3 Top Tips for After Effect Users and Template Authors – After Effect Tutorial

3 top tips for After Effects users and Template authors – After Effect Tutorial

1. Master the Shortcuts and hotkeys

Need to expand a mask? press ‘MM’ and see its properties,  there’s much more to shortcuts than Just P for position S for Scale etc, Try to master as many Shortcuts as you can as it tremendously speeds up your work flow and it is a proof that you’ve done your homework regarding AE.
Other than the documentation included with After Effects, there is a great mograph.net thread its ever growing and you can find the best hotkeys and shortcuts there!

2. Keep it Tidy, Nice, and Clean

Clean your projects constantly, get rid of unwanted solids, layers, and any assets that are in your Project window, Create folders, and put those assets in their corresponding folders, it will make your life much easier if you’d have to refine those projects in the future, OR, it would make your colleagues life easier, either way, its important to reduce project every once in a while, name your folders, files and layers as they should be, and if you see you have 50 different Solids for adjustment layers just ALT-Drag the same one onto the other 49, that way you’ll end up with One solid rather than 50!
Use sub folders as much as you can, rather than having a COMPS folder and a PRECOMPS folder, put the PRECOMPS within the COMPS, this way you’ll create a logical hierarchy that everyone could easily understand, while there are many different methods and hierarchies around the world, and to each his own, when it comes to using After Effects, everyone knows what Layers,Graphics,Sequences and Comps are, make your naming conventions appropriately.

3. Use expressions, use scripts, and make sure to universalize everything

The Internet is filled with some great content regarding Scripts and Expressions, whenever you have a tedious After effects task to complete, make sure you’ve done plenty of R&D in advance, while that research make take you some time to handle, there’s a very nice feeling in realizing you’ve minimized a days worth of work to 2 hours thanks to a free to use script or expression.
Below are some favorite useful places to get scripts and expressions:
AE Scripts – This is possibly the largest scripts website around, some are free, some are pay as you like, and some are commercial, either way, there are plenty of gems here, template authors you should check out ExpressionUniversalizer!
Dan Ebberts’s resource for AE scripting and expressions – Dan is a genius , seriously, just follow his scripts and you will see for yourself.
AE ENHANCERS – Paul Tuersley’s Scripts, this mastermind behind Pt_OpenSeaseme which is pretty much the only way you could have backward compatibility with After effects, use his script to save CS3 versions using CS5.
Ease and Wizz : An After Effects palette for smoother easing – Ian Heigh is a genius for creating Ease and wizz, it saves you plenty of time by using Math formulas to smooth your curves, rather than fiddling with them yourselves, Elastic, Bounce, Back and Sine curves are only a few of the built in presets, plus you can donate as much as you’d like to use it commercially!


Good luck and happy AE’ing!

Back to home