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Does anybody know a fast and easy way to swap out various images in one or multiple layers?

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Rey Castillo
Does anybody know a fast and easy way to swap out various images in one or multiple layers?
on Nov 1, 2016 at 10:43:56 pm

Hello! My problem is a little hard to describe so here goes:
Ive created a show with small cartoon characters sitting on either side of a central screen, kind of an MST3K set up but you can see the characters faces.
The idea being that each character has a static body, and their expressions change based on the commentary. Theres a neutral expression, and then things like laughter, anger, frustration etc. Timing out these faces is by far the most consuming part of the whole thing. My current method is to have each facial expression on a different layer, trimming each layer at the appropriate time so that the faces switch. I currently do all the non neutral expressions in one pass, then come back and add in the neutral expressions between them manually. My question is, is there a way for me to automatically add in the neutral expressions in the gaps between the non neutral ones, or perhaps a way for me to keep everything on one layer (I was thinking if I add in the expressions as an animated sequence and then specify I would like to hold on this frame for x seconds, then this one for y seconds, then back to the first frame for z seconds, if that makes sense, I have no idea how to do that beyond manual time remapping and I dont know that that would be that time saving) or can anybody suggest a better method for approaching this problem?
Ive already made a few episodes and uploaded them to youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7aL2s_pImEQiQzA-ztbxrg
I hope Ive articulated this well, I feel like its a weird one to describe!
Thanks everyone


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Does anybody know a fast and easy way to swap out various images in one or multiple layers?
on Nov 2, 2016 at 3:09:20 am

I'd split the layers where the expressions change back & forth, then use the Replace Footage command to put in the layer with the proper facial expression.

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


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Jono Gaughan
Re: Does anybody know a fast and easy way to swap out various images in one or multiple layers?
on Nov 2, 2016 at 4:54:09 pm

Here's another method you could try:

Make a pre-comp with all expression artwork layers sequenced back to back.

In your main comp, apply a "freeze frame" to the pre-comp at the timecode of whichever expression you want.

From there you can just add new "hold keyframes" at new time-codes whenever you want a new expression.

I've attached a couple of example screenshots incase my instructions are confusing.

Expressions Pre-Comp:


Main Build Comp:


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Rey Castillo
Re: Does anybody know a fast and easy way to swap out various images in one or multiple layers?
on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:09:11 am

Thanks a bunch folks, thats going to save me a tonne of time, Ill try them both out and see what works best, but you both just saved me collectively about 2 weeks worth of editing time for my next few episodes Im sure!


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