Have you ever run into a moment where you need to find a specific clip or piece of media in your Adobe After Effects timeline, but cannot find it since there are so many of them? Luckily, there is a search function. Richard Harrington demonstrates how to use this search function in After Effects to find a piece of media in a timeline.
- As you work in a timeline, it can start to get a bit cluttered. Maybe you have 30 or 40 layers. Well, finding something specific can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, there's a search dialog. Now, let's make this a little bit easier. I'll mouse over the timeline and press the accent grave, or tilda key, to maximize the timeline. This is one way to see more things. But, let's say you still were having difficulty find something. Now, we can also use this to search for specific properties. For example, I could type in the word "scale", and you'll notice that all instances of scale are revealed within the timeline.
Let's close things back down there, and we'll type in "gradient". And you see, if found that one layer with the gradient overlay. Clicking clear removes that filter, so this search is more of a filter, meaning that it finds things and hides others. You also can find the ability here to search for problems, like missing effects, in case you have a plugin missing, or missing fonts. This can make it easy to find potential problems within a composition.
Notice here, you can go in for specific properties as well. So in this case, I wanted to see all the colors that were in use, so I searched for "color", and now, I can check that I'm being consistent. Making sure that my drop shadows were the same, for example, clicking here to sample that point for both, or taking a look and looking at other properties as we work. This makes it much easier to be precise as we build, and check specific values.
So, for example, I'll just copy that value form the first instance, come here to the second drop shadow, and make sure it's the same, and paste. And now they match. Let's do the same here for the paper color. Copy, and paste. And we have an exact match between the two effects. This ability to search is really quite useful. Additionally, you can press control F to access that box a little bit more quickly.
So even if it isn't active, control F will take you right to it. You can type in the property that you're looking for, and press return, and now all of my position properties have been revealed. Select everything and press u and u a second time. And you see that it collapses the animation properties back to the base layer. This is particularly useful when dealing with a smaller timeline, so that you can go ahead and find what you're looking for, without having to scroll through as many layers.
- Scrolling the timeline
- Controlling playback in the timeline
- Using shy layers
- Retiming keyframes
- Nudging keyframes
- Using the Draft 3D switch
- Frame blending with switches
- Splitting, naming, and locking layers
- Using composition markers