In my compossition I imported an image, I would like to scale the image in real-time (I mean using the mouse to select the image, center it in the composition and resize it to see the results in real-time because for me is more productive to do it in this way, instead of manually specifying width and height wherever) preserving the aspect ratio of the image.

In Photoshop, this can be done by clicking in a corner of the image element then holding the CTRL key while using the mouse to resize the image, so the image is scaled preserving aspect ratio, however, I can't reproduce this behavior in After Effects, if I do click on a corner of the image, nothing happens.

If this is not possible to do in the same productive and easy way than Photoshop, then how I could do it (in the less tedious way)?.


Click on a layer name. You should see the control points on its border. Click on one of the border points but don't drag it yet. Hold down Shift key and then drag it. Release the mouse button when done and then release the Shift key.

  • Thanks again for your help. That is was I tried before asking for help, however I just did it wrong, because after the first "SHIFT+CLICK" you can't drag the image, you need to release the mouse button (while still holding SHIFT key) and then click and hold again the mouse button in the corner (while holding SHIFT key) to drag the image, it's just very confussing, too much click hold/release steps (unnecessary in my point of view). This resize behavior in Photoshop is much more friendly to do. Sorry for my English. Dec 24 '16 at 14:08
  • 1
    No, that's not correct. Click the corner, then press and hold shift. The image will stay constrained while you drag, as long as you hold the shift key. Clicking with the shift key held down means "add to selection" if the layer isn't selected, or "remove from selection" if it is selected.
    – stib
    Dec 28 '16 at 10:13

…and because there's always two ways of doing anything in After Effects:

  • Select the layer.

  • press s to reveal the scale property of the layer. Note that you don't need to hold any modifier keys like ⌘ / ctrl.

  • click and drag on the numbers in the scale property. If they're not visible hit f4. By default the numbers are linked so that the layer will scale proportionately - there's a link icon that you can click to unlink them if you want to stretch or squash one dimension.

This technique works for 3D layers as well as 2D


When you click on the square to shape the image click on Shift to make it any size of the image. Holding Ctrl changes the image size, width and height. Pressing Alt does the same as Ctrl but instead makes a box to see how it will look with measurements. If you hold these buttons before you click on the squares, it will not really work. You can also do Shift + Ctrl + Alt all together as it will do a live version of Alt! Hope this helps :)


You can do it using these steps:
1.Click on the layer, a border will show at the edges of the layer. If you can't see the edges you should zoom out.
2. Left click on the border and hold (but don't drag).
3. Now click SHIFT and hold.
4. Then drag either in or out.

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