course, we can have multiple shapes within a layer. But these shapes, as we're calling them, are actually a little more like groups in illustrator, which means that not only can have multiple shapes within a shape layer, I can have multiple paths within a shape or a group if you want to think of it as a group. So I'm in a tab, open rectangle one and rectangle to. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna select the path from rectangle, too, and I'm gonna click and drag it down onto rectangle one and let's actually just click and drag this up and just drop it right underneath the other path. Here, let's just drop it right underneath the other path. I'm gonna change its size here a little bit and its position just so we can see the two a little more clearly. But note that the stroke and fill settings the pink and the blue that I added for rectangle two are no longer visible because rectangle to now no longer has a path. In fact, I can just delete rectangle to now and also know that the two paths within rectangle one and if I wanted to be really accurate here, I could change this name to rectangle group. The two paths are both utilizing the same stroke setting. So if I change the stroke settings or the stroke color note that that now affects both paths, as does Thedc, Rance forms and anything I do to these components. So now within the rectangle group, I have two paths I could have as many as I want, and then I have stroke and fill settings that affect both of those paths. Now this congee get a little complicated because I can add additional strokes and fills. So if I select my rectangle group and I go under, add right here, I can add, Let's say, another stroke. And if I drag that stroke just under rectangle path one, I've now added a second stroke to rectangle path one on Lee but not rectangle path to now. I don't want to get too deep into the weeds here, but the point is that this is a hierarchy. We have our shape layer, the contents of our shape layer within which we can have multiple shapes. Or we might want to call them multiple groups. And within those groups, we can have multiple paths, multiple strokes, multiple fills and each group is gonna have its own set of transforms. So it's definitely a very unique way of working with vector imagery compared with illustrator or photo shop, which I think scares some people away. But it actually provides a lot of options, not just for creating imagery but also creating animation, since so many of these component elements can be animated in. The next lesson will look at a really important option available to us here, which echoes what the Pathfinder does in Illustrator It's called Merge Paths. 5. Merge Paths: Let's go ahead and delete this shape layer that we've created. So I'm just gonna select that and delete it. And let's turn our leaf and stem layers back on. Now we want to give these leaves a little more shape with some kind of stylized negative space to represent shadows. And, of course, that could have been done in illustrator before we imported it. But I wanted to show you how the merge paths option works here in after effects. So let's start with the third leaf and let's tab that open and tab. Open the contents and note that when you import illustrator layers because there is the possibility that there are multiple paths within those grouped layers aftereffects names these quote unquote shapes groups, just like we were talking about. When you use a shape tool, aftereffects automatically names the group the name of the shape. But as we looked at in the previous lesson, these are really groups that can hold more than one path or more than one shape. So right now, Group one here simply has our path and a fill note. There's no stroke. I could add a stroke here if I wanted to, but it just has the green Phil. And then, of course, that transforms. And the path is just a pure busy a path which you can see here. But what we want to do is add an additional path and use it to cut a hole in our leaf. Zoom in a little bit here so we can see what we're doing a little better. And let's start by simply duplicating the path we already have, since it's already nearly the shape we want. So I'm gonna select that path and just hit command D to duplicate. And now I have two versions of that same path. I'm gonna hit the wiki for my selection tool, and then I'm just gonna double click on any of the Vertex is in this shape to get a transform box and them and hold down shift, option and command, which will hold our transform to the center to the anchor point in the center here, and I'm gonna shrink this down. And what I'm looking for is to get roughly the same whip at thes corners as the stroke on the stem. That looks pretty close. I'm gonna hit enter to set that. And then I'm gonna select the first path just to de select our second path and then re select our second path. So now we have each Vertex available to be selected separately, and I'm going to start by selecting and deleting this Vertex. So we get a straight line through the middle, and this one is a little too close to the edge here because we shrunk it proportionately. So it's a little wider here, a little narrower here, so I'm just gonna select that, and I'm just gonna nudge it in and up a couple of times. So the width is relatively consistent around that edge and again similar to the width of the stroke. Actually gonna go in and up a couple more times there now. Right now. Of course, we don't see anything. We have to pass the path creating the original leave and then our new path that we've modified. But they're both being affected by this, Phil. So they're both being filled in green. So we don't have what we want. Which is this to be negative space. Ah, hole cut in the leaf. Now an illustrator, you would, of course, use the Pathfinder to do this. We don't have a Pathfinder and after effects, but what we do have is merge paths. So I'm gonna go up to where it says, add, Click that and you'll see right at the top here, merge path. So let's go ahead and add that and you can see it's added as a new component within our group. I'm gonna tab that open, and I can change the mode just like I can with the Pathfinder to these different options. And, of course, we want subtract, which will now cut a hole in our original shape. Just what we're looking for now. In this case, we just duplicated the existing path. We can, of course, also used the pen tool to draw a new path, but it behaves just a little bit differently. So let's take a look at that in the next lesson. 6. Pen Tool: So let's see what happens when we use the pen tool rather than just duplicating an existing path. I'm gonna close up Leaf three here and let's select Leaf to and open that up. Now, if I grab the pen tool, which works in almost exactly the same way as the pen tool and illustrator, some of the key commands air just a little different. But for the most part, it works just the same. We can now draw our shape in order to create our cut out. But before I do that, I'm gonna draw kind of a random shape first, because I want to demonstrate a slightly different way this works. If you draw path on rather than duplicating an existing path, it just behaves a little differently. So let's just really quick just draw path. So no, initially, that it takes on its own stroke and fill settings. It's got the fill settings from our previous shape, but it's added the stroke from our previous experiments because there wasn't a stroke initially, and it just automatically puts on whatever was the last stroke setting we used. Now, of course, we can turn off the stroke by clicking here and turning off the stroke right there. But since we're focusing on Shay players a little more here, let's also look at another way Weaken. Do this. So if I open this new shape that we've drawn, Aiken simply select the stroke and delete it, so there just isn't a stroke at all for the shape. But we still have to separate shape groups, each with its own Phil and its own transforms. I need to have two paths in one group in order for that merge path toe work. So just as we looked at before, I can simply take the path from Shape one and click and drag it and drop it into Group two . I'm gonna move that up right underneath and note that it behaves differently, depending on where it is placed. That's important to recognize, but I'm gonna put it right under path. One note that it automatically behaves as if the paths were merged. It's actually the merge setting of the merge path option. Now, this somewhat strange behavior only happens when you're working with an illustrator layer that's been converted to a shape group, and then you draw a path and drop it on top. If I was to have just drawn these two shapes and dragged the past together in the same shape group, this would not occur, so I don't really totally understand why it happens. But if you have a converted illustrator layer converted to a shape object, you draw path. Drop it into the same shape group. You will get this automatic merging with emerge setting. Let's go ahead and delete the original shape group here. Select our current group, and we can now add our merge paths, which will then allow us to alter the settings from add to merge or subtract or intersect as we wish. I'm gonna switch this to subtract, and we'll just leave this here temporarily. But let's draw the path we actually want for this. So I'm gonna select path to and delete it and let's just go ahead and draw the same kind of path that we want here. So I'm gonna click here just inside the leaf again, trying to echo the width of our stroke roughly, I'll click the other side here to get my straight line across and note that I immediately get my stroke. Let's just quick turn that off. Select that, and so we can keep drawing. And then I'm gonna click and drag and hold down the shift key to keep that busy a handle straight and then complete the shape by clicking back on the first Vertex. Okay, so again, we've created a new shape group. Now all I have to do is open that up, grab that path, click and drag it and drop it into our new group. And then I have to just click and drag it up above the merge path. And now it is affected by that merge path. And we have our cut out as we want it. We can again select that empty shape group now and delete it. Okay, let's do our last leaf. But let's do it the way we did the 1st 1 which is actually a little more efficient. So I'm gonna select Leaf one. Gonna tab that open tab, open the contents and the group. Select the path Command D to duplicate it. Hit the wiki to get our selection tool Double click on any Vertex hold down shift option Command to shrink that down. It entered to set that I'm in a select path one to de select Slyke path to again will delete this Vertex Select this one and scooch it in a little bit to get that consistent stroke along the outside or the look of a stroke, Rather. And then with either of these two paths selected, I'm gonna go under, add and hit, merge paths and then change that to subtract. Okay, Now we've got our leaves looking the way we want them to, and we're ready to create our animation of this little plant sprout. Let's look at that in the next lesson. 7. Trim Path: But the first thing that we're gonna do is just animate the stem growing and after effects shape layers provides us with a perfect tool for this kind of animation. Let's solo the stem layer temporarily here and let's go ahead and tab that open tab. Open the contents. There's our group and within that, of course, our path of our little stem curve. Now, to create this simple animation of this stem growing, we're gonna use a really great tool. We're gonna use a really great element that we can add to a shape layer called trim paths. So let's go ahead under, add click and come down and choose trim paths to go ahead and add that and you can see. Now we've added our trim path, and if I tab that open, you'll see it has three main components that are all animated ble. Start and end our percentages. So the start begins at beginning of the path as it was drawn and allows you to animate that percentage from 0 to 100. Let's put it at 25 right now and then the end, which starts at the end of the path and moves from 100 backwards. Let me just put this back to 100 really quick. Note that I can reverse the direction of my path with these two little buttons here. So if I want Peace tart to be the end in the end to be the start, I simply click right here and then that reverses what the start and end of the path is. We don't need to do that here, but that option is available to you. And let's bring the end down to about 75% so we can take a look at what the offset does. The offset is controlled as a rotation value, but it simply allows you to offset the start and end positions that you've set. So you create this kind of fun worms crawling along kind of animation. But all we need to do here is just animate the end value. So let's put the start back at zero. Let's put the end back at 100. Let's jump to 16 frames and at 16 frames, we'll add a key frame here with our end value at 100%. So it's fully grown and we'll go back to zero frames and we'll just turn this down to zero . So now, over those 16 frames, our little stem grows trim passes incredibly useful, both for creating imagery and animating imagery with Shea players and after effects, Let's animate our leaves in our next lesson. 8. Animate Leaves: Now, before we animate our leaves, I've realized I made a little mistake. I've got my frame rate set incorrectly when I imported this composition. Let's also shorten the duration of this composition because we don't need it to be 30 seconds long, either. So I'm just gonna go up under composition settings or we could use Command K, and we'll just change the frame rate to 24 frames per second. And let's change the duration to the duration of our let's change the duration of the duration of our piece, which is eight seconds. I just had some different settings left over from a previous project. Now we want to make sure that our animation again is from 0 to 16 frames. So I'm just gonna type in 16 and let's just drag that key frame 2 16 So make sure you do. This is well, we want everything at 24 frames per second. All right now we're already to animate our leaves. So let's turn off our solo here, and we can close this layer up, and what we want to do is have each leaf pop on when the stem reaches it. So let's back up here and just step forward. So we're gonna use the command arrow keys to step forward, frame by frame, and we'll just go forward to one frame before our stem hits that leave. And we're going one frame before because we'll start our leaf animation at 0% scale, so it'll be invisible. So let's select Leaf one and we want to leave to grow from the bottom point here, where it's touching the stem. So we'll grab the pan behind Tool and will move that anchor point down, hold down the command key and snap it to that bottom corner. And then let's hit the S key for scale and will turn our scale down to zero. Put a key frame right there at frame six, so it frames six where 0% scale and let's go forward. Four frames. We just want this to pop on real fast. So 1234 and we'll scale this up a little bigger than we want. We're gonna overshoot it a little bit, so let's have it scale up to 125%. And then 1234 will have it settled back to its proper size at 100% scale. Now this is a very fast little movement, so eases aren't gonna change things a lot. But let's add some eases anyway, to really accentuate that pop so we'll add an ease out on the first key frame will pop then to that overshoot key frame, and then Eazy E's in on the last key frame to settle into our final position. So we get this nice little pop pop great that has a nice, energetic energy to it. Now we can take this scale animation and just copy and paste it to our other leaves. But let's get their anchor points set first. So let's grab the second leave and snap that anchor point into that edge. Now note that it's wanting to snapped other things, too. So let's just solo it real quick. Just to make absolutely sure that we're snapping it to the corner of that shape only will do the same with this third leaf. Another really good use for solo buttons. And then let's select our three scale key frames command see to copy. And then let's step forward until the frame just before the stem meets that second leave. Select that second leave. Open that scale value in command V to paste to pace Those key frames on will go forward again to the key frame just before we reach that last leave. Select that command V to paste that animation on and let's give that a quick ramp review. Pup, Pup pup. Really nice. Very simple, but has a lot of nice energy and charm. Okay, our little plant sprout is all animated. Let's move on to summer. 9. Set Up Grid: for our summer animation of our son. We're not going to import anything at all. We're just gonna build this entirely with shape layers right in after effects. So let's begin by hitting Command N for new composition. And we'll call this summer pre comp, and I've already got these default settings. But if you do not, you'll want toe uncheck your lock aspect ratio. If it is not at a 1 to 1 ratio and type in 10 80 by 10 80 will want to make sure that our frame rate is set to 24 frames per second and our duration is set to eight seconds. Once you've confirmed all those settings, go ahead and click OK now again to keep our project window clean, let's move our summer pre come into the pre comes folder. Now, in order to build our son, it's gonna be useful to have a grid to work with. So let's go ahead and turn on our grid. But this grid doesn't fit within our aspect ratio very well. So let's go under after effects, preferences, grids and guides. And let's change our grid setting so that we have a grid line every 120 pixels, and we have a subdivision of to that will give us nine squares across and nine squares up and down and then subdivision lines halfway through to make it easier to create a symmetrical design. We also want to make sure that we can snap to this grid. So under view, we want to make sure that snap to grid is checked on. Once that's done, we're ready to start drawing our son. Let's do that in the next lesson. 10. Draw & Animate Sun: Let's go ahead and draw our son. So let's start with our ellipse shaped tool. And let's change the fill color to our son colors. I'm to scroll down here so I can see our son yellow and I'll click on the Phil grab. I drop and grab that yellow, and we want no stroke here. So if you have a stroke, go ahead and turn that off right there and we're gonna go 2.5 grid squares in from the side and 2.5 grid squares down from the top. So we're gonna start right there. We're gonna hold down the shift key and win a click and drag our son and make sure that centered. So our son edges are 2.5 grid squares in on all sides. And that'll automatically give us our anchor point right in the center, just like our leaves. We're gonna create a kind of stylized shading using negative space here in our son. Let's come down to our contents. Open up our ellipse group. We're gonna take this ellipse path and command D to duplicate it. Now we want 1/2 circle shape here, so I'm gonna right click on the Ellipse path and convert this to just a pure, busy a path. I'm gonna hit the wiki to get my regular selection tool and I'm gonna select that path so I make sure I'm not selecting my lips path. But I'm gonna select this just raw path and then we'll double click on any of these. Vertex is to get our transform box, and I'm just gonna temporarily turn off snap to grid here. So we have a little more freedom to size. That's the way we want. And I'm gonna hold down shift option command and we're gonna shrink this down until again. We get kind of something similar to the sort of stroke with. We've been working with not quite a full half a grid square, maybe about 2/3. Something like that. Now let's edit this path a little bit, someone a de select by selecting the Ellipse and then select the path again. Let's select the Vertex on the side here and delete it. And then on these ones were gonna hold down command an option. So weaken split Thies too busy a handles and edit this one separately and actually we might want to turn our snap to grid back on so we can snap those along the grid and then command option click. Bring that in and snap that along the grid. So we get a nice straight line there. And now with that path selected, let's add our merge paths and set that to subtract. Oh, and we should name our layer too. So let's go ahead and name this son, and we're gonna add a scale animation to this layer. So let's hit the s key for scale. And I've already worked out the timings for all these animations, so I'm gonna go to one second, so I'm gonna click and type one dot that will bring me to one second in and will add a key frame there at 100% scale. And then I'm gonna go forward 24 seconds, so monotype for dot that will bring us to four seconds. We're just going to scale this up just a little bit to 110%. Just a little scale up. So our son is just kind of growing coming towards us a little bit very subtle. Okay, we're ready to draw a raise on and we're gonna use an awesome new shape layer tool called the Repeater. Let's look at that in the next lesson. 11. Draw Rays, Stroke Settings: All right, let's create our sun rays. Luckily, all we're gonna have to do is create one ray. And then in the next lesson, we're going to use an awesome shape layer tool called the Repeater to create the ring of raise around the sun. So let's go ahead and grab the pen tool, and let's make sure we don't have our son selected. So let's click. So let's click down below in the empty area of our timeline to make sure the sun is not selected. And let's change. Our settings will click on the Phil options in Turn off the Phil. Let's turn the stroke onto a solid color and let's change that color to our sun yellow. And then let's set our stroke with if you'll note back here in our spring pre comp. If we tab open our stem and look at our stroke, we have a stroke with of 35 so we want to use the same settings for our sun rays, so let's set the stroke width at 35. Now let's draw a single ray again. We're gonna use a tool to create the ring of raise. Let's make sure we have grid snapping on and at the top here. Let's start 1/2 a grid square in and put our first point there. Let's just shift that a little to snap that into place right there. And then we'll go down to half a grid square above our son and click again. Let's again just wiggle that a little bit to make sure that's snapped into place on our grid. Let's name this layer right away. Raise and we'll tab this open and let's change a couple of settings here. So in a tab, open the contents and let's go down to stroke. And let's change the line cap of this from a but cap to around cap. Okay, so we've got our single Ray in our next lesson. Let's look at how we can use the repeater to create a ring of raise around our sun 12. Repeater & Twist: the repeater is a super cool shape layer option that has a lot of applications were going to be using it in a very specific way here, But note that there is a lot of different things the repeater conducive for you. So let's take a look at what the repeater does and what some of the options are. I'm gonna close up our stroke component here and just select our shape group, and we're gonna go over to add, and we're gonna choose repeater now, right away, you'll notice that we get three raise rather than just the one Ray, let's open up and look at the different repeater options here. So when I tab open the repeater, notice that the first thing we have our copies and offset. So as I increase the copies, I get more or less copies of the individual shape. The offset offsets the copies from their originals. So if I offset this by one, I offset it by one copy by 22 copies and so on. The composite setting changes how the copies appear, with the copies either appearing below one another or above one another. This is useful. If you have copies, particularly with a stroke that are overlapping one another. Now this is all pretty straightforward. But here's where the repeater gets really interesting is within the transform repeater settings. Now, once again, we want to be very careful to be aware now that we've added the repeater there are now three transforms the transforms for the repeater, the transforms for the shape and the transform for the layer. So just be very cautious and aware of which transforms your digging around in. So let's have open, the repeater transforms, and this is really the powerhouse of the repeater. What the repeater transforms will do is allow each copy to shift. So, for example, if I decrease the scale, note that each copy decreases in scale by the percentage that we set. Same thing. If we increase the scale now, it's going off the screen here because it's scaling from the anchor point. So it's also important to keep in mind and for what we're going to do in a little bit. It's important that our anchor point B, in the center of our composition rotation, does the same thing. It rotates each copy by the percentage that you set so each copy is rotating 20 degrees more than the copy before. Position does the same thing, and we can even do it with the starting and ending opacity so I can have each copy get less opaque or start at a lower rapacity and get moral. Paige. So there's a lot of fun possibilities here for creating patterns or a raise of shapes. And remember, this will work on even very complex shapes with multiple paths. Strokes fills whatever. In this case, we're going to use this to create our ring of raise around our sun without having to draw each one and without having to figure out how to place them perfectly to create a perfect ring of rays. So the first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna set the position values at zero. We're going zero those out now. When that happens, it looks like there's no longer any copies. There are copies. They're just all grouped together at the same position because we've zeroed out the position value so that copies exist. They're just all sitting in exactly the same spot. We're gonna increase the number of copies to 14 14 then with our position zeroed out when we rotate, it's gonna rotate those copies around our anchor point, which again needs to be in the center of our composition here in the center of the sun. And now when we increase the rotation are raise ring around the sun, We're gonna set this rotation value, which I've already figured out for 14 copies. If we said it to 30 degrees, we get a perfectly even spread of raise around the sun, really cool and a big time saver. Now we also want to raise to be a little softer to have a little curvature to them. So we're gonna add one more option here to our shape. And that is twist. So under add, we're gonna choose Twist and you can see right away we get a little twist on our path there . And let's just increase our twist a little bit to 35 and note that the twist is included in the repeater. So each one of our raise is twisted now actually want to shorten these rays and give them some animation. So as our sun grows, the rays kind of expand outward with our son, so we'll be able to do that with a trim path. So let's look at that in the next lesson. 13. Animate Rays: So again, with our shape selected, let's go under, add and choose trim paths. And let's start by setting our start percentage at 75% to make our raise shorter. And let's set a key frame here at one second, right at the beginning of our son scale animation. Let's also put a key frame on the offset. At zero degrees this way are rays can grow a little bit and also snake along are curving path to give them some nice movement and to kind of keep pace with the scale of the sun. Now that I've set those key frames to save a little screen real estate, let's select the rays layer and hit the Yuki. So we're only looking at those two properties and will hit the K key to jump to four seconds. And let's change the start of our trim path to 50 and let's move our offset to negative 65% . What will have then is just this little kind of growing of the rays but also having them kind of shift along the curving path. There we go, all right. Our summer sun is all animated. Let's animate our full leaf in the next lesson 14. Import & Animate Leaf: our fall leaf has been created in Illustrator, So we're gonna import that and just add a little animation to the stem of the leaf. So let's hit Command I to import and select our fall leaf. Let's change the import settings to composition, retain layer sizes and click open. Let's double click on our fall leaf and you'll see that we have two layers. The leaf itself and the stamp. Now the only thing that we really have to animate here is this stem to just give it a little movement when the leaf drops out of frame, it's very subtle, but it just makes the leave a little less stiff and feel a little softer. So with the stem selected, let's go up under layer, create create shapes from vector layer to turn that into a shape layer. We can go ahead and delete the original stem, and in this case we're going to animate the path of the stem itself. This is another powerful aspect of animating shape layers that you can animate the shape of the paths themselves, and we're of course, using it here in a very minimal way. But it can be a very powerful tool for all kinds of animation. So let's go ahead. And so let's go ahead and tab open our Stam in the contents and the group within. And there's our path. Let's Tab that open and there's our animate herbal path attributes. And let's jump to five seconds. Five point that will bring us to five seconds. And we'll put a key frame right there at five seconds with the path in its current shape. And then we'll go to six seconds, six point, and we're just gonna straighten out the stem. So I'm gonna hit the wiki for my regular selection tool. And before I try to animate this path, I want to be able to use snap to grid so I can snap it to the center line here to make my stem straight. But unfortunately, I'm not gonna be able to do that if the position value in the transform for the group is offset. If it's offset, My snapping of these Vertex is will be offset. It's kind of an annoying little issue. I'm not really sure why it happens, but I'll just demonstrate it really quickly to you notice if I try to move this Vertex notice. It doesn't want to snap to the grid. It wants to snap offset, essentially to the grid, which is kind of frustrating, but we can fix this. So if I zero out the position value of the shape and then reposition the shape and I'll have to use a little nudging here toe, get that in the right position because of the snapping. Now, when I go to edit thes points, they will now snap to the grid. Even the busy a handle will snap. And Aiken, snap this one, which was a little bit off. Let's scooch that up just a little bit. Make sure that overlaps, so we get it perfectly straight. Stem so little caution there. If you're using snapping to a grid, you'll want to make sure your position value and your transforms is zeroed out. Okay, so now we have the stem straightening out from 5 to 6 here. That top point needs to scooch up just a little bit more there in this 1st 1 There we go again. This is a very small, subtle animation. You barely see it in the final piece, but it does make the leaf feel just a little bit more organic. Let's name our composition here. Fall pre comp and let's move it into our pre comes folder and let's move our fall layers into our images folder. So again, we're keeping our project window well organized. Okay, we'll add the additional animation of the leaf tumbling in our final render comp. So we're ready to move on and create our winter snowflake. 15. Draw Snowflake: all right, we're ready to create our final icon animation. So let's create a new composition command end. We'll call it winter pre calm. We want to make sure that the width and height is 10 80. That are frame rate is set to 24 our duration is set to eight. Our grid is gonna be very useful here, So let's leave our grid up and let's start by drawing our snow flee. So I'm gonna go up and grab the Ellipse tool and let's change the stroke color to our blue here and starting from our center square here in our composition. Let's just go 1.5 squares out right to here and click and drag to draw a circle right in the middle. Let's name our new layer snowflake, and let's draw our snowflake branch. Let's keep our layer selected. Gonna grab our pin tool and we're gonna draw from one square down. One grid square down from the top will put a point right there and again. Let's just wiggle it to make sure that it snaps onto that grid point and then we'll go down and finish it down here at the end. Let's just make sure that snapped into that grid point as well. And let's open up that shape and this stroke and let's add a round cap to the end of that And with the snowflake still selected, let's add some other components to our little snowflake branch. So I'm gonna draw a little straight line from halfway down the grid square right across that line. There and again, we want to make sure those are snapped to the grid. Let's open up that new shape we created and click and drag that path into our first shape and then just move that up above. So it takes on the same stroke settings as our first path. We can delete that additional shape, and then let's draw a little V shape here, snapped that to the grid to complete our snowflake branch once again will grab that path, drop it into the shape and move that above the stroke and weaken. Delete the original shape. So now we have with these three paths, we have our little snowflake branch. So let's add our repeater to this, just like we did with the Sun to ring six copies of our branch around our snowflake. So I'm gonna go under add repeater, and we're gonna make six copies, and we're gonna zero out the position value, and we're gonna ring these around our snowflake. I've already worked out that 60 degrees will give us a perfect six Branch snowflake. Now for a snowflake animation, we're going to create the illusion that the ice crystals air forming and the snowflake is growing as it freezes. So in the next lesson, let's add some trim path animation as part of creating that look. 16. Trim Path Animation: Now, if we were to add just one trim path animation to this shape group, it's gonna trim all of the paths. And we Onley want to trim the paths of path three our little V shapes and path to our little cross shapes so the trim path will affect any path that is above it. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna take paths three and two and we'll move those above Path one, and then we'll go over and add our trim path again. Right now, all three pads are above it. So if we were to try to animate this, it's gonna affect all the paths at once. But if we move this above path one, so it is below Path two and three. Now it's on Lee going to animate paths two and three, which is exactly what we want. So it's important to remember that the order of the components within a shape group really matters Okay for R ice crystals forming, we want the animation to start at five seconds and 12 frames. So we're gonna type five 0.12 jump to that point and we're gonna set our start and end points both at 50%. So we're essentially tucking both ends of R V shape and our cross shape into the center and will put key frames right there. And then we'll go to seven seconds seven dot and will set thes back to normal. So 0% at the start and 100% at the end. And then we'll get this will get both sides of those paths growing out. Okay, so now that we've got our trim path animation set in the next lesson, let's complete this snowflake animation by animating the stroke with itself. 17. Stoke Width Animation: okay, Our snowflake animation is almost done. Let's leave our C T I here at seven seconds and let's open the stroke options and on stroke with Let's put a key frame there at the full 35 points. Let's put a key frame there with stroke. With that 35 let's hit the J key to jump back to five seconds and 12 frames, and let's turn the stroke with down to zero. Oops, we have a problem because our Ellipse is not being included in this stroke with animation. That's because it's in a separate group here, So let's fix that. Lets take this ellipse and take this ellipse path and move it above our stroke. Now that also means that we're repeating the Ellipse path, which we don't really need to do. We can't see it at all, but it might cause some change in the render speed. So let's also move the repeater above the Ellipse path, so it's repeating the paths above it, the branch pads. But it's not repeating the Ellipse. Now. We have our snowflake growing as if the ice crystals air forming with the trim path animation and the stroke with animation note again that the order that we place the elements within a shape group are really important. We can now delete the ellipse shaped group because we've now included it in this single shape group. Once again, the rotation of the snowflake is going to be created in our main render comp, which were ready to start putting together. So let's look at that in the next lesson. 18. Create Main Comp: Now that we have all four of our seasonal pre comes animated, we're ready to create and build the full animation in our main render comp. So let's start again by hitting Command End to create a new composition. And this time we're gonna use the preset HD TV 10 80 24 and we'll go ahead and leave the duration at eight seconds. Let's rename the composition seasons and click OK, let's temporarily turn the grid off here, Hope and we need to move our winter pre comp into our pre comes folder. And then let's select the remaining three Pre Comes. We have all four pre cum selected. Remember, we want the ones we just made, not the old ones with zero at the end, and we're gonna click and drag those straight down into our main comp. Let's reorganize the's in the order. We're going to animate them. So spring, summer, fall and winter, and now we're ready to animate each of our pre comes. Let's do that in the next lesson, 19. Animate Precomps: right. Let's start by soloing spring, and we'll start with the spring animation first. And of course, this begins with our plant sprout forming and what we want this to do as soon as the plant forms is we wanted to slide upwards out of frame. So it's hit the peaky for position, and here at one seconds we want to be right at one second, we're gonna grab a position key frame there. Then we're gonna go forward to two seconds to period, and we'll just type in negative 5 40 to move this just out of frame at the top because we're moving 1080 pixels. That brings us from 5 42 0 to negative 5 40 up there at the top. And let's add an easy ease out, and we'll add an easy is in, even though we're actually moving off frame here. Usually, I wouldn't add and ease in when something is moving off frame, just like I wouldn't usually put in ease out when something is moving on frame. But I'm going less for kind of a realistic feeling with this animation and more a feeling of kind of shifting panels back and forth as we move from one icon to another. So I'm just gonna put ease outs and these ends on all of these movements. So I'm gonna j back because as the spring Cup moves out of frame, we want thes summer comp to move into frame from the bottom and let's go ahead and turn the summer comp on and hit the peaky, and we want this to start out of frame at the bottom. So I'm taking 5 50 I'm adding 10 80. So plus 10 80 brings us down to 16 20. That puts us right there at the bottom edge of the frame. So I had a key frame there and then I'll go forward and we'll just set that back to 5 40 and again, we'll do an easy is out and an easy ease in. So just a ramp review. Just this first part, a little plant grows on and we slide to the sun. OK, the sun stays still for one second and then at three seconds, we want our leaf to start to come on and our son to move off to the sides of the sun will move off to this side. The leaf will come in from the other side. So I'm gonna add a key frame at this same centered position here for the sun. Now let's go forward to four seconds and we want the sun to move all the way off frame to the side here. So it's got to go 1st 960 frames just to get the anchor point to the center. So if we type in zero into the X value, that will bring that anchor point right to the edge of the frame and then we need to go half of this pre comp, which is 10 80 so that's gonna be minus 5 40 which will bring the edge of the pre calm to the edge of our frame. This is one of the reasons why making the pre comes 10 80 by 10 80 makes them easy to work with because they already fit into the frame top and bottom cleanly. But then we can use simple math to move them up and down right toe left, and once again, we're gonna go easy. Easy out on the first key frame and Eazy E's in on the second key frame. And just to make sure we don't have any drift in the middle, we're not showing any. But just to be on the safe side command option. Click to add a hold there in between two seconds and three seconds. Now let's jump back to three seconds here and let's turn on our fall pre comp, and we're gonna add both position and rotation animation to this. So let's hit the peaky here, and we're going to start by having this off screen on this side so it's gonna be plus 9 60 plus 5 40 That brings us right to the edge. Gonna go ahead and hit the position. Key frame there will k forward, and we'll just type in 1960. That'll bring us right to the center and let's finish the position animation before we add the rotation so we'll go to five seconds. Five point. Add a key frame at that position, and then we're gonna have the leaf fall down out of frame since it's a fall leaf and that elite us into the snowflake, which falls in from the top. So I'll go forward to six seconds, six period and will move this down out of frame, which means we add 10 80 to the Y value that will bring that down out of frame. Let's add our eases and holds. So on the 1st 1 here, we're gonna Eazy e's out. 2nd 1 we're going to ease ease in. Then we're gonna hold, then Eazy e's Out and Eazy E's in. And now let's back up and add our rotation. So at three seconds here, let's hit the R Key. We want this to start at minus 90 so it's coming in at a 90 degree angle pointed into the frame. Let's go ahead and add a key frame there at minus 90 and we wanted at minus 90. So when it comes into frame, it comes in pointing in with the leaf, pointing into frame. Now that we've added that key frame, let's hit the U key. So you open both position and rotation and we're gonna go all the way to the end, and we'll have this rotate around so it kind of comes in, flips around and then goes out pointed down. So that's gonna be positive 1 80 degrees, and we won't put any eases on that so it's just in constant motion all the way through. We can just ram preview that quick. Nice. Then let's jump back to five seconds here with the J Key. And now that we're turning on, the last pre camp here will just take all these solo buttons off and the snowflake, which hasn't appeared yet because it hasn't begun to grow into the frame yet. We still want that to drop from the top, so we already know to position at the top. We want to be it minus 5 40 that will put that comp up at the top of the frame at a position key. Frame their jump forward to six seconds, and we'll put that back to the center. Positive. 5 40 will go to seven seconds. Seven point at a key frame at that same position and then K forward to the end of the composition, and we want this to drop off the bottom. We already know that 16 20 positive and that will drop that down out of frame at our eases and holds Eazy e's out. Eazy E's in command option. Click toe hold Eazy e's out, Eazy E's in and now We'll add some rotation to this as well, so we'll hit. The R Key will add a rotation key frame here at zero degrees at five seconds, and then we'll go forward to eight seconds and we'll just have this rotate a little bit 45 degrees. So let's ramp review are finished. Icon animation. Great works really nice and loops really cleanly. OK, in the next lesson will add the animation of the color shifting background. 20. Animate Background Colors: one of the cool things you can do with Shea players is actually animate their stroke and fill colors. So let's use that to create a shifting color background for our seasonal changes. So I'm going to start by turning on our grid So we have something to snap to and let's grab the rectangle tool, and we want to make sure we don't have any layers selected otherwise will create a masked Ana de select so we don't have any layers selected and we're gonna turn off the stroke and we're gonna turn on the Phil to a solid color. And let's change that color to our first color, the spring color, which is this dark green. Now let's go ahead and draw our rectangle across the frame, and it'll snap to that grid so it'll cover our background perfectly, and let's click and drag that down underneath. All of our pre comes hit the return key and we'll call this background and in the contents here, let's tab open the rectangle tab, open the Phil and there is our fill color that we can animate. So we're gonna have these color shifts happen a little faster than the position, movement transitions. So starting from these first key frames, I'm gonna go six frames forward, so just plus six and we'll grab a key frame, a color key frame right there. I'm gonna right away Hit the U key. So we collapse all that other stuff and save ourselves some real estate here, and then we're gonna go forward 12 frames, so we do 1/2 2nd transition, so I'm gonna click and type plus 12. That'll jump us ahead 12 frames six frames before the end of the one second transition on position, and now will change the color to our summer color, which is the dark yellow. Now we'll also add eases on these Eazy E's Out and Eazy E's in. So the transition happens very quickly in the middle. So since we're going six frames after the beginning of each transition weaken, just eyeball this. This one's at three seconds. So we can just type in 3.6 and that will just bring us six frames ahead of that transition . Will grab another key frame at that golden yellow color will jump forward 12 frames and will shift to the fall color. The dark orange. Let's add an easy ease out here and an easy ease in here. I'm gonna add a hold to the end of this, just for safety, and then we can do the same thing here at five seconds. Type in 5.6 Grab a color key frame. They're with the dark orange forward 12 frames and grab our dark blue winter color at a hold key frame on the end. Here, Easy is out. Eazy E's in, and then, at seven seconds and six frames, 706 will transition back to green. So grab a key frame there, plus 12 and we'll go back to our dark green to create our loop. Hold on the end. Easy is out. Easy's in. So let's do a quick ramp review of that and see how those color shifts look great. And it's fun that you can see the little color stripe down below, which is showing you how the color shift. It's not really necessary, but it's cool to look at. All right. In the next lesson, let's finish up our animation with a little texture and vignette toe warmup thes flat vector shapes a little bit 21. Add Texture & Vignette: so the first thing we conduce here is Turn off our grid. We really don't need to look at our grid anymore, so let's toggle that off. So let's add a little texture. Since this is about the seasons, which is sort of a natural thing, let's kind of warm up these flat, cold vector shapes with a little organic texture. So I've already got a texture file imported. Let's tab closed our pre comes tab, open our images, and we've got this texture. J peg. Let's click and drag that down and drop that on top of our image. Let's scale it down a little. That texture is a little big, so let's scale it down to 50%. And I don't want any of this color. I want to use the colors that we've chosen. So with this layer selected, I'm gonna goto effects and presets, and I'm gonna type in black and white. There's color correction, black and white. Let's double click on that toe. Add that, and then, in order to show the colors through, let's change the blend mode to multiply, and that texture looks nice, but it's a little heavy, so let's turn down the opacity to 50%. There we go. Just a little subtle, warm, natural texture. Not also like to add a vignette, a little darkening on the edges to give the frame a little shape since the background is pretty flat. So let's go ahead and add an adjustment layer something to go under layer new adjustment layer will call this layer vignette. And I'm gonna add a level adjustment to this to darken this down so levels will add that. And I'm gonna grab the input black slider here and just darken this down a little bit. And then let's add a mask to this so it's dark on the edges and light in the middle. So with the vignette selected, I'm gonna go up under layer a mask, new mask that's gonna put a mass just around the outside of the whole image there. And then I'm gonna hit the M key to open that mask and will go down here to where it says shape and just click on that and I'm gonna reset this from a rectangle to an ellipse, and it's just automatically gonna create an ellipse in the same size as my adjustment layer will change the mask to a subtraction mass. So it's light in the middle, dark and the edges. And if I hit em twice, mm, I'll open all of the mask properties, including the feather. And let's feather this quite a bit. I'm gonna feather it to 600 pixels. There we go. A nice shape to the frame gives a little sense of light there in the middle. Now, I've already got audio kind of edited for this, so let's just quick copy and paste that over from our finished version. So let's go to seasons finished and note that in the project file you downloaded, you will just have one audio file to copy and paste. I've got several here. Let's select all of the audio layers, which are these green layers, man. See to copy Command V to Paste and lets just slide those down to the bottom. And let's color code the rest of our layers to just to stay nice and organized. So I want the top two layers, which are overall adjustments will make those red will make all of our pre comes orange. We'll make our background yellow, and those audio layers are already green and again. You can use whatever colors you want, but it's just a good idea to name and color code your layers in case you come back to it later, it'll be more organized and easier to find your way around. Or, perhaps more importantly, if you pass the project off to someone else. OK, we've got our finished seasons animation. Let's ramp review and have a look. Great. That's looking really nice. The sound effects really add a lot. Okay, and the next two lessons will do. Two different renders one standard render, and we'll also look at creating a simpler version toe output as a gift. 22. Render Movie: So let's start by doing a standard render out of the media encoder. Q. So with our composition selected in the timeline, we're gonna go under composition. Add to adobe media encoder que Remember to be patient during these steps will sometimes take a little while. Okay, once the media encoder has opened and it is added your render to the Q, we just want to tweak some settings a little bit. If you took my intro the after effects Siris of courses, you'll already know that the settings that I'm going to recommend to you are the settings that we recommend to motion design students at the Wriggling College of Art and design. These settings will create a nice quality movie with a reasonable file size. So I'm gonna click on match source here. We're gonna go down to the video window and scroll down to the bit rate settings. We're gonna change the bit rate encoding to V V R. To pass change the target bit rate to eight and the maximum bit rate to 10. Once that's done, will click OK, and now we're ready to render. So we'll just hit the green button to render our movie. Remember again to be patient through this process. Sometimes it takes a while to load the file into the media encoder. Sometimes it takes a little while to load the render settings, and depending on the speed and configuration on your computer, it might take more or less time to do the final render. Once you're done rendering, you can click on the output file link and will jump directly to the file on your finder so you can preview it. This looping animation would be fun to share on Instagram, but the looping quality could also make it a nice gift, although it's a little long. So in the next lesson, let's look at creating a more simple version that we could output as a gift. 23. Render GIF: toe help. With this as a looping GIF, we're gonna need to simplify it a little bit because it's a little on the long side. There's quite a bit of movement in the frame, and if we were just out, put it as is as a GIF, it would be prohibitively large. So let's start by making a copy of the main composition here. So let's take seasons, select it, duplicate it and let's name it Seasons underscore gift and let's double click on that. And to start with, we're gonna want to get rid of the vignette and the texture, even though they look really nice. Those will definitely make the gift much larger because of all the subtlety with the texture and the Grady int. So let's select those two layers and delete those. We can also get rid of the audio, since obviously there's no audio on a gift, and then let's also shrink this down a little bit. And because of the way we built this, this could easily exist as a square. So let's go under composition. Composition settings will unlock the aspect ratio and will change the width to 10 80 so we'll make this just a square and you can see that it It still works just fine as a square , since we build each one of those pre camps as a square that it works just fine. Now we can't output this out of after effects or the media encoder Q As a gift, we have to go through Photoshopped to do that. So the first thing we're gonna do is render this off as an image sequence of J pegs that we can then open in photo shop. So to do that, with our composition selected in the timeline, we're gonna go up under composition, add to render queue. So we're gonna add it to the render queue within after effects rather than going through the media encoder. So let's add it to the render queue, which pops up here, and we'll start by clicking on the render settings. Best settings right here. We want to make sure that quality is set to best and the resolution is set to full. But we're gonna want to reduce the frame rate because 24 frames a second is just gonna be too much for a gift that is this long. So let's check here, it says Use this frame rate. Let's check their and will turn this down to 10 frames per second and click OK or hit. Return, then will click where it says output module lossless. Click on lossless and we want to change the format from quick time to J. Peg sequins. And if you don't automatically get the J peg format options, which you may or may not get depending on. If you have set thes settings before, click on format options and choose high quality and click OK and click OK here and then where it says output to. I recommend you navigate to your Project folder and render into that project folder and leave Save in sub folder checked so it'll render your J Peg sequins into that sub folder and click, save and then click Render. Once you've rendered your J pegs, go ahead and open photo shop here in photo shop. We're gonna go ahead and click open and then navigate into your Project folder into the season's gift folder and select the first J peg in the sequins. Click the options button and check image sequence that will then import the entire sequence of J Pegs as a movie. So let's open that you'll get a dialog box asking you what frame rate you want to use. You want to use 10 frames per second, which is what we set our output for, and then click. OK, now, if you don't see the timeline down below, go up under window and choose timeline. But you can see we have an eight second timeline here. And as I scrub through there is our animation. And to output this as a gift, we're gonna go under file export, save for Web, and you can see it's already going to be quite a large file at almost four megabytes. But there's a few things we can do to get this a little smaller. For one thing, we can drop the colors way down, so let's bring the colors down to 32 let's bring the size down as well. It's bring this down to 50% and you can see it 50% size with 32 colors. We've gotten it down to under a megabyte, still not super small, but for a gift that's this long, that's probably about as good as we can hope for you could reduce the color some more or play around with some of the other settings, but I think that's pretty good for an eight second gift. Once you've got your settings the way you want, you can hit, save navigate again into your project folder, and we'll save this as Seasons gift and then let it render. And now we have our looping GIF. You can see that it's a little bit rough in those color transitions with the 32 colors, but it's not too bad. In fact, it might be possible to do this with 16 colors and still have it work. 24. Bye For Now!: Hopefully, this classes helped you feel more comfortable working with aftereffect shape players, as well as demonstrating some of their tremendous potential for both image creation and animation. We've looked at most of the fundamental aspects of shape players, including the hierarchical structure of shape players working with an animating past strokes and fills and using cool add ons like merge paths, trim Path and the repeater. Whether you followed along and created the same Four Seasons animation we created in the class or whether you struck out on your own and created your own unique animation using Shea players, I'd love to see what you've come up with. So be sure and share your finished shape layer projects with me and your fellow students. I've got more intermediate and advanced after effects and animation classes planned for skill share. So be sure and follow me here or on Facebook, instagram or Twitter for news about upcoming classes. Thanks so much for watching, and I hope to see you soon