After Effects - Feature Platform


> Read the Article

For the past twenty years, After Effects has been one of the primary software programs used by animators. I, myself, have been using if for over ten years. As such, I’ve been wanting to create a public place for ideas and features that can be shared with the After Effects team not only to give them a sense as to how we work but also what features could be useful—as our animations continue to evolve. 

I collected all feedback I could find—from scrolling through endless blog pages to observing how some of the best animators prefer to work. Combining this with countless hours of my own experience—and ultimately getting deep into the inner-workings of AE, I’ve been able to produce what I believe is a thorough and realistic list of feature requests. To help visualize this better, I’ve used images and animation to show how the features could potentially be integrated into the program. 

Now it’s up to you to vote and comment and let the community know what features you would like to see integrated the most. Of course, if I missed anything or if you have ideas that could make any of mine better—please don’t hesitate to comment.

Ray Dynamic Color — Free Update!

Because Ray has been doing really well over the last couple of months, I have decided to release a free update with some of the most requested features!


New Features:

01:00 — Scan project ( see blow ) for colors and link all of them to a color palette.  ( thanks to Seth Eckert! )
15:00 — Replace the current palette applied for different color palette.
24:00 — Fill & Stroke Color fills and Strokes of shape layers separately. ( thanks to Andreas Bjørn Hansen )
36:00 — Swap the Fill and the Stroke color of shape layers. ( thanks to Justin Lawes! )
45:00 — New Advanced Expression: Animate between colors. ( thanks to Tony Pinkevich! ) 
 — Update UI interface. 


Tutorial, Scan Feature:

Ray Dynamic Color - After Effects Tool


Ray Dynamic Color - Empowering Animation Artists with better tools.

My color workflow that I used on projects like Pause Fest, IBM datagrams and Onward Internet, Is now available on aescripts + aeplugins Get this tool Ray Dynamic Color

Featured on:  MotionographerStash Media and Lesterbanks

"We used Ray to manage our color workflow inside After Effects. I remembered seeing Sander van Dijk post a tutorial on working with color in AE. In tracking that down, I saw that he had just released it as a script, which made life easier."
- Title sequence for FITC Tokyo

“ In my mind this is a must have for every person working in After Effects. ”
Andreas Brørn Hansen

How it works:

Currently all the colors in your After Effect project live in their own place, even if some elements in your scene have the same color. When you want change or try a different color it's almost impossible because you have to change each individual color of every element in the project. Imagine if all the elements that share the same color have the ability to be dynamically linked to one color source. This would give us many options to manage colors.

With Ray Dynamic Color you can assign a number to the elements in your scene with one click. These numbers can then be represented by any color.


00:15 Tool instal guide.
00:33 Create a Color Palette Composition.
01:34 Import ASE file.
01:49 Rename color palettes.
02:16 Import from Kuler


02:57 Apply colors.
03:19 Adjusting applied colors.
03:56 Search colors in timeline.
04:18 Adjusting applied colors faster.
04:35 Change colors in the palette.
05:26 Save colors in a Preset FFX file.
06:07 "#" Button to for any number.
06:23 "P" Button to swap color palettes.


06:52 How Ray Dynamic Color works.
07:22 Instal advanced expressions.
07:18 Random expression.
07:49 Cycle expression.

Ouroboros - After Effects Preset


Empowering Animation Artists with better tools.

With better tools we can focus more on creating great animations.
Ouroboros allows you to create multiple trimmed strokes on one path. *

* Please note that there is limited support for the Ouroboros preset, as it was done as a labor of love.

! For some unknown reason Ouroboros does not work properly on AE with Chinese language installed. Will look into this when I can.

How it works:

The Ouroboros preset gives you a new shape layer with a stroke and some effects. Now parent that new shape layer to any other original shape and it will take on its properties. The new layer holds the stroke and follows whatever your original shape is doing. Then duplicate the " Stroke Ouroboros 1 " inside " Contents, group1 "  to create more strokes on that same shape path!

Random Seed Random Seed Path Index Number Start End Offset Random Offset Stroke Menu Width px Width Random Width Maintain Opacity Opacity Random Trim Start Trim End Trim Offset Trim Random Speed Speed Random Delay Delay Random Color Menu Color Offset Cycles ps Color Random Rainbow


  • Free preset, fill in $0; and the credit card box will disappear. You only need an email address to get this plugin. That I need to send you updates in the future.
  • Make sure the structure is like " > Contents > Shape x > Path x " mirroring the Ouroboros layer " > Contents > Group x > Ouroboros x "


  • If 100 lines of expressions show up in your timeline when you hit "U", try to close the triangle ▶︎ in front of Contents to collapse them all.  See how you can turn off revealing expressions "improvements to keyboard shortcuts"
  • Double click the properties in the Effects Panel to reveal that property in the timeline.
  • Referencing a shape-layer in another comp. Create a new shape-layer in the current comp, Name it after the comp and control layer you want to reference in another comp, for example: "edit" then a comma "," and then the name of the control layer "control". Layer name = edit,control Now you can reference ouroboros layers to that shape-layer with fancy name and it will go to comp edit and reference layer control.
  • Maintain stroke width when using strokes that are inside a pre-comp. Add a comma "," + "comp-name" to the name of your Ouroboros layer. Your Ouroboros layer now knows to include the scale from itself in the pre-comp. Layer name = my Ouroboros Stroke,edit
  • Everything is done using expressions. Learn Javascript to take your expression skills to the next level. Great sources are CodeCademy and Motionscript

© Copyright Ouroboros SANDER VAN DIJK 2014
* Please note that there is limited support for the Ouroboros preset, as it was done as a labor of love. Please post questions in the comments section below and we might be able to resolve the issue.


Design by Tata & Friends

When the number series designed by Tatalab & Friends came online I was inspired to animate one of them! 

Ocho - The number of the perfection, infinity, and the totality of the universe. 

Recreating Reality - 4K 60fps

Our devices are becoming faster, screens become more dense, less reflective, interactive, hot, cold and even bendable. How long will it take before we can project textures onto objects that look and feel real to us?

Download below or Watch on Youtube: 4K Motion Graphics

Web and interactive Apps are implementing more and more animation. With some work I was able to double the scale and frame rate of the animation I had made for Pausefest. File size stays low because abstract graphics are easy to compress. Youtube and Vimeo wont allow 60fps so you can download the animation here below.

Plays best ( 1:1 ) on a MacBook Pro Retina 15 inch display

Plays best ( 1:1 ) on a 4K Ultra HD Television.