Basic Tools in After Effect

Adobe After Effects is an animation software that works as a video-editing tool. Artists and post-production professionals use this for visually stunning work.

Ronak Pipaliya

July 8, 2022

You may have used several tools for designing, but do you know about Adobe After Effect?

This is an industry-standard tool that is commonly used by post-production film makers for video compositing and stylizing 2D footage layers in 3D space. This guide will help you learn more about After Effects.

What is the After Effect?



After Effect is used for making visual effects, motion graphics effects and many more vfx effects. Basically used in the post-production process of film making and television production

Using after effect you can be make animated logo splash screen & game character animation.

After Effect Tools Name

So here is a basic list of tools we use in after effect to give animation on shape or image

  • Selection tool
  • Hand tool
  • Zoom tool
  • Rotation tool
  • Anchor tool
  • Shape tool
  • Pen tool
  • Text tool
  • Brush tool
  • Clone stamp tool
  • Eraser tool
  • Puppet pin tool
  • Unified camera tool
  • Selection Tool (V)
Selection tool (V)



Selection tool basically use to select and move any shape one area to another. For more using selection tool you will easily put keyframe on the timeline.



Hand Tool (H)



Hand tool basically use to move your artboard while zoom mode. Like when we open any photo in android smartphone we use our two fingers to zoom photos. After that we use one finger to move zoomable photo as same as in after effect hand tool used to move screen one side to another in zoom mode.

Zoom Tool (Z)



Zoom tool used to focus on anything like zoom to any shape or photo on artboard. Press z to open zoom tool.

Alt button + mouse wheel work as same as zoom tool in aftereffect, photoshop and illustrator.



Rotation Tool (Z)



Using rotation tool you will rotate your shape or photo in 360 degree or rotate on any side. For more see below example for more understanding.



Anchor Tool (Z)



Anchor tool is really helpful tool in after effect. Anchor tool use on rotation time like in basic rotation when we rotate any shape or photo to another side photo or shape rotate from center point but what we can do if we need to rotate a shape on any starting point or ending point like see below image.



Now what happen if we use anchor tool before rotation.



Shape Tool (Q)



Shape tool or Rectangle tool use for to add rectangle, circle, polygon or any basic shapes. Long press on Rectangle icon to open other shapes.

Pen Tool (G)



Pen tool is most usable tool in photoshop, aftereffect and illustrator. Pen tool is used for to make characters, shapes, logo even use for crop and selection. Pen tool most complete your 60% work of design. Every professional designer use pen tool to make application ui and character design. Here let’s see how pen tool work.



Click on any one area and remove your finger from mouse. Now just simply move your arrow on any another area and click again and you see one line. In after effect we use this pen tool for make path or any custom line shape. You will change height, width and you will make dotted line from properties.

To make round shape first click on any area and after removing your finger from mouse. Now simply drag your cursor or arrow and click on any another area but this time we don’t need to remove our finger just hold it or press it and move your arrow and you see your line change in another shape now make your own custom shape by using the pen tool.

Text Tool (CMD+T)



Text tool we used to add text in artboard. You will make text color changing animation in after effect by simple adding key frame and changing color properties.

Brush Tool (CMD+B)



Brush tool use for to make doodle and any other animation like click on below link to see what type of animation you will make by using brush tool.

For use brush tool first select your photo on art board and double click to your photo open in new tab where you can use your brush.

Clone Stamp Tool (CMD+B)



Clone stamp tool basically use in VFX or movie making. To remove unusable stuff from background.



To use clone tool, click on any area and go on any unusable stuff. Click again to remove like in the above image. You can see I have unusable line behind my logo and so what can I do here to remove this line either I need to change my image from source or second option I am using this clone stamp tool to remove this line.

Eraser Tool (CMD+B)



Using eraser tool you can remove any part from image or shape. This tool is best for png because png has no any background. To use this tool first add your image on artboard and after double click to open a new tab where you can use this tool.

Unified Camera Tool (C)



Unified camera tool is used when we work on three dimensions which means 3D in most cases we make our animation in 2D but let’s see how to use this. Unified camera tool use for to zoom in and zoom out same like our mobile camera zoom in and zoom out. We everyone see marvel movie first 15 min movie scene and after movie name but that time we see some animation like logo come from big size to small and come into center on screen this is nothing but It’s simple zoom in and zoom out.

You can make this time of logo by using this unified camera tool to add this effect.

Puppet Pin Tool (CMD + P)



Puppet pin tool used to give animation to any character like move eyes, hand, leg, head any thing just add pins here see below image.



Add multiple pins and move which pin part you want to move.


It is a beginner's guide on Adobe After Effects. You can learn different types of tools that are used for After Effects in designing. Learn carefully and start creating designs for your clients.


Ronak Pipaliya

Project Manager at Vasundhara Infotech, a leading software development company. His great planning and execution qualities led to several successful projects.


Have a project in mind? Drop a message to Bansi Pipaliya & start the discussion!

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Have a project in mind? Drop a message to Bansi Pipaliya & start the discussion!

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