How to Create Liquid Animation Effect in After Effects


Creating liquid animations can be a mesmerizing addition to your video projects. This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating these animations using Adobe After Effects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, these steps will help you achieve a professional look with ease.

Create Liquid Animation Effects

Setting Up Your Composition

To begin, you’ll need to set up your composition:

  1. Open After Effects and create a new composition.
  2. Choose a resolution of 1920×1080 for standard high-definition.
  3. Set the duration to five seconds and the background color to black.
  4. Confirm your settings by clicking the ‘OK’ button.

Drawing the Base Shape

The foundation of your liquid animation is a simple shape:

  1. Select the Ellipse Tool from the toolbox.
  2. Draw a circle on your canvas. Holding the Shift key while drawing ensures a perfect circle.
  3. Choose white for the Fill color to make your shape stand out against the black background.

Adding Motion with Expressions

The Wiggle expression in After Effects creates natural, random movement:

  1. Select your shape in the Timeline.
  2. Press ‘P’ to bring up the Position property.
  3. Hold ALT and click the stopwatch icon next to Position to open the Expression panel.
  4. Enter the Wiggle expression. For instance, wiggle(1, 150) will create movement with a frequency of 1 and an amplitude of 150 pixels.

Centering and Duplicating the Shape

Creating multiple shapes adds complexity to your animation:

  1. With the shape layer selected, press ‘P’ to hide the Position property.
  2. Center the anchor point of the shape by Ctrl+double-clicking the Pan Behind tool.
  3. Duplicate the circle by pressing Ctrl+D. Repeat this as many times as needed.
  4. Use the Selection Tool to reposition and resize the duplicated shapes.

Animating the Shapes

Bringing your shapes together creates a dynamic effect:

  1. Select all the shapes on your canvas.
  2. Press ‘P’ to open the Position property for each shape.
  3. Click the stopwatch icon next to Position to add a keyframe.
  4. Move forward in the Timeline and adjust the positions of the shapes to converge at a single point.

Adding Effects for a Liquid Look

  1. Right-click in the empty area, select ‘New’, and create an Adjustment Layer.
  2. Find the Effects panel (or activate it from the ‘Window’ menu if it’s not visible).
  3. Apply a Gaussian Blur effect to soften the edges of the shapes.
  4. Add a Matte Choker effect to refine the edges and create a more liquid appearance.
  5. Adjust the parameters of these effects to fine-tune the look of your animation.

Finalizing Your Animation

  1. Once you’re satisfied with the movement and effects, lock the Adjustment Layer to prevent accidental changes.
  2. Use the lock icon in the Timeline for easy control over your shapes.
  3. Review your animation and make any final adjustments to the position or effects as needed.


With these steps, you’ve created a captivating liquid animation in After Effects. Experiment with different shapes, colors, and effects to personalize your animation. Remember, the key to a great animation is practice and experimentation. Enjoy the process and see where your creativity takes you!