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Keeping track of PreComps

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Dustin Parsons
Keeping track of PreComps
on Jun 29, 2012 at 11:16:10 pm

I often find myself having a PreComp within a PreComp within a Precomp within my main composition so when versioning I have to duplicate 3-4 sequences just to be sure I'm not accidentally changing a PreComp for version 2 of an animation that's also being used by version 1. The problem is this gets very confusing very fast because I end up having a tone of comps to keep track of.

I try to stay organized by keeping to a specific naming convention but I'm still not happy with how many comps I'm juggling.

Here's how I've been naming:
Animation 01 – This is the main composition
Animation 01 | PC 01 - This comp is in the main composition
Animation 01 | PC 01 | PC 01 - This comp is in the [Animation 01 | PC 01] comp

If anyone has any suggestions for keeping track of PreComps so you know which other comps they're being used in I would appreciate the advice. Is there a way to delete the PreComps from the Project window so they can only be accessed by going into the comp that they're being used in? In Final Cut Pro if I have a Nest within a sequence and I duplicate the sequence and change the Nest in the new sequence it does not affect the Nest in the first sequence, is there anything like this in AE?


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Erik Waluska
Re: Keeping track of PreComps
on Jun 30, 2012 at 5:45:14 pm

Here's what I do:
- In your main comp, select the pre-comp you want to duplicate and hit ctrl/cmd+D to duplicate it.
- With the duplicated pre-comp layer selected, right-click on the layer and choose "reveal layer source in project".
- Hit ctrl/cmd+D to duplicate the pre-comp in the project window and then alt+drag the duplicated comp into the comp viewer window to replace the layer and then hit enter to open the pre-comp.

- Select the pre-comp layer inside of that pre-comp, right-click on the layer and choose "reveal layer source in project".
- Hit ctrl/cmd+D to duplicate the pre-comp in the project window and then alt+drag the duplicated comp into the comp viewer window to replace the layer and then hit enter to open the pre-comp.
- Make whatever changes you want.
- Ctrl/cmd+W two times to close the two open pre-comps and return to your main comp.

I do this all the time and with a little practice it's very quick and easy. As long as you name the comps with a two-digit suffix on the end it will increment the comp names correctly when you duplicate them.

There is also a script called True Comp Duplicator from aescripts.com that duplicates comps and their sub-comps that they contain.

HTH


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Erik Waluska
Re: Keeping track of PreComps
on Jun 30, 2012 at 6:10:25 pm

Just found out the shortcut to reveal the layer source in the project window is alt+numpad enter. Even faster!


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