Creating a watercolour wipe in After Effects – Part 1

Deconstructing a complex transition

Over 3 years ago, in a rare moment when I had some spare time, I attempted to create an After Effects project that revealed an image as if it were a watercolour painting.  I posted the result on my website and since then it has proved immensley popular, and I’ve always been meaning to clean up the original project and give it a bit of a facelift – and here it is.

The Watercolour Wipe - 2013 edition

After tweaking a few things I thought it would be interesting to deconstruct the whole project and look at how it all works.  This took much longer than I expected, so the result is a two-part video presentation that analyses the workflow and logic behind the newly updated and completely overhauled watercolour wipe.

In part 1 I give some background and talk about the way the project is structured so that changes to the source image can be automatically updated in the final composition.

In part 2 I look at the layers in the “final” comp and talk about what they’re all doing.




(click the ‘full-screen’ icon for best results)

You can download the collected After Effects project here.

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Chris was born a geek, and was lucky enough to own a Commodore 64 at a time when the number of students at his primary school who owned a computer could be counted on one…

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