In this short tutorial I will show how you can efficiently split a layer in After Effects so you can easily divide your layer in 2 or multiple layers.

Let’s get straight to it!

  1. Create a new composition
  2. Import your video or audio file in your project window
  3. Drag and drop your video or your audio into your composition timeline
  4. Select your video in the timeline, move the vertical time indicator where the cut need to be
    Now go to Edit > Split Layer or use the split shortcut below

    Command+Shift+D
    Ctrl+Shift+D

  5. Done! your video layer should now be split in 2 layers, you can obviously repeat the process to divide in multiple layers.The split technic above can be use to split composition, video, audio files, shape layer, solid layer…

Split Layer Tips

In After effects if you split a layer multiple times it get complicated very quick to know which layer belong to what. So the solution is to create a marker with label at the beginning or end of the cut that way your layer split are organized.

Below an example where I split one layer multiple times


Here is a few steps to quickly add a markers to organize your split layer

1. Select your layer

2. Drag your time indicator to the beginning of your layer and press * on your keyboard, it will create a label triangle cone (see demo below)

3. Now double click on the label gray triangle cone to add a name to it.

The things you should know about split layer in After Effects
For those who are used to edit video in other platform like premiere there is a few thing you might want to know when you edit in After Effects.

A. Unlike Premiere pro there is no razor tool in After Effects
B. You can’t have 2 split section on the same line like Premiere

Hope you found this tutorial helpful by now you should be able to split clips like a pro!
Please drop a comment below if you have any question