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[Novice Guide] How to Cut Clips in After Effects?

Author by Cooper

Updated on Feb 2, 2023

Many novices are tempted by the powerful and professional video editing functions of After Effects and want to give it a try. But most of them get into trouble in cutting video clips or other operations. I have to say AE is still abstruse for novices. For solving these troubles, this article will introduce the detailed steps to cut clips in After Effects. Try it now, my friend.

When you ask someone engaged in video processing about how to edit and cut videos, they may recommend you to use Adobe After Effects, which provides professional video editing functions. Well, it is undeniable that After Effects' video editing functions are really powerful. However, there is a premise, you are also required to master skilled operations, which makes many novices and beginners go no further. Due to this, you need to learn details to cut clips in After Effects. With this graphic tutorial below, you’ll clearly grasp how to cut in After Effects.

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Detailed Steps to Cut Clips in After Effects

Before starting, make sure the Render or Adobe Media Encoder of your After Effects is available. If not, please download and initialize them.

Step 1. Import Your Footage

Import your footageImport your footage

Create a New Project. Head to upper-left menu > File > New > New Project. Import footage into AE. Menu > File > Import (In the middle of the dropdown list) > File... You can also choose multiple files to import several files once.

Step 2. Enable the Control Window

Enable the control windowEnable the control window

Drag and drop the imported file to the middle window, which is marked with New Composition, so as to create composition for the video you want to cut. Since you do this, a new control window will pop up under the composition window.

Prepare ClipPrepare Clip

Step 3. Prepare to Cut Clips in After Effects

In the control window, find the Current Time Indicator that looks like a line in the Time Ruler. Slide it to the frame where you want to start cropping video. Then press Ctrl + Shirt + D to split a new layer for it. Next, slide the indicator to the end frame and press Ctrl + Shirt + D again to set the end time of the clip.

Step 4. Save Your Cut Clip

Save your cut clipSave your cut clip

To be precise, what you just did is preparation work. Now, you should determine the work area by moving the Work Area Start and Work Area End sliders. You can find them on the top progress bar, they are usually blue or yellow. After that, right-click the top progress bar and click Trim Comp to Work Area. Now the video clip is cut.

Export clipExport clip

Step 5. Export the Cut Clip as Media File

Lastly, navigate to File > Export > Adobe Media Encoder Queue. I choose another option, i.e. Add to Render Queue, because I have not installed the media encoder. Then, you can see a new window in the same location as the control window. If this is your first time to export files in After Effect in this way, you may be required to nominate the output path and the file name. You can finish it by clicking the inverted triangle button next to Output to: Now, on the upper-right corner, click Render to finish the tutorial on how to cut in after effects.

Cut Clips in After Effects Alternative More Easily

To be honest, it's still a bit difficult to cut video clips with AE. For those who do not want to spend much energy on learning how to cut in After Effects, WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro assists you to process this work within simple mouse-clicks. Now, let us find out what you actually need to click. It is the most effective way to check over something by your firsthand experience.

How to Cut Clips in HD Video Converter Factory Pro?

Import the video

Before starting to cut clips, please free downloadfree download this application. You can count this into one click.

Step 1. Import the Video You Want to Cut

Launch this video cutter and click the Converter button to enter a new module. Head to Add File on the top-left corner, or drag and drop your video therein. You are allowed to load multiple files by holding Ctrl or Shift.

Cut videos into clips

Step 2. Cut Videos into Clips

Since the video is loaded, click the Trim button on the video editing toolbar under each video. You are led to a new cutting dialog. Now, drag the sliders or type in the start and end time to nominate the clips you want. Then, click the green Trim button. You can replay these motions for another clip. There is fully no limitation on the number of cutting.

Save clips

Step 3. Save Clips

After cutting clips, navigate to the output format button. Find and select the format as the same as the original video, if you want few quality change on them. Or choose MP4, which offers you great compatibility on various devices. Lastly, click Run to keep your video clips.

Up to now, you have clicked only 14 times. What high efficiency, isn’t it?


Still confused about the complicated steps on how to cut video in after effects? Practice more times, you will get to know the knack of After Effects trimming video clips. Alternatively, if you require a quick clip cutting software, WonderFox HD Video Converter is your best choice. You have also seen its high efficiency with your own eyes.

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Besides cropping videos, this foolproof application also assists you to convert video from one container to 500+ digital formats and devices, download videos from popular video-sharing sites, make screen capturing video and so forth. Similarly, you can process these functions as simply as cropping video clips shown above. Trust in me, it is worth your try.

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