Speed Up After Effects Workflow
If you ask a motion designer one thing that he would like to improve about his work, probably he would ask about Speeding Up After Effects Workflow. That’s something that every professional wants. Same is the case with Adobe After Effects; ya maybe a bit more. Especially if you are a newbie. Everyone doesn’t have a very resourceful machine.So, it becomes very important to optimize your workflow to speed it up. Today we’ll look at some of the points to speed up your after effects workflow.
Maybe First Thing you can do to speed up after effects workflow is to learn some quick keyboard shortcuts. Though there are keyboard shortcuts for almost everything in after effects; but for repetitive tasks these shortcuts are really very handy. Some of the common ones are shortcuts for revealing properties like A for Anchor point, S for Scale,P for Position,R for Rotation and T for Opacity and also U for revealing keyframed properties and UU for tweaked properties.
If you didn’t know this then you would have been really struggling with finding some options. In after effects you can really change the way your tools are organized.Just like in a workshop; a mechanic keeps his most used tools nearest to him. same you can do in after effects you can undock any panels and place them according to your convenience.
Purge Memory and Cache
You may or may not have heard of the disk cache in After Effects but you have definitely used it. When you ram preview something ; those frames are cached or saved in memory so that it can give you real time preview. You need to clear this cache from time to time to relieve storage otherwise you’ll not be able to preview when it’s full. For that you go to Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache and done.
Custom Output Settings
Setting render module everytime you want to output a file isn’t a convenient way of working. Inspite of that you can save your custom output modules as templates and use them in just one click of your mouse.Just go to Edit>Templates>Render Settings…
Lower Preview Resolution
Another handy option to check quick previews.This really makes it faster to animate as you can get previews quickly and when you are happy with the results you can check at full resolution.
Use the Region of Interest for Heavy Comps
If you want to see how the final render looks but your comp is very high you can use this region of interest feature by which you can select a particular area and see render of only that area.That will really make your workflow faster if you have a very heavy comp.
Reducing or expanding timing of a complex animation
This is something that can make your life easier while animating. If you have made a complex animation and now want to reduce or expand the timing of that animation rather than moving each keyframe manually which will take a whole lot of time you can select all keyframes hold alt and move the last keyframe.It will adjust all ketframes.
Use Animation Presets
This doesn’t need any explanation. Rather than animating again and again; you can save animation presets and use them when needed. This will save great time you can further customize that preset. Each time you have to do animation you’ll already have a good starting point.
Take and show snapshots
If you want to compare two frames either in same comp or different ones inspite of rendering those frames or saving them you can use snapshot option in after effects . You can use Shift + F5-F8 to save snapshot and F5-F8 to view them.
Keep source files on fast local storage
If you are using any source files in your project you should keep them on a fast local drive like an SSD.It will greatly improve the speed of after effects.
Use Third-Party Plugins
A huge benefit of using after effects is that there are tonnes of third party plugins available in the market. Some of them are free.These not only improve the workflow but also extend the functionality of the application. Some of these plugins make things so quick and easy that otherwise may take whole lot of effort and time.Other ones improve the workflow.One such plugins is Video Copilot’s FX Console.This is a simple yet time saving plugin. Many professional Motion Designers use this amazing plugin to speed up their workflow.There are many other free ones; you can see some great ones here in our list of 5 Best Free After Effects Plugins for Motion Designers.
Above were the points from my experience that I had seen greatly enhance and speed up after effects workflow.Apart from these there are some other points also like fast draft,memory optimization and using adobe media encoder that can also help in accelerating after effects workflow. But above given things will greatly enhance your workflow.You should start using them right away. And also the most important thing is to get a better machine as adobe after effects is a very resource intense program.
Tell me in the comments what helped you the most in speeding up after effects workflow.