After Effects Tip: Solids Folder Improvements

There are currently four new improvements to the Solids Folder in the latest version of Adobe After Effects. Let me show you what they are.

Let’s open After Effects and dive right in!

First Improvement in After Effects

I have a simple project in After Effects with a text, a shape, and a background layer in my composition.

After Effects Project

Step 1: Create a New Solid

First, let’s select the composition and press CTRL+Y on a PC/COMMAND+Y on a Mac. Press OK.

Create a New Solid in After Effects

When we press OK, After Effects automatically creates a new Solids Folder inside of our Project Panel.

New Solids Folder in project panel in After Effects

Now when we create new Nulls, Solids, and Adjustment Layers, they automatically will be placed inside of our Solids Folder in the Projects Panel.

The older version of After Effects had a small problem when working with the Solids Folder. In the old version, if you changed the name of the Solids Folder, it would automatically stop placing new Nulls, Solids, and Adjustment Layers inside of the renamed folder. Instead, it would create another Solids Folder and put them there. It was annoying.

However, this is no longer a problem in the new version of After Effects. Even if we change the name of the Solids Folder, it will still gather all of our new Nulls, Solids, and Adjustment Layers in the same folder. Let me show you an example.

Step 2: Changing the Solid Folder Name

Let’s select the Solids Folder and hit enter on the keyboard to change the name to SOLIDS instead.

Renaming Solids Folder in After Effects

Next, you will see the Change Solids Folder window pop up that says the following: “You have changed the name of the folder where solids, nulls, and adjustments layers are created. Do you want these new project items to be created in “SOLIDS”? If not, new project items will be created in a folder named “Solids.”

Click “Yes, use “SOLIDS.”
Changing the name of Solids Folder in After Effects

Now, let’s go back to our composition and create another new solid with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+Y on a PC/COMMAND+Y on a MAC. Create a new solid in After Effects

Change the solid color to the color red and click OK. Now there are two different solids in the SOLIDS Folder.

Solids Folder After Effects

Second Improvement in After Effects

The next improvement is a minor one, but it is still great!

Older versions of After Effects didn’t allow us to nest our Solids Folder inside of other folders in the Project Panel.  I mean, you could technically move your folder, but it would no longer be the solids folder. It would become a folder full of solids instead.

Nesting Folders in After Effects

It would become disconnected, so to speak. Meaning, After Effect would no longer store any new Nulls, Solids, and Adjustment Layers inside of that folder. Instead, it will create a Solids Folder and store all of our new Nulls, Solids, and Adjustment Layers there.

However, it is no longer a problem with the new version of After Effects. We can now change the names of our Solids Folder and nest it anywhere we want because After Effects will still recognize it. Let me show you a quick example.

Let’s again go back to our composition and create another new solid with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+Y on a PC/COMMAND+Y on a MAC.

Creating a new composition in After Effects

As you can see from the example below, the new solid is stored now stored in the SOLIDS Folder nested inside of the ASSETS folder.

Nested Solids Folder in After Effects

Third Improvement in After Effects

The third improvement is my favorite one! We can now assign any folders in our After Effects Project Panel to be the Solids Folder. Let me show you an example.

Step 1: Create a New Folder

First, I am going to create a new folder inside of our Projects Panel in After Effect. I will name the new folder UKRAMEDIA.COM.

Step 2: Assign a Solids Folder

Then RIGHT-CLICK on the new UKRAMEDIA.COM folder and select Solid Folder. That simple!

Assign New Solid Folder in After Effects

Step 3: Test the Solid Folder

Let’s test it to make sure our solids are now stored inside of the UKRAMEDIA.COM folder.

Let’s again go back to our composition to create another new solid with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+Y on a PC/COMMAND+Y on a MAC.

Creating New Solid in Adobe After Effects

Hit OK and now you should see our new solid stored inside of our UKRAMEDIA.COM folder.

Nested Solid After Effects

Fourth Improvement in After Effects

The last improvement is also very useful. We can now set the default name of the Solids Folder in After Effects. So, instead of it always being Solids, we can now set it to whatever we want. Let me show you a quick example.

Go to EditPreferencesNew Project.

Changing the default name of the Solids Folder in After Effects

You can enter the desired name in the pop-up box. I will enter UKRAMEDIA.COM for this example. Press OK.

Change the name of Solids Folder in New Project prefences in After Effects

Create a new Project with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+N on a PC/COMMAND+OPTION+N on a Mac.

Create a new project in After Effects

Then create a new Composition with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+N on a PC/COMMAND+N on a Mac. Press OK.

Create a new composition in After Effects

And lastly, I will create a new Solid with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+N on a PC or COMMAND+N on a Mac. Press OK.

Create a new solid in After Effects

And now our Solids Folder default name is UKRAMEDIA.COM instead of Solids.

Chaning Default name for Solids folder in After Effects

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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