Yes, You Can Ripple Delete In After Effects - Here's How!

To execute a ripple delete in After Effects, use the CTRL+ALT+V (or COMMAND+ALT+V on Mac) shortcut for precise pasting at the playhead's position, and employ the 'Extract' command to remove segments between set in and out points. For added efficiency, consider the Ripple Edit plugin which offers advanced editing tools, mirroring Premiere's capabilities in After Effects.

February 11, 2024
Yes, You Can Ripple Delete In After Effects - Here's How!
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Adobe After Effects Ripple Delete

The ability to ripple delete layers, keyframes, or anything in After Effects for that matter, was a feature that only existed in the realm of wishful thinking for many editors and motion graphics artists. This limitation often meant a more cumbersome and time-consuming process when it came to editing timelines, especially in projects requiring precision and fluidity. Recognizing this gap, various techniques and tools have been developed to emulate the ripple delete function, a staple in other video editing software like Adobe Premiere.

In this article, we're going to explore these innovative solutions that bring the convenience and efficiency of ripple deleting to After Effects. We will guide you through two main methods: first, a native approach that involves precise layer placement and extraction techniques; and second, the use of the Ripple Edit plugin, a powerful tool that extends After Effects' capabilities to include features inspired by Premiere’s editing prowess.

Using the Extraction Method

Extracting layers from composition

Sometimes, you might need to remove a segment from your composition without leaving a gap. This process is akin to ripple deleting in other software, but in After Effects, we use the extraction method:

  1. Setting the In and Out Points: Navigate to the exact frame where you wish to start the deletion. For example, at 05:05:00. Press the 'I' key to mark this as your In point. Then, move to where you want the deletion to end, say at 05:10:00, and press the 'O' key to set it as your Out point.
  2. Executing the Extract Command: Now, hit the 'Extract' button ('). This action removes the segment between your marked points and automatically shifts subsequent content forward, maintaining a continuous flow in your timeline.

Ripple Edit Plugin: A Comprehensive Tool

Ripple delete plugin for after effects

For an even more streamlined approach, consider the Ripple Edit plugin, a powerful add-on that brings Premiere-like editing capabilities to After Effects. Here’s how you can utilize its features effectively:

  1. Adjusting In and Out Points: If you need to adjust the start or end of several layers simultaneously, the In Point and Out Point tools are handy. For example, if a scene starts too early, use the In Point tool to push the start point of selected layers forward by a specific number of frames.
  2. Closing Gaps: To merge layers and eliminate gaps, the Close Gap function is invaluable. It’s particularly useful in scenarios where you remove a segment and need the subsequent layers to fill the space seamlessly.
  3. Deleting Layers: The Delete function is straightforward yet crucial. It removes selected layers and adjusts the timeline to prevent any empty spaces.
  4. Setting Active Time: This feature is a time-saver when you need to align the start or end point of layers to a specific moment in your timeline, simultaneously adjusting other layers to accommodate this change.

Remember, using plugins like Ripple Edit requires ensuring compatibility with your After Effects version. For instance, Ripple Edit works with AE CC2018 and later versions on both Windows and Mac.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

In your journey with After Effects, you might encounter some hurdles. Here are ways to troubleshoot them:

  1. Dealing with Gaps or Overlaps: After performing actions like extraction or using the Ripple Edit plugin, you may notice unintended gaps or overlaps. To resolve this, carefully review the In and Out points of your layers. Also, ensure the playhead is correctly positioned before executing these actions.
  2. Addressing Audio Glitches: When working with segments that include audio, removing a frame might cause audio issues. A workaround is to isolate the video component and leave the audio layer untouched. This maintains audio continuity even when the video is edited.
  3. Plugin Compatibility: If you're using plugins, ensure they're compatible with your version of After Effects. Incompatibility can lead to unexpected errors or the plugin not functioning as intended.