Category Archives: Newton Tutorial

A Newton mini tutorial by Joyce N. Ho

Joyce N. Ho is a Hong Kong born, Australian designer, based in New York City.

In 2019 she designed an  animated poster for San Francisco Design Week using Newton

Here’s the final video:

“I created a motion poster for @sfdesignweek this year, on the theme of “CommUNITY”. My design is inspired from the idea that we come together to comfort, collaborate and communicate with each other – to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

And she also created the very interesting Newton mini tutorial to reveal the technical process behind the animated poster!

As an example, she create a null object that will control the gravity with random values inside Newton!
She also used the magnet system and different simulations assemble in a final composition.

Very interesting!

Thank you Joyce!

Want to ask something? Contact us!

apply a mask on an Illustrator layer in After Effects

Dealing with Illustrator files and shape layers in Newton

You may know that you can use Adobe Illustrator files with Newton for Adobe After Effects. You can do this by using different techniques like converting them into shape layers.

It’s important to know that the more your objects are complex, the slower your simulation will be.
Also, you won’t get better results if you use complex objects in your simulation. And by complex, we mean plenty of path vertices and detailed Bezier curves.

So, what are the best practices?

Use a mask


You can apply a mask to your Illustrator layer so Newton can interpret its outline correctly.
You can also use the auto-trace function of Adobe After Effects.
If you copy/paste the path from Illustrator, you should use before the “Simplify” and “Cleanup” function in Illustrator to have the most optimized shape.

Note that here, what’s inside the robot has been removed since we don’t need it for the simulation. The mask only cover the outline of the artwork.

apply a mask on an Illustrator layer in After Effects

Converting your Ai files to shape layers


You can convert your Ai file to shape layers.
But be sure to ONLY send to Newton what’s needed. You can simply hide the path or the groups that you don’t want to use in Newton and unhide them after the simulation is complete.
In this example, mouth and eyes are not needed for the simulation and will be unhidden after the simulation is complete.

Also, always try to simplify the transformation applied to your shapes. In most cases it is recommended to have the inner transform  of a shape (transform properties of groups for example) set to the default values and use layer’s transform instead.

Watch for self-intersecting shapes!


Newton prevents to load shapes and masks that have self-intersecting path or orphan vertex. It will warn you if one of the paths cannot be correctly interpreted. You’ll then have to manually modify it.
Be careful when working with paths created using tools like the cutter tool in Ai!

Creating proxy version
of your objects


Best pratice to use complex Ai vectors is to replace them by a less complex version of them and simply parent them to the original ones.
Just like in this breakdown.

Need more tips and tutorials?
Check our Learn page!

Color Wheel

Manipulating shapes and colors using expressions

3D Projection

Creating and projecting a 3D cube onto a shape layer using expressions

Tutorial: Textless effect

A tutorial to achieve the amazing effect where the content of a sign is falling drove by physics.

Tutorial: Textless effect

Remember the amazing “Textless” short by Gareth Smith & Jenny Lee?
Well, here’s our own tutorial that recreates the workflow to achieve this amazing effect where the content of a sign is falling drove by physics.
We are going to use Adobe After Effects, Mocha AE to track the sign and Newton3 for the physic simulation. Adobe Illustrator to vectorize the artwork and Adobe Photoshop to clean up the sign using the content aware tool.
That’s a lot of tools for an amazing result. But don’t worry, everything is going to be quite easy to do.

“Textless” by Gareth Smith & Jenny

If you need more in depth about the tracking with Mocha AE, check the great tutorial of Mark Christiansen at School Of Motion:

Get Newton for Adobe After Effects:

Link to the video used in this tutorial .

Get Rift for Adobe After Effects:

Music: Otis McDonald.

Want to ask something? Contact us!

Tutorial: Fill-Mix-Flush using Newton3

Here’s a new tutorial for Newton3, the physics engine for Adobe After Effects!

In this classic case of animation which uses physics intensely, you’ll learn how to fill a shape, turn it to a washing machine then drain it.
Import animated objects into Newton3.
Add and remove objects from your simulation.
Fine tweak your simulation to get the best result!
We’ll also show you how to use our tool Solidity to colorize hundreds of objects easily!

Get Newton3 and Solidity (part of the set “LayerGenerator”) !

Want to ask something? Contact us!

Animate a Snow Globe

Matthew contacted us asking this:

“Hi there, I have a job coming up where I need to animate a snow globe that shakes. I’m thinking it would be cool to have actual snow moving around inside the glass and I’m thinking Newton would be a great solution for this.”

And here’s our answer…

A 5 parts tutorial covering a wide range of use of our tools including Newton3, Pastiche, ConnectLayersPRO and DUiK.

In this tutorials we’ll show you:

  • How to setup correctly a scene in Newton3
  • How to add a shortcut inside After Effects to quickly launch Newton3
  • Use joints to make a tree jiggle.
  • Link the bulbs and animate them according to the animation of the tree.
  • Use ConnectLayersPRO to create and animate the tinsels.
  • Use Newton3  to animate the gifts and link the animation to create soft bodies for the ribbons using DUiK and the puppet tool.
  • Create the snow flakes using Pastiche and animate them using Newton3.

Get the Adobe After Effects file project that include the illustration !

Get our tools here:

Want to ask something? Contact us!

Tutorial: Paper Drop

In this tutorial for Adobe After Effects, you’ll learn how to use Adobe Illustrator, Newton3, ConnectLayersPRO and the Cinema4D render engine to create something similar to a piece of paper falling on the ground.

Get Newton3:
Get ConnectLayersPRO :

music : The Motif – Live at KBOO

Tutorial: Creating Soft Body Dynamics with Newton inside After Effects

Step by step tutorial on how to create soft body dynamics with newton inside after effects.

by Quadralimit

UPDATE: You don’t necessarily need Explode Shape Layers. Newton can do that for you. It will ask you to separate the layers after opening the scene for the first time.

Tutorial: Spinners & switch

Jason contacted us asking this:

“I’m creating a marble run scene using Newton 3 in AE. I’ve seen an example of what I’m after, but can’t seem to figure out how to make it nor can I find any assistance online for my problem. I want a marble to interact with ‘spinners’ as per the video link below : I’d also like the ‘marbles’ to interact with a ‘switch’ when they land. See video below:… Are these scenarios workable in Newton please? If so, how should I be setting these up? Please refer to the image attached as reference. Kind regards, Jason”

And here’s our answer… 🙂

I’ll show you how to quickly set up a simple simulation in Adobe After Effects, send it to Newton3, use fixed objects to only rotate switch and spinners, tweak your scene to have the best result.

Get Newton 3:

Get Rift:

Want to ask something? Contact us!