If you remember the first time that you opened up After Effects I am sure that you will remember thinking how confusing everything seemed. There were so many buttons that you had no idea what they did. Key frames seemed to never work how you wanted them. Masks worked on some sort of sorcery for all you knew. Well now you know more and more about After Effects and you understand how it works. However, unless you are the team who made After Effects there is a good chance that you are learning something new everyday.

I found five short and quick tutorials on YouTube that show one quick tip that will help you learn how to navigate and operate After Effects easier. These aren’t any tips that will show you how to create something cool like long shadows but they will help you work more efficiently.

Switches and Modes

Before I knew how to use these I accidentally clicked on it and was freaking out because I had no idea where everything went that I needed. Mikey shows us very quickly the different switches and modes in After Effects.


This is a great technique for using a placeholder when you know that you will be getting a graphic latter from the client or somewhere else. Instead of waiting on them use a placeholder and animate until you get it.

Saving Custom Presets

Custom presets are amazing if you want to reuse any combination of effects that you made on a clip. This is exceptionally helpful if it something that you use a lot or if you spent a lot of time building it with expressions.

Pick Whip to Another Comp

If you have ever wanted to pick whip to another comp but didn’t know how then this is the video to show you how. Pre-comps are great and knowing how to work between them will speed things up a lot.

Four Ways to search

Searching will speed things up a lot so you don’t have to do it by yourself. I noticed that as soon as I started using the searching function I was able to work a lot faster and not be bothered by trying to remember where effects were and where I imported that illustrator file.

Those are the five videos that I have found that have helped me speed up my workflow in After Effects. I am sure that there are more out there or other quick tips that you know. Leave a comment below with what tips have helped you out the most.

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