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Building the Spider in AE: Part 4 of 5

COW Library : Adobe After Effects Tutorials : Dean Velez : Building the Spider in AE: Part 4 of 5
Building the Spider in AE: Part 4 of 5
A CreativeCOW After Effects Tutorial


Building the Animated Stroke in AE: Part 4 of 5

Dean Velez Dean Velez
The Anvel Motion Graphics Courseware for After Effects
Atlanta, Georgia

©Dean Velez and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Article Focus:

In this 5-part tutorial, Motion Graphics Trainer, Dean Velez explores creating complex backgrounds using a Photoshop still with the 3D properties of After Effects. We'll also create high end transitions using path tools and various effects as well as eye catching 2D animation using parented layers and resolving text using the track matte features. In lesson four, we'll build the animated spider.

Movie Project Files, contains footage: .sitx, .zip

PLEASE PREVIEW THE SPIDERWALKING.MOV ANIMATION BEFORE STARTING. Download the movies and project files from the pink bar above if you want to follow along instead of make your own.

Creating the Stroke Line




1.Import the spiderbody.psd as a composition and rename it spiderbody

2.Double click on the spiderbody composition icon

3.Change the composition duration to 1:00 seconds ( stretch out or condense layers if needed )

4.Switch the quality on all layers to best

5.Select head layer and parent it to the body

6.Select rear layer and parent it to the body

7.Set rotation key frames IN -10 :15 10 END -10 for head layer

8.Set rotation key frames IN 4 :15 -4 END 4 for body layer

9.Set rotation key frames IN -6 :15 6 END -6 for rear layer

10.Select all rotation key frames

11.Select / animation / keyframe assistant / easy ease

12.Import the spiderleg.psd as a composition and rename it spiderlegfront

13.Double click on the spiderleg.psd composition icon

14.Switch the quality on all layers to best
15.Change the composition duration to 1:15 seconds (
stretch out or condense layers if needed )

16.Select the pan behind tool to move the layers anchor points

17.Select toe and move its anchor point to were it touches the wrist (FIG 1)

18.Select wrist and move its anchor point to were it touches the forearm (FIG 1)

19.Select forearm and move its anchor point to were it touches the shoulder (FIG 1)

20.Select shoulder and move its anchor point to were it touches the bicep (FIG 1)

21.Select bicep and move its anchor point to the center of the bottom large ball (FIG 1)


Fig 1.

22.Parent toe to wrist, wrist to forearm, forearm to shoulder, and shoulder to bicep

23.Set biceps position to X 810 Y 530

24.Select toe and set rotation key frames IN -50 :15 -20 1:00 15 END -50

25.Select wrist and set rotation key frames IN -50 :15 -30 1:00 10 END -50

26.Select forearm and set rotation key frames IN -50 :15 5 1:00 15 END -50

27.Select shoulder and set rotation key frames IN -25 :15 35 1:00 30 END -25

28.Select bicep and set rotation key frames IN -5 :15 -10 1:00 -80 END -5

29.Select all rotation key frames

30.Select / animation / keyframe assistant / easy ease

31.Select the spiderlegfront composition from the project bin, duplicate it and rename it spiderlegback

32.Double click on the spiderlegback composition icon

33.Set biceps position to X 90 Y 530 and its scale to X -100 Y 100

34.Select toe and set rotation key frames IN -40 :15 40 1:00 10 END -40

35.Select wrist and set rotation key frames IN -35 :15 30 1:00 5 END -35

36.Select forearm and set rotation key frames IN -25 :15 20 1:00 15 END -25

37.Select shoulder and set rotation key frames IN -40 :15 -50 1:00 45 END -40

38.Select bicep and set rotation key frames IN 0 :15 60 1:00 55 END 0

39.Render out spiderbody composition as spiderbody with an alpha channel and re import it into the project
(Approx render time Less than 1 minute )

40.Render out spiderlegfront composition as spiderlegfront with an alpha channel and re import it into the project
(Approx render time less than 1 minute )

41.Render out spiderlegback composition as spiderlegback with an alpha channel and re import it into the project
(approx render time less than 1 minute )

42.Create a new composition 2000 x 1000, set the aspect ratio to square pixels and the duration to 10:00, name it step 1

43.Select the spiderbody animation from the project bin

44.Select / file / interpret footage / main and increase the loop to 20

45.do steps 44 for spiderlegfront and spiderlegback animations

46.Drag the spiderbody animation into step1

47.Switch its quality to best

48.Drag the spiderlegfront animation into step1

49.Switch its quality to best

50.Move the legs anchor point to where the leg touches the body using the pan behind tool

51.Duplicate it 3 x

52.Rename the spiderlegfront layers from the top as spiderlegfront 1 thru 4

53.Cut :10 off of the front of spiderlegfront 2 and move it to the beginning of the time line

54.Cut :20 off of the front of spiderlegfront 3 and move it to the beginning of the time line

55.Cut 1:00 off of the front of spiderlegfront 4 and move it to the beginning of the time line

56.Select spiderlegfront 1and set its position to X 900 Y 610 and rotation to -2

57.Select spiderlegfront 2 and set its position to X 885 Y 610 and rotation to -12

58.Select spiderlegfront 3 and set its position to X 870 Y 610 and rotation to -4

59.Select spiderlegfront 4 and set its position to X 855 Y 610 and rotation to -10

60.Drag the spiderlegback animation into the step 1 comp

61.Switch its quality to best

62.Move the legs anchor point to where the leg touches the body using the pan behind tool

63.Duplicate it 3 x

64.Rename the spiderlegback layers from the top as spiderlegback 1 thru 4

65.Cut :10 off of the front of spiderlegback 2 and move it to the beginning of the time line

66.Cut :20 off of the front of fspiderlegback 3 and move it to the beginning of the time line

67.Cut 1:00 off of the front of spiderlegback 4 and move it to the beginning of the time line

68.Select spiderlegback 1 and set its position to X 1040 Y 610 and a rotation of 2

69.Select spiderlegback 2 and set its position to X 1020 Y 610 and a rotation of 4

70.Select spiderlegback 3 and set its position to X 1010 Y 610 and a rotation of 8

71.Select spiderlegback 4 and set its position to X 990 Y 610 and a rotation of 12

72.Create a new composition and name it render out select the NTSC D1, 720x486 preset and set the duration to 10:00

73.Select layer / new / solid and make a 720x486 black solid

74.Switch its quality to best

75.Drag in the step 1 composition into render out and switch its quality to best

76.Scale it to 35

77.Select layer / new / adjustment layer and switch its quality to best

78.Select effect / image control / median and set the radius to 3 this will smudge the leg joints together

79.Save file as spider walking

80.Render file as spider walking , premultiplied with no alpha

the spider is created larger than needed so that you can use it in different animations


Dean Velez copyright 2003, 2004,2005

For more of Dean's tutorials, click on the logo to the right.



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