Copying a fragment of a clip you are working on in After Effects is one of those useful tricks when it comes to repeating effects or scenes to finish putting together sequences.
The process is not only handy for keeping some previous settings without having to reapply them from scratch, but it's also quite simple to perform. So, let's start with the basics if you want to learn how to duplicate clips in After Effects in less than ten minutes.
The first thing to do is to import a file and drag it from the Project panel to the Timeline. If you have no idea how to open the browser, don't worry: just double-click in the Project Panel, select your footage, and click Import. When you have your video in that box, drag it to the Timeline.
Now that you have your file on the Timeline, After Effects has automatically created a Layer for it. To duplicate it and be able to work independently on two identical layers follow these two steps:
If everything went well, you should now have two videos of equal length on your Timeline and a new Layer named the same as the original.
There will be times when you will need to make use of only a fragment of your clip to duplicate it, instead of needing to copy the entire footage to your Timeline. To duplicate just a fragment of one of your layers:
Remember that every time you cut a layer After Effects will create a new one. This way you can manipulate the adjustments you will make to each of them in the best way.
Tip: if you think you might get confused by the number of layers that appear, you can rename them by right-clicking on them, selecting the Rename option, and typing a new name.