Illustrator to After Effects ft. Burnt Toast – Animation Workflow & Tutorial

Illustrator to After Effects ft. Burnt Toast – Animation Workflow & Tutorial

in this episode of the animating great
artists series I’m collaborating with burnt toast creative aka Scott Martin a
Canadian based illustrator who creates these wonderfully cynical illustrations
that are dark and fun and hilarious he gave me this amazing illustration of
human trash as an illustrator file I wanted the limbs to fly up and flop
down and a really smooth and fluid way this burnt toast has these amazing fluid
curves and bends in his illustrations and I wanted to capture that movement I
figured the best way for me to do this was to do a quick rough version frame by
frame so I could get the movement feeling natural and then clean it up
afterwards with shape layers to keep that clean vector look I did these frame
by frame rafts in Photoshop using the fruit plugin Anim Dessin2 to help with
this handy tool bar here you can do this in any frame by frame software Adobe
animate which used to be flash TV paint ruff animator is what I use on the iPad
all of these are great I’m just most comfortable in Photoshop
first I put down two positions one with the limbs up and one with the limbs down
just to feel out the timing then I tried an option with the limbs going up a lot
straighter which felt a little more explosive but didn’t quite capture the
round and curviness that I knew would be needed for when they flop down so I
found a happy medium where the limbs are still curved but they raised quite a bit
higher above the top of the trashcan on this next path I added a few frames in
between those two poses so we’ve got the flopping up in the air and then a few of
them just sort of flopping downwards here already you can get the feel for
the timing and impact for the animation which is most important once you have
that down everything else just kind of falls into place and acts just to
reinforce that initial movement added a few more frames and started to think
about how the limbs would really fall and flop and I’m kind of imagining these
as tubes without any bones that do have a lot of weight so they just sort of
fall down straight for the really small movements at the top of this arc where
the limbs are up in the air instead of redrawing each frame I duplicated the
frame and then use the transform warp tool to make slight adjustments so I
select my lasso tool from up here select the limb I would want to warp and then
go to edit transform Warp I’ve got a shortcut made because I
use it all the time and then from here just move these points to get that
slight slight adjustment that you need now this is fine for a rough path but it
does look pretty artificial and like you’ve cut some corners which of course
you have but it’s best to hide that as much as you can so save this tip for
your ruffs I added a few more frames and when I got to here I was pretty happy
with it it’s great to do this really roughly first because you won’t get it
right on your first go and being able to change the shapes and adjust the timings
quickly and not worrying about the details is important the more options
that you can try and the easier it is to adjust the quicker you’re gonna find
what feels right I’m relatively new to frame by frame animation so my process
requires a lot of trial and error from here I knew that half the animation was
going to happen when the limbs are up so I needed to create those assets I redrew
those sections in Illustrator and separated all the elements that needed
to be animated onto their own layers I use references from burnt toasts other
work to make sure that I was using the same design language throughout I
imported the AI file into After Effects and converted the illustrator layers to
shape layers by right-clicking and selecting create create shapes from
vector layers and then recolor our layers over here so it was easier to
navigate in the timeline I also imported the rough animation from Photoshop to
use as a reference and then move that up and down poses in the timeline to match
so this is like a blocking phase so in the first section of this timeline we’ve
got our limbs all facing down and then in the second half all our limbs up in
the air and I’ve got a different comp over here in the project panel for each
path I did of the animation on the second part I focused on the limbs they
are 95% of the movement in this animation so I needed to get them right
for the whole piece to work I toggle down into the shapes path and keyframes
at that property and then adjusted that shape every frame with our pen tool to
match our photoshop roughs and I did this on almost every frame there’s the
most movement in these three frames and then I can have some easing into this
top position here it might seem like a lot of work to do this by animating so
many frames individually but this whole animation is only 20 frames long
and I’m really not having to think too much at this point because the Photoshop
ruffs acting as a clothes guide I’m just lining things up and I’m also only
animating one leg because I’m going to duplicate that later when it’s complete
so we only have to animate it once on the next path I animated the hands and
feet animating their position and rotation so they line up with each limb
I also added a bit of movement on the bin lid easing in and out of this raised
position to give it a bit of anticipation before slamming down I also
have it slowing down a lot further than the physics of this bin would allow kind
of exaggerating that movement to add some more impact to the animation on the
next path I cleaned up some of the elements that were sticking out like the
top of that bin being visible during this exaggerated slam I removed that by
adding a mask setting it to subtract and then animating it on for just that one
frame then I added the shading to the animated arms and legs this was probably
the most time-consuming part of the process to do that each shape layer
needed to have three shapes inside it the stroke on top the shading in the
middle and then the fill on the bottom I did that by duplicating the existing
path of the limb remove the fill from the top layer and then added that new
shape layer in between that that I’ve called a shading and then I animated the
path of that shading layer on each frame to match the rest of the arm having
shading like this on an animation with strokes it can look great but it also
adds to the production time so just know where you’re getting into when designing
with chokes and shading on the next path I added some details I’ve got some flies rotating around the bin a little bit of bounce in the hair and some subtle
movement on the raised pinky finger both of those animating the shape paths with
two keyframes and also a little shake to the bit and of course our second leg is
now added here just by duplicating that previous leg the next step was adding
smears here I’ve gone and drawn some smears with the limbs moving at their
fastest smears are an animation technique to stylistically simulate a
motion blur here I’ve elongated the hands and feet for one frame so they
look like they’re leaving a trail because they’re moving so fast these are
pretty subtle as far as smears go but you should be able to feel the smear it
can add more information to a single frame
enhancing not only the speed of the movement but also the movement of paths
smears are just really fun to do we end up with a composition here that is full
of keyframes and it can look intimidating seeing it all like this but
it all follows a process building on each element that came before it
gradually and all serves to sell that simple alternating between two frames
that this whole thing started with here’s a short playlist to be animating
the works of some other great artists and illustrators little thing you’ll
enjoy if you’ve made it this far I’ll see you in the next video and please
consider subscribing if you like this video and you’d like to see more every
week subtitle: Zoe J Marriott

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  1. please, man, You did a big favor on us complete it by putting the illustrator fill in description or comment and the project creator account
    love you man.

  2. Nice workflow!! Can you explain or make a tutorial from this reference??

  3. Would love to see a video of you using rubber hose and/or duik. frame by frame is impressive but not doing it is one of the reasons I am learning AE.
    Saying that a real in depth video of what you know about frame by frame would be great too!
    Thanks for your uploads

  4. Thank u sooo much Ben, I've been so inspired since I discovered you (this week :). Staying motivated is so hard but watching you makes it easier, you explain clearly and with enthusiasm. PLS keep makimg them

  5. Roommate: "What are you watching?"
    Me: "This tutorial on how to animate a guy slamming himself with a trash can lid that causes his limbs to flail upward…"
    Roommate: "…why?"
    Me: "…because Ben Marriott uploaded it"

  6. Wow! Great work ben. Thanks for showing this. You make a great deal of work look so simple to do. What would be a rough timescale for a project like this?

  7. For that shading, you could try a inner shadow layer style set to darken, although you'd have less control. Would be easier to get that grainy look though. Alternatively I'd use a merge paths set to intersect with the original to be able to be a little bit more rough on drawing those darker parts. Great tut though, love the applications of the animation principles!

  8. Great stuff! Well explained for anything animation related which can be nerdishly dense – heh! And snappy too!

    I often wish there was a better way to handle the shadow pass in bits of animation like this. Sometimes you can get away with using an “inner shadow” layer style set to multiply or some blend mode. And then you can actually animate the position of the shadow frame by frame to get the best look. It might be a decent shortcut for something this brief in duration, but the effect can be rather cold and uniform. It’s one of those things where ya know how to do it right, like ya did here – separating the color, shadow, and stroke – but I always question the time – Ha! Regardless, this is fun and looks great! Subscribed!

  9. soon be like the video copilot of the 2d animation world. make a website next with 30 mins step by step tutorials. haha

  10. Omg, I can't believe how amazing your workflow is. I'm so glad I discovered you. I'm studying animation, and a few weeks ago I finished my short film, and I just wanna say thank you, bc your videos really helped/inspired me 🙂

  11. Great work flow – super inspiring as always.
    Re: smears – was that manual tweaking or was this done with some sort of liquify tool.
    Thanks your service.

  12. Really nice work. But I feel like you complicated your work. Weren't there simpler methods to achieve this?

  13. Beautiful tutorial, thank you. This video is a testimonial how Adobe software is actually crap. You have to change two softwares? You couldn't draw frame by frame in after effects? Also morphing the shape in Photoshophas has only 4 points still after 15 years of artist requesting for that number to be optional. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. for how many things you need to find a workaround? If you like adobe Stockholm syndrome comes to mind.

  14. One word: Overlord!!! You can't talk about ai to ae without using overlord! It's changed my workflow forever. No needing to mess around with files and ai layers, just hit import and you're done!

  15. Hey Ben, can you please do a video where you show your process of creating frame by frame on photoshop? Exactly similar to the process shown in this video but in-depth. Would be great!

  16. you should consider exploring Blender .2.8 with its newly improved 2D animation tools called grease pencil, a vector tool with a powerful animation capability a good replacement of toonboom or flash , you will get a 2D application inside a 3D viewport. a very powerful combination

  17. Are we Going to Ignore, the Camera Zoom in Bat's Anal? like literally, what we see is happening inside Bat's Anal? Genious

  18. That looks amazing!
    You didn't use motion blur, why? I tend to use it a lot, I guess sometimes to hide animations, so why not in that particular project? Style?

  19. Really good tutorial man!! I didn't get how you did the arms and legs shadows…duplicate its color shapes and how did you put them a darker colour and change the position? For example in the arm shadow…

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