So VFX today, it was complicated to follow to say the least. I think this is the hardest lesson I’ve had so far, things have moved pretty fast for me today and I dunno, I just haven’t been able to keep up. Or follow very well so as for confusion, there’s been lots. And I’ve had issue after issue with a PC that didn’t want to play. Somehow though, I have managed to produce a few things through all of this…it’s just I’m not sure how I I’ve made what I have.

Nevertheless I will try to explain it to you, dear reader, and quite probably to my future self if I ever look back upon these things some day. Or anybody else who’s stumbled upon this in error and is bored enough to actually read it.

Apologies to Peter if he’s reading this as I’ve probably missed a whole load of steps which made stuff happen.

So, inside Adobe After Effects and inside a new composition I defaulted the timestamp to 4 seconds long then copied a file from the X-Drive which we were going to animate – this would be the wording “Trim Paths“.

To start with we moved the ‘outline layer’ onto the bottom control panel then right clicked the mouse and selected the ‘Create Shapes from Vector Layer’ option. From here we selected the ‘Trim Paths’ tool, created a start and end point for the animation to take place in and played it back. I ended up with the animation below.


From here we were to give animation a glow, so I added a glow effect from the effects bar at the right of the screen and altered the glow radius, threshold, intensity and colours to create the following;

This ended up giving the animation not only a glow but also a light trail effect around what reminds me of a neon bulb.

Next we furthered the animations by adding solid wording and having the animation trace around the edges. This is also where things get very hazy for me and where I really had struggles with the lesson. Things were moving so fast and problems were so furious that I got left behind and never got to catch up or knew what I was doing to catch myself up. Anyway, I do remember hitting Layer>Pre-Compose to merge the existing layers together and being able to add new layers and effects onto the top of the previous. Every time a Pre-compose was performed, After Effects treated is as a new composition and before I knew it I had four layers of the things and effects dragged in left, right and centre; like so.


At the end of this process, I did manage produce something…


…but again I don’t know how.

From here we changed paths slightly and started another new composition, but this time it wouldn’t layered on top of the previous layers. Instead we drew a line across the screen, positioned its starting point onto the far right side and applied a Wave Warp to it from the effects menu. Once animated the line reminded me of an electrocardiogram in the way It moved.


This was duplicated twice more so there was three lines waving at once. As the wave warp effect was applied across both duplicates, all that was needed to do was to alter both of their wave heights and width to separate them from the first layer.


Other effects were added, Turbulent Displace and a glow and I ended up with three electrical looking lines. I altered the wave height, width and glow some more on all three lines to see what I could create and also tried to change the colours of each wave but the computer yet again wouldn’t play – neither me nor Peter could get it moving either. That spelt the end of the lesson for me.


So there you have it. I produced a few things but I have no idea how. That also applies to my entire day too incidentally.


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