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Shortening the duration of layers

From: After Effects CS5 Essential Training

Video: Shortening the duration of layers

We are now going to look at basic video editing, also referred to as Trimming. I have Imported a movie clip here, and we are going to make a Composition out of this. Be aware that it is 54 seconds long. That's what this triangle means here. Zero hours zero minutes, 54 seconds and zero frames. So, go ahead and drag this piece of footage to the New Composition icon, down here at the bottom of the Project panel. To add this to a new Composition, if you need to, go ahead and put your mouse over the Composition panel, the Viewer.

Shortening the duration of layers

We are now going to look at basic video editing, also referred to as Trimming. I have Imported a movie clip here, and we are going to make a Composition out of this. Be aware that it is 54 seconds long. That's what this triangle means here. Zero hours zero minutes, 54 seconds and zero frames. So, go ahead and drag this piece of footage to the New Composition icon, down here at the bottom of the Project panel. To add this to a new Composition, if you need to, go ahead and put your mouse over the Composition panel, the Viewer.

And use the mouse to zoom out of this, so that you can see all of this if you need to. And this clip basically starts with some ocean waves, right in the middle. And a lot of times, when you cut to something, it's good to kind of have it in a neutral state. So, I might prefer to start this clip here, because it is kind of like a bird going on in a scene right up here in the front. But I like that the water is a little bit more neutral. And then as the scene progresses, then waves come in. I like that little better. So, I'm going to go, actually, to about four seconds and eight frames in.

And this is where I want to start the video. So, here is how we Trim video. We want to make sure that the Selection tool shows in the black arrow. Make sure that's Selected in the tools panel here. Again, that's going to allow us to do a lot of little tricks like we are about to do here, that we couldn't do with other tools. So, what I am going to do is put my Cursor at the beginning of the clip, so that I have a double-sided arrow. It's facing left and right. That indicates that if I click and drag on this point, I'll actually Trim or Cut those parts of the video. Once you do that, there will be a faded version of the color of that clip.

In his case, it is like this aqua color. There will be a faded area that indicates that there is content there, but we are just not seeing it. If I were to click and drag on this clip and move it to the right, you would see that there is this gray area here. And we will be able to see the line where the clip would run out. So, we could extend it back to that point, but we couldn't go any further, because there is no original content there. So, again, this faded area tells us that there is source material there, if we wanted to expand this point.

Now I'm going to Undo what I did. But instead of using Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to back up, what I am going to do is I am going to press Option+Home on the Mac or Alt+Home on the PC, to take the beginning of our layer and make it start at the first frame of the Composition. Now again, my Current Time Indicator is still at four seconds and 8 frames in. So, I am going to Trim, and while I Trim, I am going to hold the Shift key. That will cause your Trimming to Snap to the Current Time Indicator. So, in case you are worried about getting exactly to that exact frame, you could hold the Shift key down and fix it that way.

Now you can also Trim the end of clips. So, if you want to chop off some of the end here, same thing. We could see the leftover footage that we've Trimmed. And we can go and Undo that at any time if you want to as well. But this is a way of shortening Layer Duration of Trimming off the beginning and Trimming off the end of clips. Now technically, this is not Trimming. But if you're working with video editing, and you find yourself wanting to split a layer, you could select the layer and hit Command+D or Ctrl+D on the PC, to Duplicate the layer.

And then you can Trim. So, in other words, if you want to use the beginning of the clip at one spot, and the end of it later, we could Trim this so that, like here we have the beginning of the clip at one spot. And then later on, we have the end of the clip in another spot. And we can Trim and expand these as well. But what we can also do is go to the Edit menu and choose Split layer, and that will split the layer at the Current Time Indicator. So, basically, Duplicate the layer and everything before the Current Time Indicator will go on one layer, and everything after it will go on another layer.

Now I strongly recommend that you only use the video editing tools in After Effect as a last-ditch measure, only when you need to get things exactly the way you want them. After Effects is not meant to be a video editing program. When you play back video, it has to load into RAM before you could see it in real speed. It's not meant to be a video editor. So, the techniques I am showing you here in this movie and in this chapter, they are for using in conjunction with other techniques. So, while you're working on Compositing, while you're working on Motion Graphics, you need to be able to kind of fine tune things a little bit - then you could use these skills and features.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS5 Essential Training
After Effects CS5 Essential Training

111 video lessons · 67823 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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