Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Adobe After Effects How to animate cell mitosis (bological cell division) in AE?

  • How to animate cell mitosis (bological cell division) in AE?

  • Paul Dixon

    August 14, 2005 at 1:29 am

    How to animate (in 2D) cell mitosis (bological cell division) in AE 6.5 PB?

    I wish to start with a single cell, and view the mitosis process through to several generations deep. But really scratching my head on this one. I’ve been trying to find a metaball plug in to hopefully get at least part of the way there – but cannot find such a thing for AE.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance


  • Steve Roberts

    August 14, 2005 at 5:21 am

    There are no metaball plugs for AE. The closest thing may be the CC Mr. Mercury effect which ships with AE 6.5, but I don’t know if you can control it the way you want.

    Otherwise you’d take a solid and draw a circular mask, adding extra points, then animating that shape from a circle to a stretched circle, then two circles, but you’d have to use some trickery by hiding the stretched circle just before it splits, and showing the two-circle masked solid. Because … I don’t believe you can animate one mask turning into two. And to make it look 3D, you’d have to add the bevel effect. I think it could look stylized, which may not be what you want.

    Basically, if you want to do this easily, you need a 3D app with metaballs, in my opinion. AE is not a 3D app: it’s a bunch of 2D planes in a 3D space, with the occasional plug that fakes 3D by creating 3D “movies” on those 2D planes.

    Basically. 🙂

    Anybody else?


  • Mike Smith

    August 14, 2005 at 6:49 am

    I’ve seen a neat 2D animation of this in a CD ROM attached to a genetics / biochem textbook .. can’t remember title though.

    It should be possible to get good results in AE and Photoshop, if you design your visual look in PS, and use AE image distort / warp effects to animate. A 2D, cell-cutaway look might give a more insightful view of what’s happening than the “blobbiness” of a metaballs-style look ..? Of course if that’s what you want you could still generate the look in PS and use AE to animate, so long as you’re not trying to move around the object in the depth plane …

    Good luck with it. I remember understanding the stages much better after seeing the animation than after several readings of the list of stages.

  • Serge Hamad

    August 15, 2005 at 5:51 am


    If you are talking about the last step (Division) then please have a look at this rough example:
    If the look serves your purpose then let me know and I will look for the aep. I remember using the bulge effect to create the division.


  • Ace Billet

    August 15, 2005 at 9:36 am

    There was this post here, with examples, of using gaussian blur on the cells and then Threshold –
    so you get a “liquidness” to the motion. It was a basic animation of 2 rounds combining.

    can’t remeber when, who, what or where though ..


  • Paul Dixon

    August 15, 2005 at 11:05 am


    – thanks mate

    Yeah – if you don’t mind sending me that AEP – I’d certanly be keen to have a play with that. It’s pretty close to what I’m after – and will be looking to try to get each resulting cell to divide again and again…

    This is the closest thing so far.

    Thanks very mucb indeed.

    Paul D

  • Scott Spengler

    August 15, 2005 at 2:48 pm

    This seems to be fairly close and quick:

    1. Create a 150×150 solid. Apply Render>Ramp. Ramp type circular. Start Ramp 75,75 – white. End Ramp 75,150 – black. Now apply Channel>Shift Channel, take alpha from Luminance.

    2. Duplicate this solid. Move down 3 secs in timeline and animate one solid left and one solid right.

    3. Create an adjustment layer.
    Apply Adjust>Threshold. Default of 127 is fine.
    Apply Blur>Fast Blur 22.
    Apply Image Control>Colorama. I set the output cycle to Solarize Red.
    Apply Channel>Shift Channels. Take Alpha from Red.

    4. Press Ram preview.

    Now just make a new one where the first ones land, and move them off a little, repeat as necessary.

    You may want to a Turbulent Displace to add a little more of the goopiness to the whole thing.

    Looks faily decent. I hope this helps.


    ps. Or you could jsut buy TinderBox 2 which has a Blobs plug in it. It does pretty much just what we just made above.

  • Serge Hamad

    August 15, 2005 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Here is the AEP:


Viewing 1 - 8 of 8 posts

Log in to reply.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy