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After Effects Easter Eggs


People are sometimes surprised discovering Easter Eggs in After Effects -- apparent oddities in the interface. Some of these have been around for a very long time, maybe even since the inception of After Effects. MographWiki collected these stray items a few years ago, and to celebrate Spring, we have another one for you.

MographWiki describes 5 After Effects Easter eggs, so there there's no need replicate their work. Here's the list, with additional factoids:

1 Secret Preferences (use explained by Mark Christiansen; related to sheep sound for some versions)

2 Mask Embiggen (A perfectly cromulent phrase; the silver-tongued Jebediah Springfield coined the town motto, "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.")

3 Sheep sound (True insider lore is obscure but a sheep icon appeared in early AE versions of the Time-Comp, Layers, and Properties palettes. A failed render would make AE bleat a goatish "maa," which you can still hear by Shift-clicking on the layer name area in Effect Controls.)

4 Team AE 7.0 credits project (these change every version but the shortcuts are the same)

5 CallAdobe (untested here) 

We can add number 6. SAMURAI Rotobrush.

Some have noticed that extra sounds shipped with CS5, samurai_bg.wav and samurai_fg.wav. These files are supposed to sound like a sword being swung back and forth while cutting mattes with the Rotobrush tool. The only way within the UI to make those sounds happen is to rename the Rotobrush effect to the original project name, which stands for "segmentation matting university research Adobe integration" (for more on Rotobrush genesis, see SIGGRAPH videos on the Roto Brush).

There's one small final challenge and another surprise in store, should you choose to "buzz the mission." Note that you'll need to quit and restart After Effects to go back to the normal quiet Roto Brush mode.