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  • ➰ Looping animations using loopOut for After Effects
    The loop expression takes keyed animation and does something immediately after. It'll either PING PONG, (go back and forth with the animation) CYCLE, (which loops the animation from the beginning over and over again) or CONTINUE (which keeps the value of the animation going in that direction) loopOut("one of the 3 options"), loopIn("one of the 3 options"), loopInDuration("one of the 3 options"), loopOutDuration("one of the 3 options") ​commands and their "ping pong", "cycle" and "continue" modes. Personally, I almost always use loopOut("[one of the 3 options]"). What I'll do is key an animation for a property at the start of the timeline, then apply this expression. Easy peasy. I might use loopOut("continue") for linear actions, lets say for a rotation or loopOut("cycle")​ random animation that I want to keep going forever. I learned a little more about the loop expression today. This blog post really explains this part really well. You can also determine how many keyframes you want to LOOP with the second value of the expression. ​loopOut(type="cycle", numKeyframes=0); Shinsuke's animation shows really well what this means. Also, check out the Adobe help page about this expression and more. NOTE: The original link that this came from seems to be broken. That's too bad because it was a great resource.
  • 🖼️ Easy Ken Burns effect through opacity & scale
    Imagine this scenario. You're working on a project and they want 140 pictures animated similar to the classic Ken Burns style. Each one needs to animate in, the fade out at a set number of frames. SURE you could animate one layer then copy pasta the keyframes to all the layers, but what if you need to modify them? These simple expressions will give you the flexibility to add clean and elegant movement and in/out fades based on the duration of the clip itself. Check these out. I found a few AMAZING formulas that gave me the freedom to slap in a bunch of layers quickly and get it done quick. ​ For a consistent fade in and fade out paste THIS in your opacity: fadeFrames = 20; fadeTime = fadeFrames*thisComp.frameDuration; Math.min( linear(time, inPoint, inPoint + fadeTime, 0, 100), linear(time, outPoint - fadeTime, outPoint, 100, 0) ); Then paste THIS into your scale: startScale = [20,20]; endScale = [100,100]; linear(time, inPoint, outPoint, startScale, endScale); I have used this with great effect! I mostly use the opacity, but the scale works really well too. PRO TIP: Move the anchor point of a layer in after effects to an area that you want to focus on, like a face and the slow scale will center around that point. Now, recently I came across a scenario where I needed custom fade in and out speeds. Mainly, I needed the speed of the start of the fade in to be faster than the out. So after much strain and a long time experimenting and understanding the hieroglyphics that is this expression, I developed a NEW formula for the opacity that allows for separate duration for fade in and fade out. Check it out: fadeFramesFRONT = 7; fadeFramesBACK = 10; fadeTimeFRONT = fadeFramesFRONT*thisComp.frameDuration; fadeTimeBACK = fadeFramesBACK*thisComp.frameDuration; startFADE = 0 ; endFADE = value ; // putting 'value' here allows you to control the max opacity simply by changing the value. no need to go into the expression. you can put an actual value here too if you want or connect it to a slider somewhere. // instead of linear, I'm using ease, but you could also use easeIn or easeOut Math.min( ease(time, inPoint, inPoint + fadeTimeFRONT, startFADE, endFADE), ease(time, outPoint - fadeTimeBACK, outPoint, endFADE, startFADE) ); These formulas, as seemingly trivial as they are, have actually saved SO much time from having to animate dozens sometimes HUNDREDS of layers basically the same but at different places in the timeline. It's a great time saver formula.
  • 🔗 Connect a 2D position to a 3D position in After Effects
    Yet another awesome thing. How to link a 2D point to a 3D point (like a light or a 3D null) and it's hella simple. Find the tutorial I got this from Video Copilot. You know who they are... and if you don't, PLEASE check out their large library of tutorials. 1- Alt + Click the 2D position value ​2- Pickwhip the 3D layer then add ".toComp([0,0,0]);" thisComp.layer("3DLAYERNAMEHERE").toComp([0,0,0]); If you've used After Effects for a small period of time, chances are you have come across the problem of trying to connect a 3D layer position with a 2D effect (like trying to connect the standard lens flare effect to a 3D null or something). Well this helps you solve that! Plot this expression in the 2D point and you're good! ​ I've found, however, that you can modify this expression to connect a 2D point with another 2D point! This works really well when you want something to follow something else (like maybe a puppet pin point to a controller null or something). Simply take out a ",0" and you'll end up with: thisComp.layer("2DLAYERNAMEHERE").toComp([0,0]); Leave a comment below to let me know how you use this and if it was helpful to you!
  • 🔄〰️ Looping Wiggle in After Effects
    Found HERE, this expression is REALLY useful if you want some random motion or animation, using wiggle, but you also want it to loop at regular intervals (ie: repeat random motion every 3 seconds) ​This will give you a seamless loop that is amazing. ​freq = 1; amp = 110; loopTime = 3; t = time % loopTime; wiggle1 = wiggle(freq, amp, 1, 0.5, t); wiggle2 = wiggle(freq, amp, 1, 0.5, t - loopTime); linear(t, 0, loopTime, wiggle1, wiggle2) He even adds a REALLY helpful guide to what all this means, which is nice.
  • 🏀 Inertial Bounce using expressions in after effects
    If you don't use Animation Composer by Mister Horse to do this, or if you need something very specific, you can use these expressions. ​Inertial Bounce is like making your moves "rubbery." Layers will overextend, then settle into place on position and rotation keyframes. amp = .05; freq = 4.0; decay = 2.0; // Play with these values to get the correct bounce you want n = 0; if (numKeys > 0){ n = nearestKey(time).index; if (key(n).time > time){ n--; } } if (n == 0){ t = 0; }else{ t = time - key(n).time; } if (n > 0){ v = velocityAtTime(key(n).time - thisComp.frameDuration/10); // This is where the AMP FREQ and DECAY were originally value + v*amp*Math.sin(freq*t*2*Math.PI)/Math.exp(decay*t); }else{ value; } The values you want to play with are AMP, FREQ, and DECAY. AMP (Amplitude): the larger the number the stronger the bounce. FREQ (Frequency): basically how many bounces you get after the keyframe DECAY: how long it takes for the bounces to die down. I use it in all sorts of things, but this works really well to "fake" simulated dynamics. Contrary to typical fashion, if you use this expression, make the out keyframe linear and hard that way the bounce has some inertia from the motion.
  • 0️⃣0️⃣:0️⃣1️⃣ Countdown Clock expression for After Effects
    I make a quick and fun video for Junior Baby Hatter, which required a timer. I've done these before, but this one needed to start and stop at a specific time. After a few minutes of research, I found this youtube video that showed a way of using expressions. Watch it to get a better understanding of how it works. Below is the expression so you don't have to download the file. countspeed = 1; clockStart = 0; function times(n){ if (n < 10) return "0" + n else return "" + n } clockTime = clockStart +countspeed*(time - inPoint); if (clockTime < 0){ minus = "-"; clockTime = -clockTime; }else{ minus = ""; } t = Math.floor(clockTime); h = Math.floor(t/3600); min = Math.floor((t%3600)/60); sec = Math.floor(t%60); ms = clockTime.toFixed(3).substr(-3); minus + times(h) + ":" + times(min) + ":" + times(sec) + ":" + ms
  • ❌✔️ IF/ELSE statements in After Effects
    THIS NEEDS TO BE UPDATED If/Else or if/then or some variation of this expression exists in almost every programming language. I found this at Premium Beat, and every time I forget I go back there. Follow the instructions down below: ​if(thisComp.layer(“WhiteShape”).transform.opacity>50) 100 else 50 Operator OPTIONS: < Less Than > Greater Than <= Less Than or Equal To >= Greater Than or Equal To == Equals To
  • 🕒🕑🕓 Offset time. Great for offsetting animations
    FOUND HERE: ​https://vimeo.com/68484532 and HERE: ​https://forums.creativecow.net/docs/forums/post.php?forumid=227&postid=9393 Also HERE: http://www.videocopilot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13552 offset = -.5; //The offset in time, negative half a second. p = thisComp.layer("My Animated Layer"); //The parent layer t = time + offset; //The current time minus half a second p.position.valueAtTime(t); ​//Value of the parent's position property at the current time minus half a second
  • 🔴>🌈 Dynamic Color Picker in After Effects
    Are you the kind of designer that makes templates? This is one useful way to allow templates with color pickers that can be moved around dynamically. First you set variables. The first one is the layer whose center point will be the color picked. Second is the actual layer with the colors that you want to be picked. In my case, COLOR 01 is a shape layer that I designed to look like a color picker. Then using the ".sampleImage()" expression you will write the expression as seen below. var point = thisComp.layer("COLOR 01").transform.position; var colors = thisComp.layer("COLOR REFS"); colors.sampleImage(point, radius = [.5, .5], postEffect = true, t = time) Using this system you can sorta break it down visually. One thing I want to point out is the radius. That describes the sample size. If the radius is bigger than [.5,.5] it'll start to average out the colors within that radius. You could theoretically have a greater range of colors using that system. Hope that helps!
  • 🦾 DUIK is a must have After Effects animation tool
    This set of tools is pretty amazing. I use them and I almost feel like I should pay for them because they are that good, but they are free. Check out DUIK by going HERE.
  • 🧱 Free textures for 3D and more
    I've been using this website for years back when it was called cgtextures.com and it has been really helpful for all kinds of things! The thing I particularly love is the tileable textures because even the small ones are great for 3D and 2D designs alike. You get a certain number of credits per day and for the SUPER hi-res stuff you have to pay for it, but the free stuff is still really great for most things. Create an account and support this amazing website!
  • 🔁🎞️ Free looping crumbly paper footage (​lindsayhorner.com)
    A great asset for your toolbox. They have a free pack, but you should seriously consider buying the 4K pack. Super useful!
  • 🎞️💥 Free rampant Motion design stuff
    Anyone in the industry recognizes Rampant design tools are professional quality tools. They're offering a TON of free 4K video assets just by signing up! I did it, and trust me, it's awesome.
  • 🌆🎞️ Free stock images and videos
    Pexels.com is pretty much the best place for free stock footage that doesn't suck. It's still fairly limited, but better than the other options IMHO. That being said here is a long list of other options collected throughout the years. (browse at your own risk) http://unsplash.com http://imcreator.com/free http://pixabay.com http://superfamous.com http://picjumbo.com http://gratisography.com http://morguefile.com http://freeimages.com http://littlevisuals.co http://nos.twnsnd.co http://picography.co http://getrefe.tumblr.com http://jaymantri.com ​http://publicdomainarchive.com
  • 🔊🎧 Free Sound Effects
    You can have the greatest VFX or motion graphics animations in the world, but without Sound Effects, it can seem rather dull. Some say, music and sound is 50% of a movie! Recently I used Freesound.org at work to get some basic sounds that actually sound great!
  • 🙈 FREE Unmult by RED GIANT
    Unmult is arguably the most useful and simple tool in the world. It's amazing that After Effects hasn't added it to their base application. If you're not familiar, Unmult will key out black in anything, without using keying. I'm not sure how it works TBH. As far as I'm concerned, it's magic. Some common uses, as shown in the image, are keying out the black values of fire and explosion, but one way I use it, personally, is by keying out the white of graphics. I'll add an invert, then add unmult, then another invert.
  • 👹2🌫️ Install MasksToLayers for After Effects
    A popular script that does what it's name says. Get it. Use it.
  • 🔅 Install Circle Align for After Effects
    An amazing name-your-own-price script that lets you easily align layers in circles or spirals.
  • 🐴 Install Animation Composer by Mister Horse for After Effects
    They have a free version with some default graphics and animations that are pretty nice and can help, but if you purchase some of their templates, using them in combination with other custom animations has saved a TON of time. They also have a free Anchor Point mover that snaps the anchor points to different places easily and is simple a must have for maximum time saving. I use it almost every time.
  • 🔲 WindowGrid Windows Management program (WIN ONLY)
    From the website Allows the user to quickly and easily layout their windows on a dynamic grid using just the mouse. Gives functionality to the normally useless right mouse button when moving a window. Doing this will enable the grid snap mode My personal notes: This program is AMAZING. Windows already has something built-in but it only snaps to halves and corners. This allows you to create your own grid which works perfectly for very large screens. If you have a PC and a large screen, download this free app and be happy.
  • 💣💾 Quit After Effects and SAVE using the terminal (MAC ONLY)
    NOTE: I haven't used this in a while so it might not work, but if you're in a pinch it might be worth a try. Not so much a resource as it is a helpful tip. If you're on a mac and you inevitably lock up your After Effects, you can use this helpful terminal tip to quit After Effects AND save your work. WARNING: I've used this before and it hasn't always worked. Use this as a last resort. Sorry PC users. This is only for Mac. :/ Open two apps: Terminal and Activity Monitor. In your activity monitor, look for the PID column for After Effects. It can be any number. Remember it. In terminal, type “kill -SEGV (PID#)” where PID# is the number in the activity monitor, no parentheses. Alternatively, you could also use AE Scripts app, AE Suicide, which effectively does the same thing. Support your fellow After Effects Creators! ​ I have to give credit where credit is due. I found this info at DigitalSandwich.net. Thanks guys!

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This website was made custom by myself using Editor X by WIX.

Psst! Hey! If you like my work, go ahead and contact me, after which I'll follow up. If you're feeling brave you can just call me directly. Otherwise, good ol' fashioned email works as well.

FREE STUFF

Seriously, who doesn't like free stuff? As the title suggests, this is a collection of stuff I use almost daily for work. A lot of this is for Adobe After Effects or other Adobe apps, but as I learn, I'll be adding more resources for Cinema 4D and other industry-specific apps.

 

These are resources I've collected, like a squirrel, over the years through research and stumbling into things. Occasionally, I'll modify expressions I find for After Effects to make them more useful to my specific needs. Other times, I'll generate completely new and original assets for you to have and enjoy! I'll be updating this often so please bookmark this page and visit often to get the latest resources.

I offer this collection of useful resources completely free, but if you could buy me a cup of coffee or even a meal or two, I could add MORE resources and I would also be so grateful!

- Alex

Animation resources I use every day

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