The Stop Motion Look in Adobe After Effects | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

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The Stop Motion Look in Adobe After Effects

teacher avatar Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

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

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.

      Course Trailer


    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Lowering the Frame Rate


    • 4.

      Posterize Time Effect


    • 5.

      Posterize Time Expressions


    • 6.

      Randomizing Motion pt 1


    • 7.

      Randomizing Motion pt 2


    • 8.

      Using Photo Assets pt 1


    • 9.

      Using Photo Assets pt 2


    • 10.

      The Felt Look pt 1


    • 11.

      The Felt Look pt 2


    • 12.

      The Felt Look pt 3


    • 13.

      The Felt Look pt 4


    • 14.

      Animating Text


    • 15.

      Global Controls


    • 16.

      Making a Pizza pt 1


    • 17.

      Making a Pizza pt 2


    • 18.

      Making a Pizza pt 3


    • 19.

      Animating pt 1


    • 20.

      Animating pt 2


    • 21.

      Exporting Your Project


    • 22.

      That's It!


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About This Class

Through this jam packed course I'm going to teach you not only how to create a stop-motion animation look inside After Effects, but also a completely photo-real felt material effect. Through the lessons we'll be covering things like:

  • Making an animation look like stop motion
  • Giving depth to your graphics to add realism
  • Applying textures to your graphics efficiently
  • Using expressions to create global controls for your scenes

And much, much more! As always, I'll be showing you how I use keyboard shortcuts constantly for a more efficient workflow. And you'll pick up all sorts of workflow tips and tricks along the way.

By the end of this class you'll be making authentic looking stop motion animations right in After Effects, and have a sweet project to show off to the world. I'll see you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jake Bartlett

Motion Designer

Level: Intermediate

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1. Course Trailer: Hey, I'm Jake Bartlett and this is The Stop Motion Look In After Effects. In this course, I'm going to teach you everything you need to know to start making your motion graphics look like authentic stop-motion animation. In addition to the stop motion look, I'm also going to teach you how to make this authentic looking photo-real felt look using actual felt textures. Throughout the class, I'll be teaching you things like adding in imperfections to your motion to make it look handmade, Using lighting and shading to add a lot of depth and perspective to your graphics, building custom controls to help your workflow via expressions and much much more. For the class project, you'll be making a stop motion animation in after effects of your favorite meal and to kick off this class I'm running a contest through the month of February for a free year of Skillshare premium. All you have to do to be eligible is complete a class project by the end of February. This class is for anyone interested in motion graphics. It's a good idea to have a good grasp on after effects but as with all of my classes, I'll walk you through every step of the process so that you can follow along even if you're new to the software. I'll see you in class. 2. Class Project: For the class project, you'll be making a stop motion animation using the felt textured look. For best results, it be a good idea to do some research on what felt art looks like, so you can get an idea of how much detail to put into your design. If you take a look at my own sample project, you'll notice that there isn't much detail at all in any of my pizza toppings, and that's because making fine details out of felt in the real world isn't very easy to do. So, to make your class project look more authentic, try to design your assets in a way that will make this effect look more realistic. If you want any feedback on your animation, be sure to ask for that when you upload it to your project. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you make. 3. Lowering the Frame Rate: Alright let's get right into this. I'm going to show you three different ways of approaching a stop motion look, making your animations appear like they were done in stop motion. The reason I'm teaching you three different ways is because they can be used in three different types of situations and I want you to be able to know when to use which type. To demonstrate these three different techniques, I set up a sample animation of just this simple ball bouncing so we just see this ball bouncing and come to a stop. Now, my comp currently, if we go to the composition settings, is set to 30:00 frames per second. That looks like motion graphics right because a lot of motion graphics are created at 30:00 frames per second and they're played back at 30:00 frames per second. Just like being able to set the frame rate of a comp inside of aftereffects, a stop motion animator who's actually doing stop motion for real can decide ahead of time how many frames per second they want to animate at. Obviously the more frames that they put in a second, the more frames that they're actually going to have to move physical objects around and take photos of for every single second. Higher frame rate means more time. If you've ever seen a movie that was stop motion animated then it was likely animated at 24:00 frames per second so if I drop this down to 24:00 frames, you can see that it looks a little bit more choppy, there aren't as many in between frames and it gives a slightly different look. 24:00 frames per second is the standard film frame rate and that is part of what gives movies their signature look. Now obviously 24:00 frames per second is still pretty time consuming when you're physically making every frame by hand and then taking a picture of it. To be more economical with their time, a lot of stop motion animators will drop the frame rate even further. If we cut the frame rate from 24:00 frames per second down to 12:00 frames per second, now it's even choppier but you can see that this actually already is starting to look a little bit as if I had animated it by hand using stop motion. This is the first technique and it is by far the simplest way to make your animations look like they were stop motion and that is simply to just lower the frame rate of your comp so whether that's 12:00 frames per second, you could drop it down to 10:00 frames per second and that'll give you even more of an exaggerated look. You could drop it down to 08:00 frames per second. Whatever frame rate you want. Now one limitation of this technique is that you are stuck with this frame rate, there's nothing you can do inside of this comp to generate any more frames than what you are seeing. But if you know that you want a specific frame rate like 10:00 frames per second or 12.00 frames per second, then that is totally fine. There's absolutely no reason to have more frames than you need and that's even going to make everything render quicker so if you know that you want to work at 12:00 frames per second then I say by all means set your comp to 12:00 frames per second. Don't over complicate anything and just animate normally. Now there definitely will be some more tips that I'm going to give you to make it look even more hand done and organic but this is the first step in making your animations look more like stop motion and just one side note on this technique. Let's say that you wanted your ball to be bouncing at 12:00 frames per second. Whatever it is that you want to look like it's stop-motion, set that objects comp to that frame rate so 12:00 frames per second. But let's say that you want your final video to be 24:00 frames per second not 12:00 and you might even want to animate some other things at 24:00 frames per second and not 12:00 frames per second. Well all you need to do is pre comp the layers that you want at 12;00 frames per second and put them into a comp that is 24:00 frames per second. Let me show you what I'm talking about. I've got my comp one. I'm going to name this Main Comp. And then inside of that Main Comp, I'm going to pre comp the ball by pressing Commander Shift C on the keyboard or Ctrl Shift C if you're on a PC and I'll name this ball Bounce then I'll hit okay and now that ball is in its own pre comp. If I go into that pre comp, we've got the same animation and the comps frame rate is 12:00 frames per second. I got my composition settings open just by pressing Command K or Ctrl K on the keyboard. Alright. So this comp is 12:00 frames per second. I'm going to go back to my main comp and change the composition settings so the frame rate is now 24:00 frames per second. If I play this back. That motion doesn't look the same. It's smoother now. If we count the frames, there's one, two, three, four. Yeahp! That is updating every single frame when really I wanted to update every other frame because the ball bounce to look like it stop motion should be at 12:00 frames per second or in this 24:00 frames per second comp every other frame. Fortunately there's an easy fix for this. All I have to do is go back into my ball bounce pre comp, go to composition settings and then under Advanced, make sure that preserve frame rate when nested or in render Q is checked then I'll hit okay and that does exactly what it sounds like. Now that that's checked, the frame rate is going to be preserved even though it's within a comp that is a different frame rate. So if I count now one, two, one, two, one, two, every other frame, it updates. So that ball is playing back at 12:00 frames per second within a 24:00 frames per second comp and if I copy that ball over and I just offset the position a little bit so that we can see it independently of the other layer and then I'll offset in time as well, we'll see that they look very different. You see one is much smoother than the other. Like I said that is the simplest, most effective and quickest rendering way to drop the frame rate of your motion giving it a much more stop motion animated look and feel. 4. Posterize Time Effect: For the second technique, I'm going to get that ball bounce back into my main comp. I can go ahead and delete that ball bounce, I don't need that 12 frames per second comp any more. So, I've got my 24 frames per second ball bounce once again. For the next technique, I'm going to make a new adjustment layer. So, I'm going to go to layer, new adjustment layer, shortcut is also Option-Command-Y. An adjustment layer lets you apply effects to it and then those effects are applied to whatever is below it. So, if I were to add a glow effect to this adjustment layer, it applies it to everything beneath it. Now, I have a gray background so that's not glowing but you see that the ball is glowing. So, that's how an adjustment layer works. What I'm going to do is type in an effect called Posterize Time. I'll drag it onto my adjustment layer. What this effect does is allows you to adjust the frame rate of whatever it's applied to, and I applied it to an adjustment layer. So, this means, everything that is below this adjustment layer will be affected by the Posterize Time. So, if I drop the frame rate from 24 down to 12, we're back to a 12 frames per second ball bounce. This is another really easy way to apply this look without having to change the frame rate of the comp. But there are some downsides to Posterize Time. One being that it actually takes longer to render with Posterize Time than if you were to just lower the frame rate of the actual comp. It didn't take much time to render this specific animation because this is an extremely simple animation. I just have one shape layer and it's bouncing. But if you had a complicated comp with lots of textures and motion, and it was full HD, this comp is very small compared to an HD comp. It does increase the render time significantly. The benefit of using Posterize Time is that you can easily turn it on and off or adjust the frame rate without messing with any of your keyframes, any of the timing, or you're comp settings. But because it is an adjustment layer, if I duplicated my ball and moved it above and then I'll just change the color so we can see the difference. Now, play that back, you can see that we have two different frame rates within the single comp. So, using the Posterize Time effect is just another way to have the same type of effect as lowering the comp. You don't have to apply it to an Adjustment Layer either. If I cut this out of the adjustment layer, I can even delete the adjustment layer and paste it on the first ball. You see that's updated, it's a lower frame rate, and I can easily apply that effect to whatever layers I want to have a lower frame rate. 5. Posterize Time Expressions: Okay, let's take a look at the last technique and this last technique is using Expressions. Now, Expressions if you're not familiar is a coding language based on JavaScript that After Effects uses. Now, that might really scare you, don't let it. Expressions are really, really powerful and they allow you to do really, really complex things. The Expression that we're going to be writing for this motion is actually very, very straightforward. So, what we're going to do is open up the Position by pressing P on the keyboard, and then I'm going to Option or Alt on a PC, click on the X Position and that opens up this little window down here, and you see right here it says Expression for the X Position. This allows me to write an Expression or some code for that value. By default, whenever you add an expression to a property, it fills in the Expression code for that property, so this is the X Position, the way that After Effects references that through Expressions is transform.xPosition. So, we're looking at the transformcontrols dot the xPosition. I don't actually need that, so I'm going to delete it and I'm going to type in my own expression, and it is posterize capital T for time, open parentheses 12 close parentheses, and then I'll finish it with a semicolon. A semicolon goes at the end of any line within an expression. So, what this expression is saying is posterize the time of this property and then in parentheses this 12 is the frame rate, so 12 frames per second. It's exactly the same as the posterize time effect, but instead of applying it to the entire layer, I'm able to apply it to specific properties. If I click off of this box over here to apply the expression, I immediately get an error. The reason for this is because the posterize time expression isn't actually generating any values. It's just telling After Effects to process whatever is in these expressions at whatever frame rate you determine. So, what I need to do is tell this expression where it's getting its value from after that posterize time expression. So, if I go back and edit, you saw that I can expand or compress this box just by clicking and dragging right here. So, I'll give myself a little bit more room, I'm going to go down one line and I'm going to type in a value semicolon. Value is literally just going to look at whatever the value of the property this Expression is applied to is currently set to, and give that same value to that property. So, it's effectively just looking at whatever I've set my keyframes to, however I've animated this and returning that value, but because I put posterize time 12 above it, it's only going to update that value at 12 frames per second or every other frame within a 24 frame comp. So, if I play this back, we've got some really weird looking motion. Now, why is this? Because I've only applied it to the X Position. X is the horizontal axis, so moving from left to right that is the only property that's getting this posterize time right now, but if I just go into this and say copy with Command or Control-C, and then I add an expression by holding Option or Alt and clicking on the stopwatch for the Y position, then I'll paste, click off and now that posterize time is applied to both properties, and I'm once again looking at a 12 frames per second motion. Now, if I had any other animation happening on this layer like the rotation or the scale and I wanted that to be at 12 frames per second as well, I would need to apply that posterize time to those properties as well, but this is a very handy technique for being able to apply lower frame rates to very specific properties. You can see that all three techniques have achieved the same result, but they all work in different ways and can be applied in different ways. A lot of times with motion design it's really valuable to know multiple ways to pull up the same technique because different techniques apply to different situations. Now, for the rest of this class, I'm going to be using the first technique of just lowering the frame rate of the comp because that really is the simplest most straightforward way of getting a lower frame rate. Now, let's move on to some more techniques on how we can make this motion look even more organic and hand done. 6. Randomizing Motion pt 1: Now, one thing that you see a lot with stop-motion animation is imperfections. Real stop-motion is done by hand and humans are not perfect. They're not like computers. They don't do everything exactly. There's a little bit of variation from frame to frame, and things moving out of place. Those organic hand-on mistakes are part of what gives stop-motion its signature look. So, to simulate that in After Effects, we're going to want to try and replicate some of that organic movement. I've got this simple animation of a box moving in and rotating at 12 frames per second. So, we've already got the first step done of lowering the frame rate, but this motion is perfect. We can see this is just a straight line, from point A to point B. Rotation is happening exactly and it's all nice and smooth. So, what can we do to make this look a little bit more random, a little bit more organic? Well, I want to give a little bit of random motion to the position. Let's start with that. I can do this through an expression. So, I'll just hold down Option or Alt on a PC and click on this stopwatch, for the position property, and type wiggle, and then an open parenthesis. Then, I need two numbers. The first one is the frequency or how many times per second it's going to wiggle. So, lets say, four times per second. Then, I'll do a comma, and then I need the second value, which is the amplitude or the maximum number of pixels it's going to move away from the current value of that property. In this case, it's pixels. If it was on rotation, it would be the degrees. But let's say 20 pixels. So, we've got wiggle four times per second at a maximum of 20 pixels away from the current value, and then a close parenthesis and a semicolon to close out that expression. I'll click off, and let's see what that's done to the motion. All right, we've got this bounciness. You see, at the end even though my keyframes have stopped, this motion has continued the wiggliness. If I play just that portion back, you see that it's just randomly moving, a maximum of 20 pixels away from the current value, four times per second. If I were to increase this to eight times per second, it's going to move a lot more radically or if I dropped it down to one frame per second, that wiggle is going to go much slower. In the same way, I could decrease the number of pixels down to 10 and it's not going to move nearly as much, or if I increase it to 100, it's going to move all over the place. So, that's the basics of how the wiggle expression works. But I want it to only apply that wiggle when it's actually moving. Once it gets to a resting point, I don't want it wiggling anymore, because if I was taking photos of this, frame by frame, for actual stop-motion once I got it to its resting place, I wouldn't be moving it anymore, so there would be no random motion happening. But along the way, I may not move it in a perfectly straight line like After Effects would. You can see, as I go frame by frame, the anchor point is deviating from that motion path based on that wiggle expression. To get this wiggle to stop when the motion stops, I'm going to need to write a little bit more complex of an expression. Now, again, if you're new to expressions, don't worry. If you follow along with me and you just write everything out as I do, it will work for you. But I'm going to do my best to walk you through exactly what's happening with the code that we're writing. First of all, I'm going to give myself a little bit more room in my timeline and expand this out so I have more room in my expression box. Right now, I've written this expression with two hard-coded numbers. So, the wiggle is always going to be four times per second and always going to be 20 pixels for the amplitude. But there is a set of effects. If I come up to Effect, Expression Controls. These are all effects that allow me to control expressions in very intuitive ways. So, if I add a slider control to this layer, in my effects and presets, we see that I have this slider control, and if I twirl this down, I have a slider. It goes from 0-100. It's not doing anything right now though, it's just giving me this value. The power of this is when I reference it within my expressions. So, I'm going to rename this first slider control by clicking on it, pressing Enter and typing wiggles per second. Then, I'm going to duplicate this by pressing Command or Control-D, and I'll rename this one, wiggle amount. Now, again, these two sliders are doing nothing right now but giving me a number. It is not affecting the appearance of my animation at all. But if I go into my expression now, I will drop this line of code down two lines. Then, I'll go to the top of my expression and I'll type in var, now this stands for variable. I'll explain what that is in a second, but first let's just write the rest of this expression. So var space freq for frequency space, equals and then another space, and then I'm going to grab this little pick whip right here. This is the expression pick whip, and it works a lot like the parenting pick whip where I can click and drag and reference something else. What I want to reference is this slider right up here, the wiggles per second. So, if I select that slider and then let go, After Effects fills in the expression automatically that it needs to reference that value. So, we've got effect Wiggles Per Second Slider. So, it's targeting that slider. I'll finish that line with a semicolon. Then, I'll drop down another line and type var again for variable, and I'll type amp, amp for amplitude space, equals, space. Then again, I'll grab this pick whip and select the wiggle amount slider. So, we've got effect Wiggle Amount Slider, and then I'll press the semicolon to end that. Now, if I click off to save that expression, nothing has changed. My animation looks exactly the same and the motion at the end continues. That wiggle is still going, because my wiggle expression hasn't changed. That's because variables don't do anything on their own. Within expressions, variable is a way for the person coding to make their code simpler. So, I'm able to store this big long expression referencing that slider into this variable that I've named myself. So, now I can use the variable freq for frequency anywhere in my expressions, and After Effects will interpret that variable as what it's representing up here. So, if I go down to the number 4 where the frequency is within the wiggle expression and type freq for frequency, now it's not going to wiggle at all. That's because currently, the wiggles per second slider is set to zero. But if I turn this up, you can see that my box is going crazy as I'm turning this up. Let's say I set it to six. Now, my wiggle is back. I'll change the 20 as well, from 20 to amp for amplitude. Now, that's going to reference the wiggle amount slider which is set to zero, which means that my wiggle is gone again. But if I turn this up, you can see now my wiggle is back. So, if I set this to four and 20, again, we're back exactly where we were before I wrote any of these variables. But the great thing about this is, now that they're tied to sliders, you see that these are key frameable properties. So, if I go to, say, right here and I set a keyframe on the wiggle amount and I bring that up by pressing U on the keyboard with that layer selected, that'll bring up all of my keyframes. Then, I go forward to where the animation stops. I'll turn that value down to zero, and then I'll right-click on that keyframe. Go to keyframe assistant and say easy ease. So, it eases nicely into that keyframe. Now, if I play this back, see I've got random motion until it reaches that point, because I've animated the wiggle amount from 20 down to zero. If I moved this too past those two keyframes on the position and rotation, then it is going to wiggle and tell that keyframe has reached zero. Obviously, that's not what I wanted to do, but this is what makes expressions so powerful. It allows you to give controls and generate motion that would be much more difficult to do by hand. So, undo to get back to where we've got the motion happening the way that we want it to. Now, I might even want that random motion to stop sooner than that last frame, and all I had to do was move that keyframe back to get that to happen. If I wanted more wiggles per second, all I have to do is turn that value up, and now it's a little bit more hectic. Or if I wanted it to be much less, I'll turn it down to two. So, these controls just make it much more intuitive, to be able to control when this random motion is happening. Now, this expression is only existing on the position value right now not the rotation. So my rotation is not wiggling at all. But if I select this expression, and I copy it, and then I paste it on the rotation, now the rotation value is also animating. Now, it's difficult to see when the box is also moving across the screen so I'm going to grab the keyframes for the position and just back them up. Now I can see that rotation is still moving. I'm actually going to disable the expression for the position, which I can do by unchecking this blue equal sign right here, that way the position is not going to be affected by the wiggle at all. I'll play that back, you can see that, it doesn't really look like the rotation is wiggling much. If I move these keyframes forward, so the wiggle is still happening even after the rotation has ended. You can see that it is moving but not very much, it's not very noticeable, when the actual rotation value is keyframed. So, what I wanna do is have an independent control for the rotations amplitude. So, I'm going to come up to the wiggle amount, and I'm going to rename it to position wiggle amount. Then I'll duplicate it, and I'll rename it rotation wiggle amount. Now that I have a another slider for the rotation, I'm going to go into the rotation expression, find the amplitude, select everything that references that slider, leaving off that semicolon. Then pick whip the rotation wiggle amount. Now this wiggles amplitude is going to be based on this lighter instead of this one. So, if I open up the new slider, I'm going to take off the keyframes for now, and turn this up to say 20. Now if I play this back after the rotation keyframes have ended, see that's wiggling much more, if I turn it up to 90, it's rotating even more. So, the simple controls have allowed me to increase or decrease the rotation wiggle independently of the position wiggle. So, let me move all of my keyframes back to where they need to be, and I'll keyframe the rotation wiggle amount from 90 down to zero, so the position and rotation both end up at zero with no wiggling at the end. I'll move them forward in time just a little bit. So, they're closer to when the animation actually ends. I can't forget to enable my expression down here on the position control. So, I'll click that, and I've got an error. Now, this is because I changed the position wiggle amount name, while that expression was disabled. If I had done it while it was enabled After Effects would've been smart enough to know to update this expression for me automatically, but it didn't do that because I had it disabled. So what I have to do is go into my amplitude, and type in position wiggle amount in that expression right there. So, that it's referencing the correct slider. I'll uncheck, the error is gone, now if I play this back, I've got my random position, and some random rotation. Now I think that 90 degrees was too much for the wiggle amount on the rotations. I'm going to drop that down to say 35, and see what that looks like. Okay. I think the rotation looks good, but this bouncy motion at the end here, I don't like the way that's moving up and down with the position. To fix that, all I need to do is change the number of times per second that my wiggle is happening. So, right now it's four, if I increase it to five, that should change the path, and it's all just a little bit more bouncy now. I think I'm going to turn down the position wiggle amount as well. So, maybe we'll drop that to 14. On the first keyframe. Then finally, I think I've eased this keyframe just a little bit too hard. So I'm going to select it, then go into my graph editor. Back that easing off, and I might even pull this handle up a little bit. Now, if you don't know what I'm doing here in the graph editor I have an entire class dedicated to explaining how this works, and how you can use it to precisely controll your motion in any animation. So go check out animating with ease, if you don't know what I'm doing in here. But currently I'm on the speed graph, and by lifting this up off of the baseline, I'm basically saying that "By the last frame, don't let the speed be zero pixels per second". in fact it's going to be more like 89.72 pixels per second. So, again with stop-motion animation, animating something by hand. It's not perfect. Doing very nice eases with your motion by hand is extremely difficult and something that a program like After Effects makes extremely simple. So, to simulate that hand done more organic look, I'm going to take off that perfect ease, and not ease it out so much. So, maybe something more like this, and see what it looks like. So, now you see that comes to more of an abrupt stop. I'll do the same thing with the rotation, I'm going to grab that second keyframe, bring it up and not ease it quite as much. I think I want to increase the rotation a little bit as well. So, that it spins more as it's coming in. Very good. I think the position I could drop that down just a tiny bit more, and then decrease the easing quite a bit. There we go. Now I've got a box rolling tumbling in the little bit of random motion bouncing up and down, coming to its resting point. So, combining the low frame rate with this a little bit of a randomized motion, has really helped they animation look more hand done. Now, if I actually took off the rotation keyframes, but I left the expressions, that wiggle is still going to happen based on my controls. So, if I play this back, you can see it's still rotating even though there are no rotation keyframes. Again, that can be something that could happen in the real world if you're animating by hand. So, even if you're not planning on including rotation animation on whatever layer, you're wanting to look like stop-motion, having a little bit of wiggle in there, a little random motion, can help sell this effect. Now, the rotation wiggle amount might be a little bit too much. So let me grab that rotation wiggle amount and turn it down to say 10. So, now it's a maximum of ten degrees that it's going to wiggle, and now you see it rotates much less, and it's much more of subtle effect. You don't want to overdo this random motion, just give it a little bit of subtlety, so that you can tell it's not perfect, but it's not too exaggerated. 7. Randomizing Motion pt 2: Now while this is an effective solution to adding some random movement to your layers, it does still take a little bit of work to get the motion that you're after. There's actually a way that we can make this happen a little bit more automatically just by adding some more code to our expressions. So let's start with the position expression. Right now, I've just got the wiggles set up with the two sliders, but I want to bring in another variable. So let me go into this expression, drop down one more line and write another variable. So we got VAR for variable and I'm going to name this SPD for speed equals transform.position.speed semicolon. What this means is it's going to look at the position value of this layer, the layer that this expression is written on and take the speed value of that. Now the speed expression is simply going to give me the speed value of whatever property this is applied to for the current frame. To explain this a little bit better, I'm going to add a new text layer and I'm actually not going to type anything in. I'm just going to click off, have an empty text layer and I'm going to add an expression to this. So I'm going to go into the layer, into the text, onto the source text and hold option and click. I'll pick whip, the Shape Layer one, the box, and type.transform.position.speed just like I did before, but now it's referencing that speed of the box layer. Click off and now that text layer is giving me a zero, if I bring this down. The reason that is a zero is because the box is not moving right now. If I back this up at all, you see that I get a whole bunch of random numbers and this is really crazy and I'll just make it a little bit smaller so it's easier to see. But this is giving me the very precise speed of that layer's movement at that given point in time. So if I bring up just the position by pressing P on the keyboard, at this point, that box is moving 312.150, all the way down here, pixels per second. If I play this back, you can see that number starts out big and it gets much smaller. To make this even easier to look at, I'm going to add a little bit to this expression. So I'm going to type Math with a capital M,.round open parentheses, and then I'll go to the end of that line of code before the semicolon and type close parentheses and then click off. Now I know I'm going through a lot of expressions right now and if you have never worked with expressions before, if your knowledge is limited in expressions, this can all seem very overwhelming. But you don't necessarily need to take it all in. I'm just doing this to give you an explanation of what's happening so you can understand why we're doing what we're doing. The only reason I have this text layer right now is so we can see how fast this is moving represented in an actual number. Because I added this math.round expression to the code, it's now going to get rid of all those decimal points, it's just going to give me a rounded off number. So if I play this back, you see that it starts off fast and then eases down to zero. Because this value starts out high and ends up at zero, when it ends, I can reference that value, the speed of the layer, and apply it to my wiggle expression so that I don't have to key frame any slider values. Again, this text layer is just for reference so I'm just going to collapse it and leave it up here in the corner so I can see how fast my layer is moving. But then I'll bring up the expression for the position of the shape layer one and I'm going to rename this, Box, just so that it's easier to identify. Because I have this speed variable in my code already, I can now reference it in the expression. So instead of just basing the random motion on the wiggled from the wiggles per second and the position wiggle amount, which is what I have here, frequency and amplitude. I'm going to leave the frequency as it is because I want to be able to control the wiggles per second with this slider. But the amplitude, instead of just being whatever this slider is set to, I want it to be that slider times the speed. So amplitude times speed. If I click off of that, I'll turn off the text layer for now and I play back, something very strange is happening we're barely seeing this object until the very end and then it just appears. The reason for this is because at the beginning, this is moving actually very, very fast. So if I undo it before I had that times speed part of the amplitude, we see that the layer is moving at a rate of 500 pixels per second at the beginning and then gradually slowing down. But before it gets to zero, it's actually at still 146 pixels per second. So I literally told this expression to multiply the amplitude by whatever the speed was. So a three-digit number multiplied by the amplitude is going to give us an extreme value. Again remember the amplitude is how far the wiggle is going to be allowed to move this object around. So with that times speed in there, you see that our speed value has changed dramatically, it is now in the tens of thousands for every frame until it gets to here because that's where the position wiggle amount gets turned down to zero. Once it is at zero, multiplying zero by the speed is always going to return zero, so that obviously isn't going to work. Now I want to eliminate the need for these keyframes. I want the wiggle to automatically be more when it's moving and zero when it's not moving. So I'm going to turn off those key frames, set that back to 14 and then revisit my expressions. So let me press P to bring up the position one more time and then open up that expression. Now I want this expression to still be amplitude times the speed but I want to modify the speed variable a little bit so it's not quite so large. The first approach I could do is just to simply divide it by a number, so transformed.position.speed divided by, and let's say 10. I uncheck that and now you see my speed has dropped quite a bit. Now, it is still way too much. The expression is working right now. You see that as this animation progresses, it is moving very fast, but once it gets to zero. it is no longer wiggling. So that's good. But it's still far too much. So if I go into this expression and I say divided by 100 instead. Now, that's working a little bit better. Now I could keep doing this just saying, maybe a thousand and now that wiggle is nowhere near as much as it was. So I basically want to just keep changing this number until it gets to about the amount of wiggly-ness that I want to be seen represented by this random motion. So I changed it to divide it by 500. That actually did produce a pretty decent result. It's a very subtle motion but noticeable and that gives it a little bit more of a hand-done feel. Because this wiggle is still taking the frequency and amplitude into account, I can still turn up the position wiggle amount. So if I doubled this to 28, it's going to move twice as much. If I turn the wiggles per second down to two, it's going to move that amount much slower. If I turn it up to 10, it's going to move a whole lot more. But it's doing it automatically, I have no keyframes controlling that random motion and that's exactly what I wanted. So let me undo to get back to the values we had, and then apply the same kind of expression to the rotation. So I'll press U to bring up the keyframes, get rid of these key frames on the rotation wiggle amount, and then bring up the rotation property as well by holding shift plus R on the keyboard. I'll open that up to see the expression and then I'll open up the decision expression as well, and I want to copy over some of this code. So, the speed variable I want to include that. So I'll copy that and paste it into here, and then I need to modify this expression as well, I need to multiply that by the speed. If I click off of that and play back, you see that we've got that little bit of random rotation still happening and it's based on the position value of the layer. That's exactly what I wanted. Again, even though I don't have any keyframes on the rotation, that little bit of wiggly-ness is still happening because it's based on the position value's speed. If I turn that rotation way up to 90, then it's going to wiggle just a whole lot more. So these controls are still very helpful but I don't have to bother myself with adding more keyframes, controlling when it kicks in and when it turns off, it's all automatic based on the position of that box. Now you can get rid of that text layer, I don't need it anymore and I've got my nicely working randomized motion happening and maybe the position wiggle amount is too much, I'll drop that down to 10. But combining the low frame rate with the randomized motion, has given this animation a much more hand-done feel. 8. Using Photo Assets pt 1: The next step you can take in making your animations look much more authentically stop motion animated, is by using actual photo real assets for your animations. So far I've been using shape layers and solid colors that you would get from a computer generated image, not something you would see in the real world. But if I jump over here to which is a great website for finding free images that you can use in any project that are just really high-quality, I'll search for a table and see what comes up. I'll just grab one like this one right here. I like it it's an overhead shot of a table, we've got some objects around it and I'll hit download, and then I'm going to search for phone, and this one right here. This has an iPhone on it, so let's download that and I want to put this iPhone on the table. Now that those are downloaded, I'll bring them into After Effects right here, and I'll make a new composition I'll call this table, and the width I'll make it 1280 by 720, frame rate 12 frames per second that's good. Then I'll bring in the table, and this is much bigger than my comp, so I'm going to scale it down, press S to bring up the scale, and scale it down to right about there. For the phone I'm going to need to mask that out. So, I'm going to drag that to the new composition button, so it just puts it in its own comp, then I'll rotate it so that it's straight up and down, and I'll grab the mask tool with the rounded rectangle tool. Makes sure that layer is not selected and then double-click on it to make a shape layer that has a rounded rectangle, and then double tap U on the keyboard to bring up the size and I'll scale this way down. I'm going to turn off the fill just so I can see the outline only for right now and I'll unlink the size and just make this the same size as the phone. So, I want to line that up there nicely, and reposition the phone so that it fits the center of the comp but then I'll make this the same width, and it looks like I need to rotate this image just a little bit, and then change the roundness of that box so that it fits the corners, doesn't have to be 100 percent perfect, I'm just trying to rough out this example for you but something like that. Then I'll set that as an alpha matte for the image layer. So, with that image layer selected, I'll come to track matte and say alpha matte, and then make sure to turn my fill back on so we actually can see the inside of that phone. There we go. Now, I'm using that shape layer as a matte for the phone underneath it. I'm just going to rotate it a little bit more, keyboard shortcut for that is W for the rotate tool. Then just reposition that a little bit more nicely in there, maybe make my shape layer just a little bit smaller. Now, I'm going to do a little trick where I grab the region of interest, that's this button right here, and I'm going to draw a box around the phone. Then once that's made I'm going to come to composition, crop comp to region of interest and that's a way to be able to crop something based on a bounding box. So now that's all set up, I'll rename that phone, and I'll drag that into my table comp and I'll scale it down. Now, I'm working with real photo assets. Now, I have another iPhone in this comp right here so, I can kind of scale this down to see what it should be compared to other things in the scene, but now that I have my object, I can animate it in and use the techniques that we've been already covering to make it look like I was actually animating this for real in the real world. So, I'm going to jump over to my random motion comp, and I'm going to open up the position by pressing P on the keyboard, hold down Shift and press ALT are also bring up the rotation, and then hold Shift and press E to bring up the effects as well. I want to copy these over one at a time. So, I don't need the keyframes for the position but I do want that the expression. So, I'm going to right-click, say copy expression only, then go to the table and paste that onto the position. We're going to get an error and that's because we don't have the sliders that we need in this comp yet, but that's okay we'll get to that in a second. I'll do the same thing for the rotation, copy expression only, paste, and then I'll grab the effects. So, all three of these copy and then paste. Now those errors go away because I now have those same slider controls here. Let's say I want the phone to end up right in the middle of the comp, I'll press the apostrophe key on the keyboard to bring up the comp guides and I'll line that up right in the middle there. That looks good. I'll set a keyframe by pressing Option or Alt on a PC plus the P key, and then I'm going to shift it forward ten frames by holding Option or Alt on a PC, shift and the right arrow key. So, that's where I want it to be 10 frames from now. I'll back it up, hold Shift plus click and drag to get it off the top side of the comp, and I'll make this a little bit bigger so we can see what's happening, and let's set my work area, I'll go forward in time and press N on the keyboard to set the outpoint of my work area and then zero to preview on the number pad. Look at that, we've got some random motion as that phone comes in. I'll just do a little bit of easing, I'll select that key frame, open the graph editor, and drop this down a little, ease it in a little, and there we go. We've got this same motion with the randomized position in rotation, I think the rotation is a little too extreme, so I'm going to turn that down by probably half. Even that is a little too much. So I'm going to turn it down to two. Now, rotates very little compared to what it was originally and then the position wiggle amount might be a little too much too. So, I'll turn that down to say four. Now it's just randomly moving a little tiny bit again based on the speed. But because I'm using photo assets, it's really selling this effect a little bit more. Let me just make this bigger so it's nice and clear and you can see it. But using a photo asset in the context of an actual photograph, already makes this seem a little bit more convincing than if it were just this shape layer inside of a solid background on a comp. The motion still looks the same, but the assets, the photo realness of this comp sells the effect so much more. Now, maybe this is moving a little bit too quick. I could even make this lasts a little bit longer, and maybe that will even seem a little bit more realistic. You can see that a little bit of a wiggly motion is very subtle, but that subtlety really sells the effect. If I were to add a simple drop shadow to this layer, just come to the effects and presets and type and drop shadow, drag that onto my phone, and then adjust this a little bit so maybe the shadow is coming down this direction, let me back it up actually and look. If we take a look at this laptop right here, we see that there's a pretty strong shadow this direction, and then a softer shadow this way. So, I think the shadow actually needs to go a little bit more like this, and then I'll soften it out, and then maybe not push it out quite so far, and I'm going to turn off my overlays by pressing Command or Control on a pc, Shift +H, and that way I can see exactly what this is looking like. But just that little drop shadow adds a lot of depth and some more realism to this scene. If I wanted, I could even duplicate this one more time, and on the first copy, maybe not push it out quite so far, maybe not make it quite so soft, and then turn the opacity down just a little bit. You see what this one is doing, giving just a little bit more darkness closer to the object than the second one and maybe the second one I'll push out even a little bit more, soften it a little bit more. If I turn those effects off and back on you can really see how much more photo-real that makes that phone look in this scene even though it wasn't actually in it when the photograph was taken. I'm just going to ease this motion just a little bit more because even with stop-motion you can add in some easing, you don't have to make everything super jerky. There we go. We've got a phone dropping down into the scene and it was very easy to add those drop shadows and just make it a little bit more photo-real. But let's say I wanted it to come in, do a spin around and then go back out. So, it comes in like that, and then I'm going to set a keyframe Option or Alt on a PC plus R, go forward in time and then rotate this around an entire cycle. So, one revolution. Now it's going to rotate all the way around like that, and I'll ease this as well just easy ease that's F9 on the keyboard, and there we go. Then I'll say, set another position keyframe and have it go back out the way that it came. So, grab that, move it back up, and I'll ease this one out just like we ease the other one in. Something like that. Let's play that back and see what it looks like. Great. Now, did you notice one issue right here on the spin? That drop shadow is rotating with the phone which obviously is not how it would behave in the real world. That shadow should always be coming off in the same direction. There's a really easy way to fix this, and it's by adding a quick expression to the direction of the drop shadow. So, I'm going to come over to the drop shadow and hold down option, and click on the direction stopwatch, so I can add an expression there and I want it to be the value of the direction, whatever I set it to, minus transform.rotation. So, we're taking whatever value I set this to, and then subtracting whatever the rotation value of the phone is. So, if I apply that and then I copy that same direction expression to the first drop shadow direction, paste, now no matter how I rotate this phone, you see that the shadow is always coming off to the bottom right corner. I can still change the direction to whatever I want. So, if I wanted at 180 degrees, I can do that for both of these. Now, they're pointing this direction downwards, and if I rotate it, it's always going to be downwards. If I say zero degrees, it's always going to be going up no matter how I rotate. It's just taking the rotation of the phone into account. Now, another even quicker way of being able to do this, since I have two instances of this drop shadow, is to just to link one to the other. So, I'll take the second drop shadow, and instead of having value minus transform rotation, I'm just going to pick whip the direction of the first one. So now, this direction is going to follow whatever this direction is. This direction is the value of that property, whatever I set it to, minus the rotation of the phone. So, I can still change the rotation of that shadow, you see it moving around, but it's controlling both drop shadows angles at the same time, and I can rotate this and that angle will always match up. So, now that I've done that, let me make sure I get rid of that key frame here, and check my easing, everything looks good, and let's play this back as a whole. So, there you go. I've got a stop motion iPhone inside of a photo asset with just a little bit of added photo realism with that drop shadow really helps make this look authentic. 9. Using Photo Assets pt 2: Now, there's another very subtle look that you can apply to your animations to sell this stop motion look even further. So, if I back this out, and again I want to make sure that my angle of my shadow is correctly positioned, so there we go. Sometimes when you're doing stop motion, especially if you're using natural light, the exposure can change from frame to frame. This could be caused from auto exposure on the camera, the way that you were taking the photos when you're doing your stop motion, or if it is natural light you're using, it could be clouds on a cloudy day, the clouds are moving. The brightness is actually changing in the environment that you're taking the photo of throughout the shoot, and between changing from one frame to the next, the entire scene could be much brighter than the frame before it. So we can replicate that just by adding a little bit of a flicker to our scene to simulate the change in that lighting and again make this feel a little bit more organic. So, I'm going to add an adjustment layer, and the keyboard shortcut for that is Command option Y or Control Alt Y on a PC, and I'll rename this by pressing enter, Flicker. Then, I'm going to grab an exposure control and make sure that the exposure effect is selected, double-click, and then I'll set an expression on the exposure. So, I'll hold down option or Alt on a PC and click on that stopwatch, and we're going to type out another wiggle expression. So, wiggle, open parenthesis. Remember the first value is frequency or the number of times per second that it will be wiggling, I want to say a pretty high number. Remember this, comp's frame rate is 12 frames per second, so I'll do say eight as the frequency and then a comma, and the second is the amplitude or the amount the exposure is going to shift, and it doesn't take much of an exposure value change to have an effect on the overall image. So, I'm going to say 0.1, and then close parenthesis, and then semicolon to end it off, and let's see what that does. Now, you can see that very subtle flickering going on over the entire image just simulating that kind of change in environment lighting that makes it look just a little bit more organic. I think this wiggle expression actually works really well. It's very subtle. Like most things, it's very easy to overdo an effect. If I were to have changed this 0.8 instead of 0.1, you see that's an extreme flicker and I think that's really overdoing it. I don't think we would ever need something that dramatic, so I'll leave that back down at 0.1. But maybe the flickering is going a little bit slower than you want, well, I could try doubling it and see what that does, and that just gives a little bit different of a look. Now, this is actually 16 times per second and there are only 12 frames per second in this comp, so this is a very, very fast wiggle. But I like the way that that makes the flicker look, so that might be just fine. If I were to drop this down to two times per second, then it's going to be much slower and that's an even more subtle effect. So, you really can just play around with these values and see what they do, see how they affect your scene until you get something that you're happy with. I'm going to undo back down to 16 and 0.1. I think that's working pretty well for me, and those are all of the techniques you need to sell this stop motion look. Lowering the frame rate, adding some random imperfect motion, and if your design allows for it, using photo real assets to help make the whole thing feel much more realistic. Now, we can move on to making my class project and apply all of these techniques to it. 10. The Felt Look pt 1: Let's build this felt textured effect. Start by importing the felt textures into After Effects. I'll go to my images folder and say Command or Control-I to import, and then I'm going to go to my felt textures and click Open. Now, I took actual photos of real felt for all of these, and I've included a 3000 by 2000 pixel version, as well as a 2000 by 1330 pixel version. So, 2k and 3k versions of all of them. Obviously, the higher resolution image is going to render a little bit slower than the 2k version. Unless for some reason, you needed a much larger texture, this one is going to cover in 1920 by 1080 comp. So, you really should not need anything bigger than the 2k. I took all of these photos from real textures. So, they are authentic felt textures. They look very convincing when you use them to animate with, and you can download them for free in the project description of this class, as well as in the notes of this video right now. I'm going to start by making a new composition. So, composition, new composition, and I will make this 1280 by 720. You can make this whatever resolution you want. If you want to do a full HD comp, that's totally fine. But I'm going to call this "Felt Look". The Frame Rate with 12 frames per second is fine, and I'll hit Okay. Then, I want to make sure that goes in the right spot. I want it under my Comps. Then, I want a texture for the background. I think I'm going to do just this dark gray texture. So, we'll bring that in, and then scale it way down. I'll press S on the keyboard and then scale it down. So, it just fills the comp. There we go. Nice texture background, and I'll rename this BG for background. I want to build this felt texture on top of some text. Now, a little bit further into the class, I'm going to show you how I made my class project, and that's using Illustrator Artwork as my source, not text. You'll see that I handle each one a little bit differently. So, if you're planning on using text at all in your animations, just be aware that I would approach text differently in most scenarios than artwork or other designs that I'll be applying the felt to. Let's start with the text. I'm going to lock this background layer just by clicking this switch, and then Command or Control-T to bring the type tool, and I'll just type fuzzy. Press Enter on the number pad, and then I'm going to change the font to, I think I want to use refrigerator. I'll scale that up and then make it all caps. Then, I'll make the heavy version of that font nice and big and bold. I like that. Then, give myself a little bit of tracking, maybe 100, and set that to center justified, and then just align that up to the center of my comp. If I hold down Command or Control on a PC while dragging, you'll see that enables snapping temporarily. I just want to drag the center of that text right to the center of the comp. All right. Now that I have my text, I'm going to begin building this effect. So obviously, I don't want this nice, clean text layer. I want a felt texture to go on top of it. So, I think I'm going to start with maybe making a yellow texture. But if you scroll through and look at the names of these felt textures, I don't actually have yellow. That's totally fine, though. The way that you can go about doing this is kind of picking the color that is most similar to the one that you want in both the hue, the color of it, as well as the value or the brightness of it. So, if I want to get a bright yellow color, bright orange is very close to bright yellow. I probably wouldn't want to pick the dark gray or the light pink if I want a bright yellow. So, I'm going to go with the bright orange, bring that in to the center of the comp, and then I just want to change the color of it. So, I'll go to my Effects and Presets, and type in hue for the hue and saturation effect, and then just shift this over, and tell it's yellow. Right about there, maybe a little bit more orange than that. Something like this. Just a slight hue shift, and now I've got my yellow. Now I've got the color that I want, but I need it to be masked by this text layer. I'm going to do this using an effect rather than a track matte. I'll explain the reason for that in just a minute. But first, let's apply the effect. It's called set matte. I'll drag that out to that layer. Under the take matte from layer, I'm going to select the fuzzy text layer. Now you see that text is shaping the texture of that felt layer, but it isn't the same size. In fact, it looks like it's even stretching it a little bit, and that is because I have this stretch matte to fit if layer size differs checked. If I uncheck it, it goes away, and that's because it is directly behind the text layer. Now if I were to move that text layer, let's put it below it so we can't see it, If move that text layer, see that's moving the matte of the felt layer as well. See the texture is not moving underneath it, it's just a matte moving around the texture, but it is fulfilling the purpose of making that texture fit the text. 11. The Felt Look pt 2: I'm going to drag that text layer back on top of the felt and then just turn it off for now. So far, this is working pretty well. I've got that felt texture on top of the text and it's on top of a felt background. So, it looks pretty convincing, but just like with the iPhone and adding the Drop Shadow, we can make this much more convincing if we just add some more photorealistic lighting to the scene. Lighting really is the key with any photo-real setup. It's something that you might not think about too much when you're looking at a photograph, but it's the lighting that takes something that looks flat and really gives it a lot of depth and perspective. So, let's start with that Drop Shadow. So, let's start with the Drop Shadow. I'm going to just type in Drop Shadow and bring that in. Let's just say that the light is coming from directly above. So, I want to set the direction of the shadow to 180 degrees. That way it's going in straight from the top downwards, and I'll set this one, the first one not too far off of the text and then just feather it out a little bit. Again, keeping it pretty close to the lettering. Then, I'll duplicate that Drop Shadow, push it out a little bit further, soften it out a bit more, and then turn the opacity down. This is a little bit too dark. I don't want to overdo the effect again. Probably turn the opacity down in the first one as well, but even just those two simple Drop Shadows on top of that text really adds a lot of depth. So, we're headed to the right direction. I'll close both of those up for now and the other effects just so I have a little bit more room in here, and let's add another effect. This one is called Bevel Alpha. I'll drag that out and what this is going to do if I zoom in here close, you can see is just give the edge a nice highlight and shadow as if it's being lit by actual light. I can change the angle of this. So, if I want it to appear as if the light's coming from above, I'll just set the light angle to zero. That is giving me this nice bright edge up here and dark edge down here. Now, this light intensity obviously, I could turn it way up. I could turn the edge thickness way up, but that's not very realistic. So, what I want to do is actually turn the intensity down a little bit, and then look at it as a whole and maybe turn the edge thickness down a little bit too. Felt is not all that thick. So, we're not going to want a super thick edge and I don't want to overdo the light intensity. It's not like a shiny object. I just want it to have a little bit brighter edge on the top and a little bit darker edge on the bottom. So, something maybe right about there. So, off and on, you can see that, just adds a little bit of depth. Again, turning the Drop Shadows and the Bevel Alpha off looks much more flat. Turning it back on gives it a whole lot of depth. Now, I'm also going to right-click on this layer. Go to Layer Styles and add a Bevel and Emboss. This is very similar to the Bevel Alpha effects, but it gives you some more controls. If I scroll down here, go to my Layer Styles, open up Bevel and Emboss, and give myself some more room, so we can see all the controls. You can see that there are a lot of controls. If I turn the Bevel Alpha effect off, so you can see this, the Bevel and Emboss is doing a very similar type of effect. There are all kinds of different options that you have to make this Bevel and look Emboss look exactly the way you want it to. What I want to do is have it lined up so it's matching that same light angle. So, I want it to come from above and for whatever reason, the Bevel and Emboss layer style angle does not line up with the Drop Shadow or the Bevel Alpha light angle. So, at 90 degrees, the angle is correct, where the light is from above, the shadow is on the bottom side. I don't know why, but that is just something that I have to deal with. So, when I want the light coming from above, I set the angle to 90. I'm going to turn the size way up. The reason I'm doing this, is just to give a little bit of variation across the surface of the felt, the surface of the letters themselves because if I turn this off, see that's pretty flat, but turning this on gives a lot of depth. Obviously, this is way too exaggerated. I don't want it to be nearly this noticeable, but if I come down here, I have lots of controls for the highlights and shadows. First thing I want to do is change the mode for both the highlight and the shadow to Soft Light. This is going to just make a little bit more of a realistic shading and highlight on that color felt. It looks a little bit more natural than screen and multiply, but the opacities of both are still way too intense. So, I'm going to turn this probably down to something around 30 or 40 for both, and now if I turn that off and back on, you can see that that's just adding a little bit of shading to make it look like the top part is maybe getting a little bit more light than the bottom part. Now, if I turn that Bevel Alpha back on, it's all working together very well. Now, I want to make the entire scene look like there's an actual light source. So, I'm going to make a new solid and I wanted this to be pretty big. So, my comp size is 1,280 by 720. I'm going to make this 2,000 by 2,000. I want it to be a square on purpose. So, I'll hit Okay. If I zoom out, we now have this big solid. The reason that I wanted it to be square and larger than the comp is so that I can rotate it at any angle and still have it cover up the entire thing. Now, I actually want to change the color of this. I should have done that before I hit Okay, but I'm going to press Command or Control plus Shift and Y to bring up the solid settings and just change the color down to black. I'll hit Okay. Now, I have my black solid and I'll rename this Linear Darkness. Now, we'll zoom out by pressing the Comma key on the keyboard a couple times and double-click on the Rectangle Tool. That added a mask to the solid, the size of the solid. Now, I'm going to double-click on that mask. Click, hold Shift and drag down until it's about halfway down the comp. I'll press Enter to apply that transformation and then press F on the keyboard to bring up the Mask Feathering. I'll uncheck the linking the X and the Y together, and just increase the Y. You can see that this is feathering out my mask. So, that black solid fades into the scene. Then I'm going to change the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light. Now, if you don't see the blending modes in your timeline, make sure that you have this switch right here turned on so that you can have all of these blending modes available. Now, you can see that that is darkening everything below it, but it's doing it way too much. I want to turn the opacity down. So, I press T on the keyboard to bring up the opacity, and then turn this down to probably somewhere around 4,550, somewhere in there. Now, that's just very subtly giving me a little bit of light fall off, and I think I could even feather it out a little bit more. Right now, the shift from the dark to the light is still a little bit too noticeable. So, I'm going to press F again on the keyboard and increase this to maybe somewhere around 450 pixels. Now, that's much softer. I can even click and drag this mask down so it's not affecting as much of the scene as it was. There we go. All of those lighting effects are now working together very well to help add a little bit more depth to this scene. 12. The Felt Look pt 3: If you think about felt, it is not a very perfect a material. It wouldn't be very easy to get these super crisp, sharp, clean edges out of felt if you're cutting it out with scissors or even an X-acto knife. So, I want to beat up the edges of this a little bit more to give it more of an organic feel and more of a fuzzy feel. I mean, that's what I typed out, that's what this should look like. So, the first thing I want to do is just make these edges not so perfectly straight because this is a very geometric straight-edged font, but I don't want it to be that straight. So, I'm going to come to that felt texture and I'm going to type in a new effect, Turbulent Displace. Here we go. I'm going to bring that in to my layer, but I'm going to put it up above my lighting effects, the drop shadow and the bevel alpha. I want it to happen before those are applied. Right away, you see that very much distorts my text. It's super warped and not exactly what I wanted. So, let's come over to the effect controls and adjust some of them. The amount and the size are really the only two that I'm concerned with. There are a lot of options in here, but the amount and size are what I need. So, first of all, if I turn down the size, you can see that that makes the warping bigger or smaller. So, at 100, the warp is super big. It's going up and down like waves almost. All right, turn it in this all the way down to two and we just get these little textured edges. Now, I want this to be somewhere between those two. I don't know, maybe somewhere around 18, 15, somewhere in there, but then, I want to turn the amount way down. This is obviously warping it way, way too much, so I'm going to turn the amount down almost all the way and then just bring it back up a little bit. I don't want to go too far and I don't want to even go this much. I just want to kind of make those edges not so perfectly straight. So, somewhere around maybe 5. Then, I'll turn that off and back on, you can see how that affects the edges. It just makes everything a little bit more warped. Maybe I'll turn that size up just a little bit more around 20, maybe the amount up just a little bit as well. So, there we go, turbulent displace just warps those edges a little bit. If you don't like the way that it's warping right now, you can always change the evolution and it'll just kind of shift the warping around until you get something that you're happy with, so maybe something like that. Okay, I'm going to close that up, close up the bevel alpha. Now, I want to rough up the edges a little bit. So, I've already warped the edges in a very big way so that they just aren't so perfectly straight, but now I want to get in there and add some texture to the edges so that it looks kind of fuzzy like felt would. So, I'm gonna type in another effect, Roughen edges. I'm going to bring that in right after the turbulent displace. Again, by default this does not do what I want it to, it kind of just rounded off all of the corners. So, what I need to do is turn the scale down. I turn that way down, you see those edges get more and more textured and tell it almost looks like it's just kind of fuzzy. Then, I want to turn the edge sharpness up just a little bit and the border down. I don't want it to come in quite so far, more like this and then maybe turn the edge sharpness up just a little bit more or might even be a little bit too big there. I don't want this to be overexaggerated, just enough to give some texture to the edges and make it all look just a little bit more imperfect. I think I could turn this scale down even further down to 10, that's the minimum, but I think that's working pretty well. Then, maybe turn down the sharpness just a little. The border up a tad. So, with that off, we've got clean crisp edges, with it on, we've got these nice little textured edges that just look a lot more like felt. If I go into my Layer Styles, I can play around with that as well, the bevel and embossed to really just kind of dial in the look that I'm going for. Maybe the size is a little bit too big. Maybe it should be a little bit more like this. Now, that might be a little bit hard to see if I undo and redo and you look right here, see that that's giving some shading to this bottom edge of this f and this bottom edge here rather than just shading the entire thing. If I turn the opacity of the highlight and shadow up a little bit more, that's a little bit more noticeable. Now, this is making the whole thing look a little bit more puffy, a little puffed out. So, I think, I might still be over-exaggerating this a little bit, maybe the size should just be a tad bit more and then the opacity of the highlight and the shadow just turned down a little bit more. But that just gives it a little bit more depth than it had before. Again, turning this off, as well as all of these effects that add the depth, I'll take a screenshot and then turn those back on so we can compare the two. You can see that it's just, it really pops out at you. It looks so much more realistic when you add all of those lighting effects. Now, I think, the color is bothering me a little bit. This looks a little bit like a cheeto, so I'm going to make it a little bit more yellow, something like that. Then, maybe turn the saturation down just a little bit. It looks pretty oversaturated. So, just a little bit, not too much and then dial back that a little bit. If we zoom in here close on the edge and we take a look at that roughened edges again, there's one more property that we can adjust to increase or decrease how much of an edge there is. Right now, the complexity is set to 2, if I turn it down to 1, see that a lot of that jaggedness on the edges goes away. If I turn it up to 3, you see it even a little bit more. So, you can really play with these settings to get exactly the look that you're going for. I want something that looks like kind of fibers coming off of the edge of this. So, I think, the complexity going up to 3 or even 4 might be a good idea. But then I'll dial back the border because again, just because I'm cutting felt out doesn't mean it has a super textured edge, you can get clean edges out of felt. So, it's just something to play with until you're happy with the look. I think that's pretty good so I'm going to move on. 13. The Felt Look pt 4: Now, I want to layer this a little bit. I want to add a another layer of felt, underneath it, that looks like I cut out a second color of felt and made it a little bit more depthy. So, I'll start by naming this felt layer, Felt-01. Then, I'll duplicate it by pressing Command D, and then drag it below the first layer. So, I've got Felt-01, Felt-02. I want to make this one expanded out as if it was just a wider version of this text. There's a really easy way to do that. I'm first going to just select all of my effects in here. Command or Control A, then press this little twirl arrow right there to collapse them all. I'm going to type in an effect called a Minimax, and I'll drag this out to just after set matte. Now, this effect allows you to do lots of different things, but the way that I'm going to use it is to expand the edges out. So, let me just solo this layer for now, and change the channel from color to alpha. Now, if I grab my radius and increase the value, you see that that's just going to push the boundaries of that alpha further out and it's preserving all of the texture. Everything else about that layer is not changing. I can push it out as far as I want. I can also do the opposite. If I change the operation from maximum to minimum, I can shrink it instead of expanding out beyond, it can contract it inwards. I'm going to leave it at maximum and then set it to something around five probably, and then I'll turn that soloing back off. Looks like I'll probably want to push that out just a tiny bit more, so maybe six or seven. That looks good. Then, let's change the color of the top layer. So, I'll select that layer and go into my project folder, and then find something else. May be the same color as the background, so that's this gray dark image. I'll click drag and then hold Option or Alt on a PC and let go to swap that texture out for the other one. Now, I've got this layered felt effect, and I think it's working very nicely. Because all of those effects are still applied to both layers, all of the lighting, the shadows, everything is working together well. I think the layer style, the bevel and emboss, might be a little bit too extreme on this darker felt texture. So, I'm just going to open up the layer styles, go into the bevel and emboss, and then turn the opacity down to probably something around 30, for both the highlight and the shadow, just so that's not so extreme. Then, let's add another layer. I want to do this kind of stitching around the inside of this text, and I'm going to do that using the original text layer. So, I'm going to turn that back on, and apply an effect called the vegas. So, I'm going to type that in, vegas, double-click to get it on that layer. We're not seeing anything happening right now. If I solo this layer, this is a black layer, so we don't see anything on top of it. The way that this effect works by default, if I go into the image contours, it's based on the intensity of the layer. The channel is set to intensity because this is black, it has an intensity of zero, so nothing is showing up. If I were to make it white, we would see this yellow outline. If I undo that, though, I can actually change the channel from intensity to alpha. That's what I'm really concerned with, is the alpha channel of the layer. Now those yellow dots are showing up. I'm going to be able to adjust the way that this effect looks, so that it appears as if it's stitching on top of the felt below it. Obviously, right now I can still see the text fill, and that is because of the Blend Mode. I want to change this from over to transparent. So, we don't see what is underneath it, we're just seeing the effect itself. Now, I can turn that transparency back off. We can see that nice and clearly. One of the things I want to change is under the image contours drop-down. There's last option, shorter contours have same number of segments. I want to change this to fewer segments. Before I do though, I'm just going to add a period right here so you can see. This is a smaller letter. There's less surface area to a period than there is to all these other letters. Because of that, all of these little stripes, all of these outline strokes, dashes are being bunched up around this smaller surface area. We're getting the same number of segments, regardless of how much surface area is being covered. If I change this to fewer segments, now they're all even out. So, every dash is going to be the same length regardless of what its applied to. I'll get rid of that period, that set up properly, and I can close up image contours. Now, I want to change this look of the dash. So, I'm going to come down here and find the midpoint opacity, change that to one, and then do the same thing for the end opacity. Then, I'm going to come up to the length and turn that down. Probably something around there, and then maybe turn the segments up. These are going to represent the stitching that I'm going to apply on top of the felt. So, the length, maybe I'll bring that back a little bit, maybe the segments are a little too much. Just play with this until you're happy with the way that it looks. Now, I'll un-solo that layer, and I'm going to sample this yellow felt below it for the color. So, it goes away, but it matches the felt below it, and that's what I'm going for. So, what I want to do now, is shrink that stitching inwards so that it goes on top of this gray felt and not on the outside edge of it. So, I'm going to grab minimax again and drag it in before the vegas effect, change the operation to minimum, and then increase this a little bit, and make sure that I have alpha selected on my channel. There we go. Now I can effectively shrink-in the border, the margin for this stitching, so that it fits within that felt a little bit more. Now, it looks a little bit soft right now, so I'm going to come to the hardness of vegas and increase that, not too much, but maybe around 0.6, and then turn the width down to something like this, and then maybe turn that hardness back down. So, you don't want it to be too pixelated. Something like this. So, it looks like stitching. But, it still looks a little bit flat. If I zoom in here, you can see that there's no depth to it at all. So, I want to add some of the same effects. So, let me grab a drop shadow, drag that onto the text layer, and I'll collapse some of these so I have more room. The drop shadow, since the stitching is so small, I don't want it to be very far off at all. In fact, I might just turn that all the way down to zero, and then turn the softness up a little bit, and maybe the darkness up a little bit. That'll just give this dark edge softened around the stitching, and that just gives it a little bit more depth. You can see what that did. Then let's add the bevel alpha as well. So, bevel alpha, drag that above the drop shadow. Again, that is a little too extreme, but let's first start by setting the light angle to zero. So, again, the light will be coming from the top. Then turn the edge thickness down a little bit. Again, zooming in nice and close so we can see that detail, and then turn the light intensity down. I don't want to overdo this either, but just give it a little bit more definition around the edges. Already that's looking much better. So, without those two effects and with them. If I solo this layer, you can see that we have these perfectly straight edges again. So, I want to add that same turbulent displace to the text layer as well. So, I'm going to go to the Felt-01, grab turbulent displace, copy, and then paste it onto the text. I want to make sure that I put that up above the vegas effect. So, after minimax, and before vegas. So, that way, vegas is applied to the turbulent displace effect, and that just gives it all a little bit more imperfection. Again, it's very subtle, but it just takes those straight edges off of that text. So, that's looking very nice and pretty convincing that it's actually stitching. Now, if you take a look at some of these edges, we've got these corners here. You can go into Vegas, and go down to the rotation property within segments, you can shift this stitching around until it's something that you're happy with. Now, you also don't have to be that nitpicky with your stitching, but it is there if you decide you want to try and make some adjustments. You can always turn up the segments, turn the length down a little bit to have a smaller stitching, and that looks pretty nice. Think I want mine to be a little bit wider, a little bit more space between each stitch. But, it is completely customizable to whatever you want it to be. Now, that is a very convincing looking felt texture. Just to show you how far we've come, I'm going to take a screenshot of this, and then I'm going to disable all of the effects that add depth and lighting to these layers. So, I want to turn off that turbulent displays, the bevel alpha, drop shadow, all of these effects here for each one of these layers. I want to make sure that I disable the layer styles as well. Then this linear darkness, turn that off, and let's take a look at that again. So, look at how flat this looks compared to this. I mean, it's night and day what lighting will do to your effects. The reality is, this scene is still this flat. We've just added some shading, some lighting to give depth to the entire scene and make it all feel so much more realistic. If I turn all this back on, the amazing thing about this effect is that I can now change this text however I feel like it, and it's going to update. So, I could make it a little bit smaller, or I could increase the tracking, or I could even change the font. So, if I change this to say, cooper, it looks completely different. It's updated. I can turn off all caps. I can make it black italic, and it updates automatically. If I bring the tracking in, I could go to the second layer and turn up the minimax, so that it looks like there's just this nicely cut background layer to the entire thing. Now, one thing I want to point out with this is that, you see that minimax is giving me these straighter edges around these spots, and that might be what you want. Most times, this is the look that I'm going for. But with a rounder font like cooper, if I turn minimax off for a second, I can do a different effect called a simple choker. If I drag that just right where the minimax was in that affects stack, and I drag this back to a negative value, I can push out that margin, that edge just the same way that minimax does. But, you see that it is much rounder. So, if I take a screenshot of this and compare it to minimax, you see that we get rounder edges. Now, obviously, minimax is pushed away further out. But, if I match that up a little bit with the border of the simple choker, then we can see that it just gives a little bit different shape and on a rounder font. So, like I said, that might work better on a more geometric font like refrigerator, on that heavy version, the simple choker might not work as well. You see, that's really rounding off the corners, rather than keeping them nice and clean and sharp. So, just be aware that there are two different methods of being able to do that kind of a look. I'm going to undo back until I'm where I was with that fuzzy text, make sure all of my effects are turned back on, and now we can animate this text using the text animator and the effect will still be applied. 14. Animating Text: So, what I want to do is have this text randomly come in from the top, one letter at a time, as if I was animating each one of these letters individually coming in, dropping down into place. So, I'm going to do that using a text animator. If you never use text animators before, that's fine. If you just follow along with me, you'll be able to recreate what I'm doing. So, don't worry if this is new to you. But I'm going to come down into the text and go to animate, and then say position. This is going to automatically generate an animator with a range selector and the position value. So, I can adjust this. If I dial this back on the y-position, I can lift this text up and off the screen. You can see that text is just nicely moving off the top of the comp there, it's all the way off, that's great. Now, we can go into my range selector, which is what I'll use to control the animation. So, the first thing I want to do is go into the advanced controls for that range selector and have the mode set to subtract instead of add. That way, I can animate the end value from 0 to 100 and have it just reveal that text. So, you can see this takes a little bit of time to render now. Now that we have all these different stacks of effects and layers of felt on top of each other, it will be a little bit heavy on the render side the more layers that you have. But it is still totally manageable. So, I'm going to back this end value up to zero, set a key frame, and then go forward maybe one second or so, and then set that to 100 percent. Then I'll easy ease that, that's F9 on the keyboard, so that it eases into that spot, and then I'll play that back. You can even tell just with the preview that this is going to be very quick and probably not exactly what I want. So, I want to adjust some settings. Right now, this is coming in one letter at a time before the next letter comes in after it. That is because my shape is set to square. So, if I select that, and instead of square set it to ramp down, you can see that those letters are now coming in more gradually, but it isn't ending where I need it to, and that's because the range selector needs to pass entirely through the text in order for the animation to complete. So, I'm actually going to get rid of those key frames, the end key frames, and then animate the offset instead. If I increase this to 100 percent, there we go. At our final position, that's what I want. So, I'm going to put that there, back it up, and change this to not zero because that puts us back to where we were, but negative 100 percent. Now, if I play this back, you see those letters now cascade in much more smoothly. But I can make this motion look even a little bit better. I'm going to grab the ease high, which is basically the ease in of this motion, and turn it up to say 45. Now, those are going to come to a more gradual rest instead of such a harsh stop. So, that looks great, but what if I didn't want them to come in from left to right? I want it to look a little bit more random. Well, there's this handy little switch right here that says randomize order. I'll just click that, and now the text comes in randomly. Great. I love the way that that comes in. It looks a little bit more hand done, but we can take this a few steps further. So, right now, all I'm doing is animating the position. But if I collapse up the advanced and come up to the animator and add a property rotation, now I can back this up so I can see what's happening and increase the rotation just a little bit. This will give me a little bit of rotation along with that position. Now, there is an issue. If I play this back, you can see that all the rotation is happening in the exact same direction in the exact same amount. So, it's all rotated to the left a little bit and it rotates into the right as it gets to the bottom. I don't really like how uniform that is. So, instead of doing it here, I'm actually going to delete that rotation, rename this animator, Drop Down, and then I'm going to add another animator. So, I'm going to animate, rotation, and just delete the range selector. Instead of a range selector, I want to use a wiggly selector. So, under Animator 1, I'll rename this Random Motion, and then I'll add a wiggly selector. This will take whatever value I've set in here and then randomly adjust to that value based on some parameters. So, just like the wiggle expression, it can animate over time, which is why I'm using the wiggly selector because then it can be a little bit of random movement. Right now, the mode is set to add, that's great. The max amount and the minimum amount is just like the amplitude of the wiggle expression, where you're setting how much the wiggle is allowed to affect your value. If you go 100 percent in both directions, then it can take whatever value you set and move it in a positive or negative direction in the same amount. So, that's what I want for now, I'll leave those both at 100. Based on characters is fine, wiggles per second is two, I might want to increase that later, but we'll just have to wait and see how it's moving around first. Correlation, all of these different things, we can get to them if we need to, you don't really need to worry about them right now. What I do want to do is turn up the rotation. As I do this, you can see that some letters are rotating clockwise, some counter-clockwise, some more than others, and that's the power of a wiggly selector over a range selector. It's just not uniform at all, gives us a lot more random movement. If you look right here at the bottoms of these letters, you can see these anchor points, and they're at the base of the letter, and I want them to be in the center. So, I'm going to scroll up to the more options dropdown under my text, and I'm going to change the anchor point grouping alignment on the y-axis to negative 50. That brings those anchor points up to the center of the text instead of the base. So now, the rotation is going to happen around the center as I'm adjusting this rotation value. All right. I'll close up that more options and I'll zoom out in my comp. Now, if I go to past where that animation has stopped and I just play this back a little bit, you can see that that random rotation is still happening because of my wiggles per second. So, if I play this, you can see that's really moving around a lot. Obviously, I don't want that to keep happening, so I need to key frame the max amount and minimum amount from 100 to 0. So, I'm going to want that to happen right as this text is dropping down to its final position, so let me go back maybe five frames. I pressed page up on the keyboard to move back one frame at a time there, and then I'll set a key frame for both the max and min amount, then go forward five frames again, set this down to zero on both the minimum and max, and that way the rotation will no longer be affected, and I'll ease into that value. Now, let's play that back and see what happens. Okay, so it is sort of working. It's coming to a stop as the text is all dropping in, but because some letters get there before others, that wiggle is still being applied and I really don't like all of this rotation after that motion is ended. So, I think I'm going to need to change the rotation min and max to go down to here, maybe turn down the rotation amount to maybe nine degrees instead of 17, and then maybe turn the wiggles per second up. Let's say eight and see what happens. Now, that it's much quicker because it turned the wiggles per second up, it's a lot more random and jittery than it was before. It was much smoother before. I think that looks a lot better and having it taper off sooner, I think is a better fit for this particular animation. At rotation is still quite a bit. I think if I turned it down to five degrees, you'll still notice it, but it just won't be quite as drastic. There we go, I think that's much better. Now, I can also add a little bit of a position jitteriness very easily by adding a Position Property to this Random Motion that's already set up with the Wiggly Selector. So, if I just adjust the X and the Y position a little bit, it doesn't have to be very much. You can see if I back this up and then take this off and back on, you see what that's doing. Because all the Wiggly Selector controls are already keyframed and it's based on these values, I can just preview again and we'll see that the motion that both rotation and motion are being affected by that Wiggly Selector now. Maybe, we don't want to do quite so much on the Y, we'll just do three on the Y and 12 on the X. So now, it moves a little bit randomly from side to side and not as much up and down. There we go. Then, one last thing that I can do with the text animator to make this look even a little bit more like it was hand positioned is add one more text animator. So, I'm going to collapse up the Random Motion. Go into the Text, Animate, Position. Then, again under that Animator, I'm going to add a Rotation. I'm going to again get rid of this Range Selector and add a Wiggly Selector. I'll turn the wiggles per second down, so there's no animation to this one. Then, I'll rename this animator, Imperfections. Then, I'll just increase the rotation a tiny bit, five degrees is even way too much. I'll just say maybe two. Like turn that off and on, you could see that's just barely rotating that letters are a little bit, and then maybe turn the Y value up just a couple of pixels on the position. This is going to give me a little bit of misplacement, basically, for this text. If I turn that off and back on, you can see now it's just not so perfectly straight. It looks more like it was actually placed there by a person and it's much more convincing that it's a real object. So, let's play that back and see what it looks like. Very nice. I love the way that looks. I think it's all animated very authentically even though I'm not using the exact same techniques as we did in the first part of this class. We're still able to apply the same kinds of principles of adding that Random Motion using the lower frame rate and giving it kind of these imperfections to make it all feel a lot more organic. All right. Now, I want to add one more text layer underneath this that isn't quite as complex. So, let me just duplicate this text layer. I'll get rid of all the effects by pressing Command or Control-Shift-E, and then I'm going to scale this down maybe about this size and drag it down, and then type in, 'It's all in the wool'. I'm going to make this a lot smaller, so that it fits underneath that text nicely. That's looking pretty good and the text animators are still preserved. So, it's animating in the exact same way as the FUZZY text. I want it to come in from the bottom instead, so I'm going to go into the Text, into the Drop Down, and I'm going to say rename this to Push Up instead. Now, instead of going to negative 689, I'm going to probably need to go around positive, couple 100. Now, that's going to come in like that, so much better. I think all the Random Motion is a little too much, so let's open that one up. Go to the X and turn that down, maybe five and the Y down to two, the rotation to three, and then bring up the Wiggly Selector and have that taper off much sooner. I think that looks pretty good. Yeah. Then, the hand placement is also working well. I think being off just a little bit is making that looked like it was actually placed there by hand. It might be a little bit extreme, but sometimes it's fun to be a little bit extreme. So, I think I'm going to leave that the way it is. I'll just turn the text up a little bit bigger, so that it fits that space nice and tight, and then drop it down a little bit. All right. So, I've got my text where it needs to be, but we need the textures and the lighting. So, I'm going to go into the Project, into the Images, Felt Texture, 2K. I'm going to grab this last one, the White texture. I'll put that right below the Text Layer. Then, I'll just grab the Effects from one of the other Felt layers. So, I'll open that up, grab the Effects, as well as the Layer Style. So, I'll select Effects, Command or Control, click on Layer Styles, and then copy and paste that onto the White Felt Layer. Now, that went to the FUZZY text, but that's just because the Set Matte effect is referencing the FUZZY text and not 'It's all on the wool'. So, I'll just select the correct text layer, and there we go it updates very quickly, and we have this new Felt Layer on the correct line of text. Now, I think those edges are a little bit too textured. So, I'm going to find the Roughen Edges and turn the border down a bit. So, it's not quite so rough. Maybe turn the Edge Sharpness down, in that way we still have that little bit of an edge, but it's not rounding off the corners too much. Turn that off and on. Looks good. Then, I'll just select both the Felt and the Text Layer and move it forward a little bit in time and then play that back. Awesome. I think that looks great. I would just like to move this up a little bit. So, I'll grab both text layers and shift them up in the frame just a little bit, and play that back again. So, there you have it. I've completed the Felt look, and I've got all of my text animating in, so that it looks like it was actually done with Stop Motion. 15. Global Controls: Now, that I'm happy with the animation, let's say that I wanted to change something about the lighting. Right now it's all set up to be directly coming in from the top and all of the shadows are straight down. But what if I wanted to move the light to the corner? Well, I could start with maybe the yellow texture and find the Bevel Alpha, and then change the angle to say 35 degrees. Then, I'd have to go into the drop shadows and change those directions to be in on the opposite direction, and I'm guessing here, but obviously, there are layers and layers and lots of different effects that are all using the same types of controls. But I'd have to change each one of them individually if I did it by hand like this. Well, there's a much easier way of handling this if you add in some global controls, and I'm going to show you how to do that. So, let's undo so we get back to where we were, and I'm going to start by making a null object. So, I'm going to come to Layer, New. Null Object. And a null object does nothing on its own. It's just this empty point. It holds a bunch of values but it doesn't do anything unless you tie other things to it. So, I'm going to rename it global controls. What I want to do is apply all of the same effects, layers styles, and everything that's applied to my felt layers to this null object, and use it as the controller for all of the settings within all of those effects. So, here's how we do that. Let's start with the Felt-01 texture. I'm going to open up that layer and copy both the effects and the layer styles, and paste them on the global controls. This does absolutely nothing visually. This null object hasn't changed its appearance, it's never going to render. In fact, I can turn it off because I don't need to see it. But it is holding all of these same effects. If I open it up, it has those layer styles and I can now use those to control the other effects by linking them together with expressions. But before I do that, I want to make sure that all the effects that are on here are ones I actually need. So, at the top, I've got a hue and saturation. That is not something I want to control with this null, so delete that, same thing for the set matte. That is going to be on a per layer basis, it's not a global control. Turbulent displace I'll leave. Roughen edges I'll leave, Drop shadow, drop shadow two and Bevel Alpha. Those are all good. But the Bevel Alpha should be above the drop shadows. It doesn't really matter in the null, but because I copy and paste that from the felt layer, I know that that is in the wrong spot. So, I'm going to bring that up so that it applies the Bevel Alpha and then then the drop shadows. I'm going to make sure that's the same on all of these. So, yeah, my order stacking of these effects was a little messed up. That's okay. I'll just fix that now that I've noticed it. Make sure all of those layers are looking right. All right. Looking good. Okay. So, I'll go back to my global controls. Now, we've got turbulence displace, roughen edges, Bevel Alpha, drop shadow, drop shadow two. So, those are all effects that already exist on other layers. But I want to be able to control things like the drop shadow direction and the Bevel Alpha light angle for all of these layers using a single controller. Now, that I have these effects here on my null object, I can select all of them. So, make sure that I get all of them in my selection, and then come up to Edit, Copy with Relative Property Links. Now, you'll see above that is Copy with Property Links and Copy with Relative Property Links. Both these do similar things. What it is, is that it will copy whatever you've selected and every single value within that selection has an expression tied to it. So, if I were to say Copy with Property Links and then I paste it on a new layer, so I'll just make a solid that's 100 by 100, and I paste this on to that layer. You see that all of these values for all the effects are red instead of blue. That means that there is an expression tied to them. If I double tap the E on this layer to bring up the expressions, we can see that there is an expression for every single one of those values. It's simply linking that value to the null objects version of that effect. So, if I change something like the drop shadow to darkness, that's going to affect that solids drop shadow. You can see that happening, same thing with the angle. Any of these effects that I update in the null object are now affecting that. Now, the difference between Copy with Property Links and Copy with Relative Property Links is a little bit of the way that the code is generated. So, if I double tap the E again, we see that the expressions all start out with comp Felt Look, and then a layer, then an effect, and then the property. So, this is looking specifically in this comp Felt Look. If I take off all of the expressions by undoing, and then I select these effects again, and say Edit, Copy with Relative Property Links instead and paste that onto that layer, or double tap E, and now we see a little bit different code. Now, it says thisComp, then a layer, then an effect, then the property. This is what makes it relative. It might be a little bit hard to understand the difference between the two, but it is very important. Because if I were to try to recreate thisComp by duplicating it and then adjusting a bunch of things within it, and I had copied all of these effects using just property links, then it's going to be looking at the original comps null controller for the global controls rather than the duplicates. But if it says thisComp and the expression is going to be looking at whatever comp it is in, instead of just this single comp Felt Look. Again, I understand if that is very confusing and hard to grasp at this point. The important thing is that as you do this, that you Copy with Relative Property Links so, I'm going to select these again, say Edit, copy with Relative Property Links. Then, I'm going to go one layer at a time to all of the layers that use those effects. So, let's start at the bottom and work our way up. We've got Felt- 02 and this uses the turbulent displace, roughen edges, Bevel Alpha, drop shadow, drop shadow two. Those are the exact same effects that we had on our global controls. So, with those selected, I'll hit paste and it will replace them. Then, I'll go up to Felt-01, select those same effects; turbulent displace down through drop shadow two, paste. On the fuzzy text we've got turbulent displace, Bevel Alpha and drop shadow, so I select those and paste, and it's also going to add the roughen edges in the drop shadow two. I don't need those two so I'm going to delete those,and then we'll go to the white layer and go into the effects. Again, turbulent displace through drop shadow two and paste. All that looks like it's working just fine. Now, that did change my rough edges back to the way that it was looking before, but we'll get to that in just a second. Now, all of the effects that need to be linked are working correctly. So, if I were to change any one of these controls up in the global controls, again, like the opacity of the drop shadow, now everything is affected by that. If I change the angle, that shadow changes with it. If I change the turbulent displace amount, everything is going to be affected by that. That's the power of setting up these global controls. But the global controls don't have to be just directly linked to effects. I can also build in some customizable controls. The main thing I want to be able to control is the direction of the light source. So, I want all the shadows, the bevels, the linear darkness, everything to rotate based on a single controller. So, I'm going to come up to Effect, go to Expression Controls, Angle Control. This is another expression controller that doesn't do anything on its own, it just gives me a value that I can link expressions or other properties too. So, I'll put this up at the top and rename it light direction. Just so we can see things change, I'm going to set this to 45 as the default values. So, right now, we can see that line is coming in. We want the light to be coming in from the top right corner at a 45 degree angle. Right now, everything is making it look like the light is coming straight down. Let's start with the shadow since I have that open. I want to add an expression on the direction and then pick whip the angle of the light direction. If I let go of that, the shadow updates and it's all going up into the right. Now, that is in the opposite direction of what I want it to, but it is responding to my light direction controller, which is what I want. It's just going in the opposite direction I need. So, I need to add a little bit of code to the end of this expression. It's very simple, just wanted to go in the opposite direction, so I'm going to say, minus 180 degrees at the end of there. Click off. Now, it's going to shoot off in the bottom left direction, the opposite direction that the light is coming from. I want that same expression on the other drop shadow, so I'm going to copy the direction property, go into the first drop shadow and paste it. Now, all of the shadows are going in the direction that I set it to properly. That's great. Now, let's move on to the highlights, so the Bevel Alpha. That has a light angle. If I set this to 45 degrees, all of those light angles are going to shift over correctly, so I can directly tie that light angle by holding that option and clicking on the stopwatch, and then grabbing the pick whip to the light direction. Now, that's going to respond exactly how you'd expect it to. So, already it's making a big difference. But we can't forget about the Bevel and Emboss layer styles. So, let me get rid of the effects for now and open up the layers styles of this null object. Now, I haven't copied this with property links yet, so I need to make sure that I select Bevel and Emboss, go up to Edit, Copy with Relative Property Links and then paste it on anything that I used to those layer styles with. So that's these three felt layers. So, I pasted on there. Now, it's linked up with property links. So, let's go back into those layers styles into the Bevel and Emboss and find the angle. Now, this one was a little bit weird. If you remember, 90 degrees is what made the light come in directly from the top. If I set that down to zero, it gets off to the right side and that is another strange thing about this. As I dial this back in to zero, the light is actually rotating clockwise instead of counter-clockwise, which is the opposite of the way that Bevel Alpha and drop shadow work. So, I'll start by just linking this to the angle control just like the others. I'll select that, let go, and now it's 45. But I already know that's not going to be correct because it needs to be 90 degrees to whatever that set to. So, I'll start by just saying plus 90, and that will give me that extra 90 degrees, and that should line up pretty well but it just looks a little bit off. I don't think that's actually working correctly. If I set this light direction to zero, and I turn the highlight and shadow off, and then back on, I can tell that way that the light is coming from the top and the shadow is going to the bottom. But if I set this to negative 90, and then I turn the highlight and the shadow off again, we can see that it's actually going the opposite direction. The shadow is on the left and the highlight is on the right, when it should be the opposite. So, what I need to do is actually add another little bit rate here before the plus 90, to invert this number. So, I'm just going to multiply it by negative one before adding 90 degrees. Now, that should flip over, and now, I can change this to whatever angle I want and all of the highlights, the shading, the shadows will update with it. I actually have just a lot of fun changing this value and seeing it update because it makes such a drastic difference in the way that your scene looks, just with the lighting. But there's one final value that I need to tie to that light direction and that is the linear darkness rotation. So, if I bring up the rotation for that, and I make sure that I have this light direction open in the layers, so I can reference it. Alt Click on the stopwatch, grab the pick whip and select a light direction, and then apply that. Now, that linear darkness that's darkening the scene is also going to rotate with that angle. So, now it really looks like there's a light source, an actual light source that's lighting up the scene. If I set it to negative 90, it's coming straight in from the left. If I set it to 90, it's coming from the opposite direction, I can really sculpt this to whatever I want very quickly and easily. All of those individual layers that I would have had to do one at a time by hand, are now completely controlled by this global controller. The same thing goes for all of these other effects. So if I wanted my edges to be a lot more fibrous, then I can just turn up the border, and now they're super super soft. That brings me to this text layer rate here. We're back to having that roughen edges effect to this text more than I want it to. It's because it's all being linked directly to this global controller. So, let's find the text layer that's having that problem. That's this felt rate here. I'm going to go into it, into the effects, into the roughen edges. Under the border, I'm just going to twirl that down and click this little equal sign to disable that expression link. Then, I'll just turn the border down. I'll take the edge sharpness expression off as well, and just really craft this to whatever I want it to look like. Not everything has to be controlled globally by that layer, and it's very simple to disable things after you've already linked them up. I think the border could be a little bit bigger. Something like that. Maybe turn the sharpness down. Border down a little bit more, and there we go. That looks much nicer. But again, it's still all links up to that global control. I can adjust the light angle and it all still updates exactly the way that you'd want it to. If you want less darkness, you can always grab that mask and just bring it back a little bit. Maybe feather it down or even turn the opacity down, so it's not quite so dramatic. But I think it looks pretty nice the way it is. I'm going to set mine to maybe a little bit closer to 90 degrees. So, it's come in from this edge. Maybe there's this big window over here that's lighting the scene. It all just looks very natural, very realistic. Yet it's all being based on these two text layers. Now, that this entire effect is built and set up with all the global controls, I can save this project file, duplicate the comp and recreate this effect very simply and easily onto any other kind of design. 16. Making a Pizza pt 1: The meal I chose for my class project is pizza. It's one of my favorite foods. It's always has been one of my favorite foods and I created the artwork for this project inside of illustrator so let me show you how that's built. It's all just flat vector simple shapes to make up all the different toppings and the pizza itself, and I've separated some of them out into their own layers. This is going make the process of getting them separated in After Effects much easier so you see that I've got a layer for pepperoni, black olive, green pepper, onion I still have a few more layers that I need to separate out so I'm going to grab the cheese, cut by pressing command X or control X on a PC then I'll make a new layer and paste in place which is Command Shift V or control shift V on a PC. So, that puts it right where it was but on the new layer and I'll rename this cheese. Turn that off so I can see the sauce. I'll do the same thing for that layer sauce and that includes the crust as a stroke so I'm just going to duplicate this layer, rename this crust and then take the fill off of that layer so, with my fill in the foreground I'll just hit the none button right there to get rid of the fill and then on the sauce layer I'll click on the stroke and then get rid of that. So now I have my sauce layer, my crust layer independent of each other and then I have a bunch of other toppings. If I turn off these layers, I still have all of these but these are all the exact same shape as these topings that I have up here already separated out. So, once I get them in After Effects I'll just individually create these elements once and then duplicate them and position them like I did in my artwork. So, I'm not going to worry about that you don't have to worry about the background I can recreate that very quickly but the important layers that I need are right there. Sauce, crust, cheese, pepperoni, black olive, green pepper and onion. All right. Now that that's done I'll save that. One last thing I want to do in here before I jump in After Effects is take a look at this onion. This is made up of two different colors, the white and the purple and I'm going to want to do those as two individual felt layers with an after effect. So, I actually need to separate this out as onion purple, and then onion white. Then I'll get rid of the purple copy on the white layer delete and then I'll get rid of the white copy on the purple layer. All right, now that all that is separated out I can now save this and import it into After Effects so I'm going to jump over here to After Effects and go to my images folder and press command or control I for the import window, select my pizza artwork, hit open and then for the import kind I want to make sure that that's set to composition and that the footage dimensions are set to the layer size not document size. I'll click okay and then go into that comp. Now this composition is set to 12 frames per second already it is full HD that is all great that's what I want to be working at click ok and then fit this comp to the viewer by pressing shift question mark on the keyboard that's the same as just clicking right here this fit option on the zoom. If I give myself a little bit more room we could see all of the individual layers just like we had inside of illustrator. Now what I want to do is start adding the felt texture to each one of these layers. So, let's start with the background first I'll just grab a felt texture for the background of those fetus nice orange one and I'll put it right there over the background that's already done. I don't need this layer that's on the background anymore I can just delete it. It's not important I'm not going to need to use it so we're good. I'll rename this felt texture BG for background and then lock the layer by pressing Command L or Control L on a PC. That's just a shortcut for this lock right here and then I want to start with the crust because that should be the back most layer but I just realized that I actually handled that artwork a little bit incorrectly. I don't want a hole to be in that crust and when I drag that below the sauce, the sauce is going out further than it should. Now the issue with the sauce is easy all I have to do is select it, hold Shift and then scale it down so that it fills that hole but for the crust, I don't want that hole to exist anymore so I'm going to select that layer and press command or control E and that's the shortcut for edit original and that's going to select the crust layer within my Illustrator file and I can go in and add this same stroke color to the fill color just by clicking and dragging over there and now if we solo that layer by pressing option or alternate PC and clicking on this eyeball then you can see the entire thing is filled now. So, I'll just save that artwork that should automatically update in After Effects there we go, I have a solid circle for that crust. Okay. So let's apply the felt texture to that. I'm going to turn off all my other layers just so we can focus on it and I think I want to use this white felt texture for the crust. So, I'm going to drag it out just below the crust layer. Now in this fuzzy comp, the method that we use to apply the felt textures was set matte. So, if I apply that set matte effect and set the crust layer as the source and then turn the source layer off and make sure stretch matte to fit is unchecked. There we go, we've got the felt texture applied to that crust and it fits that looks exactly how it should and while the set matte effect is convenient it is a bit limited in what it allows you to do. For instance, if I were to scale down this felt layer the circle that it's basing off of the alpha matte of the crust is going to move with it even though that layer hasn't changed. So I'm not able to resize the texture without resizing the alpha matte as well. The benefit of set matte is that it allows you to base the alpha matte off of a single layer without needing a duplicate of this layer. If I were to have multiple copies of felt like this one here where it has the two different layers of felt, I can base of both of those off of the same layer to get the alpha matte. Another technique would be to instead of using set matte, set this to an alpha mat of that crust layer and now you see that's reproducing the exact same effect I'm getting the boundaries of the crust layer as the alpha matte for the felt texture, and the benefit of doing it this way is that I can move this layer around independently from the alpha matte. I could scale it down if I wanted, even rotate it, and the alpha matte is never going to be affected by those adjustments as long as I don't parent it to that layer. The downside with this is that if I wanted to do another layer of felt, I would have to duplicate both that felt layer and the map layer in order to make that work. Then maybe I'd scale this down a little bit, change the white to red. Now I've got my sauce layer, but as you can see, as I'm working through all of my toppings and making duplicates of each one of these, if there's a matte layer for every felt layer I'm doubling the amount of layers in my comp and it gets very messy. Another issue this brings up is that the Alpha Matte doesn't allow any effects to exist outside of the Alpha Matte of that source layer. What I mean by that is, if I were to add a drop shadow to this layer, it's not going to show up because the drop shadow is trying to place it outside of the boundaries of that circle. If I turn off the Alpha Matte, there you can see the drop shadow around the edges of the felt. But as soon as I turn that Alpha Matte on, it disappears. So that is not really going to be an effective method for this felt look, instead what I need to do is get rid of that drop shadow and I can reset the transformations and then preComp these two layers together. So I'll just select both of them and press command shift C or control shift C on a PC and rename this Crust. Then I'll click okay, and now if I apply a drop shadow to that layer, it shows up because this layer is no longer affected by that Alpha Matte. After Effects is treating it as if it's its own flat independent layer with its own Alpha channel and I can treat it just like any other layer. That's exactly what I need, so I'm going to delete that drop shadow. The reason I'm doing it this way instead of using Set Matte is simply because it renders much faster and when I say much I mean probably three to five times faster. Again, Set Matte is very convenient because there's less set up, there's less layers to deal with, but if your composition has lots of layers in it and you're using lots of high resolution textures you're going to want to use this method for preparing all of your assets. So, now that I have my crust preComp, I'm going to go into it and then just scale the comp down until it fits the boundaries of that crust a little bit. So, it looks like about an 800 by 800 square is going to be good for that. I uncheck the lock aspect ratio there so I could make it a square and then I'll click okay. So, there's my pizza crust preComp. Again, I can change the scale of this felt if I feel like it, but I think it's going to work just fine the way it is. Then I'm just going to go down the line for all of my other layers. So with my sauce, I'm going to bring out a red texture, set it as Alpha Matte and then select those two layers, precompose them with command shift C and name it Sauce. I'll go into the comp, make it probably around a 500 by 500 square, oh, that's a little too small, maybe 600, 650. There we go. All right, sauce is all set up and I'll continue down the line with all my layers doing this exact same process. Now, on each one of these layers I want the item to be centered in the comp. So, I'm going to go up to window align, that will open up the align panel and I'll make sure that align layers two is set to composition and center that in the comp, and then scale down the comp. So, this is probably only going to need to be around 100 pixels wide by 100 pixels, maybe a little bit bigger. There we go. Now, that's centered in the comp. The reason for that is so that it's nice and centered in this comp over here and I can treat it just like any other layer. Now, I will need to reposition this pepperoni to get it back to where it was but that's simple enough to do. Now, I don't have a purple felt layer so I'm just going to pick one that's closest to it maybe this pink or red color will work best. I'll try the pink, bring that out, set it to an Alpha Matte and then add a hue and saturation to that felt layer and then just shift it a little bit and see if I can get it to look how I wanted it to. This is what I was shooting for. It looks like it needs to be a little bit lighter. By zooming here nice and close, I can see what that looks like, maybe turn the lightness up, maybe just shift the hue a tiny bit more, and I think I might actually be able to do a better job if I use this red color, so let me switch over to that, maybe not shift it over, and then I'll brighten it up by adding a curves layer, dragging that out above the hue and saturation and just boosting the mid tones a little bit, maybe preserving some of those shadows that way we get something a little bit brighter and then turn down the saturation just a little bit. The balance between brightening it up and not over-saturating it. Now that's looking pretty close to what I had before so I'm happy with that and then I'll go ahead and preComp those onion purple. Okay, now I have all of my layers with their textures applied. The colors are looking the way that they should and now we want to organize all this a little bit just so it's easier to look at because right now all of my layers are the exact same color. It's not very easy to find a specific layer just based on the color so I'm going to change the crust color to let's say sandstone. The sauce will change to red. Cheese will go to yellow. Pepperoni, I'll also set to red. Black olives will do like a dark green that's as close to black as I can get. The green pepper will be green. The onion a purple I'll leave at purple, and the onion white I'll set to sandstone. I'm just able to more easily identify the layers based on their colors. I also want to parent the white layer to the purple layer because wherever the purple one goes, the white one should move with it. To get these placed where I want them pretty quickly, I'm just going to go back to my Illustrator artwork and I'll get the remaining toppings which are right here and place them on a layer above everything else, and then make sure the crust and the sauce are rearranged. There we go. That sauce needs to be scaled down just a little bit, but what I'm really concerned with is the positioning of the toppings. I'm just going to save that, jump back into After Effects and then import that artwork one more time, and this time instead of a composition just as footage. That way you can use it as reference on top of everything else and then I'll drag it out just below the crust and above the background. So, I'll start with let's say the black olives. So, I'll turn everything off except for the black olives and I'll rename this black olive one and place it where it needs to go. So, looks like this one right here and then I'll duplicate it by pressing command D, reposition it where it needs to be roughly this doesn't have to be an exact representation and then just keep doing this for all of the different black olives. So, duplicate and move, duplicate, move, duplicate, move until all of those black olives are where they need to be and I'll do that same process for the rest of the toppings. Okay, now all of those layers are positioned where they need to be with their felt textures and I've rearranged them so that the layering themselves is now working the same way that it did on my artwork. So, I can get rid of that artwork. I don't need it in my project anymore, that was just for reference, and I need to clean up my project a little bit. All of those preComps I made did not go in the right folder so I'm going to select all of them and open up the comps folder and drag them into the preComps and I want to make sure that my pizza comp is in the main comps folder. There we go. 17. Making a Pizza pt 2: Now that all those textures are applied, I can start adding the depth that we created from the other comp, this fuzzy comp. So I'll start by grabbing the global controls null and just copy that over. So Command-C, Command-V to paste and make sure that's at the top of the comp. That way I know that all the controls that the expressions are going to reference are already in that comp. Then I'll go to the felt look, find one of the felt textures so maybe this Felt 01, expand this layer out, expand the effects and I want to select everything except for the set mat and the hue and saturation. So just these effects right here. Then I'll also copy over the layer style. So hold down command or control on a PC and click on that, and then copy those and paste them on all of these layers all at the same time. So select everything and hit paste. Just like that, my scene has a whole lot more depth because all of the effects that we set up in the other comp are now applied to these layers. But we're not done. We need to grab this linear darkness layer. So I'll copy that, paste it over here and I want to make sure that is positioned in the right spot. The center of this comp, which is 1920 by 1080, would be 960 by 540 half of 1920 by 1080. The layer itself is not big enough for a comp this size so I need to press Command-Shift-Y or Control-Shift-Y on a PC, and lock the aspect ratio and increase this to probably 3,000 pixels wide and that'll be enough to cover the entire comp at any angle. I also probably want to increase the feather a little bit because this is a larger comp. So I'll press F on the keyboard to bring up the feathering for that mask and just feather this out to around 600 pixels. That just makes the fall off a little bit more gradual on that darkness layer. I'll drag that down below the global controls, and so far everything is looking just great. Just like that, I'm able to copy over that effect that I've built to completely different artwork. If I go to my global controls and change the lighting direction everything should update, sure enough it does. But something that you might not notice on the surface level is that a couple of my green peppers are rotated. So this one right here you see is at its own angle. If I solo this layer and rotate it, you'll notice that the highlight from the Bevel Alpha and this shadow, if I disable this, the drop shadow itself is rotating with the layer. So just like with that table scene and the iPhone, I'm going to need to counteract the rotation of the layer in both the angle of the shadow and the highlights from the layer style and the Bevel Alpha effect. This is again pretty easy to do. All you need to do is go into my drop shadow, look at the direction and make sure that at the end of this expression, I write minus transform.rotation. That will subtract the rotation of the layer from the shadow direction. Then I'll just copy that little bit that I wrote and paste that onto the drop shadow direction on the first drop shadow as well, paste that there at the end. Now that shadow is going to update correctly, but then we need to go into the Bevel Alpha, to the light angle and paste it there as well. So I'll go to the end of the expression, paste, minus transform.rotation. That updated and that's actually all I have to do. There's still the Bevel and Emboss that is being affected by the light direction but there's actually an order that after effects renders things on a layer and the effects happen before the transformations. So that's why when I rotate the layer, the effects that are applied before it are going to rotate with it. However, layer styles are applied after the transform controls. So after effects is first going to look at the rotation or whatever transformations have applied to it, and then apply the bevel and emboss. So I don't need to apply any other expressions to that. So I'll close that up, select my effects and say, copy, command C and then select all of my other layers once again and paste them all at once. I'll un-solo this layer and then paste. Now, all of these layers will respond properly no matter how you rotate them. So I can grab this green pepper and rotate it however I want. The shading, the highlights and shadows will always look exactly the way they should. Now while we have taken some good steps in making this pizza look more realistic, more like it's actual felt, everything is still a little bit too perfect. So I want to take the global controls and turn up the turbulent displace amount. Right now, it's pretty low at 6, but I turn it up to maybe 12, that just roughened up the edges a little bit more it makes it look like it was actually cut out by hand just a little bit more. But if you take a closer look at the edges here, there's like a little dip on the crust here. There's a little dip on the red there and a little dip on the yellow there. It's all exactly the same if you follow it around. So, I just want to rotate those layers so they're offset a little bit. So, I'm just going to rotate the crust a little bit randomly, rotate the sauce and that turbulent displace is going to move with those layers. Then I want to take a look at some of the individual toppings. So the pepperoni is still pretty close to a perfect circle. So, I'm going to go into any one of those pre-comps. I'll just double click on it, and I want to add a another layer of turbulent displace. So I'll come over here and drag it out to the pepperoni layer, not the felt layer, but the layer I'm using as the mat. I'll turn the amount probably down and maybe increase or decrease the size just until I get something that looks a little bit less perfect. I can also adjust the evolution until I get a shape that I'm happy with, so that looks pretty good. That's much less of a perfect circle. So I'll close out of that comp and you see that all of my pepperoni slices updated exactly the same. So again, I'm just going to rotate some of them randomly so they're not all exactly the same. Just give each one its own unique rotation and that will randomize my assets just a little bit. I think the black olives are small enough that it doesn't really need any more turbulent displace, and you can't really tell when they're rotated or not but just for good measure I'm going to grab some of these and just rotate them a little bit. So there we go. Now I want to add one more layer to these onions just to give it a little bit more detail and that's adding some stitching around the white layer so that it looks like it's attached to the purple one through thread. So, I'm going to very simply do this using a shape layer. So I'm just going to make sure I don't have any layer selected and then double click on the ellipse tool, double tap the U to bring up all the modified properties and change the size by un-linking the two X and Y properties and set it down to say 300 by 300. Then I'll link those up again and resize it until it's about the size of that onion. I'll solo that layer as well as one of the onion layers. So I'll solo these two, so I can see them nicely and I'll just move this layer over. Hold down command or control on a PC to enable snapping. Get it nice and centered. Then again double tap U to bring up those modified properties and scale it down so it fits right on top of that white, just like that. Then I want to make it purple. So I'll scroll down to the stroke color, grab that eyedropper and then sample part of this purple, so probably right in there. All right. That looks pretty good. I'll probably want to turn the stroke width down to about 2, and then I needed to be dashed. So I'm going to collapse and expand this stroke so I can see all the options and then scroll down. I'm holding space bar to get this hand tool temporarily to click and drag around this layers palette. Then I'll click plus on the dashes to add a dash and plus one more time to add a gap, hide these masks so that I can see my stitching underneath and maybe make the gap a little bit bigger, the stitching a little smaller until it looks the way that I want it to. So something like that is probably good, maybe a little bit bigger. Okay. Now I want to round off the caps. So I'm going to go to the line cap and change it to round cap, then maybe increase the gap by one pixel or two pixels. That looks pretty good. I like the shape of that, but it is still pretty flat. That's because we don't have any of the other depth effects applied to it. So, I'm going to need to collapse this up. I'll rename it Onion-Stitching - 3 because this is part of the third copy of it. I'll change the color to purple, parent it to that third layer, and then, copy over the Effects. So, I'll grab the Effects and the Layer Styles, copy and paste it onto that stitching. Obviously, that is way too much for such a thin line. So, I'm going to go into the Roughen Edges, expand that out, go into the Border, and disable that expression so I can set this down to a much lower value like 0.5, maybe a little bit higher, but not too much, because you see that really degrades the quality of the image. Then, I think the Bevel Alpha is also a little bit too dramatic. If I turn that off and back on, it's just making it pop out a little too much. It looks a little bit fake. So, I'm going to scroll down to find that Bevel Alpha, go to the Light Intensity, disable that as well, and then, drop it down so it's not quite so dramatic. Something like that is a little bit better. These drop shadows are so extreme that you're probably not even going to notice them. So, I'm going to actually delete the second one. We don't need two for the stitching because in the real world, the thread would be so close to the felt that you wouldn't get much of a casting shadow anyway. Then, for the other instance, I'm actually going to get rid of all the expressions. So, to do that quickly, I'm just going to select all the properties, and then, press option Shift equals sign. That removes all the expressions from your selection. Now, I can change this to whatever I want. I'm going to turn the Distance all the way down, the Softness very far down, maybe turn up the Opacity just a little bit, turn that Softness up just a little bit more, something like that. That way, it just gives a little bit of a shadow beneath it. That's probably a little too dark. Again, don't want to overdo these effects, but something to give it just a little bit more depth so it pops off of that felt layer beneath it. I think that's looking really great. If I zoom back out to 100 percent, you can see how that looks. I think that's great. Maybe I'll turn the saturation of that color down just a little bit. There we go. I'm pretty happy with the way that that looks. So, let's un-solo those layers, and then, I just need to duplicate that Onion-Stitching, rename it to number one, and then, find in my Layers palette where that other onion layer is. There it is, down here, Onion-White - 1. I'll put it right above that, and then, I'm going to parent it to the purple layer. But I'm going to hold Shift while I do that. When I let go, you see that it jumps over to that layer. It's going to inherit the transform properties of the layer that you're parenting it to that way. I'll do that one more time, rename it two, put it above that Onion-White - 2, parent with the Shift key enabled, and it will jump right over there. Now, all of my onions have that same stitching. If I maximize this window and zoom out a little bit, we can see how that's shaping up. I think that looks great. Now, there actually is one issue with parenting layers like this when we have expressions that are referencing the rotation value of that layer. So, if I again solo these three layers right here, the Onion-Purple, White, and Stitching, and I rotate the Onion-Purple, and you take a look at the white layer, especially right here, you can see that highlighted edge right there. If I keep rotating this, you see that that highlighted edge is moving with the rotation of the purple layer. The reason for this is because it's just inheriting the rotation of its parent, which is the purple layer, and the rotation value of the layer itself is not changing. So, you see, when I change the parent layer, the rotation value of the white layer stays at zero. So, to the expression that we wrote for all of those varying degrees, it has nothing to counteract. So, what I need to do is, go into those expressions, and I can very quickly find those expressions by selecting the layer and then searching for minus transform dot. I don't even have to type anymore. It's already brought up the expressions that I wrote that code onto. I just need to modify it slightly. Instead of minus transform dot rotation, I need to say, minus thisLayer, with a capital L, dot parent dot transform dot rotation. What that's going to do is, look at not this layer's rotation, but this layer's parent rotation, and counteract that. So, if I copy that bit of the modified expression again and paste it on all of the others, everything should update correctly. Then, I'll just make sure that I have that code copied and search for that same expression on the stitching layer, and then, apply it to whatever comes up. So, it's only the Bevel Alpha that is using that expression. So, I'll paste it there. Now, I can copy the effects from the Onion-White layer and paste it on the other two white layers, and then, I'll copy the effects from the stitching layer and paste it to the other two stitching layers. Now, if I rotate that purple layer, all of the shading is going to update properly. That highlighted edge on the white you see is always right there, no matter how I rotate it. So, now that all of that is taken care of, hopefully, all of those different scenarios will be able to help you if you're running into any trouble with your own artwork. You now know why certain things are behaving in certain ways. Now, I think that overall with the global controls, I could turn up the Roughen Edges a little bit. Again, these were created in a comp that was half the size. So, some of these values are going to need to be adjusted based on the resolution of your comp. So, I'll turn the Border up to maybe four. Now, we just got a little bit of a softer edge, they're a little bit more fibrous. I'll turn down the Edge Sharpness a little bit as well. Then, for the Bevel Alpha, I think I'm going to turn up the Edge Thickness a little bit as well. That was definitely too much. So, maybe drop it down to two. That looks pretty good. Then, I want to open up the Layer Styles on that null control or the global control and just take a look at the Bevel and Emboss. So, right now, the size is 27. If I turn that up to, say, 60, just want to see how that affects the artwork. I think that actually might look a little bit better. If I undo and redo, you can see that that's just adding a little bit more of dimension to all of those layers. I think I like the way that looks better. Then, let's just adjust the light direction and see if maybe a different light angle could be better for this scene. I like how it's being lit from the right side here. Maybe I'll bring it up just a little bit. Yeah, that looks pretty good. 18. Making a Pizza pt 3: Now, there's one final element that I want to put into this scene and that's just a little banner down here at the bottom that says Pizza. Let's give it its label, its title, to this is my favorite meal. So, I'm going to just type out the word Pizza and I'm going to use this font called SignPainter. I'll center it in my comp. Again, the center of the comp should be 960. So, I'll press P on the keyboard to bring this up, 960 in the center there. Then, I'll bring up my guides by pressing the apostrophe key and just raise it up a little bit above that title safe area. So, probably somewhere around there. Because that's going to run into my pizza, I'm going to need to re-position all of this. So, I'm going to maximize my timeline by pressing the Tilde key, which is the little key to the left of the number one on the top row of your keyboard, the very top left corner. Press that while my mouse is over the timeline and that maximizes that panel. I want to just parent everything to the crust really quickly, but I want to make sure not to mess up the parent hierarchy of these layers here that I've already got a parent. So, I'll select everything, then de-select those layers that have parents already. Then I'll parent all of those to the crust. Now, if I select the crust, press Tilde again to collapse that menu, the shading has updated, it's messed up because all of those transformed properties are now referencing the crust layer but that's okay, we're going to unparent everything in just a second. So, I'll click on one of the Transform controls, hold down Shift, to be able to resize it all just a little bit, and then bring it up just a bit as well. So, somewhere around there, and I'm going to wait to unparent everything until I finished the design down here. So, what I want to do is start by just soloing this text, zoom in here and it needs a background. So, I'm going to make a rectangle. So, I'll click and hold on this Ellipse tool, go to the Rectangle tool and then double-click it. Then I'll double-tap U to bring up those modified properties and scale it way down. Now, I don't need a stroke on this one but I do need to fill. So, I want to make sure to turn off the stroke, enable the fill and for now, I'll just make the fill black. I'll continue to scale this down and bring it down, so it's centered with the pizza text and then I'll drop it below the pizza layer by pressing Command and the left bracket on the keyboard to drop it down one layer. Okay. I think that's the right height, somewhere around there and then I'll make the width a little bit bigger and then just lift it up a bit. I just want to cut in these little edges to the side, so it looks more like a banner. So, the way I'll do that is just by adding another rectangle, changing the size to be a square. So, we'll just say like 100 by 100, I'm going to group that, so that I can rotate it 90 degrees. I switch to the Rotate tool by pressing W, and then I'm going to hold Shift to lock it to 45 degree increments. Then, with the rectangle one group selected, I'm going to add a Merge Paths and this will allow me to change the mode from add to subtract. Now, the lower group is going to punch a hole in the upper group. So, I'm going to now click, hold Shift and drag this over, so that it covers up the end there and it just gives it a little bit of a punch in. I want to scale this down a little bit more but right now, I can only do it on these two axes. So, I'm going to group it one more time so my bounding box switches to this and then just squeeze this down basically a little bit, move it over, and there we go. Now, we've got the edge looking the way I want it to, all I have to do is duplicate that group by pressing Command D, click Shift and drag to the other side, line that up nicely and I've got my little banner shape. I think I want to make the rectangle path a little bit shorter. There we go, and then reposition this text a little bit and now I need to apply those felt layers to it. So, I'm going to rename the Shape Layer banner. I've got my pizza texts layer. So, I'll bring in probably the red colored image of the felt texture for the banner and I'll just set that as an Alpha Matte and pre-comp those two, name it Banner. Then, I'll do the same thing for the pizza. I'll grab the white layer, bring it out, AlphaMatte, shift click pre-compose Command Shift C and name it Pizza-Text. Now, I've got my two textured layers, I'll un-solo them, move them down to the bottom of this comp just above the background and then copy the effects from one of the other felt layers. So, I'll just grab the crust, effects, and layer styles, copy and then paste them on those two. Obviously, that did not work so well for the text, we'll need to modify that but the banner itself looks pretty good. So, I'm going to go to the Pizza-Text, into the Effects, the Roughen Edges and disable the Border and then lower it down to probably a 1.2, somewhere around there, even that looks like it's too much. So, I'll go like 0.8, just to bring back those edges, and then I think the edge sharpness is too sharp. So, I'm going to disable that, lower it down to 0.5, and then maybe turn the border backup to one. I think the Bevel Alpha is also a bit too strong on this one. That lettering is very thin, so I don't want it to look quite so puffy. I'll open that up, go into the Edge Thickness, disable that and drop it down to maybe 0.8, just to give it a little bit of an edge. I think that looks a lot better. Then right now, it looks like it's floating on top of the banner and that is probably something to do with the Drop Shadows. So, if I disable the second Drop Shadow and then go into the first one and remove all the expressions, all except for the direction, I'm going to hold down Command and de-select that. I always want that to update properly. Then, again, I'll press Option or Alt on a PC, Shift equals to remove those expressions. Now, I can go in and turn the softness down to something like eight. Maybe not have it go quite so far away from the text. Now, it looks much more like it's actually on top of that red felt layer. Now, I want to parent that pizza text to the banner but that is going to mess up the rotation expressions. So, I'll just quickly again select that pizza text and type minus transform and see what that brings up. Make sure to add the other part of the expression we need in there. So, just before transform, we, again, are going to type thisLayer.parent.transform.rotation. Select all that and copy it, paste it on the other expressions. Now, it's always going to look correct. All right. Let's zoom out to full, I think that placement look so great. The composition is nicely placed. So, I can unparent all the other layers from that bottom crust layer so that the lighting is working properly again. So, I'll maximize this one more time, select all of these layers and then de-select the ones that I don't need. So, the Banner, the Pizza-Text, the Crust itself, and then the Onion-.White and Onions-Stitching layers and I'll just select all of those parents, change it to none and after effects should update that for me, now everything is looking just fine. What I am noticing is that the Pizza-Text does look a little bit dark and I think that's just because of how thin the lettering is but I want to counteract that by just brightening it up a little bit. So, I'm going to add a Curves Layer to it and I'll make sure that it goes at the top of this effect stack and then just brighten it up, just a tad. There we go that should do it. Now, if I zoom out, looks much better, it pops off a little bit better down there at the bottom. That is my completed class project design and now I can move on to animating it. 19. Animating pt 1: The animation from my class project is going to be very simple. I just want all of these toppings and the pizza itself to just come in one item at a time and just end up at this point and then pause for a little bit and then everything go back out and that way I can have it as a looping video to share online. So, what I want to do is start by just setting a keyframe on all of the layers that are going to be animated for the position property. So, I'll probably go forward maybe 10 frames and then set a keyframe there. So, I want to select all of my layers that need this position keyframe and make sure that I don't set keyframes on the second and third layers of each onion because those don't need to move. They're parented to the layers below them as well as the pizza text because that is also a child of the banner layer and then I'll just set a position keyframe by pressing Option or Alt on a PC plus the P key. It's a keyframe for all of those layers that I had selected and then I'll back it up and just start moving all of these layers off the screen and I'm going to just do it randomly. It doesn't have to be very precise. I'm just concerned with getting them all off of the composition so that I'm left with a blank screen. I need to be very careful with these onions that I don't select the children so I'm just going to leave those for the last bit. Then just push all of these other layers off the screen. Okay, I want to make sure that I grab the actual layer that's going to be controlling the motion for each one of these onions, there we go and then I'll just finish off these black olives and then I have the cheese, the sauce and the crust. Now, I want these to move out in a more deliberate way. So, I want the cheese to come in from the right. I want the sauce to come in from the left and then the crust to come in from the top. All right, now that I have all those keyframes generated, I'm going to select the second keyframe of all of these. Go into the graph editor and zoom in. Again, I'm looking at the speed graph but with all of these second keyframes selected, I'm going to easy ease them which you can do very easy by just clicking this button right here and then I'll grab that speed influence a little bit and raise it up. Now I have my snapping turned off so this isn't going to snap to the baseline or any of the other values but I just want it to have a nice little ease, nothing too drastic and I don't want it to end at zero but let's see what that looks like. Okay, I think that's great. I love the randomness of how everything comes in, it's obviously a little too quick I don't want to animate them all at once. So, I'll be overlapping all of these layers so that they come in one at a time but I think in terms of the amount of time each individual item takes to get to its final resting place, it's working very well. So, let's zoom out a little bit and start overlapping these layers. So, I know that I want the text in the banner to end up on screen at last. So, I'm actually going to move those to the top of the comp by selecting them and pressing Command or Control, Shift and the right bracket. That moves them all the way to the top of the layer stack and I'll drag that down just below linear darkness. Just so I don't accidentally move this layer around, I'm going to lock it and then I'm going to push the pizza text in the banner forward in time just because I know I want that to come in last. Then I'm just going to work my way down this entire layer stack, offsetting these layers forward in time a few frames at a time so that all of their motions are overlapping each other. So, I'll start with the black olives just move it forward, one or two frames. Grab the onion that's next, maybe move that forward a frame. Black olives and I'm just going to continue this down the line just randomly distributing these layers by one or two frames each. Okay, so, I've done all of the toppings and I want the crust, sauce and cheese to come in all at the beginning a little bit more slowly than the rest of the toppings. So, I'm just going to, with my selection still active, push all of these layers forward in time just so I don't have to worry about them right now but let's play back what I've done so far with those layers. Okay, I think that's working really well. The only thing I don't like is how all of those black olives right there come in in a bunch and that's just simply because there were a bunch of black olives all next to each other right here in the timeline. So, I'm just going to grab everything above those black olives and back them up so that multiple layers are animating on at the same time as all of those black olives. Now, we see that even though a bunch of black olives are coming in, other things are coming in at the same time, so it looks a little bit more natural. Then we've got the nice little pizza banner there at the end. Might want to push that forward in time a little bit. Just a few frames. Yeah, I think that's working out really nicely. I like the way that all those toppings in the banner are coming in. So, that's great. Now let me back up and just work on the crust, the sauce and the cheese. So, I'm just going to overlap these a little bit I'm just eyeballing it but let's preview that. I actually think that worked out just fine. One thing I did notice is that the cheese layer and the background layer are using the same felt texture source. You can see this crease that was in the felt showing up right there. It's like a brighter spot and that's aligning with the background and the cheese layer. So, I'm just going to go into that pre-comp and just offset the felt so that this bright band is just not showing up and that way it's a little bit more randomized. There we go. It doesn't line up perfectly anymore and it looks a lot better now. So, if the pizza crust, the sauce and the cheese all come in right here, I think the toppings can start animating in at that point. So, I'll just select everything after that and back it up so that it begins to come in just as that cheese is finishing up. So, let's play this back and see what it looks like. Okay, I think that's great, the timing and the overlapping of all the different motions are working just great. Now, I want to add in just a little bit more detail to my motion. I'm going to start with the sauce and the cheese. Right now, everything is just moving in statically. It's not rotating at all. So, I think since the sauce is coming from the left, the cheese from the right, I'm going to add some rotation keyframes to those. So, I'll set a rotation keyframe for the sauce right where the second position keyframe is then back up to the beginning and rotate it backwards. I'm not being very precise with this. I'm just trying to give it a little bit of rotation. I'm not concerned with this actually looking like it's rolling on a surface because if this was actually stop motion, it would be very difficult to do that anyway. I just want to give it a little bit more life by rotating it like that then I'll do the same thing for the cheese. So, Option R to add a keyframe. Go to the beginning and then rotate it in the opposite direction, a few revolutions maybe, 190 degrees. Easy ease that second keyframe and play that back. 20. Animating pt 2: I think those are all the key frames I need to set. But now, I want to randomize the motion of all these objects. Because right now, they're still just moving in a perfectly straight line. So, I want to jump into that random motion comp, where we've got this randomized motion based on the speed of the layer. So, first thing I wanna do is, copy over the effects. So, I'm going to select all of those and paste them onto the global controller. So paste there. I want to make sure that they're at the top of this effect stack. Maybe just below the light direction. So, there we go. Wiggles per second position wiggle amount, rotation wiggle amount. Now remember, these are just controllers. I don't have anything tied to them in this comp yet. So, I need to go back to the random motion comp, and then open up the expression on the position, and copy over this expression. So, I can actually do that easily by right-clicking on the property, and saying copy expression only. Then, I'll just go back to the pizza comp and we'll start with the crust layer. So, I'm going to paste that onto the position and immediately I get an error. The reason for this is because, in my random motion comp, the controllers were applied directly to that layer, not to a global controller. So the expressions that we wrote are looking for these expression controls on the crust layer not on the global controls layer. So what I need to do, is just modify that expression a little bit. I'll open it up and look at my variables. Here's why I'm referencing those two sliders. Like I said, it's just currently looking for it on this layer. So, I need to add a little bit of code just before this part of the variable to direct it to the global controller. So, I'm going to type this comp with a capital 'C.layer("Global Controls' because that is what I named the null object, and it's very important that you have this exactly typed the way that the layer is named. So, capital G for global space, capital C for controls. Close quote. Close parentheses, period. That's gonna tell After Effects where to find this slider. Then I'll just copy that and paste it before the next variable, so that it's looking for those two sliders in the right place. I'll apply the expression and it works. Now, if I play this back, I get a little bit of random motion on that position of the crust. Now I can copy that expression and paste it on all of the other layers. So, I'll just make a selection of all of the layers and paste, and now the position should have a little bit of random movements. So, if I play this back, you can see there is that random movement showing up in those layers. Add just a little bit of bounciness on the position and that's exactly what I wanted. Now, let's go and do the same thing for the rotation. So, I'll bring up the rotation of the crust, go back to my random motion comp, bring up the rotation R on the keyboard, copy over this expression, go back to the pizza, add that same expression here, and then type out that extra bit of code again. So, this comp with a capital "C.layer("Global Controls")." Copy that, paste it on the second variable, and apply the expression. I'll copy that expression and paste it on all of my other layers. Now, if I look at my global controls, we still got the five times wiggle per-second, the 10 pixel position wiggle amount. I'm going to bump that up to maybe 15, and we've got 10 degrees of rotation wiggle, which is a decent amount, so I'll leave that there and play that back. Very nice! You can see all of that randomized motion that just gives it a little bit more of a hands-done feel. You can especially see it on that banner as it pops up here. Right there, you see how it's rotating as it's moving in and just shifting its position around a little bit. Until it gets to its resting point. Really helps sell the effect. Now the last thing I want to do is apply that camera Flicker that we have over here on our table comp. I've already got it set up on the adjustment layer, so I'm just going to copy the entire thing and paste it at the top of the comp and move it just below the global controls. But you'll notice, this adjustment layers bounding box isn't filling the entire comp. That's because the table comp was 1280 by 720, so I want to modify that adjustment layer. I'll press Command or Control Shift Y to bring up the solid settings, and then just say make Comp Size. I'll click "Ok", Then, bring up my align palette by going to Window, Align, and center it horizontally and vertically. Close that panel, and now that will affect the entire comp. I'll preview that to see how it looks. Now I've got that subtle flickering going on, just to make it a little bit less perfect and more organic. All right, so everything is done now except for the animation out. So, I think I just need to timeout how long I want things to be onscreen before it starts to animate out. So I'll just play from here, and say right about there. That I think is where I want it to start animating out. So, I'm going to lock that flicker layer, select all of these layers one more time, set a position key frame, go forward maybe 10 frames by holding Shift and page down, and then move everything back off screen. Again, I don't need this to be exactly where it was when it started. I'm fine with it being a little bit randomized and going off in a different direction than the way that it came. But I just want all of these objects to be offscreen once again. Maybe I'll have the cheese go out to the left this time, the SaaS go out to the right, and the cross go down to the bottom. All right,and I accidentally set key frames on onion stitching and the white layers for those, so I want to get rid of those key frames, so I don't accidentally move those around at all. Same thing for the pizza texts, there we go. I'll collapse all of the layers by pressing U, and open them up again at just expanding my key frames. Now, I just need to overlap all of these key frames the same way that they overlap the layers. So, I'm just going to do this randomly again by i and tell everything is offset just a little bit. Now, with all of those offset, I need to move them all forward in time, so that they start animating off at the right place in time. I think that should work just fine. So let's play this back and see how it animates out. Okay, so I can definitely overlap these more. They're coming out basically one piece at a time and I'm fine with the objects moving more all at once on the way out. But I'm also noticing the easing. I didn't remember to go in and take the easing off. So, let me do that quickly. You select all my key frames, remove the interpolation by pressing command and clicking on the key frames and then selecting just the first key frame of each one of these layers. Then, pressing F9 on the keyboard to easy ease that and then adjust the graph editor a little bit to make them all ease out just a tiny bit. Now, that easing is good but I want to overlap the keyframes a little bit more. Okay, let's see how that plays back. Great, I love that. I think it looks super authentic too. I just want to add a little bit of rotation on the cheese and sauce on their way out, just like they did on the way in. So I'll bring up the rotation key frame. So, I'll bring up all the key frames for those layers. Starting with the cheese, set at rotation key frame, go forward and rotate it that direction. Taking off the easing there and easy easing the rotation on this key frame, and then do the same thing for the sauce. There we go. Now, I'm going to play back the entire animation as a whole. So, there you have it. My completed class project, and it has all of the elements that we covered. Lowering the frame rate, randomizing the motion, adding in real-world textures, creating depth with all of that lighting and shading and adding in a little bit of exposure flicker to simulate a changing light source between frames. Combine all those things together and you get a very authentic looking stop-motion effect. You can use this technique on all kinds of things. It doesn't have to be felt textures. Anything that you could animate in the real world by hand, works great in this style of animation. You can use paper textures or photos of coins or coffee beans as your source assets. If you treat those image assets in this way, you'll have a very convincing looking stop-motion animation. 21. Exporting Your Project: To export your class project and get it onto Skillshares website, I recommend that you export it as a video file and upload it to a hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo. Normally, I export motion graphics as gifts but there's so much photo-real detail in this comp. That the gift compression will really degrade the image quality. So, I'm going to use a video instead. To do this I'm going to go up to composition. Add to Media Encoder Queue and this will send my active comp to Adobe Media Encoder which is a very robust piece of software from Adobe which comes with your Creative Cloud subscription for exploiting and compressing videos. All right. Here's Media Encoder and we see that I have my pizza comp. Inside of the queue. Now, if you've never used Adobe Media Encoder before don't worry just follow along with what I'm doing and it will work out just fine. If you want to learn more about Media Encoder I have an entire class uncompressing videos where I cover the ins and outs of how to use this program. So, check out the link for that in the notes of the video right now. All right. With your comp inside of the Media Encoder. Come over to the preset browser if you don't see that just come up to a window preset browser. Then makes sure that you go to the system presets, scroll down to the very bottom and you'll find web video as a category. So, there is a Vimeo and a YouTube drop-down. You pick whichever one that you plan on uploading your video to. I'm going to do mine to Vimeo. So, I'm going to expand that out. You see you have multiple options, YouTube has similar options. Pick whichever one is applicable to your animation if you're following along with my project then you should be picking the 1080p option. So, I'm going to do that for Vimeo just drag it out and drop it right on top of this text right here. That loads the compression preset that Media Encoder will export with then just pick where you want to output the file by clicking on this path right here. I'm going to stick mine right on the desktop, hit save and now everything's ready to go all I have to do is click on this "Start "queue button and we'll get a progress bar down here along with a preview of that compression. So, I'm going to let this encode. Now that that's exported I can upload it to Vimeo. So, I'll jump over to there click on "Upload" a video. Choose the file find it on my desktop. There it is pizza and I'll open that and I'll name it, Pizza Stop Motion Look. Then you can add a description make sure that the privacy is set to anyone can see this video tag it whatever you'd like. Fill out all the information that you need. I'll click "Save" and once that's uploaded and processed it should be available to watch and there we go, we have it ready to watch inside a Vimeo. It's playing back it looks great. So, now I'll just copy the URL and then go over to my Skillshare project. You can choose a cover image, this will need to be a separate still image that you've exported of your animation or you could just take a screenshot of it. Upload it. There so that we can see the thumbnail in the project gallery. Give your project a title, right out any description you want and then come down to the add content section and click on the "Video" button. Paste that link in and press enter and then Skillshare will embed that video into your class project where we can watch it. That's all you have to do press publish and your class project will be submitted. If you run into any issues along the way feel free to post a discussion and I'll help you work through it. 22. That's It!: That's it. Thank you so much for taking this class. Now that you've watched all of the lessons, you can create your own class project. Remember to use the techniques we talked about to really make this look authentic to actual stop-motion animation. If you liked this class, I would love it if you gave me a review, and if you're not already, be sure to follow me so that you'll know when I post new content. If you post your class project anywhere on social media, be sure to tag me @jakeinmotion so I can see it. If you want to get sneak peeks of new content as I'm working on it, be sure to follow me on Instagram. If you run into any issues during this class, feel free to post a discussion asking your question, and I'll be more than happy to help. Thank you again so much for taking this class, and I'll see you next time.