Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sweeping Circles

I've seen a lot of logos and title intros that use animations like this so I thought I'd give it a whirl (pun intended). This sweeping circles tutorial by Mikey Borup did a great job of laying out the basics. The number of keyframes in the final project looks pretty wild, but it's really a bunch of duplicates.

I set up an animation for one of the circles and then copied it to other circles. Then, all I had to do was move the copied keyframes around a bit to offset them from the other ones. That differentiated the animations enough so it didn't look like they were all moving in the same manner. How is this different than Premiere shape layers? In Premiere, you can generate shape layers, but as far as I know, you can't animate the paths (start and end), change the stroke width, easily turn a circle into a dashed line, or add a repeater to make one shape layer into ten. These are just a few of the things the tutorial covered, and I was reminded of how deep the effects panels go in After Effects.

The final animation is pretty random, but I'm happy that I took some time to play with it. Right now, I'm seeing this really useful in creation some animated lower thirds. One or two large circles like this would be a slick way to reveal some text or even a video clip. I can also see it useful for animating pie charts and other forms of data. Eventually, I'll probably start generating some title sequences with animated shape layers like this, but I'll probably start small. We'll see what opportunity comes first. One more tool added to the toolbox. 

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