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LinkedIn Learning

Learning After Effects Expressions

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn to use expressions to animate layer properties, add movement, loop animations, react to sound, format text, and more in After Effects.

Even if you're not comfortable with scripting or coding, you may still want to take a look at expressions. They are like little scripts that trigger changes to layer properties, and they can save you time, make your work more flexible, and open up new creative possibilities. In this course, motion graphic designer Angie Taylor shows you how to make Adobe After Effects expressions work for you, starting with building expressions with the pick whip. Then she introduces JavaScript-based math expressions, which allow you to adjust timing and movement, and her favorite "no brainer" expressions, such as property linking and connecting camera focus to layers. Plus, discover how to react to sound, play with color, format text, and link 2D and 3D properties.


  • Welcome
  • How to use the exercise files
1. What Are Expressions?
  • Understanding the uses for expressions
2. Creating Expressions
  • Changing the numeric value of a property
  • Using words in expressions
  • Editing expressions with math
  • Viewing the post-expression graph
  • Saving expressions as presets
  • Applying expressions with presets
  • Understanding expression error warnings
3. Linking Properties Together
  • Applying expressions to effects
  • Introducing the pick whip
  • Linking to other layers
  • Using expression control effects
  • Copying and pasting expressions
  • Offsetting values
  • Simplifying expressions with variables
  • Understanding multidimensional values and arrays
  • Referencing single dimensions
  • Using variable values
4. Fun and Games with Math
  • Simplifying expressions with JavaScript Math objects
  • Reviewing order of operations for mathematical expressions
  • Referring to value and time
  • Offsetting values in time
  • Working with sine and cosine functions
  • Creating time trails
  • Converting ranges with the linear expression
  • Referring to width and height
5. The Expression Language
  • Creating looping animations
  • Wiggling the position of objects
  • Setting variable wiggle values
  • Exploring other options for wiggle
  • Randomizing values
  • Posterizing time for frame-rate effects
  • Referring to layer numbers with the index value
  • Interpreting syntax errors
  • Copying and pasting expressions
  • Converting expressions to keyframes
  • Converting values from degrees to radians
6. No-Brainer Expressions
  • Property linking
  • Linking camera focus distance to a layer
  • Behaviors and presets that use expressions
  • Scripts for editing and adding expressions
7. Reacting to Sound
  • Creating keyframes from audio
  • Easing ranges and values
  • Adding variety to lip-sync animations
8. Expressions in 3D
  • Linking 2D and 3D properties
  • Controlling 2D effects in 3D space
9. Color Expressions
  • Sampling color from an image
  • Converting colors between RGB and HLS
  • Making control panels for color
10. Text Expressions
  • Displaying values as numbers
  • Animating data in graphs
  • Formatting strings and text
  • Using expression selectors
  • Working with templates
  • Next steps

Taught by

Angie Taylor

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