Time Editor

Arrange your timeline.

The Time Editor is the place to adjust your clip ranges and animation curves.

Playback Range

Drag the green playhead to scrub through the timeline.

click + drag the green handles to set the start and end frames for the Playback Range. click and drag the bar between the start and end points to move the entire Playback Range.

Visibility Bars

As your cursor hovers over the end of a visibility bar it will highlight. click + drag either end of a Shape's bar to adjust the frames it will appear in the viewport. A Shape will be visible when the playhead is over part of the bar. For Behaviours, the bar represents when it will be enabled.

The bar has no effect for Atoms, Filters or Shaders. These Elements will appear as a chevron bar. Atoms that draw in the Viewport like Falloffs and Nulls are the exception to this rule. They behave in the same way Shapes do.

Setting start/end points

It's possible to adjust the start/end points of multiple Elements at the same time by holding down option/alt as you hover over an end point. Any Elements that share a common in/out point will also highlight and move when you click + drag they will all move. This is also true where one Element's in point is on the same frame as another's out point.

click and drag the bar between the in and out points to move the entire visibility range.

Editing visibility bars.

You can also use the contextual menu to set the start/end points based on the Composition or Playback Range or the Current Frame. To access these options simply:

  1. Select a Visibility Bar(s).

  2. Right click.

  3. Choose one of the options under the Set Selected Clip Ranges/ Starts /Ends options.

Show Names

Right click anywhere in the Time Editor and check Show Names to display the name of an Element on its Visibility Bar.


Creating keyframes

Once you have set a keyframe via the Attribute Editor you are able to set further keyframes in the Time Editor. To do so, either:

  • Move the playhead and scrub the attribute's value.

  • Move the playhead and click the keyframe icon in the attribute control.

  • Select a keyframe or keybar and then right click > Add Keyframe.

Editing keyframes

To edit a keyframe you can either:

  • Move the playhead to the same frame as an existing keyframe and scrub or edit the attribute's value.

  • Double click a keyframe and scrub or edit the attribute's value via the pop up control.

Editing a keyframe's value inline.

Moving keyframes

To move a keyframe simply click and drag.

To move a selection of keyframes either cmd/ctrl + click or marquee select some keyframes and drag to move. You can also select and move keyframes from multiple attributes and/or Elements.

Select and move keyframes.

Deleting keyframes

To remove a keyframe or keyframes either:

  • Select a keyframe or keyframes and hit the Delete key on your keyboard.

  • Select a keyframe or keyframes and right click > Delete Keyframe(s).

Copying keyframes

To copy a keyframe, select one and choose Edit > Copy Keyframe (cmd/ctrl + C) then move the playhead and chose Edit > Paste (cmd/ctrl + V). You can do the same with multiple keyframes on the same attribute. It's also possible to copy keyframe data from one channel to another.

You can also copy keyframe data from one Element to another. If the keyframe data you are copying is from an attribute that already exists on the Element you are pasting to, then those keys will be added to that attribute. If the attribute does not exist, it will be added along with the keyframe data.

Coloring keyframes

To change the color of a keyframe select a keyframe or keyframes and right click > Set Color > choose your color. This can be useful for highlighting key moments in your animation.


Keybars are lines that connect keyframe pairs and can be used to move entire animation curves without the need to select a range of keyframes.

A keybar appears as a solid line when between two keyframes of different values. If a keybar connects two keys of the same value it will appear as dashed line. This is designed to help identify areas where Elements remain static or unchanged.

Moving keybars

To move an entire keybar simply click and drag one. By holding alt as you click and drag you can move individual sections of the keybar. This will only move the two keys connected by that section.

Moving whole and/or part keybars.

When marquee selecting in the Time Editor the following selection logic applies.

  • If a keyframe exists within a selection, only select keyframes.

  • If no keyframes exist within a selection, select the keybars.


Align - align selected keys to each other. This works in the same way aligning shapes does. Imagine a rectangle bordering each 'group' of selected keys on each attribute and then aligning those rectangles to each other.

  • Left - align keys to the key nearest to the beginning (left) of your timeline.

  • Center - centrally align keys.

  • Right - align keys to the key nearest to the end (right) of your timeline.

Aligning key selection to the left.

Transform tool - this tool can be used to move and scale selections of keys. Click + drag between the blue bars to move or click + drag either blue bar to scale. By alt + dragging a blue bar you can also perform a 'ripple edit'. This will push unselected keys along the timeline as you scale the selected keys.

Zoom - drag the slider to zoom in/out of the window.

You can also alt + scroll with a mouse/trackpad or alt + double click + drag with a tablet to zoom the Time Editor.

Magic Easing [Beta]

Apply mathematical interpolation between keyframes.

  1. Select one or more keyframes.

  2. Right click > Magic Easing.

  3. Choose an option.

You can bake the animation using the Bake Keyframe Animation command in the Animation menu.

Note - we are following the forthcoming Web Animation standard for easing which may be less familiar to After Effects users. This is not an official page but see here for some nice examples. The W3C Candidate Recommendations can be seen here.

Beta features can be turned on in the Preferences Window.