After Effect Updates Log

    • cc2017: c4d 3D text, real-time footage play without cache, faster GPU accelerated fx
    • cc2015: c4d R17 live link, non-stop preview, face tracking, fx with in-layer mask
    • cc2014: hi-dpi screen support, cineware 2.0 w. c4d r16, keying
    • cc 12: mask tracker, GPU optimize, media browser, c4d integration, warp stablizer
    • cs6: 3d camera track, extruded text and shape in ray trace, ai shape layer, rolling shutter fix, better mocha
    • cs5: warp stabilizer, mocha v2
    • cs4: timeline search, mocha
    • cs3: puppet tool, per-character 3d text animation

AE Shortcut Quick Review

  • How to change AE shortcut: in Preference Panel > General Tab > bottom “Reveal Preference in Explorer” button:
    • in the pop folder window, you will see “Adobe After Effects xxx.0 Shortcuts.txt”
    • edit text file to change shortcut
    • example
      	"ExecuteScript" = "(Ctrl+Shift+Alt+X)"

panel operation

toggle max panel `
full screen ctrl + \
effect control panel F3, ctrl+shift+T
render queue panel ctrl+alt+0
import ctrl+ I
import multi ctrl+alt+ I
footage setting, remember ctrl+alt+ G, ctrl+alt+ C
footage edit app ctrl+E
footage replace ctrl+H
footage reload ctrl+alt+L
footage proxy set ctrl+alt+P

viewport operation

select tool v, hold ctrl
hand tool h, hold space
zoom tool z
rotate tool w
camera tool c
shape tool q
pen g
snapshot and show and clear shift+F5-8, F5-8, +ctrl
zoom view, 100%, fit <>, /, shift+/, alt+/
stop view caplock
zone safe, grid ' , ctrl+', alt+'
ruler ctrl+R
guide, lock ctrl+; , ctrl+alt+shift+;
snap grid ctrl+shift+'
snap guide ctrl+shift+;
show handle ctrl+shift+ H

Layer operation

new comp ctrl+N
new comp from selected footage alt+\
new comp from selected layers ctrl+shift+C
comp setting ctrl+K
new - solid ctrl + Y
new - null ctrl+alt+shift+Y
new - adjust ctrl+alt+Y
layer setting ctrl+shift+Y
select layer by id, toggle num0-9, +shift
resize to fit canvas width keeping ratio ctrl+alt+shift+ H
resize to fit canvas size ctrl+alt+ F
replace layer ctrl+alt+ / , alt+drag drop from project panel
add layer ctrl + / from project panel
unlock all layer ctrl+shift+ L
lock layer ctrl+L
view - opacity T
view - rotation R
view - archor point A
view - position P
view - scale S
view - keyed U
view - edited UU
view - audio level L
view - audio wave LL
view -mask MM
view -mask path M
view -mask opacity TT
view -retime RR
view -Effect E
view -material AA
view -expression EE
view -prep PP
view -selected SS
view - all ctrl+`
toggle view alt+shift+click
add view shift+
select layer up/down stack ctrl + Up / Down arrow, (+shift)
deselect layer ctrl+shift+A
focus selected layer x
toggle modes view F4
toggle visibility, except ctrl+alt_shift+ V, ctrl+shift+V
delete effect ctrl+shift+E
re-apply effect ctrl+alt+shift+ E
re-apply animationi ctrl+alt+shift+F

timeline operation

add key alt+shift+ property shortcut
flip reserver time ctrl+alt+R
paste at current time ctrl+alt+V
split at current time ctrl+shift+D
add retime ctrl+alt+ T
zoom timeline, 100% +/-, ;
jump to timecode alt+shift+ J
jump to pre/next frame ctrl + arrow (+shift = 10f), PgUp/PgDn
jump to in/out point I / O
jump to pre/next in-out point ctrl+alt+shift+left/right
jump to pre/next key J / K
jump to working range shift+ Home / End
jump to comp start/end Home / End, ctrl+alt+ Left /Right
move layer to start/end of comp alt+ Home/End
move start/end of layer to play head [ ]
trim layer to play head alt+ [ ]
set working range to play head B / N
set working range to selected layer ctrl+alt+B
trim comp to working range ctrl+shift+x
shift key left/right in time alt + Left / Right arrow (+shift = 10f)
proportionally retime shift alt+drag keyframe
preview space, num0
preview audio only from current time num.
preview audio in working range alt+ num.
scrub preview video alt+drag play head
scrub preview audio ctrl+drag play head

wip: https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/keyboard-shortcuts-reference.html

Techniques in After Effects

Method 1: use AE built-in track tool

  1. select the footage requiring stablize
  2. open track panel, choose stablize, check transform, rotation, scale (if all needed)
  3. poition the track points, and click the “play button” sign to track forward
  4. after finished, click the bottom “Stablize” button
  5. final use after getting a so-called “point-lock-down” version footage
    • if you want to re-animate the camera movement,
      1. parent the footage to a null object, and animate the null accordingly
    • if you want to smooth the camera movement,
      1. copy footage's anchor point keyframe to position, and select position attribute
      2. open “Smoother” panel, apply a certain degree of smoothing to it

Method 2: use Mocha

ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq59Ua8THws

  1. planar tracking in Mocha, export as tranformation information, copy
  2. in AE, select the footage, paste the motion
  3. then, finished stablize, do the same as method 1 for re-animation

General workflow: PS + Mocha → AfterEffect General Patch: AE → PS → AE

ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLnvwUqABG4

  • select the composition in project panel, then click File > Script > Scale Composition.jsx to open scale tool to help you auto set each layer and the comp itself.
  • Note, if there is keyframe on scale property for some layers, you may need to fix them manually, like nested composition.

Effect List

Scripting and Plugin Dev in After Effects

  • UI Script in AE is actually better supported than Photoshop, since Photoshop, you can only script modal dialog (block action until close), but AE you can script dockable panel (in term of just javascript)
    • in Photoshop, the best you can do is create Action button in Action Panel to launch your script file
  • Script file like jsx, jsxbin can be run from File > Script > Run Script File in any file folder location
  • Script file in After Effect application folder > Script will be shown in File > Script menu
  • Script file with UI will only be dockable panel (if written as so) when place in After Effect application folder > Script > ScriptUI folder; otherwise, it will not be dockable but just a dialog floating around
  • If you can't put script file in Script folder or ScriptUI folder due to admin rights in C drive (like in a some office computer), then you can copy the whole AfterEffect application folder to D drive. and launch the AfterFX.exe from there, and put script there. It will runs fine, since the support files and library still there in some folder at C drive. (as the main AE components are distributed in Common User Folder and Application Folder); like how those portable versions of the application are made in same concepts

Useful AE script and expression

  • 2D_null layer's position set to 3D_null
    thisComp.layer("3D_null").toComp([0,0,0]); 

Hardware Guide for AE render

AE Worflow

AI file AI file elements need to be in separate layer to be able to import as separate element

After Effects Plugins

  • To create a 3d emitter,
    1. create a light layer (which is 3D point), which named as “Emitter” (which required as particular's searching naming convention)
    2. in Particular layer's effect option, choose Emitter type as “Lights”