3d & animation

Free Download: 10 After Effects Brushes for 3D Animation

Grab our experts’ favorite brushes and improve your 3D animations in After Effects

3D animation is now a fundamental technique used to illustrate, model, and combine a range of creative resources into a unique work. It has become an undeniably important part of the language of contemporary advertising and content creation.

Illustrator Catarina Alves and Motion Graphics Designer Jonas Nunes are the founders of the Itsacat and Goodog.tv studios (@Itsacat&Goodog), respectively. Together, they have worked for major clients including Amazon, BMW, Nike, Nestlé, and Torres. They are experts in 2D illustration and digital animation and know how to use these techniques to create expressive work with plenty of character.

In this free download, they share ten brushes to use for 3D animation in After Effects. Discover how to use these brushes and more below.

A selection of work by the Itsacat duo.

Let’s start with the rules of animation

Before launching into your project with the new brushes, take Catarina and Jonas Nunes’ advice and first learn the twelve rules of animation.

These twelve principles (which they explore in more detail in their course) are the foundations any animation artist needs to learn by heart. They were first set out in The Illusion of Life, a book by Disney animators and industry legends Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas that was originally published in 1981. This famous volume established the rules that improve character realism by focusing on both physics and emotions.

While these rules were first used in classic animations including Snow White (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941) and Bambi (1942), they are still relevant today. In spite of the hugely significant leaps in technology and the arrival of CGI, these rules have simply expanded to include the elements used in the latest styles and techniques.

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Three dimensional images have depth. This is what helps them resemble how we see things.

3D Creativity

Three-dimensional images have depth. Which is what helps them to resemble how we perceive things in real life. You need specific expertise to be able to produce 3D images.

Experts have found that understanding 3D can also give you much more freedom when it comes to moving cameras, using perspective, and achieving unique transitions. Even if you’re working in traditional 2D animation, it’s often a good idea to start in 3D to be able to preview more complex elements before converting them into a 2D format.

Adobe After Effects is one of the best 3D animation, motion graphics, and post-production packages on the market. Pros use it to retouch videos, images, and graphic designs and to create content for films, social media, TV, or any other audiovisual format.

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Brushes give your work personality.

What are After Effects brushes used for?

All digital image software packages try and customize the creative options available with brushes and effects. These brushes are very effective and help you create varied results.

Many artists also create and work with their own brushes as it's a great way to craft a hallmark style for maximum impact. To help you experiment with and explore your own style in your work, here the duo shares some of their brushes.

Tip: remember, there are loads of lshortcuts and tricks for getting the most out of After Effects.

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Most artists use their own brushes to customize their resources.

What’s in the download?

This download includes an .abr file containing ten brushes. They feature a range of stroke styles, thicknesses, and intensities for you to add to your own toolkit. You can install them in After Effects, and in Photoshop.

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This is what the brushes available for download look like.

After clicking on the button below, you'll find a .zip file in the Downloads folder on your computer containing the file, 10 After Effects Brushes for 3D Animation. You'll need to use a free program, such as WinZip, to decompress the file.

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This download is only available until December 9, 2021. If you want to download it after that date, you can sign up for Itsacat&Goodog's course, Loop Animation with Mixed Illustration Techniques.

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- After Effects Tutorial: 5 Tips That Help You Get the Most Out of After Effects
- After Effects Shortcuts to Become a Professional Motion Grapher
- Introduction to After Effects, a course by Carlos "Zenzuke" Albarrán
- Introduction to the Creation of Characters and 3D Modelling with Maya, a course by Cecilia Meade

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