After Effects Tutorial: Textures and Simple Animation

This was as part of an on going lecture series on different softwares.

During this lecture we learned about various aspects on animation including importing Illustrator files, using the wiggler effect, adding textures, making layers parent layers and simple animation techniques.


Whilst waiting for Youtube to upload the Audi video, I checked out a few more of the tutorials available to me now.

The tutorials I looked at and worked through were on how to import documents from the other Adobe programmes, including Illustrator and Photoshop. I think it is very important as a designer to be able to use the Adobe software, since it is industry standard.

I was upset when I found out that we would be combining our course with the animation course. Looking into these tutorials in particular, it became clear that actually it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Using After Effects, although associated with animation, can benefit us, not only if we choose to specialise in motion graphics. When presenting work to a client, for example, we can now import it to a video format to give it a more dynamic feel. Videos are more easier accessed, thanks to the likes of Youtube, than ever before.

This medium can help us boost our opportunities. The times are changing, we must keep up with them since it’s survival of the fittest.

Layers And Masks

Cabinet of Curiosity (Final)
Cabinet of Curiosity (Final)

Using my Cabinet of Curiosity image I created as an example, I’d like to talk about layers and masks.

Using layers can be advantageous in many respects. Using layers can not only help with adding depth to an image, but it can also help arrange an image, and edit specific points without damaging the rest of the image. Blending options can help the piece look more natural, in the image above, I used the blending options to merge the multiple layers in a more natural progression. If it weren’t for these layering options, not only would the image look like it wasn’t on a grunge styled paper, but also, the images of my late grandparents would not look like one image, and the blending watercolour effect better myself and my father and my grandparents would look unnatural. The idea of good graphic design, was once said, to make things look and feel as natural as possible.

Using masks instead of deleting parts of an image can also be advantageous. If you were to delete parts of an image, you would never get it back properly. By using masks, if you make a mistake, or choose to feather the image slightly, it is easy to modify. Using masks can also help you work in textures, for example the water colour effect in my image.

From the photoshop tutorials, I have learnt that layers are vital and using masks instead of deleting an image are very advantageous. I hope it will prove to help in the future, and not just for this specific project.

Basic Typography

In todays Illustrator tutorial we learnt the basics in hope to draw our own type. We also learnt how to set up guides, and their designated names, including baseline, midline etc.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.25.38

As seen above, you can see that we experimented with not only colour, but also dissecting intersecting lines, to create a new shape, but also experimented with stoke sizes and the pen tool.

Typography is an important part of graphic design and will need to be studied further if I choose to pursue this topic further.