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");

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