Learn the basics of animation in Adobe After Effects. In a few easy-to-follow steps, we will make an eye in a static image blink. You’ll be able to use this technique to create other simple animations.

You can watch this video or follow the step-by-step guide below.

For this tutorial, we used the Staring Contest icon. However, you can use any similar image of your own.

What we’re going to do, is to replace the eye of the guy on the left with an animated shape. We’ll hide the existing eye later. Now we need it only as a reference: to mark the center for the new shape.

Animation in After Effects Step1

Set the guides in the center of the eye.

Animation in After Effects Step 2 Animation in After Effects Step 3

Enable the Rounded Rectangle tool, draw a shape and place it where it is meant to be.

Adjust the properties of the rectangle to make it round and of the same size and color as the original eye. Now you can hide or delete the original eye. We no longer need it.

Animation in After Effects Step 4 Animation in After Effects Step 5

With the new eye selected, set three keyframes on the timeline.

Select the second keyframe and adjust the size of the eye to make it half-closed.
So, we’ve got three keyframes with the eye open, half-closed, and open again.

Animation in After Effects Step 6

Now, open the speed graph using the button shown in the figure below.

Animation in After Effects Step 7

To make the animation more realistic, play around with the speed graph until you get the desired result. Our graph looked like this.

Animation in After Effects Step 8

That’s it. Your blinking eye is ready to go.

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