How to cut clips in After Effects

Sneha Zacharia

18/11/2022

4 min read

Latest

How to cut clips in After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a software primarily used to add special effects and motion graphics to your work. While this is its primary use, it still allows you to perform basic edits similar to CUT. It isn’t as easy as in Adobe Premiere Pro but, both Premiere Pro and After Effects have their merits.

We’ll walk you through some simple tried and tested methods to quickly cut your clips in Adobe After Effects. 

Cut Clips in After Effects: How does it work?

Adobe After Effects does not have a traditional Cut feature. This means that you’ll have to split layers. It’s pretty simple to use this feature as “cut.”

How do you Split a Layer in Adobe After Effects?

Step 1: Set up your composition and have a layer loaded on your timeline 

Step 2: Select your layer

Cut clips in after effects
Select your layer

Step 3: Position your timeline indicator where you want to split (“cut”) your layer 

Cut clips in after effects
Position your timeline indicator where you want it

Step 4: Click on the Edit tab

Step 5: Locate ‘Split Layer’ and click it

Cut clips in after effects
Find the Edit tab and then select Split Layer

Step 6: You can also use a keyboard shortcut to ‘Split Layer’ [Ctrl + Shift + D]

Upon completing these steps you’ll notice that the layer has been duplicated and has been “cut”/ split into two different layers. 

Quicker Ways to Cut a Clip in After Effects

Here are some other ways you can cut your clips in After Effects. These are slightly quicker as they primarily utilize keyboard shortcuts and are more time efficient.

  1. Create Duplicate Layers

Creating Duplicate Layers can also be a way to go. Going about it this way can ease your workload by quite a bit. 

Windows:

Hold Ctrl + D after selecting the layer you want to duplicate.

Mac:

Hold Command + D after selecting the layer you want to duplicate.

Select the end of your layer and trim the clip to the exact frame you want. 

  1. Playhead Shortcuts:

Place your playhead on the exact frame you want to cut from or to.

Windows:

  • Use shortcut ALT + [ to cut your clip from the beginning to the playhead.
  • Utilize shortcut ALT + ] to cut your clip from the end to where the playhead is positioned.

Mac:

  • To trim your clip from the beginning utilize Option + [
  • To trim your clip from the end use Option + ]

Note: Using the brackets [] will essentially cut the clip to where your playhead is placed. 

Final Thoughts

Cutting clips in After Effects now has never seemed easier. These shortcuts will always expedite your process once you’re familiar with them. Whether you’re looking to add motion graphics to your work in After Effects or cut a clip in Premiere Pro, Postudio has a solution for you! Head on over to Postudio today and utilise the best softwares the post-production universe has to offer at a fraction of the price.

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