after effects Tutorial

After Effects: Anchor Points, Rotation, and Easing

Joseph Wiehl
|2 min read
Written by Joseph Wiehl


Joseph Wiehl unravels the foundational elements of After Effects: the art of maneuvering anchor points, the intricacies of rotation, and the nuance of easing.

1. The Essence of Anchor Points:

The pivot around which an object rotates or scales in After Effects.

  • When animating any object, the Anchor Point is the central hub. Think of it as the fulcrum on which a seesaw balances. Joseph moves the anchor point of "bird one" to better match its anatomy, ensuring more natural movement.

    • Normally positioned in the center, the anchor point, when misaligned, can cause unexpected transformations or rotations. It's evident when Joseph moves the anchor point of the bird and it rotates peculiarly. This emphasizes the need for precise anchor point placement.

2. Rotation's Role:

Pivoting an object around its anchor point.

Joseph's intent is to provide the birds with a fluttering movement. The rotation tool achieves this by revolving the birds around their anchor points.

Rotation values define the angle of rotation. A value of "0°" signifies no rotation, and the object remains in its initial position. By adjusting these values, Joseph creates an oscillating effect, mimicking the flapping of wings.

3. Easing Into Motion:

Polishing the animation's flow with easing.

Animations can sometimes appear unnatural when objects start and stop abruptly. Easing is the technique of gradually accelerating or decelerating movement, providing a smoother, more natural motion.

  • Easy Ease: This function allows the bird to start and end its movement more smoothly. Joseph uses the "key frame assist" to access this feature. By adjusting the parameters of "easy ease", he makes the bird's descent swifter while its ascent becomes slower. It's akin to how a pendulum has a brief moment of pause at its apex before swiftly descending.

  • Offsetting Movements: The beauty of animation lies in its ability to mirror or deviate from reality. Though Joseph prefers the synchronized movement of both birds, they can be animated to move at varied paces, adding another layer of dynamic interaction.

In conclusion, these basic tools - anchor points, rotation, and easing - are foundational pillars in animation. With just these three, a multitude of effects and emotions can be evoked, turning simple shapes into characters bursting with life.


motion design
after effects

Support Us

If this project file helped you at all, feel free to give us a tip.