How I Made the Growing Boxes Video Part 1

If you've been following my Vimeo videos you'd see that lately I added a new one called "Growing Boxes" & as promised I'm doing a two-part series about how I made it. This first part will be focused on making the pre-comps & the next one will be about positioning & timing the boxes.

Final Effect Preview

Step 1

Make a new composition with a width of 1280px, a height of 720px, a length of five seconds, & a frame rate of 30fps(below).

new comp

Step 2

Make a new solid with a width & height of 600px with a color of orange(or any color).

new solid

step 3

Mask out the bottom of the square & set a Mask Path keyframe at the beginning of the comp.


Move the playhead a few frames down & make a keyframe that reveals the rest of the square.

mask keyframe

This is optional but I used the Graph Editor to make it go really fast at the beginning & get slower as it goes on.


Step 4

Next, make the square 3D & set the anchor point to 300px on the z axis. If you didn't make your solid 600*600px set the anchor point to half of your size. I did that so that when I rotated the squares later they line-up perfectly. You could also set the squares to Alpha Add to get rid of the little one pixel border around the box later.

anchor point

Step 5

Duplicate the layer 3 times & set the rotation on the x axis to 90, 180, & -90.


Step 6

Now that your layers are organized into a box you need to stagger them in the timeline.


Step 7

Now, your going to have to duplicate all of those layers(important!) and pre-comp them.


Step 8

Now comes the boring part, change the color of each layer(ctrl+shift+y), duplicate, & pre-comp. Your going to have to do that a bunch of times until your happy. I made a orange, gray, & blue of each.

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