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Synchronize time of all related items

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Sean Platt
Synchronize time of all related items
on Nov 12, 2015 at 6:18:57 pm

Hello. This is probably something simple I am missing but I can't seem to get the time synchronized between my main comp and pre-comps. The pre-comps have the same frame rate and time duration as the main comp. And I have "synchronize time of all related items" checked in preferences. But when I try to make and edit to a pre-comp while looking at the pre-comp against the main comp in two separate comp viewers, the timing is off (e.g., frame 857 in the main comp is frame 486 in the pre-comp). Can someone explain what I am missing here? Thanks!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Synchronize time of all related items
on Nov 12, 2015 at 8:37:09 pm

What version of AE (down to the last decimal)?
What OS?
Have you tried rebooting your machine?

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Synchronize time of all related items
on Nov 12, 2015 at 8:47:09 pm

Can you show a screenshot of your UI?

If both the precomp and the main comp do not start at frame 0, and/or if the precomp does not begin at the main comp's initial frame (i.e., the precomp's in point is its own first frame, at frame 371 of the main comp), then they actually should be offset in time.

The timing may not be what you expect if you have multiple instances of the precomp with different timing in the main comp. To make sure you're getting the relationship you expect, open the instance of the precomp you'd like to relate in time from its layer in the main comp.

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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Sean Platt
Re: Synchronize time of all related items
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:39:44 pm

Hi Walter. I have one instance of the pre-comp in the main comp. I am still relatively new to AE and I thought that even though they would be offset in time since one starts at 0:00 frames (main comp), and the pre-comp starts later (green layer in screenshot), that the time display in top left of timeline (not in screenshot) would read the same frame for each at any given point in time. For example, I would think if I wanted to make a change to the pre-comp at frame 17 on the main comp, that would be frame 17 on the pre-comp also. If this is not the case, is there a way to see the main comp timeline in the pre-comp? Not sure if I am making sense here. Just seems like a lot of configuring/guessing when making changes to the pre-comp if the timelines don't match. Thanks for your help. And to answer Michael's question, I am working in AE CS6 11.0.4.2 on a Mac Pro OSX- if any of that helps.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Synchronize time of all related items
on Nov 12, 2015 at 9:53:45 pm

[Sean Platt] " am still relatively new to AE and I thought that even though they would be offset in time since one starts at 0:00 frames (main comp), and the pre-comp starts later (green layer in screenshot), that the time display in top left of timeline (not in screenshot) would read the same frame for each at any given point in time. For example, I would think if I wanted to make a change to the pre-comp at frame 17 on the main comp, that would be frame 17 on the pre-comp also."

Let's say that your precomp starts at frame 100 of your main comp. That means that there's a 100-frame offset in time between the main comp and the precomp.

In other words, to change something you see at frame 100 of the main comp, you'd have to change frame 0 of the precomp. Frame 100 of the precomp would actually be frame 200 of the main comp -- a completely different point in time.

Think of it like time zones. It's almost 5pm here now in New York; it's almost 10pm in London. If I want to call someone across the pond, I need to remember that my 5pm is very different than theirs!

What "synchronize time of related items" does for you is ensure that when you move between related comps, Ae moves the playhead to the actual current frame. My comp might show 5pm in New York, but that actually IS 10pm in London. If it moved to London's 5pm, that'd be wrong; it'd be the equivalent of my 1pm.

If you want to get rid of that offset, move the precomp on the timeline so it starts at frame 0, then step into the precomp and move everything in that timeline forward. This will not change a thing in the way that "synchronize time of related items" works, but both comps will be in the same "time zone."

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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Sean Platt
Re: Synchronize time of all related items
on Nov 12, 2015 at 10:02:34 pm

Walter, can't thank you enough for the detailed explanation. That makes a lot of sense saying it that way. These forums rock when you work by yourself and no peers to ask in a pinch!


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