3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 26, 2014 10:41 AM by bogiesan

    Cartoon Water


      Does anyone have any good ideas for animating a cartoon river in After Effects?


      Below is an example of a vector image that I want to use in my video. I want to make it look like water is flowing down the river. I am thinking of just taking the white wave looking things and moving them down the path of the river...but I don't know if that would look good.


      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


      Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 2.25.52 PM.png

        • 1. Re: Cartoon Water
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You will need a changing pattern for the foam/ wave glare and that can easily be created with some animated Fractal Noise. I see nothing specific in the image that would require anything else.



          • 2. Re: Cartoon Water
            A. Cobb Level 3

            I'd try making those highlights move, but they would need to appear and disappear quickly, otherwise they will look like things floating in the water. 

            Take a look at this clip to see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0Qk-tsGY5Q

            The whole pattern implies motion, but none of these constituent visual elements persists for more than a brief time. A particle system would probably make this task a lot easier.

            • 3. Re: Cartoon Water
              bogiesan Level 4

              Cobb has noted correctly these are highlights. A river flowing toward the bottom edge of the screen will not necessarily have highlights that are moving. Highlights are formed by water deforming as it passes over rocks and such that are under the water (Those objects do not move) or by wind causing ripples.


              If you can find some old Hanna-Barbera cartoons you can see economic and minimalist animation at its best. They'd create a series of three, maybe four, very simple frames that suggest movement and loop those. The frames might simply be a series of blue forms that appear to move toward the bottom of the frame.  For more examples of this technique, search the web for "animation cycles" or "cyclic animation."