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3.1 How to Use Splines

Now let's look at how to make titles in After Effects from scratch. We'll start by learning how to use splines to create a path for your liquid animation effect.

3.1 How to Use Splines

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the liquid animation course. In this lesson we'll learn how to create our liquid stroke animations, starting with how to use splines to create the path. So let's go ahead and start by creating a new composition. To do this, go to Composition, New Composition and this will open up the competition settings window, where we can set up things such as the size of our video, the frame rates, and the duration. So let's name our competition using the top text box here. And let's go ahead and name this liquid strokes. And then we also want this to decide the size of our video and the resolution of it. Now for this course we will be working in 10 ATP, which is 1920 by 1080 pixels. Next we want to enter the frame rates. So a frame rate of 30 is fine for this course. And then finally, we want to set the duration of our video, which is currently set to 10 seconds. Don't worry too much about the duration for now, as we can increase or decrease this as we work on our animation. Once we have all these sets up, we can now go ahead and click OK. And our first composition will be created. Awesome, now the first thing I want to do here is I want to set up our preview window here so that it fits our panel like so. So just go over here and click to Fit to make sure it fits the panel. Now that we have our black composition, the next thing we want to do is create a new solid. So to do this, go to Layer > New and select Solid. And let's go ahead and name this solid liquid strokes. We want to keep the size the same size as the composition, so 1920 by 1080. Make sure that the color is set to pure black, click OK and then click OK. Next, go to the tools at the top of the screen here, and we want to select the pen tool here or press G on the keyboard. Make sure that the liquid strokes layer is still selected and now all we need to do is start drawing the path for our animation. Now, if you're familiar using a pencil in other applications such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, it works pretty much the same way. When you click on a point using the left mouse button, you create an anchor point like so. Clicking again will create another anchor point, and will create a straight path connecting the two points together. By continuously clicking, you can keep creating connecting points like so. However, doing it this way creates a corner by each point, so it's quite sharp. And if we wanted to create a curved point, so let's say we wanted to create a curved point here, all we have to do is click using the left mouse button and then hold the mouse button down to click and drag. Now we can start creating our path using a curved anchor points like so. So just click and drag the mouse to make them curved. Now remember this is the path of our animation. So you can create any shape of the path that you want. So this is how, if this for example was to be our animation, this is the path that the liquid animation will take. So once you've finished, we can edit the curvature of the path by adjusting the handles of each anchor point. So by going over here you can see we've got these handles, which we can click and drag to adjust the shape off, like so. So let's go ahead and undo these by clicking Ctrl+Z. And let's go ahead and create a curved path for our liquid animation. So I'm just gonna start the liquid animation on the left of the screen here. Let's go ahead and create something around here like so. So I want the animation to go around the screen and then back into the middle. And now, let's go ahead and adjust the handles like so. Just so that we can make the path as curved and as round as possible. Like this. I'm just adjusting it so that it becomes a nice shape for the path to follow. Cool, so for this demonstration I like to make the lines as rounds as possible, just to give the animation a nice flowing and organic look. Excellent, so that's it for this lesson. In the next lesson, we'll learn how to use particles to create the liquid strokes. See you all there.

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