By: Elyse                Categories: 3D AnimationAnimation

When you clone a layer, any changes you make to the clone will also alter the original, and vice versa. One example where the technique may be useful is for creating a character shadow on a wall. The character can be cloned and the clone used as a Shadow matte. Any changes you make to the character will also be made to the shadow.


In this scene we’ll animate a raindrop ripple and duplicate it a number of times for an effect of rain on a pond surface.

> 1. Create a new throwaway scene. > 2. In the Timeline, rename the default layer ripple and then select frame 1. > 3. Using drawing tools and colours of your choice, animate a fourdrawing sequence of some ripples growing outward from the centre and dissipating, as shown in Figure 3.41. > 4. Add exposure to each drawing so they’re on doubles/twos (see page 149).

> 5. Right-click the ripple layer’s name and choose Duplicate Selected Layers.

The duplicated layer is automatically named with ‘_1’ appended for you, but like any layer, you can rename it if you prefer. At this point, the layers should appear as shown in Figure 3.42.

> 6. In the Timeline, [Shift]-select the first four frames (two drawings) of the duplicated ripple.

> 7. Press [Ctrl/⌘ X] to cut them from the Timeline. The blank frames should still be selected.

> 8. Making sure the blank frames are still selected, on your keyboard, press [Z]. This pulls the remaining drawings back to frame 1, leaving a gap at the end.

NOTE The [Z] key function in the Timeline is known as Clear and Pull, which can also be accessed by right-clicking drawings or blank frames Exposure ­ Clear Exposure and Pull.

> 9. In the ripple_1 layer, select frame 5 and then press [Ctrl/⌘ V] to paste those frames you cut in Step 7, onto the end.

> 10. Move the playhead to frame 8 and click the Stop Frame label in the top toolbar.

> 11. Activate playback looping and press [Shift Enter] to watch the playback.

In this exercise you’ve created two ripples from one, in a fraction of the time it’d take to animate two. For rain on a pond surface, you could ­ fill the scene with these ripples, o setting each by a different number of frames.

In the next exercise I’ll set you on the path to do this yourself, where you’ll reposition all the drawings of your duplicated ripple layer.


Excerpt from Animate to Harmony by Adam Phillips © 2014 Taylor and Francis Group All Rights Reserved.

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