Motion Sketch

Motion Sketch is one of those Adobe After Effects tools that is often forgotten (at least by me) but a very handy addition to the After Effects toolset. In this quick tip we look at how you can use Motion Sketch to add natural, organic motion to your layers.

Discuss
  1. MacOSXPCDestek-TR
    Reply

    Nice tutorial, thanks Jhon 🙂

  2. Todd Kopriva
    Reply

    I bet that you already know what I’m going to say, John. 😉

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks for reminding me Todd. I’ve posted the link in Adobe Help. Best, John.

  3. illd
    Reply

    The forgotten art of handmade keyframes ;). Thanks for reminding that there is always another way – I think I relied to much on expressions in my last works. I believe that at some point even a non-Motiondesigner can “feel” if its pure math or handmade.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome illd. You bring up a good point too, thanks. John.

  4. Hassaan
    Reply

    this is really a helpful feature
    Thanks john for the tutorial

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Hassaan. Best, John.

  5. peter
    Reply

    hey great tip and thnx for reminding me of this tool. maybe it works best with a pen like wacom.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Peter, yes this would be easiest to control with a Wacom for sure. Best wishes, John.

  6. John Stanowski
    Reply

    I recently rediscovered this effect too.
    What ever happened to After Effects: A to Z?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi John, A-Z is still going, just waiting on Audio Spectrum to be completed. Best, John.

  7. Mark Shingleton
    Reply

    Fantastic tip John .. love it!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hey Mark, you’re welcome. Best, John.

  8. dawg69
    Reply

    Very Nice Effect..Thanks

  9. rove
    Reply

    nother tip for this is to set the keyframes to ‘Rove Across Time’ if you don’t want the speed of the motion path to be determined by the speed of your mouse movements.

    Thanks for reminding me of these great features 🙂

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Good point Rove. Making the keyframes “rove across time” is a great way to create consistent speed of your layer along the motion path. Regards, John.

  10. flashparagon
    Reply

    Great tip as usual, thanks!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome flashparagon. Best, John.

  11. Jaffe
    Reply

    You can also create a Null and attach a camera to it for some realistic camera movements. As you can only move them on the x and y you can move your objects in 3D space to trick the camera into using either x or y as z… just a thought…

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Nice one. Thanks for joining the sharing Jaffe. Best, John.

  12. Benjamin Eshagpoor
    Reply

    Great tip, JD! A nice alternative to creating a wiggle expression!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      And one I often forget! Thanks Ben.

  13. John Stanowski
    Reply

    Just had to stop by again and say I love this site. Had a client walk in out of nowhere asking me to write a name with particles and I thought… Oh, I can do that with Motion Sketch! I was armed for the job because I recently watched this tut and came back again today for a refresher. I dare say this is my most visited site. I check it every day. JD you rock.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      That’s superb John. I personally think these shorter more focussed tips are more useful because they are easy to reference later when needed. Glad to have you hear and being involved with Motionworks. Best, John.

  14. Peter Somers (TC-Productions)
    Reply

    Excellent tip!
    the cool thing is you can use the position keyframes as a driver for a camera target point, which gives your 3D AE comp a handheld feel.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Yes that’s a handy way to add natural movement to the camera. Thanks Peter.

  15. PJ Almazan
    Reply

    ell mr. john, i find your tutorial so very great. mostly in my part, to help me understand more what is AE CS4 can do in regards to its tool and basic functions. i’m just a newbie outside the world of pro editors. i hope you can send some of cool start-up videos to help me learn more. i would be grateful enough to thank you so much. have a nice and blessed day always.

  16. Sarraa
    Reply

    Hey John..
    Nice Reminder of that tool really
    And your follow up and replying to visitors is really appreciated 😉

    Just wondering if you can help me with motion sketching a 3D layer.
    “maybe i forgot a helpful tool”

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Sarraa,
      This tool won’t work in 3D but it would be cool! Of the top of my head perhaps you could motion sketch the path you want, convert it to a mask, rotate it in 3D, then reconvert it to a path?

  17. Andy
    Reply

    Hey JD,

    Awesome tutorial. I thought I would add here that the convert to mask, rotate, and convert back to path didn’t work. I’m sure you know by now but figured I’d put it up for anyone that likes to know 🙂

    And if anyone comes up with a solution for using this tool in 3d, plz let us know!

  18. deepak
    Reply

    there is no motion sketch option in the window menu of my ae cs4 ?
    i am using a jpg image will that be a problem
    if not how to enable it?
    is it available in cs4?pls help

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