Trends

The Best Value After Effects Templates and What Makes Them Work

It takes a lot of complexity to create an easy-to-use After Effects template.

The Digital Stock Market is a fairly new and evolving business. However in the past few years it has seen substantial growth. This has been reflected in the many growing stock libraries, a larger customer base and a rise in popularity across the industry of stock items. These markets are often the first choice of many creatives who see stock items as a tool, rather than a ready-to-go solution.

Consequently, this popularity has brought a lot of competition, which is a good thing, especially for customers. It means more options, better quality, improved support and generally better value for any item.

On the other hand, for authors, the creatives that make our items, and marketplaces it’s becoming difficult to stand out. Today the digital stock market is more demanding and challenging than ever before. So how do authors on VideoHive manage to keep the marketplace competitive in a category as overcrowded as After Effects Templates?

The answer isn’t exactly straightforward with a lot of different factors contributing to online success.

For Envato and VideoHive the strongest point revolves around the business model. It’s a model that is proving to be particularly effective for collaborative environments. It gives authors the right amount of creative freedom. Encouraging them to take chances, and break boundaries. Something that is difficult in more traditional business environments where a lot of the everyday challenges don’t directly relate to design, get in the way of the creative process.

That’s why, besides every other carefully curated template, VideoHive also features some exceptional items whose value goes way beyond their price tag. These unique items help VideoHive stand out from the crowd.

Creating such templates requires experience, creativity and most importantly, time. They start, like every other design project, with research, inspiration, execution and at the end publishing. In the middle of all that, there are also tasks specific to template creation. Including market research, documentation, file preparation, and additional marketing once the project is online.

To give you an idea of the work and value behind templates on VideoHive, here is a rundown of the steps required to create an AE Template Pack: HUD – UI Graphics for Film, TV and Games

Research

This stage involves market research and seeking inspiration. In my case, it took more than a week to complete the research and collect all relevant materials. The process included analyzing a wide range of inspirational sources. Starting with old movies, going to the most recent sci-fi blockbusters, all featuring different types of FUI graphics. Research on functional (real-life) user interfaces was performed as well, including an examination of UIs that can be found in today’s computer systems. Wikipedia turned out to be very helpful during this part of the process, for both reference images and insights on UI functionalities. The information and data is then used to put together a few inspirational boards that help with the following stages. After everything is collected the project gets broken down into smaller steps. For this item those smaller steps were the 25 categories / After Effects projects included with the template.

Concepts

After getting an idea of the required elements, creating concepts is the next important stage of the design process. They are the first step to bringing designs to life. In this particular case over 100 concepts were created, however not all of them made it to the final project.

Image: Concept UI Designs ©framestore on VideoHive

Preparing Assets

Quite often some elements of a template come from outside After Effects. To complete the UI designs a number of particular objects had to be modeled, animated, and rendered in 3D. They create the 2GB library of over 150 pre-rendered assets that come with this project. The previous research process helped select the most commonly used objects in futuristic UI designs. Also a few blueprints were collected to help model everything from scratch.

Image: UI Assets ©framestore on VideoHive

Designing in After Effects

With a big part of the elements ready, the design and animation process on After Effects begins. Usually designers use another application like Illustrator or Photoshop to help create and set up most UI elements. Then they import those files back into After Effects. This process is faster but doesn’t allow for much flexibility when it comes to customization. That’s usually a priority for templates and it’s the reason why every design in this template was created using AE Shapes. They are fully customizable and scalable, all within After Effects. Which is an added bonus, because no other application is required for customization. This method also creates a future-proof template that can be adapted to match any upcoming standards in resolution.

 

Image: UI Screen Designs ©framestore on VideoHive

This is the longest part of the entire template creation process. It involves designing hundreds of UI elements – including maps, grids, buttons, tables, graphs, code, text, etc. – as well as over 800 unique small icons that are used throughout the project. As a final step every user interface is put together and animated. The 25 included categories feature over 1000 different elements and 200 UI Screens.

Challenges

Creating something new and different, especially on this scale brings a lot of challenges. The most demanding tasks for this pack proved to be file preparation and template structure. With such a large number of elements, and thousands of layers and comps, organizing everything can become very time consuming. That’s why a few scripts were created to assist with some of the more challenging tasks. They helped mainly to manage color controls, expressions, to bake color values, and apply effects for specific layer groups. By the end of the project the script that created color controls had to process over 25,000 color effects. Doing that manually would have required months of additional work.

The animation process presented a few challenges as well. To keep everything easily customizable, whenever possible animations were looped using expressions. In this way composition (UI Screen) durations can be expanded without worrying about adding key-frames. Achieving this effect proved to be very challenging with some of the 3D pre-rendered models, most of which feature looped animations as well.

Image: Loop Animations – UI Designs ©framestore on VideoHive

Image: Loop Animations – 3D Assets ©framestore on VideoHive

Project Value

Apart from everything described above, there’s actually a lot more work that goes into creating a similar template. From the user interface list, to fonts, color palettes, textures, 2D and 3D maps, code research, expressions, iconography, typeface design, template structure, comp and layer naming, color coding, comments, tutorials, trailers, and much more.

From a direct value perspective, all 200 UI Screens rendered out as Motion Graphic videos would amount to a total of around $5,000 (for single-use licenses). Hiring a freelancer to create something similar for the same amount of working hours, would cost a minimum of $15,000. That’s why this template price has such a tremendous value, even if using only a single UI design.

Below you can watch the full preview of the item, which is one of the biggest HUD and User Interface Template Packages on the web. Featuring a wide range of UI Screens and Window Designs suitable for screen replacements and heads up displays. Categories include: Maps, Schematics, Blueprint, Medical, Tracking, Hacking, Holograms, Analysis, Operating Systems, HUDs and more.

View framestore’sFull Portfolio on VideoHive

Let’s explore some other impressive templates across popular categories on VideoHive.Our market features a lot of similar templates the are amazing value. These items showcase the high quality and the exceptional skills of our global community of authors.

Photo Animator by Anton-and-Friends

Anton-and-Friends was the first author to bring parallax photo animation to the template market. Using some clever expressions this project can transform any image into a 3D animation. Featuring also a ton of added effects, like depth of field, particles, wave / wind effect, text placement in 3D space and much more.

The Ultimate App Promo – UltraHD Mockup Toolkit by Integnity

Here is a particularly valuable item in case you are considering to promote your next mobile game or app. Featuring 27 UltraHD (4K) Footage, Tracked and Chroma Keyed, with a value of over $1800. In addition this template also includes 150+ touch gestures, an animated iOS8 Toolkit, and advanced controls.

Ultimate Earth Zoom Toolkit by MotionApe

Zoom On Earth Suite by marcobelli

For that time when your client wants a really wide angle shot, go with one of these projects. The number of customization options alone makes these templates absolute winners in efficiency.

Particle Builder | Magical Gear: Magic Awards Abstract Particular Presets by PixFlow

If you’re looking to add some life to your photos, but you don’t want to waste hours playing around with Trapcode Particular, then consider this project from PixFlow. It includes a free plug-in, lots of presets and a super easy workflow. This template will make you rethink the way you use particle effects.

RTFX Generator + 510 FX pack by RTFX

140 Flash FX Elements by Recarto

Since the rise of smartphones and the boom of mobile gaming, 2D / Flash FX have had a small comeback. Creating these types of templates requires a great deal of talent in hand-drawn animation, not to mention a lot of time and patience. If you want to give some 2D life to your projects these templates are the perfect place to start. The flexibility of After Effects also adds some advantages of using a template over similar motion graphics options.

TypeX – Text Animation Tool | VOL.05: Broadcast Titles Pack by RoyalFX

If you’re looking to make you text animations more interesting then you should really check out RoyalFX’s portfolio. His templates are perfect for turning boring text into eye-catching titles. The simple interface behind his scripts hides the real talent that goes into creating such useful and flexible projects.

Rigman – Complete Rigged Character Toolkit by YaroFlasher

Explainer Video Toolkit 3 by Taerar

Rigmo – Rigged Character Animation Mockup by creartdesign

Explainer Toolkits are part of a very popular category on VideoHive. Whether you’re looking for some animated characters, beautiful background elements, or a tool that can help you animate your own character designs, you will never run out of options.

Watercolor Motion Kit by ThomasKovar

Created in collaboration with GraphicRiver’s nr.1 Power Elite authorsevenstyles, this amazing toolkit will help you create unique watercolor animations. Featuring some stunning details and a new workflow that utilizes the power of Photoshop and After Effects. You will be impressed by what you can achieve with just a few clicks. Saving you countless hours of work, that would otherwise be required to design and animate something similar.

This is just a very small sample of what you can expect to find on VideoHive. There are so many more projects, motion design packs, and toolkits that a single article could never be able to cover. Regardless of your experience or what you want to achieve, you can be sure to find what you’re looking for on our extensive library. Featuring a wide range of After Effects templates that start as low as $6.

For more items like these browse our library of over 44,000 After Effects template onVideoHive

You may also be interested in:


framestore

About the Author framestore

Motion Designer and VFX Artist. Sharing with the Envato community insights, tips & the latest trends in the industry.