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organizing and managing layers in the timeline

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Alex Udellorganizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 3:22:19 pm

Hi All...

I'm sort of a swiss army knife guy in that I will use the tools that are in front of me to get the job done.
So I ask this as sort of a comparison.

At my current job, the main tool is Apple's Motion. It works very well for what we do.

I'd like to adapt some of the things I do to AE.
I generally know my way around AE, but since I don't use it every day right now I thought I'd ask.

Motion's timeline has grouping.
This is sort of the equivalent of precomping, except it's more like a layer folder that exists in the main comp.

It allows hierarchical transforms of the objects within it...I know I can do this with precomps or nulls/expressions in ae...

but the other thing it allows is to easily move groups of related layers around in time in the main comp for retiming and I don't have to jump into the pre comp (and lose ref audio and visual context...or stop and lock my viewport, in order to edit them. this tends to get a little clunky GUI and workflow wise for me)

Is there any kind of an AE equivalent to this?

It's just there are surely things I don't know about AE organizationally that maybe I'm overlooking.

Thanks for your assistance...

Alex


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Walter SoykaRe: organizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 3:38:49 pm

[Alex Udell] "It allows hierarchical transforms of the objects within it...I know I can do this with precomps or nulls/expressions in ae...

but the other thing it allows is to easily move groups of related layers around in time in the main comp for retiming and I don't have to jump into the pre comp (and lose ref audio and visual context...or stop and lock my viewport, in order to edit them. this tends to get a little clunky GUI and workflow wise for me)

Is there any kind of an AE equivalent to this? "


No, AE doesn't have anything quite like Motion's groups.

You can use color labels for layers [link] for quick multi-selection, but that's still quite not the same.

You might also look into Lloyd Alvarez's Zorro the Layer Tagger script [link], which is very cool and very flexible -- but again, still not quite the same as a group.

One other suggestion -- you can lock the composition viewer on your main comp to see manipulations in your precomp with ETLAT (edit this, look at that) [link]. This won't do live updates (you have to release the mouse when scrubbing or moving something before you will see the results) but it might be the closest solution to what you're looking to do.

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Alex UdellRe: organizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:01:26 pm

Hey Walter....

thanks for the reply. At least I know I'm not crazy. and as much as ppl might knock motion, it's these kind of things that make it really fast for us. Ironically it's some of the things you never see Apple show (back when they actively pushed the product).

Yeah...I had toyed with ETLAT workflows before.
but a biggie was still managing audio while making the edits in the precomp. I copy and pasted it into the precomp, but then you have to remember to disable audio trax it doubles up.

thanks again for all the info...
the layer color select might be helpful.

If need to pick whip layers to a null, do I have to do all of them separately or can I do one to many?


Alex


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Walter SoykaRe: organizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:07:28 pm

[Alex Udell] "At least I know I'm not crazy. and as much as ppl might knock motion, it's these kind of things that make it really fast for us. Ironically it's some of the things you never see Apple show (back when they actively pushed the product)."

I think layer grouping is a perennial favorite feature request. You can join the chorus here [link].


[Alex Udell] "If need to pick whip layers to a null, do I have to do all of them separately or can I do one to many?"

You can select all the soon-to-be children and pick-whip one to the null to parent them all together (and from the same point in time at the CTI).

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Alex UdellRe: organizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:31:16 pm

hmmm

the label color thing works pretty well
between that and group pick whipping I can get pretty close to what I think I need.

this is very good.


Thanks Walter!!!

Alex


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Walter SoykaRe: organizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:50:09 pm

Happy to help, Alex.

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Todd KoprivaRe: organizing and managing layers in the timeline
by on Oct 23, 2011 at 3:28:27 pm

Alex, be sure to check out Zorro. It's well worth it. It provides a much more dynamic and flexible method of grouping than any sort of folder feature could.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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