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Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, 5th Edition by Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer

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8 Motion Blur and More

Life’s a blur – at least, to a camera it is

When images are captured on film or video, objects that are moving appear blurred, while static objects appear sharp. This is due to the fact that the camera is capturing samples of time, and the camera shutter is kept open for some of that time. The faster the object moves, the more distance it will cover while the shutter is open, and the less distinct the image. This motion blur makes for smoother motion and is a quality often lacking in computer-generated animation.

The secret to smooth motion blur is increasing the Adaptive Sample Limit (and optionally, Samples Per Frame) setting, found under the Composition Settings > Advanced tab. Adaptive Sample Limit has a maximum value ...

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