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After Effects Video Tutorial: Transition from One Comp to Another

Evan Abrams

In this Premiumbeat exclusive tutorial we show you a technique for seamlessly transitioning from one comp to another in After Effects.

Adobe After Effects

Using a vector-based ‘eyeball’ transition I’ll demonstrate a technique for transitioning from one comp to another in AE. The tutorial covers a few simple After Effects fundamentals including:

  • Creating an eyeball simulation
  • Shape editors
  • Using exclude effects
  • Working with alpha mattes

While this tutorial is rather specific the techniques involved in making an animated eye transition can be used in a wide variety of motion graphic situations.

More of a reader than a watcher? Follow along with the step-by-step tutorial below. Click any image for larger view. 

1 Create a new composition, new black solid, and new text titled “Start,Start,Start”.

2 Create a new dark magenta shape layer. Make a mask over the first “start”. Duplicate the mask twice and drag down to cover all the words.

3 Set a keyframe on all the mask paths. Move the playhead forward 10 frames and position the mask path off of the letters.

4 Move to the beginning of the composition and move the mask to begin on the far left.

5 Set opacity to 0 at the beginning and end of the animation then set the opacity to 100 percent.

6 Offset the keyframes.

7 Easy Ease all the keyframes. Use the graph editor to make a curved line.

8 Duplicate the dark magenta layer, place it above the text and give it an alpha track mask.

9 Create an exact duplicate of the composition and change the text to “End End End”.

10 Create a new composition called middle.

11 Make a new null object that scales down from 100 to 50 over the course of a few frames.

12 Parent the start composition to the null object.

13 Create a diamond shape over the “Start” pre-comp using the pen tool. Make sure you turn off the fill.

14 Use the convert vertex tool to round off the top and bottom vertices.

15 Set a keyframe for the shapes path.

16 Move forward 10 frames and close the eyeball. Move 10 frames forward and open the eye again.

17 Add a rectangle to the shape layer, add an exclude intersection effect.

18 Parent the shape layer to the null object.

19 Create a new black solid and add it to the back. Create a new white ellipses shape layer and make the shape equal on the x and y scaling.

20 Duplicate the ellipses and create an eyeball like the picture.

21 Parent the shape layers to the null.

22 Set keyframes to scale the pupil down over time.

23 Duplicate the eyeball and include only the inner pupil. Set the “start” layer to alpha matte so it only appears in the pupil.

24 You can stylize using keyframes on the pupil position, strokes, fills, among other things.

Know of any other uses for this technique? Share in the comments below.