studio 3

Project Breakdown

Pitch & overview Project:

Body of work:

All working files for all projects:

Donut Project:

Hiccup project:

Lava lamp Project:

Showreel title:

Drip experiment:

Art station link:

Some assets from the Donut Project:


Some renders from the Lava Lamp project:


For each project I watched tutorials and read forums when I encountered issues:

Donut Project:

Clock zoom
Since the donuts and alarm clock are different sizes I made my alarm clock from different pieces I made, like the donuts are modified mint donuts, that are all the same but I just paint bucketed them colours, then shrunk, duplicated and rotated them on the clock face. I then just made a circle over one of the donuts to match the size, shrunk, duplicated and placed the donuts around the clock face. I also duplicated the clock handpieces and adjusted them so they look good enlarged. I realise now I should have made the donut sized clock first, but I didn’t think about how I would need another clock face.
Then in after effects, I animated each clock in a separate file. I linked the handpieces to the clocks, I linked the big hand to the small hand so I could just animate one hand. I adjusted the pivot points on the hands to the center.  I had to make minor adjusts to the animation as sometimes the big hand or even the little hand would move so you could see the ends of the hands where they should be covered by the center dot. Then I  took a png from the donut sized clock and placed it at the end of the alarm clock sequence. I imported the donut size clock assets. Over a second I animated the clock starting by keyframing its size at the end (the donut sized clocks normal size) then going to the start and scaling it down and positioning it and rotating it so it matches up well. Then I watched the animation, shortened the shrink time if needed and made keyframes where necessary for position and rotation.
Colour shrink
I made layers in from photoshop of the panels. Then brought these into after effects and opened the Photoshop composition, then keyframed them full size and then shrinking them to box size, which required me to and sync the scale (which makes both axis scale at the same rate/ scale together). I then just went through and made the keyframes the same on all of them, just looking at the previously animated ones for their scale. I experimented with having them out of sync as well.
Box lid
I did the box lid through going into photoshop with a render from the clue shrinking, where the boxes are present. I then made the lids in photoshop the same size as the boxes. I then took them into after effects, in the same file I used for the shrink test. Then I made the lid a 3d later and animated it on the z-axis rotating 180 degrees. Then the letters fade in once the box closer by animating the opacity. Animating the lids required me to move the anchor point to the bottom edge that is theoretically connected to the box. The lid had to be scaled up and moved sometimes to stop it from having gaps in the wrong places. I then expanded on this and added the donuts and tried to replace the lid with one with the letter on it. Put the letters can be seen backwards through the start of the rotation. So I kept my initial lid and then at a certain point had it fade out and then be replaced by the lid with the letter on it. The lid with the letter on it had to be resized when imported and sometimes rotated 180 on the x or y orientation as the letter was the wrong way.
When compiling my doughnut video especially and even when making the various scenes for the doughnut ad I realised how difficult it is working across multiple files when then files have to be in sync/ blend together. I should have realised earlier during the world builder project with Jordan. I would often import a rendered form the previous file to ensure that things link up, like their positioning, size and rotation. This worked fairly well for the end scene when the doughnuts slide in coloured panels, just before the panels turn into boxes. But with the transition between clock and doughnut it was a lot harder and even after taking note of position, anchor point, rotation and scale from the doughnut-sized clock and double checking the details from the alarm clock transitioning clock. I couldn’t figure out why there was a glitch in the rotation and position. It’s very frustrating. I should work more in pre-compositions and this was a downside of doing tests and just polishing them and using them for the final thing. Although I did enjoy working through the ad in scenes. I thought it kept everything more compact regarding making sure there weren’t too many layers and that I couldn’t accidentally screw up the timing of different scenes/sections. I felt it also kept things interesting and as I could either tweak one scene and then learn something new for another. Depending on what I was in the mood for to an extent. It also allowed me to make sure that everything would work and ensured that if one scene had to change the other scene could still be adjusted to accommodate the change if necessary.
Tutorials watched:

Really helpful, I used this to replace layer in my box lid experiment. When replacing layers some of the letters when rotated with the old keyframes, had the letters upside down and when fixed the rotation had to be adjusted to match the rest again. I had to do this mainly by guessing.

Very simple tutorial was kinda surprised that it is done using stroke, but it makes sense. Very simple. I haven’t seen someone just copy stuff in after effects before. I’m used to always import it, I’m curious to see how it saves what you copied in. making it a shape layer I feel like could be optional, as I was thinking of doing this with different colour sprinkles, I think I would have to modify the technique, either just experimenting with how using a png and see how it animates it, as he turns off an option called “stroke sequentially”. I could also follow his method but draw fewer lines in the first place and then just make different layers different colours and animate each layer individually which could create an interesting effect it if I modify the timing of things.

This one is done completely in after effects which is interesting and i like how its dots and may use this method to layer onto the simple line one.

This one shows an offset option in trims paths, which offsets both the start and ends of the path, keeping both ends of the path moving. This method could be the best way for me to animate mine. He animates one line, although the line appears to be more of a dot because of the speed between the end and start are. He then uses an expression to multiply the number of lines, and with rotation creates a circle. The method includes making a shape layer, then drawing a straight line, adding trim paths and animating it, then in rotation  typing the expression “index*360/number of lines wanted”, then duplicating the layers

This guy has of the tutorials I have watched like the dot to the line and is really good. This is also all with after effects and is similar to the previous tutorial I watched, but he animates the size and position of the rectangle path/line it bursts. Then add a repeater and that’s how he duplicates his line and adjusts the rotation by typing 360/number of lines.

Copying Keyframes wasn’t working, I was missing the step where I selected the layer I wanted to copy onto, even though it was the same layer. Just also had to make sure I moved the time slider.

To do my circle burst tests  I combined techniques that I learned from 

Although I didn’t watch all the tutorial, just until I got the information 


I drew the line using the pen tool on a new shape layer, edited the stroke, then added a trim path and animated that. Added a repeater and made copies of it, zero out the position, then duplicate the layer, modify the colour, rotate the entire layer using the transform section. Then offset the timing sometimes. After all this, I sometimes duplicated the layers and have them burst after the first lot is finished. I could rotate all these layers so it looks different from the first bursts.

Alarm Clock sound

Trying to figure out why the sound won’t work

Doesn’t work

This tutorial worked I think, premiere decided to crash after I tried but the sound then worked.

To do the donut zoom, use the donut rotate file. Get a png of the doughnuts in the panels, then have the Oreo doughnut scale down to cover the donut on the panel. Then as more panels are revealed they could slide onto the screen from above or below in alternating order. The other doughnuts that are visible, just use the full-size doughnut asset and then shrink it to the size of the Oreo doughnut when that doughnut appears and then have it shrink at the same rate as the Oreo doughnut. The background will also have to be animated/shrunk in the same way.

Started watching until he said plugin, how he uses and animates the mask is fascinating and I didn’t know you could animate masks. He did leave out information/instructions about shortcuts though.

Skimmed over it and realised how I could do it with the knowledge I already have. By selecting the layer that had the base of the lava lamp I wanted to copy on it I then used the rectangle marquee tool then pressed ctrl c then created a new layer and ctrl v and then ctrl t the layer copy and flipped it horizontally. Then I placed it and merged the layers and made final adjustments.

Look under Effects > Transitions > Clock Wipe.

Radial Wipe – how I ended up doing the doughnut rotate.

Te repeat stage in this tutorial around 8.5 minutes could help me with the little doughnut pattern idea. Like previously thought. I could just use trim paths hopefully.

Again his tutorial shows trim paths to do the doughnut reveal thing I want to do.


Doughnut and showreel title:
Write on lettering
I either installed a new font on the computer and then typed it in after effects, but sometimes I took it into photoshop and drew over it to make it pretty. With the text in after effects edited or not with the layer selected, I would use the pen tool to trace the letters in the order and way I would normally write them by hand. To create curves when I made a new point with the pen I would click and hold and move the point that I just created. That would give me handles and I used the handles to make curves. Then I would add a stroke effect to the text layer, increase the stroke size so it covered the entire text. Made sure all masks are selected and made it reveal the original image, then animated the start and end times.
Donut clock rotation reveal
Since trim paths can only be used on shapes, I used the radial wipe on each layer and just had the layers in the order of the reveal. I edited the start point to match the clock hands, and animated it a bit to work better with the clock hand motion. Then just had its start and end at the same point over the same amount of time for each donut, except the Oreo donut which had no rotation.
Tutorials watched:

This is a very quick tutorial, but it is good to watch how it is done it added to my knowledge that I had from the oteher tutorial I watched and built on one or two of the trouble shooting things that the other tutorial didn’t mention or explain.

This is the best write on tutorial i watched and is very in depth and shows how to overcome some issues like if your text isn’t being revealed properly and that to fix it you adjust the mask or increase the stroke. I shows how to use the pen tool really well and how to do create curves.

Lava Lamp Project:
Lava effects 
Done by creating basic shapes in after effects, rectangles for top and bottom and circles for the lava. I put in some shapes just to act as a guideline so I knew where would be seen. Then putting a turbulent displace effect on top, and editing its evolution at the start and end differently which makes the lava change shape and changing its complexity. The start can be 0, as the displace changes the shape anyway. The higher the complexity the faster it jiggles and changes shape over time.
I then animated its position, and so it went either up to the top of down to the bottom, sometimes becoming apart of the bottom. I would start with one circle and then animate it all the way through then add in others one at a time in different sizes and different evolution rates and placed them where ever suited to make sure there was always something happening and that the lava moved, collided and disappeared when needed.
Made an adjustment layer. Then I added fast blur and adjusted it to blur the edges a bit.
Then put on the choker and adjusted it so it took away the blurred edge. This made the lava more liquidity and made the collisions better.
All the lava is white, I then rendered it out, at 1920 by 1080 then in a new after effects file, I brought in all my assets from photoshop for the lamps which included the glass which I duplicated in after effects and made one see through and placed it over the lava to give it colour then another one behind it for the background glass. Then I positioned the lava layers in the right place to line up with the lamp. All the layers basically just framed the lava. Then I rendered then out them as videos and pngs. The compiled lava lamp files were compiled at the next 16:9 size up from 1920 by 1080 so I wouldn’t lose details in the lava.
Then to bring the lava lamps together I brought in the renders and just animated the lamps moving around the screen. I had to make duplicates layers of blue and orange to have it animated the way I do. Then I rendered it out again.
Tutorials watched:

This is the only tutorial for the lava lamp animation, I watched up until he put the turbulent displace and then got inspired by the idea of creating lava lamps. Draw ellipse. Put turbulent displace on it. Evolution the value that multiples are what animates the blobs jiggle. Ctrl alt and hold down the pan behind the button to recentre the anchor point of an object. Can animate the colour by going under control-eclipse- fill then colour. I then made the lava lamps, then when I went back and animated the rest of the drip experiment when I saw what they did with the adjustment layer. Fast blur and simple choker give the drips a dripping effect. The fast blurs everything while the choker trims back the blur, giving it a neat outline. I made a lava lamp of each colour one with an adjustment layer and one without the adjustment layer as they are both nice. Each colour lava lamp has its own lava animation, the animation had to be adjusted when the adjustment layer was added as it sometimes leads to weird shapes being created, so I would have to simplify of move some lava blobs.

I didn’t end up using any part of the process from this tutorial. Layering different effects on top of each other, roughness although in this tutorial is used at first on very rough lines could be interesting on just turbulence alone.

Wiggle paths, adding making the line jagged or bumpy depending on how you adjust the settings. Details adjust where the bumps are, size is the size of them

Adjustment layers, using fx on those to change the appearance what is underneath, to create one go to layer tab- new- adjustment layer. Roughten edges soften hard edges

Bevel alpha effect to add a bit of dimension.

Skimmed over it and realised how I could do it with the knowledge I already have. By selecting the layer that had the base of the lava lamp I wanted to copy on it I then used the rectangle marquee tool then pressed ctrl c then created a new layer and ctrl v and then ctrl t the layer copy and flipped it horizontally. Then I placed it and merged the layers and made final adjustments.


I made the text in illustrator, this was difficult. Then copied it into after effects. Then animated the letters first, basically creating the whole thing in reverse. Then I went back and made the dots and animated them to end where the lettering starts.
Tutorial watched:

When making a shape pressing a makes you able to edit the shape, if you select vertices when in this mode and press backspace it deletes the selected vertices.

Duplicate parts of other layers to use as measurements and can use to create more letters. Control J connect paths together. Easy ease them using F9. \-] ends a layer so it isn’t seen anymore, I lost 30 mins of work so I had to redo this step. I tried several times and selecting and deselecting different things and rewatched the video to make sure I didn’t’ miss anything, but this shortcut stopped working or when I used it my keyframes disappeared.

To do the c, I duplicated my layers and through the tutorial, I learnt how to reverse or flip the path so I did that for the c vector shape. I just had to reposition the c vector path. The dots are a bit temperamental and need to be redone for each letter

Right click on the path layer, create vector shape. Then go into the vector shape layer and under group add a trim path. Trim paths are what you animate. Create keyframe of both start and end at 0.

Appraisal of finished work:
Overall I’m proud of what I learned over the trimester and the final projects all went well although at times it was confusing and frustrating. Using illustrator was frustrating and didn’t really work. I wouldn’t use a tutorial that had it in it again unless I put more time into learning the program. The overall quality of the work is great and I’m happy with it.
Without knowing what was possible with motion graphics it was hard to know what was possible to create. That made it hard to make/think of projects regarding scale as well as the animation. As motion graphics can be hard to define, the time needed to do the effects as well as asset creation, like morphing objects which is really trending at the moment and looks awesome. The dot to line tutorial part using illustrator didn’t work as I don’t know illustrator well. Making my assets although it improved my digital art skills it ate into time that I could have used doing more animating even if it was experimenting. The polished level I got to on my lava lamp project and doughnut ad is fantastic.
The write on lettering once I learnt it was super easy, the only thing that sometimes mucked up was the layers, which sometimes caused the write on effect to glitch but I would get it working, it happened in particular when I tried to do it with a circle I edited the shape of. But I then just used stroke through the shape layer, without editing the circle.
Future goals and Lessons:
In the future I would learn more complex motion graphics, maybe get someone to make assets for me so I could focus more on the motion and effects. Although I really enjoyed making assets and it has improved my digital painting.
I would like to experiment with cinema 4d, as well as incorporating 3d elements into motion graphics as I feel like it would allow me to do more.
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ECAbrams. (2016, December 17). Dots to lines to letters – Adobe After Effects tutorial [Video file]. Retrieved from



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