3 Quick Texture Methods for AE

I've been getting a few questions recently from MoGraph friends and students about texturing methods for After Effects, so I thought I would put together this quick tutorial going through a few tricks and tips that I have on this subject.

Method 1 involves a scanned piece of newsprint given to me by my buddy Chris Roth from The Other House in 2006. I love this method because it's completely low-tech and has a friendly, hand-made quality to it.  If you want a copy of this legendary newsprint texture, here is a link.

Method 2 uses fractal noise. I believe I saw this technique a few years ago on Lester Banks, and it's super easy and fast. Plus, since fractal noise comes native with AE you can share settings and comps easily.

Method 3 involves creating layers in Photoshop. I heartily recommend Kyle T Webster's amazing brushes, which you can find here. Additionally, this method uses the awesome combination of two expressions: posterize time and wiggle.  

Check it out!

WIPER PACK - Evolution


Some time in the Spring I saw a transition in a project that I liked -- honestly I don't remember what -- and of course I wanted to copy it. Well, more precisely, I wanted to know how to do it so that I could copy it. But, you know, in my own way. 

So I did what any self-respecting motion designer would do: think about it for five minutes and then ask a talented friend on Slack. In this case, I asked my buddy and Motion Corpse co-Founder Frank Suarez, and he said something like "I think they just painted it frame by frame in Photoshop and used it as a matte."

This was a moment of clarity for me, and it set me off on a frenzy of experimenting and playing around with different methods of making textured transitions for my own work. As a bonus, I had just won a Cintiq 13HD tablet -- thank you School Of Motion! -- a few months prior and had discovered the insane life-changing beauty of Kyle T Webster's Photoshop brush sets.  So I was set.

And from that humble beginning arose a large, sprawling, disorganized mess of a folder on my drive named Wipers. On the jobs when I had time, I made more of them and stuck 'em in Wipers. And on those other jobs when the pressure was on to turn something around quickly, well who could resist a folder named Wipers? I mean, come on! It's right there.

And then, of course, it was only a matter of time before I realized ... these might be useful for other people too! People with tight deadlines, or people who didn't want to hand-make their own transitions, or even worse -- the unfortunate souls who didn't win a HD Cintiq in an animation contest against a bunch of other ridiculously talented motion designers like I had (sorry, hard for me to resist the humble-brag).

And thus I realized I could potentially make money from all this stuff I was already doing for myself. And, even better, it could actually really benefit some folks! 

If I have enough time in January, I really want to make a tutorial that will go into some detail about how I made these, in case there are enterprising souls who want to make their very own Wipers one day, and don't have a Frank Suarez to ask.