Simple Animation in After Effects: Get to Know the Wiggle Technique | Sebastiaan Destellirer | Skillshare

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Simple Animation in After Effects: Get to Know the Wiggle Technique

teacher avatar Sebastiaan Destellirer, Graphic Designer, Teacher

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

13 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction to Simple Animation in Adobe After Effects

    • 2. The Basic Wiggle Effect

    • 3. Short Demonstration

    • 4. Workflow Tips

    • 5. The content of the Project Files

    • 6. 3 Stages - All Set and Ready to Go

    • 7. Tree Moving in the Wind

    • 8. Binoculars Spotting a Ship at Sea

    • 9. Flickering Candle Light Animation

    • 10. Machine Goes Crazy

    • 11. Equalizer on the Move

    • 12. 3, 2, 1, Start Wiggling Now, Create your Motion Graphics

    • 13. How to Embed Vimeo and YouTube Video to Project Page

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About This Class

In this Adobe After Effects class you will learn how to use the simple effect “wiggle” and use it as an expression to create stunning dynamic animations without using any Key-Frames.

After this class you can make your animation feel organic and random. (like this example)


The “wiggle” effect can be applied to many properties in AfterEffects, such as: Position, Rotation and Opacity.

Based on some simple examples you will learn the possibilities and the power of this technique.

For example:

- How to make the Leaves of a Tree move in the wind

- Making a simple Graphic Equalizer
- Animate the flickering of a Candle

You can download all the 5 project files, each of them containing 3 stages:
(1) Unprepared artwork,
(2) Prepared artwork so that you can start quickly,
(3) Finished version to check how the effect is applied if you get stuck

The graphics are very basic, focussing on the technique and not on design.

(The files are also compatible with Adobe After Effects Creative Suite CS6)

Some basic knowledge of Adobe After Effects is required as this class won’t cover the basics of the program. However even if you are a beginner, you can watch this class, and used the downloadable project files, to get an understanding of the possibilities of the wiggle effect.

If you want to get started with learning the program from scratch there are some great beginner classes from awesome teachers here at Skillshare.

Overview of other classes:

Adobe Photoshop:

Adobe After Effects:

The example Motion Graphics as Animated GIF





Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sebastiaan Destellirer

Graphic Designer, Teacher


I am a Graphic Designer living in the Netherlands.
I work at an International Marketing & Communications department.

I love Learning, also about "Digital" Design. (Web Design, Motion graphics / Animation, 3D)

I followed a lot of classes here at Skillshare, Now it was time for some Sharing of my own :)
I published 10 classes:

My Vimeo-page:

See full profile

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1. Introduction to Simple Animation in Adobe After Effects: Hi, everyone. Welcome to my first kill share clause Simple animation in after fix, get to know to wiggle technique, English class You will learn the effect wiggle and how to use it as an expression to make dynamic animations that feel organic and random. Best part is that this achieved without using any ki friends. Wiggle effects can be applied to many properties. Searches, position, rotation and capacity. All the example Stick, usually playing now are made using the figel effect and dunk. Use anything friends for movements. In the following lessons, you will see how each off these examples this made with provided project files you can easily practice along Example graphics are made fairy basic all purpose focusing on the technique and not on these I they are compatible with after effects Creative suite version six. In a short lesson, I will show you the basics off the wiggle effect. And then we move on to different parts off making the example scum life. I would love to see your product to start. You can take one off to provide it. Examples are create something from scratch. And please remember, I'm here to help you. If you get stepped, please hit the enroll button and I see you in the next parts 2. The Basic Wiggle Effect: basic wiggle. The basic wiggle we use is very simple, just worth wiggle. Fall out by two numbers and I will show you what everything means here. You got feet in. First number is two frequency. This means how often per second the effect will change. The second number is the value that the maximum is changing, so it will not every time change by that number. But that is the maximum change. So basically, how fast it goes and how strong the change. So this is what you need to remember. Wiggle is speeds in the movement components the basic wiggle its uniform. It's Ghent effects only one excess. If you type in the number on a position, it will move both in the X and Y direction. However, there is a solution for that. You can wiggle on only one off the two dimensions by using the wiggle expression like this . First we declare a placeholder for the wiggle. In this case, the letter W. So the total wiggle is captured in that letter. Now, in second part, we use the W on the X position and we keep the original value off the why appreciation and it sounds difficult, but if you did it a few times, it isn't so. Zero is that x Oxus And the one is to I access. And here we applied Wiggle to the X axis, but you can show up it around and then the I excess will be controlled in detail. The same goes for three dimensions. Zeros, the X axis. Wonder why and to the sets. So if you want to move something on the set, excess or wiggle knows that access the W would be here and here it would be value. Okay. Based on this, it is also possible to make separate wiggles for every access. This is the basic set up. First we define a wiggle for the X axis, the wiggle for the I excess and the wiggle for the set access. And in this part, we just apply those wiggles 3. Short Demonstration: Hi guys. I will should now show you a little demonstration. First, I will start making a rotation wiggle. I go down to the transform and that's a rotation. I will click the stopwatch with the Olt pressed. Now the expression control is activated, and here you can type the expression. So I type in the goal two times. Spare chickens, 45 degrees. That's all you She immediately a change happening because it's already changed little weight value. When a press play. Now you can see it's wiggles randomly. Sometimes it will reach the maximum off 45 degrees, but most off the time it will, it will be somewhere between. And if you watch now, down here, the number you can see the change. It goes all the way to around 45 and then the other way, and it wiggles between those values and here it go slightly over that value. That's basically it. If you want to temporarily shut it off, you can press this button. Oh, I will show the wiggle on the horizontal movements so I activate the position expression by left clicking with the all too fresh and then that type in the longer wiggle expression. - Okay , and you can see that it moved. I mean, if I played now, it's two times per seconds with this value, and here you can see if I make it quick change to, let's say, 10 times for seconds you get a completely different effects. So that's how you can easily and quickly change the expression toe, create random effects. Ah, back toe to. But then only, for example, 20 you get different effects. Can that specially just it's and you can apply the the effect on almost every property. Quick example. I will also show the effect on the opacity. I will lower the opacity, for example, toe 50% left salt and click left mouse button. We go five times per seconds. 50. You can see it's moving and blinking at the same time with a random effects, and that's all for a quick demonstration 4. Workflow Tips: Hi. I will show you hear a quick tip to improve your workflow. I know our sheds. You can make this information without any key frames. However, I do activate one key frame on every layer, and I show you why. So what I do is just for addition Trample. I know I want to animated rotation triable puts at the frame zero a key frame. The next step I do is activates expression per matters by left clicking Ault on the stopwatch, and here in dish parts, we will type in no wiggle expression. Duration. Why I edits the key frame is that if you have a lot off layers and you want to change something in the wiggle US mates, there's a quick way to go to their. If you pressure on you, it will pop up open for that selected layer. Older key frame shoe F sheds. So at this point, I have made a key frame, but I didn't make any change to it. But now you quickly can open. You're wiggle how to make the example a bit more clear. For example, let's say you 14 layers and you just want toe animates this you can type in your wiggle. But if you want to see them all and you press you, then you can quickly change your wiggle. How dishes A quick tip for helping the workflow. 5. The content of the Project Files: the product files before there. Contains folder with slides, It disorder Flight You see my presentation with explanation off the wiggle effects and my five predict files They are organized like this. I've got the folder with illustrative material. The 2000 and 15 version safe Disa Pdf they are compatible with after effects Creative suite , Version six. I've done the same for after effects. This is the normal to thousands and 15 version, and they shot the two previous versions. I have tested it, and it even works here. All the expressions open and work correctly, and I included an animated life in the MP for sure, like you can see an animation and animated results. 6. 3 Stages - All Set and Ready to Go: Hi guys. All my product fells are organized in this way I include its three different stages A is the before stage B If a prepared stage and C is the final stage where I applied older wiggles so you can see what I did and play with the final we shoulds If you look to the ah before stage If Justin empty Memphis all the artwork is in. But I did not do anything with expressions in the beef version, I activated all the expressions but didn't type anything in it. So this one is prepared for you to play along In my sheaf version, you can see here the expression is active and I also typed in an expression. So the difference between the B and the sheaf version is that in this version you have to type in everything and in the sea first in everything is already typed in so you can switch back and forth between does versions. If you want to try different things, I hope that it is helpful 7. Tree Moving in the Wind: Hi, guys. Welcome to my first example. Yes, I told before this product foul contained three stages before prepare it in a final vagal. And for dish screen recording, I made a copy off the final legal where I turned him off so that you don't have to see me typing all the numbers one off. The important things about this scene is that the balloon, for example, and has this anchor pollings moved. So that's a rotation is here for the rope, and the balloon has its here where the balloon and the rope are tied together. But it's all prepared already. My parents at the balloon to the rope in all tree off the fouls. So it's ready for you to go to briefly show the animation again. This is the animation we're gonna make. Now you see the balloonist rotating the rubbish, rotating in the blueness, rotating the Leafs are rotating and that tree itself is a little bit rotating. And the cloud it's moving left and rights. Okay, I will stop this playback. And this is my copied example. I just maximize this screen and you can see all the expressions are here. But I used this bitten to turn them off. Okay, on when I played this scene. Now nothing has happened. Now the most dramatic effect you see, it's, I think, the balloon. So if I turned the balloon expression on you see immediately it shifted. And if I turned the balloon itself on you see it shifted also. So these two wiggle expressions are now active. They are, It's ah, zero points sevens times per second. So a little bit slow. But for the balloon, I think that's quite OK. And, uh, clouds. It's moving much flour and that's the nice thing about it. You can just splay with values to create some randomness in your scene. For the time sake, I will just activates more maximized the screen. So put on the cloud movements. This is the green off the trees and the two leafs and minimize this playback. So this is basically just what I want to explain about this scene, I would advise Just open the project files, play a little bit it, and you can always see in the sea for version. My final version and the be first in is prepared for you. But the wiggle text is not filled in so you can experiments in debt version. Thank you for watching 8. Binoculars Spotting a Ship at Sea: Hi, guys. Welcome to my second example. Yes, with the lost example. I will show you some off the highlights and point out the most important parts for you to remember. And you can just open your products, falls and look at the sea first in to see all the wiggle expression filled in and do dems yourself into B for soon for this demo I copied and the sea version and turned all the wiggles off one off. The important things to know is that in this scene I used some parenting to make the flag stick to the flagpole and Affleck ball itself. Stick to the ship. So the flagpole is following all the movements off the ship and the flag sticked to the flagpole in the ship so you can see that here. But it's already set up for you, so you don't have to do anything about it. And Affleck? I activated three d space because it's rotating toe toe watchers and away from us, it's rotating on the I excess, if you can see here. One other thing to know is that for the this effect I used, um the shape and I will show it. This is the basic shape, and I used it as an Alfa in for to track mats so that you can see through it. But again, this is already set up in the document for you. Okay, we'll go now to death. Other shame. If you can see here, there's a little bit more going on here and I will open make this screen larger. I played here with some short wiggles, but also a wiggled with two separate failures if one from for the X excess and one for the Y Xs and this Arda waves. And what this is showing is that the horizontal movements off the wave is bigger than the for tickle movements, and we can see that here. If I could, we go back and play it. It's moving more left to right and a little bit up and down, but apart from debts, it's not our only moving. It's also rotating, and that's the nice thing about this. You can just put multiple wiggles until something, and now you can see it's rotating and it's moving left and rights. An older effects together, make then very dynamic scene. Flip easy again. I won't uh, go for all the little details. Just opened the file. Play around. Everything is in it for you. But now everything is stern tone and you can see a lot off thing. It's more happening without any key frame, so it's quite dynamic. Thank you for this lesson and I will go to the next one. 9. Flickering Candle Light Animation: Hi, guys. Welcome to my first example in this example, a little bit more is going on the candle. I played a little bit with its and color overlay modes, but it's already set up for you, so you don't have to play with that now. But what makes this effect kind of cool is that there's movements. There's a pressure city change but provides to candlelight flickering. And I used scaling to get a written rotation sort of flames really looking alive. And when I move to this version, the same s or the previous turned everything off and you can see that for the light outline . The position is wiggling and the upper city is flickering. Before the fire, I all said, used a wiggle on the scale, and it's not like previous example scale scaling on this one. It's not scaling on the X excess, but on the Y. Xs and the other flame is scaling on the X access and not on the Y axis. So it's all together provides a real dynamic effects. So together opacity, rotation and scale together will give this effect. You see here and this one flame is it scaling like this l leprosy. Well, this just basically every important thing I can say about this scene. Like the owners, I would say, Just play around and watching Did watch the difference between the B and C first and play around in the be first. And I hope you can see the different possibilities that combining wiggle on different properties. Ah, gift. Thank you. 10. Machine Goes Crazy: Hi, guys. Welcome to my fourth example A lot off. A lot of things are going on here and together they make an awesome machine. Uh, let me show you. Um, the's meters are basically the same. The only difference is that I have a different wiggle value, making them totally random. You know what I can show you? The meter has rotating anchor points here in a applied marsh to clip it's ah, a buffet on offer mosque. But I locked a layer and for the other two meters, I shite the layer because you don't need to change that at this time. Um, for the life, it's this Ah, I did the same. I just make three color lights and corporate them and changed. If Alyosha little bits and altogether it may makes really awesome machine. I think in this part I have toe over a few off the expressions and you can see here that the three meters, if a different speeds per seconds in a different value, and so you can use one design item and make three completely different acting on. Meet us out if it and for the light at the limps or delights I did the same. I give him all a little bit difference value. And when you combine it, you get this effect. Ah, let me see. Yeah. And I enabled for the dials or two meters demotion bolivar because I think when they're moving quite rapidly, it's nice effects. Thank you for watching this example. 11. Equalizer on the Move: Okay, guys, welcome to my fifth example. This one is a bit more complicated. A lot off layers, a lot of different things happening. It's basically it's very simple. So I will show you the important things. Ah, first I shall explain how I made this Each bar you see, it's contains off to ah different items and ah, shape to shape the top shape and a bottom shape with the fill color. And that is just aesthetic, um, shape on every place. It's the same. That's duration that I used to shii button to the high debts and the parts that is animating is a shape that is set to, um let me say in shades, um, the color to fill uses Teoh shape that this animating s and elfin met. So L far is on there color change and the animated shape is just, um, acting as a mosque. So I will your Shagan and, um played animation now and you can see on the colored Grady and stayed the same. It's just a mosque that this moving one thing that I want, I want to point out. I used a lot off bars, but your computer don't Maybe your computer maybe doesn't like it. So if you notice that it's a little bit too hard, just delete a few. Also the same. The pre few resolution I said that health. Because otherwise my fend off the computer will make a lot off Nice. You can't hear me anymore. Um, that's well, that's ah aside. And the same is for the motion blur. I did at first enable its but venue enable its surrender. Time gets a lot longer, but sometimes you may need it. In other times, this effect is enough without emotion. Blur. Ah, that's a site. Um, it basically is quite simple. And I show you how What I did is I just made one bar. Ah, reflected bar a tow bar in a mosque that I am animating. And I animated the puff and this ice and I used the expression to intimates the size into hates. So the of if here is staying the same and it's just getting dollar and shorter. But now is the fun part, and you can see why this expression is so cool. If you look at this scene, you see that all the bars have the same expression. I just cope, eats and moved the shape. And here you can see Dhiren dimness off the wiggle effects. Even with the same input numbers, the outcome is totally different. And I think that makes this really awesome. Again. This one is a bit complicated, but as theater felt, I have an empty before state prepared state and then completed state with all the legal effects in place. So I would say Just play with its on DSI. Was this possible? Thanks a lots. 12. 3, 2, 1, Start Wiggling Now, Create your Motion Graphics: Hi, guys. Thank you so much for following my class. I hope I have inspired you with the possibilities that the legal effect has to offer for your class project. You can just create a simple example, like long displaying right now or use one off the product. Exercise files you down outs are just create something totally different. I would love to see what you come up with, so please post it on your product base. 13. How to Embed Vimeo and YouTube Video to Project Page: in this shorts video, I will show you how you can embed a female or YouTube video onto your projects. First novel and it's my projects in this guy store is already a female video in, But I will show it and the process again. If you go to your female page and you choose the video you want to invents, you can go to them. Share option, no window will open. And here you can make some options. For example, out of play the video for short videos, you can look them. Then it will play continuously. And all this information historic in a text file, you just copy. And then here you twos and bets media in your projects and you can just based the coat into it submits. And here is the video from female. The process for you to push quite the same. You go to YouTube, you choose to share option. I have no videos on YouTube to effect, so I just take a general video and you can, um, choose the embeds. You can even make more options and also did this cope it GOP. I choose here, and Bets Media and I based the goats submits. And here the YouTube video is in your products. And when you shave your project, the videos are embedded onto your projects. I hope that the shorts info video is helpful. Thank you.