/  2d animation   /  AfterEffects Shortcuts for Every Motion Designer

If you make your living as a motion designer or animator in Adobe AfterEffects. There are some shortcuts that can and will make your life easier if you know them. The ones I list below are for my Mac platform, but I’ll try to look up the differences for PC users as well.

These shortcuts I often use every day. They speed up the pace of timing, editing and syncing pieces of footage and sound in AfterEffects.

Without further yammering on, let’s get to the list, which I’ve divided into sections below:

Basic Transform Shortcuts:

  • A – Anchor Point
  • P – Position
  • S – Scale
  • R – Rotation
  • T – Opacity
  • M – Show masks
  • RR  – Show Time remap property
  • Shift + F3 – Switch between graph timeline view and regular timeline view

Cutting and Moving Layers:

  • Shift + Command + D (Mac) –  – Split footage
  • ] (right bracket) – moves footage right to time signature
  • [ (left bracket) – moves footage left to time signature
  • Shift + selecting with mouse – grab multiple layers at once
  • Command + D (Mac) – Ctrl + D (PC) – Duplicate layer(s)
  • Command + Z (Mac) – Ctrl + Z (PC) – Undo

Sound and Music Editing:

  • LL (Mac / PC) – on a music layer this expands the waveform of the sound for easy editing. Press LL again to close the same waveform back into the layer
  • Command + Drag (Mac) – Ctrl +Drag (PC) – Scrubs through audio timeline with mouse