Shape layers by themselves look a bit boring how ever when you start using the After Effects repeater it is like opening a Pandora door it allows you to create a much more dynamic and engaging shape animation, it is an After Effects feature that every motion designer should know about. I have created a series of repeater example below and also provided the After effects template so you can use it or see how the animation was achieved.
But first let’s start by the basic for the newbies.
What is the After Effects repeater and where is it?
The AE repeater allow you to duplicate a layer shape and multiply it to multiple copies of the same shape vertically and/or horizontally. The repeater can only be used with shapes layers, unfortunately you can’t use repeater for image or regular layer unless you use plug-in which I am going go over at the end of this article.
On the After Effects timeline when you create a shape layer there is a little arrow that you can click on to reach the repeater menu (see screenshot below)
The repeater effect has multiple options such as copies, offset, composite and transform (see below)
What can you do with the After Effects repeater?
Let’s go over the fun part, with the repeater effect you can do a bunch of things such as create a pattern, circle burst, animated background and transitions.
I have going to go over each one below, please download the provided AE project and check how I did it.
Create a Pattern
With the repeater you can easily create a pattern background from a single shape, I have created below a honeycomb background from a single hexagon shape, feel free to download the file to see how I did it.
Download the free After Effects Honeycomb Pattern project here
Create circle burst
Circle burst animation are usually use as accent to emphasize something on video, with the repeater you can easily create a 2D explosion burst here is a example below with the AE project.
Download the free after effects circle burst project here.
Also if you are looking for a collection of 20 circles burst download the AE project I created here
Create an animated background pattern
This stars animated background made with the repeater effect might be useful for the 4 of July 🙂
Download the white stars background animation here
Create a transition
Repeater can also be used for transition here is one example with the After Effects project below
Download the repeater transition After Effects project here
Experimental Particle repeater animation
Finally if you play a lot with the repeater settings you might come up with really cool particle psychedelic animation such as the one I created below.
Downlad here the experimental repeater animation