If you have worked with After Effects for a while you’ll notice that creating random animation movements with key frames can be a real pain and a challenging task, luckily there is a better solution thanks to the wiggle expressions you can achieve random movement fairly quickly without spending hours tweaking key frames right and left.

In this blog post I’ll show multiple examples and methods of wiggle expressions from wiggle text to camera shake, I will also provide you the After Effects project source files so you can see how wiggle expressions are integrated with the layers. This should allow you to get a good understanding of how the wiggle expression works and use it for your own project. For those who hate programming expression I’ll also go over other ways to create Jiggle movement without using codes.

What’s a Wiggle Expression in After Effects ?

A wiggle expression in After Effects is a piece of JavaScript code that allow to move,scale,rotate… a layer back and forth in a random fashion.

The basic code look like this
wiggle(5,10)

  • The 1st number 5 define the number of time your layer will wiggle per second. This case it move 5 time in 1 second
  • The 2nd Number 10 define the how much it will move up and down this case 10 pixels

wiggle expression codes details

Here is a Wiggle animation example based on the setting wiggle(5,10) wiggle expression animation

Apply a Wiggle Expression in After Effects?

Using and applying an expression is fairly simple, below are the steps to add the wiggle expression to a layer,image,text or video.

– Assuming you have a layer/text/image on your After Effects timeline like below
ae timeline with shape layer

– Select the layer on your timeline and press P (It will show the position)
shape layer position open

– On your keyboard Press Alt (PC) or Option (Mac)  click on the stopwatch icon
alt-to-apply-wiggle-expression

– Position numbers X and Y should now be red, replace transform.position with this: wiggle(5,10)
wiggle expression on the layer position

Here is the wiggle-expression After Effect project just in case you need to see it in action.

Other Examples of Wiggle Expressions

Your wiggle expression is making a good and smooth animation now what if you want to control the start or stop of the wiggling movement? No