After Effects Snapping

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Perfect your animations with a quick look at setting markers in After Effects!

Use the Layer Snapping feature in After Effects Adobe After Effects tutorials Use the Layer Snapping feature Learn how to use layer snapping to connect layer and mask edges, anchor points, and centers easily to other layers and masks in 3D space. December 10, 2013. After Effects will also run faster when you've cleaned up what it's trying to render on each frame. If you're not using a layer at the current time indicator or after, then trimming layers is great to speed up your workflow.

  1. Browse other questions tagged layers adobe-after-effects snapping or ask your own question. Featured on Meta Planned maintenance scheduled for Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 1:00 UTC Stack Overflow for Teams is now free for up to 50 users, forever.
  2. Any way to extract mocha position data from a good spline and a bad surface? By alex ezorsky Adobe After Effects why is the mask flickering? Need to fix this issue by Mohamed Yehia DaVinci Resolve Element 3D v2.2.2: Three group folders after export/import only one group folder by Hein Daddel Video Copilot.

If you’re trying to perfect the timing and movement of your animation, then markers are a great tool to use in After Effects. In short, markers allow users to set a point of reference that can hold comments and links. If you’re familiar with using markers in any major NLE, then you will be very familiar with the ins and outs of setting markers in After Effects.

Premiere users will also be thrilled to hear that markers can transfer directly to After Effects using the Adobe Dynamic Link. So, if you’re interested in how to set markers in After Effects, simply follow these quick steps.

Step 1: Move to Location

Simply move your CTI (Current Time Indicator) to the spot in which you want the marker to be placed. If your animations are going to be timed to music, this can be a really handy way to visually show where important audio cues will be. For more information regarding this technique, check out PremiumBeat’s article on previewing audio in After Effects.

Step 2: Set Marker

Keyboard Shortcut: Control+8

To set a marker, simply navigate to Layer>Add Marker or you can simply do the keyboard shortcut Control+8. Once a marker is set, you can double click on the marker to add comments, links, and cues for your marker. Please note: You don’t have to have your marker be a single point in time! By adjusting the duration box, you can set a marker to last over a span of time.

Step 3: Move Markers as Needed

After a marker is set, you can easily move it around by simply clicking on it and dragging it around. If you want to delete your marker, you can do so by right clicking and selecting delete marker or delete all markers. If you don’t want to lock your markers, simply right click and select lock all markers.

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Want to learn more After Effects quick tips? Check out a few of the following resources:

Have any tips for working with markers in After Effects? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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After Effects Snapping

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Positioning layers with snapping

You’ve created and manipulated shapes in a variety of ways. Now you’ll create a checkerboard pattern. Positioning the layers will be easy with the snapping feature in After Effects.

Creating a new composition

This checkerboard background includes multiple layers, so you’ll create a new composition for it.

  1. Press Ctrl+N (Windows) or Command+N (Mac OS) to create a new composition.
  2. In the Composition Settings dialog box, name the composition Checkerboard, choose HDTV 1080 24 from the Preset menu, and type 10:00 for Duration. Then click OK.

After Effects opens the new Checkerboard composition in the Timeline and Composition panels. You’ll start by adding two solid layers—the building blocks of the checkerboard background.

  1. Choose Layer > New > Solid to create a solid layer.
  2. In the Solid Settings dialog box, do the following, and then click OK:

    • Name the layer Dark Red.
    • Change both the Width and Height to 200 px.
    • Choose Square Pixels from the Pixel Aspect Ratio menu.
    • Select a dark red color. (We used R=145, G=0, B=0.)
  3. With the Dark Red layer selected in the Timeline panel, press R to display the Rotation property for the layer. Then change the Rotation to 45 degrees.

  4. Select the Selection tool (). Then, in the Composition panel, drag the layer up so that only the bottom half of the diamond appears in the composition.

  5. Press Ctrl+Y (Windows) or Command+Y (Mac OS) to create another solid layer.
  6. In the Solid Settings dialog box, name the layer Light Red, and change the color to a light red (we used R=180, G=75, B=75). Then click OK.

The default width and height for the new solid layer match the settings you used previously, so the Light Red layer has the same dimensions as the Dark Red layer.

  1. With the Light Red layer selected in the Timeline panel, press R to display the Rotation property. Then change the Rotation to 45 degrees.

Snapping layers into position

You’ve created two layers, but they have no relationship to each other in the composition. You’ll use the Snapping option in After Effects to quickly align the layers. When the Snapping option is enabled, the layer feature that is closest to your pointer when you click becomes the snapping feature. As you drag the layer near other layers, features on other layers are highlighted, showing you where the snapping feature would snap if you released the mouse button.

  1. Select Snapping in the options section of the Tools panel, if it’s not already selected.

  2. Using the Selection tool, select the Light Red layer in the Composition panel.

After Effects Snapping Timeline

SnappingSnipping tool after effects

When you select a layer in the Composition panel, After Effects displays the layer handles and anchor point. You can use any of these points as the snapping feature for a layer.

  1. Click near the corner handle on the left side of the Light Red layer, and drag it near the lower right edge of the Dark Red layer until it snaps into place, with the sides abutted. Be careful not to drag the corner itself, or you’ll resize the layer.

As you drag the layer, a box appears around the left corner handle you selected, indicating that it is the snapping feature.

After Effects Snapping Not Working

  1. In the Timeline panel, select both of the layers, and press R to hide the Rotation property for both layers.
  2. With both layers still selected, choose Edit > Duplicate to copy them.

  3. In the Composition panel, drag the two new layers down to the left, and then down to the right, so that the new Dark Red layer abuts the original Light Red layer. Remember that the snapping feature is determined by where you initially click when you begin to drag.

  4. Repeat steps 5–6 until you have a column of diamonds filling the screen.
  5. Choose Edit > Select All to select the layers in the Timeline panel.
  6. Press Ctrl+D (Windows) or Command+D (Mac OS) to duplicate the layers. Then move them to the left in the Composition panel until they snap into place.
  7. Repeat step 9 until the Composition panel is full. Pull the duplicate layers to the left or right as necessary. Remember to click near an appropriate snapping feature as you begin dragging each time.

  8. Choose File > Save to save your work.