Free Super Stroker Preset For After Effects

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Free Super Stroker Preset For After Effects

Complex stroke effects with the click of a button.

Jake Bartlett (School of Motion Contributor and Skillshare Instructor) is back with another free preset for you. This time he's put together Super Stroker, the tool that makes complex stroke effects easy.

To pull off what this tool does you would normally need a TON of layers, keyframes, and time to set it all up. Now you can use this effect preset to easily pull off everything from complex looking write-ons to easy alpha-matte wipe transitions, and so much more.

BONUS: Because it's built as an effect you can customize it however you please and save it to your Ray Dynmaic Texture palette for easy access!

Love this preset?

In case you missed it Jake has another free preset for you that will give you a tapered stroke in one click! Grab the free Tapered Stroke preset here.

We want to see what do with Super Stroker. Get creative then Tweet us @schoolofmotion and show us what you've got!

If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we'll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP.

Download Free Preset
    • I'm trying to donwload the preset but it's taking me to a dead link, any ideas?

00:00:00,000(playful music)
00:00:11,541- [Jake] Hey, this is Jake Bartlett
00:00:12,638for School of Motion and I am Super excited
00:00:14,632to be walking you through Super Stroker,
00:00:16,776which is a tool that I made for after effects
00:00:18,831that can take really complex animations
00:00:20,913and make them extremely easy to make.
00:00:23,152You can download this tool for free
00:00:24,653as a preset through School of Motion
00:00:26,163right on this page.
00:00:27,832All you need is a free
00:00:28,820School of Motion student account
00:00:30,144and then you'll be able to download this preset
00:00:31,824as well as get access to tons of other
00:00:33,984great stuff on School of Motion.
00:00:35,972So, once you've logged in to your student account
00:00:37,624and downloaded the preset,
00:00:38,773you'll need to install it.
00:00:40,043So let's jump right in.
00:00:41,482I have my preset right here on the desktop
00:00:43,777so I'm just gonna select it and copy
00:00:46,271and then I'm gonna come into my animation presets
00:00:48,453inside of after effects,
00:00:49,683and select any existing preset in this list,
00:00:53,061come to this menu right here and go down to
00:00:55,003Reveal and Finder
00:00:56,752and that will open up the Presets folder
00:00:58,363for the version of after effects you have open
00:01:00,761and then right here in the presets root
00:01:03,173I will paste, and there we have Super Stroker
00:01:06,163then I'll come back to after effects
00:01:07,872go to that same menu and go down to the very bottom
00:01:10,165where it says Refresh List.
00:01:12,430After Effects will reset all of my presets
00:01:14,619and then if come back into my animation presets
00:01:17,141there it is, Super Stroker and we're good to go.
00:01:20,141All you have to do to use it
00:01:21,173is make sure you don't have any layers selected
00:01:23,101and then double-click.
00:01:25,352After effects will generate shape layer
00:01:27,192with all the Super Stroker controls applied
00:01:29,373and you're ready to go.
00:01:30,813First, I'll just show you how quickly
00:01:32,261I can make a pretty complex animation.
00:01:34,013So I'll go forward to maybe one second,
00:01:36,533open up my Trim Paths control under Super Stroker
00:01:39,371and these are the exact same controls
00:01:40,843that you would have if you would apply
00:01:41,992trim Parts to a regular shape layer.
00:01:43,712So, I'll just set a key frame on the end value
00:01:46,447go back to the beginning an drop that down to zero.
00:01:49,653Then I'll press U to bring out my key frames
00:01:51,944easy ease them, go into my graph editor
00:01:54,416and adjust the curves just a little bit
00:01:57,072and then preview.
00:02:01,150Alright so there's already a lot happening.
00:02:02,963First thing I wanna do is adjust my colors.
00:02:04,712So, I already have my color palettes set up
00:02:06,249over here on a shape layer.
00:02:07,773All I have to do is come over to my color pickers
00:02:09,645and adjust them.
00:02:11,005So, I'll just grab all the colors
00:02:12,293that I've already made on my palette,
00:02:16,715and I'll play that back again.
00:02:19,456And now my colors are updated.
00:02:20,931But let's say
00:02:21,764I don't want it to end on this pink color,
00:02:23,467well, all I have to do is
00:02:24,616rearrange these colors
00:02:26,620and the order automatically updates.
00:02:28,317So now instead of ending on pink it ends on yellow
00:02:31,397so the order of these colors
00:02:32,646determine what order the colors of the
00:02:33,907Super Stroker layer appear in.
00:02:37,163So very quickly, I was able to rearrange
00:02:38,204that color palette.
00:02:39,774Alright, let's take a look at some other things
00:02:40,755that we can do.
00:02:42,122Down here, we have some delay controls
00:02:43,973and all I have animated right now is the end value
00:02:45,893so we're gonna look at the Delay End.
00:02:47,973All the delay values are measured in frames,
00:02:49,853and this is how you control
00:02:50,963the offset for each one of the duplicates.
00:02:53,259Right now, each one is offset by two frames.
00:02:55,733So if I come to the beginning and go
00:02:57,321one, two, the first two frames are just white.
00:03:01,072Then we've got one, two frames of pink,
00:03:03,344one, two frames of green and so on.
00:03:05,333If I increase this, to say, five,
00:03:07,956now these are gonna be more spread out.
00:03:09,683There's five frames between each one of them.
00:03:12,584I'll play that back.
00:03:14,317You see we have more gradual animation now.
00:03:18,104The cool thing about this value
00:03:19,292is that you can key frame it.
00:03:20,464So, let's say
00:03:21,297that I wanted to start out at five frames delay,
00:03:23,896but then by the time it reaches the end
00:03:26,293I only want it to be set to one.
00:03:28,431So I'll bring up my key frames,
00:03:30,312and set the delay down to one,
00:03:32,634easy ease those and then preview again.
00:03:35,704Now you see that at the start,
00:03:37,104it's very spread out.
00:03:38,083Five frames at a time
00:03:39,563but by the time it gets to the end
00:03:40,883they're all much closer together.
00:03:44,453Then let's say I want it to animate out
00:03:45,923all I have to do is go to where
00:03:47,630the animation is finished and that is important.
00:03:49,984You need to make sure that all of your colors
00:03:52,472have finished animating
00:03:53,984and then go to the start value, add a key frame,
00:03:57,188go forward in time a little bit,
00:03:59,820set that to 100%.
00:04:02,101Again, I'll adjust the value curve
00:04:04,323just to make it a little more dynamic.
00:04:09,781And play that back.
00:04:15,530And again, we have delay controls for the start value
00:04:18,112this is set to two
00:04:19,112but I could adjust this to say, four.
00:04:22,930And will very quickly update for me.
00:04:28,272And just like that,
00:04:29,105we have a pretty complex animation
00:04:30,525that without Super Stroker,
00:04:31,752will take a lot more layers
00:04:33,573and a whole lot more key frames.
00:04:35,339But Super Stroker is great for a lot more
00:04:36,955than just circles.
00:04:38,078So let's take a look at a more complex example.
00:04:40,629I have paths here that I've already created.
00:04:42,619And this is not a font.
00:04:43,789This is just something that I drew by hand
00:04:45,309using the pen tool.
00:04:46,659And I wanna copy all these paths
00:04:48,395into my Super Stroker layer.
00:04:50,147To quickly do that, I'll just switch to the pen tool
00:04:52,368select one point, then hold down command
00:04:55,297to make a selection around all of the paths,
00:04:57,728copy, and I'll turn off this layer
00:05:00,557and go into the contents of this
00:05:02,570Super Stroker layer and then into the paths folder
00:05:05,161and you see that I put some notes.
00:05:07,121This is where you want to put your custom paths.
00:05:10,281I'll go in there
00:05:11,114and delete the circle that's already there.
00:05:13,023Then select that group and paste
00:05:15,703and only path of my paths are being styled right now
00:05:19,321because there's one more thing I need to do.
00:05:20,881I'll close out my paths and go into my strokes group
00:05:23,760and right now there are four color groups,
00:05:26,721and we'll get into how to handle these groups
00:05:28,510in just a little bit.
00:05:29,660For now, I want to delete
00:05:30,935all but the first color group,
00:05:32,985open that up
00:05:34,036and there's a whole bunch of stuff in this folder
00:05:35,693but all you need to worry about is
00:05:36,956what's right up here at the top.
00:05:38,676There's a group named Path 1
00:05:40,505I need the same number of paths in here
00:05:43,505as I have in my master paths group
00:05:45,465so there's eight different paths
00:05:47,265so I need to duplicate this until I have eight.
00:05:50,576And as I do that,
00:05:51,517you can see that all of my paths
00:05:52,388are now being styled.
00:05:53,723Then I'll collapse that folder
00:05:55,762and reduplicate it until I have four colors again.
00:06:00,427Now my paths are on the Super Stroker layer
00:06:01,784I'll get rid of my old layer
00:06:03,215and I still have the same key frames from before,
00:06:04,964so let's just preview and see what it looks like.
00:06:08,233Now obviously this animation is a little fast,
00:06:10,295and the reason it looks so fast
00:06:12,073is because there's a lot more paths
00:06:13,713to be trimmed in that span of time.
00:06:15,791So I could just stretch this out a little bit.
00:06:22,895And preview that again.
00:06:26,615And there we go.
00:06:27,448Another very complex animation
00:06:28,882being driven by a single layer.
00:06:31,002Now another great feature in Super Stroker
00:06:33,393is this delay paths property.
00:06:35,484Even though I have eight separate paths
00:06:37,014on this layer,
00:06:38,002they're being trimmed as if it was just
00:06:40,024one long continuous path.
00:06:43,156But if I change my trim multiple paths
00:06:44,716from Sequentially to Simultaneously,
00:06:48,207and then speed up my animation just a little bit,
00:06:54,473I'll preview one more time.
00:06:55,874Now all of my paths are being trimmed
00:06:57,527at the same time.
00:07:00,076But if I come down to the delay paths value,
00:07:02,316and increase this to say five,
00:07:05,345I'm just gonna move my start key frames
00:07:06,568out of the way for now.
00:07:08,607And I'll get rid of the animation on delay end
00:07:10,305and set that, to say, three,
00:07:12,636because I increased the delay paths value
00:07:14,857each path is going to be trimmed
00:07:16,847as if it was it's own layer
00:07:18,705offset by the number of frames
00:07:19,927you set this property to.
00:07:21,875So in this case, five frames.
00:07:23,865So the first part of the rectangle animates
00:07:25,556then five frames goes by,
00:07:27,105then next one starts,
00:07:28,585all the way through the order of my paths.
00:07:30,668But let's say I wanted the
00:07:31,701numbers to animate first and the frame last,
00:07:34,375all you have to do is
00:07:35,359go into your contents,
00:07:37,769into your master paths group,
00:07:39,268and then rearrange the paths.
00:07:40,972So these first four paths are the rectangle,
00:07:43,506I'll just select those
00:07:44,447and drag them down to the bottom.
00:07:46,628Now the numbers will animate on first
00:07:48,569followed by the frame.
00:07:54,668Then I'll bring my start key frames back,
00:07:57,308again, I need to make sure
00:07:58,359that the entire animation is completed
00:07:59,998before those start key frames.
00:08:03,449Then we'll play this back.
00:08:06,319And I have an extremely complex animation
00:08:09,308all being animated on a single shape layer
00:08:11,719with just four key frames.
00:08:13,908And that is really powerful.
00:08:16,079Without Super Stroker,
00:08:16,999this animation will take at least four layers,
00:08:19,948one for every color, times the number of paths
00:08:22,836which is eight.
00:08:24,108So I would need 32 layers
00:08:25,679plus a whole lot more key frames.
00:08:29,177And let's say you wanted to add another color.
00:08:31,108That would be really complex without
00:08:32,559Super Stroker but all I have to do
00:08:34,754is duplicate one of my color effects,
00:08:35,820change the color to whatever I want,
00:08:38,810to, let's say, orange,
00:08:40,441then go back into my contents,
00:08:42,610into my strokes group,
00:08:44,081and then duplicate one of these color groups.
00:08:46,499Super Stroker automatically generates
00:08:48,130another stroke based on the color
00:08:50,329that you set in your effects controls.
00:08:52,767All you need to do,
00:08:53,600is make sure you have
00:08:54,468the same number of color groups as you do color effects.
00:08:57,527And that easily you're able to
00:08:58,728update the look of your animation.
00:09:00,747I'm just gonna take that last color out,
00:09:02,740and then let's take a look
00:09:03,573at some of the other controls.
00:09:05,620After Trim Paths, we have the Stroke Style
00:09:08,145with the Stroke Width.
00:09:09,620And this is where you can control
00:09:10,809the global width of all of your strokes.
00:09:12,980And I say global because
00:09:14,319I could drop this down to say, 10
00:09:17,187but then I'll go into my contents
00:09:19,026and select anyone of my colors
00:09:20,348so let's say, the second one,
00:09:22,828and I'll back this up
00:09:23,769to where we can see all of our colors.
00:09:26,107And then, with Color 2 selected,
00:09:27,479I'll come up to be pixel value of that stroke
00:09:29,689and increase it.
00:09:31,170As I do that,
00:09:32,061you see that I'm adjusting the width of just that color
00:09:34,948So the global width is 10,
00:09:36,649but then you can add width to any of
00:09:38,268one of these strokes individually.
00:09:40,177So let's say, I want the last one to be 50,
00:09:41,910while I've got the global width of 10
00:09:44,029I'll add 40 to that and now my last stroke is 50.
00:09:48,671If I play that back
00:09:51,721now I've got a totally different look.
00:09:53,881And to quickly get back to a uniform stroke width
00:09:55,900I'll just select the layer,
00:09:57,391go up to the pixel width and set it to zero,
00:09:59,812and I'm back to controlling it all
00:10:01,437with just that stroke width.
00:10:03,780We've also got controls for the stroke opacity,
00:10:05,680which adjusts everything at once,
00:10:07,959and then we've got another very powerful
00:10:09,931little shortcut here
00:10:10,961which is Caps and Joins.
00:10:12,591If I open up this list,
00:10:13,679I have access to
00:10:14,512every combination of Cap and Join.
00:10:17,395So if I wanted round caps and round joins,
00:10:19,435I just select that.
00:10:20,906Now, I have round caps and round joins.
00:10:22,552Lets say that I wanted to keep the flat caps,
00:10:24,960I'll set this to Butt and Round,
00:10:26,829and this is just an easy way to quickly adjust
00:10:29,229the look of my stroke
00:10:30,468without having to go digging through the shape layer
00:10:33,280For now, I'm just gonna set that to Round
00:10:34,499on both cap and joins.
00:10:37,037Then next step,
00:10:37,870we have operators.
00:10:38,979Here you have easy access
00:10:40,192to a handful of shape layer operators.
00:10:42,075I'll set the stroke widths down to say, 15
00:10:44,678and then enable the repeaters.
00:10:46,110So I'll just open it up,
00:10:47,078click on the enable repeater checkbox,
00:10:49,517set the copies to maybe, 10
00:10:51,738then I'll open up the transform for that repeater
00:10:54,100and all these controls should look very familiar,
00:10:56,278because they're exactly the same
00:10:58,007as if you would add an operator into
00:10:59,385the shape layer,
00:11:01,237and I'll change the scale, x and y down
00:11:03,654to say, 90.
00:11:07,063And I'll turn the end opacity down to zero,
00:11:10,325and then maybe I'll adjust
00:11:11,394the position down a little bit.
00:11:14,514And then just for fun, I'll increase the rotation
00:11:16,274to say, five degrees,
00:11:18,352and we've got a very crazy looking animation
00:11:20,653very quickly.
00:11:21,661I really like playing around with operators
00:11:23,762and I think that you can get some
00:11:24,805very unique looking stuff
00:11:26,421just for messing around with them.
00:11:28,333So hopefully having access to a handful of these
00:11:29,943can help you play around
00:11:31,093with some cool looking animations.
00:11:33,682Now, if there's an operator that you want to use
00:11:35,303and it's not in this list,
00:11:36,594that's not a problem.
00:11:37,602You can absolutely add your own.
00:11:39,122Just come down to the contents of your shape layer
00:11:41,362go to add and say offset paths
00:11:44,002and this will behave just like normal.
00:11:46,463So, let me increase the offset a little bit,
00:11:48,881turn to a round join.
00:11:50,742And again we're created something completely unique.
00:11:53,202But you can use Super Stroker in other ways
00:11:55,161than just on custom drawn paths.
00:11:57,682Let me show you a couple more examples.
00:11:59,582Here's a write-on animation
00:12:00,863using an actual text layer.
00:12:02,693So, if I turn off Super Stroker,
00:12:04,242you see that this is a normal text layer
00:12:06,413but I light it out
00:12:07,554and then I traced paths on top of it
00:12:09,694so that they will reveal that text
00:12:12,144when I set it to an alpha matte.
00:12:15,623So these are the paths
00:12:16,456that I traced on top of this text
00:12:18,562and you'll notice that I lined them up
00:12:19,972right on the center of each one of the shapes
00:12:22,133of every letter.
00:12:23,402Once I had all the letter traced,
00:12:24,973I copied and pasted the paths
00:12:26,210to a Super Stroker layer
00:12:27,594just like we did with the first example.
00:12:30,333Then I put it underneath the text,
00:12:32,182set it to an alpha matte,
00:12:33,903so that nothing outside of that text layer
00:12:35,903would be visible,
00:12:37,023and then I just increased the stroke width
00:12:38,503until it filled the entire text.
00:12:42,076So if this were any lower,
00:12:44,074you wouldn't see all of the text
00:12:45,343because it's going beyond the stroke width
00:12:47,263of the Super Stroker layer.
00:12:49,474But once it fills the entire text,
00:12:51,274I set up the trim paths
00:12:52,613to trim multiple shapes sequentially,
00:12:54,693added a five frame delay,
00:12:56,199and I also key framed the delay ends,
00:12:58,394so that it starts out more spaced out
00:13:00,080and ends up very close together.
00:13:03,743And that's how you can use Super Stroker
00:13:05,177to do a write-on.
00:13:06,871But you can also reveal text in other ways
00:13:08,621that don't require tracing.
00:13:10,341Here, I have another text layer
00:13:11,741just a long line of text
00:13:12,853that would be a lot of tracing
00:13:14,179if I were to do a write-on,
00:13:15,653but that would also take a lot of time
00:13:16,893to animate on.
00:13:18,179If you need loner lines of text to animate on
00:13:19,941more quickly,
00:13:20,952you can still use that text as a matte
00:13:23,093but then make your path much simpler.
00:13:25,672So if I turn off the track matte
00:13:27,501you see that this is just a single line
00:13:29,813going directly across the screen
00:13:31,371and I angled it to match the italics of the text
00:13:34,013just by going into the contents,
00:13:36,283into my paths, into the transform controls
00:13:38,893and you'll notice that I added a skew
00:13:41,232to my paths group.
00:13:42,723So now when it animates,
00:13:43,893those lines aren't perfectly up and down,
00:13:46,261they're at a slant.
00:13:47,460Then when I set that to an alpha matte,
00:13:49,781all that I see is the text.
00:13:51,869And I've got a very cool multicolored wipe
00:13:54,293that's Super easy to animate and customize.
00:13:56,952Super Stroker can be used
00:13:58,211with more than just text though.
00:13:59,843You can use a graphic.
00:14:01,523And this is set up exactly the same way.
00:14:03,733Instead of a text layer, I have an illustrator file.
00:14:06,573And my Super Stroker layer,
00:14:07,843is just a circle with a really wide stroke
00:14:10,693that creates this kind of radial wipe.
00:14:13,112When I set that to be an alpha matte,
00:14:15,112I've got this multicolored radial reveal.
00:14:17,992Super simple to set up,
00:14:19,660but it can produce some pretty cool looking animations.
00:14:22,612And that is Super Stroker.
00:14:24,332This tool was a lot of fun for me to make
00:14:26,122and I'm really excited to see what you can do with it.
00:14:28,580I hope that you get a lot of use out of it
00:14:30,021and if you do use it in any of your work,
00:14:32,093but sure to share that on social media
00:14:33,683and tweet us @schoolofmotion
00:14:35,316so that we can see it.
00:14:36,421Be sure that you are signed up
00:14:37,371for that free school of motion student account,
00:14:39,965so that you can download this tool
00:14:40,913and get access to all of the project files
00:14:42,275for all the lessons that are on
00:14:43,715School of Motion
00:14:44,896plus a whole lot of other great stuff.
00:14:47,267And if you liked Super Stroker,
00:14:48,594please share it on social media.
00:14:50,274It really helps us get the word out
00:14:51,827about School of Motion.
00:14:53,155And we greatly appreciate it.
00:14:54,835Thanks again so much for watching this video
00:14:56,875and I'll see you next time.

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