Adobe After Effects Forum
instanced composition, changeable color attribute
instanced composition, changeable color attribute
by Andy Engelkemier on Jul 11, 2019 at 8:10:12 pm

No idea how to name this, sorry.
I don't actually Think this is possible, but maybe I'm not thinking far enough outside the box?

I have an animation in one composition. There is a checkmark that will change color, depending on where it is. But all 12 will be visible at once.

So the first comes on and animates. The checkmark is blue. The second comes on, it's yellow. The third, purple. You get the idea. All 12 end up visible at the same time.

Once I'm done with all of these, someone will surely like to see the animation changed slightly....15 times. So I try and plan accordingly.


So, is there a way to pass an effect to a single instance of a composition? This seems like a job for essential graphics. But if you've tried that, you've probably realized by now it is Very half baked. Same with protected region. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just doesn't. So frustrating. But if that's the tool, I'd love to know how to get it to work. But is that really only for sending things to Premiere? That's all I've used it for so far.

I realize now, that I could keep the animation by created the colored instances of Just the checkboxes in separate comps.
So Main animation is precomposed, then the checkboxes are the only things that require updates.

I'd still like to know if there is a good way to do this though, because if I had something more complex than a checkbox to animation then this method would still be time consuming. I like to keep things cheap for my clients. If you're freelance and you don't mind spending more time on something, while still charging the same amount, that's on you. But I work for a company. They don't appreciate when I spend more time on something without billing the client. (sorry, I just hate it when people say things like, "it doesn't take that long," or, "it's really not that hard." Because doing something that Only takes 10 seconds, for 30 layers, 30 times a day costs 2.5 hours. Depending on the project, that's anywhere between $250 and $500! And yeah, generally I'm pretty good at estimating those things in my quote, but the unexpected amounts hurt.


Re: instanced composition, changeable color attribute
by Walter Soyka on Jul 12, 2019 at 9:48:42 am

I do actually think Essential Graphics is the way to do this, and I think what you're describing falls neatly within what Essential Graphics can do well.

But I'd use the Ae master properties workflow (instead of the Ae/Pr Essential Graphics template workflow, which has gotten a lot more press). This is literally an instanced comp, with inputs that you define within the comp and animate outside of it:
https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/creating-motion-graphics-templates.html#BasicsofMasterProperties

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


Re: instanced composition, changeable color attribute
by Andy Engelkemier on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:11:51 pm

I'll have to look into that on future projects.

For now, I've decided to just make the checkmark somewhere near cyan, since the background is orange, then use do a color replace. It's pretty simple, and there's no transparency, so that should work fairly well.

I haven't learned enough about Essential Graphics. I don't feel there is very good training out there, and even the documentation seems a bit lacking.

One VERY significant thing that it didn't seem to address is Libraries can not be updated. WHO made That decision. It was a terrible discovery. I created a title animation and saved it there to be shared with a coworker. You can't even Download it. It just plain doesn't exist locally. So warning, don't do it. Save locally, Then share.
But it seems like quite a bit extra work to have to export my template, then import it. Because then if I want to update the animation, I have to export it, then import it again?

I've had troubles with things updating in Premiere. Two of us tried to get updates and things to work properly, and we have since abandoned essential graphics for the most part. I've used it for a couple projects where I was in a hurry and the titles needed animations. But updating doesn't seem to work. And protected regions only work Sometimes. It's really odd. It seems very "beta."

Anyway, for now, I think that's just way more work. I'll wait on essential graphics for them to either abandon it, or fix it. Kinda like the collaboration with teams feature. They did a Terrible job implementing that. Every time we've tried it, it corrupted data, and we had to abandon. When I spoke with Adobe about it, they basically said, "we haven't heard much about it because to tell you the truth, not many people use it." Oh, well...great.


Re: instanced composition, changeable color attribute
by Walter Soyka on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:15:37 pm

[Andy Engelkemier] "But it seems like quite a bit extra work to have to export my template, then import it. Because then if I want to update the animation, I have to export it, then import it again? "

You don't have to do that if you stay entirely in Ae. You just use the comp as a layer, same as you would for any other precomp, and its master properties are exposed for animation directly in the timeline.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


Re: instanced composition, changeable color attribute
by Andy Engelkemier on Jul 12, 2019 at 2:37:56 pm

OH! Well, then yes, that's what I want. I'll read more closely.

It's tough, when you're trying to use a new feature in a way that isn't how they market it...if you're not sure if it is even going to work. You kind of skim things to find out. I'll read more carefully and Actually figure it out then. At first skim, it didn't seem like it would work. Thanks for clearing that up.

I didn't quite follow how the master properties was working. Nor did I know I should be searching for Master Properties, and not Essential Graphics.

This search lead my to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1ZsiQy764Q
Which Exactly explained it. You'll want to watch that at about 3x speed if you already kind of know what you're doing, but it gave me the jump start I needed.

Thanks for sticking with me Walter. Very helpful.





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