after effects Tutorial

Making Objects Move in After Effects

Jackson Brehm
|3 min read
Written by Jackson Brehm


Ever wondered how to bring those Illustrator layers to life in After Effects? Jackson Brehm, an expert animator, will guide us through this vibrant journey today. Let's animate some coffee pouring action, shall we?

Illustrator Meets After Effects

Got your art layers beautifully separated in Illustrator? Well, good news! Import that file directly into After Effects and voila! The separate layers are still intact. Isn’t that convenient?

Setting the Stage: Rotating the Coffee Cup

The first task? Make that coffee appear like it's preparing to pour into a cup. Jackson shows us how to angle the coffee image so it's just teasing us with the promise of caffeine.

Pivot Perfection: Anchor Points

This is where the anchor point comes into play. The anchor point dictates from which point the object will rotate. A double-click on your object and a drag will set the anchor point. A little adjustment ensures it aligns perfectly.

The Magic of Keyframes

No magic show is complete without a wand, and in After Effects, the wand is called "Keyframes." Hit that stopwatch icon next to the property you want to animate, in this case, rotation. Now your object will start moving based on a timeline.

Timing is Everything

Once the stopwatch is activated, you have full control over the time frame. Want that coffee to pour in just one second? Just move your timeline cursor to the 1-second mark and adjust the rotation.

The Grand Reveal: Coffee Enters the Scene

The actual coffee image should only appear at the one-second mark. A simple drag and drop in the timeline will set the object's entrance.

Add a Splash of Realism: Wave Warp Effect

So you've got your cup, you've got your pouring action, but how to make it look like the coffee is actually pouring? [/education/tutorials/smoke-effect-using-wave-warp](Wave Warp Effect) to the rescue. A couple of tweaks in the settings, and you've got liquid motion.


And that's how it's done! Hit play and see your animated coffee pour itself into a cup as if guided by an invisible barista.

Now, your static Illustrator files have transformed into lively, animated objects in After Effects. The secret? A blend of anchor points, keyframes, and a pinch of wave warp magic.

Pour yourself a cup of success and keep animating. Your graphics don't have to be static; give them the life they deserve! 🎨🔥

Here's the final result:



motion design
after effects

Support Us

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