Information Graphics | AE Tutorial

In today’s After Effects tutorial with Sara we took part in an information graphic live brief. At the beginning of the session we were introduced by being shown a short info graphic animation. We were provided with brief statistics in which we could choose from so that they could be the focus of the animation. I chose the Huddersfield population statistic.

We began by illustrating our images on Illustrator. As I was running a little late to the tutorial, i decided to keep my content rather simple and included the basic statistic text with some imagery. I decided to use two art boards and create minimal designed pages. Once I have created a basic design, we had to import it into After Effects.

When importing to After Effects, you could simply copy and paste the text in, however, you had to make sure that you highlighted the text. When importing imagery, you needed to take the object from the illustrator document and put it on a separate file so that it can be imported as a footage onto After Effects. This was all done on a new composition, with the standard 1920×1080 settings, and titled Scene 1. To add our background layer we went onto layer>new>solid and selected the colour choice. To create the second scene, we duplicated scene 1 by pressing cmd + D.

It took me a while to sort out my document because, when importing it doesn’t always come out the same as on Illustrator. ¬†For example, my shades of colour were different, and due to the difference in canvas size by text had to be adjusted. I also had to make little illustrations from scratch to support the statistic therefore began to fall behind.

It was then time to start animating the text. We ensured that we left a few frames at the beginning to make the transition a little be slower and have a better flow. Sara told us that when animating text, we could either do it manually and create keyframes, or we could use the text effect presets. I firstly tried the effect presets but it was too time consuming as it was very much a trial and error process. You only had an idea of what the effect did by its name, so it took a while to find something that worked well, but then I decided to do it manually. I tried to create a simple but dynamic animation that can work will all my objects.

With the basic animation created, Sara instructed us to create a new Composition and title it “wipe”. This was to be the transition between both our scenes when merging them together. The key part of the Wipe composition was changing the width to 3000 pixels. This is because we had to ensure that it went off the page to leave from for the animation. We had a choice of colour for the wipe in which I picked Yellow- the same shade that I have used on my scenes. To create the wipe effect, we went to layer>effect>distort and added a 70 degree cc slant. At the beginning of the keyframe we ensured that the shape was not shown so that in the middle keyframe can be animated onto the full page. To finish it off we carried this basic movement on to the final keyframe in which the shape would then disappear.

With the scene created, and the Wipe composition complete, it was time to put them together. We did this by creating a new composition with the duration at 10 seconds. Simply, we then had to add our scenes and wipe into the timeline. Scene 1 was placed at the beginning, and scene 2 to follow after. The wipe was placed at the crossover between the two scenes to create the transition. The wipe was also duplicated and placed at the end to create a dynamic finish, and one that will compliment another persons animation. This is because sara told us that once we have done it, she will merge all the renders outcomes together to create a form of showreel.

I thought that I would find this tutorial difficult, especially turning up a bit late, however it was quite manageable, and somewhat enjoyable! Animation really isn’t my thing, but I quite proud of my simple animation. The fact that it lasts 10 seconds however, and that it took my about 3 hours is rather irritating.