Designing in After Effects

Sometimes I like to play around inside of After Effects to create the look of a design even if it is a still image.

In this design I used some techniques from a couple of previous tutorials to build a complicated looking badge that is actually pretty simple. Then once I’m happy with the “look” of the design, I try to figure out how to animate it on. I find that After Effects is more flexible and non-destructive than Photoshop so I can design freely. This is also why it is better to start by designing the look first, instead of worrying about how the effects are going to animate on. In this case, because of the shatter effects the flying pieces only look right on frame 3 but I’ll worry about that problem later!

See Full Size Image

I made the logo with some simple shapes and added a track matte to give it some grunge. I used different parts of the texture for each ring to give it variation. Then finally I added some Color Correction to the top. Go Curves!

For the debris I used the  Pixel Poly effect, then added some Action Essentials 2 smoke and debris bits.
Particle Explosion: Pixel Poly Tutorial

POSTED:
2 years ago
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95 Comments

Animator Karthick
11 months ago
how do you do that textures for 3d object ?
Anthem
2 years ago
Andrew is a god. :O Thanks for your projects and tutorials!
2 years ago
Hi Andrew,
I have just - by accident, actually - came across your tutorial .. and your site .. Just wow!

Just - (not quite sure I am happy about that, or not, really) - after about 18 years or being a Photoshop professional (and trainer/tutorial author etc.) - now I feel like ´one-handed only´ .. wondering where I have been all that time - ignoring AE.
I must have been blind ..
A real eye opening.

Never thought I might ever even try out to dip into AE - it looked so much different - and so unrealizable for me - from my limited ´2D still image´ world perspective ..
Now I know, I definitelly can - and will.
Happy for this little accident - finding your site.
Thanks for inspiration.
alena

Btw - love your tuts and your training approach.
So fresh, clear, easy to follow - and yet so comprehensive, and informative. Just couldn´t stop watching, for a few days now.
Thanks.
2 years ago
Great!! Looking forward for this tutorial and project..
Allwell
2 years ago
I am Allwell David Ugonna from Nigeria, am an editor turn motion graphics designer thanks to some of my senior colleagues inspired me and you too Andrew Craman I must confess your site helped me improve my skills; but please I need more from you. I am working on a proposal which is about what I can do to for the jodless youth in my country; so I developed a concept use a channel to get to them involving the state governments is than what you are seeing on this screen that why I need your help to build a team so a to train this youth a get them involve in this channel I have already developed and be useful to their country in the area of more especially quality film production, musical video and Tv shows production across the country. My targets are the undergraduate in the theater art & mass communication department in all universities across Nigeria. Thanks and welcome to greatness. Looking forward for your fit back. Allwell
2 years ago
This effect is really fucking my ass!! Great Andrew!!
2 years ago
Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...!
Andrew did you know your leading now in the After Effects world????
Excellent dude!!!!
Excellent!!!
2 years ago
Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...!
Andrew did you know your leading now in the After Effects world????
Excellent dude!!!!
Excellent!!!
mohamed
2 years ago
Thanks a lots you are the best
Matt Derrick
2 years ago
Looks great! My last project was made almost entirely in After Effects, generating most of the elements (like the light leaks) with native AE fx. Using Element 3D and Optical Flares gave it a beautiful punch too!

Please let me know what you think :) https://vimeo.com/73174187

Matt
Doug
2 years ago
uff thought I'm the only one who designs stills in AE. I tried out using PS but it slows me down so I'm ending up using AE every time when it goes serious. This is my coming out, finally! haha
2 years ago
Showing your process of starting the design first then figuring out how to animate it on would have been perfect for your blog show.
2 years ago
Hello everybody!

I am French it and made maintaining several years when I go every day on copilot video and today I shall have liked showing one of my creation which I shall never have been able to realize without Andrew!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvd3zLMesfQ

I know well that it is in French but don't worry: subtitles will be present!
Brett
2 years ago
Lot of fun playing around and experimenting in AE. There's an excellent series of experiments with native AE filters / effects going on over at John Dickenson's site Motionworks, that can really help spark your creativity. Check it out and go wild.
Brett
2 years ago
I just wish we could export from AE to Photoshop at 300 DPI rather than just 72. Anyone know any tips or tricks for exporting at a better resolution?
I also like to build the 3D elements in AE and then move it over to PS for a polish and a higher quality result.
2 years ago
Hey! Any news on the landscape model pack?
ainky
2 years ago
so cool!I love it!by the way ,i want to prove one thing that the web says
that Harry has disease,and is trying to raise money.Is the things really?
wieslaw
2 years ago
Logo also from 3 D Element.
Thanks Andrzej for simplicity 3 D Element.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_sOj-hHam_Y
John
2 years ago
Would it be possible to get the project file to this demo?
I would like to understand it better in the layering.
L
2 years ago
Cool idea! I am interested in when the new element pack will be available...:) Mr. Andrew you sad late summer...:) hope next week is gonna bomb out and rock as all your great and powerful plugins, effects, objects, tutorials, ideas...
All my respect:
a hungarian guy
2 years ago
Beautiful music and video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDH8OgozfQA
2 years ago
check out this funny short film created with AE and VC plugins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPV4j-bVzxY
2 years ago
Tut, Tut, Tut!!!

Awesome tutorial
2 years ago
Awesome Tutorial, element is such a useful tool! here is a sample animation I created for my Aerial Video business.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4BChso-7KQ
Kevann
2 years ago
Thank's for all of the amazing stuff Andrew, but one thing, i'm waiting for the Star Trek BREAKDOWN, that you sayed you will show us how you did the galaxy (hope my english is good). Are you going to show us?

Thank's again

Best regards from France

Kevann Boussac
thunderossa
2 years ago
Looks great! I'll use PS, AI, or good old PSP9 to create some assets and then composite the final in AE. An image file is an image file. Why should it matter what program someone uses as long as the end result is there?
AARON
2 years ago
Well I'm not the only one who thinks it's sometimes easier to create a picture in AE than PH. I mean, how else can I easily create a picture with sick lens flairs?
2 years ago
Hey Andrew, i try some effects conbining Evolution+Element 3D. Check it out please:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bUUKUHGbpE
    Alzemir
    2 years ago
    Hi Henrique, I watched your video and found a very cool effect. Congratulations! The combination of 3d Element with Evolution gave a very interesting result. I think that even if you use the particle replicator and replicator shape of the Element, you can create animations as if they were a kaleidoscope 3D. This serves as a suggestion for their next creations. Thanks for sharing.
Todd
2 years ago
I also find after effects is so much more productive than Photoshop for stills. Part of it is because I'm more familiar with the interface, but After Effects gives you more flexibility like particles, Pre-Comping, as well as stuff like Optical Flares. *wink* Its funny that you posted this cause I just designed a still for my YouTube page using After Effects.

http://oi39.tinypic.com/ji2ozn.jpg
2 years ago
Wow ! Pretty sick !

Check what I did, my own ring ;-)

https://vimeo.com/72178473
    kevin
    2 years ago
    WOW, that is very impressive. I think the airplane above the city is what sells that effect, for me at least. Very well done.
    Jim Hines
    2 years ago
    That's some freakin quality right there baby. Inspirational. Stand tall. Good work.
    rogerdeodat
    2 years ago
    dude where do u get your sound effects from ??
Gay James
2 years ago
Nice Andrew! please make for us best tutorial please
priyank
2 years ago
thats awesome.....really appreciate that..!!!!!
Christian
2 years ago
2 years ago
Heyyy Andrew You're the One ...amazing Logo Concept keep teaching us Bro !!!
Big UP From Phil (Paris) France
Azamat
2 years ago
I like your works, and plugins THANK YOU very much!
2 years ago
Another Amazing AE Design from VCP...
    Chaba
    2 years ago
    Great!
TiagoWazzup
2 years ago
I always prefer to use after effects instead of photoshop too
Chaba
2 years ago
New blog-post! Thanks again!
2 years ago
Hi
To Match With Other elements ,
Please Using A Grunge Fonts For The Text
2 years ago
Thank you for sharing. I'll do more design in AE from now on.
Emmanuel
2 years ago
Your final results are incredibles andrew, i like the way you do
2 years ago
The way you use colour and such simple images to evoke that feeling of complexity is just outstanding!
2 years ago
I'm a graphic designer, people use other programs for their still image designing but I use AE.
I've got examples of my designing and artwork with AE on my Facebook artpage, click on my name and you'll get there.
2 years ago
It looks just great...nice work!!!
therohail
2 years ago
Andrew Sir we love you.
2 years ago
great andrew very nice project i glad for you i weating animation thanks again
Alzemir
2 years ago
Hello, Andrew! Excellent Picture. I'm Testing objects 3d inside the element to create static images and the results has left me very surprised. It is really satisfying. Congratulations and thanks a lot!
kkehoe5
2 years ago
I too perfer AE to PS. I have always thought that AE gave me more freedom, but maybe that's because I am not to sharp in PS.
2 years ago
Looks amazing! Inspired by ST Into Darkness, I also rendered this inside Element 3D! http://www.flickr.com/photos/promoted/9316293114/
Matt
2 years ago
Great stuff Andrew.
I recently designed a series of client images using only After Effects. It basically gave me more control and I was able to utilise some of the Trapcode suite to add some great effects to the image.
Michel deKok
2 years ago
You seem to be busy lately!

Anyboby ever tell you, you look like Christofer Lambert From HIGHLANDER..
Just saw it yesterday and thought: what's Andrew doing here.. haha..

Nice as allways and love the tuts..
REZA irani
2 years ago
ANDREW. . . The LORD Of The AE!
2 years ago
I have also the same problem! Start from AI, switch to PS and finally continue in After effect ? Not easy! However I have recourse more and more of AE because it is forcing me to use a minimum of layers due to the complexity of animation that will come & also the final quality of project!
2 years ago
omg!!!!Cool man!!its have to still image project and also we not want to leave after effect and go to photoshop , everything we can in inside after effects
Alan
2 years ago
the smoke effect became cool.
SHERWIN
2 years ago
I've been wondering how you do each of your videos and I got the idea now. First decide how what you want to produce and then plan how it will be animated. Thanks for sharing it with us!
channy
2 years ago
Nice taste.....
خیلی زیباست
2 years ago
I also like designing in After Effects; the 3D tools are far superior to Photoshop, allowing you to angle elements in real 3D space (as opposed to perspective warping) non-destructively.
riaz paras
2 years ago
sir you have nice creative mind.thanks for teaching us.
David Le Roux
2 years ago
I also find that designing in AE is preferable to photoshop. In fact I also like to come up with still concepts and turn them into animations. Looks good AK
Pawel
2 years ago
I prefer making posters or other still frame - images in AE, 'cause I don't have enough experience to feel free in photoshop :P But I can do almost everything (what Ps offer) in AE.

What about You? Should I take some time and learn Ps?
2 years ago
is this similar of http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/the_ring/ tutorial??
2 years ago
this is boss man can i have a tutor of it....
Joraph
2 years ago
Nice looking stuff... will there be a project file upload for newcomers in after effects to mess around with?
    2 years ago
    Great question :-)
    2 years ago
    Even though I think some people make great use of those project files, I hope there won't be one. I just hate it how people directly copy everything from others, which will happen for sure again... :(
    2 years ago
    yeah right project files can solve my problems with the pixel poly effect Caz that is hard to animate i have to use some expressions to make it look great how ever i don't know which expressions did Andrew used in this design.
2 years ago
Is there a chance you could post about your Airplane Emergencies… or video tutorial?
rmaninfinity
2 years ago
Looking Great!
Both the color and the effect!
Alex
2 years ago
I always preferred After Effects over photoshop for these things... Glad to see I'm not the only one.
    Will
    2 years ago
    Totally agree, AE is the way to go!
    David
    2 years ago
    That makes 4 of us!
    Peter
    2 years ago
    I also use AE instead of PS, 99% of the time!
    Shafa’ Rizky F
    2 years ago
    yes yes i also use AE than PS because a lot plugin and make simple way
    Firefly movies
    2 years ago
    I just save one frame of the animation in AE
    Zafar
    2 years ago
    Photoshop is for Images but ae is for animating the Still Image eventually ae is better than ps
2 years ago
Great ............. tips
2 years ago
Looks amazing! Is there a chance you could post about your Star Trek: Into Darkness work with a video? I would also appreciate some E3Dv2 Teasers...
Niken
2 years ago
crazy idea.. admire you so much
2 years ago
when you will publish Fantasy City Mr Andrew .. will it with jet pack or no ?
    Firefly movies
    2 years ago
    a jet pack would be epic!
2 years ago
nice ..
got some new idea from it
Nesha
2 years ago
Great workflow idea...as always coming from you. Thank you.
2 years ago
wow....!
i like it...
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