Quick & Easy After Effects – Reverse Your Motion Graphic

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Quick & Easy After Effects – Reverse Your Motion Graphic

In the After Effects tutorial above, I show you my favorite way to reverse an animation. This could be used for a lower third graphic or really any other motion graphic as a way to ‘exit frame.’

For years, I was copying and pasting keyframes to reverse motion graphic animations. Sometimes this took setting keyframes for 10+ layers. The method above is very simple, and can be done in 4 basic steps – no matter how many layers you have.

Basic Technique

  • Once you have your motion graphic entrance, go ahead and pre-compose all of the layers in the animations. To do this, select all layers, right-click, and select pre-compose. Or you can just press command-shift-C on the keyboard.
  • Trim the newly created pre-composition in half (or shorter, depending on how long you want the full animation – entrance & exit. Basically trim to half the time you want. For example, if you want the entire animation to take 6 seconds, trim to 3 seconds). An easy way to do this is go to the desired time and press option-right bracket. Use alt if you’re on a PC.
  • Select both layers. Right click. Hit Keyframe Assistant – Sequence Layers. Hit okay. Now your two layers are sequenced (one after the other).
  • Lastly, time-reverse the second clip (according to time) by right-clicking and selecting time-reverse in the time folder.

Now your animation should have a fluid entrance & exit. This may seem confusing. But watch the video. It really takes like 5 seconds if you know what you’re doing.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this tip! Let me know if you have any more questions! If you have something that you want me to create a tutorial on, send me a message or comment below!


  • Does this reverse the motion blur too, or is the motion blur added after the animation?

    • that’s a great question. because the text layer has motion blur on in the precomp, it will still have motion blur on when you duplicate and reverse that precomp.