Amity All F*cked Up Lyric Video Breakdown

For this project, we'll be looking at the lyric video for Amity's All F*cked Up (language warning if you couldn't presume from the title).

Animating the Lyrics

So for the animation of the lyrics I used track mattes, luma mattes to be precise. I found a stock footage clip of some ink falling onto paper to get the effect that felt a little bit like a film burn. I used ink because it felt more consistent rather than trying to simulate a burn, cause burns are so varying in how they behave.

I typed out all the first lyric and put the stock footage clip above it, and lined up the ink blot over the majority of the word, leaving the edges of the word to be the edges of the ink so it didn't cover it completely. Then I made the text layer have an inverted luma matte so that it would look at the layer above it, the ink clip, and show the areas of the black ink and not the white paper.

Then I would duplicate those two layers and change the text into whatever the next lyric was, and move and rotate the ink on the layer above it so that they all didn't look identical to give it a little bit more of a tactile, unpolished, feel to it.

Once I did that I'd have to change the speed of some of the clips to either increase it or decrease it depending on how long the word was and how quickly it was read so that it matched up with the lyrics and timing of the song. It was a simple as that, it just took a while to go through and do all of the lyrics.

Animating the Illustrations

To animate the background illustrations of the skulls and smiley face I did a few things. For the reveals where they would draw themselves on I drew them directly into After Effects by using the mask tool and a solid.

I'd create a black solid, and draw out the picture using the masking pen.

 Each line of the illustration was drawn with a separate mask line so that I could then use the stroke tool to animate the reveal on, similar to how it's done when you're making it look like text is writing on screen.

To animate the skull chomping bit I animated it out once, then used a precomposition to duplicate that animation and scale it up so it felt like bigger and bigger skulls were chomping down on each other. I could just duplicate the precomp and scale it up and up and up.

For the glitch sequences I used a plugin from Red Giant Universe called Glitch, which does a lot of the set up for me and I can control it's features easily. If you don't have that plugin though you can use the method of displacement mapping a stock footage clip of some glitches like we did it this tutorial.

Film Strips

For the film strips that come in during the chorus, I found some stock footage of film strips running by the camera and brought those into After Effects, this bit is less glamorous and more small tweaks.

I did some color correcting and editing out different pieces of about 5-7 clips of film strips to create a feeling of one continuous strip without any kind of countdown effect or real imagery on it besides the simple writing.

Then I precomposed that new edited footage so that I could animate it on screen so it wouldn't just appear magically but would come in from the top of the screen or the bottom. It only moves for about 3 to 5 frames but that little effect really helps sell it I think.

Film Effect

To get the film effect I used another Red Giant Universe plugin called Carousel. This guy adds vignetting, the boarder, the grain, all in one go and I can control it with simple sliders from within it.

If you don't have that plugin though the same effect can be made pretty simply, which I did on previous projects before I had this great plugin.

If you were to create that effect from the ground up you would want to create your own boarder for the film, either by using a black solid or finding a stock image of an old picture and masking out the inside to isolate just the boarder.

Then you'd want to find stock footage of film grain, or you could try making your own using noise settings but that can be tricky and time consuming. Using stock footage of film noise you would use a blend mode to make it so that you could see through it but still get pieces of it appearing over your footage.

Wave Form

For the waveform towards the end of the song I used the standard wave form effect but turned it on it's side so it was vertical rather than horizontal. Then I did a wiggle effect on it's X position so that it would slide around the screen, and I made it very thin and a little green so that it would be a close match to the scratch lines on the video from the film effect.

Finishing Touches

Once I had all of these elements put together I went back to give it some finishing touches to really polish it off.

First I wanted to get a nice simulated feeling of film jitter in an old, crumby projector. So I made a null object and put a wiggle expression on it and then pick whipped that to a slider so that I could control how much it was wiggling at what time. Then I simply made precompositions of each element and parented them to the null object so they'd match it's wiggle.

For the final chorus I separated the X positioning and the Y positioning of the lyrics and just applied the wiggle to the Y position, so it would only go up and down dramatically rather than all over the place. Trying again to emulate the film running through the camera.

Then I put a vignette on the whole thing to add a little bit more of a projected light feel, and put a wiggle expression in it's opacity so that it would flicker instead of being solid, to try to give it the feel that film was passing over the light source.

Then I did some color correction, and little bits of manual animation if I didn't like how the expressions were behaving, but for the most part that was all of the big elements that I animated for the video.

Conclusion

The key here, and I think in a lot of After Effects projects, is to use lots of little effects built up on top of each other rather than just one big strong effect. Having the wiggle be separate from the film effect really allows me to control how it looks and feels, same with the vignette being different from it. Those little touches really polish up a video and make it stand out.