After Effects Tutorial

Creating a Ceiling Fan in After Effects

Khalifa Teya
|3 min read
Written by Khalifa Teya

Khalifa Teya here. I'm excited to dive into an After Effects tutorial where I'll walk you through the steps of animating a fan to achieve that seamless spin. But before we dive in, a brief note about the initial design. While I designed my fan in Illustrator exactly as it was supposed to be, it was a mistake. Here’s why: the angle got quirky. Let's ensure you don’t make the same mistake.

1. Starting Fresh:

Sometimes it's best to begin from scratch, especially when we’re talking about a design that’s slightly off-angle. Let's restart and approach this the right way.

2. Design in a 2D Environment:

Instead of designing the fan in its final orientation, draw it out in a 2D flat view first. This makes it easier to manage. For my design, I just used simple rectangles and played around with the pencil tool to capture the essence of fan blades.

3. Centralize Your Design:

Once your fan design is complete, center it on your workspace. This step is crucial: move the anchor point to the center of the fan. This ensures the spin emanates correctly from the center and not from an edge or a corner.

4. Convert to 3D:

With your design centered, let’s add some dimension. Turn your 2D fan into a 3D object by clicking on the cube icon in After Effects. But remember, the anchor point of your 3D fan may shift. Don’t worry, just set it back to the center.

5. Rotate and Position:

Now that you have a 3D fan, it's time to rotate it to your desired angle. Feel free to experiment here; get the angle that feels right for your project. Make sure to position it the way you envision it in your final output.

6. Animate the Spin:

It's time to breathe life into our fan. Start by setting an anchor point for the fan's Z rotation. As you commence your animation, set a key frame at the starting point. Slide over to your desired endpoint, and set another key frame. Decide on the number of rotations you want and input that number. It might look wild initially, but trust the process.

And there you have it, folks. You might need a bit of tweaking to get it perfect, but that's the essence of animating a 3D fan spin in After Effects. Remember, the key lies in starting simple in 2D before diving into the 3D world. Happy animating!

The Result


after effects
3D Objects After Effects
After Effects Tutorial
Ceiling Fan
Z Rotation
Anchor Points

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