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Although the video uses the gradient shader in the alpha channel to control the pupil, the gradient shader can be used in many different channels of a material to have different outcomes.
Remember that the animations created on the single material will carry throughout all of the instances (where it's used).
I would probably set up a pupil in a different way, but this workflow was requested. Remember - there are so many different applications for this, but accessing the shader information through XPresso is really the big takeaway.
Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles. In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design. When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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