How can I randomize Z-axis position of objects?

I’m newish to Blender and I am trying to learn from copying what I see. It seems there has to be a way to shift objects in the z-axis using a displacement map or something, but I can’t figure out how to approach it. Looking at the the below image, I can’t imagine the artist would shift each cube’s position manually. What are your suggestions on a way to do this… the idea being something that can be animated. Thanks!

Use instances and displacement.
instance_displacement.blend (645.7 KB)

You could use the Randomize Transform:

1

Tweak the settings in the Operator box:

Then create some keyframes to animate

This worked perfectly! There are so many details, dropdowns, options… I appreciate your help!

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