after effects Tutorial

Adding Tweens / Stop Motion Effect

Taylor Blanchard
|3 min read
Written by Taylor Blanchard


Tweens, often referred to as the 'in-betweens', are the transitional animations between two major keyframes. Ensuring your Tweens are smooth and make sense is crucial for achieving a professional-looking animation. In this tutorial, I'll share a technique I've employed in my animations to get those perfect Tweens.

1. Visibility Toggling:

An effective way to judge the smoothness of your animation is by quickly toggling the visibility of your layers.


  • Turn On/Off Layers: By turning your layers on and off rapidly, you can gauge the flow of your animation. You want to do this frequently. Click on the 'eye' icon next to your layers to achieve this.

  • Check for Consistency: For animations involving natural elements, like leaves growing, ensure the flow makes sense. A leaf shouldn't randomly jerk or change direction unless that's the intended effect.

  • Smooth Color Transitions: If your animation involves color changes, ensure these transitions are smooth and not abrupt, unless that's the desired outcome.

2. Play it Fast:

For certain animations, like my 'plant death' scene, you might want to get a feel of how the animation looks when played faster.

  • Hover and Play: Move your timeline marker quickly back and forth across the span of your animation to get an idea of how it'd look in faster motion.

  • Focus on Details: Pay attention to color shifts, shadows, and other small elements. They can often make or break the realism and smoothness of an animation.

3. Iterative Review:

It can get tedious, but constantly reviewing your work is essential.

  • Click Through Frequently: Repeatedly click through different parts of your animation to ensure everything flows well. This repetitive process might seem monotonous but ensures a polished outcome.

4. Revisiting Scenes:

Even if you've moved past a scene, don't hesitate to revisit.

  • Analyze In-between Stages: If a scene feels off, look at its in-between stages. Sometimes, adding a different layer or adjusting an existing one can make a huge difference.

  • Layer Switching: Experiment by toggling between the start layer and potential new ones. This can often highlight what's missing or what needs adjustment.

Final Thoughts:

Animation is iterative. The key to a perfect animation is to keep tweaking and reviewing until everything feels right. If you're into scene-by-scene drawing-type animation, employing the method of constant review and tweaking can be immensely beneficial. Remember, every click brings you closer to animation perfection. Happy animating!

The Results



motion design
after effects
Taylor Blanchard
stop motion

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