After Effects Brainstorm: Keyframe Variations

Part 3 of our exploration of the Brainstorm module in After Effects.

In the third of our rescued movies on Brainstorm, I demonstrate a much less common use of Brainstorm: to randomize keyframes. Brainstorm can essentially randomize any property you can select in the Timeline or Effect Controls panels – including values that vary over time. In this movie, I create a swarming-style animation by duplicating a layer multiple times, and then using Brainstorm to randomize the intermediate Position, Rotation, and Scale values the layers go through.

(If you missed Parts 1 and 2 of this series on Brainstorm, you can find them here and here.)

The above movie was originally part of our video training course After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Puppet, and More. The “and More” part of that course – Brainstorm, and the Cartoon effect – were removed to make room for new movies about the Roto Brush tool. Working with Brainstorm is now covered in the course After Effects Apprentice 04: Layer Control.


Chris and Trish Meyer

Chris and Trish Meyer

Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, HBO, PBS, and TLC; in opening titles for several movies including Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley; at trade shows and press events for corporate clients ranging from Apple to Xerox; and in special venues encompassing IMAX, CircleVision, the NBC AstroVision sign in Times Square, and the four-block-long Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. They were among the original users of CoSA (now Adobe) After Effects, and have written the numerous books including “Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects” and “After Effects Apprentice” both published by Focal Press. Both Chris and Trish have backgrounds as musicians, and are currently fascinated with exploring fine art and mixed media in addition to their normal commercial design work. They have recently relocated from Los Angeles to the mountains near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.