After Effects Full Screen Preview Tutorial

In After Effects, utilize the tilde key (~) to maximize your active panel for a clearer view, and employ the Preview Panel for full screen playback of your composition. Familiarize yourself with these tools to optimize your workspace and enhance your creative process.

October 31, 2023
After Effects Full Screen Preview Tutorial
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How do I make preview full screen in After Effects?

In After Effects, the workspace is divided into different panels, each serving a unique purpose. One of the most frequently accessed panels is the Composition panel, where you visualize and work on your project. Sometimes, you might want to see your composition in a larger view, without the distractions of other panels. This is where the tilde key (~) comes into play.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. Locating the Tilde Key (~):
  2. Look at your keyboard. The tilde key (~) is typically found just to the left of the number "1" key. It's a small key but has a powerful function in After Effects.
  3. Maximizing the Panel:
  4. With After Effects open, click on the Composition panel to make sure it's active.
  5. Press the tilde key (~). Your Composition panel will expand, taking up the entire screen. This gives you a clearer and larger view of your project.
  6. Returning to the Normal View:
  7. To revert back to the regular view, simply press the tilde key (~) again.

Example: Imagine the tilde key as a zoom button on a camera. When you want a closer look at a subject, you zoom in. Similarly, when you want a closer look at your composition, you press the tilde key.

Full Screen Playback: The Preview Panel

The Preview Panel is another essential tool in After Effects. It allows you to see a real-time playback of your composition. But what if you want this playback to be in full screen? Let's delve into that.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. Accessing the Preview Panel:
  2. In After Effects, navigate to the top menu. Click on "Window" and from the dropdown, ensure "Preview" is checked. This will display the Preview Panel.
  3. Setting Up Full Screen Playback:
  4. Within the Preview Panel, you'll find various playback options. One of these is the option for Full Screen playback.
  5. Before activating Full Screen playback, ensure your Composition panel zoom level is set to either "100%" or "Fit to Screen". You can adjust this at the bottom of the Composition panel.
  6. Once set, activate the Full Screen playback option in the Preview Panel.
  7. Initiating Playback:
  8. With everything set, press the spacebar. Your composition will play back in full screen, giving you a clear view of how the final output will look.

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