If you want to save time creating natural movement effects, JJ Johnstone will show you how. Learn how to use parenting skills and online resources to make Expressions do more work.
Online resources have become an invaluable asset for smaller motion studios and freelancers. Rather than traditional keyframing, you can save time writing and testing Expressions by using pre-written templates online, and apply those Expressions to objects to create random, natural or wind movements.
Here you will use your parenting skills to make your Expressions work for you. You'll import a layered Photoshop or Illustrator file and create a layer hierarchy using parenting. This technique is faster than keyframing - you use layers, driven by Expressions, parented to other layers, with Expressions driving them. This will create a chain reaction in movement, and make it easy to create convincing effects, such as random gusts of wind.
These movements will add another level to your projects, creating interesting depth and an organic atmosphere. Whether you are adding trees, or objects on a pond, the movements will give the hint of an environment with wind, air and gravity.
In the following steps I will show you how to make an object move as though a gust of wind is affecting it. Feel free to use your own files and stray from my settings.