Getting started with After Effect Expressions | HU Shahir | Skillshare

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Getting started with After Effect Expressions

teacher avatar HU Shahir, Motion Graphic /Visual FX Artist (Polygon Motion)

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is Expression

    • 3. Most used Expressions

    • 4. Expression Controllers

    • 5. Clock Animation

    • 6. Percentage Final Taught

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About This Class


Adobe After Effect is playing a key rule in Motion Graphic , 2D Animation and Visual FX and its one of the standards software of these industries .

After effect is very complex and powerful software that has a lots of third party plugins , script , 

Expressions and templates . After Effect has its own scripting engine that powered by Java script languages and by using of Java script libraries anyone can build cool scripts and expressions .

Expression are part of After effect user interface and we can use expression to control different properties of layers and built a custom rigs , controllers and complex motion without hard working and manual doing of them .

In this class we will understand almost all aspect of using  expressions in After Effect and we will talk about What is expressions ? Most used expressions , Expression controllers , Creating precise animation for a Clock and writing 4 lines of code to achieve rounded parentage numbers for using on different scenes .

Features of this class :

1- Easy to follow . 

2- Project oriented .

3- Project file and assets .

Lets get started :)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

HU Shahir

Motion Graphic /Visual FX Artist (Polygon Motion)


Hi, I am HU Shahir, Motion Graphic Artist and UI/UX Designer based in Germany.

I love to share what I already know and what I learned from other people in the creative industry.

I have 6 years of professional experience working with major TV Channels and Media productions companies in Kabul and Germany.As I always loved to share what I know and help people to achieve their goals I have started building my teaching startup Polygon Motion.

Polygon Motion is a provider of online training courses and tutorials in Graphic design, Motion Graphic, User Interface Design, 3D Animation and Visual FX Fields on different online training platforms.

Polygon motion helped those of students across the world to learn creative skills.

Chec... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey, guys, welcome to diss class in this class. We were talking about expressions and how to control them. Inside of a job after in this class will not talk about how to ride custom expressions, Well, understand expression itself and how to control them out. He used them inside of our layer properties. We will create a clock animation using expressions and also at our examples without any key frames. If you don't know about aftereffect expression and want to know this class is perfect for you, let's get a start. 2. What is Expression: before jumping to the actual lessons. An example on how to use these expressions and create this kind of examples that you see in here. Let's talk about what is expression itself and why we have to use them inside of after if it okay, expressions or a piece of software or a piece of core the driven inside of after effect. And these expressions are riven in Joe, a script language inside of After why we have to use these expressions sometimes in motion graphic and also into the animation. We need something different. We need something complex, complex animation and motion in our shapes properties. For example, let him show you dis examples this vehicle. You see that creating this kind of animation and motion for our object with manual keep framing in position. It is very, very hard, and it's it's just take a lot of time. It's not impossible inside of after Frick, but it takes a lot of time. Or maybe this weaken. Do it bad. We can control the amount of, for example, value or any other specific phase according to our composition. Weaken. Do this. It's very simple where we can just create key friends to their invitation and imagine we have a lot of duration and drinky framing for all these individual friends or a little time consuming. And this loop, you see that I have one key frames and hair and and after dusky frames, they're not any other different. But my object is have its own animation, and it's just looped up to the end of my composition. And in this clock example, you see that I don't use any key friends to any made these second and minutes handler in this clock and all the things Dan by expression in the situation expressions are very, very helpful. And most of professional graphic artist. Most of designers that are work inside of author of it do you use expression, a terrific expression in their pipeline On. Also, keep in mind that expression and scripting after if it is completely different in expression is at two different properties off Liar. For example, if I go in here and transform, you see these properties that thes properties are different properties off each layer inside of after, for example, when you create solid when you create anything inside of after. If it's in this layer and timeline. And with expression, you can just control D's at properties off layer. Nothing inside of user interviews. For example, you can't write an expression to create a automated text or create a mask around this object. You can do that, or you can control some some options off Mass. But you can access to all these parameters FX and animation in expression. But in scripts, we have all those things. For example, we can write scripts to create different layers. We can write a strips to copy, pasting key frames with one click, and we can just all those things that are you seeing inside of after effects user interface . You can do what s script, but in expression you can just add expression to their properties off Leah. Okay, How to create expressions? Let's create any composition in here and that. And for example, this revelation is good. I'm just showing you how to used it on also lets me changed it. Renderers render ancient in hair. Let's create a background also ellipse, creating expression inside of after. If it is very, very simple, just go to properties that you want to add expression for that, for example, in this case, I'm going to transform in here in this stopwatch all click to this a stall which hold all and click. Once you click, you see this kind of a script editors that you can ride your scripts and here you can drag it out. And also you can have your parent controller. You can link different parameters different properties off your layers, for example Ankara pine to their skill and skilled today Ankara pine. All these other properties that you see in here you can link with that with this expression and you can also disable your expression. For example, when you disabled the expression is not working Now the thinking tour layer properties and also you have a show post expression graph that you concede your expression graph if you have a complex expression. Um, and in here you have a library of these expressions and you see that in here I have my expressions that are already built in inside of after effect. For example, time the keys values properties, off lights, ethics on all these other expressions. You can use that and with a little bit changes you can achieve a good result in the next lesson. Well, talking about some famous expressions that widely used among emotion graphic artist and knowing off them helps you a lot while you create your motion graphic scene. 3. Most used Expressions: Okay, let's talk about some widely used expressions and famous expression inside, if after. Okay, here I'm in after. And the first expression that we want to talk about its vehicle vehicle is in a very, very simple expression that you could write for your objects to create a the illness and shakiness, animation and motion for your object. Okay. And here I have my lips and also a simple Bagram. And there I want to create an expression and at an expression to the position properties off this layer. Okay, let's at this Ault, click and delete this and type of eagle like this. Open princes. And in here you have to write their speed off your shakiness. For example, 10 and 12 like this. When you increase the these numbers, your chicness emotion is faster. And when you decrease them, your motion is very slow. Okay, Now, once you write that clicking ham and you see that it's animated without any keepers. And when I played that, you see a very nice chic anus animation. Then you can, for example, you can use that for creating your camera. Shaking is to create a realistic scenes for visual effects. for motion graphics. There's lots of ways to use this vehicle expression. And, for example, if I increased this number, for example 60. You see my animation is a lot faster, and with that it's faster. You see if I off dead emotion Blair in hand. You see without motion blur like this and the cool thing that we can add, this vehicle nous this expression, toe any property off layer. For example, I could just cactus and pieced it in a skill all click and paste in here. You see that it's applied on a scale and create a sheikh in is just for scale of office, Leah and you can do for rotation you can do for capacity Ankara Pine position and all those staffs. Okay, let's talk about an added useful expressions. Time, time Create a rotation for your object would have any key for him. Okay, let's go to a bar and in rotation. And one thing. Keep in mind that time expression is just applied and is only for for using to a degree property like rotation, for example. These values are not degree, but petition is. Degree is just rotating around a degree for example, 3 16 degrees and thes kind of stuff. It just applied on a degree and angle values of your objects old click on rotation and type time, time multiply. And if I write time just with this seeming colon, you see it's just retreat my objects and animated alongside of desperation. Off come And when I just, for example, increased my duration. Example. 20 and go in here Dragon in this way and you see that would have any key for him. It's just keep going and it's not stopping and let's go to time. And you can also do multiplication and divide it, for example, with numbers with times of resemble. I'm just using time. Multiply, for example 20 and you see that it's faster done. Peevey's what? Because it takes all those time off our composition and multiply it with 20. And in this case, we have a faster rotation, and it's very handy where you helpful would have any key frame. What would have any mental keep framing weaken? Take this result. Okay, Andi, let's talk about another one. Another more expression is loot, for example. Let's imagine we have key firms like this, and this room and like this and that. We want to continue this emotion like a blinking object up to end of this composition. We can do that with my Milky from, for example, control C and control V in here and after the and we can just control CN control Veep Copy Pasting bad. It takes a lot of time for complex motion. It takes a lot of time, and when you have a lot of duration in your composition, it's not good way to use, Okay. Their out of things that weaken do is that add an expression called Loop Out Lou about takes your key friends your existing key frames and look at our after the end of your composition. And for this, we must have on key frame at the storing pint of our object would have keep him. We can do any looping because we don't have anything to do better. Okay at the first, create your key firms for any property that you want and then by holding all and clicking on this is top watch at a expression like this. Loop out and open and close parents she's now. When I grabbed through, that is he I have a looped animation, and it's very helpful. It's continued after the end of your project. When you change your direction, it's all to continue without any is topping. And the cool thing about expressions that you can have expression on the properties that you have key firms on that, for example, you see that I have key firms in a scale, and I have expression all really on that properties, and it's very cool. Let's talk about another expression dis expressions called men, for example. We want to create a random number in here. We have any, for example, model doing. Creating source texts are key framing or these kind of staffs. Just go to the source, takes off your fixed layer, created text layer and go to source takes, and in here, just old click. Once you all click, we can now use our expression called Matt Got Random. Or you can just use a random also like this random, open and close. You see that I have my A random numbers and the cool thing about this that we can just define the range of thes numbers. For example, we want numbers from 0 200 Just type undertone here and now you have numbers from 0 to 100 or maybe 100 divided to pre any kind of operation you can do a mathematical operation you can use. Plus, you see that It's very, very cool. And the cool thing about this that you can round these numbers also, for example, going to see on Lee this part of the number justice 90 numbers, not this floating point for this. I'm just creating a new variable like this, for example, number, ma'am, and like this, and enter to go there, go to the next line and type in here, matt dot around open parents sees and type your variable name that contains your random numbers and closed a parent. She's And now you have you around it number. And here you and you can use data, for example, creating infographics s queens and different other s taps. You can do that with these expressions, okay. And the next Listen, we want to talk about how to control these kind of expressions. For example, linking these expression and control it in the effort. Control what? I'm going to the different properties off your layer 4. Expression Controllers: okay. And this. Listen, let's talk about expression controllers. Expression controllers are those ethics that control your expression amount and control the expression value in this ethic control, and you can find expression controllers. And if it and expression controllers, we have these types of expression controller. The 1st 1 is treated pine controller angle controller, check box color layer pine in slide, and these controllers are different according to their chops. For example, Treaty Pine Controller can control the expressions that are applied for a treaty. Pint and thes angle controller also control their expression and property off your layer. If they have angles right, Elect rotation check boxes you can do check boxes for Atlantis expressions for For advance Oregan Utkan, use check boxes. Color control. You could link your color property off your layer, for example, this shape to control that with this expression. Color controller layer and pine slider also just controlled their amount of value and point on your shapes at the first. Let's talk about slider control. When I click on the slider controller, it's appear in here in this effort control and in here you have a slider that go up and down and up 200 you could just increase their a bath off Android. Also, we want to link their a skill of this shape with this slider. When I changed the saliva or value, the skill of this object must be changed. Also with that simultaneously for this I'm just zero that and go to shape layer slick that and Chris a scale It's person s true opened a skill properties and in the skill old Glikin , a skill property. And with this pick whip, I can just simply choose that and the Dragon Indus lighter to drive the control from this a scale to dislike her. And once you drag that click in here and now you see that all the thing is going on because your values zero. If I change this value, you see, that is change and you can And he made that all the thing is drived in here, for example, imagine you have a lot of layers once you break that once, you parent all them to this controller, you can control all of them with slider and you can too A bunch of things with this light of controller and for their Virgie useful for reading the character to the animations, for example, you can control them out. The amount of animation to them, our to the head and these kind of a stuff. Okay, for example, let's do this for other. A property of layer. I'm just going to a scale and lead these expressions and also put this 20 go to shape, layer and also incontinent. Go to Poly Star and police for Patty. And here I have a lot of other properties, like around this and also in around this like this. Let's a link this out of roundness to dislike her control. It's very simple, like a dip us one just see or that and all click and link it to the slider. And now, when I collapsed down, this properties would have going to To do is continents and those process. I'm just simply changes and you see the round this off. The shape has changed because it's link and it is very, very helpful, and that makes light makes thing easier when you work. When you deal with a lot of complex and motion graphic project inside of after of it, and also you can just rename them. Just clicking here and press enter once you enter, for example, roundness round and clicking here. You see that you have your own expression control. Let me here and it's already link. You can apply this slider toe almost any values in your properties that support this kind of valley, not a degree value or like irritation. Okay, let's talk about another one. And if I delete that after if warring is that you're around, is missing to his expression. Click OK, And also, let's add Yeah, sorry expression controller and color controller. What, This color controller. You can change the color of your object with it going to dis properties local. It's open their police star and go to fill and in color. Let's at an expression all click on once you all click drag to discolor, and once you drag it, it's instantly changed. The color of the shape with this color and it's very helpful just collapsed as and changed the color. From here, it's very, very handy. Okay, this a shark to overview to expression controller. There's a bunch of other expression. Control it in here that you see, for example, angle and applying that there need a lot of time to talk about him. And do you need a lot of strong and knowledge off scripting, drama, scripting language to use them? And if you are a beginner, these expression controllers like color and Pint and slider is very easy to use for um, it's enough in Desa Station this face, and if you want to go in tipped off these expressions, you can find our visas is under what There's a lot of researchers. For example, motion ascribed dot com It's very, very helpful resource. If you want to be a monstro in expression, controller and expressions are not so easy. He needs a good matter and programming a scale to write them. 5. Clock Animation: and this. Listen, I want to show you how to use a time expression to create a very precise animation for clock like this. And when I go to clock, you see, I don't use any kind of key frames for this, and you see a very precise for example, this a minute handler and 2nd 2nd is very fast. The minute is a little bit slower, and this hour that it's a lot slower than these handlers. And how can we create at this type of animation this type of motion with this precise attributes? We can do it with time. We'll tell it a bit mad. Not too much. Don't afraid off these, little Matt, because these are very, very simple, and you have to use them for a precise result. Okay, you can download the clock a PC, file photo file from the class project from attached file and just drag it in here and you see a bunch of layers that it's already separated layers that I have separated inside a photo shop. And I have have different layers for our second handlers for manna, tans and all bunch of things. Okay, lets you store any amazing our second hand. Okay for this, I'm going to rotation. And in addition, let's add a expression looking for this and delete this and tribe time. Multiply it by 288. And why 280? Because we divided thes 12 just four and five time by itself to create and achieve a very good value and a magic number. Toe work for has like this, and you see, it's very cool and very precise. And let's do that for a minute. And for a minute I'm just good irritation because we have 12 digit and we want to divide 12 by to do achieve a good magic number and a good number to use in time for this minute hand . And this is 24 you Sita. It's acting different from this second handler and for how our I'm just using 12 good irritation and time at 12 and now you see that all of my properties are animated, would have any key frame and their properties, and the second hand is very fast. This a little bit fast and it's so low for our you can do a bunch of other things with these expressions. There's a lot of way to use them on that. Let's pre come that and control shifts e and create a little bit. Tweety speaks for that for a nice looking competition, sitting HD TV and the creative solid a white solid and make a treaty. Put it in this side and create your light. Find light very nice and put it in this side, but also named There's to be JI and this to the clock. Go to light and in light. Option on the cast shadow is already on and shoddy diffusion a little bit. Go to your cast of you and create a little bit dips between these two layers and also go to clock in and natural options at cast shadow on. And once you own the cast shadow, you see the shadows projected on the background layer, and you can just control that with this shadow diffusion. The amount of fitness off that like this and let's a duplicate this light. Put it on this side and go to light option caste strata wolf intensity a little bit, not too much. And put this side with this side. Also. Good dis intensity. Well, it's better not to match. Okay? And you can do a lot of things with the slightest is and camera. Now, you see that we have a very nice clock. Maybe this a little bit in this side, and it will create a very nice looking OK in the next. Listen, we want to create a very nice person teach number for our text layer, using expression inside of after effects. 6. Percentage Final Taught: okay in this. Listen, I want to create a very nice person, teach a number effect in my six layer and therefore just I have ah, text layer in here on go to text and in source texts. I have added a slide controlling here on day. I want to change the source effects and added expression in here to drive the control and chain to control from this source takes to the slider control. And when we type and change any values of slided, control on it must be affected. Two days fixed also. Oh, okay. Let's add a expression to decision source text. And once you add back a speech lead that and that linked him to the slider. Once you link that just clicking here and now when I change this, you see that it's applied on my fix ultra and the very easy thing is that enemy of this from this side too. Despite up to 100 also in here, you see that it's not rounded and we have flooring pines in here. We can easily round this just with a little bit. According create a new variable, for example, number and put out assignment and a semi colon. And into that type, Matt ducked around open Prince season closing princes and put your nam d variable that we have created in here and declare it just close to parents is and at a semi colon. Now you see that we have our numbers indigent members, whatever flooding pines. And you can use data for creating user interfaces effects and also for creating H u D Average will fix it screens and these other staffs for your motion graphic project. OK, hoping drive from this class. And don't forget to put reviews and your class project on their class project area off this glass. And don't forget toe check out at a party in motion courses on a sculpture and ut me on my name is you douche from polygon motion to you guys next time.