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Easter Egg Hunt: Hidden Treats in Adobe After Effects

Caleb Ward
By Caleb Ward
By Caleb Ward

We show you the hidden suprises in this easter egg hunt for Adobe After Effects.

It’s that time of the year again, kids get to search around for eggs full of candy while you watch with inner-jealousy. Well…we can’t give you free candy but we can give you the chance to go on an easter egg hunt using Adobe After Effects!

For those unfamiliar, an ‘easter egg‘ is a hidden message or joke inside a movie or software. Some developers choose to include easter eggs in their apps and software as a way to entertain and reward users.

First we’ll provide instructions for the ‘hunt’ and then we’ll share the spoilers for what each of them does…

Easter Egg Hunt Instructions

Simply open up a new project in Adobe After Effects and follow the instructions below.

  1. Hold down Option+Command (Control+Alt on a pc) and click About After Effects in the File Menu.
  2. Navigate to File>Preferences>General, with the Shift key held down click General. There should be a new menu item at the bottom of the menu tabs.
  3. Create a new mask. Hold down Shift+Option+Command and click on the words Mask Expansion. When you close and open the mask menu you should see an easter egg.
  4. Add an effect to any layer. In the effects control panel shift+click on the text just above the top effect (make sure you unmute your speakers).
  5. Add the Tone effect to any clip. Under the Animation presets click CallAdobe. This produces the DTMF tone that allegedly will call Adobe if you are using a phone that recognizes DTMF tones.

What’s Inside Each Egg? Spoiler Alert!

1. A secret project with the names of all the developers.

2. A secret menu tab that allows users to disable the layer cache and ignore sequence rendering errors. This one makes us a little nervous.

3. The term “Mask Embiggen” will replace expansion. Embiggen is a term from The Simpsons which means to make bigger. Although we’re thinking there may be some other connotations.

4. When you click right above the top effect in the effect control panel you will hear a sheep sound. I accidentally came across this sound recently with my volume turned up and it scared the heck out of me! The sheep sound also plays when there are certain types of rendering errors.


Photo Courtesy of George Gastin on Wikimedia

The following video shows how find the easter eggs in Adobe After Effects.

Well that concludes our easter egg hunt this year!

Did we miss any Easter Eggs? Share in the comments below.