5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 28, 2017 2:48 PM by Stefan Gruenwedel

    Good tutorials for making objects drop or fly in?

    Kamil S Level 1

      I've been using the Adobe CS for years now, but just getting started using After Effects.


      I'm trying to make a video where 2D images/objects appear to drop in from above, stay put for a second, and then fly out into the background. I figured tutorials for something this simple would be all over the web, but I've yet to find one exactly like this.


      So far I'm assuming it will be something easy like using the scale effect? Any tips or advice are much appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Good tutorials for making objects drop or fly in?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          This kind of animation usually looks better done in 3D. The best kind of a setup is an expression that calls the in and out actions based on layer in and out points. Here's a preset that I made that does something similar. You just select a layer, position it where you want it to stop moving and then apply the animation preset. The layer will then fly in from the left side of the frame, bounce to a stop, and then drop out the bottom. The timing is adjustable by sliders.


          A careful examination of the expressions will give you some pointers on how to modify them so that the layer drops in.

          • 2. Re: Good tutorials for making objects drop or fly in?
            Kamil S Level 1

            Hey Rick, thanks for the reply.


            Do you mind explaining how I can apply the expression to a 2D png image I want to animate? No matter what I do I can't select "add expression" from the animation menu.



            Please excuse the complete amateur hour here

            • 3. Re: Good tutorials for making objects drop or fly in?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Just pick a property like position then hold down the alt or option key and click the stop watch or with Position selected go to Animation Add Expression.


              Did you try adding the animation preset to a layer in the timeline? Save the animation preset to your animation presets file and then select the layer, position it where you want it to end, then select Animation>Apply Animation Preset> and browse to the preset I sent you. Works with 2D and 3D layers.


              The drop in and fly back animation that you want to do will work better with 3D layers and this Animation Preset could easily be modified to move in Z instead of fall out of frame.


              It doesn't sound like you are very familiar with expressions. This one is fairly complex. It uses the in point and out point of the layer along with value at time to create the motion. If this looks like greek to you you'd better explain more about what you want to do with the expression.

              sif = effect("slideIn Frames")("Slider");
              sof= effect("slideOut Frames")("Slider");
              // find in and out point 
              inTime = sif * thisComp.frameDuration;
                        if (effect("Match SI SO")("Checkbox") == 0) {
                        outTime = sof * thisComp.frameDuration;
                        else if (effect("Match SI SO")("Checkbox") == 1) {
                        outTime = inTime;
              // Fix  layer size when scaled
              sf = scale - [100, 100];
              xSize = width + (width * sf[0]/100);
              ySize = height + (height * sf[1]/100);
              realSize = [xSize, ySize];
              // Set Positions
              spx = 0 - realSize[0] + realSize[0]/2 ;
              rstx = value [0];
              rsty = value[1];
              epy = thisComp.height + realSize[1] - realSize[1]/2;
              // create movement 
              freq = effect("bounce Frequency")("Slider");
                      amplitude = effect("bounce Amplitude")("Slider");
                      decay = effect("bounce Decay")("Slider");
                  posCos = Math.abs(Math.cos(freq*time*2*Math.PI));
                  y = amplitude*posCos/Math.exp(decay*time);
              moveIn = Math.min(linear(time,inPoint,inPoint + inTime,spx  ,rstx-y));
              moveOut = Math.min(linear(time,outPoint - outTime,outPoint - thisComp.frameDuration,rsty ,epy));
              [moveIn, moveOut]
              • 4. Re: Good tutorials for making objects drop or fly in?
                theangietaylor Adobe Community Professional

                Hi there,


                Did you ever get this to work for you? If you're new to AE an easier way would be to animate the position value using keyfrmes


                You can recreate the bounce by adjusting the velocity and influence of the temporal keyframes in the timeline. This can be a bit fiddley but, if you are new to this, there's a tutorial which shows you how to create a bouncing ball in my book, Creative After Effects (animation chapter). You could use exactly the same technique with your object?


                You can pick it up pretty cheap on Amazon;


                Creative After Effects 7: Workflow Techniques for Animation, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics: Amazon.co.uk: Angie Tay…

                • 5. Re: Good tutorials for making objects drop or fly in?
                  Stefan Gruenwedel Adobe Employee

                  This tutorial shows a UFO flyover, which might address some of the things you're trying to do: Try adding special effects to a video