How to Loop a Video File in After Effects

Every week, Insider asks one of our expert contributors to share a tip, tool, or technique that they use all the time and couldn’t live without. This week, Laurence Grayson shares the simplest way to loop a video file in After Effects.

When you’ve been using After Effects for a while, it’s easy to forget that some of the basic functions and features you use every day aren’t always kept in obvious places. How to loop a video in After Effects definitely sits in this category. And looking at Google keyword data, you’re not alone in your search for this answer. 

On a side note, if you ended up here looking for how to loop a composition in After Effects, then you’re just a click away. And while it’s possible to use the composition looping technique to loop a video, there’s a much simpler way, and here it is.

Step by step

  1. Locate your media in the After Effects Project panel,
  2. Right-click and select Interpret Footage->Main (or use the Opt+Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+G keyboard shortcut),
  3. At the bottom of the Main Options tab, look for the Loop option under Other Options,
  4. Drop in a value that works for you, and hit OK.

This will come in handy for pre-rendered motion assets and animations like background plates.

Tip: Remember that you might need to increase the length of your composition to accommodate your new looping clip’s length. After Effects won’t automatically expand it for you. (Cmd/Ctrl+K, change duration).

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Laurence Grayson

After a career spanning [mumble] years and roles that include creative lead, video producer, tech journalist, designer, and envelope stuffer, Laurence is now the managing editor for Insider. This has made him enormously happy, but he's British, so it's very hard to tell.

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