It’s super easy to crop in After Effects. This fast, helpful video tutorial will show you everything you need to know!

Cropping in After Effects is incredibly easy. Whether you’re working on a graphic for the web or simply a fun project with an irregular aspect ratio, cropping should only take a matter of seconds. Simply follow the video tutorial or read the step-by-step instructions below!


How to Crop in After Effects in Three Easy Steps

Step 1: Select Region of Interest Tool

How to Crop in After Effects - Step 1: Select Region of Interest Tool

The Region of Interest button is at the bottom of the Composition panel.  It looks like a small box in a larger box.

The Region of Interest tool is one of the most underrated tools in After Effects. Essentially, the Region of Interest tool allows you to create a box around a specific area in the frame. Practically, this means After Effects can focus on rendering out a small portion of the frame, so your computer speed will increase.

Step 2: Create a Box Around Your Crop Location

How to Crop in After Effects - Step 2: Create a Box Around Your Crop Location

To use the Region of Interest tool, simply click and drag to create a box. Don’t worry if you don’t get the box just right, you can adjust the edges after you set your Region of Interest. You can toggle the visibility of the Region of Interest by simply deselecting the box mentioned in the first step.

Step 3: Composition > Crop Comp to Region of Interest

How to Crop in After Effects - Step 3: Composition > Crop Comp to Region of Interest

Once you have your Region of Interest selected, simply navigate to the menu bar at the very top of After Effects and select Composition>Crop Comp to Region of Interest. This will automatically crop your composition to the Region of Interest box that you created.

If you would like to see the exact dimensions of your newly cropped composition, simply navigate to Composition>Composition Settings (or you could hit Command+K). You can adjust your dimensions by hand from the Composition Settings window.

If you want to learn about how to crop an individual layer in After Effects, check out this great post over on PremiumBeat. The post covers how to create masks (individual layer cropping) in After Effects.

Have any questions about how to create masks in After Effects? Let us know in the comments below!