Grouping contents in After Effects to organize write-on effect

I don't work on After Effects too often, so every time I do I forget how to group contents. Grouping is a good way to keep everything organized, especially when it comes to write-ons. Instead of doing a mad search every time I'm on Ae, I thought I'd post.

  • Build out your paths for write-on technique in separate shape layers
  • Bottom layer is your content that'll be masked (probably Ai or Ps file). Set the track matte to the shape layer that you'll throw all the paths in.
  • Add groups to your shape layer under "Shape 1" dropdown. Add > Group (empty)
  • Rename your new group to reflect the path. In my case, my path is a mask for the letter "D"
  • Move the Path and Transform layer to the new group.
  • Add and tweak trim paths.

Illustration Exploration IV

My most recent binge of The Young Pope conveniently collided with a Skillshare lesson: "Illustration in Photoshop: Professional Work From Your Sketches" by Anne Bollman. If you've seen The Young Pope, you probably remember the regally gaudy scene where Jude Law addresses the cardinals. Of course I had to incorporate that into my illustration exploration series, because design is a passion and a prison (just kidding).

process images:

color variation, final illustration

Next up in character illustration: faces. Can't live without 'em. This is a particular challenge to me because I'm trained in graphite realism, so simplified lines and features go against all my deepest beliefs. 

I also have a few bullet points from previous Illustration Exploration posts that I want to continue working on. Here's the list:

  • Put a face on it! (Portlandia Season 1)
  • Continue working with a more realistic body form
  • Use outlines, but give them color and try overlapping fill color/texture and outlines
  • Make & use more custom textures
  • Work with a limited color palette


Choosing Pantones for Waterbase Screenprinting

While printing towels for Wine Winks, my client and I noticed some of our colors weren't coming out as expected. Our towels are off-white, and the results were close, but not spot-on. Confused, we reached out to the screenprinter for advice.

We learned color accuracy is affected by the Pantone color itself. Specifically, Pantones created with a transparent base are tough to match, while Pantones with a white or charcoal base are easiest.

find your Pantone base:

  1. Pull out your Pantone book and go to a random page. I'm on page 133U.
  2. Look at the color in the middle of your page. Mine is 2935U.
    Middle section = PIGMENT + TRANSPARENT BASE
    This color outcome is the toughest to predict accurately, because transparent. Unless its printed on the whitest white ever, it's going to be most affected by your medium.
  3. Look at the color on the top of your page. Mine is 2905U.
    Upper section = PIGMENT + WHITE BASE
    This color outcome will be closer to your Pantone book because it has a base in it.
  4. Look at the color at the bottom of your page. Mine is 2965U.
    Lower section = PIGMENT + CHARCOAL BASE
    This color outcome will be closer to your Pantone book because it has a base in it.

Here's a pull quote from my screenprinter:

"A few things to keep in mind when looking at a Pantone book.  The very center chip on the page is the most transparent, that color will be based out of primary pigment and put into a fully transparent base of ink.  The farther you go up the Pantone book page, the more opaque white base is used, the farther you go down the book, the more opaque charcoal base is used.  We have more flexibility on matching color when using the opaque tones, they are less transparent and less affected by substrate."

Shoutout to Silva Screenprinting in Minneapolis, MN who has been a great partner this past year.