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After Effects Apprentice: 09 Expressions

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn how to create simple but very useful expressions in After Effects that can be put to work on a wide variety of jobs.

Expressions are one of the most powerful but underused features in After Effects. They can be used to animate layer properties with code, as compared to explicitly keyframing every value in the Timeline, and have multiple parameters and layers that follow the lead of a master layer or controller effect, making it much easier to coordinate complex animations and quickly accommodate client changes. In this introduction, Chris Meyer shows how to let After Effects do most of the work by creating simple but very useful expressions that can be put to work on a wide variety of jobs.

The After Effects Apprentice series was created by Trish and Chris Meyer. These tutorials are designed for After Effects CS4 through CC, and can be used on their own or as a companion to the Meyer's book, After Effects Apprentice.


  • Overview
  • Software versions and exercise files
1. Basic Expressions
  • Keyframes and client changes
  • Creating an expression
  • Managing expressions
2. Modifying Expressions
  • Simple math
  • Coordinating simple properties
  • Clockwork
3. Expressions Worth Learning
  • Linear interpolation
  • Looping
  • The wiggle expression
4. Controlling Expressions
  • Expression controls
  • Master controls
  • Driven by sound
5. Quizzlers
  • Quizzler challenges
  • Quizzler 1 solution: Touching wheels
  • Quizzler 2 solution: Master drop shadow
6. Idea Corners
  • Idea corners 1: Manic blur
  • Idea corners 2: Flashing lights
  • Idea corners 3: Wandering electric arcs

Taught by

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

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