LEARNING

TUTORIAL SERIES: HOW TO CREATE ANIMATED VIDEOS TO COMMUNICATE SCIENCE

TUTORIAL SERIES INTRO

In this short video, I briefly introduce myself and the motivation behind producing this tutorial series on how to create animated videos using industry standard tools such as Adobe After Effects, Illustrator and Premier Pro to help communicate exciting science and cutting edge research.

Everything I know is completely self-taught, so I don’t profess to be an expert in how to use these tools and I’m not a professional graphic designer. I am however an early career scientist that believes strongly in the power of effective science communication and it’s my hope that this easy to follow tutorial series will pass on what I’ve learnt and help other scientists from all disciplines learn and develop a basic but effective set of Sci Comm skills.

Software used

None – Series Intro

Release Date

February 15, 2021

Publisher

Tom Ovenden

Video length

1 min 52 sec

ANIMATION BASICS IN AFTER EFFECTS – PART 1:

SETTING UP, SHAPES, STROKES AND COLOURS

In Part 1, we look at the basics of setting up a new project and composition in After Effects, assuming no pre-existing knowledge. We then look at how to organise our basic file structure and navigate around the different panels in the After Effects interface. Next, we move onto how to make basic shapes, change their colours, modify the stroke (outline) width and colours of different shapes and apply both linear and radial gradients. In the Part 2, we introduce the basics of animation.

Software used

After Effects

Release Date

February 15, 2021

Publisher

Tom Ovenden

Video length

15 min 50 sec

ANIMATION BASICS IN AFTER EFFECTS – PART 2:

KEY FRAMES, SCALE, OPACITY & POSITION

Having looked at how to set up a project, create some basic shapes and mosify their colours in Part 1, here in Part 2, we introduce the foundation of all animations in After Effects – key frames. Key frames control the start and end point of an animation, inbetween which the animation occurs. Here we demonstrate how a simple but effective animation can be produced purely from animating three key elements – the position, scale and opacity of an object.

Software used

After Effects

Release Date

February 15, 2021

Publisher

Tom Ovenden

Video length

10 min 25 sec

EXPORTING GGPLOT FIGURES & GRAPHS FOR USE IN AFTER EFFECTS

In this video, we cover the basics of saving a figure or graph created in R using ggplot to make sure that the colours in the exported figure are the correct colour when we import this figure into After Effects. This is important if for example, we want to make sure that the solid background colour of our animation, matches the background colour of our figure so that the figure appears to seamlessly blend in with the background.

Software used

After Effects, R

Release Date

February 15, 2021

Publisher

Tom Ovenden

Video length

5 min 31 sec

Downloads

BASIC ANIMATION – ANIMATING A GRAPH IN AFTER EFFECTS

In this introductory video, we go over some of the basics of animating a line graph in After Effects. We start off in R Studio where we import our data (the code and data used in this tutorial are both downloadable for free on the left), do some basic data wrangling, create a line graph using ggplot (a figure in R) and then export this figure as an EPS file. Then, we import this figure into After Effects and use it as a template to demonstrate some of the basic tools that we can use in After Effects to make a simple, but effective animation.

Some of the basic skills we cover in this video include making new shape layers in After Effects, changing the dimensions, colours, style and outlines of these shapes and then how to animate them using the ‘trim paths’ effect and keyframes, which do all the animation ‘heavy lifting’ in After Effects.

Software used

After Effects, R

Release Date

February 15, 2021

Publisher

Tom Ovenden

Video length

21 min 29 sec

Downloads

CORRECTING COLOURS IN FIGURES & IMAGES FOR USE IN AFTER EFFECTS

Sometimes, we want to animate and image or a figure but we don’t have the original code to export it so that the colours are ‘correct’ and match those in After Effects. Maybe a collaborator has passed on this figure or it’s from an old piece of work that we can’t find the code for, so this is all we’ve to work with.

In this video, we go over how to simply change the colours in a figure or image in Adobe Illustrator so that they are the same as those in After Effects. This is important if for example, we want to make sure that the solid background colour of our animation, matches the background colour of our figure so that the figure appears to seamlessly blend in with the background.

Software used

After Effects, Illustrator, R

Release Date

COMING SOON…

Publisher

Tom Ovenden

Video length

6 min 29 sec

Downloads

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