• Matt Willcox

After Effects Tips Tricks and best practice

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Ok here's some tips and tricks and best practice's I've pickup over the years, I started using After Effects back 1999 or was it 98 anyways over 20 years yikes! Although I did have a break for over 10, the "flash" came along and so did the interweb. I was drawn into the codey, flashy, htmly world of web design. It wasn’t long and After Effects was hazy distant memory... Then in 2015 Apple really started cutting back on flash support, in 2017 completely abandoning flash, poor flashy it was only trying to help : ( Back to After Effects it was, this time armed with animation skills learned from many a year tweening and cell animating in the "Flash". Any ways enough waffling below you’ll find some handy tips tricks and best practices to get your teeth into. Some of these are things I've discovered myself some are from other "users" on the line. Please let me know if you’ve found different way or technique you’d like to share. I'll also put some links in here to some inspiration and other useful resources... Peace m

Best practice part I

  • Keep that audio together yep, you heard it newbee. Best place is bottom of the main or master comp. No one wants to have to go audio searching in nested comps, so keep it on the Master. They play head automaticly aligns in the Precomp to the same place you left it on the main timeline if that makes sense,so its easy to align audio no probs.

  • Use those timeline markers you ninken poop! press the Asterisk or star key top right on the numeric key pad, its also handy for aligning audio. Tip ( play back your anim press space or 0 now while listing to your audio you can press the star key to insert markers )

  • TRIM YOUR COMPS! you absoulute doughnut. Whats that i here you say you 'aint got time', I aint got time to spend, trying to work out what the feck is going on in your comps wheres the start wheres the end ? wheres that tiny bit of text i need to amend argghhh!! ( Was that a bit harsh?) Also Ae renders unseen footage those hidden motion blurs nested in those longs comps will be slowying you down bigtime.

  • Trim or crop your Footage to size, either do this in illustrator, photoshop or heres a tip.. In Ae use the little button to select the footage or asset you wnat to crop, go to compostion menu - select 'crop comp to region of interest' bingo your in, saves heeps of time this one.


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