Tutorial 201: Ugly Sweater

Joe Clay | Dec 13, 2019

In this After Effects tutorial, we take a look at how to build an ugly sweater. We start off by drawing a single stitch, and then repeat that into a full grid. Vertically, we skip every other row because we're coloring these using a source comp that has Mosaic applied to it. However, our Mosaic covers those skipped sections. If we only had one layer of fabric, we'd see the edges.

So instead, we skip rows and then use another copy of our source comp with another Mosaic on it. It needs to match up with the alternated threads, so we move it up with an effect like Motion Tile or Offset so that we don't lose the edges of our source, then we apply Mosaic, and then we shift it back into place. Mosaic doesn't have a setting to shift its effect, so we shift the layer instead.

After that we continue to build our effect procedurally, using adjustment layers to build the background of the fabric from the foreground. We rough it up, and add some fuzz to it to make it more realistic. And then we call it a day.

Many people have created this effect, so look around and experiment to make your own. It's a fun exercise to recreate real-world objects and I'm glad I could share my process with you!

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

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains the After Effects file shown in the tutorial. There's also a few extra pieces in it that weren't demonstrated. It was built in AE 2020 but there's a legacy version that should work back to CC (15.X).

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