How to Cut Video in After Effects

Wondershare Editor By Mar 09,2017 14:52 pm

After Effects is an extremely flexible software program, and whilst its main focus is on affects and add one to video production, it can be used to do some editing as well. After Effects contains numerous tools that allow you to do several editing tasks that you would not expect, and today we are discussing cutting video, and whether it can be done in after effects or not. The answer in short is that yes, it can, but there is a little more to it than that , we will get to that point later, but first, I will demonstrate how easy it is to cut your video by using the adobe program.

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This is a basic tutorial about Adobe After Effects, professional video editing software. However, if video editing is new to you, consider Wondershare Filmora (originally Wondershare Video Editor). This is a powerful but easy-to-use tool for users just starting out. Download the free trial version below.

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How to Cut Videos in After Effects

1. Launch After effects and import your video

The first task is to open a new project, and load your video into it. First off from the main menu is to select new composition.

Launch After effects and import your video

Which then opens up the composition menu, choose the resolution and so on you want, and then create your composition.

Launch After effects and import your video

You are now ready to import your video.

Launch After effects and import your video

This is achieved through the file/import menu as we see here

Launch After effects and import your video

Once you have your video, you can drag it into the timeline as we see below.

Launch After effects and import your video

Now here my video clip is a lot smaller and shorter than my composition, but for purposes of this it doesn’t really matter. You can use this effect though, as in After Effects, you can have the actual video bounce around inside the composition as it is playing, an interesting effect to try.

2. Editing the video

Related Article: How to Edit Audio in After Effects >>

To make things clearer, my first step is to zoom in on the timeline so I can see clearly the start and end of my video track.

Editing the video

Now I can begin to cut the video track into the pieces I want. This is very easy, select the video track in the timeline, move the guide to the exact point you want to cut the track, and then you can either use the edit menu edit>split layer or the shortcut Control+Shift+D.

Editing the video

Whichever way you accomplish it, this leaves you with your video track split, and the second part is shifted off into a separate layer too so you can add in transition effects and so on as you want.

Editing the video

Of course, you are not restricted to one cut, you can make as many as you want and be able to do re-organize them and so on if you wish.

Editing the video

3. Additional tools

There are several advantages in cutting this way, in that the separate layers enable quite complex effects and processing to be done on each part of the video entirely independently, they can easily be reordered as well without problem.

Additional tools

As we can see here, the video will play in an entirely different order now. One of the things you can do very easily once you have this is to add transition effects, simply highlight a point on the timeline where the transition is to begin, and choose one from the effect menu.

Additional tools

Once added you can adjust the time taken and so on to get the precise effect you want.

Additional tools

You can of course delete any clip you do not want by simply deleting the layer.

4. Exporting the file

Once you are happy you can then export the finished file from the file>export menu

Exporting the file

Choosing ‘add to render queue’ presents you with the render menu allowing you to choose the settings, filename and destination of the final output as you need.

Exporting the file

And that is how simple cutting video is with Adobe After Effects.


As we have shown, Adobe’s own Premiere Pro offers a much braoder range of tools for cutting and trimming and makes a much better platform for the process. In addition there are many video editors at all budgets designed specifically for cutting and trimming video and perhaps present a better option than using After effects to accomplish it.

Check the video tutorial on how to cut videos in After Effects:


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•After effects guide
Basic editing
1.1 How to Cut Video in After Effects
1.2 How to Make an Intro in After Effects
1.3 How to Make a Kinetic Typography Video in After Effects
1.4 How to Create a Mask from a Shape with After Effects
Animation editing
2.1 How to Make Character Animation in After Effects
2.2 How to Make an Animated Logo in After Effects
2.3 How to Create Text Animation in After Effects
2.4 How to Make 3D Animation in After Effects
2.5 How to Create Motion Graphics in After Effects
Tips&tricks for After Effects
3.1 Top 10 After Effects Shortcuts
3.2 Top 10 Best Free After Effects Plugins
3.3 Easy-to-use After Effects Alternative for Windows/Mac