The Ultimate Guide to Shape Layers in Adobe After Effects | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

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The Ultimate Guide to Shape Layers in Adobe After Effects

teacher avatar Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Types of Shapes


    • 3.

      Styling Shapes


    • 4.

      Shape Layer Structure


    • 5.

      From Illustrator to After Effects


    • 6.

      Building in After Effects Pt. 1


    • 7.

      Building in After Effects Pt.2


    • 8.

      Understanding Operators


    • 9.

      Animating Pt. 1


    • 10.

      Animating Pt. 2


    • 11.

      Animating Pt. 3


    • 12.



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About This Class

Many animators have been intimidated by the mysterious shape layers in After Effects, and few have truly understood how to unlock the enormous potential they offer to motion graphics...until now! Congratulations, you’ve just discovered The Ultimate Guide to Shape Layers in After Effects!

Complete this course and you’ll learn how to take advantage of creating graphics using shape layers in After Effects and unleash the power of operators (where the real magic happens). 

For the class project you'll create a minimalist animation inspired by your favorite movie using basic geometric shapes. It's time to shape up!

With each quick video tutorial we’ll cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Basic shape layer creation and behavior
  • Converting vector art to shape layers and prepping for animation
  • Shape layer operators
  • Animating with shape layers

And more topics essential to creating and animating shape layers efficiently in After Effects.

You’ll gain all the knowledge needed for an endless number of animation applications: logos, transitions, backgrounds, infographics, and motion graphics in general. This course will increase the efficiency of your workflow and allow you to create very complex and detailed animations in a very short amount of time. Attaining these skills will make you an asset to employers and give you the edge you need to become a successful motion graphics artist. Along the way your classmates and I will be available for project feedback, answering questions, and sharing inspiration.

While this is an introductory course, you should have a basic understanding of Adobe After Effects’ user interface and basic functionality. Every step will be clearly explained in each video, but we won’t be spending a lot of time learning how to do basic functions. See you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jake Bartlett

Motion Designer

Level: All Levels

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1. Trailer: Hi. I'm Jake Bartlett, motion graphics artist from Los Angeles, and this is the ultimate guide to Shape layers and after effects. In this class, I'll teach you everything you could ever want to know about creating an animated graphics using shape layers. There one of after effects, most powerful features and can be used for all motion graphics. You'll learn how to bring your artwork from Illustrator into after effects, convert it to shapes, and then animate it, just like this. I'll see you in class. 2. Types of Shapes: As always, I'll be using keyboard shortcuts for almost everything. I'll try to remember to say it out loud as I'm using it. Otherwise, you can always see in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, I'll also include the Adobe keyboard shortcut list in the additional resources of the project assignment page. It's always a good idea to read through that just to check out what you can do quicker using keyboard. Let's get started. Now the first thing we need to do is go over the different types of shape layers. There are five different types of shape layers. Rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, polygon, and star. We can make each one of these shape layers by using any of the shape layer tools that we have up here in the toolbar. You see that we have all five of the different types of shapes. If you press Q on the keyboard, you will cycle through each one of those tools. Now, there are a few different ways that we can create shape layers. The quickest and easiest is to simply double-click on the shape tool. That automatically creates a shape based on the comp size. You can see that now I have a shape that's filling my entire comp, and if we look down in the timeline, we have a new shape layer inside that shape layers contents is a rectangle. If we open this up, we see that that rectangle has specific properties. The first property is the rectangle path. Inside of that, we have the option to change the size, position, and roundness of the rectangle. Now because I double-clicked on the rectangle tool, it automatically size the shape to my comp, which is 1920 by 1080. But if I click and drag this number down, you can see that we're scaling the shape down, and you'll see the bounding box and the anchor point, that's my shape layer. If I unlink these two properties, I can change the width and the height independently. If I wanted to, I could type in two specific numbers and I have a square now. I could re-link this and how the properties scale proportionately. The next property is position. This will control the position of the shape within the actual shape layer. Now it's important to note that this is not the same as the layers transform position. If I scroll this up so we can have a little bit more room, and we totaled down the transform of the layer, you see that the position layer has not change just because we've changed the position property of the rectangle path. This is because you can have multiple shapes inside of a shape layer, but we're going to talk about that more later. Just remember that the position property of the shape is different from the position property of the layer. I'll set the position back down to zero and I'll troll this up. Scale this backup. The next property we're going to look at is randomness. If I click and drag on this property, you'll see that the corners of my rectangular being rounded. The higher the number, the larger the curve. I could even make it into a circle if I wanted. But let's say I wanted to have a radius of around a 100. Now the way this behaves is that no matter how small or how large I make my rectangle, the corners are always going to be rounded at a 100 point radius. So if I made my rectangle really small, eventually you're going to see that it becomes a circle because the corners roundness is actually greater than the size of the actual shape. If I wanted to go back to having a rounded rectangle at this size, I would just turn the roundness down. You can see that both rectangles and rounded rectangles come from the same type of shape layer, they're both just rectangles. Next let's make an ellipse and this time instead of double-clicking on the tool, I'm going to go to the ellipse tool and then click and drag inside my comp. Now this will let me create a free form ellipse. If I hold shift on the keyboard, it'll create a perfect circle. If I hold down command or control on the PC at the same time, it'll scale that circle from the center rather than the corner. I'm going to go ahead and let go of that. One thing I want to point out is that you can see that our shape layer has an anchor point and our shape is not centered in that anchor point. There are a few different ways that I could get the anchor point to the center of my circle. One way is through keyboard shortcuts. If you hold down option, command and press home, your anchor point will snap directly to the center of the circle. That applies to any object inside of After Effects. It's one of the most handy keyboard shortcuts that I've come across. I'll undo that. Now one other way to get my shape centered up with the anchor point is by actually changing the position of the shape layer. So I'm going to open up my ellipse, scroll down to the transform for the ellipse, and we can see that my position properties are now set to zero. So if I change these to zero, my shape is now centered on the anchor point. I'm going to close this up, and go up to our properties. Just like a rectangle shape layer, we have specific properties for this type of shape layer. For an ellipse, all we have access to is size and position. Size is very basic. Just scale it up or down. If we unlink the two properties again, we can change just the width or the height of the ellipse. Then we link them back together. Then the position property again just controls the position of the shape within the shape layer. Next, we'll create a polygon by going to the polygon tool and double-clicking on the tool. After Effects calls this type of shape a poly star. If we open this up and go into the poly star path, you'll see that we have different options. The first thing we can control is the number of points on the polygon, so I can increase or decrease the number of points to get different types of shapes. I'm going to set this back to five. Next we have position which we've already gone over. Then we have rotation, which will control the angle of the shape. Then there's outer radius, which will control the size of the polygon, and finally, we have the outer roundness of the polygon. This controls how round or flat the edges of the shape are. You can get some really interesting looking shapes using the roundness of the polygon. If I turn it way down, we get this weird flowery shape. But then if we go up to the points and we change it to eight, we get a completely different looking shape. This is a really fun shape layer type to play around with. You can get some very interesting results. Last, we're going to make a star. I'll go to the star tool and then click and drag and the comp. I hold shift to snap the starter being upright and then let go. I want to center this up, so I'll go to the poly star, go to my transform, and I'll change the position back to zero, so my shape is in the center. Now if we look at the options of this shape, you'll see that we have some of the same properties as the polygon. I can change the number of points. I can change the position, I can change the rotation. But then you'll notice we have an inner radius and an outer radius. The inner radius is going to control the points on the inside of the star. While the outer radius is going to control the points on the outside. Then we have both inner and outer roundness properties. Again, the inner roundness is going to control the points on the inside of the star while the outer roundness is going to control the points on the outside of the star. This gives you even more control over the look of the shape. Again, if you play around with it, you can get some pretty crazy looking shapes. A reset this to get back to our star. Then if we scroll up and look at the first option and underneath our poly star, we see that the type is set to star. But if I click on this dropdown, we could change it back to polygon, and now we're back to the shape type of polygon. Know that you can switch between polygon and star through that drop down. That's all of the individual and unique properties of all the different types of shape layers. 3. Styling Shapes: When you click on any shape layer tool, properties for that tool appear over here on the toolbar. First we have fill, which if you click on the word fill, allows you to choose what type of fill. If you don't want to fill, you can click the first option which will set it to none. The second option is solid color, then linear gradient, then radial gradient. For now, we're going to just stick to solid. Next, you have the option to choose the fill's color. You can change it to whatever color you want. But for now I'm just going to leave mine to white. Next you can choose a stroke type. So I'm going to click on that and just like before, we have solid color, linear gradient or radial gradient. Again, I'm going to stick to solid. Then if you click on this box here, you can change the color. For this, I'm going to choose a red. Hit ''Okay.'' Before we make our shape, the last thing I want to notice is that we have this 4 pixel right here. This value is your strokes width. So we can change the width of the stroke before you've even make the shape. I'm going to go ahead and just set it to 10. Now I'm ready to create my shape. I'll double-click on the rectangle tool, which will make the rectangle the size of my comp. Then I'll open it up, go into the size and just make it 250 by 250. So I have a nice square. I'm going to close this up. Click off. You'll notice that now I have a white square with a red outline. If I have my shape selected, those same properties that we set before making the shape up here in the toolbar. I can adjust these properties and it'll change the appearance of the shape layer. So if I change the color up here, the color of my stroke changes. If I change the size of the stroke, the outline gets thicker or thinner. If we look down in the timeline, there's also a stroke and a fill on that shape layer. I'm going to open up my stroke and you'll see that just like in the toolbar, I can change the color and the stroke width. But I also have the ability to change the opacity of the stroke. Now that the stroke is semi-transparent, you can see the rectangle is filled through the stroke. I'll set this back to a 100. Next, if we scroll down a little bit and we'll see line join. Right now it's set to miter join, which will give us nice sharp corners. But I can change this to be round join and now we have round corners. Or if I change it to bevel join, will get this beveled edge. I'll leave that miter for now. I'm going to collapse the stroke property and I want to point out that the stroke is above the fill in the layer stack. If I click and drag the stroke below the fill, you'll see that now the fill is appearing above the stroke. So if I change the stroke width, you'll see that the stroke is no longer taking up any of the space on the inside of the rectangle. If I move the stroke back above a fill, now the fill is below the stroke. So the order of your shape properties behaves exactly the same way as the rest of layers inside of aftereffects. Whatever is on top will be rendered on top. Let's take a look at some more of the stroke options. If I scale the width down of this outline and scroll down, there's this option for dashes. If I click this plus icon that says add a dash or gap. Our line is now dashed, and we can control the width of those dashes using this slider. If I press the plus, again, now we have a gap property. This will control how much spaces between each dash. You can create as many dashes or gaps as you want, which will give you some very unique looking strokes. I'm going to take this back down to just one dash and one gap and increase the gap size just a little bit. We also have the offset option, which will control where the dashes are on the path. Now something to keep in mind is that any one of these properties that has a stopwatch will allow you to key frame it, and therefore you can animate it. So if you wanted to, you could set a key frame, move forward, change the offset, and then suddenly you have an animating stroke. Extremely simple, very easy to do. But something that I don't think a lot of after effects users realize even exists. Now that the stroke is no longer solid. I'm going to scroll back up to our line cap. Right now we're set to butt cap, which gives us the straight edges on all the dashes of the stroke. If I change it to round cap, now we have rounded dashes. I scroll back down to my dashes, changes up a little bit. Our stroke looks completely different now. Now what's really interesting is that you can have multiple strokes for a single shape. So if I get rid of my dashes and I collapse my stroke and duplicate it by pressing command or control on the PC plus d, I now have two strokes. If I open up the second stroke and change the color, and then change the stroke width, you'll see that we have two strokes around the same rectangle. If I change the size of that rectangle, you'll see that both strokes stay the same size. If I move the fill back on top of both strokes, you see that now the fill is rendering on top of the strokes. One thing to note is that when you have multiple strokes, you can't change any of these properties up in the toolbar without affecting both. So if I were to change the size, now both strokes are 66 pixels. If I change the color, both are now this bright blue and because they're identical, you won't be able to distinguish the difference between the two. So if you want to change things individually, you have to do it from within the shape layer. You can also do some cool stuff with multiple strokes and dashes. So if I get rid of this second stroke, open up my first one and change it up a little bit. Get back to having some dashes. I'll duplicate my stroke, go into the new one, scroll down to the dashes, and then change the properties a little bit. If I make the stroke just a little bit thinner and change the gap and the dash size, we have to separate strokes, each with their own unique dash system. I can change the color of the second stroke. I could change the cap. I could even change the number of dashes and gaps. You can add any number of strokes to a single shape layer and create some really funky looking stuff really quickly. This is the kind of stuff I like to just play around with to see what I can actually create. 4. Shape Layer Structure: Really quickly, I want to go over the structure of a shape layer. So if we double click on the rectangle tool, I'll change the size back down to 250 by 250, so here I'm back to my rectangle with a stroke. If we total open my shape layer, we have contents and transform. When we created the shape layer, it automatically created a shape group and named it rectangle 1. If we open up that shape group, we see that we have a rectangle path, a stroke and, a fill. Let's say I wanted to have a second rectangle inside this shape group. If I click on my rectangle path and hit Apple D or Ctrl D on a PC, we now have two rectangle paths. If I total this one open and change the position, you'll see that we have two separate rectangles that are being styled the same way because they both have the same stroke and fill. If I change the stroke color of one of the shapes, both are updated. If I change the stroke width, the same stroke is applied to both. So any of the styling that I do applies to both paths. But let's say I wanted to have a rectangle and a circle. Well, if I scroll up to see the contents and we look over here at this add dropdown, I can go up the list and choose ellipse. By default, after-effects puts this new object in the root level of the shape layer. So right now it's just a path. It doesn't have any styling, so nothing is showing up. But if I click and drag this shape above the rectangle path inside of my rectangle group, you'll see that now it shows up and a stroke and a fill are applied to it. If I change the size and the position, we now have two shapes that are both getting the same fill and stroke applied within the same shape layer. Since this is no longer just a rectangle, the group name of rectangle 1 doesn't really make sense. But we can change the name of the shape group by selecting it, pressing Enter, and typing a new name. I'm just going to call this new shape, hit Enter, and now our group's name has been updated. The same goes for any shape path. If I select the path and press Enter, I can change the name. But what if I wanted to style the circle differently from the square? Well, we can do that. Let's bring the circle back outside of this new shape group, close that up, and now we see that our circle no longer has any styling to it. Then we'll click on this little add drop down again, and you'll see the option to add a fill. Right away we see that the fill is being applied to the circle now. If I open the fill up, I can change the colors whatever I want. Now we have two different styles shapes within the same shape layer. I also want to add a stroke for this shape. So I'll go back to my add, click on "Stroke," opened it up and increase the size. Now we have a stroke and a fill being applied to our circle. Before things get too messy, I want to organize my shape layer a little bit. So I'll make a selection of all three of these properties and press Apple G, and it will automatically group those selected items together. Then I'll change the name of this group to Circle and the name of the first group to square. Now I have two different shapes styled two different ways on a single shape layer. Just like anything else in after effects, the order of your shape layer groups determines what renders on top of what within your shape layer. I know that was a lot to go over in one sitting, but now you have a great overview of all the tools you have available to you in order to make shape layers inside of after effects. Now, for your project assignment, the first thing I want you to do is just pick out your movie and then start making a big list of keywords that represent your film. These will just act as a great way to brainstorm visuals once we get to the design process. So once you have your movie picked out and your list of keywords, post through the project assignment page so I can see what you'll be working towards. 5. From Illustrator to After Effects: Everyone has their own way of working. Some people find it very difficult to design things inside of After Effects. For me, sometimes it's way easier to design something in After Effects than it is in Illustrator. Other times I like to start an Illustrator but then recreate it in After Effect. After you get used to shape layers inside of After Effects, you'll start to realize how similar they are to creating something inside of Illustrator. There have been times when I've been designing stuff in Illustrator, and I've had moments where I've thought to myself, man, I wish this was behaving the way that After Effects handles things. Then there are times when I'm making things inside of After Effects, where I would just want to scream because the Pen tool isn't behaving the way that I prefer. You just have to get used to the different design processes for the different programs. Just figure out the workflow that works best for you. Not every project is going to have the same workflow. For this class project, I started designing inside of Illustrator until I got my design to the point that I was starting to like it. But it really just served as a reference point and a general composition of my design because I knew that I wanted to recreate everything inside of After Effects so I could have complete control over every aspect of my design, knowing that I was going to be animating it. For my class project, I picked my favorite movie of 2014, which was Interstellar. When I was brainstorming and putting together a bunch of keywords that represented the movie, I came up with things like space, time, planets, speed, light, science, physics, massive, astronomical, I had a huge list of keywords. After looking over my list for awhile, I thought that Saturn would be a great object to have in my design because one, it plays a part in the movie, two, it represents a massive scale, and three, it's made up of very basic shapes. It's something that I could really simplify in my design. Now, obviously, I couldn't just make a design that only had said and in it because then it doesn't represent Interstellar. I also wanted to include the endurance spacecraft that's in the movie. Having the endurance in my composition will help play up the scale between the planet and the spaceship. Those were the two main objects that I wanted to in my composition, Saturn and the endurance. The first thing I had to do was figure out how I wanted Saturn to look. Since it was going to be the largest, it'd be taking up the most space in my composition, I knew that the angle of Saturn was going to play a very important role in the composition of my entire design. I went straight to Google, and I found some reference images. As you can see, this photo is what I based my design on exactly. I found a ton of different pictures of Saturn, but I thought this one was one of the coolest angles because of that incredible shadow that's being cast on the rings from the planet itself. Plus this angle allows me to play with some of the negative space to have a spot to put the endurance. I picked up this photo and then I just began mocking up my design. I made a circle that roughly match the size of the planet in the center. It doesn't have to be exact because remember, we're creating a minimalist design, so we're simplifying as much as we possibly can. Even if the planet isn't a perfect circle, for my purposes, I'm going to make it a perfect circle. Then I wanted to figure out the shading of the planet, so I switch this to an outline, duplicated my planet circle, and then modified it to match the shadow of the planet roughly. I switch this to being a dark color, put my fill back on the planet, and then I had my basic crescent shape that makes up the planet. The next step was creating the rings. Now instead of making an oval shape and trying to rotate it and fit it to the size of the photo, I figured to be way easier if I could find a top-down view of the rings, since they're already a perfect circle, and sure enough, do a little bit of Google image searching, and I found the perfect photo to figure out the proportions of the rings to the planets. Plus it gave me a great view of the different stripes. Using this photo as a reference, I created a bunch of circles that were all outlined with different stroke widths, stroke colors, and opacities. But what I quickly realized was that this is getting way too complicated if I wanted to consider it a minimalist design. I ended up dumbing it down a little bit, making all the rings the same color, and then taking out some of the paths. Once I had the rings looking the way that I wanted them to, I just duplicated them, brought it over this reference photo, and then warped to match the angle of the photo. Once I was happy with the results, I put it all together, added this shaped to act as the shadow on top of the rings, and then I split the planet in half to make the rings appear as if they were going behind the planet. Next, I wanted to create the endurance. I found some more reference photos on Google Images, and instantly started thinking about how I could create all these little details to make it represent the shape exactly. But again, I had to tell myself this needs to be as minimalistic as possible. I began to break down the shape in its most basic shapes. The first shape that I noticed was this ring. I knew that I could just make an outline circle and that would represent the ring. Then there were these 12 boxes around the outside. They're all a little bit different, but I can simplify them by just making them rectangles with a little tapered edge on the inside. Then there was this pole and it's sticking out, which I can just use a single line 4. Then the shape is really a triangle. What I ended up doing inside of Illustrator, was making this ring with the boxes around the outside, and then the single line in the center. Then I skewed the shape to match the angle of the photograph, and for the final touches, I ended up making a duplicate of the ring, offsetting and then changing the color a little bit to give it a little bit of depth, and then made a custom shape for the spacecraft that I just drew by hand. I knew that I wanted to add stars into my composition as well, but I knew that I would prefer designing the stars inside of After Effects. This was my final composition inside of Illustrator. Once I got to this point, I brought it into After Effects. As an example of importing an Illustrator file into After Effects, I've gone ahead and recreated all five are shaped types, which sure enough you can create all five of the same types of shape inside of Illustrator that you can inside of After Effects. The difference is the functionality of the shape once it's inside of After Effects. If we go over to After Affects, and we import our shapes file, I'll bring it onto the composition, and right now it's just a flat 2D Illustrator file. We don't have access to any of the shapes. There's no contents. It's just like any other layer. But if I right-click on the layer and scroll down this list, and we see create shapes from vector layer, that will create a shape layer with all the same objects that have the same Fill, same Stroke, and the same Stroke Width that we had inside of Illustrator. But if we open up our Shape layer and we look at the contents, first thing we notice is that we have groups one through five, which looks like that's our five different shapes. If you had a giant Illustrator file with tons of objects in lots of different layers, After Effects will always separate every shape into its own shape group with its own fill and its own stroke, even if multiple shapes have the same fill and stroke applied, and even if you're shapes were on different layers inside of Illustrator. Let's look inside of the star group. If I open that up, we see that we have path 1. Another important thing to realize is that this is not a polyester, even though it's the same shape as a polyester, it's just a path, and it behaves exactly the same way it does in Illustrator, and the same way it would behave if we were just making a mask on top of regular layer. There's no way to control the number of points. There's no way to control the roundness or the radius, we're stuck with this shape path. The same goes for any one of these objects. Our shape layer properties within After Effects are not preserved from Illustrator. This is one reason why I chose to recreate my design inside of After Effects, after I'd figured out what I wanted it to look like inside of Illustrator. Personally I find it a little bit easier designing inside of Illustrator to get a rough layout really quickly, just to give me a concept of what I want to create inside of After Effects, knowing that I'll be animating and eventually. That's what I did for my class project example. But that's definitely not the best workflow for every single project. Maybe I don't need to break up my Illustrator file into shape layers. I can just animate it as a vector layer inside of After Effects. It all depends on the project and what you're going for. Don't feel like you have to do things the way that I'm showing you. I just want you to be aware that there's no right or wrong way to go about animating something inside of After Effects. There's certainly more efficient ways to do certain things. But if there's a way that works for you and it accomplishes what you're trying to do by all means, do it that way. This is just how I prefer to work on my own personal projects. 6. Building in After Effects Pt. 1: This is my final animation. As you can see it doesn't look exactly the same as what I had inside of Illustrator. After getting into the animation and playing around a bit with things, I changed the colors, I changed the composition a little bit, and I simplified things even more. Now let's recreate this design inside of After Effects, just using Shape Layers. First I'll bring my reference design into my comp. Just like in Illustrator, I'm going to start by creating Saturn first, and I'm going to break up the planet and do a couple of different Shape layers. One for the planet and one for the rings. Let's just start with the body since it's nice and simple. I'll grab my ellipse tool. I'll click and drag inside my composition and hold the Shift key to keep it a perfect circle. Then I'm also going to hold down the Space bar, which will allow me to move my object around without affecting the size of the shape. I'll just position it until it's the same size as my Illustrator file circle. Now while I work, I'm going to turn off my fill, so I can just see the outline of my shape, and I'll snap my anchor point back to the center of my shape by pressing Option Command Home, or Alt Control Home on a PC. Reposition it just a little bit to line up, and there's the basic shape of the body. Now I'll need another ellipse to make the shadow of the planet. I'll go down the contents of my shape, take my ellipse group, and since I'll need to style the shadow differently, I'm just going to duplicate that hole shape group. Now I have two different ellipses that I can style two different ways. I'll open up my second ellipse, turn off the stroke, and turn the fill on. Then I'll open up my path and change the position. I see that my ellipse needs to be enlarged. If you look at the bounding box of the shape, you'd think that you could just grab this and scale it up, and it would affect the size of the shape. But that's not exactly what's happening. You see as I'm dragging this around, the size of my path isn't changing at all. That's because this bounding box is actually affecting the transform properties of the shape group, not the actual size. If I close this up and look at my transform for the shape group, then you can see those numbers changing for the scale when I'm adjusting the bounding box. You can see that it's scaling around this anchor point, which is not in the center because it's the anchor point for the shape groups transform, not for the layers transform. It's a little confusing because there are multiple position properties in multiple anchor point properties. But if we were to set this position down to zero, then the position and anchor point for the transform of the shape group, are both in the exact center. If I change this scale back to a 100 by a 100, we see that our shape is not in the center. Why is that if our position and anchor point are both centered? It's because in our ellipse path, the position is offset. But if we set that back to zero, everything is centered up, then our bounding box will appear to be affecting the size of the ellipse. Just remember, it's not actually affecting the size of the path, it's affecting the scale of the shape group. This may bee fine for whatever you're trying to do, just start thinking about how there are different properties in different places that will behave different ways. As much as I can, I like to leave these properties at there defaults, and change the size of my shape using the size property for the path. I'll undo to get back to where we were. I need to enlarge my size a little bit, change the position. I'm not going to worry to much about lining up exactly because again, this is a minimalist design, so it can be as simple as we want it to be. Then I'll go back to my other ellipse, Turn off the stroke and able to fill. Then I'll turn the fill color to be the same color as what we had inside of our Illustrator file. For the shadow, I'll change the color to be the same as our background. Now if I solo this layer, we see that there's a problem. I only want the shadow to be showing up on top of the planet, and not covering any other part of the image. We can take care of this by using a Shape Layer Operator, and we'll get into all of the shape operators later. But for now, we're going to just look at one. I'm going to make sum more space for our timeline, and then I'll rename these shape groups so we can stay organized. This is my shadow. Then this is my plant. Now what I want to do is, tell the shadow that it can only appear inside of the ellipse of the planet. I'm going to duplicate the ellipse path of the planet, and drag it into the shadows group. Now we still have the planet's ellipse, it's just being covered up buy the same ellipse that's inside of the shadow group. I'm going to rename this path as Matte, because that's what I'm going to use it for. Now will go to this add drop down menu, and click on this first selection of merge paths. If you're familiar at all with the Pathfinder inside of Illustrator, merge paths behaves very similarly, but it's non-destructive. Which means we can change our mind about how it works later, and we can always get back to where we are now. Let's open up the merge paths, and you'll seen that we only have one option and that's mode. Right now it's set to add. That will merge any paths that are in this shape group, and above the merge paths operator into won shape. A good weigh to understand this is if I turn it off and enable the stroke, you see that we have two separate shapes that are overlapping and intersecting each other. Well, if we turn on the merge paths, the add operation, merge those two paths together. We now have a shape maid up of two paths, that are sharing the same fill, and have an outline that does not intersect either shape. If we change the mode from add to subtract, the path that's on the top is now punching a whole inside of the path that's below it. If I turn off our planet, our ellipse for the planet is punching a hole inside of the ellipse for the shadow, this is closer to what we want, but still not exactly. If we change the mode again from subtract to intersect, now we have exactly what we want. The intersect operator takes whatever parts of paths that are overlapping, and applies the styling to that section. Now we have the mat ellipse that is only being filled where it's intersecting with the planet ellipse. If I turn off the stroke, and turn the planet back on, now our shadow is looking exactly how we want it to. If I were to change the position of my shadow, you can see that now it never goes outside of the planet. This is exactly what we want. But really quickly before we move on, I just want to show you that the last option under the merged paths modes is exclude intersections, which is the opposite. It will only style the parts of paths that are not overlapping. All write. Let's put it back to intersect. Turn our planet back on, un-solo this layer, and we're looking pretty good so far. There's our planet. I'll rename this layer, to be planet body. Next, let's create the rings. Just like in Illustrator, I'm going to use this picture that's the top-down view of the planet to get the proportions right. I'll solo and lock this layer so I can't mess anything up. Then I'll go to my ellipse tool, click and drag, hold Shift, and then hold Space bar to move it around, so I can line it up. That looks pretty good. Now I want to make sure that it's perfectly centered. Here's a quick tip. If we press U twice in a row, it'll bring up all of the properties that have bean adjusted on a layer. If I tap U, U now all the properties that I have adjusted automatically show up. I want to center up my circle, so I'll set the position back down to zero. Now it's centered on my Shape layer. If I click on the Shape Layer itself, I can move it around to line up. Then I want it to be a little bit bigger, so I'll change the size of the ellipse. Now we're in good shape. Then I'll press U, one more time to close up everything. Now I want all my rings to be the same color, but they're not all going to be the same width, and they're not all going to be the same opacity. If I open up my Shape Layer and go into the contents, and look at my shape group, I'll start off by getting rid of the fill. Because I known I'm not going to need that. You can always add it back in later, but I want to keep everything as simple as possible at this point. Each ringed will have its own shape group. I'll rename this group to ring one, and then press Apple D, or Control D on a PC to duplicate. Then I'll go into that shape group, open up the shape path, change the scale a little bit to be in the center of this wider ring right here. Then open up the stroke, and changes the stroke width until it's roughly the same size. Then I'll do the same thing with this shape group. Select it, duplicate it, open it up, changes size of the path. I'm just picking out the bands in the rings that stand out the most to me. Then I'll duplicate the group again. Changes size. Make the stroke a little bit thinner. Because this set of rings is less bright, I'm going to change the opacity inside the transform of that group so that it's just a little bit different than the rest of the rings. Now, in its most basic form, those are the rings of Saturn. I could stop right there because the rings are very simple, but they're still a good representation of what the rings actually look like. Now, I can answer all of these layers and I'll actually get rid of my Saturn layer. Because all of my rings are of the same color, I can select the shape layer as a whole, come up to the toolbar, click on the "Stroke Color", and then use the eyedropper to pick out the color of the rings for my Illustrator file. Then I'll have my rings update at the same time. I'll rename my Shape Layer. Now, we need to make our rings look like they're at the same angle as our reference image and like they going around the planet. One way we could do this is just by selecting a layer and then adjusting the scale and the rotation until it lines up. There's nothing wrong with doing it this way. Another way we could do it is by skewing the layer. Now, this is a feature that is unique to shape layers, so I want to go over how to use it. If we open up our rings layer and go into the contents and look at any of the shape groups transforms, we'll see that one of the options is to skew the shape group. If I adjust this slider, you'll see that my object is being skewed. If we look at the skew axis, we can control what angle the skew is being applied on. But right now this is only affecting the single ring. I want it to affect all of my rings. I'll undo this and collapse my shape group and I'll select all of my rings by clicking in the first group and then shift clicking on the last group and then pressing "Apple G" or "Control, G" on a PC to group them all together. Now if I open up that group, we have a new transform property for that group of all four of our ringed groups. Now, if I go into that transform, I can adjust the skew of all four of my groups at the same time. This is another way that we can match the angle of the rings. For this example, I prefer just adjusting the scale, so I'm going to undo. Then I'll just grab the handles on my bounding box, rotate it, and adjust it this way. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I'm trying to make it as close to my reference image as possible. Next, we need to make the rings at this point look like they're going behind the planet. One way we could do this is by simply adding a mask onto the shape layer. To do this, you would just grab the Ellipse tool, which can be used for both shape layers and for mask paths, but you have to specify which one you want it to be used for. If you have nothing selected in After effects, the default is to use it as a Shape Layer tool. But if we look over hear on the toolbar, the first option is tool creates shape, and the second option is to creates mask. Since we have a shape layer selected, the default is to create a shape. In this case, we want to use it to create a mask. I'm going to click on this button and then I'll Shift click into my comp, hold down spacebar to move my path around and try my best to line it up with the planet. Now, this could never really be perfect, because I'm doing it by hand. If I switched my mask from add to subtract, it's basically doing its job. If I just adjust my path a little bit, then it appears that the rings are going behind the planet in the back and on top of the planet in the front, which is exactly what we want. If I turn off my reference image, it's doing a pretty good job. But if we zoom in here, right where the planet and the rings meet, you can see this gap. That's because my mask path, we'll make it bright red so we can see it easier, isn't perfect. If I bring it in a little bit, then the rings will overlap the planet just a bit. I find that using masks, just isn't the easiest way to get the best looking effect, so I'll undo until before I added my mask and show you a much quicker and simpler way to do this. I'll just turn both my rings and my planet body layers into 3D layers, click on "My Rings", press "W" on the keyboard to switch to my Rotate tool, grab the x-axis and then slightly rotate the rings. I'll turn off the reference image, so we can seen this a little clearer. Now, what's happening is that because these layers are now 3D, change in the rotation will put them on different planes. After effects is literally rendering it as if the rings are going around the planet. Rotating the rings this much though, affects the perspective of the rings. I'll reset this back down to zero. Since I already created the perspective I wanted using the scale of the layer, I just barely want to rotate this backwards so that the back of the rings renders behind the planet and the front of the rings render on top of the planet. This is the quickest and easiest way that I can think of to achieve this effect. Now, one of the things that I thought of when I realize this is probably the easiest way to go about doing this effect, was that I might have been able to achieve the angle and perspective of the rings by using the 3D layers. Let me show you what I mean. If I duplicate my rings and turn off my original copy, if I reset all of these properties back down to zero, and change my scale back to being a 100 percent, then I'll make my rings the size that I need them to be. Just around here. Switch to my Rotation tool, rotate the rings around the planet, and then change the angle to achieve a similar looking perspective. Now, the reason I didn't end up going with this method is because it didn't match my reference image all that well. I can adjust it, but I can never get the angle to match up exactly the way that I wanted it to. This probably has to do with the focal length of the camera that took the original photo of Saturn. Since I'm not going to be animating a 3D camera or using 3D geometry, none of that really needed to be accurate to real life. That's why I ended up just going back to my scale method, because it looks the way it was supposed to and it was quick and easy to do. The next thing I want to do is just make a background, so I'll switch to my rectangle tool, take up the stroke, make a fill that is the same color as the shadow of the planet, hit "Okay", and then double-click on the "Rectangle Tool". I'll rename this BG for background, and move it below my two shape layers. I'll also lock that layer just so I don't accidentally move it. One problem that I'm noticing is that you can see this faint outline of the planet behind the shadow. We can fix this very quickly. I'll open up the planet body, go into the shadow group, look at the mat, and then just scale it up. Now, my mat is just slightly larger than the size of the planet, so it covers up every pixel that the planet is rendering. If you ever find your shape, objects, outlines, getting in the way of being able to see what you're doing, press "Command Shift H" or "Control Shift H" on a PC to hide all layer controls. Then you can make your adjustments and just see the final rendered image without any overlays getting in the way. Once I get the look that I'm going for, I just press "Command Shift H" again, to bring my overlays back. One last thing we need to do for Saturn is include the shadow that goes over the rings. To do this, I'll turn off my background layer and I'll turn off the planet layer and then change the opacity of the rings layer to 50 percent. Now, all I need to do to create the shadow is draw a shape on top of the rings, that's the same color as the background. If I go onto the rings, open up the contents, and make sure that I have the layer selected. I can click on the "Pen Tool" and free-form draw shape inside of the shape layer, so I'll just make fore points that match up with the shadow and close the path. Now I have a new shape group within my rings. I'll change the name of this group to shadow and there's a stroke being applied to this group, so I want to turn that off. In fact, I'll just get rid of it and then I'll modify this path just a little bit so that it lines up more with the shadow of my original reference. Then I'll reset my transparency back to a 100, turn over my background and the planet and there it is, my shadow is now overlapping all of the rings. I think Saturn is complete. 7. Building in After Effects Pt.2 : Now we're clicking. Let's move on to the endurance. If we turn on a reference image and then turn off our other layers, you can see that the endurance is really tiny. This is really going to serve much purpose, except for scale and placement once we get to that point. For now I'll just turn off the reference image, because the basic components of this shape are very simple. I'm going to start by making a box and we'll make the rectangle white, double-click, U view, change your size to be, let's say 200 by 200. That's pretty good. We'll start there, and I'm going to press "U" to collapse everything, go into my contents, and I want to add a polygon. I'm going to add a poly star. Make sure the type is set to polygon. Change the number of points to eight, so I have an octagon, and then adjust the rotation until it lines up like a stop sign. It looks like 22-23 degrees. Seems pretty good. Then I want to make it just about the same size as my square, and then I want to offset the position so that we get this teabag shape. It looks like my edges are not exactly the right size, so I'm going to make the radius a little bit bigger, and turn off my overlays and that looks pretty then close. Really quickly I was able to create this object out of two different shapes that I'll use as the outer components of the endurance. I'm going to go ahead and scale down this group. Now we'll get into one of my absolute favorite operators for shape layers. Now again, we'll get into all of the shape operators later, but one of them in particular is really going to help me for the spacecraft. I'm going to close my shape group, click on the "Add Dropdown," and then we're going to add the repeater operator. The repeater operator just duplicates whatever it's being applied to. But if we open up the repeater, we have options. Right now the repeater is giving us three copies, the original plus two duplicates. I can change the number of copies to anything that I want. Now there are 12 of these compartments on the spacecraft, so I'm just going to type in 12, because I know that's how many I need. The next property is offset. This will let you adjust which direction the repeater is duplicating your shape, based on the location of the original. I'm going to leave that at zero for now. But keep in mind that this is a keyframable, and therefore animatable property. Next, we'll see that the repeater itself has its own transform controls. If we open that up, sure enough, we have a new anchor point, position, scale and rotation. This is why it's so important to understand that almost everything within shape layers can have its own transform properties. What this is going to allow us to do, is control how the repeater is duplicating our original object. Right now, it's just giving me 12 copies in a straight line. Now I don't want my objects overlapping each other, so I'm going to go to the position property and space them out a bit. What the repeater is doing right now is spacing out every duplicate of the original object by 250 pixels. This object is 250 pixels from the original, this one is 250 from that one, and so on. If we adjust the y-axis as well, now we're getting 88 pixels applied on the y-axis to this copy, and then 88 more on this, all the way down. If we adjust the scale, you'll see that not every object is being scaled the same. If I set this to 90, we're losing 10 percent of its scale on the first copy, then 10 percent more all the way down the line. If I scaled this down enough, eventually the objects are going to start disappearing. But the original object hasn't changed, that's because the transformed for the repeater is only adjusting the duplicates of the original object. I don't need to change the scale, so I'll set that back to a 100. Next we have rotation, which again applies whatever angle you set this to in increments to every duplicate object, and then our last options are start and end opacity. If I drop the start opacity all the way down to zero, the first object is completely transparent, and then gradually gets brighter as we get towards the end. In the same way, if I change the end opacity to zero, the first object stays a 100 percent opaque, and every object after it gets more and more transparent. I'll set this back to a 100. How do I make this into a ring? Well, adjusting the anchor point and the position of this layer isn't going to get me where I needed to be, and that's because the repeater is based off of the anchor point of the group that it belongs to. I'm going to reset my anchor point and position properties back to their defaults and I'll keep the rotation value. Then what I need to do is reposition my rectangle and poly star paths, so that they're not in the center of my shape group. To move them both at the same time, I'm going to select them and group them together by pressing "Apple G" or "Control G" on the PC, and then open up the new group, go into the new transform, and adjust the position. Now you can see that the repeater is behaving more in the way that I want it to. I'll scale the shape down a little and you can see that now we're getting it into the shape of the ring that we want, and that's because the repeater is duplicating the shapes around this anchor point of the shape group that the original object belongs to. Since we offset the position of that group to not be in the center, it's being duplicated around that anchor point like a clock. I'm going to come back down to my repeater, and go into the properties of the repeater, and change the rotation to be even more. If we get to rate around 30 degrees, that's pretty much perfect. Now all I need to do is adjust the scale of the shape, so that it matches the scale of the actual spaceship. I can't tell you how many times I wish that I would have the repeater inside of Illustrator. It is such a handy designed tool, even if you're not using it to animate with, because you can make these really cool shapes that are non-destructive really quickly, really easily. Next we need the ring that holds all of these objects together. So I'll collapse some of this stuff, rename this to capsules, and then I'll add a new ellipse. This ellipse needs a stroke, and then I'll group those two together, name this Ring and go into that group, change the strokes width to be a little bit thicker, adjust the size of the ellipse so that it holds all the capsules together, and I think we're looking pretty good. I'm going to turn on my reference image so we can see what the endurance it looks like. I think we're in good shape. Next we need to create the arm that holds the shape inside of the ring. I'll go back into my contents, add a new rectangle, add a fill, group these together, change the fill color to white, and then change the rectangle size to be the width that I want it for the arm. Then I need to change the position, so that the end of the arm goes right to the center of the object and that's pretty much it for the outer part of the ship. I'll rename this group Arm. Now we need to make the actual spacecraft. So this time I'm going to add a poly star, and I will add another fill, group them together, call this Spacecraft. For now, I'm going to leave it red just so I can see it, and I'm going to move it above everything else. Then I'll go into my shape, turn the number of points down to three, adjust the rotation so that it points in this direction, and I want to change the inner radius just a little bit so that we can get more of a unique shape. Then I'll also squish this just a little bit, move it down so it's centered on the arm, not quite that much. Adjust the outer roundness maybe, the inner roundness. It's looking pretty good. Then I might also adjust the skew of the entire group, just so it's not so flat and we get a little bit of perspective. That's not bad. Remember that we're just going for very minimalist, so it doesn't have to have any crazy detail to it, but you still want it to be identifiable. That's pretty good. Now I think we just need to look at our reference image to get an idea for the scale. Scale this down, zoom in a bit. Here's my reference image and here is my new shape layer. I want to adjust the spacecraft to be a little bit larger to match this inside of the ring just a little bit more. One quick and easy way to do this is to just double-click on the object that you want to adjust. That'll create a bounding box around the shape group that you had selected. Then I can scale this up, move the position a little bit, rotate it maybe a little bit so it matches, and then I'll just sample the color of my reference image. Not exactly the same as what I had inside of Illustrator, but I'm okay with that. Finally, I need to adjust the perspective of this outer ring so that it matches my reference image. First thing I'm going to do is rename this to Endurance, then I'll go into my "Shape Layer," collapse my spacecraft and I'm going to take my arm ring and capsules, and group them all together. I will call this the Spacecraft Outer. Now I can adjust the outer part of the ship separately from the actual spacecraft. I'll open this up, go into my transform controls. Really all I have to do is change the scale to be a little bit less perfect and then rotate just slightly. Eventually I decided to dumb this down a little bit, and not add the extra layer of depth. If I turn off my a reference image and turn on my other layers, this is where I landed after recreating the two objects inside of after effects. We still have some work to do to get to the final animation, but now, all of the main pieces are there. Now you can start designing. Take a look at your list of keywords and pull out the most important ones that best represent your film. You can use these keywords as inspiration for your design. Then you need to decide if you're going to design inside of Illustrator and move into After effects, or just designed completely inside of After effects. Once you have your design completed and remember it can be rough, post your progress to the project assignment page. 8. Understanding Operators: Now we get to talk about one of the most powerful features of shape layers, and that's the shape layer operators. Now we've already gone over a couple of them but I'm going to go ahead and look at each one of them so you can see exactly what they can all do and how you can potentially use them in your animations. The way you add an operator is by going into your shape layer Contents and then go into the Add drop-down menu. This is where you can get at all of the operators. Let's just start at the top and work our way down. We've already looked at Merge Paths but let's look at it in a little more depth. By default, Merge Paths is set to Add. This will combine multiple objects that overlap. Right now the Merge Paths operator is just in the root of the contents of this shape layer. If I take my rectangle group and duplicate it and move it around, you see that the add operation of the Merge Paths is combining the two together. If my Merge Paths was inside of my Rectangle 1 group, it no longer applies because it's only affecting the paths within the group that it belongs to. If I duplicate my Rectangle Path inside of the shape group and then offset it, then the operator is combining those two objects but leaving my second group unaffected. If I were to take my Merge Paths operator back into the root level of my contents, something interesting happens, our shaped paths are still there but the styling and the fill and stroke have disappeared. That's because the Merge Paths operator will negate any styling that is above it. If we move our Merge Paths back above our fill and stroke, then our styling is back. But if I were to turn off the stroke and the fill, it disappears again. That's because the styling that's within our shape groups is also being disabled by the Merge Paths. I could actually get rid of this styling within these two-shaped groups, and turn the stroke and fill back on inside of my contents, and our shapes are back to looking the way that we want them. I'm going to delete the second rectangle path out of this rectangle group. The next option under Merge Paths is Subtract. This will take whichever path is on the top of the layer stack and subtract the paths that are below it and overlapping. If I were to duplicate this shape group and change the position, all that's left is what's not being overlapped by that top object. The styling is no longer being applied to the two objects that are being used to subtract. I'll get rid of this third rectangle, and then we'll look at the next operator which is Intersect. This leaves whichever part of the two paths are overlapping. But if we duplicate this group and have a third shape, the operator doesn't leave every part of the shapes that are overlapping, only the parts that all three objects are overlapping. The way this operator behaves is by only showing the portions where every path is overlapping. I'm going to delete our third object and we'll look at the next mode which is Exclude Intersections. This behaves in the opposite way of Intersect, where it excludes overlapping sections. If I were to duplicate this object and move it, we'll see that something else is happening. If more than two objects overlap, that section is now being styled. If only two of the sections are overlapping then that part is excluded. It behaves a little differently than the Intersect operator, so just keep that in mind. For the next operator, I'm going to demonstrate on the star shape. Next on the list is Offset Paths. This will either expand or contract your paths. Right now it's set to 10. If I increase the value, our star expands but the path doesn't change. If I decrease it, you'll see that it shrinks. But again, our path isn't changing at all. Right now we're just effectively changing the scale of the star, but if I change my Line Join from Miter Join to Round Join, you'll see that we get a completely different result, and if I shrink this down again, we'll see that our star is a different shape again. This is just another way to get different looking shapes out of our shape layers. If I change it from Round Join to Bevel Join, we get this gear shape. If I increase the number of points on my star and change the outer radius, we start getting some really cool results. Now if we apply the Merge Paths to a single line, we get slightly different results. This line is just made up of two points and it's not a closed path, so the Offset Paths operator is going to behave a little differently. I'm going to turn off my overlays by pressing Apple, Shift H. If we take a look at this Offset Paths operator, you'll see that our single line has gone from being just two points to being a rectangle based off of the height of that line. Again if we change this to Round Join, we're going to get more of a pill shape. If I modify my path, add some more points, again we get some interesting results. If I change this from Round Join to Bevel Join, we'll get flat caps on the ends. For our next operator I'm going to apply it to a circle and the operator is Pucker & Bloat. This operator does exactly what it sounds like. Just one control of amount, and it will store your object in some pretty cool ways. Now remember that this was just a circle path, but if I crank this amount up, look at that shape. I'm pretty sure I would have never thought that I can make this shape out of a circle. If I crank it down to the opposite direction, again we get something completely different. This is why you really just have to play around with operators to see what they can do. If we got rid of the Pucker & Bloat on the circle and applied it to the star, we get something completely different and way more complicated. Let me adjust it down till we get something like this and then I could adjust my Polystar Path number of points. I could change the inner and outer radius, I I turn off my stroke, and not surprisingly, I get another really cool looking shape. Next is another operator we've already seen the Repeater. I've pretty much covered everything you could do with this operator in the previous lesson. Just play around with it and see what stuff you can come up with. Remember that affecting more than just the transform inside of the operator affects the way that this operator behaves. If you change the Polystar transform, you'll get different results than if you would just change the transform within the operator. Next we have the Round Corners operator. Again, very straightforward, they were just round the corners of whatever path you have. For a rectangle, this is nothing really new since the rectangle shape has rounded corners built into it. But if we applied it to our star, we could get round tips for our star as well as round indentations in a radius. This is a less extreme version of the Pucker & Bloat operator. The next operator is one that I'm also constantly using, and that is the Trim Paths operator. Inside of our Trim Paths, we have a few options, a Start and an Offset. The Start and End are percentages. These percentages represent how much of the path that's being affected by the operator is being displayed. Right now the start of the path begins at zero percent and the end of the path ends at 100 percent. So an entire path is being displayed. If I slide the end up to around 50 then only half of our path is being displayed. As I adjust this, you can see that our path is not changing, just the amount of the path that's being styled. If I adjust the Start and the End, then only the portion of the path from 15 percent to 82 percent is being displayed. If I adjust the offset of the trim paths, that portion of the path between 15 and 82 percent is then shifted around the entire length of the path. If you've ever wondered how to animate a path on and off as if it was being drawn on, this is the operator that you would want to use. I can adjust this path to have some curves in it. Make it a little bit more interesting, and then setting a keyframe from 0-100 on the end, suddenly we have an animating line. I use trim paths for this purpose constantly. Now, if we apply trim paths to something else, say this circle, then something a little bit different happens. If I vow back my end position, you'll see that the fill is being cut off and connected in a straight line between the two points of the path that are still being shown. If I change the offset, you see that the length of that path doesn't change, just the section of the paththat it's being displayed on. Most of the time having the fill being cut off like this is going to be an undesirable effect, which is why I use trim paths almost 100 percent of the time on unfilled shapes. If I disable my fill, then we just have the outline of the circle. One other thing I want to mention while we're still talking about trim paths is that if we go into hour Stroke settings, right now we can see the caps of our paths and they're being capped off with the butt cap. But just like if we had dashes on our path, we could change this from butt to round, and then we'll get a rounded edge path. We can still add dashes and gaps if we want to have a dash line, but the trim path still works. One important difference is that when you have a dashed line, adjusting the start of the path will affect all of the dashes on that path. If you were to animate this, it's going to look different than if you're going to animate the end of the path. Next, we have the twist operator. This will warp your path in a spiraling shape. If you ever need to make a hurricane icon for weather map, now you know how. We can change where this warp is being applied from by adjusting the center property. The really cool thing about these shape operators though, is that this is still 100 percent vector object, so if I scaled it up, we're never going to lose any detail. If I try to do this using effects, we wouldn't be able to blow it up like this and still preserve the detail. But because this is a vector shape, we can do as much distortion on this object as we want and it will always scale infinitely. Next, we have the wiggle paths operator. This is an operator that actually has animation capabilities built into the operator. By default, if I zoom into my line and turn off my overlays, you'll see that the wiggle path is making my line jagged. But if I ran preview, you seen that this line is actually being animated. That's where the wiggle part comes into play. Our first option is to change the size, which is basically the intensity of the wiggle. Then we can change the detail, which is how many segments your path as being divided up into, then we can change the type of points. Right now they're set to corner, but we could change it to smooth, so it's a much smoother looking warp, and then we come to wiggles per second. This is how fast the operator is wiggling. If I increase this to eight wiggles per second, then our animation is much faster. If I change it down to 0.25, then our wiggles per second is going to be extremely slow. Now, if we apply this same operator to the star, change our corners to smooth, then we'll look at correlation. Correlation is similar to detail in the sense that it's controlling how closely the wiggle is representing the original path. If I crank this all the way up to 100, our shape is pretty close to the same as what our original path was. If I ran preview, you'll see that the wiggle is still happening, but the integrity of our shape is still pretty much there. If I turn the correlation down to zero, then the path is all over the place. Then we come down to temporal phase and spatial phase. These are just ways to offset the animation in time. Because this type of animation is so random, they don't have very distinctive effects, but if you need to fine tune your animation, this is a good way to do it. Then finally, we have random seed, and this will simply randomize the wiggle operator. If you're just not happy with the weigh that you're wiggle looks, this is a great way to randomize it. The next operator we are going to look at is the wiggle transform. If we open up this operator, you'll see that there's a lot of the same controls as wiggle paths had, but by default, nothing is happening. That's because the wiggle transform operator has its own transform properties that these controls then effect. If we open up transform and change the position just a little bit, and then we ran preview, you can see that our shape is now wiggling based on the position value of 25 pixels on the x-axis. If I were to change the y-axis a little bit, now it's wiggling in both directions. Whatever you change inside of the wiggle transform will then be run through these controls to automatically animate in a random way. This is a grate way to get random movement without having to use any quay frames. Finally, our last operator is zigzag. This is a very straightforward operator. It will simply turn your straight paths into zigzag lines. We can increase the size and adjust the number of points that adds to the path, as well as changing the point type from corner to smooth. If we apply the zigzag operator to the single line, we'll get this jagged edge line. If I change it to smooth points, then we get this wiggle line. Now that you've seen all the different types of operators, you should get into After Effects and play around with them because they don't have to be used on there own. If we went back to our operators and added the offset paths to the zigzag line, you'll see that now the two operators are being combined. If I change this to round join, we get a unique looking shape. If I change the order of the operators, they produce different results, so play around with combining different operators to see what kind of results you can get, and remember that they only affect whatever group they belong to. If you had multiple shape groups within the same shape layer, the operators only affect whatever groups they're in. As an example of how you can combine operators and layer them within different groups, I'm going to turn this star into a gear shape. I'll start by adding the offset paths operator, and then changing my line joined to bevel join. I'll turn up the amount a little bit and then go into my polystar path, turn up the number of points, and then increase the outer radius. I'll close this up and I'll group these two together buy selecting them both impressing apple or Control G. Next, I'm going to add it an ellipse path and a merge paths operator. I'll leave the merge path set to default and then I'll increase the size of my ellipse so that it gets rid of those points on the inside of my star. Now, I have all the pegs that go on the outside of my gear. Then I'll collapse this, and then I'll select my merge path then ellipse, as well as my group 1 and group all of those together. Then I'll add one more ellipse and one more merge paths, and this time I'm going to set my merge paths to subtract. I'll increase the size in my circle just a little bit, hide my overlays and there you have it. A polystar has given us a pretty convincing looking gear. Then if I collapse this layer, rename it "Gear," and turn off my other layers, I'll bring up the rotation property for the layer by pressing R on the keyboard, go to the beginning of my timeline, set of keyframe and then move forward about a second and then change the rotation to a full revolution. We now have a rotating gear. If I duplicate this gear layer and offset the position, then bring up my rotation property by pressing on the keyboard, and change the rotation to be a negative one, then the gears rotate in opposite directions. Then if I reposition my gear, I can have them line up. Now, we have a working two-gear animation. Remember this is all coming from two single polystar-shaped layers. Now that you've scene how to create unique shapes and animations using operators, start to think about how you can use them in your own class project. I known they can be a little bit confusing, but they are also extremely powerful. If you ever have any trouble with it, just post a question in the discussions page and I'll do my best to help out. 9. Animating Pt. 1: Now, we've come to the final step of the class project, which is easily my favorite part. We're going to animate our design and bring it to life. This is my final animation. I'm going to walk you through every step of how I animated it and we're going to recreate it from scratch. So let's get started. I'm pretty much going to animate this in the same order that I designed it. So I want to start with the planet body. So I'll turn off my other layers, and when I have it animate on, the shadow isn't there yet. It's just a simple circle. So I'll go into my shape layer, look at the contents, and I'm going to duplicate my planet group and move it below the other two. Then I'll select my planet and shadow groups and group them together. Then I'll shut that off and rename it Planet plus Shadow. Then I'll open up my planet two and start by animating the size of my ellipse. So I'll set a key frame and then move it forward 10 frames by holding Option, Shift, and tapping the right arrow, or Alt, Shift, right arrow on a PC. My selected key frame moves forward 10 frames, and then I'll change the size down to zero. So now, my planet scales from 0 to 100, but the animation is completely linear. There's no smoothing at all, so I'm going to make myself some more room on the timeline. Select the second key frame and then open up the graph editor. If you don't know how to use the graph editor, I would suggest that you go take a look at my other class, The Ultimate Guide to Kinetic Text, and go over the unit where I cover the graph editor in detail. Otherwise, you can just follow along with what I'm doing. I'll adjust my speed curves so that the second key frame speed is zero at the end of the animation. Now, our animation ends into this nice smooth it out scale animation. Then I'm actually going to group this group again by selecting it and pressing Apple or Control G and rename this planet Reveal, and duplicate the planet group that we just animated. Then I'll open it up and change the fill color to be the same as the background color. If I hide my overlays, you'll see that we still have this faint outline of the original circle path underneath the new circle path that we just created. So if I press U to bring up all my key frames and go to the second key frame, I'll increase the size of my second circle by just a hair. So now, if I run Preview, we don't see anything happening because both circles are animating on at the exact same time, and because a circle that's on top is the same color as our background, we don't see anything. But if I offset these two key frames by selecting them and holding down Option or Alt on a PC and pressing the right arrow, they move forward one frame, and then we get this cool radio wave animation. If I offset it another frame, then our initial band is slightly larger. So I just want to play around with offsetting these key frames a little bit until I'm happy with the animation. They don't have to both be the same duration. The second animation could last a couple frames less than the first animation. Basically, just play around with it until you're happy with the way that it looks. I think that's pretty good. Next, I want to do the same type of animation, but this time, on the final planet. So if I turn this planet plus shadow group back on, the animation we just created disappeared, and that's because the animation is taking place underneath the shape group of our planet plus shadow. So it's covering it up, but we don't have to worry about that just yet. Let's go ahead and animate the shadow on, I'll open up my planet plus shadow and then go into the shadow group, open up the ellipse path and set a key frame for the position. Then again, I'll move it forward 10 frames by holding down Option or Alt on a PC, Shift, and then tapping the right arrow. Then I'll move the position of the shadow to the left and then down some until it's completely off of the planet body circle. Now, we have an animation of the shadow that just slides in. Again, this animation is pretty boring because it's just two linear key frames, so I'm going to select the second key frame, go into my graph editor and then adjust the speed curve again. Now, our shadow animates on in a much smoother way. I think that might slow it down just a little bit by adding some more space between the two key frames. That's pretty good. Next, we need to animate the planet body on, so I'm going to collapse my shadow group, open up the planet group, go into that ellipse path, set a key frame for the size, offset at 10 frames forward, and then changes size down to zero. Then I'll go ahead and smooth out my second key frame because I know that's how I want it to animate and see how that looks. All right. So I need to adjust the timing of my key frames, we'll press U to bring up all my key frames. Now, we can see the original animation of our planet reveal because until this key frame right here, our final planet body circle is set to zero pixels, so there's nothing covering up this original animation. I want this planet body to come in right about this point. Now, I'm actually pretty happy with the timing. The shadow may come on just a little too quick, so I'm going to offset that forward a little bit, and I'll increase the length of the planet body animation by just a couple of frames. Actually, I'm going to move my shadow back just a couple, and just like that, the planet body animation is done. Take note that all of this animation is happening on a single shape layer. Next, let's animate the rings. Now, because I created these rings to be outlines of paths instead of fills, we can use the trim paths operator to animate them on. So let's apply the trim paths operator to the rings group. Now, I can animate the rings around the planet. But I actually want to start the animation within the shadow of the planet, so I'll set the end to a very low value and then I'll change the offset till I see this begin where I want it to start. Now, the rings are animating from the point I wanted to start at. So I'll set the start value to zero and my end value to 100. Then I'll set a key frame, move forward 10 frames, and then animate it back down to zero. I want to use both of these key frames, so I'll do that by pressing F9 on the keyboard. This eases both the in and out motion of both key frames. We open up our graph editor. We see that our speed graph is now this nice curve. I'm going to adjust this just a little bit so that my motion is a little bit more of a dramatic. If I run preview that I immediately see that my rings are animating on way faster than I want them to. So I'll offset this key frame forward 20 or 30 frames, ram preview that, and that's much closer to the speed that I'm looking for. I'll move these two key frames backwards in time a little bit so that they start appearing right around this point. Take a look at that animation, and it's starting to look pretty good. Now, one thing I want to change is actually animating each one of these lines individually, so I'll do that by collapsing the trim paths and moving it into the ring one group. Now, the only line that's being affected is this outermost ring. I'll open up the shape group, make sure that I have the trim path selected and copy it by pressing Command C or Control C on a PC, and then going into my ring 2 and pasting by pressing Command V or Control V on a PC. Now, this automatically adds the key frames of that animation wherever my scrubber is on the timeline, so I'm going to move this back to be just a single frame offset from the first rings animation. Then I'll copy this, move forward one frame, go to my third ring, paste, move forward another frame, go to my fourth ring and paste again. Now, if I press U to bring up all my key frames, we see that the end property is being animated on each ring individually offset one frame at a time. So to run preview that, now, all of our rings are being animated individually, but they're still too close together, so I'll grab my last ring's key frames and offset them about two or three frames forward. Then I'll select the next two key frames and move them two or three frames forward and do the same thing for the third ring. Now, if I run preview, you'll see that my rings animation are now cascading from the outermost to the innermost ring. I'm pretty happy with this, but I want to adjust my speed graph just a little bit more, so I'll select the second key frame for all the rings and go into my graph editor. Then I'll adjust my speed values just a little bit to fine tune my animation. I'm pretty happy with that. Now, one problem that I'm having is that at the beginning of my animation, the shadow that covers up the rings is covering up the planet as well. We need to stop that shadow from appearing until a certain point. Right here would be fine because it's not showing up on any other part of the animation. The easiest way to do that is to simply trim this layer so that it doesn't start until this frame. Now, it's not covering up any part of the animation prior to that point. So far, so good. But I'm actually not happy with the timing on the rings. I want them to animate on a little bit sooner. So I'm going to move my layer backwards in time until I get to a point that I'm happy with. That's more of what I was looking for. Our shadow is now an issue again. I'll just move to the point where the shadow is no longer appearing and trim my layer to that point. Now, my animation is looking pretty good. One problem that I'm noticing, however, is this outline around the rings. This is being caused by original planet bodies Reveal animation. If you remember, we made the second ellipse that covers up the first ellipse slightly larger so that we wouldn't see that faint outline of the original ellipse's path. But because it's slightly larger than our original planet, we can see it covering up our rings. What I'm going to do to fix this problem is go to the last key of that Reveal animation and then set a keyframe for the opacity of that shape group. Then I'll move forward one frame and change the opacity down to zero. Now that shape group is invisible, and because the animation at that point is finished, it's okay that we don't see it anymore. Now, once the rings animate on, you see that it's no longer obstructing the rings. Now, Saturn is animating on exactly how I want it to. Next up is the endurance. I'll zoom into the ship so we can see it a little clearer and then we'll go into the contents. Now, in the movie, the ship is constantly rotating around in a circle and the spacecraft in the center is rotating with it. But for the purposes of this animation, I want the ship to stay still while the outside ring rotates around it. Because I made the spacecraft and the outer ring separate groups, this can be done pretty easily. If I open up this group and go to the Transform, I can't just animate the rotation because the skew, and the position, and anchor point properties are affecting the way that it rotates. I'll undo that, and what I need to do is actually group these three objects again. Then I'll go into that group, and into that transform, and adjust the rotation of that group. Now, the rotation is behaving much more like I want it to, but it seems like it's not rotating around the exact center of the ring. If we look up at our position and anchor point, they're not set to zero. That's why it's not rotating around the exact center. If I set this back down to zero, now our ring should rotate around the center exactly. That looks perfect. Now, because I want this to rotate at a constant speed, I'm going to go ahead and use an expression for this rotation value. I'm going to hold down Option or Alt on a PC and click on the stopwatch. This allows me to type in an expression. I'm going to type time times 12 and press Enter. Now, what this is saying is, look at the time value and multiply it by 12, and make whatever value that comes up with, the value of my rotation. At zero time, we take 0 times 12 and it equals 0. If I move forward a second, it looks at the time, which is one, multiplies it by 12 and puts a value of 12 on our rotation. Over time, the animation is going to increase automatically. If I run preview, we can see that the animation is too slow, so I'm going to change my value from 12 to 50 and run preview that. I think this is a better rotation speed. Next, we need to animate the ship's path across the scene. I'll collapse all of my properties by pressing U on the keyboard and then press P to bring up the position. I want to start the ship offscreen right around here. Then I want the ship to start animating on right around this point. I'll have the layers start at that frame. Then I'll set a position keyframe by holding Option or Alt on a PC and pressing P. Then I'll move forward a few seconds and click and drag my shape to where I want the ship to end up. Now, my ship is animating in a straight linear path. But if we look at the motion path, these handles have appeared, that will let us adjust the curve of this motion path. I want it to arc around Saturn, in the same way that the rings are arcing. Now, the ship is moving a little bit more like I want it to. But if I run preview this, the ship just comes and goes. I want the ship to come to a much slower pace once it gets to Saturn, and then speed off at the end of the animation. If I move my scrubber to right around here, this is about the point that I want the ship to start speeding up to take off again, so I'll set another keyframe. Then I'll drag this keyframe to be further along in the timeline. That way there'll be much more time between these two points. By I run preview this, we're getting closer to the final look, but now we need to smooth out the speed a little bit. I'm going to convert these two keyframe spatial interpolations to Auto Bezier by holding now Command or Control on a PC and clicking on one of them. Now, if we look at the graph editor, our velocity handles for those two keyframes are connected. No matter how I adjust these handles, the in and the out influence are linked together. I want the speed of the spacecraft to be very high at the beginning, slowdown in the middle, and then speed up and be very fast at the end again. I adjust my handles to reflect that. Now, if I preview my animation, this looks much better. I think I want to increase the time that the ship is on screen, so I'll select those second two keyframes and offset them in time by another 10 frames. This is the point of the animation process that I realized I wanted to give the composition a little bit more room to breathe. To scale everything down without affecting the existing animation, I created a new null by pressing Option Command Shift Y or Control Alt Shift Y on a PC and then selecting my planet body rings and the endurance spacecraft and parenting them all to that null. This allows me to transform the null while at the same time preserving the animation that I've already created. I'm just going to scale this down a little bit, and immediately I see a problem. The shadow that's being cast on the rings doesn't go out as far as I need it to, but that's a quick fix. I'll just click on the rings layer, switch to the pen tool by pressing G on the keyboard, and then grab this point and extend it out and do the same for this point, and that's that. This is roughly the composition that I want, but I can always adjust it later. If I preview my animation, we can see that the endurance is now starting and ending onscreen. We need to adjust our animation a little bit. I'll go to the first keyframe, grab the ship and pull it offscreen while making sure that my motion path still makes a nice curve. Then I'll go to the last keyframe, grab the ship again, and move it offscreen. Again, making sure that this nice curve is preserved. If we preview this animation, it's looking pretty good, but I want to increase the time between these last two keyframes just a bit and make sure that that animates well. That looks pretty good to me. 10. Animating Pt. 2: At this point, I finished animating the two main objects in my composition. But there's still a few elements that I want to include before the animation is complete. I want to add some trails behind the ship when it comes in and when it goes out of the animation. I'll switch to the pen tool by pressing G on the keyboard, and I've set the properties to have no fill and a stroke of ten pixels. With the Pen tool selected and none of the layer selected, I will click right where the ship is. That will automatically create a new shape layer with a path following the styling that I've already set up. Then I'll move forward in time to where the ship slows down. This is where I want the first trail to end. I'll again, click and this time drag right where the ship is, and I'll curve the path to match up with the motion path of the ship as close as I can. Then if I scrub back and forth in time, we can see where the shape is lining up with the path. I'll go to about here, adjust my handle. I'll zoom in here and fine tune my path just a little bit. I'm going to make it much thinner and then I want to adjust my stroke. If I go into the shape stroke, I'm going to add a dash. I want the line Cap to be rounded. Then I'll adjust the dash length, add a gap, and adjust the spacing. Now the line is still thicker than I want it to be, so I'm actually going to just drop it down to one pixel wide. Then I'll hide my overlay so I can see it a little better, and I want to make this a little bit more interesting with stroke. I'm going to add another dash and another gap and play around with it a little bit. I'm pretty happy with that, looks like Morse code. Now I want to actually duplicate this line so my trial can be consisted of five or six paths. I'll close up my dashes, close up the stroke, and I'll turn my overlays back on. Then I'll duplicate my path and adjust it with the Pen tool. Just going to offset it to be on a different path of the ship and then I'll duplicate the path again. I'll keep adjusting these paths and duplicating them until I have the number of paths that I want. I'll zoom in to see a little bit more detail and keep adjusting, and just position them until I'm happy with the way that they look. If I hide my overlays and zoom out, I'm liking the way that that looks. But I wanted to do this criss-cross motion in the center of the path. Right now, I hope the trail start points are at the exact same spot, so I need to offset them in the opposite pattern of the ending point. If I select my first path and look at it in the Window, we can see which direction the path needs to move. For this point, it ends on the right side of the ship, so it should begin on the left side of the ship. The next path, would be right next to that, the next path is showing up on the right side, the path after that, is on the very outer edge, and then the last path is the one that's right in the center. That's not going to change. Now my paths are intersecting in the middle, but it looks like they're not aligning exactly with the ship. If I back this timeline up to the first frame that I can see the shape in the composition, I can use it as a guide to line up my paths. I'll just adjust these until it lines up a little bit more with the ship. Then zoom out. Now we're getting more of the criss-cross shape that I was looking for. I'll rename this group trails and rename the layer trails in. Note for the animation, I'm going to use the trim paths operator. I want all of the trails to animate at the same time so it can be outside of the trails group. If I hide my overlays and open up my operator, I can key frame the end value to animate the trail on. At the start of the animation, I'll set the value to zero, set a key frame, and then move forward to where the ship comes to rest. Then I'll change the end value to 100 percent so that our trail now animates on. But the trails animation velocity doesn't match the ships animation velocity, so we need to open up the graph editor and adjust our speed handles until it gets to where we need it to be. Now if I scroll through the animation, it looks like our trail is now matching up with our ships animation. Now I need to animate the trail off and it'd be nice if it was as easy as just animating the start valued from 0-100. But as I do this, you can see that the path itself is actually moving, which is not the effect I'm going for. I'll leave that back down to zero, and the way that I'll end up doing this is similar to the way that we animated the planet in. I'm going to group the trim paths and the trails together and name it trails, then I'll duplicate that group and name it Trails Matte. Then I'll make sure I have that group selected and then change the stroke color to be the same as the background-color. I'll press Okay. Now we have a duplicate group of the trails that's same color as the background, but it's not completely covering up the first copy. With that group selected, I'll increase the size of the stroke so that it covers up the path below it. Then I'll press U to bring up the keyframes and then move the matte keyframes forward in time. Now our trail is animating on and off very nicely. I'll trim my layer to the key frame so I can keep my timeline nice and tidy. Then we'll do the same thing for when the ship moves out of the frame. Since I already have my trail system built and animated, I can just duplicate this layer and rename it trails out, and then modify it to match the motion path of the ship as it moves off screen. Now I want the trails to start up again right about here. I'll move my duplicated layer to start at that point. Now all I have to do is adjust my shape layers paths to the ship to follow the motion path, and then adjust the keyframes to follow the timing of the spaceship. I'm going to select all of my points and then click and drag them up to line up roughly with where the ship is at this point. Then I'll double-click on them. Move my anchor point to rotate around this spot, and then rotate this path down, since I know that's the direction that the ship is going to be going. Then I'll select all of the ending points and move them off screen. I can move forward in time to get more of a reference of where these paths should be ending up. Now it's just a matter of fine tuning the paths and the keyframes that already exist. I'll open up my layer and I'll actually delete the Trails Matte, because I'll quickly recreate that process after I've modified my paths. I want to go to about the center point between these two points. Then I'll start adjusting my curves so they line up. None of this has to be perfect. You just need to decide how you want it to look. I'm pretty happy with the way that looks. Now we just need to match the animation of the trails to the motion of the spaceship. I'll press U, U don't bring up the keyframes and I'll clear this moving that I applied to the second keyframe by holding command or control on a PC and clicking on the Keyframe twice. Then I'll select my first keyframe, go into the graph editor and adjust the speed handle until it matches up with the ship. This is the last frame that we see the ship on, so I'll grab my second keyframe and align the trail up with that. Now it looks like my paths needs to be adjusted just a little bit more. I'll fine tune this and then I need to adjust my speed handle a little bit more. I'll go back into the graph editor, turn off my overlay so I can see more clearly, and that's lining up pretty well. If I then preview this, the trails doing pretty much what I needed to. Then I'll collapse my layer by pressing U and go into the contents, duplicate the trails again and rename it to Trails Matte. With the group selected, I'll again change the color to be the same color as the background and increase the size to cover up the group below it. Press U to bring up my keyframes. Move this second set of keyframes forward just a little bit, and now my trails animating the way that I wanted to. I'm actually going to slow down the animation just a tad. I'm actually going to change the speed handle a little bit for this matte and increase the time that it takes to get off screen. I like that. 11. Animating Pt. 3: Now the last element I need to add is the stars. To create the stars, I'm going to turn all of my other layers off just so I can have a nice clean plate to work off of. I'll start by creating an ellipse that has no stroke and a white fill. I'm going to make it really small. I'll double-tap U to bring up all the adjusted properties and I'll turn off my overlays so I can see the size of the circle really well. I want my stars to be very small, so I'm going to decrease the size of this, to a just a little tiny dot. I'll rename this group to be stars filled. I'll close up this path. Get rid of this stroke because I don't need it and press U to collapse the layer. Then I'll go back into my contents, into my stars filled and I'll duplicate this ellipse. I'll change the size just slightly and offset the position. I'll do this again, just changing the size, changing the position. Then I want to add a new shape. I'm going to put in a poly star and I will change the inner radius to be much smaller, and the outer radius to be much smaller. I'll zoom in so I can see a little more detail. That's pretty good. I just want this tiny little star. Again, I'll change the position and maybe a little bit of rotation. I'll close that up. I'm going to duplicate one of my ellipses again, change the size. Basically, I'm just trying to create a random placement of objects that I can then turn into a star field. Just for good measure, I'm going to offset the position of this first star. Then I'll select this last ellipse again, duplicate it. Change the size, change the position. Maybe that's a little too big and then let's put another star just for fun. Change the position. Change the rotation. Maybe change the inner radius and the outer radius, just a little bit bigger and we're looking pretty good. Now, I just want to vary up the positioning of all these objects a little bit so it's not so much in a ring. Something more like that. Now, I want to duplicate this group and change the name to stars outlined. Now, I already know that I don't want any polystars on this group. So I'm going to get rid of those and I'm actually going to get rid of my fill as well. Then with that group selected, I will add a stroke and makes sure that it is white with an outline of one pixel. Then I'll go into my first ellipse in this group, change the position, increase the size, and just start making some new shapes. I don't want as many outline stars as I have a filled stars, so I'm going to get rid of some of these. I think we're looking pretty good. Now, I want to add a repeater. I put the repeater inside my stars outline group, but I want it to repeat both groups, so I'll move it out into the route of the contents. Now, I have three copies of both of my groups. I'm going to randomize it a bit by opening up my transform properties and adjusting the rotation for the repeater. I'll also change the position and just play around with it until I'm happy with the way that they're looking. I'm trying to make sure that ewe can't seen too much of a pattern between the three groups. You know what, I might crank up the copies to about five and then offset them a little bit so that we fill up the screen a little bit more. I'm pretty happy with the way this is looking. Let's turn on other layers and put the stars behind everything else. It's looking pretty good. I'm not too happy with how large these stars are. Let's go back into our shape. Go to our stars filled, and look for that polystar, which I believe is the second one and then I'm going to change the inner radius down a little bit, and the outer radius down a little bit and that looks pretty good. Same thing for this outline star and a couple of these ellipses. I'm going to modify some things until I'm happy with the way that it looks and I'm pretty happy with that. Now we need to animate the stars on. I'm going two turn my other layers back off. We can focus on the stars and rename this layer to be stars. Then I'll also turn off my repeater because I'm going to be animating these stars individually. Let's focus on just the filled stars right now. So also shut off my stars outline group. Let's go into our stars filled and I'm going to set a keyframe for the size and position of each one of these ellipses. For the polystars, I'll also set keyframes on the position, the rotation, and the inner and outer radius. Now, if I press U on the keyboard and expand this so I have a little bit more room, I see all the keyframes that I just set for all of the stars in my shape group. I'll back up a few frames, but hitting Page Up on the keyboard and then I'll start moving my stars towards the center of the screen. Because I want my starts to look like they're exploding from the center of the screen. So I'll just adjust the position, so that it gets closer to zero on both the X and Y axis. But the point is just to create motion in my animation. If I take a look at this, I'm getting the exploding animation that I was looking for. But I don't want my stars to appear and explode, I want them to scale up as they're moving. Since I've set size keyframes for all of these objects, now I'll keyframe all of them down to zero. At the beginning of the animation, you don't see any of the stars, then as you move forward, they're both scaling up and moving into position. One thing I forgot was that I had set a rotation keyframe for the two stars, so I'm also going to offset that just a bit so they get a little bit of rotation. Then I'll select all of the ending position keyframes and move them forward in time a little bit. That way the position animation will last longer than the scaling animation and I'm actually going to do the same thing for the rotation of the two polystars. Then I'll grab all the ending scale keyframes and easy ease them by pressing F9 on the keyboard. Then I'll grab the rest of the ending keyframes and easy ease them as well. Then open up the graph editor and then adjust all the speed handles at once to give this a much more dramatic animation. I like the way this is looking, but I'm actually going to extend this out even a little bit further in time. That's a grate start. Now, I'll do the same thing for my outline group. So I'll press Q to collapse my layer and then go into the "Contents", turn the stars filled off and the stars outlined on. Go into the stars outline group and then set size and position keyframes for all the ellipses. Then I'll move forward to where the scale should end. Set another keyframe for all the size properties and then go to where the position value should end and set keyframes for the position properties. Then I'll go back to the beginning where my animation should start, then again change the position so that these are closer to the center of the screen. Then I'll change the size down to zero. Ease these keyframes and then grab the ending position keyframes, adjust the speed handle. Preview that and I'm pretty happy with the way that looks. Now, if I collapse my layer by pressing U on the keyboard and then go into my "Contents" and turn the stars filled back on, we now have this animation of all the stars exploding from the center, which is exactly what I'm going for. Then if I turn on my repeater and preview that, we get this really cool animation of all the stars appearing. But it's still a little bit to uniform for me. What I'll do to randomize it a little bit is animate the rotation of the two groups. Starting at the first keyframe, I'll open up my stars filled and go to the transform for the group. I'll set a keyframe and then move it to where the position keyframes end. Then I'll offset the rotation a bit and let's see what that looks like. It's pretty wild. I like the way that's behaving. I'm going to turn this down just a little bit so it doesn't rotate quite as much and then I'll ease the ending keyframe and adjust the speed handle to be a little bit smoother. That's great. Now, I'll rotate the other group in the opposite direction. I'll ease this second keyframe, adjust the speed handle, preview that and now I have a much more randomized animation and I like the way that it looks. So if I collapse my layer and turn on all of the other layers, I can preview the hole animation so far. I just need to retype the animation of the stars. So I'm going to press "U" to bring up the keyframes, go to the first keyframe and trim my layer to that point by pressing "Option" or "Alt" on PC and the "Left Bracket". Then I'll press "U" to collapse that and go back to where I want the stars to come in, which is right about probably here. Then I'll press the "Left Bracket" on the keyboard to move that layers in point to that frame. I'll extend the layer out to the end of the comp and I'll that. One thing I would like to do is increase how long it takes for the stars two animate on. So I'll press "U" to bring up all the keyframes. I'm actually going to make my timeline full-screen by pressing the "Tilde Key" on the keyboard, which is the key right to the left of the number 1 key, it's that little squiggly line. I'll select all of my keyframes and hold down Option or Alt on a Personal Computer, and then click and drag on one of the keyframes. This will proportionately scaled the animation between all of the select keyframes. I'll press "Tilde" on the keyboard again to get out of full screen and then RAM Preview. I'm much happier with the motion of the stars now. Now that we have the entire seen animating in, all that's left to do is to animate it out. Now our ship and our trailer are already animating out. So I'm just going to base the timing of everything else off of that animation. So I'm going to go to right about hear to have the stars start animating outwards. I'll make my timeline full screen again by pressing "Tilde" on the keyboard and make sure that I have all my keyframe selected. Then I'll copy and paste those keyframes, right-click on one of them, go to keyframe assistant and say time-reverse keyframes. This swaps the keyframes based on where they are in the timeline. So my position keyframes are write where I want them to be, but all of the size keyframes need to move to the end. So I'll make a selection around all these keyframes and then deselect all the position keyframes. Then I'll click and drag all these keyframes to line up with the ending keyframes of the position values. If I exit the full screen mode by pressing "Tilde" and preview this, my stars animate out. I just need to readjust the timing, so that they happen in line with the spaceship, preview that. That's better, but I think I'm going to have to animate them out quicker than I did animating them in. So I'll select all the keyframes on the tale end of the animation and bring them in just a bit. I think this is going to be better. On other thing I want to do to change up the animation out, is continue the rotation of the star groups in the same direction that they were going on the animation in. So I'll press "U" to collapse all my keyframes, go into the content's, going to the stars outlined, to the transform, and then instead of going from zero to 29, I'm going to change the value to negative 29. Now they're going to rotate out in the opposite direction they were rotating just a second ago. I'll do the same thing for my stars filled. I'll go into the transform, to the rotation property and change the value from negative negative 29 to 29. If we preview this, now you can see that those groups rotate in and out in the same direction. Now we need to animate the rings off, so I'll collapse this layer, go into my rings, press "U", and then select these keyframes, copy and paste them, right-click Keyframe Assistant, time-reverse Keyframes, and now they animate off. But I actually don't want them animating off in that direction, so I'm going to undo that, press "U" to collapse my layer, go into the contents, go into the rings, and then into ring 1, into the Trim Paths for ringed 1. So instead of animating the end back around the same direction that it had come originally, I'll set a Keyframe for the start value, move forward and then adjust that value to animate the ring off. Then I can actually select the start value, copy it, go to the first Keyframe, then open up the next Trim Paths, click on that start value and hit "Paste". Then the same two Keyframes are applied to that start value. I'll do this in all the Trim Path Operators. Then I'll press a "U" to bring up all my Keyframes and easy ease them all. Then I'll go into my graph editor and adjust the ending Keyframes to be very dramatic and then starting Keyframes. Then I'll offset all of these Keyframe values by about two or three frames and preview. I'm just going to space out this motion a little bit to get the time into more of where I would like it and I'm pretty happy with the way that looks. So I'll trim this layer to where the animation ends and press "U" to collapse it up and the only thing we have left to animate off is the planet. I'll do this very simply by pressing "U" to bring up the Keyframes, grabbing the position of the shadow, setting a Keyframe, moving forward in time a little bit, and then changing the position to 0, 0. Now our shadow covers up the planet. Very simple, I'll just ease this Keyframe a bit and then I'll read time the animation to animate off just about here. Preview that animation and our entire animation is now coming on and off. Now the very last thing I did for my project was attached all of the layers to this null object. Then I set a scale keyframe at the beginning by pressing Option or Alt on a PC plus S, moved towards the end of the animation, scaled it up just slightly, and then move the Keyframe to pass towards the animation was finished. Now all the elements scale up together just barely over the course of the animation, giving it field that you're moving through space. In my final animation, I ended up making some changes to the colors, but that was purely an aesthetic choice. You can take as many creative liberties with your own animation as you want, but hopefully now you seen some pretty incredible ways on how to animate shape layers within after effects. This is what I ended up with, and I'm pretty happy with the weigh it turned out. Now you get to animate your design. I'm sure yours will look totally different than mine, but the techniques that I've shown you, it can be applied to any type of animation. So at this point, feel free to post as often as you want in the project assignment page to get feedback and if you have any trouble or you're trying to do anything specific, I'm more than happy to help out. 12. Thanks!: All right. Congratulations, you have finished my course. Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what I consider to be one of the most powerful features inside of After Effects. If you have any questions, as always, post them inside the discussion page, and I'm more than happy to take a look and help you out wherever I can. Thank you so much for taking my class.