Enhance your animations with expressions.

What you'll need

This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: Multiple methods for applying expressions

Why expressions?

Expressions are a fast way to create animations that would otherwise seem much harder to create using keyframes.

Apply an expression

  • Option-click (MacOS) or Alt-click (Windows) the stopwatch of any parameter to apply an expression to that parameter.

Start with simple expressions

  • The wiggle expression is a great one to start with. To create it from scratch, apply an expression and select it in the Timeline. Then, click in the Timeline to open a text box and type wiggle followed by two values in parentheses, like (10,5). Click outside of the text box to apply the wiggle expression.

The first number in the wiggle expression is the number of times the parameter will wiggle per second. The second number is how much that wiggle will change numerically. For our example above, the layer would move 10 times a second, and only adjust 5 digits in any direction for the parameter.

Use a parameter pick whip to link parameters

  • Drag the parameter pick whip in the Parent & Link column from one parameter to another to tie parameters together, so one parameter controls another. For example, you could have the rotation of one layer determine the position of another layer.

Adjust expressions with math

  • Add math operations at the end of an expression if you want to slow down the expression (/) or speed up the expression (*). You can also add (+) and subtract (-) specific numbers.

Tip: Expressions become more natural to use the more you apply them. Don’t be afraid to use the pick whip to link different parameters together and use math to play around and gain a deeper understanding.


Adobe Stock contributors: ritchyme

Presenter: Ian Robinson

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