How to Move Anchor Point in After Effects

The anchor level in After Effects is what defines the middle of rotation, scaling, and place. Adjusting the anchor level helps obtain particular visible outcomes that wouldn’t be potential with a hard and fast, central anchor level.

Hello, I’m Zoe, a graphic designer. Many new animators, together with myself initially, overlook the significance of adjusting the anchor level. But after I tried animating a swing, its worth turned clear.

In this text, we’ll discover the anchor level in After Effects, its position in animations, and why it’s necessary to set it earlier than making use of any results. Then I’ll information you thru the steps to regulate it correctly.

Let’s look into it!

Key Takeaways

  • The anchor level is central to animations in After Effects, figuring out how layers transfer, scale, and rotate.
  • While the default anchor level is in the center of a layer, there are situations the place adjusting its place can improve the realism of animations.
  • It’s important to set the anchor level earlier than making use of results or including keyframes to keep away from sudden outcomes.
  • The Pan-Behind Tool permits for exact changes of the anchor level, with shortcuts obtainable for added effectivity.
  • Hit Y in your keyboard to rapidly entry the Pan-Behind Tool, and V to change again to the Selection Tool.

Note: All screenshots from this tutorial are taken from the After Effects Mac model.

This publish offers the step-by-step technique for shifting the anchor level in After Effects.

Why Move the Anchor Point?

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to perceive the importance of the anchor level.

The anchor level is the purpose from which all transformations are manipulated. In sensible phrases, it’s the purpose round which your layer will transfer, scale, and rotate.

Now, should you strive to change the anchor level from the Transform menu, you would possibly discover your entire layer strikes too. This could be complicated, and also you would possibly suppose the anchor level and the layer’s place are the identical factor. But they’re not.

By default, the anchor level is positioned in the center of your layer. This central placement ensures that any scaling or rotation happens symmetrically from the layer’s heart.

But generally, you may want it some other place. Like should you’re making a door swing open, you’d need it to rotate from the sting, not the center.

These practice handles, for instance, are set to swing from an anchor level located on the high of every deal with.
This helps the animation of the handles look extra pure than if the anchor factors have been set in the center reasonably than on high.

So, shifting the anchor level helps you to management how and the place your layer strikes from, making your animations look excellent.

Importance of Moving the Anchor Point Before Applying Effects

Always regulate the anchor level earlier than making use of any results or including keyframes to your layer. If you progress the anchor level after making modifications the consequences gained’t take into account the brand new anchor level place, main to sudden outcomes.

This is as a result of results and keyframes use the anchor level’s place on the time of their software as a reference. So, at all times make sure you’ve set the anchor level accurately earlier than diving into animations or results.

Steps to Move the Anchor Point in After Effects

Moving the anchor level is vital to getting your components to animate simply the way you need them to. Here’s how you are able to do it in three easy steps.

Step 1: Activate the Pan-Behind Tool by urgent the Y key in your keyboard or deciding on it from the toolbar on the high of the After Effects interface. It resembles a small sq. with arrows.

Step 2: You’ll see a small crosshair icon, which represents the anchor level. With the Pan-Behind Tool energetic, drag the anchor level to your required location.

You can maintain down Shift whereas dragging the anchor level with the Pan-Behind Tool to transfer it completely alongside the X or Y-Axis.

To align your anchor level with an object in your composition, maintain down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac). As you drag, the anchor level will snap to illuminated crosshairs in your composition, guaranteeing exact placement.

Step 3: After adjusting the anchor level, change again to the Selection Tool by urgent V in your keyboard or deciding on it from the toolbar. This is to make sure you don’t transfer the anchor factors of different layers by chance.

Note:  If you’ve moved the anchor level and wish to revert it to the middle of your layer, use the shortcut:  Ctrl + Alt + Home (Windows) or Command + Option + Home (Mac)

With these steps in hand, you’re now outfitted to transfer the anchor level with ease and precision, supplying you with extra management over your animations and compositions in After Effects. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re animating a rotating clock hand, a gap door, or every other component, the anchor level is the pivot of your animation. In animation and movement graphics, it’s typically these small particulars that make the largest distinction.

With the steps offered, you now have a transparent roadmap to regulate the anchor level with confidence. Knowing its significance and mastering its placement ensures your animations transfer simply as meant. Before diving into animation, at all times double-check that your anchor factors are set accurately.

Have questions or extra insights about anchor factors in After Effects? Share them in the feedback part beneath!

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