How to Change Background Color in After Effects - Quick & Easy (3 Steps)

To change the background color in After Effects, begin by creating a new composition and adding a solid layer with the desired color. Utilize keyframes to adjust the color over time, allowing for dynamic background changes that can enhance your video project.

August 10, 2023
How to Change Background Color in After Effects - Quick & Easy (3 Steps)
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How do you change the background color in Adobe After Effects?

Changing the color of a solid layer in After Effects is a fundamental skill that can greatly enhance your video projects. Whether you're looking to set a specific mood, match branding colors, or create dynamic visual effects, the ability to manipulate the color of solid layers offers endless creative possibilities. In After Effects, this process is both intuitive and flexible, allowing for precise control over color properties. In this guide, we'll explore the step-by-step process to change the color of a solid layer, providing you with the tools and knowledge to elevate your video editing capabilities.

Opening After Effects and Creating a Composition

First things first, open After Effects and create a new composition by going to "Composition" > "New Composition." Here, you can set the desired duration, frame rate, and size for your composition. In my opinion, it's essential to choose the right settings that match your project requirements. For instance, if you're working on a high-definition video, make sure to select the appropriate resolution.

Setting Up the Composition

  1. Duration: How about setting the duration according to the length of your video clip? It ensures that your composition fits perfectly with the content.
  2. Frame Rate: I'd suggest selecting a frame rate that matches the source footage. Common frame rates include 24, 30, or 60 frames per second.
  3. Size: Just simply choose the resolution that fits your project. Common sizes include 1920x1080 for HD or 3840x2160 for 4K.

Creating a Solid Layer for Background

Next, create a new solid layer by going to "Layer" > "New" > "Solid." Here, you can choose a color for your background by clicking on the color swatch. In other words, this solid layer will act as your background, and you can customize it according to your needs.

Choosing the Right Color

  1. Color Selection: I believe selecting the right color sets the mood for your entire composition. You can use the color picker tool to match a specific color within your footage.
  2. Solid Settings: Adjust the size of the solid layer to match the composition if necessary. That said, it's usually best to keep the solid layer the same size as the composition for consistency.

Changing the Background Color Over Time

What if you want to change the background color over time? You can add keyframes to the solid layer's color property. This technique allows you to create dynamic backgrounds that evolve throughout the video.

Adding Keyframes

  1. Select the Solid Layer: Click on the solid layer in the timeline panel.
  2. Search for the Fill Effect: Go to the "Effects & Presets" panel, and search for "Fill." Drag the Fill effect onto the solid layer.
  3. Add Keyframes: In the Effects Control panel, click on the stopwatch icon next to the Fill Color property to add keyframes. Adjust the color at different points in time to create a color change effect.