Smoother Animations in Motion

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When creating animations using Apple Motion or Adobe After Effects or even Flash, you need to use keyframes. These are the key frames where changes to an object are set, such as a ball being on the left of the screen and ending on the right. To do this, you would use 2 keyframes for the beginning and the end of the animation, with different values for the x (horizontal) position and the animation would happen as the timeline moves between the 2 values.

Setting the keyframes works, but it tends to create a very rigid-looking animation. Looking at the keyframe timeline in Motion shows us why:

Linear keyframes

Linear Keyframes

The straight line is pretty severe, so to smooth the animation we need to soften it somehow. The way to do this, is to ctrl or right-click on the keyframe and choose the Interpolation options. You can see it defaults to Linear. We need to change this to Bezier.

Interpolation Options

Interpolation Options

By applying the Bezier option our line smoothes out and we even have control handles which we can drag to customise this. On the image below, the keyframe for the X transformation has been set to Bezier and the Y and Z have been left for the moment.

Bezier applied

Bezier Applied

After Effects users may wonder why the Ease In/Out options weren’t selected. The image below shows that they are just not that smooth, so my preference is Bezier.

Ease In

Ease In Applied

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