Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using shy layers, part of After Effects Guru: Mastering the Timeline (2013).
As you work, you may end up with several layers in your timeline, and it gets a little bit tiring to constantly have to scroll up and down. Additionally as you work, it may be useful to see one layer next to another, ignoring all the layers in between. Let's mouse over the timeline and press the Tilde or Grave key to temporarily maximize it. And with all the layers selected, I'll press U to hide keyframes. You'll notice in this case that I have several layers, and what I'd like to be able to do is see the Cell Follow layer adjacent to this text.
By default in the timeline, that's almost impossible as I'd have to constantly scroll up and down, or adjust the size of the Timeline panel. However, there is another option which is quite useful, and that's the ability to enable Shy layers. You'll see this little icon here that literally matches the Kilroy Was Here icon made famous World War. I can click that to make the layer hide behind the fence, and you'll see that it becomes Shy.
Now, as we drag through there, those are the blood cells floating through the stream. I've marked those layers as Shy. Clicking the Global switch up here will hide all of the layers that are set to Shy. You'll notice now that I can see layer three adjacent to layer 11. The layers are still consecutively numbered because layers four though ten still exist. They're just temporarily hidden with the shy switch.
This is a great way to minimize your timeline, and make it easier for other users coming in. If you're building a template and you don't want people to have to constantly scroll and look for things, you can mark several layers as shy so they're not distracting to another user. It's also a great way to clean things up as you're working, if you need to see two layers adjacent to each other to make it easier as you begin to key frame animation. For example, I may want to precisely align these keyframes.
So holding down the Shift key and snapping, I can now grab these keyframes and drag them. And that was much easier to do, because I have these two layers visibly adjacent.
This course was created by Rich Harrington. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Scrolling the timeline
- Switching from frames to timecode
- Using shy layers
- Retiming keyframes
- Nudging keyframes
- Using the Draft 3D, Brainstorm, and Graph Editor switches
- Frame blending with switches
- Splitting, naming, and locking layers
- Using composition markers