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Viewing Snapshots

As you work, you'll often need to compare different frames closely. In After Effects, you can take a snapshot of a frame to store for later viewing. Then, with the click of a button, you can temporarily replace the current image in a Footage, Composition, or Layer panel with the snapshot image. The snapshot doesn't really replace anything; it's just used for quick reference—like holding a shirt up to yourself in a mirror to compare it with the one you're wearing. Toggling between the current frame and the snapshot makes it easier to see the differences.

To take a snapshot, follow these steps:

  1. In a Footage, Composition, or Layer panel, cue the footage to the frame you want to use as a reference snapshot.
  2. Click the Snapshot button (see Figure 20), or press Shift-F5. The current frame becomes the snapshot, and the Show Last Snapshot button becomes available.
Figure 20

Figure 20 Click the Snapshot button to store the current image as a snapshot.

To view the most recent snapshot, follow these steps:

  1. If necessary, cue the footage to the frame you want to compare to the snapshot.
  2. Click and hold down the Show Last Snapshot button, or press F5. As long as you hold down the mouse button, the panel displays the snapshot (see Figure 21). When you release the mouse button, the panel displays the current frame.
Figure 21

Figure 21 The Show Last Snapshot button temporarily replaces the current image with the snapshot. Release the button to see the current frame again.

If a panel uses a different aspect ratio than that of the snapshot, the snapshot is resized to fit into the panel.

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