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4.1 How to Create a Ripple Effect

In this lesson, you will learn how to create a ripple animation using the liquid animation settings and the ellipse shape tool. This is an essential part of your Adobe After Effects title animation.

4.1 How to Create a Ripple Effect

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the liquid animation course. In this lesson, you'll learn how to create a ripple animation using the liquid animation settings and the ellipse shape tool. So to create a ripple effect, we'll want to move to a place in the timeline where the liquid strokes are about to disappear. So let's go ahead and move around here, so you can see both the strokes connect around this point. So that's around when we want the ripple to appear. Just put it around [SOUND], let's put it around this point here, like so. Now, this effect, when added correctly, will give the feeling of impact to the scene. So make sure to deselect the layer, as we are not going to use either of these liquid stroke layers at the moment. And now let's go to the shape tool at the top here. Now hold down the mouse button to reveal more options. And we want to go ahead and select the ellipse tool, like so. Now, along the top of the screen, we want to set the fill option to none. So just click on the fill option and click on Fill and make sure that's been set to None instead of a solid color. And for the stroke color, we want to use the same color as our liquid strokes here. So click on the color here, click on the eye dropper tool, and we can use the eye dropper tool to select the same blue that we're using for our liquid strokes, like so. Now we want to set the stroke to about 40, so the thickness of the stroke to about 40. And now just hold down the Shift key on your keyboard whilst clicking and dragging the mouse button to create a perfect circle, like so. Now let's use the move tool at the top here. So let's try and set the selection tool first. And now we can move the ellipse that we've just created to the center of our screen, like so. We can also use the alignment tools. So if we go to Window and select Align here, we can also move this alignment over here just so we can see what we're doing. And we can use the alignment tools here to make sure that it is set exactly to the center, like so. So I'm just gonna hide the align tool inside this panel here. Cool. Now let's go ahead and rename this layer. Now, to rename this layer, simply right click and then click on the Rename here. And let's go ahead and rename this ripple, like so. Awesome, now let's go ahead and start on animating it. So let's go ahead and open up Contents, like so. So if you haven't opened it up already, just click on the arrow button here. And then let's go ahead and open up the Ellipse options here. Now open up Stroke 1, and here you'll see all the different properties of the circle that we can animate. Now, the one that we're most interested in is the stroke width. So let's adjust the timeline to the point where we want the animation to start, which is around here. And first, we want to animate the size. So go to the Transform, so let's go to Transform Ellipse here. And we want to scale the value all the way down. So let's make sure that we've gone to the scale here. Click on the little timestamp or button here to create a keyframe, and we want to scale this all the way down to 0, so let's make 0 here. And let's move forward about 15 frames. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and then let's change this scale value back up to 100% to create another keyframe. Cool, now you'll see, as we move backwards and forwards in our timeline, you'll see how the circle is now animating its size. Next, we want to animate the stroke width of the circle. So go back to the keyframe where our circle is displayed 100%, and let's set the stroke width to, let's say, 45, like so, just to make it a little bit thicker. Move forward in the timeline around 15 frames. So let's move this around 15 frames again, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, like so. And now let's set the value down for the stroke width to 0. Now, in fact, I forgot to add a stopwatch, a keyframe for the stroke width. So let's go ahead and add the keyframe here, like so. Move forward 15 frames, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And let's make the stroke width up there to 0 to create another keyframe. Now you'll see if we scroll backwards and forwards in our timeline, our circle now animates and then disappears. Cool, now with the ripple layer still selected, let's go ahead and press U on our keyboard just to view the keyframes. And now we can start to adjust the timing of the animation. So for example, if you wanted to merge the animation of the stroke widths and the size transformation, so all we have to do is select the two keyframes for the stroke width, and let's just move them a little bit back so that the two animations overlap. So now instead of animating separately, you'll see as the ripple begins to get bigger, the width also starts to disappear at the same time. It's just moving it a little bit forwards, a little bit more backwards, like so. Cool, now you can also press on the Preview button at the top here just to see what it looks and adjust if necessary. So let's go ahead and do that just to see what it looks like, what the speed and the timing of the ripple is. And that looks pretty good to me. Now let's go ahead and select all the keyframes, like so, and press F9 on the keyboard to easy ease them. Now if you wanted to adjust the speed of the ripple animation, press Alt on the keyboard, and then just simply drag the keyframes, so let's make sure we've got them all selected, press Alt on the keyboard, and just simply drag the keyframes left or right, as we did before with our strokes, to make it slower or faster. Let's go ahead and change this. So I've just made the animations a little bit faster, like so. Maybe a little bit too fast. Let's move it a little bit bigger, like so. See what that looks like, excellent. Now, in order to make the ripple look like it's made out of liquid, we want to start adding some effects to it. So let's go to the Effects & Presets panel again and type in, so let's remove bevel. And we want to type in roughen edges. Cool, so making sure that the ripple layer is selected, double click on Roughen Edges to add it to the layer. So if we move our timeline back to where our ripple animation is, you'll see straight away the edges of the circle are starting to look a little bit more wobbly. So let's change these effects here to make it even more liquidy, so let's go ahead and adjust the border settings here. So let's change the border from 8 to, let's say, 40, to see what that looks like. That's a little bit too much, so let's bring it back down to 30, like so. And we want the edge sharpness from 1 to 10. Now if you scroll back and forth, you'll see how this is affecting the look of our ripple animation. Also, now let's go ahead and add some shadows to this as well. This is exactly the same as what we did to our strokes. So to do this, go back to the Effects & Presets and type in bevel, and let's add Bevel Alpha to this as well. Change the edge of the thickness to 50, like so, and the light angle to -100. And we want the light intensity to be 0.25, like so. Let's see how that affects our ripple animation. Now, from here, I'm just going to make the width of our ripple animation a little bit thicker. So let's go back to the stroke width animation for our ripple here. So let's go back here and instead of 45, let's make it 60, just to make it a little bit thicker, like so. And now we can see how that's starting to animate. Cool, so there we have it, a nice ripple effect. Feel free to duplicate this layer and adjust the size and colors as shown in the demo video to make it more dynamic. In the next video, we'll learn how to make impact splash effects. See you all there.

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