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Introduction to Motion Graphics in After Effects

1          We are going to start this lesson by creating a simple animation of circle ring sweeping with the help of Ellipse Tool. Create a circle in the center of composition and delete the 'Fill' sub layer in order to remove the color filling inside the circle and leave the stroke on the circle. Increase the stroke amount to 110 and change the color to orange.

2          Add in Trim Paths effect to the Ellipse 1 Layer which will help us in trimming down the stroke shape from the end or the start. Now in order to create a sweeping circle animation we will animate the Start and the End parameters of the 'Trim Paths' effect one after the another. Create a 20 frame long animation cycle of the 'Start' parameter stating from the 1st frame, while another 20 frame long animation cycle of the 'End' parameter starting from the 11th frame, catching the 'Start' parameter. Select all the key frames and press F9 in order to give a smooth touch to the animation.

3          Now we will create some more Shape Animations by manipulating the copies of this circle sweep animation. Select the shape sub layer 'Elipse 1' and rename it as 'Orange Circle Sweep'. Create a copy of the same and rename it as 'White Circle Sweep' and place it under 'Orange Circle Sweep'. Increase its stroke value to 360 and change the stroke color to white. Select all the Trim Paths 1 keyframes and move them 5 frames ahead in order to make the white circle sweep shape layer follow the orange circle sweep shape layer.

4          As discussed earlier we will now be creating some copies of the circle sweep animation in order to generate a much nicer look of multiple circles sweeping and creating something. Create a copy of the 'White Circle Sweep' and rename it as 'Blue Circle Sweep'. Place it at the bottom and decrease its size to 125 while also decreasing the size of the stroke to 125. Change the color of the stroke to Blue and reverse the current animation of the sweep to counterclockwise by just moving the starting key frames at the start of the animation to the end, and re organizing the key frames a bit so that the animation matches the other circle sweeping animation.

5          Lets add some other cool things to the animation so far, like dashed lines. Duplicate the 'Orange Circle Sweep' shape layer and rename it as 'Dashed Circle Sweep'. Change the color of the stroke to yellow and decrease its stroke size to 16. Also decrease the size of the circle to 340 in order to place it between the previous shapes. Dive inside the Stroke 1 parameters of the 'Dashed Circle Sweep' layer and press the '+' sign on the Dashes parameter twice in order to get Dash, Gap and Offset parameters for the shape layer. Increase the value of Dash and Gap Parameters to 78 and 29 respectively.

6          Now we will create the trails for the thick white circle. Duplicate the 'White Circle Sweep' and rename it as 'Trails 1'. Temporarily change its stroke color to black so that we can differentiate it with the base thick white circle easily. Change the stroke width to 25 an re organize the key frames in order to make this circle sweep follow the main white thick circle sweep like a trail. Place the 'Trail 1' circle sweep at the outer edge of the white thick circle by increasing the Circle size value to 1140. Duplicate the Trail 1 layer and decrease its size of the circle to 462 in order to place it at the inner edge of the white thick circle. Select both the Trail layers and change the stroke color back to white.

7          In order to add something more to our animation so far, lets add a new conical shape layer facing downwards and rename this shape layer as 'Triangles'. Add a repeater shape layer effect to it as we want it to repeat 6 copies of the shape in a circular array. Dive inside the Transform: Repeater 1 parameters and bring down the Position value to 0 while increasing the rotation value to 60 in order to complete the cycle of shapes array.

8          Now we will make these triangular shapes to move outwards, and for that we will create a group inside Triangles shape layer with the name of 'Triangle Offset' and put the Path 1 layer inside it. Dive inside the 'Triangle Offset' shape sub layer and inside the 'Transform: Triangle Offset' parameters create some key frames for the Y Position in order to make the triangle shapes move outward individually starting from the center. We can play with the scale parameters in order to create the spawning of the triangles effect.

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