Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Enabling motion blur

From: After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

Video: Enabling motion blur

The last two advanced animation techniques I want to talk about is how to make things appear more smooth and how to make things appear more abrupt. Let's start with a smooth one. You might have noticed, as I preview the motions of this butterfly, is sometimes it's moving so fast it appears to strobe around the screen and it can be little hard to watch animations like this. Well, there is an option inside After Effects called Motion Blur, where you can have objects that are moving quickly, be it moving in position, scale or rotation, automatically blur and give streaks that indicates they're moving very quickly.

Enabling motion blur

The last two advanced animation techniques I want to talk about is how to make things appear more smooth and how to make things appear more abrupt. Let's start with a smooth one. You might have noticed, as I preview the motions of this butterfly, is sometimes it's moving so fast it appears to strobe around the screen and it can be little hard to watch animations like this. Well, there is an option inside After Effects called Motion Blur, where you can have objects that are moving quickly, be it moving in position, scale or rotation, automatically blur and give streaks that indicates they're moving very quickly.

So in fact, what you're used to seeing when you videotape or film something. Now as we look at the motion path for this butterfly, remember that this spacing between the dots along motion path indicates how far that butterfly is moving in every frame of our animation. That's quite a large gap. We can use Motion Blur to help smooth the way the layer is drawn from dot to dot. To see the results in Motion Blur, you actually need to perform two steps. You need to enable it for the layer and enable it for the composition.

First let's work on the layer. Calculating Motion Blur does require additional computing power, therefore, it defaults to off on all layers in After Effects. However, in the Timeline panel you'll see this Motion Blur switch. It looks like an echoed series of dots. To enable Motion Blur for a layer, you need to turn on the switch underneath that column. So for this butterfly I will turn on the Motion Blur switch for that layer. But you might say, hey, nothings changed yet.

Well, there are a couple of reasons. One, enabling Motion Blur for layer only tells After Effects to render at this layer with Motion Blur. It does not yet tell it to preview it in the current Comp panel with Motion Blur. To do that, you then need to also enable the Motion Blur switch for the entire composition. As opposed to a render setting, this is a preview setting. It only affects what you see in this Comp panel, and this switch has no effect on your final render.

I am going to turn it on, and you say, "Well, heck, I still haven't seen anything yet, Chris!" Well, the object actually needs to be moving, where beyond the last keyframe the butterfly is no longer moving and that's why no Motion Blur has been calculated. Motion Blur is not just an effect that just throws on streaks in any layer. It's calculated depending on the speed of motion and transformations for layer. So just start backing up over those keyframe. You'll see this butterfly gradually become more and more blurred depending on how fast it's moving in the animation.

So I get to point back here around these terms and you can really see a lot of blurring in the butterfly's wings. The important thing to note again is this is not just an effect that is doing a linear blur on the butterfly. Let's get him back around a tight bend, which I think was like around here. Note that the outer wing, which is traveling farther and faster, is more blurred than the inner wing, which is not turning nearly as quickly because it's on the inside of this turn. Also notice that the blur is indeed curved to follow the motion path.

The way the Motion Blur works is that After Effects is actually rendering multiple copies of this layer at various points along the path in between those frame dots. So what you're seeing is a composite of multiple copies of this image on top of each other. It moves the layer just a little bit, depending on how fast it's moving from frame to frame, renders a new image, moves it a little bit more, renders a new image, composites those together for you, and that's what creates this blurred effect.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation
After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation

32 video lessons · 22698 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects Apprentice 03: Advanced Animation.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.