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Forums Adobe After Effects Handheld camera simulation

  • Handheld camera simulation

  • Daniel Waldron

    March 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I am slowly pushing in on text with a camera in my composition. I want to give it a kind of random, handheld feel. Not too shaky, but definitely slight variances in the rotation and point of interest to give it a handheld, steadycam look.

    I’ve been messing with a wiggle expression and it looks ok, but I was curious if anyone else had other suggestions.

  • Kevin Camp

    March 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    if your text is 3d and you are using a 3d camera for the move, try adding wiggle to both the camera point of interest and the camera’s position.

    Kevin Camp
    Senior Designer

  • Daniel Waldron

    March 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Good suggestion. I was just going to try that actually. I have the wiggle expression on the position, but I think adding it to the point of interest will really help.

  • Tyler Wiethorn

    March 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Think about what real camera shake looks like. Wiggle position, point of interest, and rotation.

  • Conrad Olson

    March 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    To get really realistic movement you can always shoot something with a handheld camera. Camera track that footage and then apply that camera track data to the camera in your scene.

  • Daniel Waldron

    March 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    All great ideas. Thanks for all your input!

  • Vishesh Arora

    March 7, 2013 at 10:34 pm


    Check this tutorial on How to control wiggle expression:

    It will help you to experiment with amplitude and frequency if wiggle without entering the values again and again.

    Vishesh Arora
    3D and Motion Graphics Artist
    Films Rajendra


    2011 3D Demo Reel:

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  • Darby Edelen

    March 8, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Another good thing to modify if you are using a wiggle() expression are the octaves.

    The first two properties supplied to wiggle (frequency and amplitude) are required for the expression to work, the rest of them are optional. If you supply a value for the 3rd property in the wiggle you can increase the number of octaves from the default:

    wiggle(1, 10, 3);

    The above, for example, will wiggle with a frequency of 1 Hz, an amplitude of 10 but with 3 octaves. This is similar to the “Complexity” of the Fractal Noise effect. It will preserve the overall effect of the wiggle but create additional “sub-wiggles” that add detail.

    Here’s an image of a wiggle() with 1 octave:

    And here’s a wiggle() with 3 octaves:

    Note that both curves follow the same basic path, but the one with 3 octaves has more “sub-wiggles.” If you want to reduce or increase the effect that these additional octaves have you can add a 4th property to wiggle():

    wiggle(1, 10, 3, 0.2);

    The default value is 0.5. A value of 0.2 would reduce the effect that the additional octaves have on the total wiggle.

    Darby Edelen

  • ido shor

    April 5, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    what a gem!
    thanks Darby. (7 years late…)


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