Easily Offset Animated Layers With Expressions In After Effects

Owen Chikazawa Shares an Easy Method to Offset Time and Position With Expressions

A new tutorial from Motion Array shows how you can harness the power of After Effects expressions to offset both time and position in layers. You have two options when creating an offset, either with keyframes or by using absolute positioning values for each layer individually – but this might become problematic if there are many on screen at once!

A simple way that I’ve found more useful is through motion tracking (or “slo-mo”). By setting up several points defining my animation range into one video clip before importing them all together as static images/still frames; then applying overlap settings within AE’s transform panel will give me what seems like magical possibilities while still maintaining.

How it Works

If you’re not a master of expressions, don’t worry. You will learn all about what each component does and why they are there in the end!

Value at Time

The expression makes use of valueAtTime which is useful for making layers follow other layers in your scene. The foundation of the stagger effect also relies on this function, and can quickly create a delay that adds spice when mixed with effects like reverb or chorus – check out Shinsuke Matsumoto’s post to see how he built an advanced layer!