after effects Tutorial

After Effects: Animating Gradient Meshes

Dylan Wittmuss
|2 min read
Written by Dylan Wittmuss


Dive into the colorful world of gradient animations with this tutorial by Dylan Wittmuss. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of animating gradient meshes in After Effects.

Setting up the Composition:

  • Create a new composition and title it "gradient". A simple 10-second duration will suffice.
  • Begin by crafting a shape, because the entire process revolves around superimposing an effect on it.

Choosing Your Gradient:

  • Once the shape is ready, navigate to 'effects and presets'.
  • Type in "gradient" and you'll find options like the 'four color gradient' and the 'gradient ramp'. The former is preferable for a more intriguing effect, though limited to four colors. The latter offers linear or radial gradients.

Key Framing Process:

  1. Start by key framing positions and colors for your gradient.
  2. At the 2-second mark, shuffle the positions. If desired, revamp the colors.
  3. By the 4-second mark, move the gradient elements again, making them intermingle. Changing colors at this point can bring an eclectic touch.
  4. Repeat this step at the 6-second and 8-second marks. Remember, every movement or change introduces dynamism to the gradient.

Adjusting the Blend:

  • This is a nifty feature to control how distinct or blended your colors appear.
  • For instance, increasing the blend can make individual colors harder to discern, whereas a lower blend will retain their clarity.

Final Touches:

  • By the 10-second mark, give one last shuffle to the positions and perhaps introduce a fresh palette. Altering the blend at this point can either enhance or mellow the final look.
  • There's also an option to tweak the opacity. However, Dylan notes that it might dilute the vibrancy of the colors.

The Linear Gradient:

  • This variant functions akin to the four-color gradient. It works with two points that you can freely move around.
  • Though simpler, the four-color gradient has an edge in terms of visual richness.

Further Learning:

If you're intrigued by the possibilities and want to apply gradient effects to text, Dylan hints at Devon's tutorial which covers the gradient text technique.

And that's a wrap! Whether you've got it down perfectly or are still grappling with the nuances, remember to experiment and personalize. Each gradient you create is a unique splash of color waiting to enliven your projects.


motion design
after effects

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