Bounce it like it’s hot

Have you seen any cool bounce animations lately? Characters jumping around, a car bumping down the road? It’s freaking adorable! Because of that, Beta and I decided to make a bounce animation and slice it in parts so you can learn how to produce this beauty.



  1. Create a ball illustration in Illustrator (animation should be in artboard size, divide parts through meaningfully named layers)
  2. Open a New Project in After Effect and import the illustrator file: File → Import → File (mark composition with Retain layer sizes and Create composition)
  3. Open the ball illustration composition and convert all layers to shapes by right-clicking on parts → Create → Shapes from the vector layer
  4. Remove non-shape content from composition
  5. Rename parts for tidiness and lock background
  6. Change composition length to 01:15

Step 1: Body movement

  1. Select mouth, cheeks, eyes and make the new composition of them: Right-click > Precompose (name it, move all files to new composition)
  2. Parent “face” composition and shine layer to “ball” body (Parent&Link)
  3. Move body anchor point to the middle-bottom
  4. Now set the Y position of the ball (start and end of animation lowest 930, middle highest 450)
  5. Add easy ease out to the first keyframe (⇧ ⌘ F9), easy ease into the last (⇧F9) and easy ease to the middle point (F9)
  6. Go to the speed graph click on the balls position parameter and adjust the handless to look like in the picture

Step 2: Scale and speed

  1. On starting point decrease the ball’s height (scale: 100, 80)
  2. While the ball is going up, and it’s in mid-air change scale value (scale: 85,105). A little bit before the highest point change it again (scale: 100,100)
  3. Few frames after the highest point change scale value (scale: 90,105)
  4. Right before the fall change scale to scale: 90,100
  5. On the end set scale to the starting point (scale: 100,80)
  6. Select all keyframes and convert them to easy ease (F9)
  7. When the ball is on the ground shadow is biggest (scale: 150,150)
  8. Few moments before the ball goes to the highest point add keyframe (scale: 50,50)
  9. Add the keyframe with the same values when it starts to fall scale (scale: 50,50)
  10. At the end add keyframe with the same values as the one on start (scale: 150,150)
  11. Easy ease all keyframes

Step 3: Face

  1. Enter the “face” composition and create a solid layer (⌘Y), move it to the bottom, right-click on solid and mark it as a Guide layer
  2. Click on mouth layer and move “mouth” anchor to the middle and bottom
  3. When the ball is on the ground make mouth smaller (scale: 50,50) when it is starting to go up to make it bigger (scale: 70,70)
  4. Reverse the steps while the ball is falling
  5. Convert keyframes to easy ease (F9)
  6. Now go to the cheeks layer. First of all, change the opacity to 25%. Next, at the start and endpoint create scale keyframe (scale: 100,100).
  7. Change scale values when the ball is going up (scale: 85,100). Add the keyframe with the same scale values when it goes down.
  8. Open Path of the "left" eye and move its anchor point to the middle and bottom.
  9. Add two keyframes, first one at the beginning and second bellow second mouth keyframe
  10. Click the first keyframe and pick Pen tool (G) now click shift and the bottom point we want to change
  11. Have closed eyes while on the ground and open while in the air (you can c/p keyframes)
  12. Add two more keyframes, first under third mouth keyframe and the second one at the end of the animation
  13. Easy ease all left eye keyframes
  14. Repeat steps for the right eye

Step 4: Rotation

  1. In our main composition duplicate ball body (⌘D), rename it to “mask” and move it above “face” composition
  2. Select face composition and change its Track Mate to Alpha (Switch mode if you don’t see TrkMat)
  3. We created a mask, and now we can go further. Select “face” and while the ball is going in the air create two position keyframes near each other.
  4. Select the first keyframe and move it little to the left and down (position: 152,120). This will add little swing on the start of the rotation.
  5. Select the second keyframe and move it a little bit to the right (position: 165,108.8)
  6. A little bit before highest point add another position keyframe, increase its values (position: 415,108.8) and throw face out of the mask.
  7. Great, now comes to the freeze/reset part. Add keyframe few frames after your threw face out, right-click on it and apply Toggle Hold Keyframe
  8. Few frames after add the new keyframe and add negative position value (position: -108,108.8) so the face can come in from the left side. Little after add another keyframe which will lead the face to the middle position and hold it a little bit.
  9. A little bit before the ball fall, you add another keyframe which will be little above the middle of the ball (position: 152.7,80). On the end and start position keyframe (position: 152,120). ?, we have rotation effect :)
  10. At this moment we can see that face is a little bit distorted do the Parent&Link option. Let’s fix this distortion. Add keyframes with diametrically opposite scale values to the one from the ball.
Voila you have perfect bounce! ? You can download the source files here ?
How to: Cinemagraphs
More treasures ahead
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