This tutorial gives a quick overview of how to use the extension Squash & Stretch for After Effects.

Tutorial Transcript

Hello everybody, this is Eric D. Kirk for mamoworld.com and this is an overview of Squash & Stretch!

Creating an animation with Squash & Stretch is very simple. Just select a behavior from the library, select a layer and click apply.

One key concept that you need to understand is the timing parameter. Let’s apply a behavior to this layer with the Timing set to “Start of Behavior” and then to this layer with the timing set to “End of Behavior”. If we take a look at the keyframes, you can see that for “Start of Behavior” the animation starts at the current time and for “End of Behavior” it ends at the current time. But this is not the only difference: As you can see, for both variants at the current point in time the position stayed unchanged. As a consequence, for “Start of Behavior” the animation starts at the current position and for “End of behavior” it ends at the current position.

This means, you should use “Start of Behavior” if you want an animation to start at a specific position and “End of Behavior” if you want an animation to end at a specific position. In the latter case, make sure to always move the current time indicator to the time where the animation should end.

A good example for this are animate-in transitions. For animate in’s it makes no sense to say that they should start at a specific position, since they always start outside of the comp. Therefore, animate in’s only have the Timing option End of Behavior. So when applying them, make sure to place the layer at the position where the animation should end, AND set the current time indicator to where the animation should end. For this it is usually useful to know how long the animation actually is. For this, you can click the handy work area button over here, which will set the work area to the duration of the behavior. Now we know that when the behavior should start at the beginning of the composition, it should actually end here.

So this is all you need to know to get started with Squash & Stretch. Of course, there are many more things to discover like modifying the behavior with these controls here or creating transitions. Oh and by the way, to get a good overview over all available behaviors, you can use this button to browse the behaviors in the gallery.

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