After Effects Value & Speed Graph 101

After Effects Graph Editor

The art of animation is about time and spacing. By understanding the graph and speed editor, you will be able to adjust your animation to look more alive.

Let’s Begin

  1. Create a circle and key frame the X position at 0 seconds.
  2. Then move it forward on the X-axis and key frame at 2 seconds.
  3. Select the key frames and click on the Graph Editor icon.
  4. Shortcut Key: Shift + F3

You will see a graph similar to the image on the bottom right. It is called the Value Graph.

Below the graphic there is a set of icons. Click on the one next to the eye. This will allow you to pick different graphs to view.

Select the “Edit Speed Graph”. This graph will be a straight line. It shows the velocity. Since the circle is consist through time it is a straight line.

Examples of Curves In Action

Easy-Ease : The default graph for key frames. It creates a smooth motion.

Hard-Ease: The value graph has a steeper curve line around the 1.5 second mark, which means it’s moving faster. You can see this in the speed graph. Its highest point of speed is in that same time period.

Acceleration: The ball slowly increases as time goes on. This creates an upward slope in both movement and velocity.

Deceleration: The ball slows down as time goes on. This creates in (value & Speed graphics) the line getting closer to a straight line around the 3 second mark. Its position increase causing the curve in the value graph go up. But it also decreases the speed, causing the Speed graph curve go closer to zero.