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Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation

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Dan Sudkamp
Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation
on May 2, 2017 at 4:17:37 pm

I occasionally work on projects that call for pretty simple position/scale/rotation keyframing of stock photos in AE, and typically will use low-res preview files until the shots are approved by the client. Then, when I go to purchase and replace the previews, the way I do it is option-dragging the purchased images to replace them in the timeline. They are obviously much larger and my keyframes largely have to be redone, or at the very least lightly adjusted for every single image. Is there a better workflow for this that would circumvent that adjustment step after replacing the previews? Thanks, and sorry if this is a stupid question!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation
on May 2, 2017 at 4:57:58 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on May 2, 2017 at 6:13:48 pm

Here's an old-school workaround, but still effective --

Animate the low-grade pics as desired, but FIRST nest them in comps the came size as the pics. When you get approval, get the good stuff and replace them.

To get them to look the same, just highlight the pics in the nested comps and scale the layer to fit the comp. The keyboard shortcuts ctl-alt-f Win, cmd-opt-f Mac.

It's a lot easier than re-doing the animation!

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


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Dan Sudkamp
Re: Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation
on May 3, 2017 at 2:10:49 pm

Thanks Dave, that makes sense. Unfortunately on my current project I'm too far along to apply that method, but will definitely do it that way in the future. Much appreciated!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation
on May 3, 2017 at 3:35:31 pm

I bet you can do it faster than you think. Highlight a still. Right-click. Select Precompose. Don't move any attributes. Done.

I'm pretty sure I could do a dozen such stills in a minute.

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


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Dan Sudkamp
Re: Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation
on May 3, 2017 at 3:50:02 pm

Ah, I see, sorry, I misunderstood your initial post to be saying that the preview images had to be pre-comped prior to animation. Did not consider that the keyframes would remain in the original comp. Still learning things about AE every day, thanks for the patience and the assistance!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Replacing stock photo previews and preserving animation
on May 3, 2017 at 5:07:21 pm

Well, it's EASIER just to put pics in their own comps from the get-go, prior to any animation. It's less confusing at the very least.
When you precompose, the precomp is as long as the composition enclosing it. If you like to keep things nice & trimmed up like I do, you can't easily tell which layer is visible at a given time in the main comp.

But this trick WILL work. That's why I would only do it after approval, when you don't have to obsess about every detail being right -- it's already right.

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


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