Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] The Alt key on the PC or the Option key on the Mac are essentially the same button and they also share a similar meaning. They both offer an alternative or another option for some of the commands in the application. There are plenty of usage for the Alt key in combination with the mouse and sometimes other modifiers. And in this movie, I'll show you the first part of your alternative options inside After Effects. So I'm going to call it here the Alt key, but obviously this is the Option on the Mac, and I am working on the Mac. So if I'm going to hold Alt key and I'm going to go to the After Effects menu and choose About After Effects, this would be by the way the Help menu if you're working on the Windows side. So hold down Alt and choose About After Effects then let go. Now assuming no project was open as it was in my case, you will see the After Effects special credits movie. Now this of course will change depending on the version that you are working with and I'm going to also switch off the visibility for this adjustment layer and I'm just going to press space bar so we can get a sense of what we are working with. So here we can see all the names of the people that work on this release of After Effects also know as Double Espresso. And I'm going to use this timeline in order to demonstrate few of the alternatives options inside the application. So I'm going to press space bar in order to pause the playback. The first that I'm going to show is how you can use the Alt key in order to change the zoom in the composition panel. For that I'm going to switch here the pull down menu to Auto. And let's say that I want to zoom into this tighter. Well hold down the Alt key and use your mouse scroller. Scroll up to zoom in, scroll down to zoom out. If you zoomed too far, you can still hold the Alt key and then press on the forward slash or the question mark and this is going to fit your zoom up to 100%. Now note that some of the tools here has these options and you can quickly get access to those options if you want to by holding down the Alt key and clicking on the tool. And this is going to cycle between all of the alternative options that you have. And this can be very useful if you're working with shape layers. And to demonstrate it, I'm going to switch back to the selection tool. Then I'm going to turn off the visibility for the shy layer here. And here we can see in this timeline we also have a Red Monster shape layer. I'm going to switch it on and then I'm going to switch off the effects for it. Then I'm going to zoom into it by holding down the Alt key and using my scroller on the mouse. I'm also going to hold down the space bar and drag so we can see in its full glory. And then if I'm going to drill down the options we can see that under the contents we can select the individual groups. And I happen to know that group number 16 is the body. So let's say that we want to quickly look for different kinds of fill. Well if you're going to hold down the Alt key and click on the fill color, it will cycle between the four different options of the fill. Now note that if I'm going to click again, then it will fill it back with the last color that you use. So in this case, I'm going to undo couple of times until I'm going to bring him back to its original position. Now I'm going to hold down Alt and press on the question mark in order to fit the zoom back to 100% as you can see over here. And then I'm going to select one of the layers, let's say the octopus layer and I want to trim it. So if I want to trim the end of it, I can hold down the Alt key and then press on the closing right bracket. This is going to do this number. I'm going to undo and show you this. I'm going to do it from the opposite key, meaning hold down the Alt and then click on the opening bracket. This is going to trim the in of the layer. All right, you can use the Alt key if you want to replace stuff in the composition. For example if I'm going to fold down this comps folder, making sure that I have something selected in the timeline, holding down the Alt key and then I'm just going to select this one for example, this Bend Bubble, and I'm going to drag and release. I'm going to replace whatever I have selected over here with this shape, maintaining all the properties and keyframes that I've created to this one. Now this doesn't make any sense, I'm going to undo back to where it was and I'm going to show you that you can do the same thing in the project folder. So I'm going to highlight the project folder. Once again I'm going to hold down the Alt key. And let's say that I only want this green advanced bubble to be inside this composition. So if this is the case, I can still hold the Alt key and I can drop this on top of the other comps that we have here. And this is also going to open it, so I'm just going to close both of these compositions and then I'm going to do the same thing again to this bent bubble. I'm also going to close this one. And now we can see that I've managed to replace all of the instances here inside the project file once again by holding down the Alt key. Now the last two things that I want to show you are related to moving layers here inside the timeline. The first one is to move layers to the right or to the left. And in order to see what I mean I'm going to select this management comp and I'm also going to zoom into it so we can see exactly what is happening. And then I'm going to hold down the Alt key and press on page up to move it one frame to the left. Page down will move it one frame to the right. And if you want you can also add the Shift key. So now I'm holding Alt + Shift and pressing page up and this is going to move it 10 frames to the left. And of course page down will move it 10 frames to the right. Now if you don't have access to an extended keyboard, so you don't have page up and page down, you can use Alt + Function and the upper or lower arrows in the keyboard. The last three that we are going to see here is to move the layers and up down in the stack. If this is what you want to do, hold down the Alt key once again. Now add the Command on the Mac, this will be the Control on the PC and use the upper or the lower cursor keys in order to nudge this layer up or down in the vertical stack. And if you want to bring it all the way up, hold down the Shift key and do the same thing. So Option + Command or Option + Control + Shift and the upper or the lower arrows will do this number for your. So this is it for this week's tip. Next week I'm going to show you even more cool stuff you can achieve if you're willing to hold down the Alt or Option while working inside After Effects.