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Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?

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Don Jobs
Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 14, 2015 at 9:34:26 pm

Hello evryone,

is there some way to automatically precompose all the layers with track matte layer on, into the new compositions? So, if I have 200 layers, 100 layers are main layers and 100 layers are hidden track matte layers for each layer, and I need to precompose all the layers separately to have only 100 layers, and not 200.

Or, if this is not possible… if I select all the main 100 layers can I also add to this selection it’s track matte layers. So, what I need is to add to my current selection all the layers above each selected layer.

Maybe it sounds confusing, but I have 5000 layers and I need to isolate some of them, but I really don’t want to do it manually :)

Thanks for any ideas…


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 14, 2015 at 10:09:43 pm

Duplicate the comp in question and try this:

Un-shy the layers. Depending on the comp layout, cmd-click (ctl-click win) the layers you want to precompose; you'll want to do this if there are layers between those you want to select. Once you have them, use the cmd-shift-c (ctl-shift-c win) keyboard shortcut to make the precomp. It will be as long as the existing precomp.

Choose wisely! And then you're faced with another decision -- do you move all layer attribues into the new precomp? I'm guessing yes. And you can always undo if you screw it up.

There really isn't an automated way to do this. AE would have to be clairvoyant to know which layers you wanted to select, and AE isn't clairvoyant.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Don Jobs
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 14, 2015 at 10:23:06 pm

Thanks a lot Dave,

so I guess I'll have to repeat all of these steps for every layer I want to precompose (about 2000)...I was really hoping that somehow we could make after effects to include the selected layer's "track matte layer" in the new precomposed composition.

Maybe this isn't a bad idea for ae script.

Thanks again!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 14, 2015 at 10:32:58 pm

I actually have an internal-use script for track matte selection. I could dig that up and publish it.

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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Don Jobs
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 14, 2015 at 10:47:14 pm

Walter, you're great!

20 min ago I was browsing your web and wanted to contact you for help or "just to say hi" :)

So, please if you are going to publish it please let me know...

Thanks again!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 14, 2015 at 10:57:15 pm
Last Edited By Walter Soyka on Jan 14, 2015 at 11:04:30 pm

Introducing keen-UncleMatte:

http://www.keenlive.com/renderbreak/2015/01/keen-unclematte/

I added in the precomp functionality you were looking for, too. If you don't mind giving it a spin and letting me know if it breaks anything, I'd appreciate it.

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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Don Jobs
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 15, 2015 at 9:26:58 am

Walter, it's working perfectly!

Thank you very very much! The best part is, that's exactly the script I was looking for, and it worked like charm!

I will be running it a lot these days, and I have about 5000 layers so if it breaks or if anything goes wrong with the script I will be glad to let you know.

Thanks again, you've saved me a lot of time with this script.

Take care!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 15, 2015 at 6:23:20 pm

Wow, apparently you can make AE more clairvoyant than I thought. The wonders of scripts.

I had an Uncle Matt, too....

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter Soyka
Re: Automatic pre-compose multiple layers?
on Jan 15, 2015 at 6:49:22 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Wow, apparently you can make AE more clairvoyant than I thought. The wonders of scripts."

The onus is still on the user to select the correct base set of layers. If you accidentally select layers that have track mattes but that you don't want precomposed, too bad. UncleMatte is going to precomp them anyway.

Also, though he means well, UncleMatte will shred 3D layers because he ignores cameras and lights in v2. I suppose I could add support for that, too, but that'd be a really low priority unless somebody really needed it.


[Dave LaRonde] "I had an Uncle Matt, too...."

I am sure if my Uncle Matt knew what a matte was, he'd think this was pretty funny. Most of my scripts feature horrible puns like this.

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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