Adding secondary motion is a pretty common practice towards polishing animation. The Question usually becomes “How do I add secondary animation in After Effects?”, there are really a lot of ways. Usually the shortest and simplest solution in CG becomes the correct answer.

[pullquote align=”right”]a lot of times it’s the subtle movements that make the biggest difference[/pullquote]

Understanding that After Effects does not have a built in physics solution that could potentially take care of secondary animation on some level, You certainly you are able to fake it. Thanks to products like the Motion Boutique’s Newton2, you can use a 2D rigid body dynamics system for a multitude of things.



One use can include having Newton work out the secondary’s for you, or even hacking together a soft body dynamic solution by including some of AE’s native effects in the mix.

Knowing and practicing the basic principles of animation however can allow you the tools you need to manually create your own secondary motion righting After Effects simply by creating keys.

This is the premise of Evan Abrams latest tutorial showing you how you can approach creating secondary animation in After Effects with a vector shape layer, adding keyframes that will in the end resemble a soft body dynamics effect. Evan covers working with shape layers and guides, setting keyframes, and the concept and implementation of inertia and mass in some basic physical principles.

Check out the complete tutorial hosted by After Effects Video Tutorial: Physics & Soft-Bodied Dynamics

Some of the links on lesterbanks are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.