If theres a lot of the same type of item on screen, focus attention on one at a time, or one row at a time, or one spot at a time. Build the scene, don’t jump straight into it.
Once an item has animated position from one place to another it generally doesn’t move that much anymore. Sometimes there’s a bit of wind or other movement, but they don’t generally move that much. So slow the frame rate down for that layer or property, or remove the wiggle for that layer from that point onwards, or make use of the last-straw technique. Also, read to the next point!
If an item is moving in close proximity to another item, the item that is meant to be stationary has a good chance of moving – in both position and rotation. Think about a fat finger moving the one object – there’s a good chance it will touch the other object. You may need to do some manual tweaking here. It’s the details that make your film that much more hand-made and character-filled.
Elements can just appear – not everything has to build and be animated in. But remember that as some elements appear, so other elements may accidentally be moved.
You can still use easing! Actually, please still use easing!
Use continual movement to your advantage (palm trees, seas, etc.).
Use sound if you can! I’m no expert at this yet, but sound conveys a lot of depth and meaning.
There is always room for manual animation and tweaking (eyes, mouths). Not everything has to be random and wiggled! The synthetic stop-frame technique is just an added effect really.
If there are a lot of things to animate in or out, think about using a slightly higher frame rate or animting everything in really quickly.
You can break any of these rules if you like.
Change your composition’s frame rate before animating otherwise you have keyframes sitting in-between frames.
Posterize time (or change your composition frame rate) and use some form of wiggle as early as possible.
Make use of an expression layer (null object with an expression effect applied) to keep your frame rate and other things organised!
3D issues when using the Posterize Time effect
The Posterize Time effect makes 3D comp layers with collapse transformations 2D (even just having them as an effect, turned off). Solution: Use Time remapping.
The Posterize Time effect on a 3D shape layer prevents shadows being cast on it. It almost becomes a 2D layer.
The Posterize Time effect on a 3D layer does not effect the shadow. The shadow still moves at a regular speed.
The Posterize Time effect on a 3D AI layer does nothing.
You can solve most of these issues by applying the Posterize Time effect on a precomp layer of your composition inside another composition, or use the posterizeTime expression.
Expressions used in the class
Wiggle X and Y only for a 3D layer’s position value
Remember: this expression works only for a layer’s property, not the whole layer.