5 Useful Expression for Productivity In After Effects

After Effects Expressions That Will Improve Your Workflow and Enhance Your Design

In this article, we’ll take a look at some basic expression in After Effects that are very easy to use and implement. They will save you a great deal of time when working on short deadline projects and you will be able to focus on more important design elements of the project.

What are expressions in After Effects?

Expressions are short pieces of code that can be applied to layers’ properties and they automate a function or execute a command via a predetermined array of values. They can substitute keyframes but they can also be used alongside with keyframes and other expressions.

What is the process of adding an expression to a layer?

To add an expression you will need to bring down the property of the value that you want to alter and click on the stopwatch next to the property while holding down the Alt key or Option key on Macs.

Next, simply type your expression on the newly revealed field, you simply copy and paste it and replace and values until they animation fits your needs

The expressions that we are going to go over in this article are:

  • The Wiggle Expression
  • The Time Expression
  • The loopOut Expression
  • The seedRandom expression
  • The Math.round expression

1. So let’s jump right into it and we’ll start with the Wiggle Expression


The wiggle expression is the most common and used expression in After Effects and it enables you to wiggle an object or a value in an interval of random values. Usually this expression is used in conjunction with the position property and it enables the layer to move in a random yet organic way.

The syntax is: wiggle(x,y)

Where x = the number of wiggle per second and y=the value of the wiggle.

2. Time expression


This expression works best with objects that you want to have in a constant state of moving. You can use it on the rotation of orientation property.

The syntax is: time*x

Where x = the speed parameter

3. loopOut() expression


This expression creates an infinite loop. This particular expression will require keyframes in order to work and it is used on many occasions on looping an animation using the following syntax:


The expression is added on the time remap property of the layer

4. seedRandom() expression


This expression locks random seeds so if you use other expressions such as the previously mentioned

“wiggle”, the values of the expression will not change when added to new layers. In other words, the animations will look exactly the same

The syntax is: seedRandom()

5. Math.round() expression


This expression is great for doing automatic countdowns in a source text. In the Math.round() brackets, simply add you’re normal expression and your number will be rounded up. Ultimately, the Math.round() expression will round up decimal numbers to the nearest whole numbers.

So these are our 5 productivity expressions in After Effects, we hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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