Back to Blog Index

Trim Compositions Based on In and Out Points

A quick and easy way to set the time duration of your After Effects compositions, perfectly.

Working to keep your After Effects projects clean and tidy is no easy feat, and a huge part of that is making sure that your layers are trimmed. After Effects doesn't like looking at your empty layers anymore than you should. It's constantly analyzing and it needs a little guidance.

One of the ways we can help After Effects help us is by keeping our compositions trimmed. So let's dig into a super quick and easy way you can trim compositions by using your in and out points.

How to Trim Composition Duration Based on In and Out Points

Here's how to quickly trim your composition duration in After Effects.


Keyboard Shortcuts in After Effects:

  • In Point: B
  • Out Point: N

The first step in trimming your composition is to set your in and out points. By setting these points you are telling After Effects to only preview the timeline between the In and Out points. In After Effects you can set an In Point by pressing the 'B' key and an Out Point by pressing the 'N' key.

It's very important to set your In and Out Point before pushing your video into the render queue or Adobe Media Encoder.

By pressing B and N you can establish in and out points in After Effects


Keyboard Shortcut in After Effects:

  • Trim Comp to Work Area: CMD+Shift+X

Once you defined the work area go to the top of the program window and click "Composition". From here you'll simply select "Trim Comp to Work Area" and After Effects will trim the time duration of the composition you have selected.

Just like that, you've cleaned up one composition. If this was a pre-comp you've made some simple but great strides in organizing your After Effects composition like a true motion graphics master. This technique can even help your compositions preview and render faster.

After setting your out point use Cmd+Shift+X, your composition duration is set

If you're a keyboard shortcut wizard there's a handy hotkey combination for you. The keyboard shortcut to trim comp to work area in After Effects is CMD + Shift + X. Keeping your hands on the keyboard is one of the best ways you can get faster at working in After Effects.

Want to Learn More Pro Tips for After Effects? 

Check out this awesome list of some of our favorite and most useful After Effects tips.

Learn After Effects from a Pro

In After Effects Kickstart, you'll learn the most commonly used tools and best practices for using them while mastering the After Effects interface.

Dive into real-time 3D with our Unreal Engine beginner's course by Jonathan Winbush. Master importing assets, world-building, animation, and cinematic sequences to create stunning 3D renders in no time! Perfect for motion designers ready to level up.

Explore this Course

Unlock the secrets of character design in this dynamic course! Explore shape language, anatomy rules, and motifs to craft animation-ready characters. Gain drawing tips, hacks, and Procreate mastery (or any drawing app). Ideal for artists seeking to elevate their craft.

Explore this Course

Elevate your freelance motion design career with our guide to client success. Master a repeatable method for finding, contacting, and landing clients. Learn to identify prospects, nurture leads, and develop a thriving freelance philosophy amidst chaos.

Explore this Course

Rev up your editing skills with After Effects! Learn to use it for everyday needs and craft dynamic templates (Mogrts) for smarter teamwork. You'll master creating animated graphics, removing unwanted elements, tracking graphics, and making customizable templates.

Explore this Course

Stand out with Demo Reel Dash! Learn to spotlight your best work and market your unique brand of magic. By the end, you'll have a brand new demo reel and a custom campaign to showcase yourself to an audience aligned with your career goals.

Explore this Course

Illuminate your 3D skills with Lights, Camera, Render! Dive deep into advanced Cinema 4D techniques with David Ariew. Master core cinematography skills, gain valuable assets, and learn tools and best practices to create stunning work that wows clients.

Explore this Course

Master After Effects at your own pace with Jake Bartlett's beginner course. Perfect for video editors, you'll learn to create stylish animated graphics, remove unwanted elements, and track graphics into shots. By the end, you'll be equipped for everyday AE needs and more.

Explore this Course

Revolutionize your Premiere workflow with customizable AE templates! Master creating dynamic Motion Graphics Templates (Mogrts) in After Effects to speed up your team's work. By the end, you'll craft easily-customizable templates for seamless use in Premiere Pro.

Explore this Course
Your download is in your inbox!!!
Check your email (spam, too) for the download link!
Please check the spam folder if you don't see the message within a minute or two. Google likes to hide your downloads, sometimes.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.