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Inserting time / ripple edit in comp *rant*

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Howard MatthewsInserting time / ripple edit in comp *rant*
by on Feb 9, 2013 at 2:21:04 pm

I'm sick of reading that "AE is not an NLE, so there's no simple way to 'insert time'" in a composition.

Corporate work often involves having to alter timings half way through development, and it's an unnecessarily grim job.

The first thing I do when I need to add some time to the middle of a complicated composition is I sit back and have a long hard think about whether there is any way, any way at all, that I can avoid having to add time to the middle of my my complicated composition.

What's so frustrating, though is that 90% of the work is repetitive stuff that would be trivial for AE to do for us.

All we need is a simple tool, that just lets you automatically select and drag the following elements all in one go:

- all layers [and their contents] that start after the playhead


- for layers currently under the playhead, all keyframes from here to the end, PLUS the layer end handle

Drag that combo back and forward to your heart's content.
That'd take so much of the pain away. It's a blunt tool - you may well have to either go back and fix things that were actually in motion at the cut, or prepare by putting keyframes round the cut point beforehand. Dragging back may cause some fun keyframe clashes if you're not careful.

But most importantly, it would make it trivial to drag a bit forward, a nudge back to get pacing just right - something that you just cannot do when every nudge currently takes several tediously careful ops to do...

Fixing the problems caused by this tool would take a tiny fraction of the time it takes to do the job manually. (Even when you do it manually, you still have the same problems to fix, after all)

And yes, you'd still have to go and correct any subcomps, but wouldn't that be a quicker job with a tool like this?

I'll stick this in a suggestion box if I can find one, but it seems like one of those things that's so bloody obvious and would make everyone's life so much easier that there's gotta be a reason Adobe haven't done it already. Like Apple taking half an eon to admit that ALL windows ought to be resizeable from their edges. Grrr

Sorry for the rant. One of those days. Such a bad day that I've cross posted this to Adobe's forum, but it seems to have sunk without trace.

I just hope someone at Adobe realises that just because a 'ripple edit' tool isn't going to work perfectly in every situation, it doesn't mean it wouldn't make our lives a hundred times easier.

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Todd KoprivaRe: Inserting time / ripple edit in comp *rant*
by on Feb 9, 2013 at 4:10:18 pm

Have you submitted a feature request?

You can submit feature requests and bug reports here:

More on feedback for After Effects:

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog

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Howard MatthewsRe: Inserting time / ripple edit in comp *rant*
by on Feb 9, 2013 at 5:01:56 pm

Yup, submitted this a few years ago, and again last night.

Incredibly frustrating on two counts.

1. A ripple edit in a comp isn't always trivial (subcomps), but it often is, and even a simple implementation of the tool I suggest would save a ton of time.

2. Every time some poor newbie pops their head up on an AE forum and asks where the obvious tool for inserting time is, I'm horrified to see people I otherwise have an enormous amount of respect for saying, Oh, that's just not how AE works, but you'll learn. Man up and do it yourself manually with the mouse, like God intended.

Like it's supposed to be difficult, and if you're suggesting there's a bit of obvious functionality missing from AE, you just haven't understood how AE works.

I'd be willing to bet that anyone on these forums who does corporate work in AE faces this regularly, and finds themselves doing exactly the same tasks repeatedly: select all layers, reveal animated props (u), hilight all keys from now on, drag out by x frames. Now manually find and select all layers currently active, then collectively drag their end handles out by x frames. Now manually find and select all layers that start after now, drag them on by x frames.

Is that not automatable?! I sometimes have comps with nearly 100 layers in them that I then have to trawl through doing this tedious routine with, whether I need to insert a minute or a frame.

Ideally, holding a key combo and then dragging in the timebar would automatically select every event to the right of your mouse and start dragging them. Keyframes, layers, end-points. Simplicity itself. Of course there are exceptions and special cases and gotchas, but that's no reason not to have the tool at all. Why am I the only one screaming?

Sorry for ranting again. Twice in two days. Not good, d'oh

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