After Effects CS5 is coming, and Audio tips for AE

28 03 2010

Hi there, long time no see.

Time really flies. It just feels like yesterday when CS4 sounded fresh and new. Not that I’m obsessed or anything, but I’ve been really using After Effects for a few years now, and it seems to have taken over from Final Cut Pro as my software of choice. I think this is because many of my projects have turned from ‘straight’ videos into detailed post production composites.

I can’t shed any light on what is new in the program, but am as keen to find out as you are. There are lots of fake youtube videos going about, don’t be fooled by them.

I for one hope that they make the audio better. It is a continued bugbear of mine. For those in the same boat as me, here’s a few ‘top tips’ for working with audio in AE.

  • If you scrub through your timeline holding the Apple/Command Key (on a Mac) or I’d assume Ctrl on a PC then it allows you to hear the audio as you are scrubbing. I often find this invaluable when matching animation to music, and it completely saved my life when working with audio in After Effects.
  • Forget that the space bar exists. You’ll only hear the audio on playback if you press the 0 key on the side keypad instead.

There’s a great combo with the next 2 tips

  • Pressing the fullstop/period key on the side keypad will playback the audio from the point that you’re at in the timeline.
  • Pressing the * key on (you’ve guessed it) the side keypad will put a marker on the timeline during playback. This is great for beat matching and timing to audio cues. Once you’ve stopped playback they’ll appear on the layer you had selected.

Just making that from the top of my head, so I’ve probably missed lots out. Let me know if you’ve got any more. Thanks and I hope to see you more often.

Also – Nick Campbell (Greyscale Gorilla) talks about stuff on http://vimeo.com/6353614