I have just started learning Adobe After Effects, and I couldn't find how to do this :

I have a character which looks like walking on a black background. So I want to move the background (or the camera?) to make the walk look realistic. How can I do that?

I can think of a way but I'm not sure :

  • I will prepare a very big image (all the possible positions of the background) and move it as an object.

Is this how I should do it? Also I would appreciate a tutorial link.

Thanks for any help !


Sorry that I slightly "misworded" the question. Of course my background will not be plain black. It will consist of buildings, streets trees etc. I just need the way to move it so that the character will feel like walking.

  • If the background is solid black and you move the background then visually there would be no reference point to create movement. Do you want the character to walk from one side of the screen to the other? Or do you want the character to walk in place while the background side-scrolls? (Please use the Edit button, not the Comment button to respond.)
    – Ryan
    Jul 21, 2014 at 23:55
  • Looking into Expressions might help you out. More specifically, you could use loopOut("cycle"); to loop an animation. --- You could animate an object to go by in the background once, and the expression would take care of looping it.
    – Joonas
    Jul 22, 2014 at 0:21
  • You should put your background elements in first, then do as Krisa said and put them all in a composition together. That way you can simply animate the position property of that composition to slide slightly as your character walks on. Or if you have your elements on different "distances" you could animate them individually so that those elements "further away" from your character will slide slower than those that are closer to him/her.
    – gburning
    Jul 24, 2014 at 12:15

2 Answers 2


I hope i understand correctly.

You can do both, either move the camera or the background.

I personaly think its easier to move the background. Just make big composition and put everything inside it. Compositions are sort of like groups. You can make bigbig composition and then put it in smaller composition (which has size of your final movie) and move the bigger composition around. In this case the small composition works sort of like a viewfinder.

Cameras are a bit more advanced and maybe just too complicated for this.


Place your background image in one of its side and then key frame its position. Move the time line to when you want the animation to stop, move the image to the another side and keyframe it again. Hope this is what you are looking for.

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