“option” + drag to duplicate keyframes and layers
In a lot of Adobe programs, you can hold "option" (on mac) and drag a shape or layer to duplicate it. Except for AE, this is however a very fast and interactive way to duplicate something that could even be applied to effects, keyframes, etc.
Here is a demo video of how this would work: https://vimeo.com/137401276
Wiktor Paluch commented
Please do that Adobe people. Thanks Sander for your time to visualize that
mayank maurya commented
This is extremly important cause I do had developed the habit to option drag to copy but sometime I realize oh its after effects and it doesn't work the same.
Caroline Lancaster commented
It doesn’t work so don’t bother spending your money on this ****** space waster.
Christopher Lis commented
Another great idea that seems to have been ignored. This is app dev 101 at this point, not sure why small features like this aren't being implemented. Really wish there was a good After Effects competitor that solves these things.
@Adam, option+drag on markers splits them so they have a range. You can just move the playhead and quickly hit * on your number pad or ctrl+8 on Mac to place a new one.
Adam Pippin commented
This would be great if it also worked on markers too
Bill Borez commented
Needs to happen.
Yes, these are two separate requests.
All I know is, I love being able to alt+drag keyframes in Premiere to duplicate them, and I find it bizarre and annoying that it's so much more tedious in After Effects. I just want the exact same functionality in AE. (Side note, I also really wish I could stretch keyframes in Premiere, like I can in AE!)
If someone wants to time-reverse their keyframes, they can still just do that with a keyboard shortcut for all selected frames AFTER they've been duplicated... I see no reason to combine those two actions into one, especially when we only have 3 modifier keys to work with. (I maybe misunderstood what you are getting at with #2.)
2. Oh god yes.
Thanks all for the great feedback so far.
As this discussion has progressed both here and on Twitter, I'm wondering if this request needs to be split into two parts. While I appreciate the universal approach of "Alt/Option + drag = duplicate", it sounds like there's a wider variety of behaviors desired here. So we'd need two different stories:
1. Alt/Option + drag = duplicate for layers, Project window items, shapes, effects, and other objects where it makes sense.
2. A larger story around better behaviors for duplicating or copy/pasting keyframes that covers the issues people have raised here regarding multi-layer cases, selection boxes, and modified paste behaviors like time-reverse.
+1 for more double tap keys...
To Tim's point about modifiers being exhausted... The visual shortcut customizer was a welcome addition to my personal workflow, however I also found the same problem the Ae team is having. Most modifiers are already used. I found myself wanting access to add custom quick double-letter shortcuts.
In this case for drag and duplicate, a unique/new hold on second keypress might work. So' Alt' then hold a quick second 'Alt' in succession + drag would active the duplication.
More broadly though it seems to be the problem of keyboard UI. I've seen iPad and scripts used to add extra keys. Wacom keys. Color grading as a practice has its own keyboard. Or C4D's submenus, opening up various combinations of quick keypresses as shortcuts... Not sure what's best but I feel like as more great feature are added to Ae, we'll be wanting more shortcuts, which are in short supply.
Look at Cinema. Time stretch as an actual box. Then option is no longer needed for that so opt+drag can duplicate keyframes. This would also allow us to reverse a group of keys properly.
Kyle Hamrick commented
The behavior definitely sounds useful, and any time we can achieve consistency with other Adobe apps is always nice.
I use alt-dragging (to "accordion" keys) relatively frequently (and also use ctrl+alt+click to toggle Hold fairly frequently), but I feel like I might agree with Steve that Ctrl+Alt+Click might be negotiable. That said, this probably means I'm suggesting changing TWO existing behaviors (alt+drag becomes Duplicate, ctrl+alt+drag becomes "accordion"), which sounds insane.
As I was typing this, I wonder if I've perhaps stumbled onto something - maybe I'm crazy, but would it be possible to hold the D key (for, you know, *D*uplicate) to accomplish this? While the key is different, the behavior is in line with other Adobe apps. As AE is already such a complex program, users are used to getting similar behaviors, but with different hotkeys... (It's probably not possible to separate this from the existing functionality of D to "Scroll to current time," is it? Would this be an easier change to swallow?)
+1 for this needing to work for keys on multiple layers at once.
+1 for being able to add another modifier key to reverse the copied keys.
+1 for being able to force the keys to sit on exact frames.
+1 for a bounding box that allows you to both see what you're doing and intuitively manipulate the group of keys (similar to behavior within the Graph Editor).
Dino Muhic commented
I wouldn't mind this.
I'm used to copy-paste but I wouldn't bother changing this for a new feature which is also useful.
Tristan Summers commented
Side note. There needs to be a way to put those time stretched keys back on actual frames if you must keep doing that. It causes a lot of problems down the line.
Brian Carter commented
What about a bounding box for the keyframes? That replicates a typical and obvious use case, communicates a clear mode, and allows for even more scaling options (center based).
The bounding box could be constant or a separate mode triggered by a command (Cmd T for transform?). Yes if you’re a constant opt dragger, it’s an extra step but you get more flexibility.
David Arbor commented
Would it be weird if Opt+Drag worked for duplicating a single keyframe, but when used for multiple keys you would hold Opt and drag from in between keys and a new, subtle UI element would pop up indicating that there will be a duplicate created? Something subtle like th plus icon that gets added to a folder when duplicating in Explorer and Finder.
Or maybe the selected keys would be highlighted in a new way, but only while Opt is held and the mouse is within the bounds of the selects keys, but not over one of them.
Michael Szalapski commented
I am someone who uses the time stretch option with some frequency and I'd be perfectly fine if that moved to control/command instead of alt/opt. Sure, it'll be annoying for a bit, but I'll get used to it. And, heck, roving keyframes (ctrl+clicking) kinda feel like time stretching in a way, so it fits pretty well.
Copying keyframes while holding alt is something I can totally get behind - especially if it works on multiple layers simultaneously.
Bran Dougherty-Johnson commented
Why not command-option? Is that used?