Though some animation editors hate to hear the word expressions tossed around lightly, others know that they can save quite a bit of time when expressions are used correctly. Basically, when seasoned editors are creating and linking animations that are complex, and they want to skip the step of creating way too many keyframes by hand, they turn to a small software code that is referred to as expression. Expressions act much like a script that evaluates a single value a layer property at just the right point in time. The only difference is that a script tells an application to do something whereas an expression says that a property is something.
After Effects Expressions
Using an Expression
The simplest way to get started is to make sure you understand the basics of expression. Adding an expression means first accessing the controls. To do this, select the layer property you intend to work on and then hold the Option button (Mac) or the Alt button (PC) while you click on the stopwatch icon. You should see the expression controls open. Once they are open, you can either paste in or manually type in the expression code.
The Wiggle expression is not only easy to use, it also comes in handy for a variety of animation projects. When it is applied to the position of a layer, it creates random movement. This type of random movement often makes animations look a bit more realistic.
Using the After Effects Wiggle Expression is as simple as first, accessing the expression controls, then either typing or pasting the simple expression “wiggle( frequency , amount );”, and finally replacing “amount” and “frequency” with the numbers which will represent those values. The number inserted in the frequency spot will change how fast the layer wiggles. The number that is inserted into the amount spot will change the magnitude or strength of the wiggle.
When to Use Wiggle Expression
Because the Wiggle Expression makes objects move randomly, it is the perfect tool for animators who are trying to produce specific effects. Some of these include: