Creating futuristic HUDs in After Effects is super easy with these handy tutorials from around the web.
Image above courtesy of Ash Thorp
After Effects is a fantastic program when it comes to creating fun HUD designs. The simple shape editor and layer-based structure makes After Effects ideal for creating Iron Man-style graphics. Plus, new integrations with Cinema 4D make HUD design even more advanced in After Effects.
1. Advanced Spin FX
Created by Video Copilot
Andrew Kramer has been crafting HUD tutorials for years using a combination of shape layers and effects in After Effects. Traditionally his tutorials have focused on creating Iron Man-style HUDs, but one of the more recent tutorials has really reinvented the idea of what a HUD can look like.
The tutorial utilizes a pretty ingenious technique using the polar coordinates effect and a fast blur. This tutorial is a great reminder that the best HUD designers use colors that go well with each other. It’s also super interesting to see how you can integrate audio waveforms into your motion design.
2. Hipster Badges
While they are not intended to be designed for HUDs, this tutorial from Evan Abrams is a great resource for learning how to animate shape layers. The tutorial covers all the ins and outs of using shape layer modifiers and easing keyframes to create smooth movements.
Professional HUD Design
If you want to create Hollywood-level HUDs fast, you can actually learn from the master of HUDs himself, Ash Thorp. In his tutorial series on Learning Squared, Thorp shares how to organize, create, and deliver HUD elements for data simulations in film.
It’s actually very interesting to note that most Hollywood-level HUD designers use both Cinema 4D and After Effects to craft high-end data displays.
HUD Design Inspiration
The following are some of the best HUD and Graphic Interface reels from around the web. If you’re looking for even more HUD inspiration, I highly recommend searching HUD Design on Vimeo.
Guardians of the Galaxy UI Reel
Created by Territory
Total Recall HUD + GUI Reel
Created by Ash Thorp
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron UI Reel
Created by Territory
Iron Man 3: HUD + GFX Reel
Created by Johnny Likens
Oblivion FUI Process Reel
Created by Navarro Parker
Have any tips for creating HUDs in After Effects? Share in the comments below.