Learn how to make a collage animation in After Effects with this in-depth, step-by-step guide, in just over an hour.
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What You'll Learn: Making an After Effects Collage Animation
- How to use rotoscoping to create multiple layers
- How to create blending effects
- How to motion track
- How to add and use 3D assets
- How to use the Keylight effect in After Effects
- How to make a stop motion style collage animation in After Effects
1.1 Recreate This Collage Effect!
Check out this quick, one minute long introduction video to see what you'll be learning, the creative process that'll lead to your video collage animation in After Effects, and how to put it all together.
2. Getting Started
2.1 Getting Started in After Effects
I'll show you how to set up your composition, including how to create some initial motion by adding a null object, so that we don't have to animate the same movement with every other asset that we put into the composition. I'll go into more detail about null objects in the next lesson.
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3. Creating a Background
3.1 Creating the Base Layer With Null Objects
I'll show you how to add, resize, name, and order some of the things that we'll include in the After Effects photo collage animation. To get these items moving from right to left - following the movement Null Object we made in the last lesson - we need to take the pick whip and drag it over to the movement layer to create layers that are 'parented.' Don't worry, this sounds more complicated than it is and you can follow along with me in this five-minute video.
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4. Making Your Photo Collage Animation in After Effects
4.1 Beginning the Collage Effect
Here, we'll get into creating that collage effect. I'll show you some of my thought process, like choosing points in footage that work better to transition through to the next, and how to adjust them so that they flow seamlessly rather than looking like individual assets.
4.2 Rotoscoping to Create Multiple Layers in Your Animation
I'll show you how to rotoscope efficiently, working only on the parts of footage you'll be using rather than the whole clip.
You'll learn how to separate a subject and then add animation between that isolated subject and the background.
Rotoscoping in After Effects
Select Your Footage
Double-click in Timeline to open the layer in its own panel.
Select the Roto Brush Tool
Use option/Alt+W for the Roto tool
Brush Over Subject
Holding Control or Command while clicking and dragging your mouse, paint over the thing you want to isolate.
4.3 Cutting Things Out to Get the Paper Collage Look
This time, we're not going to rotoscope, I'll show you how to make a rough selection with the pen tool and scale it up.
With a few tweaks like adding a drop shadow and some animation, you'll create something that looks pretty cool and pops off the screen. Here you're essentially making a paper collage animation with After Effects.
4.4 Blending Modes for Overlay Effects: True Detective Effect!
In this video I'll show you how to use blending modes to create some great effects, including a double exposure, and using green screen footage with Keylight. More on Keylight later.
4.5 Freeze Frame in After Effects
We'll use the same effect here as we did in lesson 4.3 but this time we're also going to use freeze frame to stop the motion of a bike jump at the peak of its height, to add some extra drama.
4.6 Motion Tracking in After Effects
In this lesson you'll use rotoscoping again and I'll show you how to add elements to cover up unwanted things like a lamppost, with something that looks a little nicer visually. We'll then motion track that so it stays with the movement in the footage.
"The whole aesthetic is to make things look a little bit thrown together, textual."
5. End Screen CTA
5.1 Creating a Call-To-Action End Screen Animation
In this lesson we'll combine some of the assets we've previously used while making our After Effects collage animation, together with some new ones to make a rough, funky looking scene on which to place some call-to-action text.
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6. Adding Elements and Effects
6.1 Adding Foreground Elements to the Collage Animation in After Effects
If you've made it to this point in our collage animation tutorial in After Effects, you'll have a great base. Now we need to cover joins or gaps, and to help bring in some depth and texture, so I'll show you how to do that in this lesson.
6.2 Using 3D Assets in After Effects
Adding 3D assets means you can spin something around to any angle that you want and create a hi-res PNG of that angle. In this lesson we'll look at how and where you can grab those assets and then how to set them up in After Effects so you can adjust things like the frame rate.
6.3 After Effects Green Screen With the Keylight Effect
We touched on using Keylight earlier but I'll go through that in more detail in this five-minute video. I'll show you how you can use large blocks of colour in footage as a sort of green screen, and key that out with Keylight.
You'll really get a sense of how you can add some cool little effects to give the whole piece more interest and add some fun!
7. Finishing Up
7.1 Adding Some Final Touches
By now you should have a really cool looking collage video with lots of different elements going on. In this final lesson, we'll look at adding some last little flourishes to really finish your project off in style.
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