This final project was very rewarding because helped me achieve a personal goal on understanding and working with Adobe After Effects. The purpose of the project was to create a vector-based animation. The only requirements were that it must look good as a still image, involve movement, and it needed to loop. The vector art would be created in Adobe Illustrator and then completed in Adobe After Effects.
During the beginning of this project my wife had our second baby. This put me a little behind but I was determined to complete the project with something I could be proud of. I kept going back into the Pinterest board we were given to see examples. I knew I wanted to do something simple but also clever. It’s amazing to me when a 5 seconds looping gif can make me smile or laugh. This was the feeling I wanted as I started brainstorming and sketching. Below are some of my sketches as I developed my idea. I normally spend a lot of time up front sketching but this time I found what I wanted to do quickly and gave myself more time to illustrate and animate.
Like I mentioned before I spent more time in Illustrator and then even more time in After Effects. Here is what my first drafts looked like. One of the extra steps to make an animated gif from an Illustrator file is to set all objects you want to move in their own layer. I don’t just mean the lizard in one layer and the fly in another. I mean the wing, eye, body, hand, arm, mouth, etc all need to be labeled correctly before importing anything in to after effects.
For years I have wanted but never given myself an chance to learn After Effects. It’s a program with so much potential and can create unique and diverse content. I spent hours following along video tutorials and reading about the software before diving in. Cory Kerr’s tutorials on YouTube were essential in helping my learn valuable tips and tricks. YouTube became my best friend and taught me so much about specific things you can create. I was able to figure out how to make the fly’s wings flap rapidly, create it’s movement using an animation trick, and use expressions to make my life so much easier. I was very happy with the final result and look forward to creating more animations in the future.
Here is the final GIF: