How to create flat design style drawing animations in After Effects?

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Marie-Ange Demory

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The animation style called Flat Design is very characteristic due to its simplicity and the high level of synthesis in the contents displayed. This has gained great popularity on social networks for its looks, so it is of great value learn how to create drawing animations in Flat Design style in after effects.

After Effects is a program developed for audiovisual design. That said, its main uses are in animation, post-production of moving elements, and creating compositions alike 2D and 3D . What makes it one of the most suitable for producing Flat Design animations.

Its options menu is similar to using the Adobe Photoshop toolbar, and most importantly, both programs are included in the Adobe package.

      What is Flat Design?

      The Flat Design, called in Spanish Flat Design , lies in the reduction of all types of elements that are complex or that generate a greater amount of visual information than is necessary to convey a message. For this, the use of textures, reliefs, shades is excluded.

      However, to make Flat Design style cartoon animations in After Effects as easy as changing the language in Adobe After Effects, you must keep in mind that it is an open genre, the basic and essential principle is that what is not necessary for sending the message can be deleted

      The use of shades of bright and pastel colors for this kind of design and later its animation is very popular. The choice of tonal elements or color palettes is of great importance. Because it will help a lot the visual understanding of what you want to convey to the audience.

      This drawing and animation style ends up being a clean, solid, sharper and easy to understand design. Special for occasions when you want to send a clear message, without elements that distract attention.

      Thanks to its composition, this genre is very adaptable to all types of formats and many Flat Design designers do it through vectors, which generate high compatibility for different types of devices and resolutions without losing quality.

      Steps to Create Flat Design Cartoon Animation in After Effects

      The first thing to do is compose the design, both in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Calling up the Flat Design premises outlined above.

      Importantly, for create animations in Flat Design style in After Effects you need to know drawings, color management, and the basics of running the After Effects program. Furthermore, it is essential to know the basics of animation principles to generate smooth and pleasant movements.


      With the drawing ready, proceed to open the After Effects program and choose the option "New Composition" . In the settings that will appear later, the name will be changed and the size should commonly be placed in 1080 high by 1920 wide. The other elements are editable as needed.

      Once the program interface opens, a background for the animation will be created. To do this, double-click the tool " Rectangle " located in the top bar. In the items section it can be renamed and put “ background ”. To give it color, you have to look in the effect bar of " filling " and drag it to the background element to change the color.

      The next thing is to create elements that generate something more dynamic and not so simple in the background. The next thing will be to import the drawing previously done and add the elements to which you want to give movement with the tool " Pen ” or through geometric figures.

      You can complement it with another filter like inserting text textures in After Effects the easy way to get a better finish.

      By having these elements in the drawing in different layers, the animation will proceed. For this you select the section to which you want to apply a modification or an effect, then, in the window where the project time is displayed, you must select the moment in which you want to apply it. So it is only necessary to change the parameters at each different time for create Flat Design style drawing animations in After Effects.

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