david alexander currie

After Effects

November 25, 2020

The mechanical assembly of the underclass leaf eater and the spiritual consequence on the classist hot dog overlords.

For animation assignment 2 I worked with Dunca Figurski. The assignment brief was to create a 1-3 minute animation using after effects.

Our original storyboard can be seen here

Our process was to animate our own scenes separately and then edit them together. This allowed us to both have a good go at all the different components of animating in After Effects (i.e. creating assets in illustrator, animating in After Effects, sound/music composition etc).

I created the opening sequence where the leaf-eater character is brought into existence on an assembly line in a factory. The factory workers are all robots that are performing a dance ritual. The leaf-eater is then merged together with one of the robots while having visions of the business-hotdog.

Some of the different componets I created were:

Smoke effect

  • This was created using a random noise texture effect in After Effects

Shapes/Blur effects

  • I used some blur/glow effects to accentuate moments throughout the sequence

Dancing arms/wiggling of the robots

  • I used an expression with the noise function to control rotation of the arms of the robots making them seem like they are dancing
noise(time) * 360
  • I used the wiggle function to manipulate the scale & rotation of the robots’ bodies to make them seem more alive.
wiggle(5, 10), wiggle(5, 10)

Transitions & other animations

  • Standard keyframe animations were applied to opacity and other transform properties to have different elements fade in.


  • For the scenes that incorporate 3d aspects I created a camera and converted my assets to 3d objects. I then set them up in 3d space and used camera movement to create animation. In shot 2 where the conveyor belt moves from right to left I moved the textured image but used a camera that was positioned above & looking down to make the conveyor belt seem 3d. This way, the texture at the bottom of the screen moves right to left faster.

Musical Score

  • I wanted the score to enhance the robot dance and also seem somewhat maniacal. I used a lot of industrial techno placeholder music while making the animation and that ended up influencing the visual style a lot and so I created something along those lines.

Really enjoyed working on this project.

Written by David Currie, a current student at NYU ITP. Follow me on Twitter