Tip: Wiggle Any Value in After Effects

Tip: Wiggle Any Value in After Effects

A better wiggle

The wiggle effect included with After Effects is good for some things, but it also has its limitations. Not (natively) being able to parent another layer to a wiggling object or to easily set a loop time for a wiggle ended in a lot of head-scratching and eye-rolling, not to mention the stock wiggles only work with a very limited selection of layer values.

The other parts of the bee are parented to the body... but they're not moving with it. And it's not looping.Bad, bad Adobe!

This lead me to start looking for a better way, a better wiggle. Luckily I found Dan Ebbert's awesome expressions for wiggling (and looping) pretty much any value you want.

Express yo self

Using the expression below, you can wiggle the anchorpoint, position, scale, rotation, and opacity. Simply paste into the expression field, adjust your freq (speed) amp (amount) and looptime values.

freq = 0.5; amp = 5; loopTime = 6; t = time % loopTime; wiggle1 = wiggle(freq, amp, 1, 0.5, t); wiggle2 = wiggle(freq, amp, 1, 0.5, t - loopTime); linear(t, 0, loopTime, wiggle1, wiggle2)
Credit to Dan Ebbert

You can use the above expression for wiggling scale, but it will wiggle both the X and Y values independently. If you want a uniform wiggle, say for instance a uniform scale, use this altered expression. Alter freq amp and looptime as before.

freq = 1; amp = 110; loopTime = 3; t = time % loopTime; w1 = wiggle(freq, amp, 1, 0.5, t)[0]; w2 = wiggle(freq, amp, 1, 0.5, t - loopTime)[0]; linear(t, 0, loopTime, [w1,w1], [w2,w2])
Credit to Dan Ebbert


Wiggle position loop + Parenting

The bee body is a shape layer with the wiggle expression, with the wings, antenna and legs parented to it.

Wiggle scale loop

X and Y independent


All together now!

Position, scale, rotation looping wiggle + parented body parts

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