Splitting a clip in After Effects is one of those quick tasks that you feel should be easy and intuitive.

For video editors learning After Effects it is quite frustrating that there isn’t just a tool for it.

BUT! In this article I’ll show you how to do it just as easily as if you were adding an edit point in Premiere Pro.

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How do I know what I’m talking about? Head to the carolannpeacock.com Experience and Background page to find out how I’ve built up my knowledge over a career spanning feature film, broadcast TV and digital content production.

The Quick Way to Split a Clip in After Effects

For those who want the quick answer, there are two main ways:

Split a clip using CTRL/CMD + SHFT + D


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Create new composition from media

Now drag that clip to the ‘New Composition’ icon at the bottom of the Projects panel. This will create a new composition based on the media properties of the clip.

Now you have a new composition with your clip as the only layer and is also set to your clips duration too.

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How to split a clip in After Effects using the keyboard shortcut

To split the clip automatically, make sure your layer is selected in the timeline and then either go to Edit->Split Layer or press Control/Command + Shift + D.

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Trim a clip with the keyboard shorcut

You can use the trim function to trim any layer you want.

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And That’s All There Really is to it!

If you want more After Effects knowledge then check out my article on Underrated Keyboard Shortcuts:


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Now, go forth and use your new knowledge to work smarter and not harder, it’s what carolannpeacock.com is all about.