I found this annotation effect that I really like. and would like to recreate in After Effects. Does anyone know how to do it?



  • Welcome to Video Production. In order for this question to be useful if the link you provided goes away, consider describing the effect you are after. It will also help others answer the question.
    – stib
    Apr 29, 2015 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


That's fairly simple. Just create the text, arrows, and other stuff. Animate them to create the effect you want (I can't give you details here, you'll have to ask someone else). Then track the points where you want the annotations to be so they'll follow them.


The easiest way to do that is to use the camera tracker to track the position of the camera in the shot. With the layer selected, go to Animation>Track Camera. That will start the analysis of the layer which you can monitor in the effect controls window. Once it has done the analysis (it can take a very long time) the Create Camera button will be activated.

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Hit that button, and a 3D camera will be created. This camera matches the position of the camera that took the shot (in theory). So now if you add your graphic elements as 3D layers, the 3D camera will record them as if they were part of the original scene being recorded by the original camera.

Note that the video layer stays as a 2D layer in the background, because it already has the 3D camera's movement in it.

  • You shouldn't need to do a full 3d track for so simple a task, a basic 2d point track should work. Jun 3, 2015 at 18:49
  • The good thing about a 3D camera track is that once you've done it all your 3D layers track properly without any more effort on your behalf. So if you had multiple annotations you'd have to 2D track each one, which would take way more time than one 3D track. 3D tracks also 3D so you get correct perspective, as well as rotation and scale.
    – stib
    Jun 3, 2015 at 22:56
  • I see where you're coming from, but you don't really need to track rotation and scaling for a simple annotation. Several 2d tracks seems easier and more efficient to me. Jun 3, 2015 at 22:58
  • Well, I guess it depends on the look you're going for. I can't see what's so difficult about doing a 3D track. It's actually easier to use than the 2D tracker - you don't have to anything except run the tracker and create a camera when it's done analysing in the background. With a 2D tracker you have to set up track points, nurse the tracker through the analysis, and then apply the tracker to the target layer, for each target you want to track.
    – stib
    Jun 4, 2015 at 3:16

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