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Video Tutorial: Unfolding Animation in Adobe After Effects

Evan Abrams
By Evan Abrams
By Evan Abrams

Fold and unfold elements in your After Effects project! In this tutorial we show you how to create this visually impressive effect.

In this Premiumbeat exclusive tutorial, you’ll learn how to fold (and unfold) objects in After Effects. The tutorial specifically covers folding/unfolding a letter, but you can certainly use this technique for any number of elements. We’ll cover a few advanced AE fundamentals, including:

  • Position snapping
  • Parenting
  • Using the Graph Editor

Prefer reading to watching? Check out the full step-by-step tutorial below.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed when working with an After Effects project with many layers, such as this one. Be sure to label all your layers so you don’t get confused!

See our blog for more informative tutorials in Adobe After Effects, as well as other professional video editing and motion graphics applications.

Step-by-Step: Unfolding After Effects Tutorial

1 Create a new composition. Create the letter “U” and lock.

2 Create a new polygon shape layer, set stroke to 0, points to 3 and toggle 3d on.

3 Scale up to fill in bottom of the “U”.

4 Duplicate the root and snap to the center of the triangle vertex.

5 Set 1 second rotation keyframes to the top layer over the X axis.

6 Create a new point light.

7 Duplicate triangle layers and parent each duplicate to the original.

8 Easy Ease and offset layers by 4 frames.

9 Continue duplicating until the entire right side of the letter is covered by triangles.
10 Duplicate the letter so that each triangle layer has a duplicated letter under it.

11 Parent each letter to it’s corresponding triangle (after you move the playhead to the end).

12 Select all letter layers and set to alpha matte. Change the transfer mode to alpha. Add and change the strokes from 0 to 2.

13 Pre compose.

14 Duplicate and flip horizontally.