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Best 10 After Effects Tips & Tricks

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May 21, 2024• Proven solutions

The post production process has more than just one step, and editing footage doesn't stop after all the video clips are pieced together. Once your work in Adobe Premiere Pro is finished, the project you are working on is ready for the Adobe After Effects, a software that enables you to add special effects or perform actions such tracking or keying. Here are some pro tips that can speed up the editing process in Adobe After Effects and make it more efficient.

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

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Top 10 After Effects Tips and Tricks

1. Drag and drop files from a folder directly to the timeline


Save time importing files you want to edit by dragging them from the folder and dropping them directly to the timeline. Right-click on the file on the timeline and select the Reveal in Finder option to access the folder that contains your footage.

2. Use Pan-Behind tool to position the anchor point


Adjust the position of the anchor point by using the Pan-Behind tool. At times relocating the anchor point to the edges of a layer may enable you to apply the effects you want. Simply click on the Pan-Behind icon and hold the Command key or Control key if you are a PC user and find the perfect position for the anchor point.

3. Utilize Duplicate Layers feature to add new layers to your project


Using keyboard shortcuts is an efficient way to save time. If you would like to create a new layer, click on the existing one in your project and then just hit Command +D. This action will automatically add another layer and you can also use it to duplicate effects.

4. Add Composition & Layer Markers from a keyboard

Markers are powerful editing tools that enable you to have more control over the effects you are applying to the video. In order to create a layer marker, select the layer and press *, this action will create a new layer marker. However, if you would like to create a composition maker make sure that no layers are selected and then press *.

5. Activate AE auto save and make sure your project is safe

Before starting to work on a project make sure that the auto save feature is enabled. In order to do so, click on Edit and then select Preferences. From the drop down menu, select the Auto Save option and then check the Automatically Save Projects box.

6. Save Frames to show samples of your work


If you need to show your clients how your work is progressing, save a single frame instead of rendering the whole project. You can save a single frame by navigating to Composition > Save Frame As. From File and Photoshop Layers options, select the File option and set the output format.

7. Modify AE keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a crucial time-saving factor during the post production process. After Effects allows you to modify and set your own shortcuts, unlike Adobe Premier Pro. However, you have to download KeyEd Up script that is completely free, but you must be a registered Adobe Suite user.

8. Use Align tools to position objects on the canvas


If you are working with a large number of objects in AE Align option can be quite useful to help you organize them better and faster. Align box should be located in the upper or lower right corner, but if you can't see it there go to Window and select Align.

9. Replace content in the timeline faster

There are faster ways of replacing the content in the timeline than dragging it from the media bin and dropping it to the timeline. To perform this action faster select the layer you want to replace and hold the ctrl + alt and then drag the new layer to the preview window.

10. Use System Color Picker to fine-tune colors on your images


Working with colors in AE can be a lot of fun, but if you are working on a large project there is a way to minimize the amount of time you need to find the colors you want. Go to Edit > Preferences and click on General, then make sure to click on the System Color Picker check box.

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Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Benjamin Arango

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