You can also drag the current-time display in the Timeline panel to modify the value. Shift-drag the current-time indicator to snap to keyframes, markers, In and Out points, the beginning or end of the composition, or the beginning or end of the work area. Note: If you scrub the CTI while a preview is playing, preview stops. Note: When you click the Time Navigator in the Timeline panel, the Info panel shows the times of the beginning and end of the Time Navigator duration.
For additional ways to zoom and scroll in time using the mouse scroll wheel, see Scroll or zoom with the mouse wheel. Note: When zoomed in time, press D to center the time graph on the current time. Primary Viewer functions similarly to Always Preview This View , except that Primary Viewer only defines which viewer or view is used for audio and external video preview. Note: When multiple views are open, previews use the frontmost composition view for 2D compositions and the Active Camera view for 3D compositions.
After Effects provides several options for previewing that make various tradeoffs between speed and fidelity.
After Effects features that use GPU
Each preview mode provides a different balance between quality and speed for playback and for updating of images during interactions, such as when you drag a layer in the Composition panel or modifying a property value in the Timeline panel. Disables lights, shadows, and depth-of-field blur for cameras. Updates images in the Composition or Layer panel during interactions. When Live Update is deselected, After Effects displays wireframe representations during interactions. When you make a change that would otherwise appear in a panel, After Effects adds a red bar at the bottom of the panel with a text reminder that image refresh is disabled.
After Effects continues to update panel controls such as motion paths, anchor points, and mask outlines as you move them. To resume panel updates and display all changes, press Caps Lock again. Pressing Caps Lock is a good way to prevent views from being refreshed for each frame during rendering for final output. See Preview on an external video monitor. The Fast Previews options range from higher quality but slower performance Off , to lower quality but higher performance Wireframe.
Fast Previews is off.
Use this mode when previewing the final quality of your composition. Attempts to downsample footage while dragging a layer or scrubbing a property value. For the ray-traced 3D compositions, Adaptive Resolution reduces the ray-tracing quality based on the current adaptive resolution:. Available in ray-traced 3D compositions only.
This option reduces the ray-tracing quality number of rays fired by the ray tracer to 1. When laying out a complex scene, or if you are working in a ray-traced 3D composition, you can use Fast Draft mode for previewing. In ray-traced 3D compositions, Fast draft mode renders beveled, extruded, and curved 3D layers. When previewing, the scene is downsampled to speed up the loading of textures to the GPU.
Creating the User Presets Folder
In Fast Draft mode, each frame of video is still read into the renderer as needed. Note: Changing the Fast Previews mode to match your workflow is important, especially when working with ray-traced 3D compositions. In the Previews preferences category, you can choose the quality and speed of color management and zoom operations used in previews.
The Zoom Quality preference affects the quality of scaling performed for pixel aspect ratio correction in the Composition and Layer panels. The region of interest ROI is the area of the composition, layer, or footage item that is rendered for previews. Create a smaller region of interest to use less processing power and memory when previewing, thereby improving interaction speed and increasing preview duration.
Basics of rendering and exporting
By default, changing the region of interest does not affect file output. You can change the size of your composition and select what portion is rendered by cropping to the region of interest. Note: When the region of interest is selected, the Info panel displays the horizontal and vertical distances of the top T , left L , bottom B , and right R edges of the region from the upper-left corner of the composition. Note: To create the equivalent of a region of interest for a single layer, you can draw a temporary mask around the part of the layer that you are working with.
The area outside the mask is not rendered.
After Effects CS6 (on Mac) won't render the composition
This can make working with a small portion of a large layer much faster. See Creating masks. The work area is the part of the duration of a composition that is rendered for previews or final output. In the Timeline panel, the work area appears in a lighter shade of gray.
To expand the work area to the size of the composition, double-click the center of the work area bar. When you want to compare one view to another in a Composition, Layer, or Footage panel, take a snapshot. For example, you may want to compare two frames at different times in a movie. Snapshots taken in one kind of panel can be displayed in another kind. For example, you can take a snapshot of a Layer panel and display the snapshot in a Composition or Footage panel. Displaying a snapshot does not replace the content of the panel.
If the snapshot has a different size or aspect ratio than the panel in which you display it, the snapshot is resized to fit the current view. Snapshots are for reference only and do not become part of the layer, composition, or rendered movie. You can preview the contents of your Layer, Footage, or Composition panel on an external video monitor. Previewing on a video monitor requires additional hardware, such as a video capture card or a FireWire port. If you are using a video capture card to connect an external video monitor, install the appropriate drivers and connect the monitor to view previews.
If you are using a FireWire port, first connect a digital camcorder or similar device to the port; then connect the video monitor to the device. For more information on setting up FireWire previews, see the documentation for your digital camcorder, VCR, or other devices.
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Choose Disable video output when in the Background option to prevent video frames from being sent to the external monitor when After Effects is not the foreground application. The video preview sent to an external monitor using Mercury Transmit is color-managed treating the external video preview monitor as an HDTV Rec. For more information, see the Video preview using Mercury Transmit article. Note: The Wireframe preview mode does not preview at all to the video preview monitor. See Preview modes and Choose a working color space and enable color management. Previewing Search.
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Preview video and audio. Use preview to play video and audio. To start a preview of video and audio, do any of the following:. Each keyboard shortcut results in a different Preview behavior, based on the Preview settings assigned to each of the keys. You can configure the Preview behavior for each keyboard shortcut by modifying settings in the Preview panel.
For more information, see Configure Preview Behaviors. When you click the Play button, settings assigned for the Shortcut currently displayed in the Preview panel, are used. Configure Preview behaviors. To configure settings for Preview, do the following:. Preview panel. In the Preview panel, you can modify the following settings to configure Preview behavior:. Include Video : When enabled, the preview plays video.