To properly animate the Illustrator file in After Effects, all assets must be separated into their own individual layers. It is also important to name each layer appropriately as to not become confused layer in After Effects. The Restore video introduces you to vector animation where you begin with a drawing in Illustrator and then animate it in After Effects. These videos will also build on your knowledge gained from the orchard video where you learned the basics of fading in-and-out transitions, object motion, scaling motion, drawing objects, and adding type. Motion Graphics Adobe After Effects Animation Adobe Illustrator Illustration Vector What You'll Be Creating One of the great advantages of a vector graphic is that it is not only easy to edit and scale to any size, but you can also make it move! 120 Flat Animated Vector Icons is a fantastic template for After Effects. Quickly and easily add colorful, quirky and coolly animated infographics on to your videos. This pack contains 120 animated icons with 8 categories: art & office, beauty, business & work, cinema, electronics, food, holidays and sport. They're easy to edit and customize, using the full color controllers.
Probably everybody has seen popular vector animations on different websites with help of which interesting hero images and animated buttons are created. They add unobtrusive interactions that do not affect the loading speed and do not lose quality on different devices, even if it’s iMac 27 with Retina 5K. I really like that stuff and wanted to learn how to make cool vector animations. I thought that I needed to edit SVG code, but the process of converting animation into platform-dependent code is very tedious and, at the same time, there are high chances that errors may occur. Fortunately, guys from Airbnb with Lottie are here to save us!
You want to ask what Lottie is? It is a mobile library for Web, and iOS that parses Adobe After Effects animations exported as JSON with Bodymovin plugin and renders them natively on mobile! Since the library is based on JSON format, animations are very small in size but can be very complex. Animations can be launched, resized, looped, slowed down and even cleaned in real-time.
To create a vector animation you need to install: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects (Install the Bodymovin plugin to it). Then sign in on lottiefiles.com where you can watch, save and see the preview of your animation in JSON format, or you can also use the loupthibault.github.io/bodymovin-player/ service.
So, let’s go step by step. First of all, you need to draw an image in Illustrator. But there are a few important moments, each element of the picture which you want to animate, needs to be drawn in a new layer. Also, you should not use gradients, shadows, raster images, have to forget about effects, strokes need to be in separate layers and text converted into curves. Another way to do it is to draw shapes in After Effects without Illustrator, but it will work only for simple pictures. The second step is to download and install the plugin Bodymovin. You can download it from aescripts: http://aescripts.com/bodymovin/ . Next, import your image to After Effects, save it in ai format, open, drag and drop it to the timeline, right click your mouse and choose CREATE SHAPES FROM VECTOR LAYER (check the screenshot below).
Now when the image has been imported in After Effects you can start creating vector animation. Try to use fewer keyframes because they significantly increase the file size. Remember, if you do a loop animation, every first keyframe in every layer must be the same as the last one.
The third step - use a Bodymovin plugin for creating JSON file for each animation in After Effects. Each JSON file contains encoded instructions for the whole composition. Bodymovin is very easy to use (see screenshot).
Here we go!
Appealing design, fun animation, great pictures and video is not enough to create a good impression and make sure that a user has best experience. Another vital component is website performance - page loading speed. High-performance websites result in high return visits, low bounce rates, higher conversions, engagement, higher ranks in organic search, and better user experience. Slow websites will cost you money and a bad reputation. I am sure everyone wants to make website more interactive, interesting and unique but at the same time not increase page loading speed. As I have mentioned above Lottie animations or vector animations are really small in size (that's obvious because these are vector, not svg and not gifs), usually several Kb. Not only these animations are really lightweight, but can be reproduced on various OS and even on slow-performing devices and on all screens.
Hope you will use my instructions for beautiful animation in your projects =) Share your animations with me, I will be very happy to see them.
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As we all know the beauty of vector illustrations is having the ability to scale artwork infinitely without any degradation in quality. While this feature is pretty much a safeguard for print based designs spanning multiple paper sizes, it’s also something which can be utilised in motion graphics too.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite of software is fully equipped to bring vector artwork to life, with Illustrator files being fully compatible with After Effects. Despite the fantastic compatibility between the two applications, one of the most common queries online surrounding the two packages is how to make sure vector files scale as they would in Illustrator, within After Effects.
For some, the quickest way to get round this issue of vectors blurring or pixelating in After Effects is to make the original artwork much larger than it needs to be. This of course works to an extent - but what happens if you then need to export your video at a higher resolution?
Without heading back to Illustrator over and over again, here’s the sure fire way to ensure your vectors are always pixel perfect and sharp within After Effects, no matter what size they are to begin with.
Enable Continuously Rasterize on vector layers
1. To kick things off you’ll need to import your artwork into After Effects. You can do this by either selecting File > Import > File / Multiple Files, or instead by dragging and dropping your assets into the project tab in After Effects.
2. With your artwork at the ready, place the vectors you want to use in a composition - arranging them and preparing them as you wish.
3. On each of the vector layers you intend to keep crisp whilst animating, toggle the small checkbox under the Continuously Rasterize column.
That’s it! Really.
But what does Continuously Rasterize do?
By toggling this tiny sunburst icon on each vector layer, we’re instructing After Effects to redraw the source asset on every single frame it is used.
As a result After Effects will read the shape data within our source file and then draw it from scratch every frame - rather than using a rasterized snapshot of the asset as it appears upon importing.
This means you can scale and rotate your illustrations freely without any degradation, leaving your focus on the animation instead.
Here’s a quick example of the feature in action, with flat 2D vectors being used in a faux-3D world, all whilst being continuously rasterized:
What happens if I Continuously Rasterize a non-vector layer?
As much as I’d like to say this magic toggle allows you to zoom into photographs infinitely (CSI forensics style), this feature sadly doesn’t work on rasterized images.
That said, there is one more benefit to this toggle. If checked on a composition (instead of a vector) the sunburst icon will instead enable what’s known as Collapse Transformations. Without going into too much detail of its uses (that’s another post for another time), you’ll be able to take advantage of ignoring the nested composition’s bounding boxes along with the ability to pan around 3D layers that are contained within that composition.
After Effects Simple Animation
Ultimately there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t be enabling Continuously Rasterize on every vector layer you ever import.
This does, however, raise the question “why doesn’t After Effects do this by default?” But this is Adobe we’re talking about..
Adam takes pride in knowing his entire career has been built upon his misspent youth with the Commodore Amiga and Deluxe Paint. From design to animation and anything in-between he's driven by a insatiable desire to push technology in exciting ways.