TUTORIAL #1: Looping Fluid Lines in After Effects

July 24, 2019 posted by

hi everyone this is Gary so here back from holiday today I'm sorry a new series of video tutorials I like the workflow videos here I'll cover some specific techniques step by step in this first one I'll go over how to create this food-like loopable lines animation so let's begin in After Effects let's start by creating our main comp let's name it man comp let's leave it at 1500 by 1500 pixels I'm making it square just because this is something I created for Instagram so 500 frames seems fine for the moment hit OK and now we need to create the pattern that's gonna drive the whole animation we have to make sure it's seamless so we can loop it and as you can see here the pattern is kind of moving upwards so as we are going to rotate the final pattern we need to know how high the pattern comp needs to be to fill the whole frame so let's create a solid let's make it four thousand pixels by 1500 pixels and make it red which is fine hit okay so now let's rotate this solid by minus 45 degrees and now we get those gaps here they were gonna fix by editing the size of the solid pressing ctrl or command shift Y and then we can edit the solid settings you can just scrub the height here until we kind of cover the gaps here it doesn't need to be super sized we just want to avoid unnecessary work later on so here okay now let's create a pre comp with this solid by hitting ctrl command shift C let's name it pattern and make sure leave our attributes in mein kampf is selected then hit OK let's go inside the pre comp and now we can get rid of the solid and let's just move the pattern pre come to the pre comp folder so we can keep organized all right so before we start creating the lines let's turn our grid on and also it snap to grid we just want to make sure our numbers are round so it's easier to work with then with the pen tool click somewhere close to the border and drag it to sit on the leftmost side of the canvas and holding shift press somewhere around here now we have to figure out the length of the line we're going to use this number to define how much the pattern needs to move and some other stuff as this is not a parametric shape we need a bit of expression to determine its length as we need to see the resulting number I'll create a new text layer here and we're gonna drill down so we can see the source text property and then holding alt you press on the stopwatch here and it opens the expression editor now we just need to pick whip the layer here and then type period search rect add time which is here and then period with semicolon and that's it this number here is the length of this line let's just turn the grid off because we don't need it anymore so if you move this point here you're gonna see that the number is changing so just because I like round numbers let's zoom into a hundred percent and hit one two three four five six seven eight times the arrow key and then we have a round number which is easier to work with so let's write down that number somewhere and now we can turn that layer off because we're not gonna need it anymore with the pen tool we can start adding points to the line so we can edit it let's do it quickly then you can press alt and hold shift and pull the handles the Bezier handles to make it smoother all right so let's say that's roughly the shape we want and now we can come down here and add a repeater so to read on once again let's leave the number of copies at free and in transform on the x position let's input our number here which in my case it's 3200 press Enter and now you can see the other copies are aligned in propeller here the only thing is that we still have like this this sharp connection here so to get rid of this select the line again and select the last point hold alt and shift and pull the handle this way and the same thing to the first point here and okay so now it's smoother if I move the layer here you can see that we have the beginning of our pattern being formed and before we start adding more detail to this pattern let's test animation so I'll create a new null object no object and then parent this layer to the null object let's call it master position position then let's open the position set a keyframe here scrub the timeline and here on the exposition let's subtract our number again let's do a quick Ram preview since to be too slow for me so let's make it faster I think it seems about right but as I like things round numbers let's get this down to a hundred frames so now that's basically our loop duration let's press N and shrink comps work area and then let's just move this last keyframe just one frame further because we don't want the last keyframe to be exactly the same as the first keyframe so now if we press Ram preview it's looping perfectly okay so let's start adding some detail to our shape here editing the points adding shapes and stuff if you want to change the position of the first and the last point you have to be very careful when selecting them and you have to move them at once otherwise you're gonna break our loop but let's just leave them at the same place for now and come down here and let's duplicate this line let's just name it line one hit ctrl D now have line two here let's click the arrow here click the path so we select all points so let's drag it down a little bit and holding shifts just to make sure it's moving only on the y-axis you can click outside to dis select all the points and then click again on the point you want to edit so let's say one kind of something like this you can still edit the first line if you want to just feel free to do the shape whatever you want it to be and I will select the pen tool again and draw some circles here and maybe yeah okay so let's name our groups here let's call these lines and then this shape here blob one and shape here blob two and as you can see the blobs are not being repeated we just want to make sure the repeater is outside the lines so now it's repeating everything now let's add some colors to the lines so to do this I wear a gradient stroke so we can get rid of this stroke in the field here because we're not using them and before we edit the gradient let's just drop our design here so we can use as a reference then back down here let's edit the gradient so we also want the gradient to loop so let's make sure the first color and the last color are the same so let's use the eyedropper here and get this pinkish terracotta and to duplicate this arrow here I'm going just gonna move it over here and click again to add a color and then move it all over the other side and now the scholar in the center here just wanted to be white or maybe not so white and let's here okay so the gradient strokes controlled by these two dots here that you can drag to the beginning and the end of the shape so let's hide this extras so we can see what's happening and it's looping properly we can kind of still make it a little bit whiter here so it's more evident alright and maybe we can make it thicker so we can see it better cool now we can copy and paste the gradient stroke to the blob 1 and blob – let's just open it and delete the other stroke and feel that we're not gonna use and click on the gradient stroke so we can adjust the dots to match our shape and once again for the blob – let's delete radiant stroke 1 let's reduce yeah let's get rid of the extras so we can see how it's looking which is fine by me so now let's create those dots that travel along the lines and to do this let's just close it everything here so we duplicate the lines group now it lines two but let's call it dots and open up the group let's duplicate it again dot two and let's just leave line one line two and dot two and line one in dots because I want them to be different and we're gonna animate one of them so open up the gradient stroke let's increase the width let's make it I don't know 14 come down here to the dashes section and press the plus sign twice let's make the – just one and go crazy here on the gap and now change the line cap to round cap and then we get the dots that we wanted let's edit the colors now let's get rid of this one here let's change the first one to kind of maybe this blue yeah it's fine so let's go over to the other dots group open up radiant stroke one scroll down to the dashes section and now let's press this plus sign six times let's make the first – one just don't forget to change to round cap let's make the first – one the second – maybe 60 – treat one again forgot to change the stroke width let's make it thicker and now play around with the gaps to create the look you want so okay let's make maybe ad all right so let's say that's the look we want and now we want to give it some movement and to do this we're gonna animate the offset property but as you can see here we are having some issues with the loop because the dots are disappearing and appearing and how we can get rid of this if the sum of all these numbers plus they stroke with plus 6 which is 1 for each – property adds up to the width of our shape which is the number we wrote down in the beginning in my case 3,200 then we get a perfect loop so let's do a little bit of math here using After Effects built in calculator so let's get here 30 to 100 divided by 3 and then we get this number here let's copy this number to the gap and the other gap okay so we have to account for this ad here and the 17 and the 6 all right so let's kind of use this number – 80 + 17 + 6 press Enter now if we scrub the values here you can see that the dot is not disappearing and reappearing anymore it's just seamless now it's just a mirror to keep the relationship between these numbers the same so if we want to tweak the look we can kind of okay so let's subtract 500 from this one and then I have to add 500 to this one and maybe I want to subtract 600 from this one and add another 600 to this one and now if we scrub the values here you can see that the loops still working let's set this offset down to zero again set a keyframe scrub the timeline to the end and then put our number here 3200 just move the keyframe one frame further so we have a perfect loop and let's just preview so the loop is working fine we have pretty much everything we need now we're just going to duplicate this shape layer here and we can get rid of this reference for now and let's duplicate this layer here and we can position the copy the way we want as long as it to this side here because if I go to the other side we have a gap here so as long as you're moving to this side here you'll be fine and let's duplicate once again let's just fill the screen I'm not creating too much variation here like you could you could go inside each layer and tweak the shapes to make it to make it look more random but but for the sake of this tutorial I'll just duplicate and fill the whole screen all right so we have our pattern so as you can see it's looping properly nothing is jumping so we have a similar loop a seamless button and so let's go back to our main comp and let's just trim the comp as well to the same duration as our pre comp between the contour area let's Ram preview it again all right so it's looping properly but it's moving downward I wanted to move upwards so let's change the rotation I wanted to is something like this so now it's moving upwards and to finish it up we just need to add a turbulent displace I'm using video co-pilots FX console so let's apply it so let's tweak the settings a little bit I wanted to make it turbulence smoother amount let's make it 30 sighs let's make 180 and again we need to make it loop so we have this handy little option here which is psycho evolution which guarantees that each cycle of evolution is a perfect loop so let's put some keyframes down here click the stopwatch move it to the end of the timeline just put one here just press u to show the keyframes and move the keyframe one frame further so now when we play it back we have this nice fluid like look that we wanted you can keep tweaking the values to your liking but that's the basis of our effect here if you want to make it slower just go inside the pre-comp change the duration and move the keyframes accordingly and you can use the same idea to be all sorts of looping backgrounds just play around with the settings change the shapes make the lines thicker mix colors just have fun all project files for this one in our upcoming step-by-step tutorial videos will be available for download for free just go over to my download page and knock yourself out and as always if you like this channel please don't forget to like this video hit the subscribe button and share it with your friends thanks for watching until next time you


28 Replies to “TUTORIAL #1: Looping Fluid Lines in After Effects”

  1. RandonTvStuff #TheRealFun says:

    Dude you Nigeria ? If you are big ups Brother πŸ‘πŸ½

  2. Lucas VJ BITAR Piragine says:

    Hey bro! Awesome content! Keep up!!!! Big up from BraZiL!!!

  3. Daniel Schreiber says:

    Hi Gareso! I Love your work. Its inspired me to start some frame by frame animations myself. Can you suggest a good affordable Graphics drawing tablet for your computer/mac I am little confused haha

  4. # EthanStacyTravel says:

    Like and share!

  5. kieu cuong says:

    Great! keep it up bro!

  6. BluezConcepts says:

    Need more tutorials <3!

  7. Chakir EL says:

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. VMSULTHAN says:

    ohh wow, Something amazing That i never seen before…
    love to see more..😍

  9. ηŽ‹ι½‘η§» says:


  10. Anshul Gupta says:

    Hey Gareso! Awesome tutorial(y) Just stuck with the logic @13:35 of adding gap, number of dashes, gaps and stroke width to give up length of line. Why did you use stroke width here? Is it because its round cap. Also, using second dash properties (=80) Please help me to understand it. Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

  11. Dimas Bagus says:

    thank you Ilmunya πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  12. Ben Marriott says:

    Thanks for this tutorial! I learned some great looping techniques with a repeater. πŸ˜€

  13. Fatso Rey says:

    How could you be so great! Love what you did to your channel! Stay Awesome!

  14. Salah S D N says:

    great well done

  15. Naimish Shikari says:

    Amazing technique

  16. Juan Camilo Vallejo says:

    Great channel

  17. Derek Davidson says:

    Love it!

  18. Mike Johnson says:


  19. Muhammad Tarek says:

    Keep Going Bro πŸ™‚

  20. SmokingOKAPI says:

    You don't get enough love for your tutorials. Awesome tutorial, definitely going to try it out.

  21. Erik Alexander Llanos says:

    niceee thanks for make this chanell!!!

  22. cao kaka says:

    thumb up first,study comes the second

  23. Ghost Paper says:

    You're tutorials are AWESOME, man!!!

  24. Xucrutz says:

    Bom demais manim, como sempre digo, seus vΓ­deos sΓ£o inspiradores. Aprendi bastante nesse tuto, valew!!!!

  25. Camilo Echavarria says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. Your channel is amazing!. I appreciate it

  26. Mr sim l Ω…Ψ³ΨͺΨ± Ψ³ΩŠΩ… says:

    Thanks you so much for this awesome video I will apply this 😁😁

  27. AYOUB GHARAFI says:

    Wow another mind blowing content thanks πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

  28. Shubham Shukla says:

    Hi Gareso. Thanks for the upload. There are tons of tutorials out there but almost none of them showed the actual work flow ( like you did in previous videos). Really appreciate your hard work.

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