Each and every day, our creative team at ChizComm uses a range of different tools and software offered by Adobe to create standout creative assets for our clients. Within the creative suite, there is an overwhelming number of different features to recall and keep track of. So today, our team is highlighting five of our favorite Adobe hacks to help you with your next creative project.

#1: Sequence Layering in After Effects

Adobe After Effects offers a neat little feature to automatically arrange your layers in a sequence to help speed up your video editing process. For those familiar with Photoshop, this feature mimics the scripts that allow you to Load Files into Stack.

As an example, we are creating a stop motion using a series of photographs in After Effects. To manually place each frame into a composition is time consuming, so this is where sequencing comes into play. After you set the duration of your composition, select all your sourced layers by highlighting them all and right clicking. A window will appear by your cursor with a list of commands – hover your cursor over the Keyframe Assistant and click Sequence Layers. Your files will automatically be placed in a sequence in your composition! How easy is that?

#2: Relinking images in Adobe InDesign

Our second hack is in Adobe InDesign. Not everyone knows this, but if you have an image placed in your document and you would like to swap that image out for a new one, it’s actually quite simple! InDesign offers a relatively easy way to utilize the relinking feature that allows an existing image to be swapped in without altering its placement in the document.

To relink a file, open your Links tab and find the target image that you would like to relink. Highlight the layer and right click – a dropdown menu will then appear by your cursor, click the Relink option. Alternatively, once you have your file highlighted, simply press the Relink button at the bottom of the Links tab. You can then find your desired image for importing. Once the image is swapped in, you can manually adjust its placement in the existing window. Go ahead and try it out!

#3: Pathfinder tool trick in Illustrator

Our third hack involves the Pathfinder tool in Adobe Illustrator. The Pathfinder tool is an amazing tool that most designers are familiar with. It allows you to take multiple overlapping shapes, cut them and then create new shapes. The hack here is to provide you with more options to play with when uniting and cutting those new shapes.

For example, let’s say you want to Unite two circles together to make a new shape in Illustrator, however you still want to be able to manually move each circle within that new shape. After highlighting your two circles, select the Unite Shape Mode under the Pathfinder Tab. The trick here is rather than highlighting both your circles and clicking on Unite, hold down the alt key (or option key on a Mac) at the same time as clicking on Unite.

You will now be able to double click on each of the existing shapes within that newly created shape and move them around freely to make any adjustments or new paths.


#4: Adding Proxies for smoother editing in Adobe Premier

Our fourth hack is with Adobe Premier Proxies. When video editing with larger raw video files, the playback can get choppy or slow. Premier has an excellent feature which aims at making your editing smoother by enabling proxies. These proxies take your larger video files and render them at a lower quality for you to use while editing.

To enable proxies, highlight all of your desired footage in the Projects tab and right click. A window by your cursor will appear, hover your cursor over Proxy and then click “Create Proxies.” Click the Okay button and watch as your queue of videos render through Proxy.

Bonus tip - you can still preview your video at its full original resolution by simply clicking on the Toggle Proxy Button.

#5: Content-Aware Fill by Photoshop for Photo Editing

Our final hack brings us to Photoshop with a feature called Content-Aware Fill. This feature is a lifesaver for photo editing as it allows you to quickly manipulate any image by removing unwanted elements, while keeping the original image intact.

Let’s say we have a photo of friends on a beach, and we want to remove the bottles in the photo on the sand. Simply make a selection on your rasterized image, go to Edit, and then click “Content-Aware Fill.”

A preview window will appear allowing you to see the before and after. Photoshop samples the image detail from the highlighted green area to fill in the image. Simply erase any elements you do not want to be used in the process and press okay. Like magic, your image has now been cleared! As an added convenience, the content fill will be saved as a separate layer!

Ready to get going? These simple tricks will amaze you and have you flying through your next project. For the newbies who are curious, get a trial version for adobe creative cloud available here.

Let us know what you think of these cheats and if you have any others we should check out ourselves!