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Swimming with the Fishes

3D motion to a 2D object in After Effects By Stephen Schleicher
In a previous article, we created the shape of an object out of its name. In this After Effects exercise, well take a 2D fish and make its tail thrash in a 3D environment.

Of course there are a number of ways you can make a layer appear to undulate to give the illusion of swimming, but in this exercise, well use a simple expression, multiple layers, and some masks to complete the illusion.

If you havent already read the exercise where we created the text object, you can read that article here.

Step 1: Once you have your fish object created, you will need to pre-compose (command+shift+c on the Mac or Control+Shift+C on the PC) the layer so we can add additional masks.

Step 2: Draw a rectangular mask around the first letter in the object.

Step 3: With the fish layer selected, press the A key to bring up the Anchor Point property. Position the Anchor Point along the X-axis so it lines up with the front of the mask. Position the Y-axis as well

Step 4: Press the P key on the keyboard to bring up the Position property for the layer. Reposition the letter toward the left side of the screen.

Step 5: Duplicate the layer by pressing Command+D on the Mac or Control+D on the PC. Reposition the Mask, Anchor Point, and Position similar to the following image. NOTE: One way you can make sure alignment is correct is to make sure the edges of the masks touch.

Step 6: Repeat the last step for the remaining letters in your layer.

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Related Keywords:after effects, text, fish, swim, expressions, ae6.0, schleicher


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