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9 Useful and Cool Tricks in After Effects by BlueFX

In this article we’ll take a look at some useful and cool tricks in Adobe After Effects, you might not know about. Let’s jump right into it and see how they work.

1. Shift Parenting Behaviour

In this example, we have two animated layers and for connecting them, in the past, we would select one of the objects, reposition it and then parent it to the first object.

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The much faster way to do it is by holding down the shift key and parenting the first layer with the second.

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This will snap the object in place while also keeping its keyframes.

You can also do it from the parenting drop-down menu while holding down the shift key.

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2. Layer Selection

In some situations you need to select all the layers that are parented to a layer and instead of doing it manually, which can be a tedious process, you can select the mother layer or the layer that the rest of the layers are parented to, right click and choose “Select Children”.

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This will select all the layers that are parented to it.

Once this is done you can invert the selection by clicking on a selected layer, right click and choose “Invert Selection”.

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3. Go To Visible Item In The Timeline

You can easily jump forward and backward between visible keyframes in the timeline by pressing the “K” and “J” keys. This will also work for markers that are placed on the layers.

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Another way to do it is by right-clicking on the marker and choosing “go to marker time”.

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This also works for keyframes and the option is called “go to keyframe time”.

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4. Reveal Properties

In the past, to reveal all the properties and their keyframes, you would press “u” on the main keyboard and this would reveal all the keyframes and also the expressions.

With the new releases of After Effects, you can just reveal the keyframes by pressing “u” once.

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or reveal the keyframes and expressions by pressing “u” twice.

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5. Paste Layers At Current Time

This is a very cool feature in After Effects that many people don’t really use it or have overlooked it. So instead of pressing Ctrl+C to copy and then Ctrl+V to paste a layer and then reposition it at a certain time mark on the timeline, you can simply copy it (Ctrl+C) and then press Ctrl+Alt+V.

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This will paste the layer at the current position of the time indicator saving you the hassle of having to reposition the layer or snap it to the time indicator.

6. Close Other Timeline Panels

In After Effects you can close the active panels by pressing Ctrl+W (Command + W on macs) or Ctrl+Alt+W to close all the panels.

Alternatively, there’s another way to close all the other panels except the active selected one by right-clicking on it and selecting “Close Other Timeline Panels”.

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7. Locate Missing Footage, Effects or Fonts

In a project that has several missing elements, you can locate them easily by typing “missing” in the project panel search bar.

This will enable you to choose between Effects, Fonts or Footage, and you can quickly and easily locate the missing items.

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For missing footage, you can select the element and press Ctrl+H to replace it with another file.

Another way to do it is by going to “File-Dependencies-Find missing Effects/Fonts/Footage”.

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8. Copy With Property Links

You can copy and paste effects inside older versions of After Effects but with the newer releases of AE CC, you can copy the effects with the properties included. This is a very cool and time-saving feature as any changes you make to the initial effect will apply to all the other copied effects.

To copy the effects with properties, press “Ctrl+Alt+C” or Command+Option+C on macs. Alternatively, you can access the feature in the Edit menu- Copy with property links.

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9. Center Anchor Point

Instead of centering the anchor point manually, which can be a daunting process, you can now press “Ctrl+Alt+Home” to automatically center it. It will work with text layers and solids as well.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Stay tuned for more cool tips and tricks coming soon.

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