How I Work: App List
I use a lot of extra, smaller programs to make my work easier. After gauging interest on Twitter, it seems many people are curious about what I use. A while back, I wrote about some iOS apps, but an expanded and updated list including Mac apps is due, since many of those apps have been abandoned, or have been replaced in my workflow with others.
C4D & AE Desktops
For a while now, I’ve been meaning to start something like Post Chat, but for motion designers. Well, I’ve finally gotten it off the ground. MoChat officially started last night with a decent turn out. From 9PM to 10PM ET, several motion designers took to twitter to discuss the new ray-trace engine in After Effects CS6, as well as other topics like GPUs, plugins, and scripts. Even the official @AdobeAE account participated.
MoChat will continue every Tuesday night at 9PM ET for one hour, with transcripts being posted to Motion League soon after. Though next week will be a brief hiatus for Independence Day. MoChat will return on July 10th. If you have any interest in motion design at all, you should at least lurk.
After Effects Shortcut References
Yesterday, I had a simple question on Twitter:
Does anyone have a good AE keyboard shortcut cheat-sheet, aside from the list on Adobe’s site?— Paul Conigliaro (@conigs) May 31, 2012
I really just wanted something to keep on hand and easily reference in a separate window. It turned out, quite a few options were available. I just wanted to highlight these and some of their pros & cons.
First, the standard Adobe document available from the help menu. (Really, this works fine and it’s what I’ve been using.) It’s fairly straight forward and categorized. It just seems there would be a more elegant way of displaying & searching this info.
Gfx Hotkeys is an app I’ve had available on my phone for a while. It’s got a lot more than just After Effects, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema 4D, Maya, Nuke, FCP7, and a lot more. Unfortunately, this app hasn’t been updated since June 2011. Since then, CS6, C4D r13, and FCPX have been released. with new additions come new shortcuts…
If you download the Additional Scripts available for After Effects, you can install the KeyEd Up script. This allows you to easily change the keyboard shortcuts within AE. It also allows you to export your shortcuts as an HTML file. The upside to this is if you customize any shortcuts, this reference will be accurate. (You should get these scripts regardless, and I’m not sure why they’re not included with AE by default.)
I had high hopes for CheatSheet (OS X only, free). This app runs in the background and is triggered if you hold down the command key for about two seconds. A sheet is displayed on the screen showing you keyboard shortcuts, but only for actively available menu items. This is still a nice app to have running for other apps, but didn’t really help my AE situation.
Lastly, there is another script from AE Scripts fittingly titled Shortcut Key Reference. This is a dockable script that you point to the AE Keyabord Shortcuts file. (On a Mac with CS6, that file is in
~/Library/Preferences/Adobe/After Effects/11.0/Adobe After Effects 11.0 Shortcuts.) This provides a searchable list of all shortcuts right within the program. Right now, this is docked in the same panel as my comp viewer. It’s a nice reference, but real-time searching was slow. Turning that off helped, but you have to click “Search”, you can’t just hit enter after typing.
Overall, it seems there’s not a perfect solution, but Shortcut Key Reference is pretty close.