Watch: How to Create Handheld Camera Shake in After Effects

This simple technique can help you give your static footage a nice handheld feel.

Shooting handheld is really straightforward; it's literally "put camera in hand and shoot." But handheld shots are not only created while filming, they can also be created in post-production with your favorite NLE or VFX program. In this After Effects tutorial, Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid shows you how to utilize the wiggle expression to transform your static footage into dynamic and realistic-looking handheld camera work. Check it out below.

So when would you ever need to use this technique—I mean, if you want the handheld look why not just plan ahead and shoot handheld, right? Right. You should probably try to plan ahead and figure out what look you want to give your footage, but let's be real—that doesn't always happen. Sometimes your unplanned, casual shoot turns into something much more important or maybe you thought you wanted a static shot and decided later that handheld would look better.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, knowing how to use the wiggle expression to achieve this look can help to, at the very least, give you options. Besides, wiggle is one of those After Effects expressions that you just really need to know, because it comes in handy for so many different applications, including, yes, creating the handheld look.       

You Might Also Like

Your Comment


How to create the most organic fake shake:

Do 2D-tracking of real handheld footage and apply results to your static footage. It even includes roll axis which is missing in the tutorial.

August 6, 2017 at 9:53AM

Steadicam Operator/Owner

You create the most fun to play the amazing euchre card game forever play this on the net so go hurry on the link and join euchre online free to the best fun forever i like to play this online very much thanks for the play this on the net.

October 12, 2017 at 5:21AM


I am shooting a film project on my own and this has totally saved my life! I didn't want straight up static shots so this is awesome!

June 15, 2019 at 8:16AM, Edited June 15, 8:16AM

Evan Sorrell
Creator at Tauraco