A little light Wrap

So this was a tutorial done last semester, but I think that it will make for a good “quiz.” Have a look at building a light wrap using either this video,

Or by installing the light wrap script which is part of this set of free AE scripts. You’ll need to create an account with the site, but the download is free.

If you’re wondering what assets to use to make you sample with. I’d suggest using this green screen of confused travolta and any background will do. But I prefer explosions.

Here’s an example with and without lightwrap effects applied:

Tricky Dick with the Hand Buzzer

To be able to use the buzzer in the handshake trick on your After Effect friends, you’re going to want to learn to use wiggle expressions. After Effects allows the use of expressions to hand code a variety of effects, of which the wiggle expression is very easy to apply and commonly used. It allows you to create random motion across a period of time for distance measured in pixels.

You can follow along with the tutorial above using the PSD layered version of Elvis Meeting Nixon. Tricky Dick is up to his typical no good with the hand buzzer. But if you’d like to work with your own assets to illustrate the use of the wiggle expression, please do.

This image was created by working with a simple wiggle expression affecting the Elvis layer.


This image combines the rigging of a puppet with null objects and puppet pins covered previously. Various wiggle expressions are applied to the null objects.


And re-cropped to focus a bit more on the practical joke.

And if you’d like to change the wiggle expression over time with keyframes, you’ll need to use null objects to control the attributes. This tutorial covers that.

Updates on your project assets and animation plans

I thought I’d share another project possibility care of CT Major alumni Leeza Walkes. She created this wonderful remix animation during her motion graphics class in 2011. The project uses a short scene from the film Punch Drunk Love and it is re-envisioned with her characters and backgrounds.

I was inspired by this incredible work to create something much less sophisticated at the time (I barely knew AE then). But I thought I’d share it. The sound is from the film Rocky and the monsters come from Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual, 1st Edition. I think I’ll rework this add some new animation ideas which I think I could pull off now. Like moving the tentacles, claws of the big eye, and I’m going to try and have the broken nosed beast walk into frame.


What do you want to make now?

So for next week I’d like you to write a post about how you’d like to spend the remaining six weeks in this class. You’ve knowledge of some very concrete motion graphics skills at this point, but your level of ability to use them probably varies quite a bit.

There are new skills we can consider such as working with 3D layers and cameras, mapping of a 3D space, green screens, and more.

So please start the process by following the “discovery phase,” research the kinds of things you’d like to learn to do and show examples of work and/or tutorials you’ve found. Describe which processes you’d need to learn and what assets you’d need to gather to do the work. Assemble all this thinking in your post for next week.

*UPDATE – And since I said I share my interests:

Have a look at this Terry Gilliam video in which he describes his cutup/collage animation process for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The Miracle of Flight is a personal favorite. Many of the techniques he employs via stop motion animation could be adapted to After Effects.

Or consider something from a modern motion graphics piece from the opening titles of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. It’s quite long, but parts from the two minutes might inspire a particular approach to work.

And I’ve mentioned this one before, but begs for an additional plug – the real life doodles subreddit. These are wonderful exercises in storytelling and motion graphics. Here’s a video of a number of examples made by Sean Charmatz.

Someone created a very short tutorial for making real life doodles with After Effects and Mocha. I pretty sure Mocha is on the computers in the classroom too if you’re up for it.

Knock, knock your grades are coming…

To date Below is a list of the work that could have been completed by today’s class.

  1. PS – Pen Tool
  2. PS – Hit the Target
  3. AE – Bounce the ball
  4. AE – Sneagator
  5. AE – Motion Tracking
  6. AE – Masking
Homework/Project Work Posts
  1. Movie Poster Asset Creation
  2. Movie Poster GIF Draft 1 with PS
  3. Movie Poster GIF Draft 2 with AE
  4. Movie Poster GIF Final with AE
  5. Text replaces Voice GIF with AE
  6. Text or emoji Motion Tracks with AE
  7. Masking emoji or text with AE

Moving forward we now have a grading scheme which we discussed.


From now on you will be allowed to finish quizes started in class by the next meeting. Also you have the opportunity to submit old quizes by next week as well. After next week though we move forward with quiz per week.

Late submission of posts is generally fine, but realize it’s tough to catch up! Try not to fall behind too much if you can.

As for the “post reflect” ten points that a point for each post which is following good blogging guidelines:

  • A thoughtful title.
  • An embedded media artifact relevant to the assignment (image, video, audio).
  • A clear statement of the post’s purpose.
  • At least one contextual link related to the post’s purpose.
  • A clear statement of reflection.
  • Appropriate grammar and syntax.

You’re welcome to update old posts to have them become eligible to receive this credit. If you have questions about any of this, please let me know.