I'm trying to do the following:

  1. At 0;00;00;00 orange triangle is offscreen and begins to move towards the center.
  2. At 0;00;03;00 orange triangle arrives at position 243, 135.
  3. At 0;00;03;00 orange triangle begins to move to the left.
  4. At 0;00;07;00 orange triangle arrives at position 137, 135.

From 0;00;03;00 to 0;00;03;05 the object begins sliding to the right, reaching the position 246, 135. I didn't tell it to do that, nor to even go in that direction. Any idea why it's happening? I've attached a video and a picture below that hopefully should help explain.

Graph Editor view showing weird position

Vimeo link

Thanks for any help.

1 Answer 1


It's because of Spatial Interpolation. You need the spatial interpolation to be set to linear, and by default it is set to Auto Bezier.

Right click on the keyframe at 3'00, and select Keyframe Interpolation. Change the Spatial Interpolation to linear, and it should solve the problem.

What's happening:

Instead of drawing straight lines (linear lines) between your positions on the screen, after effects is drawing curves (bezier curves). When you tell your object to "double back" on itself, AE tries to draw a curve to this effect, causing a little knot or bounce forward at the 3'00 mark.

You can choose how AE interprets changes in space, as described, but you can also choose how it interpolates time too (Temporal interpolation). Setting temporal interpolation to bezier often produces nicer results than linear, as it allows objects to slowly come to a stop, rather than suddenly stopping at a keyframe, which is how objects in the real world respond (due to weight, friction, gravity etc).

  • 1
    You can also see what's going on by looking at the graph editor for the motion curves.
    – stib
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 1:38
  • Hope it helps- stib is right - might be easier to understand what's going on when you look at the Curves display. Please mark as answered if the answer is ok.
    – tomh
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 7:23

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