AE Quick Tips

Sometimes during my work in AE, I solve little problems and add them to memory without telling anyone. Well before I forget, I want to make a short list. You’ll probably see more posts like this now that I have an outlet. These may be simple but I found them to be quite useful and allowed me to break certain routines.

1. Fade in Fade out Adjustments:
So you have a video element that has 2 keyframes in the beginning that fade the clip in and 2 more at the end to fade it out. Now you want to lower the opacity but you normally have to adjust both keyframes. Instead I just add an expression by alt clicking the stopwatch and typing value*.5 this cuts all values by 50 percent.

2. Helping Failed Renders due to image buffer errors:
Often times HD projects will fail on render due to image buffer errors or all sorts of things. Here are a couple things to try during clutch situations.

  • Change the AE secret preference to purge after 1-4 frames. (hold down SHIFT while accessing the edit menu/preferences. The “Secret” menu appears.
  • Another thing to try is render to an image sequence like PNG or TIFF, this way if the render fails when going to a QuickTime, you still have good frames that you can add to by rendering the incomplete portion.
  • Another thing to try (if you have access) is loading your project into a 64bit machine since it can handle more memory and actually allowed me to finish a render when my 32bit machine couldn’t.

3. Working Late
Order a pizza before they close so that you can have a late snack after most places close. Be considerate of toppings that will still taste good after refrigeration. When you have rendering problems they can last all night but then you pull out a cheesy friend and somehow it’s not so bad.

POSTED:
6 years ago
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71 Comments

student
3 years ago
is there a substitute effect for the 3d stroke add-on? something to simulate the same effect?
Pepperoni dude, cant go wrong with that. Its a great idea too, sticking post it notes on your blog.
tim
5 years ago
I don't want to sound stupid but 64 bit machine???
I just bought snow leopard and that went from 32 to 64 bit (Mac).
Or do I see them come flying of the wall now?
Lar Byrne
5 years ago
ha ha ha gottalove the pizza tip, Says it real serious and stuff ha brilliant.
6 years ago
I agree wholeheartedly; extra cheesy pizza keeps you going at night! Cheese inside the crust has saved my soul more than once :-)
ben
6 years ago
here is a great link for stopping the image buffer crash!!


http://generalspecialist.com/2006/11/avoiding-after-effects-error-could-not.asp
Haxn
6 years ago
lol... @ key combination to order pizza
hey Andrew, thanks for the AE secret preference tip
Zyk
6 years ago
Sorry, people... what's the key combination to order a pizza?
Ah... I work with CS3 yet.;)

PD: If I'm not so hungry, can I use the tip #1?
6 years ago
Great tips, and I appreciate all the additional tips here in the comment area.
Eddie
6 years ago
how much do you pay for the electric bill, lol!
matt
6 years ago
Another secret - hold down Alt, click on Help and then "About after effects"....check it out ;)
aidan
6 years ago
when are you going to give us the promo? If you give it to us sooner, we'll have longer to think about buying... :*
6 years ago
i often get open gl-errors if i don't deactivate it for preview... so i suppose my graphics card isn't the best for AE.

however, thanks for those helpful tips!
Mario
6 years ago
It´s good to hear, that sometimes you have the same render problems that I have...
Thanks!
And you do the Pizza trick like i´ve done it many times!
6 years ago
hi, im not getting tips
6 years ago
i could not get "secret" menu, sir!
saksam
6 years ago
i luvd tips.
6 years ago
Priceless advice. The secret setting has saved me many times. On the snack front I find the nearest CVS at the start of the week and load up on my planters peanuts and goldfish snacks.
PLus a granola bar for a touch of sweet. I have gained too much weight watching renders and visiting the vending machine. ha
Menelaos Artilussion
6 years ago
You are speaking the truth man...
Your TIPS are one step ahead of the problem
Like A prophesy lol
zozo
6 years ago
Refrigerate your pizza?!?! C'mon Andrew... I thought you were brilliant? :)
6 years ago
It is nice to see that you are using PNG files for your image sequence renders as well.
Suvir
6 years ago
and AK any info abt - "THE LOST SAM"
Suvir
6 years ago
i think working late - a cappuccino would serve a greater deal....
aidan
6 years ago
are you kidding? Subway stinks!!! good old-fashioned cheese pizza is the way to go.

this seems to have turned into a food discussion, who would have guessed that this is a VFX website? lol!
Kinnikan
6 years ago
Plain is always great. I love Peperoni too.
Bo
6 years ago
ok, ANDY CASTRO, I do speculate on the possibility of you being of non-human origin for not liking pizza, however you are forgiven as subway is just as awesome if you ask me hehe =P (wow that was a run on sentence)

hehe Peace
aidan
6 years ago
ARE YOU A ROBOT ANDY CASTRO??? HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE PIZZA???
Alldin
6 years ago
thnx andrew for the tip ^^
Julian Springer
6 years ago
Thanks for the Secret menu tip. I feel like a kid again!!! Christmas has come early. Thanks Andrew.
6 years ago
I know this sounds weird, but i don't like pizza. lol, everyone thinks i'm not human cause i dont like pizza.

so i'll just get some sub-way and work all night.
6 years ago
Pouyan,

"Hold shift"

What you're suggesting sounds like a camping tradition.

Russ
Pouyan Fard
6 years ago
Andrew,

I have the render buffer issue all the time. I dont seem to be able to get to the secret menu. What exactly should i do? Hole Shit while I go to AE Preferences?

Thanks a bunch in advance
GBurg
6 years ago
Almost any project I try to render always has this buffer problem, It's always a pain in the but to try to work around it. I can't thank you enough for these tips.
McManus
6 years ago
Sometimes I solve buffer erros just disabling the preview when I render the comps, pressing BloqMaj key... Renders go more fast and no more problems...

pd: sorry of my english...
pdd: allllways vegetable pizza. More digestive at night!!
wiseninja1
6 years ago
Hey thanks for the opacity help :D And i think a good peperoni would do the job :D
6 years ago
Secret menu for OSX:

Hold down control+alt+shift, go to the preferences and select memory & cache

Once you are there select from the drop down menu

In there you'll see the other preferences - the secret menu.
    Siddharth
    3 years ago
    But i didn't find this "secret" menu, even if i m accessing edit-preference-media and disc cache holding ctrl+alt+shift key.

6 years ago
Tip number 2 was really helpful. Thanks for the instructions
6 years ago
cs3 and cs4 are 32bit programs however AE is the only one that can be tweeked to use all your ram. you need 1 or more multicore processors and you can allocate 3 gigs to each thread i.e. if you have a dual core processor thats like having 2 processors in one and each can use 3 gigs. if you are like me i have two quad cores and 16 gigs of ram. i have ae tweeked to use 14 gigs leaving me 2 gigs left for other stuff. now cs4 does use more ram within premiere etc. but AE is still the only program that has the menus to tweek it. and in cs4 the "secret" menu is no longer secret lol.
6 years ago
Thanks for the tips
6 years ago
Tip 3 is what I would call perfect. Pizza does seem to make all things better, even cold pizza. Next time do a list of tips like the pizza tip!
6 years ago
I just want to say that i like your work and also im one of your students. Thanks xD
6 years ago
The secret pallet is great.

If you turn on scripts then load the pallet you can have After Effects send an email to a set address when the render is finished! Great if your heading out of the office for lunch, you know when to go back!

Thanks for the tips Andrew
Nuggsy
6 years ago
Having a futon and an alarm clock in the edit suite, if there's enough room, can also be a very efficient way to cut down on some render times - sleep through them.
Thorsten Miess
6 years ago
thanks helpful! PIZZA!
aidan
6 years ago
wow, I never would have thought of that! Thanks for your extremely helpful tip. I'm talking about that third tip of course.
6 years ago
Thanks Andrew. I always forget about the "Secret" mode....maybe because it's so secret, my mind forgets it is there...or maybe it's the anchovies on the refrigerated pizza...YUCK...Thanks Andrew. These tips are going in my archives....and yes, I will start reading the archives instead of just putting them on my desktop.
KevinLee
6 years ago
NO seriously, I have pulled all nighters to prepare video, and the pizza tip is excellent with the toppings that taste good after the initial baking. Wow Andrew, you are fantastic.
6 years ago
Wow thanks for the tips andrew, they are really helpful.
dex
6 years ago
best tip ever... I mean about Pizza :)
Ant
6 years ago
The pizza tip is pure gold.
Bo
6 years ago
Thanks man. It's the little things that make all the difference. Have a good weekend. I hope the kiddo is doing well.

Bo
6 years ago
Yeah! great Andrew....
Gianni
6 years ago
Pizza...I love pizza...italian pizza!!!

WOW...a secret menu!!!
You're great!
Bye
Ben Wotton
6 years ago
Great tips...

mmmm...Meatlovers pizza with jalapenos...bliss
Sandy
6 years ago
thnx Andrew - nice ones
6 years ago
Lovin' the secret menu tip.
Infaas
6 years ago
nice
6 years ago
That memory purge tip is great... but I can't find it under MAC OS X... Do you also know the settings under MAC OS X?
Michael
6 years ago
Amen.
Daniel
6 years ago
Secret menu cool :D
Nono
6 years ago
For your tip "2.3"...I thought Adobe doesn't support the 64bits yet...When I start one of the Adobe's software, I can only use 3 of my 4 MB...Am I wrong ???
Thanks a lot for these tips ! :o)
De Huzz
6 years ago
sweet.. i'll just have to work more on fade in/fade outs, render long hours.. then eat more pizza! oh and post in the early mornings.. way to go, i'm the next VCP champ ;)


sweet tips thanks :)
noddy
6 years ago
bizzar tip#3 AK, I just ordered a pizza for a long night of work ahead... trippy timing! Now, if wee can only get the n00bs to rad this before posting all over the forum???? yeah right, like that'll happen... pft!
Jack Daniel Jenkins
6 years ago
Most meat toppings keep.. and sometimes it's even better when you don't reheat it.

And what's with this "secret" shift menu business? How do you find all these little treasures?

Thanks for the tips. You should publish a book.. on post-it notes.

jd
TrojanScam
6 years ago
Haha Andrew, you mind giving me a slice of pizza while your at it?
6 years ago
I have to try that last tip :-D
Mark Dean
6 years ago
Wow, great tips. I find pepperoni to be a good choice.
tankman37
6 years ago
1:56 a.m........andrew you sad lonely man , i never stay up pass 1:55 a.m...thanks for the tips..as always
Inakretep
6 years ago
Nice tips :)
Daaaamn... you're up late!
Vick1138
6 years ago
Oh yeah, I have to agree with the Pizza tip, in fact, where is the phone book?
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