Welcome! My name is Alan Shisko, and I'm a freelance motion graphics artist working out of Toronto, Canada. I've been very lucky in my career to have had many inspiring teachers, and decided to start this blog to give back to the community that has enriched me both technically and aesthetically. Perhaps my words and images will inspire you to do the same! If you wish, take a minute to view my demo reel at Shisko.com, or view a comprehensive gallery of my past work Here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Key'd Up

Those who know me know that I'm mad for keyboard shortcuts when using After Effects. And not just because it impresses clients when you use a 'ninja' KB shortcut like "ctrl+alt+shift+'C'" to create a camera, but also because it's the key (so to speak) to a fast, effective After Effects workflow.

The trouble is, you're pretty much stuck with the default shortcuts that ship with After Effects, unless you have the wherewithal to track down and modify the AE KB shortcut text file. This can be a substantial problem for non-US keyboards where certain critical keys (like the '~' key for maximizing windows) may be missing.

Enter Jeff Almasol, scripter par excellence. He's written a script called "Key'd Up" that brings a GUI to modify your KB shortcuts directly from within After Effects. You can find the script (in a package with a few other awesome bits 'n pieces) HERE.

Key'd Up works very well, and at the risk of sounding ungrateful (I'm so very not!) there are a couple of things missing from the script that would make it (to my mind) perfect. First, I'd like to be able to execute a KB shortcut within the script and have the result shown. For instance, if I were to hold down "ctrl+'C'", it would tell me that that shortcut is used to "Copy" a parameter. You CAN do this by selecting a command and changing to the KB shortcut that you'd like to identify, then hit the "Show Usage" button. But this method won't work if I want to rapidly find out what certain key combinations use.

Second, I'd also like to be able to search the 'Categories' and 'Commands'. For instance, AE CS3 replaced my much-loved 'ctrl+"G"' kb shortcut ('go to time') with something else. I'd like to change this behaviour back using Key'd Up, but I couldn't find the "Go To Time" command on the left pane. You'd think it would be in the "Timeline Navigation" category, but alas it's not (it's in the 'General' category, BTW). Again, you can use the 'show usage' button to eventually figure it out, but a quick search would definitely be handy.

All that said, it's a great script that I use often to enhance my workflow. Highly recommended.

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