Tutorial 160: Procedural Mechanical Animation

Joe Clay | Jan 25, 2019

This week, we look at a technique for splitting up parts of a precomp using a luma matte. This basically makes a puzzle out of it which allows us to animate each section step by step to produce a mechanical-style animation. And since we built it entirely from one precomp, we're able to put whatever we want in there and keep the same animation.

This can be expanded further using Master Properties so that you can more easily make multiple comps. You could even use Master Properties to make variations of the procedural effect itself so that no two animations are exactly the same. Linking all of the text to Master Properties and building the full look of the example are handled in the BTS available for patrons.

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This After Effects project file contains everything shown in the tutorial, including the graphics and the Master Properties setup to change the text in the precomps. There are legacy versions back to v14, but only v15+ will be able to use Master Properties. If you get an error about a missing plugin, it's probably Deep Glow from aescripts. I'd recommend you grab it as it's way better than the default AE glow.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

Become a Patron

If you'd like to help support Workbench, check out our Patreon page. Thank you for even considering clicking this link to support what we're doing. We appreciate it. Patrons get all sorts of benefits, from R&D files, setups, and elements to early product releases.

Check out our Patreon Today