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After Effects Iris Shutter thing

Controlling the iris with an expression to open and close By Ko Maruyama
Often there are some simple graphic elements that you can make by using multiple layers in After Effects.  Sometimes, you can recreate those graphics within a single shape layer.  The shutter effect or iris effect is one of those effects you can achieve with a single shape layer.  To control the aperture, you can set up a simple expression to open and close the elements.

Recently, I was asked about this often used effect.  Online there are some great references of how this works technically, but you could also create the same effect by eye relatively easily.  Make your own custom iris / aperture transition in After Effects with Shape Layers and the Repeat modifier without using the guide.  You can get the guide file from PART 1 which will show you how to make the whole thing.

I created a video tutorial to explain the steps.  You can watch the video, but you might be able to glean the method from the Adobe After Effects  CS3 file (can also be used in CS4).  The next step is to animate the opening - - which can be done through keyframes, but an expression makes it easy to control.

This is part 2, which shows you how to set up the expression which will control the amount of it's opening.



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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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