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"Breaking Apart" Compositions (saving workflow steps)

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Alex Volkov
"Breaking Apart" Compositions (saving workflow steps)
on Aug 6, 2010 at 12:55:49 pm

Hi again

(I hope it's ok I create another topic right after my previous one. Those are important issues for me.)

But here it goes:

As a Flash veteran, I like to think of some of the features in After Effects, as if they were Flash's features. For instance; "Pre-Compose" (making an object or animation into a specific composition), I like to think of as "Convert into Symbol" in Flash.

In Flash you can break apart symbols (Ctrl+B), destroying the symbol, replacing it with the actual content. Unless the symbol contains a tween/shape animation inside. But.. if you had symbol 3 inside symbol 2, inside symbol 1, and you Broke apart Symbol 1 twice, you would end up having Symbol 3.

I was wondering if there was a similar feature in After Effects with Compositions? In stead of going inside a specific Composition, Cutting the Layers, going one step back (out of the Composition), and Pasting the Layers..

Is it possible? If yes - how?

Thank you for reading this

P.S. I am still in the learning phase of After Effects, so perhaps I have mistaken some of the current features.

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Dave Johnson
Re: "Breaking Apart" Compositions (saving workflow steps)
on Aug 6, 2010 at 1:34:31 pm

Unless there's a new feature I'm unaware of or have forgotten something, a set of AE layers that has been pre-composed can't be un-precomposed except via undo, which wouldn't accomplish what it sounds like you want. You can easily duplicate layers before pre-composing them or copy them from comp to comp as many times as you want, but those are the only ways I can think of to get what you want.

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Dave LaRonde
Re: "Breaking Apart" Compositions (saving workflow steps)
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:08:07 pm

Dave's correct -- After Effects doesn't have a feature similar to the one you describe. The only way to do what you seek is anticipate the need to do this, and use AE's increment and save command.

The layers present in the comp before you precompose return when you open the earlier version. The downside to this is that you also don't have any other changes you might have made to the AE project.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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