[2024] All 3 Variations Of The After Effects Bounce Expression

In After Effects, the bounce expression provides organic movement to layers, replicating real-world physics. By adjusting variables like elasticity and gravity within the expression, you can customize the bounce's intensity and frequency to fit your animation's needs.

December 3, 2023
[2024] All 3 Variations Of The After Effects Bounce Expression
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Adobe After Effects Bounce Expressions

Bounce Expression for After Effects

Basic Bounce Expression

This is the basic bounce expression for general use.

e = .7;
g = 5000;
nMax = 9;

High Elasticity Bounce

This variation has higher elasticity for a looser bounce.

e = 1.2;
g = 5000;
nMax = 9;

Heavy Object Bounce

This variation simulates a heavier object with a quicker bounce.

e = .7;
g = 7000;
nMax = 7;

What It Does

The bounce expression in After Effects gives your layers an organic movement, akin to dropping a basketball and watching it bounce. Imagine the surprise if you dropped a basketball and it didn't bounce; something would feel off, right? Similarly, in the realm of animation, replicating movements found in the real world is crucial for conveying ideas and telling a compelling story. This is where the bounce expression shines, allowing you to give your animations the weight and mass of real-world objects.

How Do You Add A Bounce Expression In After Effects?

Now, if you're aiming to add a bounce to any layer, the bounce expression is your go-to. At first glance, it might seem intricate, but there's no need to be daunted by its complexity. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know:

  1. Accessing the Expression Field: In After Effects, select the property you want to apply the bounce to. Alt-click on the stopwatch icon next to the property to open the expression field.
  2. Key Components of the Bounce Expression:
  3. e: This variable controls the elasticity of the bounce. Think of it as a bungee cord attached to your object. A lower value for 'e' will make the bounce stiffer. If you desire a looser bounce, simply increase this value.
  4. g: This represents gravity. Just as you'd expect, a higher value makes the object feel heavier. As gravity increases, post-bounce movements speed up.
  5. nMax: This determines the maximum number of bounces allowed.
  6. Applying the Expression: Once you've input the expression, After Effects will use just two keyframes to create a bounce. It will gauge the velocity of your layers' movement to determine the bounce's behavior.
  7. Tweaking the Bounce: The expression provides you with the flexibility to control various aspects of the bounce. For instance, you can adjust the elasticity, gravity, and the number of bounces.
  8. Understanding the Real-World Analogy: To grasp the concept of elasticity, picture a bungee cord. A lower elasticity value will resemble a tight cord, resulting in a stiffer bounce. On the other hand, a higher value will give you a looser, more fluid bounce.
  9. Gravity's Role: In the bounce expression, gravity operates just as you'd expect in the real world. The higher the gravity, the heavier the object feels. As the object completes its initial bounce, subsequent bounces will conclude faster.

It's essential to note that while the bounce expression is a remarkable tool, it's not a replacement for understanding the fundamentals of creating a bounce. It's perfect for layers that require a simple bounce, but mastering the art of animation goes beyond this.