In this post, I will show you how to quickly position a camera in After Effects.
Alright, so we are in After Effects and for this example, I have a Camera 1,
and a background layer.
It is important to point out that all four of these layers are 3D.
As you can see right now they are kind of spread out on the z-axis. We can see the background, text layers ONE, TWO, THREE and then my Camera 1.
Okay, now let’s go back to the Active Camera view where we were at the beginning.
Now let me show you how to quickly frame up your shots. For example, what if I wanted to zoom in right into that text layer ONE?
To do that, all we have to do is just make sure the text layer ONE is selected. Then go to View – Look at Selected Layers or use keyboard shortcut is CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+\ on a PC or CMD+OPT+SHIFT+\ on a Mac. Whatever is easiest for you.
You can do the same thing for text layers TWO and THREE. If you want to see all of them, simply go to and choose View – Look at All Layers.
So let’s do a practical example here. I am going to select Camera 1 and hit A to reveal the point of interest.
Then hold down SHIFT and hit P to bring up my position.
I am going to select the ONE and zoom in with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+\ on a PC or CMD+OPT+SHIFT+\ on a Mac.
Then I will hit the C key to toggle through my camera tools and I am going to go with Track Z.
With Track Z selected, I am going to pull out a little bit like so:
The shots are already set since I already have my keyframes.
So next I am going to press SHIFT+PAGE DOWN in order to go 20 frames on my timeline.
Then I am going to frame up a second shot. So I am going to select TWO and zoom in with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+\ on a PC or CMD+OPT+SHIFT+\ on a Mac.
Hit C again to toggle through the camera tools until you find Track Z.
Then pull out again to something like this.
Then again I am going to do SHIFT+PAGE DOWN a few times.
This time I am going to select THREE and do CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+\ on a PC or CMD+OPT+SHIFT+\ on a Mac.
Lastly, I am going to fix some things up. So I am going to do some easy ease outs with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+F9 on a PC or CMD+SHIFT+F9 on a Mac.
And then I will also select the last two keyframes and do an easy ease in with the keyboard shortcut SHIFT+F9.
That is pretty much it. I can also fix it up a little bit more by selecting the last two keyframes and adjust my velocity with a keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+K on a PC or CMD+SHIFT+K on a Mac. I will go with 75.
So if we preview this, you will see the camera will start with ONE, then zoom out to TWO and then lastly THREE.
So you can definitely see how useful this can be. I hope you found this tip useful!