7 Cool Tricks In After Effects

In this tutorial, we’re going to continue our series of cool Adobe After Effects tips and tricks you might have overlooked and we’ll take a look at 7 productivity tips that will improve your workflow and enable you to complete and deliver projects faster

So let’s dive right into it and take a close look

1. Center in View

This is a very quick tip: you can center in view any layer if you select it and right-click – Transform – Center in View. The fast shortcut for this is Ctrl+Home or Command+Home on macs.


It’s important to note that After Effects will center the layer in a view according to its anchor point.

2. Fit to Comp

If you have an image and you’d like to scale it to fit the width of the composition, the fastest way to do it is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+H.


If you’d like to have the image fit the height of the comp, the quick way to do it is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+G.

For images that you’d like to have fit the composition, you can press Ctrl+Alt+F and After Effects will stretch the image to fit the entire screen.

3. Flexible Masking Options

Adobe CC and above versions have a very cool feature that enables you to track masks, all within the same layer, so in this example we’re looking to blur out just the face and to do that we will first draw a mask around the subject’s face


and the right click on the mask and choose “track mask”.


Now we’ll have to press the play forward button so AE can start analyzing.


Next, we’ll search for Fast Blur in the Effects and Presets panel and double-click to apply it on the layer.


Open up the drop-down menu of the effects section and click the + sign next to the “compositing options”. Make sure the “Mask 1” is selected and now we can adjust the effect.


In this case we’ll ramp up the blurriness to 25 and now our subject’s face is blurred.


4. Bezier Paths For Shape Layers

In the past, for masking content, we could create rounded and smooth lines using the bezier paths or the bezier path feature but now we also have that option for any shape layers.

Now, the bezier path feature is available for shape layer as well and you can enable it from the tools panel and it will smooth paths out for you.

Additionally, you can now adjust any individual points for star shape layers, just make sure you have the “bezier path” feature turned on.


5. Reveal In Timeline

We can now reveal any property from any effect by right-clicking on the property and selecting “Reveal in Timeline”.


6. Set Default Render Settings

If you decide to render a composition inside After Effects, you will need to press Ctrl+M to bring out the Render Queue and if you click on the down arrow next to the output module you can quickly select a preset or make a template, but the cool trick is that if you hold down the Ctrl key and select a preset, After Effects will keep the same setting and automatically remember it for any other future renderings


7. Set Work Area To The Duration Of The Selected Layer


This is a very cool shortcut you can use. You can instantly set the duration of the work area to the duration of the selected layer by pressing Ctrl+Alt+B or Command+Option+B on macs.

This shortcut is particularly useful when you intend to right click in the timeline and Trim the composition to the selected work area

Ok, so these were our 7 tips and tricks for Adobe After Effects. See you on our next post, stay tuned.

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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