AE Tricks #1 - Time Expression

Adam Sabla
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Hey everyone!

This is the first episode of AE Tricks. I'd like to focus this series on expressions in After Effects. Expressions are a big subjects. But not many motion designers use them... At Mister Horse we work with expressions quite a lot, so why not to share?

Let's start with something very basic.


This is a very simple and useful expression. I use it all the time. It's useful for stuff like continuous rotation - wheels on a car and so on.

The time expression returns a number value related to your current position in the timeline. In other words, the value increases as the time goes by. Then the *800 multiplies this value, making it move faster. You can change this number to change the speed of the movement.

The value you have set there (the original rotation for example) is overridden. If you would like to build on a value which you got there, add thisProperty + before it.

thisProperty + (time*800)

So if you have rotation set to for example 180', it would start adding the time*800 to 180' instead of zero. You can also link the 800 to a slider controller and animate it.

It can be also used for many other things in different ways. But about that later.

If you like this or have questions, please let me know in comments. If you got some cool trick on this subject, feel free to post a response.

Stay tuned!

Software Used

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Date Added: June 07, 2016

Comments (1)

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Mike Smith -

Nice one!