Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeAdobeHow to Take Screenshots on After Effects

How to Take Screenshots on After Effects

Capturing the perfect frame in After Effects is essential for sharing your creative vision, getting client approval, or simply documenting your progress. But unlike grabbing a screenshot on your desktop, After Effects requires a specific approach. Don’t worry, this guide will equip you with not just one, but several methods to take screenshots in After Effects, including some time-saving techniques you might not be aware of.

Understanding the Difference: Snapshots vs. Exporting Frames

Before diving in, it’s important to clarify the difference between taking a snapshot and exporting a frame in After Effects.

  • Snapshots: These are temporary images captured within the After Effects interface for quick reference. They aren’t saved as separate files but are stored within the project itself.
  • Exporting Frames: This process creates a permanent image file (JPEG, PNG, etc.) outside of the After Effects project. This is ideal for sharing your screenshots or using them in other applications.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s explore how to take screenshots on After Effects

Method 1: The Classic Snapshot (Shortcut: Shift+F5)

This is the most basic way to take a screenshot in After Effects. Simply navigate to the frame you want to capture in the timeline. Then, press and hold the Shift key and press F5. You’ll hear a shutter sound, indicating a snapshot has been taken.

Using Snapshots Effectively:

Snapshots are great for quick reference during editing. You can access them by clicking the History panel (Window > History) and selecting the snapshot thumbnail. Snapshots are temporary and get purged when you close the project, so they’re not suitable for permanent storage.

Method 2: Exporting a Single Frame (Composition > Save Frame As)

For creating a lasting screenshot, you’ll need to export a frame. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the desired frame in your timeline.
  2. Navigate to the top menu bar and select Composition > Save Frame As.
  3. Choose between saving the frame as a File (e.g., JPEG, PNG) or Photoshop Layers. Selecting “File” gives you more control over the image format and quality.
  4. In the following window, define the filename, location, and desired image format (e.g., JPEG, PNG).
  5. Click Save.

Method 3: Render Queue for Batch Export (Faster for Multiple Frames)

If you need to capture multiple frames as screenshots, the Render Queue offers a more efficient workflow.

  1. Select the frame range you want to export (hold down Shift while clicking on the desired frames in the timeline).
  2. Go to Composition > Add to Render Queue.
  3. In the Render Queue window, you can adjust individual frame settings or use the default settings.
  4. Click the Render button to export all the selected frames as separate image files.

Also Read: 5 Captivating Text Animation Effects in After Effects

Bonus Tip: FX Console Plugin (Third-Party Option for Supercharged Screenshots)

For a supercharged screenshot experience, consider using the FX Console plugin by Video Copilot ( This plugin adds a convenient button panel where you can capture screenshots directly in PNG or JPG format, and even copy them to your clipboard for seamless integration into other applications.


With these methods at your disposal, you can now effortlessly capture your After Effects creations as screenshots. Remember, snapshots are great for temporary reference, while exporting frames is the way to go for permanent storage and sharing. For bulk exports, the Render Queue streamlines the process. And if you’re looking for an extra layer of convenience, the FX Console plugin is a time-saving champion.

So, the next time you need to grab a screenshot in After Effects, choose the method that best suits your workflow and conquer your creative vision with confidence!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments