By default, Adobe After Effects assigns label colors based on the type of content that is used. However, these labels can be much more useful if you adjust them to fit your needs. In this video, join Richard Harrington as he walks you through how to organize your timeline in After Effects with labels.
- By default, After Effects assigns label colors based on the type of content that's used. However, labels can be much more useful if you take precise control over them. To start, go to the Edit menu, and choose Label. And you'll see all of the different labels available to you. By default, After Effects and Premiere Pro use similar labels and these are based upon some simple colors.
What you can also do though, is go to Preferences, and you'll see that there is a preference for labels. Here, you can assign completely new colors. Allowing you to decide which color is in play. For example, I'll make some of these different colors. So instead of using red up here, I'll set that to cyan. And what I can also do is make sure that red is reserved only for problems.
Instead of calling this red, I can label this Needs Review. And when I click OK, it'll update. Just make sure that you set the defaults to what makes sense. Now, some people find this number of colors a little bit distracting. So you can actually set some objects to have no label if you'd like. Let's go ahead and leave our video as aqua, and we'll set audio to aqua as well.
We'll leave stills alone, but I'll take off the colors here for folder, and solid. There we go. And let's make that a little more visible. We'll go with a bright blue, and I'll click OK. And when I do that, you see the label colors change here in the timeline. Now, remember, you can expand this here, and it makes it easier to see what's happening.
If you want to change a label, you can simply click on it. And this allows you, with the right click, to choose from the pop-up list. Imagine if you went through, and instead of just having colors, put in other useful choices here. Like, needs review, draft approval, final approval, spell check, et cetera. Now, in this one case, I've just got needs review. So I'm going to mark a couple of things here. This empty text layer, needs to be reviewed.
And I'm going to set some of these others alone. Now, we may have to unlock something here if we want to make a change, but what I can do is mark all the layers that I want to double-check with needs review. Let's do the same here for text. Now, the benefit is that this gets a little bit easier to see things. For example, with a right click on that label color, I can say select label group. And you'll notice something pretty cool.
All of the layers that had that same label have been marked and highlighted in the timeline. Plus, we can now take advantage of that solo layers feature. So, all the selected layers are now soloed. This means that it'd be very easy to drag through and check those elements up here in the composition panel. Removing away any other distractions except for the ones that we marked as need review. Again, this is quite useful and makes it easy to select multiple items.
The key here is to go under Preferences, and Labels, and do a little bit of cleanup. Adjust the colors and put a few other options in here that match your post-production, and your review and approval workflows, and then it'll be much easier to label things so you know the status of elements in a timeline.
- 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