The other solution is much more complex (in both code and theory) but really blows the doors off this thing as far as opening up endless possibilities for randomness in After Effects. This is where seedRandom() comes in. You must credit the author. Newest Use forever in an unlimited number of projects. What if what you really want is for each movement to take a random amount of time? At each frame, the loop has to revisit all previous frames. It seems like this should do the trick: When we look at the result though, it's clear that After Effects is not accumulating the effects of the random() function from frame to frame. You get a different result on each frame. We'll look at a couple of things you can do to fix this. In the process we'll end up using the loop-through-the-comp technique that we just investigated. We are going to loop through the comp, starting at time 0, adding up the random segment lengths until we reach the current time. For example if we set the seed to 1, random() might give us .45633. Remember that when you seed the random number generator with a particular seed using the seedRandom(seed,true) method, you will always get the same sequence of random numbers on subsequent calls to random(). This is a simulation of the Brownian motion of a big particle (dust particle) that collides with a large set of smaller particles (molecules of a gas) which move with different velocities in different random directions. So when we drop out of the loop, we know the start and end times of the current segment ("start" and "end") and we have the seed ("j") that was used to generate the end time. This brings us to a major roadblock and we have to come up with a new and very powerful concept to get around it. Then the next call to random() will generate the proper x and y coordinates of the starting Position (which was the ending Position of the previous segment). Each time through the loop, j gets incremented by one frame's worth of time (thisComp.frameDuration). You can also use it just to change the sequence of random numbers generated by random(). Therefore, after we set the seed back to "j-1", we need to throw away the first call to random() because it just gets us the duration of the previous segment (which we don't need). So how does this help us generate smooth random motion? So there are practical limitations on the use of this technique, but for most situations (short comps) it will work just fine. To accomplish this we'll have to use some JavaScript to construct a "while" loop that goes through the comp one frame at a time and adds up the random numbers. OK, here's the code: You'll notice in the demo movie we've now got multiple stars, all at different random positions. First, let's just go ahead and take a look at the finished code: Let's take a look at what has changed since the previous version of our random motion code. Then we just use ease() to interpolate between the two Positions so that the layer eases from one Position to the next. The main difference is the setup and execution of the "while" loop. After the first half second, the seed changes to 1 and the random Position changes. When the loop finishes, the variable "accum" contains the sum of all the random numbers generated for this and all previous frames. Everything from here on out gets much easier because it's all just variations on a theme. So at any given frame After Effects just calculates the expression and applies the results to the value that the property would have without the expression (i.e. The first one is the random seed, and the second is a true/false flag that tells After Effects whether or not the random numbers generated by random() will be "timeless". The implementation of expressions in After Effects is stateless. 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This brings us to one of the most important concepts for generating random motion, which is that whenever you set the seed to a particular number, the random sequence generated by random() will always be the same.

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