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Most Common Animation Mistake In After Effects and How To Fix It – Wobbly Keyframes 71 Comments

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The “Wobbly Keyframe” problem has been plaguing After Effects animators everywhere. I made this short cast on how to get rid of the problem.
If your not sure what it looks like, check out this video.

Sick of my face? Want the three step program to obedient keyframing? Here ya go…

Step One: Select the offending Wobbly Keyframes.

Step Two: Right click and select “Keyframe Interpolation”

Step Three: Set Spacial Interpolation to “Linear”

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  1. Gene Gemperline

    When I was just starting out this gave me the most headaches and I could never find anywhere that told me what the deal was. Great that you explained it for everyone.

    Also – another workaround would be to use hold keyframes.

    • Jiiimbooh

      Thanks for the “hold” tip! The problem with these wobbly keyframes just arose in a project I’m doing, but they were already set to linear. Hold keyframes solved the problem.

    • Thanks! could not figure why my key frames would not work, thank you!

    • Jesse Moffett

      Your a freakin LIFE SAVER man! Was about to pull my hair out lol

  2. Sometimes I watch these beginner tutorials and I think to myself, whatever, I know this stuff. But there’s always some tiny morsel to learn in after effects.

    Case in point, I had no idea the motion path color corresponded to the layer color. lol

  3. thanks nick, that is one of my biggest problems. you helped me a ton. nice “the more you know” reference to.

  4. Thanks a lot fr this post nick!! i have this problem most of the time. Finally i know how to fix it. i have a question tho, do you know how to create “double vision” effect in after effects? you know to show those “drunk” feeling

    • Julian

      Duplicate the layer, vary your position keyframes and opacity keyframes and use turbulent displace, and/or displacement map

  5. Love your site Nick! keep it up.

    To get ride of this keyframing problem I always go to…AFX Preferences, General, click on “Default Spatial Interpolation to Linear”.

    • MikeC

      I can add this to the list of the Greatest Things I’ve ever learned on the internet. Thank You.

  6. The Gorilla


    Great Tip Brook. Also, maybe someone can find Zee a link to a Double Vision Tutorial? Ill keep my eye out.

  7. Thanks so much for this! An annoyance I didn’t even know could be fixed. Sorted.

  8. Thanks so much for posting this Nick. This motion path wobble issue has been a source of frustration for many years.


  9. Vapour

    veryyy grateful for sharing this awesome tip.
    may God bless you :D

  10. you could also select the keys and, with the arrow tool selected, hold down ctrl+alt (which changes the arrow to the “carrot” tool) then click in the composition window on one of the selected keys. different method, same result. :-)

  11. Dusty Deen

    Wow, this has been a problem for me for a while. Thanks so much!

  12. Jordan

    thank you sir! I never understood why it did i would get soo pisssed i am so glad i know ho wot handle that punk ass “wobbly keyframe” when he shows up again lol thanks again

  13. Aaaaah!! I can’t remember what I was doing.. I had something orienting along a path.. and the objects would rotate around uncontrollably.. I spent hours trying to get rid of the bezier handles with the pen tool..

    Thanks for that!!
    ‘ll check out those adobe links

  14. Rakesh

    This really helped a lot in understanding why its happeneing, Thanks!

  15. Hello Nick,

    I’m a huge fan yours. I’m sharing this Most Common Animation Mistake In After Effects and How To Fix It , on a website for editors, it’s called:
    I hope you don’t mind…
    I’m from Brazil, sorry for my mistakes in english…
    If you visit us, please leave a comment.
    Thanks for all!!!

  16. Ralph Stein

    Great Tutorial!
    Thanks for explaining what’s behind it as well!

  17. Man! I have had this issue since forever and ever! And I don’t remember how did i get to fix it then but this video opened my eyes to a new level of understanding of after effects! Man you are awesome!

  18. First of all, thank you for this useful tip.. And yeah, this was happening to me very often when I was a rookie.. Actually I have found the solution accidentally while I was clicking every right click menus.. Where were you man in 2002? ;) I have spent lot’s of time to solve this… Anyway I saw this link in aetuts+ and liked your all tips.. They all work well, except tilda key.. Because we don’t have tilda key on our keyboards.. Do you know how to assign another button, for full screen issue? (Language is TR) Thanks again…

  19. AntoxaGray

    I had that once but I tried to fix it in graphs, and failed.

  20. Jordi

    Thank you so much. Took me an hour to solve this shit, until I found your article <3

  21. Hi! greets from Buenos Aires Argentina!
    Gosh, If only I knew this!!!
    last week I had and 8 bit project for school delivered and in some parts I could see this error and didn’t know how to fix it!
    well, next time Ill do better!!!
    thanks so much for your help, really I stated from zero this year in my last year of Graphic design school… and didnt know shit about after effects…you are my hero!


  22. Samuli


    I was struggling with this problem for like an hour. Thanks a lot for saving my day!

  23. Emily

    Well this pretty much saved my life, thank you thank you.

  24. fcosta

    Thank you so much for this solution, it was driving me nuts!

  25. Samir

    thanks heaps.. i used to do it with avid and all you got to do is select linear, thanks to you i can use ae now! cheers!!

  26. this is the number one mistake to fix for adobe but they dont care. fuck auto brezier

  27. TinyHeart

    I guess, i’m pretty new at this and i need more help… :( I don’t know why, but this helps me only on the first stop… i want my object to stop 3 times, but this works only on the first time. I mark all the keyframes…. :( what may be the problem?

  28. Eduardo

    Haha, to undo this problem i duplicate the frame, but now i discovered the solution! It’s way too better now, THANKSSSSS!

  29. Todd Wiseman

    This really is a terrible part of After Effects. I know there’s a logical explanation for it, according to some, but really, this is just the worst. Who would want this to happen? Ever? Thanks for the post!

  30. Giammarco

    Man… I LOVE YOU!!! Thanks for explaining this WONDERFUL tip!

  31. Lee-Anne Theron

    This has been driving me crazy for days! Thanks so much for info.

  32. Paljasta

    I came across this problem several times and tonight for the first time (after 6 years of using AE) i google the problem and i find the solution.
    Thank you Nick.

    PS Do you have anything i common with Russell Crowe lol. You look a lot like him.

  33. Winnie

    HOLY CRAP, I actually know how to fix this now, thank you soooo much, i’ve being using AE for the last few years and this always happen and i have no idea why it did that, always ended up clearing the keyframes and doing it all over again – such a waste of time and was super annoying. Awesome sauce, can’t believe i didn’t find this video sooner! Thanks again.

  34. Freddie Horton

    Thanks for the video, I had run into the problem a few times and it’s nice to know what’s going on and how to fix it!

  35. Odile

    Awesome!, I had this problem a few times ago and you just solve my life :) Thanks!

  36. matt spencer

    Thank You so much!

    I am still an After Effects novice and I made this very mistake. Your tutorial saved the day and was quick and to the point.

    Thanks again,

  37. Charlie

    Thanks so much for this. I always just went back in and edited the kinks manually and knew there HAD to be a better way and your video is the only place that talked about this!

  38. Ratin

    Great tut man! And it´s still useful after all these years. Just one thing, what if I want to keep my spatial interpolation non-linear? Meaning I want to get rid of the woobly movement but I don´t want my layer movement to be a straight line.
    What I did (most of the times it works) was to convert the interpolation to linear, just like this tuts explains, but then make the position lines curvy again by hand (using the convert vertex tool).
    And by the way, this problem arises whether or not you have the “Default spatial interpolation to linear” option selected in preferences (if you tried to make a bezier interpolation).


  39. Hakim O

    Need that on my first AE Project. Many Thanks from Austria.

  40. Hugo Esteves

    Thank you, it was driving me crazy. I’ve been dealing with this behaviour for about a year, always deleted and keyframed again and again… Luckly I found this page/video. Thanks :) 6 years after your post lol.

  41. Talon

    You just saved me a lot of time and frustration. Thank you for putting this together!

  42. This is great, but when I set Spacial Interpolation to “Linear” it straightens the path, and I want it to remain a curved path.

    Additionally, it’d be nice to find a way to delete keyframes from a path, in much the same way you’d delete a point with a “Delete Vertex Tool” pen, and still maintain the path shape.


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Comment Rules

This is a friendly community. Please treat everyone with respect. We don't all have to agree, but we do have to be nice. Criticism is fine, but rude comments and name calling will be deleted. Use your real name and don't be spammy. Thanks for adding to the conversation.