Layer Selection in After Effects

In this post, you will learn 2 quick layer selection tips in After Effects. So without any further ado, let’s dive right in!

Layer Selection Tip #1:

I am going to select #13 UM Logo 2017.ia in my composition.

Number 13 duplicate logo in After Effects

If I grab and move the logo around, you will notice that there are other logos that are parented to my selected logo #13 UM Logo 2017.ia.

Layer parented to other layers in After Effects

So the big question is this, how do I quickly select everything that is parented to our selected logo #13 UM Logo 2017.ia layer instead of having to go through and select each logo one by one? Let me show you!

Manually selecting logos in After Effects

So the fastest way to do so is to first select the desired logo, right-click on it and choose Select Children.

Select Children in After Effects

When you do that, it will select all the other layers that are parented to the selected logo. That simple!

Parented to the select layer in After Effects

Layer Selection Tip #2:

For the second tip, let’s say I have 4 of the logos selected.

Selected Layers in After Effects

What if I wanted to invert my selection? In other words, what if I wanted to quickly select the layers that are currently not selected and unselect the 4 layers that are currently selected.

To do that, we simply need to right-click on any selected layer and choose Invert Selection.

Invert Selection in After Effects

Invert Selection in Adobe After Effects

Now, there is one important thing I should point out. Let’s say we have 2 locked layers.

Locked Layers in After Effects

Select 2 other layers that are currently not locked.Righ click on selected Layers in After Effects

Then right-click on any of those 2 selected layers and choose Invert Selection. Not selected in After Effects

When you do that, you will notice that the 2 locked layers will not be selected. This will also apply to both Invert Selection and Select Children. I hope these tips were useful!

About the author:

Sergei Prokhnevskiy

Sergei Prokhnevskiy is a Charlotte, NC based motion graphics designer, an online tutor, an entrepreneur, and Adobe MAX Master Speaker. Sergei is known for his quick and practical After Effects tips and tricks on YouTube, where he generated well over 6 million views on his tutorials. He has authored an online video course on After Effects Expressions and developed scripts for After Effects. He is also a former senior motion graphics designer at Fox Sports where he worked on graphics for NFL, Super Bowl, MLB, World Series, College Football, NASCAR, Women’s World Cup, and NASCAR Race Hub. He is very passionate about learning and teaching others.


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