Tutorial 67: Glitch Mapping

Joe Clay | Apr 21, 2017

This tutorial expands upon Tutorial 65 to show a much faster way to map and render ASCII characters as well as any other characters or graphics you'd like to map. There's a little bit of setup involved if you want to make custom maps, but there would be anyway. Our project file already has a few included.

See UNVI art's tutorial for a nifty way to use Particle Playground to map characters to luma values.

Note: I ran across an issue when I was making the project file. I had some odd edges on some of my tests—due to the way Mosaic and shapes interact—so I made my gradient horizontal to test and fix this issue, and I realized that only some of the left edge pixels were being incorrectly mapped. Why the left edge? I don't know. But this can lead to small gaps or the map being off one gradient level.

On some things it's noticeable, but on most images it's fine. If you need it to be perfect, you'll have to set your project to 32 bits per channel. The Displacement Map effect must have some optimizations that mess this up in 8 or 16 bpc. This is a little bit slower, but it's surprisingly minimal. It's still workable, even on my laptop. That said, I didn't really notice it throughout most of my testing, so 8 bpc will probably work for the majority of things you'll try, especially if you want to go really glitchy with your look.

The project file is set up in 32 bpc but there's a test comp in there you can look at to see what happens when you switch to 8 bpc.

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Tutorial 66: Point Control

Joe Clay | Apr 14, 2017

This tutorial explores a useful technique for tying a point control to position, so you can freely move a layer around that already has position animated, and save it as a preset. While you can also use the Transform effect for this, this ensures that your vector-based layers stay crisp if you choose to scale them up and you don't have to worry about any bounding box weirdness.

Original expression

hp = effect("Hit")("Point");
[value[0]+hp[0],value[1]+hp[1]];

Simplified expression

hp = effect("Hit")("Point");
value + hp;

Simplified expression with offset

hp = effect("Hit")("Point") - [960,540];
value + hp;

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Tutorial 65: ASCII & Text Generation

Joe Clay | Apr 7, 2017

Today we take a look at using an expression using sampleImage to generate text and make some really slow rendering ASCII art. I'm sure there are faster ways to do this, but this is an academic look at the process behind it, so that you can learn these techniques and hopefully find another use for them.

While I was able to make the intro work, unless you really need this effect, it's not worth attempting. I had to split up my HD frame into 4 quadrants. Two were rendered as stills, and two were rendered as videos. I cut the clips slightly in Premiere, but for about this length each section took an hour to render on my decently spec'd hackintosh.

Also, make sure to check out Mainframe's tutorial on Lester Banks, and that awesome site were I found that ASCII gradient.

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Tutorial 64: Faux Text

Joe Clay | Mar 31, 2017

In this quick tutorial, we look at a quick way to make fake dummy text for animations that are easily modifiable and baed on actual text

The preset contains a version for CC 2017 and 2015.3.

I've also been alerted to the fact that Blokk Font exists. That's pretty awesome. I think I ran across that font, or one like it, a long time ago. But I forgot it existed. It would've been helpful, but at least I figured this out because of that. This technique can also be used in other ways if you're crafty. And you don't have to type anything other than |, haha.

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Feel free to download a preset that you can use in your own projects!

Tutorial 63: Specific Transparency

Joe Clay | Mar 24, 2017

With specific transparency, we can have layers that are transparent when they cross other layers, but are otherwise opaque. This way you can keep a client's color palette accurate, or you can have layers that are selectively transparent so only certain layers below show through. Maybe I should have called this tutorial Selective Transparency? Too late now. There's no turning back.

I also made a new intro and recorded a quick riff for it. Let me know what you think and I'll see you guys next week.

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Tutorial 62: Slice Like a Ninja

Joe Clay | Mar 17, 2017

This week, we take a quick look at using the Set Matte effect to save us from having a bunch of track mattes littering our comp! But if you use this to eliminate extra track mattes, it'll make working in After Effects easier and allow you to make more complex effects. So this is a good building block to utilize.

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Tutorial 61: Seamless Patterns

Joe Clay | Mar 10, 2017

This week we check out a quick technique to set up seamless patterns, for ribbon boards or anything else you need tiled.

x = thisComp.width;
[x,0];

You can divide the comp width to increase the amount of copies. Just make sure to add more copies to the repeater and change the offset. ;)

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Tutorial 60: Advanced Text Animator Attributes

Joe Clay | Mar 3, 2017

This week we explore the advanced attributes of text animators so that we can understand what the hell things like ease high means. Hint: high or "on" is what the properties in the animator are set to, and low or "off" is the default value.

To animate a loop with an angle control, add an angle control to your text layer, name it revolution, and past this into the Range Selector's Offset Property:

r = effect("Revolution")("Angle")%360/360;
if(r < 0)
{
    linear(r,-1,0,-100,100);
}
else
{
    linear(r,0,1,-100,100);
}

In the, hopefully, near future, we'll start a separate series to explore expressions in-depth—including some programming/mathematical concepts that specifically help with After Effects, like range mapping as used in the expression above.

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Tutorial 59: Shape Expressions

Joe Clay | Feb 24, 2017

Update: Barry McWilliams sent us a project file that lets you add circles from the outside, as well as the inside. Download it and check it out! Big thanks to Barry!

I was watching a cool tutorial about tapering a stroke since I've seen that technique around and I was wondering how people were accomplishing it. And of course, as I usually do, I found something that can be used elsewhere to great effect.

I always figured people tapered strokes with similar expressions, but the propertyGroup function was one I was unfamiliar with on the expression side (I've used similar techniques in scripts). Anyway, using that you can find out indexes for various shape elements, which means you can sort of construct your own repeater, using other properties. So now you can do something I've wanted to do for a while—concentric rings in a single shape layer with the same gaps and strokes.

So watch this and watch the School of Motion tapering a stroke tutorial. There are worse ways to spend your time!

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Tutorial 58: Speed Lines

Joe Clay | Feb 17, 2017

So I'm a glutton for punishment apparently, but I figured out how to both make make a preset to add speed lines to your shapes and save a preset with named shape elements. This tutorial shows you how to do both of those things.

Well, to be fair, I thought I knew how to do the latter, but After Effects defeated me at every turn. If I didn't know it were possible, because I did it on the very last preset I built, I would've just assumed it wouldn't work. But I figured it out so hopefully that'll help you too.

A text article on that will appear on the blog, for the future when you need an even better refresher and you go searching for it on google. Haha.

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Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!

Feel free to download a preset that you can use in your own projects!

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