After Effects Tip: Parenting To New Layer

In this post, I will show you how to quickly and effortlessly parent to a new layer in Adobe After Effects is the topic of this post. So let’s dive right in!

Parenting To a New Layer

We are in After Effects and for this example, as always I have a very simple setup here. I have six text layers,  six circular shape layers, and a striped background still.

Simple Set Up in Adobe After Effects

At the moment my UKRAMEDIA text layer in my composition is parented to the A layer.

Parented to letter A in After Effects

For example, if you select the A layer and press R on the keyboard to reveal the Rotation Property, you can see that everything is pivoting around this layer.

Rotation Property in Adobe After Effects
That is great and all, but what if let’s say I wanted to switch from layer A to layer B?

Switching from a to b in After Effects

In other words, I want all of my text layers in my composition parented to the B layer instead of A layer. How can I do it quickly without manually having to select every single text layer in my composition and then pick-whipping to the A layer? That is just one too many steps.

Selecting and pick-whipping text layers in Adobe After Effects

So let me show you a much quicker way.

Step 1

First, I am going to undo everything I just did with the undo keyboard shortcut CTRL+Z on a PC/CMD+Z on a Mac.

Step 2

Right now everything is pointing to layer A. So I am going to parent my layer A to layer B with the pick-whip icon.

Parent from layer a to layer b

Obviously nothing visible happened just yet.

Nothing happened in After Effects

Step 3

However, when I select layer A and hit delete on my keyboard, you can see that everything switched to layer B. So Layer B is now the new parent.

Everything switched to letter B in After Effects

Step 4

Let’s select layer B and press R on my keyboard to reveal the Rotation Property.

Rotation Property After Effects

Step 5

Move the rotation property settings and you can see that everything is working just fine.

I hope you found this After Effects tip useful. You can check out all of our Tips on our website and make sure to subscribe to our email list.

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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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