Animating Street Art & Graffiti – After Effects Tutorial ft. Demas Rusli

in this video I’m going to show you how
to take a blank wall create a street art animation and place it over the top first I’m going to show you how to make
this animation here using some really useful techniques and then we’re going
to composite it on top of our photo I did this in collaboration with the
amazing photographer Demas Rusli and he shares some awesome tips and
breakdowns of his just crazy photo edits on his youtube channel and he also hosts
the awesome podcast 529 as well that I highly recommend if you want to
hear about the different journeys of fellow creatives and how they’ve managed
to get a foothold in their industry now in a new comp I’m gonna start on that
bursting angular shape by creating a new solid with ctrl y and we don’t need to
worry about the color and let’s just rename it starburst
because we always label our layers and then let’s go and add the effect radio
waves now this is a really awesome effect to quickly get a shape radiating
out from the center but we don’t want a circle we want our own spiky star shape
so with that pen tool selected let’s draw a mask over this layer creating a
starburst shape and then we want to change the wave type over here to mask and then the mask to mask 1 and now we can see we’ve got our mask radiating this shape let’s just move this mask up slightly so it’s more near that Center and the burst is coming from the middle there we are now let’s go over after
our producer point and then drag the y-axis down so it is coming from the bottom and we don’t really need to see the bottom half at all and because we want this scene to start with our star already filling the wall we’re gonna
click and drag this over to the left and then extend it a little bit just
keep dragging it over so as soon as this comp starts we’ve already got a lot of
shapes here and you can see it’s starting to fade out at the end here as
well so let’s change the fade-out time from five down to zero and change the
light span up to something really large so that they don’t ever fade out now
we’ve got our radiating shape we can adjust the frequency settings to change
the space in between them I’ll add mine a little more spread out something around
here is fine now let’s change the stroke color to black done now for those swirly
circle shapes let’s select our ellipse tool up here make sure it’s stroke is
set to black and five pixels which is the same as our
radiating mask here let’s hold shift and just draw a circle in the middle of on
and now we’ve gotta keyframe it’s position by pressing p on our keyboard clicking the
stopwatch and a little while in move it down to the left then up and then back
down to the right and we want to create a nice sort of figure 8 shape so I’m
gonna select my pen tool, convert vertex tool and then just sort of round these out so
it makes an eight and we’re just gonna copy that keyframe from the start
paste it at the end and now I’ve got our circle moving in an 8 now to get
this to loop we’re gonna hold alt or option on my keyboard click on the
stopwatch to open up our expression window we’re going to add the expression
loop out and then cycle in the brackets now we will continue to cycle through
these key frames until composition ends let’s add some easing to those key
frames by selecting them and pressing f9 let’s see how that looks all right it’s a little bit staggered so what we’re gonna do is go into the graph editor
this is our value graph so I’m gonna select all of these key frames and then
I’m just going to drag them up from the baseline so that their speed is never 0
so they will never sort of stop moving let’s increase the easing a little bit
on these as well as long as there’s some interesting variance between how fast
and slow it is we’re gonna get a good effect now let’s go and add the effect
echo now what this does is create a delayed copy of this layer let’s
increase the number of echoes to 10 now we can see more accurately what that
looks like and this is a really handy effect for creating motion trails or
smears in your animation so let’s change the echo operator to composite in front
and now we have the effect we want to get the front circle to be a different
color we just duplicate this layer remove the echo effect from that layer
and just go and select the fill and change it to whatever color you want and
now we have our worm shape now to get another version of this worm I am gonna
slick both these layers duplicate them with ctrl + D and then I’m just gonna
get those layers and drag them until they are pretty offset with that first
worm and when we play it they won’t really meet there we are and then let’s
change the fill colors on both of those layers as well so they are inverted
I’m going to select this top two layers and new worm and precomp by pressing
ctrl shift C and call that to worm 01and pre-comp our other worm as
well and from there I’m just gonna sleep both of those comps duplicate them and
then drag them and move them around our canvas maybe offsetting their time slightly and rotating them and let’s duplicate them
all again drag them over rotate and then add some more offset and now we’ve
got a comp fill up with worm shapes and we can go back and change the position
of these later if we need to now let’s also create a new adjustment layer to
put a few effects on and let’s add the effect posterized time and set that to
12 because a lower frame rate like this is gonna look a little more natural
on the wall so the animation doesn’t look so super smooth and digital 12
frames a second you work fine for this you could go a bit lower a bit higher
we’re also gonna add a turbulent displace effect I’m gonna set the amount
a bit lower to 30 and then the size really low to 2 pixels now what this is
gonna do if we zoom really close in and flick it on and off it just create a bit
of grit and bumps to these lines so it kind of looks like the texture of the
wall will have affected how these lines were painted on and now we’re ready to
composite this onto our wall so in a new comp we have both our wall image and a
street comp ready to go so first let’s select our art layer here
and change the blending mode to multiply which keeps only the dark value so we
can see all the texture and everything underneath and then move it around to
line up the base of our star with this chaps legs now our wall is facing our
camera pretty much straight on but if your wall has a bit of perspective like
this wall for example all we need to do is that the effect power pin and then
drag your corners to line it up with the edges of the wall and there you go and
now let’s remove our street art from these windows and holes in this wall and
the floor as well and to do that we’re gonna use a matte so let’s create a new
solid with ctrl + y and let’s make it reasonably bright so we can see it and
turn down its opacity so we can see our wall through it and let’s hide our art
layer as well because that’s only gonna distract us at this point using a pen
tool up here on the left I’m gonna click and just draw a rectangle over the
ground and then I’m gonna press m and I keyboard to bring up our masks and set
that to subtract then try to line it up a little nicer as well and we just want
to mask out all the areas that aren’t our wall so I’m going to go in and draw
another mask over these holes in the wall and just set them all to subtract and continue to do that for all of them and
now we have a pink layer that covers our entire wall so let’s turn its opacity
back up to 100 and make it art layer visible again and making sure our art
layer is underneath that Matte we’re going to change the track Matte to alpha Matte
and that will only make what’s visible in our Matte visible on our street art
layer now that’s getting close but our art is still going on top of this guy
here so we could do is subtract him from our Matte as well but he is a much more
complicated shape than these holes and the ground so it’s gonna take a lot of
time to draw perfectly around him but because he’s on a solid white background
this is gonna be really easy so all we have to do is get our wall layer up here
duplicate it bring it on top and with that pencil
selected just draw roughly around him only really making sure we don’t get
shadow involved and we’re gonna treat this kind of like a green-screen so you could do this a couple of ways you could add the effect color key and then select the
white here then play with these settings until his edge looks nice or what we can
do is add the extract effect and this brings up this histogram where we could
see the dark and light values and because we know we just want to remove
all of the light values from this we can click on the bar underneath and just
drag that to the right to remove all the light values and there we are now
there’s a couple more things to make this effect look a lot more realistic
the first thing to do is sort of color match our art with the scene now we’ve
got a pretty limited color palette and it’s mostly neutral so the only thing I
think we need to do here is turn the opacity down to maybe 85 so that will
just give a little bit more texture that’s visible underneath that layer and
make these bright colors a bit more muted and let’s add some more texture to
our art as well so I’m gonna open up our art layer and I’m gonna drag in this
paper texture that I have here I’m gonna add a curves effect and really increase
the contrast and we want to see a lot of black and then a few speckles of white
here as well and then what I’m gonna do is change the blending mode of this to
silhouette luma now when we do that it doesn’t look like there’s much happening
except we can see a couple of specks of our white showing through here but what
this is actually doing is these white spots here all the white from our paper
layer are cutting through all the layers underneath and making them
transparent if we turn that transparency grid on go into our composition settings and
change the background color to pink which isn’t actually visible and now you
can see these white areas are cutting through and making it 100% transparent
and we can add more of that as well by changing the contrast on this curves
effect about texture here there that’s a little more like it
now if we go back into our street scene we can see that the paper texture kind
of looks like the paint has been worn away on these areas here which makes it
look a little more realistic the compositing and to finish it off, I added
these yellow dripping shapes to kind of make a little more use of these really
interesting windows in this building here now this drip was done on a single
shape layer with three shapes inside it we have in a little ellipse that just
falls down they get removed and a little sort of splash shape and then a bit of
path animation on this top shape here we’ve got the drips stretches down and I added some smiley faces for fun as well and you can take a closer look at those in
the project files which you can download for free down in the description I made
a short playlist of some related videos that’ll think you’ll enjoy if you’ve
made it this far I’ll see you in the next video and please consider
subscribing if you’d like more of these videos every week Subtitle: Zoe J Marriott


  1. Just here to say, if you ever put out a full, detailed course, I would buy it right away. After Effects education is so vast and yet so obscure, you make it very fun and easy to follow.

  2. when you whipped out the extract tool I was like… how I have not been using this tool for my entire life holy shit

  3. OK Ben this was super informative and fun to watch. So usefull when you explain what you could do if you have not the same kind of picture. For exemple not a straight wall or different color and yet you show how to go around. This is really really practical !

  4. When using loopOut(), you don't actually need to type in "cycle". Try it. Leave the brackets empty – it works just fine 😀

  5. I believed in you since the beggining! I even have a comment from you in one of my work when you didn't even have a youtube channel active and I noticed you from then. I did advanced motion methods and i'm in various facebook groups, when people ask me how to learn animation or creative services I've always pointed you. Like your style, your goodness/humanity that can be seen by watching you or listening. I'm so glad that in only one year you reached 156k subs. I actually feel a little bit jealous ahahah because I invested my time building startups rather than focus myself to get better or trying to teach what I've learned so far. Questions…
    1- Where did you take this style? Is there someone you follow?
    2- Where do you learn new stuff and tecniques?
    3- In your free time, do you scroll the "effects&presets" panel to know all this little tricks?
    4- When you first started, you felt to be prepared and confident to teach?

  6. Man, I always learn something new with you and I am already mastering After Effects. I already worked with some cool studios and brands, but you always use some effects in a totally different way that I never heard about. Love your channel man, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  7. Thanks for another amazing tutorial! I have to start taking notes to keep track of all the great effects you use in these videos!

  8. hello ben.
    question/challenge for you: is it possible to composite "a flat animation of cartoonish water falling down" on a static (or dynamic if you want to make it extra hard) shot of real, white stairs? what i'm looking after is an animation that is in the end happening on a paper accordion like surface, i.e. like the stairs.

  9. Awesome video…as someone very new to after effects every video makes my jaw drop on what else you can do with it…keep it up! 😂👍👍

  10. Brother your incredible motion Graphics designer thank you I never ever seen in 1 video like these so many Effects and Presents Iam subscribe for your Easy tut thank you bro

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