My Experiments with abstract Animation

This week I have been playing with after effects to try and make some of my own abstract animations. I have been using Adobe After Effects and experimenting with the Trapcode plugin. After watching the making of the tunnel effect in the 70s Doctor Who intro, and the stargate sequence from 2001, I was inspired to try and recreate some of those effects digitally.

This was my first experiment with creating something abstract in After effects and the method I used has a lot of simularities with the slit scan method, it’s almost like a digital version of it.

I started by making a very long high quality vertical plane much like the slit in the original technique. I then placed some artwork onto that plane by adding noise and playing around with contrast settings and adding various other filters. I then applied some 3D aspects to the long plane and turned it into a cylinder. Then I animated the camera moving through it rotating as it was going.

I installed a trial of Red Giant’s Trapcode and followed some tutorials to try and learn it. This animation is very much like the Doctor Who intro and I used some really interesting techniques to create it.

The version of Trapcode that I was using was a trial which is why there’s a red cross on the screen.

Essentially the whole animation is a particle simulation. I created a series of rings with high contrast noise, and made the noise animate randomly. Then using Trapcode, I generated a particle effect and set the particles to all follow a path. I then duplicated the animated rings and had them generate as part of the particle effect. With the noise on the rings animating randomly, it creates a really nice streaky pattern down the tunnel as the newly generated rings line up with the previous ones. Lots of different filters were added along the way to give it it’s colour and aesthetic. The really interesting part is I found a line of script online that enables the camera to follow the path of the particle effect, so I could essentially have the camera travel through the rings as they were moving.

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