After impacts is a powerful tool...but if you're making use of it wrong, you're not seeing the full picture
Have you ever before been functioning in after ~ Effects and also suddenly shed sight of the picture? We average literally. “Why does my shape layer look pixelated? I believed vectors to be resolution independent?” “I should zoom in farther? Why i will not ~ After results let me do it?” these questions frequently come up for those more recent to after Effects. If the difference between scaling and also zooming is quite straightforward, awareness of the details that both viewport zooming and also scaling in AE can assist your process.
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Hey all! ns Sara Wade and also today i’m going to clear up a common allude of man for start After results users. We’re going come talk around the difference between viewport zooming and also viewport scaling. Even seasoned After results pros must remind ourself of this details as soon as we check out a vector in ~ 400% zoom and also it looks prefer a heap of messy pixels.

You are watching: How to zoom in after effects


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The main difference in between zooming and scaling has to do through which change is being adjusted in her composition. Once you zoom in on your viewport, you space affecting the magnification control. When you scale, you are affecting the object.
Have you ever had this problem? You try to scale an item in after Effects and also it end up an ext pixelated than initial Mario. The problem is likely just how you've set up your composition, for this reason let's have actually a look. Because that this example, I set up two composition windows: a Bitmap tree on the left, and a Vector plant on the right.
The key difference in between the 2 is that bitmaps space made the pixels, vice versa, vectors room made of points and instructions, definition they room resolution independent. This means I deserve to zoom in without any type of loss in quality.
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The image is fuzzy, pixelated, and just no that fun to watch at. Now, if I perform the very same thing to my vector art...
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Crisp together a brand-new England morning. Because the vector art is using points and also a formula quite than colored pixels, it create a sharp photo at any kind of resolution. If you space scaling a vector image and you watch pixelation, inspect that the repeatedly Rasterize crate is unchecked. After impacts is trying to rasterize your image, i m sorry affects the image quality.
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Wait a minute! Why are both that my photos pixelated? together we claimed before, zooming influence the magnification controls. After impacts renders vector previews prior to zooming, i m sorry is why both images show up blurry.
You understand us; us LIVE for key-board shortcuts. If you're no rocking the hotkeys, what room you also doing? So we made a fast list of some of the most important ones to usage in the Viewport.
Toggle show/hide layer controls (masks, motion paths, light/camera wireframes, impact controls points, layer handles) - CTRL + shift + H
That’s it! pretty simple, huh? following time the pixelation gremlin strikes, you will certainly know precisely what to do. If you want to learn an ext about After effects with the assist of sector pros, examine out After effects Kickstart from school of Motion.
After impacts Kickstart is the ultimate After results intro course for motion designers. In this course, you'll discover the most typically used tools and best practices for using them while mastering the After effects interface.
Sarah wade (00:00): hi everyone. I'm buy it Wade. And also today I'm walk to work out a common allude of man for beginning after effects users. We're going to talk about the difference in between viewport, zooming and viewport scaling. In this video. You'll learn the difference in between scaling and also zooming, how scaling and zooming effect vectors prefer imported illustrator artwork, or form layers, viewport restrictions in ~ effects and shortcut secrets to speed up her workflow.
Sarah walking (00:41): Okay. In after ~ effects, I've obtained two composition windows. Side-by-side the left side composition and the left next timeline space a bitmap PNG image, right? Bitmaps are consisted of of pixels. We all recognize this, or most of us understand this. If you're new to this stuff like brand new, usually bitmaps are made up of pixels and vectors are made up of a set of instructions and also points because that points and where to draw lines and also curves and also so on. For this reason vectors room resolution independent and bitmaps are not. For this reason if ns zoom in top top this bitmap on the left, or let's say, if I scale this bitmap ~ above the left, I'm going come hit the S crucial and let's scale it come let's try 800%. And now we watch the stem. It's rather pixelated. It's not looking good at all. We have the right to basically see, this is not smooth, right?
Sarah go (01:34): but if i go come this variable version, i beg your pardon I've imported indigenous Adobe illustrator, and you know, you can see that this is all usually a shape layer. So every little thing in right here is fills and also paths. It's all vector based. Therefore now, if I got this one and I fight S and also I range this to the exact same percentage, it's perfectly smooth, right? This is what we expect. However sometimes you are looking at a vector and you're thinking, five my gosh, mine vector is pixelated. What's going on now, if you are looking in ~ a vector and also it is spring pixelated in the viewport and also your viewport is in ~ a hundred percent, you're a hundreds percent certain that it's a hundred percent. Over there is one other means that can happen. So this is a vector form layer. This is a text layer. These both have this small star icon below right now.
Sarah walking (02:21): This is the collapsed transformations and also continuously rasterize button. Currently what repeatedly rasterize means is that after effects is going come continuously, rasterize this thing, fairly than just doing it. Once, when you start working through the comp, it's walking to carry out that continuously. So if you range up and down, it's going to continuously update basically the resolution of the vector. Now, if us go earlier to a hundreds percent and we pre-com this, and let's just call this plant pre-com. Now, if ns hit that esky and also I start scaling this to 800%, it's looking pixelated. And the reason is due to the fact that that continuously rasterized button, that is checked by default. As soon as you income a shape layer, or you add a message layer, space you out of shape? however it is not when you execute a pre-call. Therefore if I check that fixes the problem. So that is the very first place come check.
Sarah go (03:18): now let's take it a look at the difference between zooming and scaling. Therefore I have actually scaled these and also they look great. Let's go earlier to 100% because that both the them. Okay? So now these look exactly the same, right? due to the fact that they room both in ~ a hundreds percent and this one is no pixelated at all, due to the fact that it's at its indigenous resolution. This one is no pixilated in ~ all, because it's a vector, however now I'm going come zoom in come let's shot 800%. And also that look at pixelated. Okay. And also 800%, five no, my vectors pixelated, come what am ns going to do? What's happening here. Therefore what you're doing here, as soon as you hit this buttons, or you hit control plus, or command plus, or minus to zoom in and also out, right, going like this in an end, what you're doing over there is girlfriend are changing the magnification control, right. Of just how you were viewing this.
Sarah wade (04:13): therefore no matter what you set your quality to appropriate now, minus collection to full quality, right? so this need to be complete quality. And also if it's a vector in ~ 800%, girlfriend think, five gosh, the shouldn't be scaled. Zooming is an altering the magnification ratio. And after effects actually makes those vector objects before zooming, i m sorry is basically just scaling the object because that preview. Therefore after effects, renders the vector, and then once you preview it, it scales that render up. For this reason you're no seeing that perfectly smooth vector. And also the reason is since of the way after effects, renders, zooming. So if you view this in your very own work, and you're a new after impacts user, or probably you're a pro prefer me, and also you just forgot, this is most likely the problem. Just examine this magnification here, take it that earlier to 100%. And if you range your vector up, I guarantee you, it will look lovely. And even if you're zoomed right into 800% here, looking in ~ this, that looks bad, yet it's actually a vector. It's going to look fine. If friend render it at a hundreds percent, even if you scale this approximately let's watch 800% and also let's scale this one come 800.
Sarah walking (05:27): So now we're see 800% zoomed and also scaled, right? castle both watch pretty bad. The vector actually looks contempt better, however I'm contempt cleaner at any kind of rate. Um, okay. So, yet if you to be to render both of this files, your vector is going come render perfect scaled come 800%. Also though it looks poor zoomed to 800%. Due to the fact that again, if ns go back to a hundreds percent, look at perfect, right? If ns go earlier to a hundreds percent ~ above this, bitmap does no look perfect. For this reason this hundred percent preview is what your render is going come look like. Therefore you check out a vector that looks pixelated in her viewport. Don't panic, inspect this number right here. And also that should obtain you sorted
Sarah walking (06:14): if we're here. Let's talk about some handy shortcuts you can use and also the watch port. Therefore if you desire to scale in and also out, however you don't want to use this little gadget best here, you have the right to actually usage the comma vital and the period an essential to zoom native the facility of the viewport. So I'm utilizing the comma and that is zooming out and also the duration is going to zoom in. Now, again, I'm zooming. So things look a tiny pixelated and that's okay. So that is a handy-dandy shortcut. So to speak you obtain really zoomed in or yes, really zoomed out and, or things room off center since you've provided that space bar to type of pan around and also you desire to get that centered ago just the way this bitmap one is on the left. You have the right to actually struggle the alt key or the option an essential on the Mac and also the forward slash button.
Sarah walking (07:07): and that is walk to center that up simply perfectly in the middle of your view. Those are most likely my most used shortcuts, yet there room a pair more shortcuts we have the right to talk about today. Now this happened to occupational out to be a hundreds percent when I struggle the alt crucial and the forward slash key. However what if my windows bigger? and also I desire this to walk as huge as it probably can. Well, I have the right to use the shift vital and the forward cut to do that. Therefore alt or option forward slash we'll gain it to a hundreds percent and transition forward slash we'll obtain it to the maximum size that will fit in this window.
Sarah wade (07:54): now let's speak a small bit around what all this stuff right here does in the viewport, right? therefore we already learned around the magnification tool. And again, you can do this by selecting here. You deserve to use the control plus and control minus. You have the right to use the period vital and the comma an essential as well. Um, or again, you have the right to just usage these fit up to a hundred percent or fit, or, you know, whatever you want to pick from this menu. Now, here, next to this, we have some different choices. Us can choose Otto full half, 3rd quarter or custom. Currently what this walk is auto basically lets after effects say, I'm feeling an excellent today. I have actually a most processing power. I'm walk to select full resolution or perhaps you've gained a the majority of windows open up in Chrome or you've got a most other apps running.
Sarah go (08:45): and also after effects might say, you understand what? I'm running a little slow right now. I'm going come auto collection myself to half or perhaps quarter, or you deserve to do the yourself. If you're functioning a very heavy file and you simply want your previews to be faster, girlfriend can pick half. You can choose third. You have the right to even select quarter or you deserve to pick a practice amount and also then kind that in. And also basically as soon as you carry out this and you deserve to see that in the customer resolution conversation that come up, you're telling after effects. When you're previewing just render every 4 pixels, you could even say only render every eight pixels and every eight pixels vertically. And that's walk to offer you, you know, it's no a great preview, but again, this is simply the preview. Once you render, it's going come look prefer it would certainly look at full resolution.
Sarah go (09:32): I perform this frequently. I will occupational in fifty percent or 3rd or even quarter. If I've gained a paper with a many particle effects or just a the majority of shape layers, a lot of expressions, basically anytime after impacts starts to slow down her previews, you deserve to speed the up through going into this menu and just downgrading your visual a tiny bit. Girlfriend can't always do that. Occasionally you require that visual precision to work, yet sometimes girlfriend can get away with fifty percent or even 3rd or quarter. Okay, what is next? This is the preview quality. Okay. For this reason what we can do below is us can permit or disable rapid previews, right? for this reason off means what you're seeing in this windows. The last quality and also after effects is walk to execute its best to render the in preview mode, making use of as much Ram as it can possibly use based upon how much room you have actually available.
Sarah walking (10:21): The next one we have is adaptive resolution, right? So long story short after impacts is going to down sample the footage and whatnot. Basically, it's walking to type of change the resolution of points to be a little bit much less pretty, however it's walk to, again, aid things to speed up together you work next, we've got this wire frame mode, i beg your pardon is actually, it's an excellent for simply kind of setup things up, right? So i can't watch anything due to the fact that this was just one form layer. But if I had a bunch of various layers in here with a bunch of different things, ns would watch outlines just like this right now I'm see one overview for the houseplant layer and also one for the message that states vector plant. For this reason that can be really valuable if you've obtained a ton of ingredient to set up and also arrange and also you don't want to actually wait because that after effects to capture up to what you're doing.
Sarah walking (11:14): So you can also again, click this preferences and you can collection all of the up. Yet you want to, and your own after effects, preferences, you can again set like her default adaptive resolution, every these different things. We're not going to enter all this on detail. This is a small bit past the beginning of the person tutorial, however for currently you should have the ability to work with what girlfriend know around just this allowing or disabling or again, doing come wireframe. For this reason I'm walk to turn that off. Oh, just so you can see what adaptive resolution look at like. Not much various with this one, yet if I began animating stuff, we can see a difference there let's revolve that ago off. Okay. We've gained some an ext buttons to go over, but these are going to it is in pretty quick. Therefore this one toggles, the transparency grid. You can't view it since I don't have actually anything in there, but if I move this over, I've obtained a transparency grid.
Sarah walking (12:02): Now, if I revolve that off, this is my ingredient background color. As numerous of friend know, her composition background shade is a setup in the composition. The is no an really object. So if girlfriend send this to media encoder come render, it's no going to render this background color of blue. It's just going to actually render a transparency or black. If you're rendering to some, picture format or a video format that does not have transparency. So keeping this in reality toggled on as a an excellent way to see where you need to include stuff, right? If you're working on something and also your background, all of a sudden your render looks totally different. It's gained a weird black color background that you didn't placed there. More than likely you're seeing her composition background and not realizing the you didn't have an yes, really background. The various other thing the can gain a little bit confusing, especially if you are brand new, is this next button, i beg your pardon basically transforms on and also off your layer controls.
Sarah walking (12:59): therefore if ns were to in reality the location of that is toggle mask and shape course visibility. But if ns were come let's say draw a bunch the stuff choose that. And also then I revolve this off. Now I can't see any type of in that stuff. Right? like I attracted a thing, I'm selecting a thing, yet I can't see any kind of of those point out anymore. And that's a small bit confusing, right? friend know, if you're not seeing her handles and stuff prefer that, turn that back on and there, currently I have the right to see the points. Currently I can see the handles. If you have animation, you would watch the motion path. Therefore let's undo the ugly forms that us made and get back to normal. And also see, currently I can't even see the point out in this, right. However if I turn this off, no one of that shows up. All i see room these corner points.
Sarah walking (13:48): therefore if you're missing things in your viewport that you, girlfriend don't understand what you did, you might've accidentally fight this switch right here. An additional thing the comes up, especially for beginners is you can accidentally hit this region of attention button. And then every one of a sudden, her cursor looks choose this small kind of to add sign. And also all you have the right to do is take stuff, right? not ideal. What this is offered for is actually say, I wanted to use this plant, however I didn't desire that entirety composition anymore. I can use this button here to choose a region of interest. And also then I can go come the ingredient menu and also say chop the comp come the region of interest. And if I perform that, then my comp is no longer. I think this is 10 80 vast by 10 80 tall. It's no longer that wide. It's just as broad as this an ar of interest.
Sarah go (14:35): I'm walking to revolve that turn off though, due to the fact that I actually want the totality comp. Therefore you watch that plus sign and also can't do anything else. That's most likely what's going on. Just uncheck the button, um, grid and guide options. Again, girlfriend can collection your grid to it is in on. Friend can set your, to it is in on. This is advantageous for dragging travel guide in and also out. Let's to speak I want a overview for the leaf of the pot, right? I have the right to just seize one here. And let's speak I wanted to actually at the peak of the pot, just drag one under from increase here, there are likewise some shortcut keys that are very handy for transforming these guides and grids on and also off. If I want to toggle these rulers on and off, I deserve to do that by hitting control. Space they walk off, hit that again? lock come earlier just toggles infinitely.
Sarah walking (15:22): If I desire these net to walk off or ~ above that's control and the button is the apostrophe, um, or command. If you're top top a Mac, this is walk to it is in command apostrophe or command R let's say, I want those travel guide to turn off. That's going to be regulate or command. Plus the semi-colon. Now every little thing is off. What if I desire to watch what my for sure sounds are, right? The title for sure zone. I deserve to just hit that apostrophe an essential by itself. And also that's going to show me that, okay, whatever, I'm city hall this on choose a television or various monitors that crop things, various resolutions, this area in the middle is the for sure zone, right? therefore that's what I'm the town hall here. When I use that faster way key. And if you want to obtain to the on and also off without making use of the shortcut key, you can do every one of that stuff ideal here.
Sarah walking (16:14): location action, safe, proportional grid. The shortcut vital for turning that proportional grid on and off is alt add to the, uh, apostrophe key. Therefore that's the proportional grid, right? and also the constant grid again is the regulate plus the in this case, they're the same, yet they're not constantly the same. So that's exactly how you gain to all the stuff here. We've obtained some shade stuff end here, basically. This is just how you desire to see it. I just want to view greens. Just one of you, the alpha there's no alpha in this to view, everything's obtained a shape over it. I'm walk to simply leave this in RGB, yet you have the right to dig into that if you require to and you simply want to see, oh, simply what perform I have? That's in the blue range. Um, that's kind of stuff is useful if you get into compositing and, um, every one of that intuitive effects kind of workflow stuff.

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Sarah wade (17:05): Okay. Resetting the exposure. So friend can change this in after impacts to plot like different exposure levels, right? Like different light exposure levels like you would have actually in a camera minus 12 is obviously too far, minus 2 is going to do it darker. Basically you walk higher. It's walking to make it brighter. Um, together if you were opening the camera lens or setting an F stop, if you accidentally kind something in there, your image looks a tiny bit weird. Like this one does, you have the right to reset that exposure by hitting that switch right there. Ns hope that these tips room helpful and also I expect they've resolved some questions for those of you that are brand-new to using every one of these complicated viewport tools and after effects. And for those of you that perhaps aren't new and like me just, um, never ever explored every one of these tools for one reason or another.
Sarah go (17:57): That's it pretty simple. Right? following time, the pixelation gremlin strikes you'll know what come do. Hit subscribe. If you want much more tips choose this one and be certain to download the comfortable PDF. The includes all of the shortcut keys that we disputed today. And then some, if you desire to learn more about aftereffects through the help of market pros, examine out after ~ effects, kickstart from institution of motion. If you want to learn just how to make vector artwork like that, we offered in this example today, inspect out Photoshop and also illustrator unleashed additionally from institution of motion. That's every for now. And also thanks because that watching. Bye