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Pre-composition content disappears

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Jonathan Dean
Pre-composition content disappears
on Nov 21, 2011 at 3:33:29 pm

I'm animating with a number of 3D layers (140+) in what I'll call it "Comp 1", I've duplicated around 20 or so layers and made from them a precomposition - "Comp 2" - but it appears transparent. It is visible in the timeline, can see its bounding box, but its content is invisible.

Comp 2's opacity is set to 100%, it is also a 3D layer and in far forward in Z space, i.e. it's not obscured by any other layers. Comp 2's layers are visible when viewed inside Comp 2 itself, but when viewing the composition in Comp 1 as a layer, the content is invisible from all cameras, angles etc.

I'll post a screenshot when I 'm back at the computer, but if anyone has ideas based on the little explanation I've given, I'd really appreciate it!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Pre-composition content disappears
on Nov 21, 2011 at 4:04:03 pm

Have you enabled Collapse Transformations?

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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Jonathan Dean
Re: Pre-composition content disappears
on Nov 21, 2011 at 7:37:25 pm

As I typed this post I've got it working - this screenshot shows that the composition appears out of shot. I've no idea why this happened, maybe the size of my compositions mucked with the alignment? At any rate, thanks for the replies. I'll leave the rest of the message here, just on the off chance it helps any other idiots..



--

Okay, for the sake of clarity: Comp 1 is called "TheEdge", Comp 2 "MG_copy".

Walter, Collapse Transformations aren't toggled on, but I'm really glad you mentioned the switch, I'd not know how to retain the 3D elements of a precomp before. I've turned it on.

Ross, the 3D layer switch is on for the precomp.

The first screenshot show how the layers within MG_copy should look - they're visible in all cameras except Active Camera (does that make a difference?) - and the second screenshot shows how MG_copy appears while it sits in TheEdge. Just a bounding box.





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Walter Soyka
Re: Pre-composition content disappears
on Nov 21, 2011 at 7:51:25 pm

[Jonathan Dean] "The first screenshot show how the layers within MG_copy should look - they're visible in all cameras except Active Camera (does that make a difference?)"

It sure does!

With collapse transformations on, the cameras in your precomp have no effect on what you will see in the main comp. The main comp's active camera is the one that matters. You may need to reposition or rotate your 3D precomp within the main comp to correctly position it so the objects are visible to the main comp's camera.

With collapse transformations off, the precomp will be rendered and passed on to the main comp as a flat 2D raster (just as if it were a piece of imported video). If the objects are not visible to the precomp's active camera, that render will be empty and the objects will not be seen in the main comp, either.

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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ross daly
Re: Pre-composition content disappears
on Nov 21, 2011 at 4:06:31 pm

Hi Jonathan,

I think that may be caused by one of two things, and both of them have to do with your camera. I don't remember if ae lets you toggle the 3d layer switch on a precomp. If so then you need to have that on. It sounds a bit like you may have a 2d layer in a 3d comp.

The other thing is that your precomp will smash all of your 20 layers onto one flat plane. The camera will see them all as one element with one x,y,z position. I think that is not what most people expect when they precomp a 3d layer. They will all move together, which can break things if you have a camera move, or individually animated layers.

Once you get those screen shots up I may have more ideas.
Good luck,

_Ross Daly

http://learningnuke.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Pre-composition content disappears
on Nov 21, 2011 at 4:19:05 pm

[ross daly] "I don't remember if ae lets you toggle the 3d layer switch on a precomp."

You can.



[ross daly] "The other thing is that your precomp will smash all of your 20 layers onto one flat plane. The camera will see them all as one element with one x,y,z position. I think that is not what most people expect when they precomp a 3d layer. They will all move together, which can break things if you have a camera move, or individually animated layers."

That's what Collapse Transformations [link] is for:
If transformations are not collapsed, a nested composition that contains 3D layers is rendered as a 2D image of the 3D arrangement, using the default composition camera. This rendering prevents the nested composition from intersecting with 3D layers, casting shadows on 3D layers, and receiving shadows from 3D layers in the containing composition. The nested composition is also not controlled by the cameras and lights of the containing composition.

If transformations are collapsed, the 3D properties of the layers in the nested composition are exposed to the containing composition. Thus, the nested composition can intersect with 3D layers, cast shadows on 3D layers, and receive shadows from 3D layers in the containing composition. The containing composition's camera and lights can also control the nested composition.

Essentially, collapsing transformations for a nested composition tells After Effects to not flatten and crop the layers in the precomposition. Because an adjustment layer operates on the composite of all of the layers beneath it within the same composition, an adjustment layer within a nested composition with collapsed transformations will force the flattening and cropping that collapsing transformations would normally prevent.


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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Rebecca Longworth
Re: Pre-composition content disappears
on Oct 6, 2014 at 6:47:09 pm

Hello --

I'm having a similar problem of disappearing composition content in AE CC ... BUT collapse transformations and 3D layer switches are ON for all layers.

Here's the structure of my comp:
Main Comp > Camera Comp > Subcomp 1 > Subcomp 2

Main Comp is what I'll render for final output, a collection of various Camera Comps that all contain 3D cameras and various 3D subcomps. Many of the subcomps have nested comps in those as well.

My problem is that Subcomp 2 is not visible in Subcomp 1, which is where I need to see and animate it. It IS visible in Camera Comp, which is where my 3D camera is, and in the Main Comp.

This animation is one of a set of something like 15 animations all structured in the same way that I've been working on for the last 6 months. I've just begun having this problem every so often when creating new subcomps, and I can't pinpoint anything that I'm doing that's different from any of the other similarly-structured comps that are working just fine. And the render will turn out the way it should -- but it's a real pain to not be able to see the comp where I need to be animating it.

Any ideas? Anyone having similar problems?

Thanks!


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