After effects tips

Font (blocks) for quick text mockups instead of using Lorem Ipsum (free).

I use this BLOKK font for mockups in projects and hope you find it useful too.It's free (

Use continuous frames

The goal for any animator is to have smooth, liquid animation. Many people will simply use the Ease In/Out keyframes, which can cause kinks and bumps in animation with more than one keyframe. The trick is to use continuous keyframes. Ctrl/ right-click on your keyframe and select Keyframe Interpolation. Under Temporal Interpolation select Continuous Bezier. You can now easily remove any kinks in your animation.

Experiment with the set matte filter

Create a 32-bit composition and add some text. Add a solid above your text layer then add the Fractal Noise effect. Turn up the contrast and turn down the brightness. Animate the Evolution property over time by using an expression such as time*90 (which will give you one complete evolution every four seconds). Add the Set Matte effect to the solid layer (Effect> Channel>Set Matte) and choose your text layer as the source layer. Add a vertical fast blur, glow and levels, and colour correct to create some amazing evolving effects.

Scrub quickly

A simple tip is to hit Shift+Page Down to move 10 frames forward, or Shift+Page Up to move 10 frames back. This is a really quick way to scrub through your timeline without touching anything. AE is feisty – the less you touch it, the more you get out of it. Be gentle and patient, and you’ll get what you want.

Replace assets quickly

To replace an asset on the timeline with another, first highlight the asset on the timeline and then highlight the asset in your project window. Hold Alt/Opt and drag it from your project window to the timeline – release and it’s replaced.

Use layer styles

Many After Effects users forget that Layer Styles are available. Similar to Photoshop, Layer Styles enable you to add a series of effects directly to a layer and have them rendered as live effects. You can also keyframe the style properties, making them ideal for quick, common effects such as drop shadows, inner shadows and stroke. Access Layer Styles by highlighting a layer in the Timeline panel and choosing Layer>Layer Styles, and pick from Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, Inner Glow, Bevel and Emboss, Satin, Color Overlay, Gradient Overlay or Stroke.