I am relatively new to After Effects, not having needed to use it until this point. Now I am in desperate need of a simple graphic showing how atoms behave in different states of matter.
What I have in mind is a similar to the ones at the top of this page but with a little more style and a little less gif. That said, I don't have a lot of time to make it so it needs to be relatively simple.
How would I best go about this? I found this tutorial but it's from 2003 so a little outdated I guess.
You might want to experiment with the CC Sphere effect to create a spherical 'molecule' that looks genuinely 3D. Then bring that comp into a new comp and animate it moving about, perhaps in 3D space (along X, Y and Z). You could use the Wiggler to make the motion random. For the solid, you could parent all the molecules to a null object and then animate the null: that way they will move in unison.
Thank you very much for the great tips. I followed your instructions and after a lot of mistakes and lessons learnt, I came up with something I was relatively happy with (considering it was my first foray into AE!
Id you'd like to see what I came up with it's in this video, about 23 seconds in.