Thursday, January 30, 2014

Handy Zoom

Summary:  Hold Option + Space then hold the Left Mouse Button and drag to zoom in/out of the timeline or composition window (whether the panel is active or not).

Description:  (Exactly like in Photoshop) Hold down Option + Space to allow zooming, then hold down LMB and drag in/out to zoom in/out. In the composition window the view scales smoothly, not by 20% increments, and when in the timeline the view zooms in to frame level or zooms out to view the entire composition.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ultra Zoom

Summary:  Zoom out to see the entire layers list and timeline as a scalable screen grab - snapping back to normal view with a single Left Mouse Button click.

Description:  Holding down Space + Option + Control gives access to Ultra Zoom.  By then holding down LMB and dragging left or right zoom in and out from Normal View to Full View of the entire layers list and timeline.  (What is actually happening is that AE takes what is essentially a screen grab of the current layers list and timeline and this image is being scaled- not the layers list and timeline itself).

Within this Ultra Zoom view you can also pan around from any zoom height (holding Space and dragging with LMB).

Clicking on an area of the view with a single LMB click will snap the view back to Normal View centring on the area you clicked.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Smarter selection

Summary: Drag-select various layers

Description: Hold LMB and drag over different layers to select them.  (Good for selecting a whole bunch of stuff no longer a part of your animation and deleting them).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Comp sneak peak

Summary:   Expand or hide a comp's content without having to exit the existing comp.

Description:  Hold down Opt and the hide/expand arrows appear on all comps.  Left click on a comp with Opt held down hides/expands the comp.

*This feature can only work if the comp being expanded is in exactly the same time as the original comp.  If the comp being "peaked at" is out of sync with the original comp a message appears whenever the user attempts to edit these layers.    

Introduction (READ FIRST)

Hi, my name's Mat.

I'm an animator, illustrator and storyboard artist, and part of my job involves using After Effects, Photoshop and Cinema4D.

I enjoy all of these programs, but I also recognise that none of them are perfect either (although Photoshop is pretty close).

This blog forms what is an open-aired discussion on what I would like to see improved in AfterEffects.

They're just my own thoughts, and I'll continue to add to them as I think of new suggestions, but these ideas are published here as a way for you to add to them yourself.

Agree? Disagree? Join the discussion.

Think of this as an online brainstorming session designed to help Adobe continue to improve the products we use.

Or... as simply a place to vent, and perhaps transform your frustrations into something positive.  But before we begin...

One simple rule for brainstormers:  

Only knock an idea down with a better idea. 

If you don't have a better idea, it's your responsibility to find one before you criticise someone else's.

Enjoy :)