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After Effects set up for 4 staggered screens

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Natalie Simmons
After Effects set up for 4 staggered screens
on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:16:49 pm

Hi There,
I have been asked to create content that will be shown over 4 screens.
The client wants to show how the screens can be synced for example with a ball bouncing across them - but they are also after more complex scenarios.
I planned to create one wide comp - the full width of the 4 screens and then divide this into 4 - as each screen will play its own clip.

My problem is - the screens are stepped as if on a staircase.
Please could someone give me an idea of how I could set up in After Effects so that I can accurately create an animation that appears to travel though the screens taking into account every screen is lower than the last?!!
Hope this makes sense my head is getting mangled trying to work out how to do this!!

Many Thanks!!


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects set up for 4 staggered screens
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:11:30 pm

You must create one huge working comp that's the size of the entire animation area, including any negative space in between the screens. Nest this working comp into 4 separate output-sized comps, one for each screen. Re-position the working comp within each output comp so that each output comp "sees" its piece of the animation.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Natalie Simmons
Re: After Effects set up for 4 staggered screens
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:21:31 pm

Thank you so much for your quick response!! I'm guessing this is going to be quite an impossible task of this was needed for the length of a whole escalator in terms of the file size :/

Thanks for your help:)


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: After Effects set up for 4 staggered screens
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:56:46 pm

Work with proxies if you have footage files you need to include in your animations. If it's only graphics then use vectors and work at a small manageable size and then use the Comp resize Script to resize your final comp and render out the animation pieces.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Natalie Simmons
Re: After Effects set up for 4 staggered screens
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:02:34 pm

Thank you so much for your help! It is very much appreciated!


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