Gonna need to know more about how it was built to help.
Is it a single, still frame?
Yeah, it's just a flat image. I found out how to make it move, but it moves the whole image, while I want the image to stay the same, but the dots look like they're moving.
Yeah there's not just a whole lot you can do once it is rendered like that and flattened.
There are a number of things you could to to try and recreate a background like that and then animate it, but the expectation that you can take that still image and get the animation you are looking for is a false one.
My advice? Learn more about what AE can and can't do, and then design accordingly
cool, sounds good. Do you think it's a lot easier to do in premiere? If it is even possible in it. Not to good with all this video stuff
Absolutely not on the premiere tip. AE is your app, you just need to work with it more
Alright thanks, but can you lead me in the direction I need to go? I've been messing with some effects, but nothing that I want so far.
Am I in the right area?
Ok, here's a step in the right direction, but beware that
without a fundamental knowledge of after effects some of this may seem a bit complex:
Looking at what you've created, if I wanted to translate that to the type of animation that you want, I would first create a dot comp. That's a comp that just has your source dots in it. Could be done any number of ways: photoshop, illustrator, shape layers or masks inside of AE, whatever. But these dots are laying flat, undistorted in any way.
Then I would take that comp into another comp, and to get the horizontal motion I would try the effect: stylize->motion tile. Adjust the output width property so that your dots now tile horizontally, and you are able to animate the x-position for your dots comp.
Then I would put this animated dots comp into a 3rd, master comp, where I would first try something like a distort->mesh warp to get the shape you are after (play with the settings, grab the warp points on the stage and move them around...my thought is that the less rows and columns you have the cleaner the distortion will be). I would also play with something like corner pin (this will create a different, but possibly interesting distortion), and I might even try the puppet tool to shape it, although the puppet tool needs to mature a little bit before it can cleanly and efficiently handle something like this.
In doing this, you will have your dots layer animating, and the distort will take care of the custom shape you want. To get that reflection you may want to take that master comp into a FOURTH comp, duplicate it, set the y scale to a -100% (or whatever) and then try effect->transition->linear wipe and play with the settings in there to get that soft falloff.
This is not the only way it can be done, and it may not even work exactly as you'd like, but again if I were doing it, this is where I would start.
I hope that helps
Nice Chas, but just to demonstrate that there are often multiple ways to skin a cat in AE, I've got another suggestion:
This could also be done using AE's 3d space. (Check the help files for any terms I use that you don't understand.)
Create your circle precomp as Chas mentions.
In a new comp (the same size as your final output) place your circle precomp, tick the 3d box and animate your layer to move in a curvy path in 3d (start more than a circle's width offscreen on the right and end more than a circle's width offscreen on the left)
You'll then want to bring another copy of your precomp into AE and apply an expression off of this page (probably the one about auto-orientation near the bottom, but to understand it, you'll need to start at the top).
Then, lots of duplicates.
Now, keep in mind that the end video is going to actually be very short. It's going to start with the row of circles all the way across the screen and will only need to last for the time it takes for a following circle to land in the same position as the one it's following. (Then, once looped, it will appear to be an endless stream.)
Then, it's only a matter of repeating the process for each line of dots.
The "reflection" at the bottom can be acheived by repeating the process but with a lowered opacity of all the layers. (And, if you want to get really awesome, put an adjustment layer above the "floor reflection" layers and apply a horizontal blur too)
Alternatively, for something truly amazing, check out this tutorial.
As Chas mentioned though, all of this is not going to be very easy without a knowledge of the basics of AE. Even if you get close to what you want, tweaking things to get all the way there will be difficult.
Check all of the links and information on this page. They will be of much use to you. I'm a big fan of the video copilot tutes he links to on there.