Synthetic Stop-Motion in After Effects: Quick and Easy Techniques for Hand-made Animations

Rich Armstrong, Product Designer

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16 Videos (1h 32m)
    • Intro

    • What Is Stop Motion Animation?

    • Easy-Peasy Stop Motion

    • Add Imperfection With The Wiggler Tool

    • The Posterize Time Effect

    • The Paper Cut Out Look

    • The posterizeTime Expression

    • The Wiggle Expression

    • Controlled by An Expression Layer

    • Inconsistent Light

    • Precomps and Time Remapping

    • Per character Text Layers

    • Recap

    • Let’s Make a Film

    • The End

    • Bonus Lesson 1


About This Class


I love stop-motion animation, or perhaps you call it stop-frame animation. I love it because it’s rich in character; because it looks hand-made; and because it drips with human imperfection. Most of the time we aim for perfect designs and animations, but this class is about reversing that idea to deliberately create a hand-made and imperfect look.
The class covers creating a stop-motion look inside After Effects – that means no cameras and no endless moving elements. Normal stop-motion takes a long time, but inside After Effects it’s quick and easy if you know how.
By the end of this class you’ll be able to create your own synthetic stop-motion films quickly and easily, with a range of different techniques ranging from dead-simple to highly detailed.

You may also enjoy my other animation classes:

11 of 11 students recommendSee All

This lesson kicks ass. It holds a ton of information and lets you be creative in a fun style. If you want to learn more about after effects, this is the class to show you new comprehensive skills.
Nicely paced and every step was explained thoroughly! Thank you for all the excellent tips :)
Great class! So easy to follow along!
Chantelle Armstrong

Art Teacher





Rich Armstrong

Product Designer

Rich's title is Product Designer but he's more of a jack-of-all-trades / generalist / unicorn. He designs, animates and codes. He's studied multimedia design and graphic design, and is a self-taught programmer. He's freelanced, worked for agencies and startups, and now runs Studio Armstrong, an Amsterdam-based creation company, with his wife. He also doodles all the time, has super ginger-powers and can touch his nose with his tongue!

He spends most of his working day researching and experimenting, much like his hero, Lucius Fox, does. Rich likes to think he's a minimalist, but he's fooling himself – he's as messy and unorganised as the any other creative genius.

Rich has been teaching online classes on Skillshare since late 2015 – and he likes it a lot :) He's since created the weirdly named Tap Tap Kaboom brand that showcases his experiments, designs and classes. Follow him on Dribbble, Instagram, Ello and YouTube. He also has a newsletter type thing that you can subscribe to.