How to Cut in After Effects

In this walkthrough, we've shared how to cut in After Effects, so you can make quick edits to a video sequence and not be forced to switch to Adobe Premiere or other editing software. After Effects has a fairly robust set of editing features (even though it's technically not designed for that purpose), so it's easy to cut a clip into multiple segments.  

How to Cut in After Effects
1. First, load your current After Effects project and choose a video file that you want to edit. Then, click and drag the file from the project window to the New Composition icon, which looks like a film cell and is located right below the project window. This will load your video file into the After Effects timeline. 

2. Next, go to the timeline and click anywhere on your clip to place the Current Time Indicator, which looks like a yellow marker with a vertical red line. This also allows you to scrub through a clip and find the best spot to make a cut. 

3. To split your clip into two segments where the indicator currently is, you can go to "Edit" > "Split Layer" or press Ctrl+Shift+D (or Command+Shift+D on Mac). Now, your clip will be divided into two separate layers. At any point in the editing process, you can extend or shorten a particular clip by clicking and dragging on its edges. 

4. Once you've learned how to cut in After Effects, you can try dragging the Work Area at the top of your video timeline to set more precise cutting boundaries. You can also duplicate video layers by pressing Ctrl+D (Command+D on Mac), so that a certain clip or sequence can be easily repeated, or you can process it with some cool effects. 


It's extremely useful to have clips positioned on separate layers, because it allows you to set specific effects, coloration, or titles for that layer, without changing anything else in the project. One layer might have a normal speed, the next could be slow-motion, and the third could have a blurry effect. With After Effects' visual power and editing tools, you can turn almost any idea into a reality. 

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