Give motion to your Adobe Illustrator artwork by painting the brushstrokes onscreen in Adobe After Effects.
Any reference to “Alchemy Books” is for demonstration purposes only and is not intended to refer to any actual organization, products, services, or creative work.
Make sure each line in your Illustrator logo design is represented completely by one layer. You’ll want your layer structure to start out simple. Working in the Essentials workspace, select a layer and duplicate it (Layers panel menu > Duplicate). Hide the original layer and then trim the duplicate layer’s length by a small amount. An easy way to do this is with the Direct Selection tool. Click a control point at one end of the stroke so it’s solid (blue) and the other points are hollow (white). Delete that point or otherwise shorten the line. Duplicate the edited layer, hide the original, and shorten the new copy’s length similarly.
Repeat this line-shortening process about a dozen times so you end up with several line-fragment layers that make up the total artwork. The more fragments you make, the smoother the final animation will be. Create line-fragment layers for all original lines in your design. When you’re done, show all the layers you previously hid, rename them sequentially, and save your file.
Import the Illustrator file into After Effects (File > Import > File) as a Composition and select the Create Composition option in the dialog box.
Add a solid to the comp (Layer > New > Solid) and drag it to the bottom. Select the first imported layer and then Shift-select the last imported layer, not including the bottom solid. Move the playhead ahead by about 2–3 frames. Press Alt/Option+] to trim the selected layers to that identical duration.
With all the imported layers still selected, choose Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Sequence Layers. Accept the default settings in the Sequence Layers dialog box. The layers will be repositioned along the timeline in a staggered fashion. The stacking order depends on the order in which you selected the layers. Select them in the opposite order before sequencing if you want to reverse the flow of the animation.
Feel free to adjust the layers’ positions and lengths in the composition, representing each stroke in your design, to alter the relative timing of each stroke’s animation.
To smooth out the staccato-style animation, precompose each group of related layers and then apply the CC Force Motion Blur effect to the precomps. Try doubling the default Motion Blur Samples and increasing Shutter Angle dramatically (around 500) until you see a trailing effect that helps soften the edge of the animated brushstrokes.