In this post, you will learn a simple yet useful SHIFT + parenting behavior keyboard shortcut in Adobe After Effects. Let’s dive right in!
Alright, we are in Adobe After Effects. I have a simple setup for this example.
I have a circular shape layer that has a basic animation position and scale animation.
Our animation kind of goes side to side, it scales up and down, and then it loops. That’s pretty much it. Nothing fancy.
I also have a UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer.
I want to place the UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer inside of my orange circular shape layer.
I also want the text layer to move with the shape layer. What’s the quickest way to get there?
I guess one thing we can do is to parent our UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer to the circular shape layer.
When we do that, both of our layers will move together correctly. So now we are halfway there.
Next, let’s activate the snapping tool and place our UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer on top of our circular shape layer.
With the snapping tool enabled, the text layer should automatically snap to the center of the circular shape layer.
As you can see, the text layer is still kind of too big. Let’s fix this issue. Select the UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer, press S on the keyboard to reveal our scale property, and then adjust the scale to 100.
Now we’re there! It took us about three steps to get here, but what if our scene is a bit more complicated than what we currently have here? For example, let’s undo everything. Let’s make all of our layers 3D.
I’m going to hit R to reveal the rotation.
I’m also going to complicate our project just a bit more.
I’m going to select the Shape Layer, and then I’m going to rotate slightly to make it a bit more awkward.
So now, I have this weird-looking shape layer rotating in our composition. Now let’s try the same method we did earlier.
So I’m going to select the text layer and then make sure snapping is on.
Next, snap the text layer to the center of the circular shape layer. Then parent the text layer to the shape layer.
As you can see, the animation is not working right just yet. We would then have to go to the rotation property of the UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer and try to line it up manually.
Then maybe even adjust the scale of our text layer by pressing S on the keyboard and changing the scale to 100%.
So you get the point. It’s just not perfect, and it would take you way too many steps to fix it.
However, I have good news! There is a much better and faster way of getting this done. Let me show you.
Shift + Parenting Behavior Keyboard Shortcut
Instead of applying all the steps from the above example, all we have to do is select the UKRAMEDIA.COM text layer, hold down SHIFT on your keyboard, and pick-whip to the shape layer.
As you do that, the text layer will snap right into the center of the shape layer, and everything else will line up as well
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