Chain & Sprockets

  • Compatibility After Effects
    Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below

Author: Pixelbot

Availability: No Longer Available

Quick Overview

This product has been discontinued

Chain & Sprockets builds a 2 gear and a connecting chain rig with an effect allows you to animate and further customize the rig.

Splash Screen


This product has been discontinued


Create an interconnected gear and chain rig using Chain & Sprockets.


Simple To Use:

Open the script and you’ll find this interface, where you can set the configuration of the rig.

Callouts for the Script UI

Trial version is limited to: Diameter of 300 pixels, Second Gear Ratio of 1:15, Chain Ratio of 1:2, and Main Gear on Left Side.

Gear Ratios and Minimum Gear Sizes:

Gear ratios and minimum gear sizes

The Gear Ratio is the relationship of the Main Gear to the Second Gear and there are 7 Gear Ratios to choose from. For example 1:4 means the Second Gear will be 4 times larger than the Main Gear and 4:1 means that the Main Gear will be 4 times larger than the Second Gear. The minimum diameter of any gear is 50, and the script won’t allow any diameters that will create a gear that is smaller than that.

Chain Ratios:

The Chain Ratio is the relationship of the largest gear to the length of the chain and there 7 Chain Ratios to choose from. Note: for some gear ratios the largest gear is the Second Gear. This ratio determines the distance between the two gears. Also for the gear ratio of 1:1 the Chain Ratio of 1:1.5 isn’t available because the gears would overlap.

Chain ratios


The Rig:

Once you build the rig you’ll find 5 new layer in your comp. 2 Nulls and 3 Shape Layers.
Rig callouts

The Controller:

You’ll find the effect that controls the rig located on the Main Controller Null. It contains all the controls to customize and control the rig. Also, all the layers are parented to the Main Controller layer so just move, scale or rotate this null to adjust the whole rig. Since these are shape layers, they scale without any loss in resolution.

Controller callouts

A Couple of Notes:

Version 1.03 (11/12/18) - expressions now compatible with the CC2019 Javascript expression engine.

The Chain defaults to Difference Blending Mode so that you can easily align the gears to the chain. Make sure to change the blending mode back to Normal, for use.

It is important not to change the name of the Main Controller Null, as it is connected to the rig’s expressions, and changing the name will break those connections. There is a unique 4 digit hexadecimal number at the end of the name and this allows multiple rigs to reside in a comp without any conflict.

Gears with diameters less than 200 pixels default to having their Cutouts Visibility set to off - you can turn them back on. Since they are dynamically linked to the axle diameter, they still may not be visible if the gear is too small, and the axle is too big.

You can parent one rig to another rig by holding the Shift key down while you parent the Main Controller of the child rig to the Second Gear Null of the parent rig. You’ll also need to link the Child’s Main Controller/Main Rotation Property to the Parent’s Main Controller/Main Rotation Property using an expression that looks something like this:

Example of expression on the child's controller main rotation

you can copy and paste this expression - changing the Main Controller name and the GearRatio variable to match your rig:

var GearRatio = 2; //change this to match the gear ratio of the parent comp

var MainControl = thisComp.layer("Main Controller 5757"); //pickwhip this variable to the Parent Main Controller Layer Name

var rotate = MainControl.effect("Chain-N-Sprockets")("Main Rotation")*GearRatio;



Quick Start Guide

After Effects CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014