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How to Animate an Object along a Path in After Effects on Mac

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Jul 12, 2024• Proven solutions

“How do I show a path in After Effects on Mac?”


“Is After Effects good for animation?”

You're at the right place if you are also struggling with the questions provided above. Animation is one of the demanding skills in video editing and is offered by renowned editors worldwide. One such editor or platform that we are going to discuss here is the After Effects. After Effects feature is from Adobe useful for motion graphics design, animation, and video composting. You will know how to animate an object along a path in After Effects, specifically on Mac, via the simple step-by-step guide. Along with that, you are also provided with a section on its super easy alternative, especially when you are a beginner and don't want to suffer animation complications.

So, let’s begin without further ado!

Part 1: How to Animate an Object along a Path in After Effects on Mac?

Let's animate object in After Effects on Mac via the following step-by-step tutorial. Even though most professional animations use After Effects, it may still be difficult, especially for beginners, to first create a path and then let the object follow it using the animation keyframes. Thus, we'd like to state the steps below so that you can quickly analyze the easiest method.

Steps to animate an object using keyframe animation in After Effects on Mac

Step 1: Create a path

After you launched the After Effects CC on your Mac, take the first step to create a path. Go to the Composition Settings and make it around 1920 × 1080, and you can even name the Composition.

Then, you need to set up a white background as follows.

Draw the road with the pen tool with smooth corners, as shown in the following figure. Remember to make this road path in gray color.

Step 2: Modify the Path

Make your road part thicker, just like as shown in the image below.

Now, you need to duplicate this shape and press Ctrl+D, and select a white color. You can then drop it down to a weak layer, more like the white dots of checkers on the road.

Go to the Stroke > Dashes and adjust them in the timeline, as shown below.

Step 3: Selection of moving object

For reference, we are importing the Car as a moving object on the road path. Make it to the appropriate size after you select the Car for the Path.

Step 4: Set the keyframes along the Path

Set the keyframe at the beginning and the middle of Path once. Then, rotate the Car.

Step 5: Copy and Edit the Path

To follow the same Path throughout, go to the Path in the timeline below. Go to Edit and Copy the Path, as shown in the image below.

Set the tab at Position and Paste the Path in the Edit window.

So, the Car somehow looks like the following after pasting the keyframes path. So, it would help if you made it follow along the Path in the next step.

Step 6: Follow the Path

This step requires you to right-click the Car-top layer and click the Transform > Auto-Orient > Create Along a Path tab.

So, this is all basic. You need to follow an animate object along a path, which is a Car on the road in this case. Use the After Effects keyframing wisely and get the animation done in a few minutes.

Part 2: Another Easy Method to Animate Objects in Videos

Are you still struggling to animate an object along a path? Check out its professional yet easy alternative by Wondershare Filmora. However, the After Effects CC is generally for VFX rather than animation. Thus, it would help if you admired the position keyframing feature of Filmora as discussed below. Analyze both the methods and check the easiness of Wondershare Filmora.

Launch the Wondershare Filmora X on your Mac by clicking the Free Download button over the official website.

Steps to animate an object along a path via the Wondershare Filmora X

Step 1: Choose Motion Tracking

Import the media by clicking the + icon onto the main window. Drop the video into the timeline and double-click to choose Motion Tracking.

Step 2: Choose the Target

Now, you are required to choose the target with the tracking box. Adjust the position and size of the tracking box in the preview window, as shown below.

Step 3: Begin Motion Tracking

After selecting and adjusting the target box, click Start Tracking to begin motion tracking.

Step 4: Follow the Tracked Path

Select Import from Mac from the drop-down menu to make your object follow the tracking path. So, you need to import that media already within the timeline to overlap with the tracked Path.

You can adjust the location and measurement of the image, text, clip, or element to follow the tracking path.


Thus, we discussed the tutorial on how to animate an object along a path, and now we’d like to state our concluding words. You must check the procedures of both the ways and analyze the easiness. The Wondershare Filmora for Mac offers the simplest way to animate objects than After Effects CC. Try Filmora to create quick animation even if you are a professional and looking to create cinematic animations.

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Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Benjamin Arango

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