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Using Adobe Illustrator and After Effects to create TV show opening

  • Published on April 21, 2014
Using Adobe Illustrator and After Effects to create TV show opening

VH1 recently enlisted the assistance of design firm Galaxy 61 to create an entirely digital opening for its show "The Fabulous Life." 

The new opening animation reflects the overall feel of the show, which follows the lavish lifestyles of Hollywood's finest, including power couples Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Animation World Network detailed the new sequence, which follows a large golden hand as it drops a gilded cherry into a liquid gold martini glass, which overflows, its contents pouring out and transforming into status symbols like a stiletto, a car and a Rolex before the metallic droplets come together to form the show's title. 

Doug Johnson, the leader of the design team, explained that the firm used a number of different tools to create the extensive opening. Johnson said they relied on several design applications, including Adobe Illustrator and After Effects. He explained that they had to meticulously examine each detail of the animation in order to create a perfect opening.

"The Rolex watch was the ultimate test of our capabilities because it was comprised of so many separate pieces and details that needed to be simplified without losing the essence of the object," Johnson said. "This simulation consistently took the longest, and the resultant mesh contains millions of polygons."

 While the process was extensive, it paid off in the end, as the team's design was flawlessly executed.

American Graphics Institute teaches a number of courses that allow designers to learn how to effectively use different design applications, whether making complex animations, or creating a new logo. Adobe Illustrator courses and After Effects classes help creative professionals understand how to translate their creative visions into digital artwork. 

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F credential from the UXQB.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with the Microsoft Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.