AE + Simple Shapes + 1000 Keyframes = CRAZY ENOUGH

June 25, 2009 - By 

Proof that all you need are simple shapes (and some great animation chops) to make an incredible animation. Check out this Student-made Title Sequence. It was animated in After Effects using thousands of keyframes. Notice how the shapes look alive. It’s like a Bugs Bunny cartoon with squares and circles! Great work.

Jr Canest was nice enough to share some screenshots of his AE comp with us. Check out all those keyframes! That’s what it takes to get that level of animation. It’s not scripts, nor expressions, nor plugins. It’s raw keyframe talent.


  • wow. that was awesome. love the music.

  • Amazing, keep it simple and keep it stupid is all I can say,


  • LOVE IT.

    We need a tutorial on this…

    • Just a quick note because I have seen these kind of comments A LOT on here. Nothing personal against you, jrxingram, but I just thought this was a perfect video to point this out.

      A lot of people confuses the learning purpose of a tutorial with a quick way to get shit done and move on. Tutorials are to get you started. To imagine the possibilities. However, if you always count on tutorials to achieve something then you are always depending on somebody else.

      90% of the technical knowledge you need to build this can be learned in nick’s tutorial about keyframes. But creativity, time, and taste is what really makes this animation a great piece of work.

      keyframe tut:

    • Well put Nick. It’s animation skill that makes this video stand out. Study a book on cartoon animation. Learn about squash and stretch and anticipation. These are the things that will help push your animation skills to the next level.

      • Completely agree with ^above comments after reading them and thinking about what you’ve said. Regardless, great work, and great feedback!

      • Any particular books that you’d recommend? Nn animator’s bookshelf essentials?

      • I’ll have to watch and analyse this video a bunch of times: I’ve got the technical skills to do this video (I think) but if I did it myself … the outcome would be dull.
        I guess there are subtle details like the anticipation as you said – and the slight textures.

        Practise practise..
        Cool to see something impressive without particles and 3d motion!!

        Awesome video!!

  • hey,that`s great.
    I`m from china shanghai

  • Ha, somewhere maltaanon’s throwing chairs out windows with that many keyframes

  • This kid is good. His work is really presented well and I like his music selection. I might have to feature it on

  • This kid is good. His work is really presented well and I like his music selection. I might have to feature it.

  • Hey Nick.. this is that just amazing. Did you know that the boy who made this was the one that win the vfs scholarship last year?. his entry for the scholarship:
    big fan of you!

  • THIS GUY IS R-A-W!!!!


  • Anticipation and Overlap!! Best animation principles that exist. It really makes the elasticity in this project great.

  • guess he went over the limit of the “Circle vs. Square” 5 second project and decided to turn it into a title sequence. Credits to Nick for the idea. πŸ™‚

  • Yeah it’s greattt πŸ˜‰

  • thank you nick for posting! great one to make a like at vimeo πŸ™‚ and to get inspired for today! totally!

  • wow…

    thanx for this post, mr. gorilla

  • Man this is great!!!AHHH so good! Anyways I have one question when u do an animation that is similar to this does one start out with the music in mind and the base the animation off of that or the animation first. I notice how well the animation fits in with the music. I am currently doing some animation but I think it would be hard to find a music that would fit well with it. I’m noob at this so yeah some advice would be appreciated.

  • Can we get a tutorial on this one?

  • Wonderful stuff. Nick, I realize that this uses many of the simple principles from your intro to keyframing tutorial, but maybe you could give us a short pep talk on anticipation, action, and reaction. I think it’s really fundamental and would be beneficial for everyone, novice to veteran.

  • yeah, although i read all the comments. I still Reckon that a pep talk on the principles of animation from the Gorilla himself should be interesting, I’m sure you got your own take on it.

  • Awesome stuff. The most important part of any FX work; PATIENCE. How long must this project have taken to complete. Imagine the amount of reworking that must have gone into this.

  • totally great…thanks for posting nick!

  • hey nick…
    nice new article category bar πŸ™‚ i was checking which i casts i have already seen and done and noticed there’s one missing in category AE tutorials…so if you want to be super perfect correct πŸ™‚ you can add there also the intro to 3D in AE…or am I wrong about it? πŸ™‚

  • I was super impressed by this and watched it at least 10 times.
    After that I realized it’s time for me to work my ass off too, every day. Get down and dirty and stop spending MORE time looking at cool stuff other people are creating, than creating cool stuff myself.

    thanks all for the comments, Its being all great since I won the scholarship, Thanks to God Ive learing a lot and its just amazing to read all the comments, thanks guys! thanks nick! keep it up!

  • amazing, tutorial pls πŸ™‚

  • Although I hate keyframes (at least that much ;)) I applause this animation – Its perfect and it makes me feel good watching it…

  • At 00:33 i think it would look better with one less keyframe….

    only kidding, very nice indeed. nothing stops moving, very alive and happy! good work

  • defiantly crazy enough this is not real !

  • Superb. but still donΒ΄t get why people keep asking for a tutorial on this.

  • YEAH!!!
    That is called digital animation.
    Great Work!

  • wow… 119 layers and who knows how many more there are!!

  • JR Canest is my hero! but so is the gorilla!!

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