Ae Experiment 14

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Suggested for this Experiment
  • CC Scatterize
  • CC Plastic
  • Glow
  • Gradient Ramp
  • Fractal Noise

After Effects Experiment 14 is based on Shape Layers. Take a look at what I created and then try your own experiment. Remember to use only Shape Layers and the effects listed and give yourself at least 30 minutes to play. Post your results in the comments for feedback.


I started with a simple Polystar shape and duplicated it a few times, adjusting the inner and outer radius, colour and rotation,  to create this flower-like shape.


Next I added the Pucker & Bloat and Zig Zag options to the Polystars.


That was followed by the CC Scatterize effect, the CC Plastic effect and Glow effect.


I duplicated the master Shape Layer then turned off and adjusted some of the Polystars for the duplicate to create a different shape.


Next I added a new solid layer below the combined Shape Layers, with the Gradient Map effect and CC Scatterize effect applied.


To finish I used an Adjustment Layer with Fractal Noise and a soft, feathered mask to isolate the noise to only the outer edges. This adds some interesting texture around the edges.


  1. Torus

    Hi, Nice to see Experiment back 🙂
    Here is my try…

    (PS: it is hard to upload a good image for less that 200kb.)

    • John Dickinson

      Hi Torus, great effort. I save my images for web inside Photoshop and can usually get them looking okay at smaller sizes.
      Best, John.

  2. ash

    this is pretty cool !

  3. Kyle Daily

    Yes, more experiments please!

    • John Dickinson

      Hey Kyle, there will be more! Did you use Scatterize and Plastic in this look?

      • Kyle Daily

        I experimented with them but I was unhappy with the result so I took them out. My apologies if this went outside the scope of the experiment.

  4. Chris Doe

    Another fun experiment, John!

    • John Dickinson

      I really like the central shape Chris, the pattern looks designed!

  5. Tim

    First try at this – can only get better

    • John Dickinson

      That’s looking really interesting Tim, I like how all of the colour is at the centre and is overlapped but the turbulence, which gives it depth.

  6. Mauricio Mendes

    Nice experiment.

  7. John Dickinson

    Great effort Mauricio!

  8. Mohammed

    Once again, something original and very useful. The foundations are so simple you can animate in any number of ways. I can see myself using this with fractal noise and using a dark theme as a background to text information.

    Thank you.

  9. dylan_trieu158

    Figured this was a little late but I’ll upload anyway~ It was fun, definitely love these experiments

    • John Dickinson

      Never to late Dylan, I really like the icy look you’ve created.

  10. Michael

    Here is my effort, I am still admittedly a little confused on how the shape layer system works.

    • John Dickinson

      They aren’t the most intuitive feature that’s for sure.

  11. txeurz

    Hi, John

    Is the file for PC as well ?
    (I can’t open in CS6) 🙂

    -Gary .T

    • John Dickinson

      It’s a CC file sorry.

  12. Johannes

    Thats fun!

  13. Joe B

    Definitely a fun exercise. It got me to take a long look at all the shape layer options and gain a deeper understanding/appreciation of this function. I “cheated” at the end by adding in a camera and staging the render a bit, but I’m happy with the final outcome.

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