Introduction: How to Loop an Animation in After Effects CS5

Picture of How to Loop an Animation in After Effects CS5

All After Effects users will eventually need to learn how to loop animations. If you don't learn how, you'll be stuck copying and pasting layers over and over, which can be incredibly messy. Thankfully, the process is really simple and can be done in under a minute. Let's begin, shall we?

(Side note: if you can't see the picture, click "i" button in the top left to enlarge it.)

Step 1:

Picture of

So here I have a looping bubble animation. Before we begin, make sure that you create a new composition only for the animation. Do this by going to composition > new composition, and then create exactly one cycle of the animation in this new space. As you can see, my composition is called "snorebubble".

Step 2:

Picture of

Next, we're going to create another animation to enable looping. Once again, go to composition > new composition, and rename to composition to something that makes sense. I was lazy, so I just called mine "Comp 3".

Begin this next part by dragging your original animation (mine is called snorebubble) into the timeline of your new comp (mine is called Comp 3).

Step 3:

Picture of

With the newly dragged comp selected, go to layer > time > enable time remapping. This will add an effect to your layer called Time Remap.

Step 4:

Picture of

Select Time Remap and go to animation > add expression. You now should be able to type into a text field in your timeline.

If this doesn't show up, alt-click the stopwatch icon (option-click on Mac). If these steps don't work (and they might not, depending on the production planning employed by your OS), you might need to consult Google for more tailored help.

Step 5:

Picture of

With your cursor now in the text field, type the following: loop_out("cycle",0)

Step 6:

Picture of

You should now be able to loop the animation indefinitely. All you need to do is make your composition longer. Go to composition settings and set the duration for how long you want the animation to loop.

Whenever you want to use the animation, simply drag its comp name into the main comp.

I hope you find this AE tutorial helpful, and look forward to bringing you more!


Mujina7569 made it! (author)2017-03-22

Can I make rewind loop in it too?

RaydenCruz made it! (author)2016-10-28

Very helpfull, this works for me.

toryt1 made it! (author)2016-10-05

thanks a lot XD! very helpfull X3

Jad99 (author)2015-11-26

I want Download After effect But i don't Know ! Help me please

saldagoza (author)2015-07-10

Thank you a lot for this help =:)))

jkimpton (author)2015-04-17

Thanks. Maybe add a section at the bottom about avoiding the loop blink.

nhanvey (author)2014-01-03

question - i followed this and it loops but on the last frame of every loop it seems to blink/flash whatever you call it like a frame is missing. any ideas?

monkeyboy84 (author)nhanvey2014-01-20

Skipping the last frame is a common problem with time remapping. Here's how you fix it:

When you apply time remapping, it will insert two keyframes onto your comp (one at the beginning, and one at the end). Go to the last keyframe and insert another one right before it, then delete the original (last) keyframe. This way, the loop will include the last frame.

Hope this makes sense--let me know if anything else is unclear!

jlhabitan (author)monkeyboy842015-02-11

Hello, I 'm creating a looping animation using After Effects and I'm having a problem with the actual looping.

I have three layers of the same image (actually, I hand-drawn them each in Illustrator and imported them into AE), precomposed them, used "Enable Time Remapping", used the expressions needed for looping i.e. loopOut(), loopOut(type = "cycle", numKeyframes = 0), etc., created a new keyframe next to the last one that is "blinking".

The problem I encountered is that everytime I delete the last keyframe, the keyframe before it suddenly has all three layers merged into one in a single frame. So when I did a rundown and play the whole thing and passes over the last frame, it shows the three merged images at once before looping again.

I don't know how I could fix this bug it seems.

I hope you could reply to this as soon as possible, thank you. :D

AdVolKit (author)2015-01-20

This expression worked better:

loopOut(type = "cycle", numKeyframes = 0)

jakelodwick (author)2014-11-17

Super helpful, thanks!

ShakuB (author)2014-09-26

Muchas gracias!! Justo lo que buscaba!

About This Instructable




More by monkeyboy84:Creating a gradient mask in After Effects CS5How to loop an animation in After Effects CS5Concealable smoke generator
Add instructable to: