How to Create a Toon-Shaded Look in After Effects

The “toon shaded” look is pretty dang popular these days. There are, of course, plugins and effects that can make something look “cartoonish,” but there is always a price to be paid for convenience and that price is control over the final look. This video is a little weird in that it shows you how to get a simple-looking effect in a complex-seeming fashion. The goal, however, is to get you to THINK LIKE A COMPOSITOR when you use After Effects. It’s a tough thing to get initially, but by the end of this lesson you'll have a good idea of how to approach look-development inside of After Effects.

Check out the Resources tab for more info on that Mt. Mograph tutorial that Joey mentions in this lesson.

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.

Here is the Mt. Mograph tutorial that Joey got the "ripping" effect from. 

    00:00:00,545(whooshing noises)
    00:00:07,530(energetic music)
    00:00:15,557- What's up?
    00:00:16,390Joey here at School of Motion
    00:00:17,699and welcome to day 24 of 30 days of After Effects.
    00:00:21,184In today's video, we gonna talk about breaking down
    00:00:23,165an effect into multiple layers inside of After Effects.
    00:00:26,630And using a compositing mindset to achieve
    00:00:29,072a specific look that you're going for.
    00:00:31,674On top of that, we're gonna learn so cool tricks
    00:00:33,574about ways to make things seem a little goopy.
    00:00:37,177A quick shout out to Mt. Mograph,
    00:00:38,865another amazing tutorial site.
    00:00:40,433Because one of the tricks that Matt showed
    00:00:42,495in one of his videos, I used in this video,
    00:00:45,263'cause I thought it was great.
    00:00:46,544So go check out Mt. Mograph.
    00:00:48,290Don't forget to sign up for a free student account
    00:00:50,493so you can grab the project files from this lesson
    00:00:52,933as well as assets from any other lesson on the site.
    00:00:55,875Now, let's hop into After Effects and get started.
    00:00:59,310So, in this video, I'm gonna show you a few tricks.
    00:01:03,785And I don't normally like to just show tricks
    00:01:07,313but what I'm hoping that everyone gets out of this
    00:01:10,108is that one of the things you can do in After Effects
    00:01:13,919is you can use effects in ways that are sort of,
    00:01:18,883I don't know, they're not really intended to be used,
    00:01:21,658and if you think more like a compositer,
    00:01:24,099you can get so much control
    00:01:25,753over the way your image looks, okay.
    00:01:28,501So specifically what I'm going to talk about
    00:01:30,320is how to get this kind of cartoon-y look
    00:01:32,265but have complete and total control over it.
    00:01:35,687After Effects is designed to try and almost prevent you
    00:01:39,547from using it the way I like to use it sometimes
    00:01:43,197because it tries to hide complexity from you
    00:01:46,266by making things simple.
    00:01:47,846There's a cartoon effect that you can use,
    00:01:50,532but if you really want to dial in a look
    00:01:52,826and be very specific then a lot of times
    00:01:54,853it's to just roll you own stuff.
    00:01:57,262So we're gonna start out,
    00:01:58,706I'm gonna show you how I did this kind
    00:02:00,242of gooey popping thing.
    00:02:02,309And I have to first just say that this effect
    00:02:05,737is not something I figured out how to do on my own.
    00:02:07,971I sort of, I learned the basic trick a long time ago
    00:02:12,241and then I saw a Mt. Mograph video which did
    00:02:16,555this cool little trick that I stole
    00:02:18,989where you can get these holes in there.
    00:02:20,810So let's hop in, lemme show you how this thing
    00:02:22,880is all put together.
    00:02:24,366So let's make a new comp.
    00:02:27,004We'll just do 1920 by 1080.
    00:02:28,833Alright, so here's what we're gonna do,
    00:02:30,406I'm gonna start by making a circle
    00:02:33,051and the way I usually do it,
    00:02:34,625I just double click the ellipse tool,
    00:02:35,864makes a giant ellipse.
    00:02:37,530And then I tap U twice to bring up my size property,
    00:02:42,710and let's just make this like 100 pixel, or maybe 200 pixel.
    00:02:46,776And I don't want to stroke on it,
    00:02:48,448so I'm gonna turn the stroke to zero.
    00:02:51,737And turn the fill on.
    00:02:53,196So there we go, we have a white ball, right there.
    00:02:56,130Alright, and I'm gonna name this ball O one.
    00:03:00,058So what I wanna do, is I wanna have this thing split,
    00:03:03,214right, like a cell or something like that.
    00:03:05,286This is pretty easy, so I'm gonna duplicate it,
    00:03:07,184so there's two of them.
    00:03:09,216I'm gonna hit P and I'm gonna separate the dimensions.
    00:03:13,037And I'm gonna put a key frame on X position
    00:03:14,488for both of these.
    00:03:15,769So then, I'm gonna jump for,
    00:03:17,462let's say we want this to take a second,
    00:03:19,655so let's go forward second, right.
    00:03:23,359By the way, the way I move around so fast is page down
    00:03:26,714and page up, move forward and backwards frames.
    00:03:29,665And if you hold shift, it does ten frames.
    00:03:31,935So if I want to move forward a second, it's shift,
    00:03:34,097page down, page down, and then one, two, three, four.
    00:03:36,504That's 24 frames.
    00:03:38,034Really quickly, keyboard shortcuts are important.
    00:03:41,271So let's move these and let's move them an equal distance.
    00:03:44,445So for this ball, why don't we add 300 pixels to it, okay,
    00:03:51,235and this is a cool thing you can do in After Effects
    00:03:53,170is just select a value and type in minus 300 or plus 300,
    00:03:57,860and this is a way you can be very, very precise
    00:03:59,692with your values.
    00:04:00,813Okay, so this is what's happening.
    00:04:02,671Wonderful, we're done, perfect.
    00:04:06,256So what I want is I want it to feel like
    00:04:08,358at the beginning these things are joined together
    00:04:11,191and they're pulling and pulling and pulling and pulling
    00:04:12,866and they can't quite make it, and then they pop.
    00:04:16,030So what we need to do, is we need to adjust
    00:04:18,346our animation curves.
    00:04:21,043And I'm actually gonna do this a little bit differently
    00:04:23,610than I did for my demo and see if I can get even more
    00:04:26,334of a cool kind of popping feel to it.
    00:04:29,829So, why don't we go to the halfway mark here.
    00:04:34,019And at the halfway mark,
    00:04:35,882I actually want them to still be connected,
    00:04:37,755I want it to really have a slow build,
    00:04:39,565so why don't we say,
    00:04:42,168this frame here, I'm gonna put key frames here,
    00:04:45,190and I'm gonna move those key frames to the middle.
    00:04:47,711So now if we look at our animation curves.
    00:04:53,455Let's make this a little bigger.
    00:04:55,331Okay, so you can see that we are easing into this value then
    00:05:00,567it accelerates at the end.
    00:05:03,095And I want it to take even longer
    00:05:06,585to accelerate.
    00:05:07,787So I'm gonna pull these bezier handles out like this.
    00:05:13,542There we go.
    00:05:14,492So now when we play this, you can see
    00:05:15,941that it's really slow at the beginning.
    00:05:17,348And I want it to be even slower,
    00:05:20,463and so what I'm gonna do is pull
    00:05:21,868the initial bezier handle out on both of these key frames.
    00:05:30,050Okay, and now when it actually pops out,
    00:05:32,551I want that to happen really quickly.
    00:05:35,118So let me move this much closer.
    00:05:37,971Let's take a look at this.
    00:05:40,144There we go.
    00:05:43,486You'll notice every single thing I do,
    00:05:46,912I sort of go through this process
    00:05:48,556because if you're just animating
    00:05:50,011without thinking about why,
    00:05:52,782like why should this animate this way,
    00:05:55,356then you're just animating randomly
    00:05:57,185and your animation's not gonna,
    00:05:59,175it's not gonna be very good if you don't
    00:06:01,566at least take the time to think it through.
    00:06:03,888Alright, so it hits here,
    00:06:05,497I want it to overshoot a little bit,
    00:06:08,303so what I'm gonna do is,
    00:06:09,233I'm just gonna go forward maybe three frames
    00:06:12,174and copy these three frames here.
    00:06:15,446And then I can just go into the curve for each one
    00:06:17,062and just pull this curve up a little bit, right?
    00:06:19,381So now I get a little bit of an overshoot, like this.
    00:06:23,885And I'll do the same thing on this one.
    00:06:27,036The great thing is once you really understand
    00:06:29,438animation curves and After Effects,
    00:06:31,623you can just look at this visually and make sure
    00:06:34,156it's doing what you want.
    00:06:35,317And so now you get that nice little overshoot,
    00:06:37,132it bounces back and it feels like like it's sticking.
    00:06:40,701Cool, alright, so now that we've got this,
    00:06:42,815how do we get that nice gooey look.
    00:06:45,586Now this trick, I don't know who first came up with it,
    00:06:48,279but it's at least a decade old.
    00:06:51,706Someone on, or Creative Cow posted it,
    00:06:55,508and I learned it from them and I don't know who it was.
    00:06:59,185But I will give credit, Mt. Mograph had
    00:07:00,702this awesome, awesome idea
    00:07:02,865for how to get these kind of holes in the middle of it.
    00:07:05,120First, let's get a nice gooey looking thing.
    00:07:09,517And the way you do this, I just do it
    00:07:10,672with an adjustment layer.
    00:07:12,904And I'll just call this goo.
    00:07:17,371And what you do is you blur these.
    00:07:22,018And what you do is you're blurring them
    00:07:24,594because then the contours of them mush together.
    00:07:27,338That's what a blur does, right?
    00:07:30,235But obviously you don't want a blurry ball.
    00:07:31,682So the next step is you add a levels effect,
    00:07:36,356and you change the levels effect
    00:07:38,092to affect the alpha channel.
    00:07:40,864Okay, now, alpha channel means transparency,
    00:07:45,108and because we blurred this,
    00:07:47,588you can see that rather than having a nice hard edge
    00:07:52,138where there's absolute transparency
    00:07:54,499and no transparency,
    00:07:57,311the blur sort of creates a gradient, right?
    00:08:00,203And so that's why you've got this range of values
    00:08:02,654in the alpha channel going from black to white.
    00:08:05,750And basically what we wanna do
    00:08:07,280is get rid of all the gray values.
    00:08:09,224We either want the alpha channel to be white or black,
    00:08:12,789we don't want much gray,
    00:08:13,955that's what's creating the blur.
    00:08:17,229So what we can do, is we can take this arrow,
    00:08:19,467this black input and this arrow, which is the white input.
    00:08:22,493And if we compress them, bring them closer together,
    00:08:26,008and we can see visually what it's doing
    00:08:27,998when I move this one it gets rid of black,
    00:08:29,455when I move this one it creates more white,
    00:08:33,224and you don't want to do it too hard,
    00:08:34,935you get those crunchy edges.
    00:08:36,842But something like that.
    00:08:38,598Right, you get them pretty close together and now,
    00:08:41,419this is what you get.
    00:08:44,262You see, it mushes them together.
    00:08:46,580It's pretty cool.
    00:08:47,959And if you turn this off, you can see
    00:08:50,495that if you keep these arrows in the middle,
    00:08:53,745it'll even pretty much maintain the same size
    00:08:57,189as the layers that you started with.
    00:09:00,894Fantastic, alright.
    00:09:02,059And so now, if we wanted to, I might look at these curves
    00:09:05,046one more time.
    00:09:07,155It might be cool to stretch this out even more
    00:09:12,463like this, so that we get a little bit more time
    00:09:14,580in the middle here where they're connected.
    00:09:17,567There we go.
    00:09:26,495Alright, so now we've got that.
    00:09:28,655Now let's add those holes in the middle.
    00:09:31,295Alright, and this is a really simple trick.
    00:09:34,534So what you do is you figure out where you want the holes
    00:09:37,313to sort of start happening, like maybe right in there.
    00:09:42,540What I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna make an ellipse,
    00:09:47,009and I'm gonna draw it like this and I'm gonna make it
    00:09:49,913a gray color or something.
    00:09:51,729I'm gonna make it like that okay.
    00:09:55,406So I've got one ellipse here.
    00:09:59,640Alright, so this will be ellipse,
    00:10:01,757and move the anchor points so it's in the middle.
    00:10:03,879Alright, and now I'm gonna duplicate it.
    00:10:06,487And this ellipse we can make a little thinner,
    00:10:09,592like this maybe, we'll duplicate that.
    00:10:12,071And then I'll have another one down here
    00:10:13,903and maybe this will be a little one.
    00:10:16,430And I'll duplicate it,
    00:10:18,912and maybe have anther kinda stretchy one like this.
    00:10:21,522And you just want them to feel like they're varied, right.
    00:10:24,953You don't wanna notice a pattern in it.
    00:10:27,471So something like that, okay.
    00:10:29,671And then, let's go back a frame.
    00:10:31,739So I don't want those to appear until maybe this frame.
    00:10:36,084So I'm gonna hit the left bracket
    00:10:37,406so now that's the first frame they exist.
    00:10:39,349And I'm just gonna animate the scale of each one.
    00:10:42,367So I'm gonna put a key frame on scale
    00:10:43,856and I'm gonna unlink all of the scale properties.
    00:10:47,289So that way, what I wanna do is I want them to start
    00:10:50,946kinda thin like this.
    00:10:53,893And then, by the time we get to here
    00:10:58,517I want them to be really thin.
    00:11:02,323And I'm also gonna have to move them,
    00:11:03,733so I'm also gonna put a position key frame
    00:11:05,674on each of these.
    00:11:08,482Aright, so now let's go forward.
    00:11:09,819This is gonna be the last frame
    00:11:11,770where these things actually exist.
    00:11:13,339Because after that we now have separate objects.
    00:11:17,596So let's go to this last frame
    00:11:19,210and let's just adjust these.
    00:11:23,490Okay, and them I'm gonna scale them,
    00:11:25,358I'm gonna make them a lot wider, alright.
    00:11:32,440And because they're getting wider,
    00:11:33,934they might get a little thinner too.
    00:11:37,134Alright, and this is what it's gonna do.
    00:11:40,360And you can see, I might wanna actually ease
    00:11:43,216the position key frames on each of these.
    00:11:48,188I probably wanna ease the position
    00:11:51,383and the scale on each of these.
    00:11:52,706Because the position of those two balls is easing
    00:11:57,686and you kind of see already what it's doing.
    00:12:01,038I remember I saw this tutorial
    00:12:02,441and I thought it was so clever.
    00:12:03,603I couldn't wait to steal, well not steal, but give credit.
    00:12:08,359Alright so you get this.
    00:12:09,981And this should be the last frame that we see these.
    00:12:12,882Okay, there we go.
    00:12:16,049And just like that, you get these nice little goop.
    00:12:21,821Now what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna pre-compose
    00:12:23,724all four of these.
    00:12:24,920And we'll call these holes.
    00:12:28,159And I thought it was helpful to put
    00:12:30,847a turbulent displace effect on it
    00:12:33,334with a low, with a little bit of a lower size
    00:12:38,744and not a very big amount.
    00:12:40,090Just to make them not so perfect.
    00:12:44,839Okay and then set the transfer load of this holes layer
    00:12:48,740to silhouette alpha.
    00:12:50,182And what that's gonna do is it's gonna knock out anything
    00:12:53,824where there's an alpha channel.
    00:12:55,570Okay, so now I've created transparency there.
    00:12:58,461Cool, alright, so now here's where
    00:13:00,781we get into the meat of this tutorial.
    00:13:03,530So we've got this neat thing, right,
    00:13:06,637but there's no depth to it, there's no color
    00:13:08,211and what's cool is, you can treat After Effects
    00:13:11,810a little bit more like a compositing program, right.
    00:13:14,625Like when you're starting out, what you're tempted to do
    00:13:19,052is try and just, let's make this shape the color we want.
    00:13:24,795And let's make this shape the color we want.
    00:13:27,006And then if we want to drop shadow,
    00:13:28,411we'll put a drop shadow effect on this.
    00:13:30,189And if we want a stroke, we'll add a stroke to this.
    00:13:32,722And you can do it that way, but if you really wanna have
    00:13:37,674total, total control, treat After Effects like
    00:13:40,495a compositing program.
    00:13:42,067So here's what I mean, and by the way,
    00:13:44,940I haven't organized this very well at all.
    00:13:47,636So let me just quickly take all of these pre-comps
    00:13:49,332and stick them in here.
    00:13:51,974Take our comp, and we'll call this goop.
    00:13:55,517Alright, so now I'm gonna take my goop comp.
    00:13:58,286And this is where we're gonna composite.
    00:14:04,171First thing, let's pick some nice colors.
    00:14:06,854And we're gonna use the trick that I showed
    00:14:08,095in my color hack video.
    00:14:10,881We're gonna use Adobe color,
    00:14:13,454which is one of my favorite tools now.
    00:14:17,361And let's just try and find some interesting,
    00:14:20,213this is a pretty cool color palette,
    00:14:21,869so let's use that.
    00:14:22,882So first, I'm gonna make a background,
    00:14:25,860we'll use that blue color, that's fine.
    00:14:30,087Alright, now, for the goop,
    00:14:32,746I want to try and get,
    00:14:35,359I want this kind of faux three D but cartoony feel.
    00:14:40,149Okay, that's what I want.
    00:14:41,966So how can we get that?
    00:14:43,737Well, I did it by building it up in layers.
    00:14:46,383So first, let's figure out what's the base color
    00:14:48,542of this thing?
    00:14:49,494Base color.
    00:14:51,558I wanna pick a base color for this.
    00:14:53,496So I'm gonna rename this comp base color.
    00:14:55,958I'm gonna add a generate fill effect to it.
    00:14:59,987And let's pick one of these colors.
    00:15:01,307Okay, that's cool.
    00:15:02,514I like that color, that's nice.
    00:15:06,365There we go.
    00:15:07,361So now, let's start adding layers to this okay.
    00:15:11,391If I wanted a nice little stroke around it
    00:15:15,363how might I do that?
    00:15:16,685Well I could try to do it on this same layer,
    00:15:18,922but there's no need I can just duplicate it.
    00:15:21,211And we'll call this stroke.
    00:15:23,845Now what color should the stroke be?
    00:15:25,918Let's not worry about that yet.
    00:15:27,030Let's figure out how can we make a stroke from this?
    00:15:30,697So, there's a bunch of different ways
    00:15:32,893you can sort of get an outline effect for
    00:15:34,968in After Effects.
    00:15:36,132One way is you could actually add a layer style
    00:15:38,284to it that will do it.
    00:15:41,713That does create some issues layer styles
    00:15:44,111can act funny with motion blur and things like that.
    00:15:46,929So I actually use a more compositing type of way to do it.
    00:15:52,079And they way you do it is this.
    00:15:53,855You add an effect called a simple choker.
    00:15:57,697And what this does is it expands or contracts
    00:16:02,005the alpha channel of an object.
    00:16:04,687And so if you expand,
    00:16:06,510basically this is what I'm gonna do.
    00:16:08,044If duplicated my stroke, like this,
    00:16:11,488on the bottom copy if I expanded my matte out,
    00:16:15,157and then I said alpha inverted matte
    00:16:19,137of the original.
    00:16:20,088So basically I expanded my layer
    00:16:22,482and then I'm using the original version of that layer
    00:16:25,095as a matte.
    00:16:26,087And it creates a stroke like this, okay.
    00:16:30,558Pretty clever.
    00:16:31,796So we're gonna do that.
    00:16:33,651Now the simple choker isn't gonna give us,
    00:16:37,556it doesn't let you pull it out that far.
    00:16:39,798It doesn't let you pull that off channel out
    00:16:41,256as far as I'd like.
    00:16:42,871So what I'm gonna use is actually a different effect
    00:16:45,971in the channel menu called mini max.
    00:16:49,300And mini max kinda does a similar thing.
    00:16:52,190It does it in a different way.
    00:16:54,465But it'll work well for what we're gonna do.
    00:16:57,536So what I wanna do is first set the channel to color,
    00:16:59,891alpha and color, okay.
    00:17:01,995'Cause I wanna expand the alpha channel.
    00:17:04,026And the default setting for this is maximum
    00:17:06,171and if I expand the radius, you'll see what it does.
    00:17:08,368It sort of expands out all the pixels.
    00:17:10,767So if I expand this out a little bit,
    00:17:12,908now if I can get, if I can basically knock out
    00:17:17,418the original footprint of this layer,
    00:17:19,531I will have an outline, which will be great.
    00:17:23,014So one way you can do this while only using one layer
    00:17:26,416is to use one of my favorite effects,
    00:17:28,893which is channel CC composite.
    00:17:31,578And then you can say composite the original
    00:17:34,193as a silhouette alpha.
    00:17:36,768So this basically takes the original layer
    00:17:38,917before you used mini max on it
    00:17:41,361and it composites it on top of the result
    00:17:44,511of the mini max in a silhouette alpha composite mode
    00:17:48,039which knocks out a layer where ever there's an alpha.
    00:17:51,394So now you've got this nice stroke,
    00:17:53,005and you even get a little stroke where there's goop there.
    00:17:57,215And you can control the thickness of the stroke
    00:17:59,826by adjusting the mini max number.
    00:18:03,510So you really quickly get this interactive stroke.
    00:18:05,371And what's cool is this is actually real stroke.
    00:18:08,644This is transparent everywhere except where you see a line.
    00:18:12,500So then if I bring my fill effect down here
    00:18:15,726and turn it back on, I can easily colorize that fill too.
    00:18:19,876Alright, so, let's pick a darker color for that fill.
    00:18:24,478Let's see what happens if I use a lighter color
    00:18:25,883like yellow.
    00:18:26,721It's kinda hard to see that
    00:18:27,589so why don't we just make a nice dark,
    00:18:30,444let's do a nice dark purplish color.
    00:18:34,867There we go.
    00:18:36,977Alright, cool, so already you got
    00:18:39,129this sort of cartoony, cel-shaded looking thing
    00:18:42,197because you got a nice stroke
    00:18:43,891and you have total control over the stroke.
    00:18:46,747Because it's on it own layer.
    00:18:47,839And if you wanna then just play with the opacity of it,
    00:18:50,074you know, make it less or more.
    00:18:52,502It's really easy to do that.
    00:18:54,291Alright, so now let's try to get some three D depth
    00:18:56,932to this.
    00:18:59,016So again, you can try and do it all on one layer
    00:19:02,568by stacking a bunch of effects.
    00:19:05,215But I like separating it out and being able to easily mix
    00:19:08,456and composite between them.
    00:19:09,903So let's duplicate the base color again.
    00:19:12,179And we'll call this, why don't we just call this depth.
    00:19:16,467Alright, so what I wanna do, this is the strategy,
    00:19:21,807I'm gonna use an effect in the perspective group.
    00:19:26,659It's called a bevel alpha, right,
    00:19:29,738and if I crank up the edge thickness,
    00:19:31,228what it does, it's the same as the bevel tool
    00:19:33,750in Photoshop.
    00:19:35,366It sort of takes the contour of the image
    00:19:37,496and it makes one side dark and one side light.
    00:19:39,947You can control the light angle,
    00:19:41,981you can control the thickness
    00:19:42,814and you can control the intensity.
    00:19:44,836But it just looks hard, it looks like, I don't know,
    00:19:49,132there's this hard edge to it, it doesn't look soft.
    00:19:52,757So that's not gonna work all that well
    00:19:56,410unless I can treat it.
    00:19:57,863So what I wanna do, is first I wanna create
    00:20:01,144this depth in a way that I can composite it
    00:20:03,952on top of my base color.
    00:20:06,269So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna fill that layer
    00:20:09,488with a perfectly gray color.
    00:20:11,395So I'm gonna set the brightness to 50,
    00:20:13,801I'm gonna set the saturation to zero.
    00:20:16,153And now I've got perfectly gray color
    00:20:18,576with the bevel alpha effect on it.
    00:20:20,854And I can turn the light intensity up with this.
    00:20:24,515And now what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna add a blur effect.
    00:20:27,326So I'm gonna fast blur this.
    00:20:30,193And you can see that now,
    00:20:31,605it's just sort of mushing all that together.
    00:20:34,457And I may wanna pull the light intensity down
    00:20:36,895just a little bit.
    00:20:38,748Awesome, and now I've got this nice shading,
    00:20:41,517but it's all blurry and crummy.
    00:20:44,415So I could do the same trick
    00:20:47,107that I did on the stroke, right?
    00:20:49,252I can grab that CC composite effect,
    00:20:54,886and I can say composite the original as a stencil alpha
    00:20:59,560instead of silhouette alpha.
    00:21:01,054Stencil alpha means it's gonna knock out that layer
    00:21:03,415anywhere that there is no alpha.
    00:21:05,996So it takes the original unblurred, unbeveled thing
    00:21:09,508and it just uses it as a matte.
    00:21:11,326And now it's all one layer.
    00:21:13,114Now the reason I made this gray
    00:21:16,213is because now I can go into my mode
    00:21:18,483and I can use some of these different modes here
    00:21:20,883like hard light.
    00:21:23,077And hard light is gonna brighten the bright pixels
    00:21:25,682and darken the dark pixels.
    00:21:27,704And let me just kinda step through what I did here.
    00:21:30,241I have my bevel alpha, right, which looks like garbage.
    00:21:33,678But then I fast blurred that to make it a little bit softer
    00:21:36,862and more spherical looking.
    00:21:38,931And then I used the CC composite
    00:21:40,744to get rid of all the blurry parts I didn't want.
    00:21:44,694What's cool is this is working on a layer
    00:21:47,281that's moving.
    00:21:48,520So you can see even here you get
    00:21:49,969some nice little shading to it.
    00:21:53,815That's just fantastic.
    00:21:56,127Alright, and then the last thing I did,
    00:21:58,072let me duplicate base color one more time.
    00:21:59,850We'll call this shiny.
    00:22:01,542I wanted like a nice, kind of light specular hint
    00:22:05,060to this whole thing.
    00:22:07,313So what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna do the same trick
    00:22:09,314I did with depth, I'm gonna fill,
    00:22:11,226I'm just gonna copy the fill effect here.
    00:22:13,423Fill my layer with gray.
    00:22:15,611And I'm gonna use an effect,
    00:22:16,807I've actually never used it before,
    00:22:18,912and it's called CC plastic.
    00:22:21,970It's a really interesting effect.
    00:22:23,957And it basically kinda does the same thing as bevel alpha
    00:22:26,347except it does it in a way
    00:22:27,716that makes things look very shiny.
    00:22:29,908And After Effects is filled with a lot of these CC effects
    00:22:36,631that really the only way to get the hang of them
    00:22:41,427is to just try each one.
    00:22:43,037Like I have no idea, I really couldn't tell you
    00:22:45,100what Mr. Smoothie does,
    00:22:47,047but I'm sure there's some useful purpose for it.
    00:22:49,943But plastic seemed to do exactly what I wanted in this case
    00:22:53,597which is to give me a nice specular.
    00:22:56,703And so what I wanted to do was instead of using
    00:22:59,272the luminance of my layer, right,
    00:23:01,939so it takes layer and it uses some property
    00:23:04,038of that layer to create sort
    00:23:05,606of a fake three D version of it.
    00:23:07,677So instead of luminance, I'm gonna use alpha.
    00:23:10,067And I'm gonna soften it a little bit
    00:23:12,464so I get a little bit more
    00:23:14,251of a nice, little specular hit there.
    00:23:18,193And I'm gonna adjust the height
    00:23:20,438so we get something like that.
    00:23:22,260And then I'm just going to do down to shading
    00:23:25,152and mess with these settings.
    00:23:26,344So I can turn the roughness up,
    00:23:28,947so I can see more, or if you turn it down you see less,
    00:23:31,478becomes a little big higher of a specular.
    00:23:34,116Metal kind of makes that specular spread out
    00:23:37,022a little bit more
    00:23:38,053and I kind of wanted that nice, hard specular.
    00:23:40,505Now because I did this on a gray layer,
    00:23:43,363and actually maybe the thing to do
    00:23:44,612is do it on a black layer.
    00:23:47,335So now I can set the transfer mode of this to add.
    00:23:50,810Right, and so now I'm just gonna get a nice glow there.
    00:23:56,024And because it's working on this pre-comp
    00:23:59,091which has all this motion to it,
    00:24:00,416it even sort of follows the contours
    00:24:02,651of the dots as they're ripping apart.
    00:24:07,956So now we've got all of these layers to this image
    00:24:11,598but they're all built up from different copies
    00:24:14,300of the same comp, and this makes it really easy
    00:24:16,201if for some reason I want that specular highlight
    00:24:20,657to be a different color.
    00:24:22,495Well, that'd be really easy now.
    00:24:23,989I can use a tint effect
    00:24:26,841and I could tint that white to be maybe that yellow color
    00:24:29,835and get a little bit of, let's try that orange one.
    00:24:33,385And get like a different kind of feel to it.
    00:24:38,154And then you can also do stuff like,
    00:24:41,172and this is another thing I do.
    00:24:42,634If I wanted these to cast a shadow,
    00:24:44,581instead of using an effect to make that shadow,
    00:24:48,172I might just duplicate a layer,
    00:24:50,568call it shadow and maybe fill it with,
    00:24:54,424let's pick a nice dark color here.
    00:24:56,836So why don't we use this for the basis of our shadow
    00:25:00,444but darken it even more.
    00:25:03,454And then I'll just use a fast blur.
    00:25:07,724And I'm just gonna move this layer down
    00:25:09,505and over a little bit.
    00:25:11,329Turn the opacity down.
    00:25:15,020Right, and so now I've got a shadow
    00:25:16,013that I have total control over too.
    00:25:19,571Right, so what I'm hoping you guys are seeing is
    00:25:21,061that you can try and get things to look they way you want
    00:25:25,981by just trying to find the right effect
    00:25:28,670and trying to find the right settings.
    00:25:30,415But a lot of times it's better if you break your image
    00:25:32,951down into separate pieces and just figure out that one piece
    00:25:36,602at a time.
    00:25:37,515How do I make a stroke?
    00:25:38,558How do I add some depth?
    00:25:40,329How do I add a nice shiny specular to it?
    00:25:42,934How do I add a shadow to it?
    00:25:46,255And just break it down piece by piece
    00:25:48,533so you have total, total control.
    00:25:51,102One little thing too that I want to point out.
    00:25:53,907So on the little demo here,
    00:25:57,596this I exactly how I made this,
    00:25:59,466the only difference is if we come in and we look
    00:26:02,741at this there's one extra little piece
    00:26:05,064which is the little splatter.
    00:26:07,307So let me just copy that and put that in our comp.
    00:26:14,114So when that splits, you get that nice little splatter.
    00:26:19,131This is actually an example of secondary animation.
    00:26:24,520And I've used this term incorrectly in the past,
    00:26:26,347but what's happening is these two balls are ripping apart
    00:26:33,375and that's causing a reaction
    00:26:38,442of sort of this burst of smaller particles
    00:26:41,966in the middle.
    00:26:43,456And that burst is the secondary animation, right?
    00:26:46,844The primary is the two things ripping apart
    00:26:48,781and the secondary is that burst.
    00:26:50,763Another thing I didn't do in this demo yet,
    00:26:53,832let me show you because this will help a little bit too.
    00:26:57,107I didn't do any squash and stretch.
    00:26:59,186And that can really help.
    00:27:02,255All you need to do is basically adjust
    00:27:04,948and key frame the scale of these balls.
    00:27:07,628So let's go forward to this frame here
    00:27:10,085and let's just stretch both of these out a little bit.
    00:27:12,739Let's make them stretch to like, 110.
    00:27:17,900And when you're doing squash and stretch,
    00:27:19,225if you stretch by ten percent
    00:27:21,011you need to shrink by ten percent on the other axis, right.
    00:27:27,649So x goes up ten, y goes down ten.
    00:27:30,705And that way you can maintain the same volume.
    00:27:33,937So it's gonna stretch out,
    00:27:36,252and it's gonna probably stretch out even a little more
    00:27:38,950until about here.
    00:27:41,894So now let's go to 120 and 80.
    00:27:47,178And then when it gets over here,
    00:27:48,710it's gonna squash a little bit.
    00:27:50,744Because it's gone really fast and now it's slowed down.
    00:27:53,778So let's bring this to 95 and 105.
    00:27:57,291And just notice, I'm always making sure
    00:27:59,029that those two values add up to 200.
    00:28:02,345And then it's gonna go back to normal.
    00:28:03,893So it's gonna go to 100, 100.
    00:28:08,990Alright, and now let's take a look at our animation curves.
    00:28:13,007Alright and you can see that they are very sharp.
    00:28:17,219And so I'm just gonna sort of manually go through
    00:28:22,175and make sure that there's no hard edges here
    00:28:25,614and that when things get to extremes
    00:28:27,722there's these nice eases.
    00:28:33,976Right, and in general, you're just looking
    00:28:36,752for nice smooth animation curves.
    00:28:38,889You don't always want that,
    00:28:40,919but it's a good rule of thumb to aim at that
    00:28:42,954and then adjust if it turns out that's not what you want.
    00:28:46,481Let's take a look at what we got.
    00:28:48,166Yeah and you can see,
    00:28:50,368and I need to do it to the other one,
    00:28:51,291but that just adds a lot of, a little bit more oomph
    00:28:53,695and momentum to it.
    00:28:56,380Alright, so let's do the same thing here.
    00:29:01,681And then we should be good to go.
    00:29:03,836So while I'm adjusting this, I just want to say,
    00:29:06,573try this stuff out.
    00:29:09,762I know that it's nice when you watch a video
    00:29:11,667and maybe you learn some new tricks.
    00:29:12,944But if you don't use it,
    00:29:13,934it's not actually gonna stick in your brain.
    00:29:16,751And usually for me, to be honest, it doesn't work
    00:29:19,429and stick in my brain until I use it twice.
    00:29:22,813So if you actually take the time to rebuild
    00:29:25,994this whole set up.
    00:29:27,904And then go through the process
    00:29:29,062of experimenting with all of these different layers
    00:29:32,982and to get a three D effect that looks the way you want,
    00:29:39,074you're gonna kinda wrap your head around this better
    00:29:40,973and it's gonna be more useful to you.
    00:29:43,159So that little squash and stretch did help a lot.
    00:29:45,595It makes it look a lot more sticky and goopy.
    00:29:49,968So there you go.
    00:29:51,348We kinda jumped all over the place in this video.
    00:29:53,470But what I really hope you got,
    00:29:55,123in addition to a neat little trick
    00:29:56,653which maybe is useful,
    00:29:57,685I hope you understand you can do stuff like this
    00:30:00,550with literally any layer in After Effects
    00:30:03,074and then once you're done
    00:30:04,771you can pre-comp all these together
    00:30:07,449and just call this goopy.
    00:30:08,982Right, and so now you've got all of that work
    00:30:10,638and it's all saved.
    00:30:11,670And if you wanna have three copies of this,
    00:30:15,180it's really easy to do.
    00:30:17,578So think in terms of breaking effects down
    00:30:22,903and breaking them into individual components
    00:30:25,879that you have total control over.
    00:30:27,618And if you ever decided to learn Nuke,
    00:30:29,603working this way in After Effects is gonna be very helpful
    00:30:32,696because it's gonna help your brain work the right way.
    00:30:35,886Because in Nuke, this is sorta how you have to think.
    00:30:38,826Anyway, I hope this was useful.
    00:30:40,660Thank you guys so much for watching.
    00:30:42,524And I will see you guys next time
    00:30:43,729on 30 Days of After Effects.
    00:30:46,126Thank you so much for watching.
    00:30:47,490I hope you learned some cool stuff.
    00:30:49,234And I hope you rearranged some things in your brain
    00:30:51,846that will help you think a little bit more like a compositer
    00:30:54,554even when you're doing animation and design
    00:30:56,669in After Effects.
    00:30:58,695Because the two disciplines have a lot of overlap.
    00:31:00,995You can really become a better motion graphics artist
    00:31:02,929by working on your compositing skills.
    00:31:05,700If you have any questions or thoughts about this lesson,
    00:31:07,930let us know.
    00:31:09,299And don't forget to sign up for a free student account
    00:31:11,534to access project files for the lesson you just watched
    00:31:14,350plus a whole bunch of other goodies.
    00:31:16,786Thank you so much for watching this.
    00:31:17,982I hope you got a lot out of it.
    00:31:19,136And I will see you next time.
    00:31:21,488(tapping sound)
    00:31:25,114(energetic music)