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How to replace layer contents with contents from another comp?

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Jason Hare
How to replace layer contents with contents from another comp?
on Jan 12, 2015 at 10:13:35 am

I am looking for help to solve an after effects problem I have....

I am creating a project that needs to be output in five languages. The text content is easy and will be fed from a spreadsheet. The thing I am struggling with is this. I would like to build a "build" composition which will feature an image layer. This layer may need to be scaled and positioned so it works it's the layout. I need the contents of this layer to then automatically feed th five different language comps without the need to edit each comp.

I had an idea to set up the image in a precomp, which could en be used in all five comps, but then the only way to edit the image would be to have all of the other elements visible, which would mean they would all be in each comp. An alternative solution might be to have all of the layers in the build comp, but make them invisible to renders. That way the image could be quickly edited and this pre-comp could then feed the five language comps with only the picture visible. Does anyone know if you can have objects visible for guide prepossessing only?


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: How to replace layer contents with contents from another comp?
on Jan 12, 2015 at 11:44:49 am

There's several ways of doing this - it depends mostly on the rest of your elements. You can either save the same project for each language/image version you need and then just replace the source of the image in the Project window (right click and choose Replace) OR you can create precomps with the elements you need, duplicate the precomp in the Project window and then select the image layer in the timeline and Alt+Click+Drag the new image from the Project window over that layer to replace it.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to replace layer contents with contents from another comp?
on Jan 12, 2015 at 11:46:43 pm

[Jason Hare] "An alternative solution might be to have all of the layers in the build comp, but make them invisible to renders. That way the image could be quickly edited and this pre-comp could then feed the five language comps with only the picture visible. Does anyone know if you can have objects visible for guide prepossessing only?"

Make them guide layers [link]. Select the layers that should be visible in the comp viewer, but not in renders or containing comps, and select "Guide layer" from either the Layer menu or the right-click context menu.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jason Hare
Re: How to replace layer contents with contents from another comp?
on Jan 13, 2015 at 12:20:09 am

Thanks for your tips.

The guide layer is the perfect solution. I have done a quick test and it works perfectly. In fact it works better than I though as the guide layers do not even show up in another comp when nested. So it is absolutely perfect!


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