Smoothing out camera movements in After Effects

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In today’s post, Jeff Sengstack, our Adobe certified expert and instructor, will show you how to smooth out camera movements in After Effects.

More particularly, he’ll show you how to fix the sudden motion.

Note: Remember to watch the video tutorial on how to smooth camera movements that Jeff recorded for you.

So let’s start! ⬇

The way you do that is by going to the so-called graph editor.

1.So we’ll click on the graph editor.

graph editor
2. Click on the second button.

3. Choose Edit Value Graph.

click on x positionIf I click on “X”, it selects all the key frames and makes them all active.

Just as if I clicked it on the Graph Editor and the key frames switched to blue.

I click back to X Position.

And then I go to the key frames panel, I right-click on one of them and go to key frame interpolation.

keyframe interpolation

In the box that has just opened, I change the “temporal interpolation” from Linear to Bezier and then click “Ok.”

Suddenly, you can see the little handles and all those nodes that allow me to control the motion through those spots.

nodes

If I play this now you’d see what happens. It looks like hardly anything’s changed, right? It’s a little bit smoother.

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Here’s the video tutorial we’ve told you about:

 

And we can now control that a little bit better.

And the first one is kind of abrupt.

So how do you fix that? ⬇

We should work on these key frames individually.

To do that, I click away so they’re not all selected.

And I can click one of them, for example, and that shows handles for the preceding and the following.

preceding following
That allows me to adjust the shape of the curve.
And notice I work on one side at once here.⬇

Pull down the option key and click and it locks in together.

So they start off—if I click on this here, I start off being broken like that.

But if I hold on to “Option” key and drag then they lock up.

Let go of the multi-option then they all stay locked up like that.

If I extend it like this, this smooth’s up the curve.

smooth up the curve
So this is how you control how the key frames pass by each of those stained-glass windows there.

Hold on “Option” key to lock them together or not, depending on what you want to do.

So I look at the most abrupt ones, these are the ones that need the most smoothing.

Now let’s smooth out the ones that I think look like they need the most smoothing.

And if I drag this to the right, that’ll change where it happens in time, like so.
So that’s how I work on that.

I don’t want to show you every single one but that’s the process to make things smooth out ⬇

  • you go to the graph editor,
  • and you switch on Bezier temporal key frames
  • and then you can adjust these handles either individually or hold on the “Option” key, click, then it’ll lock them together.

They don’t have to work together, you can work on them separately. Working together makes a smoother transition.

Do you have anything to add to this post?

Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with our After Effects community!

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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