Whenever I work with After Effects, I experiment with my footage a lot before finalizing. So, comparing two different effects using After Effects Snapshot feature helps me a lot to judge which one looks better. This feature allows you to take a snapshot of your work and saves that snapshot into the cache so that you can anytime refer to that particular frame with just a click of a button.

How to take a Snapshot of your Frame

Taking a snapshot of a particular frame is very simple and can be achieved with just a click of a button. However, you can only take one snapshot at a time, this means whenever you take a new snapshot, it will overwrite the previous one and you will not be able to access your old snapshots anymore. Since this feature is just for comparison purpose only, you can take snapshots time to time as your work progress.

To take a Snapshot, all you have to do is click on the small camera icon at the bottom of your composition panel. When you hover your mouse on the camera icon, Take Snapshot text will appear, and as you click on that icon, you will hear a camera shutter sound thus letting you know that a snapshot has been taken successfully.

If you click on the camera icon again, you will hear another shutter sound. This means a new snapshot has been taken which overwrites the previous one. You can take as many snapshots as you wish.


How to view the Snapshot

Viewing a snapshot is as simple as taking one. All you have to do is click and hold the Show Snapshot button on the left side of the Take Snapshot button. The snapshot will be visible as long as you click and hold your mouse button, and as you release your mouse left click,  the snapshot will hide and you will see your current frame.

You can view the snapshot as many times as you wish, it will be stored in the cache until you take a new one.


Though it is a very simple and minor trick, but sometimes, comparing your work can help you choose what is wrong and what is right. In other words, you will be able to evaluate whether a particular effect or setting looks good or not.


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