This Motion Reel is composed of my favorite projects I've worked on during 2020.
I challenged myself to discover new native After Effects effects and not use any third-party scripts.
I thought of the software like a sandbox. This helped me discover unorthodox, optimized methods of doing time-consuming work.
The atmosphere I'm going for.
For the entirety of the introduction, I wanted the viewer to feel enclosed and surrounded.
The "speed lines" help center the viewer's attention where the path is moving. The optical compensation added to the enclosed feeling as if the path was moving in 3D space.
I chose the music very carefully. I needed it to be original, meaning I didn't want people to recognize the song, but I also wanted it to stick to the aggressive entrapped mood I was going for.
The Visual Effects process.
All the speed lines you see come from a single composition of a few animated rectangles.
To simplify the process, I made a single rectangle and duplicated it a dozen times, modifying the position, scale, and offset.
The swiping effect was achieved with a "trim paths" animator, animating a single side of the rectangle — to give it a bullet-like look with motion blur.
Finally, I added a null and parented each rectangle to the position of that null. Animating the position of the null gave a parallax effect to the offset rectangles.
I managed to loop it using a simple loopOut() expression on the pre-composition of those rectangles.
To add variations to the speed lines, I duplicated the looped composition a few different times and modified the looks.
I duplicated it once for the small white lines following the path, once for the more prominent glowing blue lines directing the path, and once for the background lines. I set this one at 2% opacity to avoid overcrowding the screen.
I also rotated the compositions the same way I rotated the main rectangle path, but with a little bit of offset, so that they would match momentum but not look stuck together — adds anticipation.
I didn't want the lines to appear right at the beginning, so I added an 'S_WipePixelate' effect to keep the same blocky rectangular look when it transitions in and out.
Next up, making the movement visually pleasing. I used a bunch of different adjustment layers so they would affect each other — named them correctly in case I needed to change anything in the future.
The first effect I thought of was the gray ramp over the top. I used this technique to hide a part of the composition to give it a sense of direction.
Next up, optical compensation: as I said previously, I used this effect to widen the field of view resulting in a subtle but noticeable 3D perspective.
This next part is my favorite; I played around with many different effects until I randomly stumbled upon 'Pixel Motion Blur.' I have to admit, I have no idea why it works, but it does.
It muted the 3D perspective the Optics Compensation added but gave an awesome-looking tech-smearing effect to the speed lines.
Thank you for watching! Check out more of my work below.