After Effects Expressions: The Basics

Expressions are possibly the most powerful feature in After Effects, but a lot of animators don’t use them because they seem intimidating.  It takes a little bit of time to really get the hang of using them, but it’s worth the time investment.  Once you learn how to set up behaviors and controls without having to do tons of manual keyframing, you’ll be a much faster and more efficient motion graphics artist.

This tutorial is a quick overview of how expressions work in After Effects.  You’ll learn what expressions are, why you may want to use them, and how to apply them to properties in your comps.  We’ll use a simple example, animating the hands on a clock, to work through the basics.  Once you’ve watched this video, you should be able to move on to some of the more advanced tutorials that use expressions.

Here are some amazing sites to check out that will help you get the hang of expressions.

Motion Script
AE Enhancers

Comments / questions are appreciated!

4 Comments on “After Effects Expressions: The Basics

  1. Hi Joey,

    Great introduction to expressions – nice delivery, made total sense. Cheers!

  2. These 19 Minutes really changed the way i think using AE !

    Thank you very much Joey for giving us such a cool tutorial :)

  3. Awesome. Thank you. So as a next step Joey, where would you recommend I turn to learn expressions in greater detail now that I’m excited to learn more? The Adobe Expressions subpage on their site? Within After Effects themselves? I’m definitely planning to do lots of tinkering in After Effects, but I loved this breakdown of how to apply the time expression, and want to learn MORE. :)

    • Jon, check out . I’ve been throwing around the idea of doing a 6-8 hour series on After Effects expressions since there seems to be a lot of interest.

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