Tutorial 199: Bit Growth

Joe Clay | Nov 4, 2019

My apologies to Josh Yeo. Go check out his channel! If you're interested in filming and you like what we do, I think you'd like him. Plus he's entertaining, and he's got a great shirt.

So in this week's After Effects tutorial, we take a look at a simple bit growth effect. It basically takes a greyscale map, uses Extract to animate it in, and then the look is achieved with Mosaic and Find Edges. You could also use CC Image Wipe to animate. Block Dissolve also works wonders for that as it makes the growth more labored and mechanical. Or you could even combine them using blend modes and then run Mosaic and Find Edges—or CC Kernel—in an adjustment layer.

There's a lot of flexibility in this technique, but what helps to sell it most is to set Find Edges to blend with the original, instead of using it at 100% intensity. That gives this look a depth it wouldn't normally have.

I also mentioned our Procedural Circuitry Tutorial so go check that out! It might give you ideas for other uses of this technique.

Expression Code

For the square mosaic, add this code to the vertical blocks setting. I don't remember why I made the variable f in the original, but I've changed it to w here and in the project file for width, since that's what it is.

w = 1920/effect("Mosaic")("Horizontal Blocks");

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains everything shown in the tutorial. It also includes other elements used in the thumbnail and GIF animation as well as some mattes based on the technique, and a few other looks and setups. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 but a version that works in 2017 is included.

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

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