Basics of Seamless Looping Animation Part 1

January 12, 2012

You may have seen my page of Tiny Animations that feature a bunch of simple animations from Cinema 4D and After Effects. They have been really fun to make, and I got a few questions about how to seamlessly loop animation. So, I made this first video to start to talk about the basics of looping. I hope to do a more advanced one in C4D where I show you more about how to make sure you have a seamless loop for any project.

Watch Part 2

Tutorial Focus:  ,

  • this video makes me loopy!

    All right, my bad.

  • Beeple is really good at looping shit.

  • “The Loopmaker” from does the trick for me. I believe everyone needs to know how to loop this way.

    Thanks Nick!

  • Thanks Nick, good stuff on the site lately. I really like Chris’ tutorials too, but get him a mic like yours.

  • Do i really need after effects?

  • I’ve been hearing a lot about these standing desk. Where did you get yours? From what I’ve seen they are a little pricey but definitely seem worth the price.


  • Thanks Nick! I thought we had lost you to pinball for a second there

  • Nick, how are your feet coping with the standing? I started standing too but my feet get quite sore

  • I always just make any key frames first then time remap it such that they loop without having to make duplicates like you have done in After Effects. It’s obviously just requires more thinking to chop up the times correctly, but for complex things or unique shapes that you just cannot simply duplicate and offset manually it’s just easier.

  • hey,

    first of all thank you so much for everything, i mean tutorials, you have a big heart…….. your tuts are awsome…… i am also a crazy fan and a tiny user of cinema 4d…….. i was just wondering that if i may request you for a tut about realistic day lighting in cinema 4d, i mean for exterior scenes…. i tried my level best but i am not satisfied with it……. plz

  • Hey Nick
    Just watching your Looping video and at the beginning where your standing face is doing the talking I noticed something on your desk in the background. Looks to me like a white bit of paper sculpture. Or is that just wishful thinking. If it IS, I would love to talk to you more about it as I am really into paper sculpture. Gerry

  • this could come in handy for my VJ content!

  • Great tut Nick !
    Can someone point me towards some info about how I get these onto the web.
    I’ve not used .gif before & need help.


    • Just save the .gif image, upload it using FTP, the CMS of your site (such as wordpress) or something like tumblr and pretty much every browser is able to display it (and play it). No need for Flash or HTML 5 video players.
      Hope that helps

  • Thanks, nick can’t wait for the Cinema 4D tutorial on this.

  • hi nick, am a beginner with cinema 4D, and after effects. i have seen lots of designs of yours the are great an it helps me alot. i saw a movie animation in vimeo titled “the story of sex” by Dan stevers…… do you know what animation software he used to create the animation.?

  • Thank you Nick, I’ve only really been playing and learning C4D. You managed to change my mind about composting, and this is a great quick little project to finally get to grips with after effects. Which annoys me greatly because I never know where anything is.

  • Great quote “no I’m lying” you got out of it quite well though.Great tutorials and great style how you (and Chris) explain stuff! Thanks

  • Hi Nick,
    I think this tutorial may be useful for those like us who’s VJed a lot for events. And many things you said at the end are really exciting for our practice. So we hope to see part 2 soon !

  • Small note, but worth mentioning: By default in AE and most 3D apps, the timeline starts at frame 0. You set your keyframes for the loop at frame 0 and frame 30 (@30fps), but actually it is 31 frames (including 0). When you set your “Work Area” for render, just set it to frames 1-30 (30 frames) to fix the loop instead of cutting 1 frame off end (0-29). Likewise, if you are doing 24fps, set the keyframe at 24, but make sure you don’t render 0-24 (25 frames), but 1-24 instead. In most applications, I use frame 0 as a setup frame, but do not include it in rendering. Also applies to character rigs, etc. in 3D.

  • can u please tell me how this neon lights created

  • Hey Nick. Why don`t you post the videos on youtube too. Vimeo streaming is so laggy and slow.
    And congratulations for your videos. Really good content.

  • Thanx for the tip of one frame lag . I usually do loops for VJing by spliting layer and then changing the position of two parts vice versa in AE timeline and then cross dissolving them.

  • Can’t wait to incorporate 3D animations into web designs. >:)

  • nice 1 Nick.. I always come away from your uploads somewhat enlightened

    Very much appreciated

  • Hi nick !! from Argentina, one cuestion have you a nice list about shortcuts for after effect MAC .Thank nick you are the best !!!!

  • found one of your gifs being used uncredited and perhaps without permission here

  • Hello all right? For the duration of its composition and is 00050 after I is would be hours, minutes, seconds.
    Thank you very much!

  • hey Nick, I know it’s a bit off topic, but i’m actually very curious how’s the standing desk. i guess it’s a fairly old video and you might have already gone back to sitting, but i’m planning to try it:) sorry if it’s not the place and time to discuss it, but:D
    GREAT videos by the way. gives me so much inspiration (speeches, tutorials, products)

  • ok i might be dumb but i don’t even know how you fix the scale and the rotation in the beginning of the video. is is some type of hot key?

  • super useful. THANKYOU.

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