13 Replies Latest reply on Jun 18, 2017 12:14 PM by ali m.r7155227

# How to make object appear to float

I was wondering how to make a picture appear as if it's floating. Just like the example in here: After Effects Video Tutorial: 3D Timeline Animation - YouTube

He doesn't cover that part.

• ###### 1. Re: How to make object appear to float

Do you mean to make it 3D?  The movie you're referring to is using two 3D planes perpendicular to each other.  If that's what you mean, then, in the Timeline on the layers you want to make 3D, click the checkbox under the column below the little icon that looks like a cube. Then rotate one plane 90 degrees perpendicular to the other plane, and move it to the proper position with the axis handles.  If that's not what you're asking, I'm sorry to misunderstand.

• ###### 2. Re: How to make object appear to float

Is there a specific time in this video you're asking about? Your question is a little too vague for us to really help much.
Are you looking for the drifty camera look?

• ###### 3. Re: How to make object appear to float

Thanks! I mean the way the picture moves up/down, like floating, you can see it in the link at the 15th second. I already have it rotated and moving along the timeline, but the floating part is I don't know how to do.

• ###### 4. Re: How to make object appear to float

Thanks Kyle! you can see it in the link at the 15th second. Yes, the drifty look. I already have my picture rotated and moving along the timeline, but the floating part is I don't know how to do.

• ###### 5. Re: How to make object appear to float

Probably just a wiggle expression.  Option-click on the stop watch for Position and type, for example:
wiggle(2, 10)
would cause the object to move 2 times per second within a range of 10 pixels.  so if you'd like it to move more slowly, use a fraction of whole number for the first number, for example, wiggle(.25, 10)

• ###### 6. Re: How to make object appear to float

Yup, that's all it is. You'd be applying this to the camera's position property, by the way. Alt-click (option-click on Mac) the stopwatch for that property, and it'll reveal a line where you can type something in (among other things).

The wiggle function is, as kalibahlu said, written like this: wiggle(frequency,amplitude)
Frequency is how many times per second you want the thing to occur.
Amplitude is how far (in pixels) it can potentially move.

I usually start with something like wiggle(.5,20) for camera drift. Tweak the numbers to suit your taste.
Keep in mind, this will allow the camera to wiggle in all three dimensions. If you find you need more control, the code gets a bit more complicated.

• ###### 7. Re: How to make object appear to float

Try this. Animate the camera to make it fly past the 3D layers. Add a small amount of animation in the Y axis to the 3D layers to make them float.

There is nothing magic about this and a simple wiggle expression may help a bit but if you apply the wiggle animation to the camera everything in the scene will move and the illusion of floating will go away. These subtleties require experience and an eye for movement. I would suggest that you spend some time studying the 12 principals of animation. Here's a pretty thorough video on the subject. There are lots of examples of the Illustion of Life but if you are serious about learning motion graphics you should get and study The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Frank Thomas.

• ###### 8. Re: How to make object appear to float

Keep in mind, you can use wiggle on any object. It doesn't have to be the camera.

• ###### 9. Re: How to make object appear to float

Thank you so much!

• ###### 10. Re: How to make object appear to float

Thanks much! I used (.5,20)

• ###### 11. Re: How to make object appear to float

Thanks Rick! I'll watch the video you included about Animation. About what you suggested, "Animate the camera to make it fly past the 3D layers. Add a small amount of animation in the Y axis to the 3D layers" Do you mean not use the wiggle expression in the camera, because I don't understand what you mean by "make it fly past the 3D layers". Here is a screen shot of my timeline.

• ###### 12. Re: How to make object appear to float

I mean arrange your layers in 3D space then move the camera.

When you have the move the way you like it add a little movement to each layer in the Y axis (up and down) but make the movement slightly different for each layer. That way the layers will be floating in relation to the ground (X Z plane) as the camera moves in X Y and Z.

This is really basic animate in 3D stuff that you should become very familiar with. Moving the AE camera is like moving a real camera on a real set. Consider your layers as actors. The easiest way to shoot a real scene in to leave the camera in one place and have the actors move. This does not create a very interesting shot but it's easy to do. The next option is to move the camera and have the actors stand still. This is the way they shoot most of the scenes in feature films because it's easy to stage the actors and you can create an emotional response to the scene and direct the attention exactly where you want it just by the camera movement. The last option is the most difficult. Move the actors and move the camera. When you need to emphasize and direct your attention to specific details in the scene. This is how most important scenes in feature films are shot and if they are directed well the attention of the viewer is directed precisely where the director wants you to be looking and the point of the scene is made. This is the most difficult to set up.

These are basic principals of cinematography and are critical to effectively telling a story with moving pictures. They are also the most important part of motion graphics, which is what you are trying to do. Spend some time with the community resources available through the search help field at the top right corner of AE and study up on AE's 3D space, animating 3D layers, animating the camera and anything else you don't understand. Search help is one of my best friends and I have been using AE since it was invented and making my living making movies since 1969. You can never know it all.