How to Easily Create Better Animations in Adobe After Effects

After Effects 23/10/2019 2 min read

In this tutorial, you will learn what makes animation feel professional. Animations using linear keyframes feel uninteresting. In the real world, nothing really moves like this.

Hey everyone, this is Owen with Motion Array and in this tutorial I’ll be showing you a free script I’ve put together that makes adjusting the velocity of keyframes super easy. It’s called Under the Influence and you can download it with the link in the video description. Alright let’s get started.

So once you have the script downloaded you can install it by putting it in your script UI folder. To get there go to your applications, then the version of After Effects you’re using, “Scripts”, “ScriptUI Panels”. Once you’ve got Under the Influence in that folder, restart After Effects and you’re good to go.

Okay so back in After Effects you can open the script by going to Window > Under the Influence. Then you can drag and dock it wherever you like. The interface of the script is very straight forward. There’s text inputs for outgoing and incoming velocity influence and “go” buttons to apply those values. To demonstrate the script I’ll make a new composition and create a new solid inside of it that’s 100×100 pixels. I’ll create a quick position animation by setting a keyframe at frame 0 with the square solid on the left of the screen and then move it to the right side at frame 30. Previously to set exact influences I would easy ease the keyframes and then open up keyframe velocity and type in the values I wanted. It’s a little tedious. With under the influence you don’t need to open up any dialogs, you just type in your values and hit go.

Another strength of Under the Influence is that you can apply these values to multiple properties at once. With the keyframe velocity window this isn’t possible. In this example I’ve got a similar square going left to right, but this time it also has scale and rotation keyframes. If I wanted to get exact influence values I’d have to do them separately for each property, but with Under the Influence I can do it exactly the same as before.

One more thing I’d like to point out is that Under the Influence doesn’t add an expression to your keyframes, it simply changes velocity influence values. This means that you can add expressions on your properties without worrying about messing up any of your values. In this example I have some circles scaling up with some overshoot and then they have a bounce applied using our other script, EZ Inertia. I can add some ease to the overshoot keyframe with Under the Influence and it won’t bother the expression at all. If you’re interested in EZ Inertia it’s also free and we’ve got a great tutorial explaining how to use it that we’ll link in the description below.

Well, that concludes this tutorial. I hope you guys find Under the Influence as useful as I do. So give it a download and let us know what you think.

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