After Effects Tutorials / Video Editing

How to Split a Clip in After Effects + Expert Advice

Split a clip in after effects
Published 22 March 2021

Last updated on 25 June 2022

When it comes to Adobe After Effects, there is no shortage of words to say about it, it is simply a very powerful tool. It can help you realize many complex and simple operations, such as:

In this article, I will show you how to split a clip in After Effects and show you how beneficial it is to speed up your work. There are some ways you can do it, but I will cover two of the ones I mostly use.

Step 1 – Import videos to your project

Your first step is to import your video clip inside your After Effects project.

  1. Go to the “File” menu in the upper-left corner and select “Import“.
  2. Navigate to and select your footage
  3. Click “OK” to import
Importing a file in after effects

If you find this process too long and dull, you can simply drag and drop your video clip over your “Project” window, this will automatically import it inside your project.

Step 2 – Add video to the timeline

Your second step will be to insert your imported video clip from the project media panel into your timeline.

  1. Drag the footage from the “Project” panel in the top-left corner of the screen to the “Composition” box at the bottom of the After Effects window.
  2. The footage file will show up as a new layer in the “Composition” frame.
Drag footage from project to timeline

Step 3 – Split the clip

Your final step will be to select the point in time where you want to split a clip in After Effects and move the timeline marker to that point by dragging the handle at the top.

  • Windows – Press the CTRL + SHIFT + D
  • MacCMD + SHIFT + D

The footage will split into two layers on your selected mark.

Split a clip in after effects

Another method to split a clip in After Effects

This operation can also be done by simply duplicating your video inside your timeline by pressing the “CTRL“+”D” if you are on a PC or “CMD“+”D” if you are on a Mac. This will make two exact copies of your initial footage and put them on 2 layers.

Duplicate a layer in after effects

What is left to do is to simply press “Alt”+ either “[“ or “]”, this will cut your layer where the timeline marker is situated.

I recommend playing a little with these shortcuts until you get the hang of it, these shortcuts can be really helpful and will speed up your workflow considerably.

Video tutorial to split a clip in After Effects

Final words

It’s quite simple once you know, isn’t it? Now you know how to split a clip in After Effects, this will help you a lot when you want to insert a quick cut somewhere, you want to resize your frame, or you simply want to stabilize a part of your video.

If you’re interested in more After Effects tutorials, please see these:

About Author

After spending 6 years in the post-production studio, Mihai decided to share his insights on video editing and computers.