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# Looping Question

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 Looping Question on Oct 12, 2017 at 10:02:44 pm

Hi there, I am trying to self-learn After Effects and I have a question about looping animations. I read through past threads on looping to find the answer but to no avail...I'm probably missing something very simple here. Can anyone kindly help point me in the right direction?

Basically I know that to loop a pre-composition, you drag it into the main comp (which needs to be longer than the loop sequence), enable time remapping, put in the loopOut("cycle") expression, drag the time bar of the pre-comp to the end of the main composition, and then if there's a blank frame at the end of the first loop, you make a keyframe 1 frame before that, delete the blank keyframe and move the one you just made into that position. This is all well and good, except what about the issue of when the loop gets to the end of the main comp?

For instance, if your loop sequence is 3 seconds long and say, it's of a shape going along a path. And for argument's sake, the main comp is only 10 seconds long. It loops 3 times perfectly (through 9 seconds), but for the last 1 second of the 10 second timeline, it doesn't have time to carry out that full 3 second loop. So the shape is only 33.33% of the way through its position path, when the timeline goes from the end to the beginning again, where the shape is start at 0% of the path. This gives an obviously choppy look. Is the only way to correct this to make sure that the main composition is an exact multiple of the loop sequence? As in...if the loop sequence is 3 seconds, then the main comp has to be 9 seconds, or 12 seconds, 15 seconds, etc? That can't be...since I've seen multiple instances on Youtube tutorials where the main composition length was definitely not an exact multiple of the looping sequence. So I must be missing something here. I hope what I am saying makes sense. Thank you in advance!!

 Re: Looping Questionon Oct 13, 2017 at 10:06:26 am

[Eloise Ke] "As in...if the loop sequence is 3 seconds, then the main comp has to be 9 seconds, or 12 seconds, 15 seconds, etc? That can't be...since I've seen multiple instances on Youtube tutorials where the main composition length was definitely not an exact multiple of the looping sequence. So I must be missing something here. I hope what I am saying makes sense. Thank you in advance!!"

If you want the main comp to loop seamlessly, then its length must be a multiple of all the "sub-loops" it contains.

Of course, you could also use time-remapping to adjust the length of a sub-loop to be an even divisor of the main comp. In other words, if you want a 3-second sub-loop to loop seamlessly within a 10-second comp, you use time-remapping to adjust its duration to 2 seconds (or to 5 or 10 seconds) and keep the loopOut("cycle") expression.

Walter Soyka
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting