Dynamic Parenting Expression for Character Set Up in After Effects

In this video learn how to use a Dynamic Parenting Expression for character animation in After Effects wrote by Colion Harvie.

Character animation in After Effects simple way

Working on the character set up in After Effects it could be tough to manage multiple objects things with a lot of fuss and bother and wrestling with key-frames. In this video Colion will show you how to use a simple expression controller to set up smooth, weight blended Dynamic Parenting for your characters.

Dynamic Parenting Expression for After Effects

Download the After Effects Example Scene:


Dynamic Parenting Script:

var fadeCtrlLyr = effect(“Fade Control Layer”)(1);
var total = 0, totalWeight = 0, remWeight = 0;
function addTarget(name){ var lyr = effect(“Target “+name)(1), pos = lyr.toComp(lyr.anchorPoint); var fade = fadeCtrlLyr.effect(“Fade “+name)(1);
if (hasParent) pos = parent.fromComp(pos); total+=fade*pos; totalWeight+=fade; remWeight = 1-totalWeight; } addTarget(“A”);
totalWeight==0 ? value : linear(remWeight,total/totalWeight,value);

  • Apply this code to the position property of the layer you want to parent
  • You need to create Layer Controls on the layer to tell the script where to find the Target layers
  • Be sure to name your Layer Control effects as Target A, Target B, Target C, Target D
  • Include a Layer Control called Fade Control Layer
  • Add slider controls named Fade A, Fade B, Fade C, Fade D


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