In this post, I will show you three different ways to separate dimensions in After Effects. Let’s dive right in!
The first method is pretty easy. The only limitation is that it only works on the position property of the layer. Let me show you what I mean.
Let’s select the shape layer and hit P to reveal the position property.
The position property of this layer does have two dimensions. To separate them, we need to right-click on the position property and then click on Separate Dimensions.
When we uncheck the Separate Dimension option, it will automatically go back to what we had in the beginning.
We are going to do some expressions for the second method.
So here is what I want to do.
I want to apply a wiggle expression not to my X property but to my Y property.
So how would I do that without touching the X? Let me show you what I’m talking about here.
Inside the white text box, I’m going to say X you’re going to = value.
And inside the square brackets, I’m going to refer to which index I’m talking about.
x = value
In After Effects, you count the index starting at 0. So it would be 0 and then 1, 2, and so on.
I want X to be 0.
x = value
Next, I’m going to say Y you’re going to be this wiggle expression:
y = wiggle(5, 400)
We still have to define which index we’re talking about here, so I’m going to say index 1 for this one. So I’m going to say index 1 inside of our square brackets like so:
y = wiggle(5, 400);
Next, we’ll do the usual square brackets and we’ll type x and y inside. Here is what it should look like:
x = value;
y = wiggle(5, 400);
So now if I preview this, you can see that our logo only moves on the Y-axis.
For the third and last example, I’m going to use some expression controls.
By the way, I’m going to continue where we left off in the previous example.
So I’m going to select the UM Logo 2017 Outlines shape layer, then go to the effects controls panel, right-click there, then go to Expression Controls and inside there click on the Slider Control.
I’m going to bring Slider Control into my effects control panel, then while it is selected, I’m going to press CTRL+D (CMD+D on a Mac) on my keyboard to duplicate it.
Then I’m going to select the first one, hit enter, change the name to X Position and do the same thing for the second one but change it to Y Position instead.
Next, I’m going to link the written expression up to the slider in our Effect Controls.
To do that, I’m going to go to the X property of my expression, select everything inside of the x = and then just pick whip to the X Position like so:
I’m going to do the exact same thing for the Y Property. Select everything inside of y = and pick whip to the Y Position like so:
Now both of our sliders are linked up.
Let’s check our work. Select the shape layer and hit E to reveal the effects.
Collapse them one by one, select both of them, hit S twice to solo it and now as you can see, I can control the X position and the Y position separately.
I hope you found this quick tip useful. Make sure to subscribe to our email list for the latest After Effects tips.
If you want to learn more about expressions, check out my course!