Banging your head against the wall from time to time while trying to create the perfect ease will teach you more about motion than any expression ever will.

Ae - Why You Shouldn't Use the Overshoot and Bounce Expressions!

Banging your head against the wall from time to time while trying to create the perfect ease will teach you more about motion than any expression ever will.

Banging your head against the wall from time to time while trying to create the perfect ease will teach you more about motion than any expression ever will.

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you were looking / actively using one of the famous overshoot/bounce expressions for After Effects. Those expressions in a nutshell automatically interpolates the change of a value over time to simulate a more natural realistic release after the original motion ends. The most common of them all is Dan Ebberts’s expression which for over a decade now leads the google search results on the topic.

Today I’m going to make an argument for keeping your clipboard free and going the old fashion way, animating using keyframes. And it all boils down to one simple reasoning: Learning what is it that you want to make, regardless of how you want to get there.

One of the things I talk a lot about in this blog that I also use as a guide for developing the products we sell on Good Boy Ninja is the topic of art as a profession. When we are under a deadline and we need to complete a task as fast as we can, it makes a lot of sense to use methods of automation like the classic overshoot expression to speed up our workflow.

What kind of sorcery is this? 🧙

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However (and this is open to interpretation) if what you’re after is creating something within the realm of endless options technology allows us while learning and developing your skills and understanding of motion and how to use it to tell a story, you would want to put yourself in a playful state where you’re allowed to make mistakes.

Cleese: “It all boils down to getting in a playful and relaxed frame of mind. Nobody ever had a bright idea when they were attacking a machine-gun nest. Disruption and anxiety kill all kinds of creativity Mobiles, emails, stress are absolutely poisonous..”

The bounce/overshoot expressions are fast, mathematically correct, and behave in a predicted way. This is all great when we are doing work and we need the tools we work with to provide us with solutions to help us make good work faster. However, it leaves no room for creativity and makes it much harder to, as Bob Ross used to say, make happy little accidents.

You see, when we use those expressions to create compelling motion, we stick to the idea that the digital image we are pouring life into should behave in this one particular way, in a “realistic” and familiar way. But while realistic is a goal, it isn’t the goal. Animation is a special form of art as it allows us to be the decision-makers and allow us to dictate the rules of a world we create. Every pause, every stretch and every expected / unexpected behavior adds up to a product with a set of qualities we dictate based on our judgment. This process isn’t linear, it doesn’t start with “no easing” or ends with “realistic easing” as good. If anything, this process doesn’t have any start/endpoint, and it’s up to you to make decisions that shape the world you make into whatever it is that you feel it should be. And obviously, you don’t have to have all the answers in advance. Everybody got their own process, and while some start with a very clear image of what they want to make, other might find it more fulfilling to play around with the endless options that rest under the palms of our hands and use the good old occasional “Woah that’s actually pretty cool” to guide them through to creative process. How bad would it be to try creating the famous bounce by hand, and screwing everything up along the way? What if something wonderful comes out of it as your character’s neck accidentally stretches in a nonconventional way, or your bouncing text stays just a little bit longer in the air before making its second contact with the ground, creating just a little more anticipation than one would expect.

These are not mistakes, and the pathway to a great animated thingy as I said before isn’t linear and is completely up to you. Banging your head against the wall from time to time while trying to create the perfect ease using the graph editor is good, and it will teach you more about motion and the hidden potential behind messing it up more than any expression ever will.

Now you might ask yourself why does this article even exist while at the same time the Good Boy Ninja is selling Noodle, a script for After Effects that automatically gifts shape layers with bounce and overshoot like qualities?

Well, as artists working in the industry we want to have a large set of tools to help us work that ends up being perceived as great by our clients, and do it with less friction as possible. It’s up to us to create the right work-creative balance that makes you happy, and one of the reasons the Good Boy Ninja came to be what it is now is to help more artists find the right balance. If we could prevent people from burning out by creating tools that help them finish their work on time we’re going to keep doing that. We believe those are great tools, just as much as Dan Ebberts’s expression is a great tool. They help us remove friction throughout the process of creating a thing out of nothing.

In the right context, those tools become positive experiences, and in a work environment having a positive experience is just as important as creating “good” art. And while those worlds are tied together, they were never meant to override one another. They coexist.

Wiggle wiggle wiggle everybody.

Good Boy Ninja
Motion Designer since 2008.
Maker of tools for Adobe After-Effects
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July 11, 2020
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