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best way to add/remove time where paused?

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Andy Engelkemier
best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 12:32:51 pm

I've got about 15-20 layers. Not a ton, but enough that it gets difficult to keep track of keys if you're not careful.

I finished the project for the most part and then the client (or maybe just me half the time) decides that there needs to be slightly more/less pause at one or two points. My first guess on timing isn't always correct.

My current solution (which I don't like):
precomp the whole thing. Add time remap. Split the layer. To subtract time, just push over the end a bit, and trim the beginning in case there are transparency overlaps. For adding time, push the end down the line a bit, add a key on the beginning, delete the end key. Stretch to meet the ending layer.

The problem: First, it's not all that fast. So that could be improved. And second, it's sloppy. If you have to go back and make changes you've made a spot that you are likely to mess up. Maybe you tack something on to the beginning of everything? Now your cut is in the wrong place. Or maybe you add something in there with motion? Well, now you have to do that in the precomp or it will pause. Ooops. This just doesn't seem to be the right place for a precomp.

I'd love a script that just pushes/pulls all keyframes along with each layer's tail, a set distance. And if a layer doesn't intersect the current time the whole layer would just slide over that distance, along with the keyframes. Ideally, that's what I would want. But I'm not sure if that exists.

Does something exist that would help my workflow a bit? I just feel that it could be a lot better.


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John Cuevas
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:27:12 pm

Time Remapping might be another option. You could precomp your project, and enable Time Remap(Cntl+Alt+T). If you needed to add 5 seconds, move the CTI to where you need to add time and add a comp marker(* on the keypad). Add a keyframe at this point and copy it. Now select that keyframe and the last keyframe in the comp and move both 5 seconds forward. Now go to your layer marker and paste the copied keyframe. You've now stopped time for 5 seconds, press cntl+K to open your project settings and extend the comp 5 seconds.

Splitting the layer to edit out time might be just as good, but you can use Time Remap also. Make a keyframe where you want your cut to start, add a keyframe to where you want it to resume, grab all the keyframes after the cut, and move them to one frame after your out point.

Time remapping can get a little tricky, because you have to keep track of the keyframes before/after when you start moving them, because if you don't move everything the same amount, you will start ramping time up and down. It's doable, but 99% of the time if I have to do what you are doing, I just split layers/add freeze frames or trim them. Time Remap works well in this case if you only have to do one or two edits, but it can really get messy when you have 10 to 15.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Andy Engelkemier
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:45:19 pm

Maybe I wasn't clear in the way I wrote what I'm currently doing, but that is exactly what I am currently doing. I was hoping to find something more like a ripple edit. I would much rather add/remove time in the composition I am working in, especially if that time is just sitting there doing nothing. Maybe I've held an action for 6 seconds in order to read something. Then we change it to only be a title, so should now be 2-3 seconds. I have to cut that down, but then I want to just subtract the 3-4 seconds from everything else as well. If this is something that happens early in a project you would Definitely not want to precomp and timeremap.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 2:27:38 pm

John's advice time remapping advice works well when there's no video or audio involved. If video has to remain at a constant speed, or if you need to sync to audio in a different application, you're probably better off if you bite the bullet and just move keyframes on layers.

And don't forget that if you're just checking motion and timings in a short section of the timeline or a small portion of the comp window, AE has a lot of options for previewing. You ought to be able to get real time previews. This makes RAM Previewing a lot less time-consuming and a bit less odious.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Andy Engelkemier
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 2:33:16 pm

I guess I wish you could just design things so you can move layers around as groups more automatically.
Like, if layerB starts 15 frames before layerA ends then you could move around layerA to your hearts content and know that layerB will start at the appropriate time. If I could set up my whole file with those sorts of timed relationships then I could just add some time to one layer, and everything else will move aside to make room.

I was hoping for a different solution, like that. This video is very simple. Like, powerpoint simple. Yet it takes just as long to edit as if it were video or animations. You'd think just moving shapes around with no footage more than 1 frame, it could be quick and easy.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:01:39 pm

This may not be what you REALLY want, but you can move two layers at once. It does take a little forethought, and it's very temporary.

Shift-Click on the desired layers and move one of them. They move together. If you have the timeline cursor positioned where you want one of the layers to go on the timeline, the layer closest to that position will snap there, and the other layer follows.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Andy Engelkemier
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:11:25 pm

I am aware of that function, and I would recommend Ctrl click, as shift click would only work for a group of layers, or layers next to the first selected.

This moves the entire layer. What I'm looking to do is move the End of a layer along with any keyframes. Currently, you can't do that at all, unless maybe that is possible with a script.

ideally what I would be looking for is a way to control everything with a time before/after a point, and move it forward or back a specific amount. So in/outs, markers, keys, anything that is at a specific time. I feel like it wouldn't be impossible to do through a script.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:31:57 pm

It sounds like you want to trim a layer's Out Point, and move selected keyframes by the amount of the trim and in the same direction: plus or minus.

There may be a script that can do that, but I don't know about it.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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mathew fuller
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:07:20 pm

It seems recently, a lot of people think a script or some magic shortcut should be able to solve all of their problems after the fact.

Not true.

If you want flexibility, and the ability to easily adjust your comps as the project changes, you need to think of how to best accomplish this before you lay your first keyframe on the first layer.

Quick changes and easy fixes don't come without a price... that price is time spent before making you project... making sure you are doing everything in a way that makes sense down the line, and requires the least amount of BS to adjust.

That being said. This isn't always possible, and sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and make big changes, that take time.

You are currently in a 20 layer project at the moment. No insurmountable adjustments I would imagine... But if you make a poorly conceived project when you get into hundreds of layers with precomps inside precomps inside precomps... you will hate yourself later.

Good work takes time, patience and knowledge. I have spent 60 hours on 5 second shots. And I have spent 5 hours on 60 second shots.

I know when you watch tutorials they go quickly, and the person showing you how to do it just jams through the project, and it seems like magic.... but the part you are missing is the time they spent figuring out the most economical way to do it before they recorded said tutorial.

Keep this in mind moving forward.

My Work:
http://www.morecompletefx.com


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Andy Engelkemier
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:41:54 pm

I do agree with you. And if someone has tips on how to lay out a file with layers that will most likely need to change times later, then I welcome seeing their attempt. I haven't seen any tutorials specifically addressing this, so haven't really learned the best way to do it. I've been using AE since 5.5. I'm not an expert, but I'm fairly proficient.

Although I think it is always best to think ahead of your project so you know what might give you the most flexibility, you also will find need for scripts/software improvements along the way. If that wasn't the case we wouldn't have masks. So I'm just supposed to shoot/create my footage correct the first time, and if I need some area of it different then I have to do it again? Well that was a need, so a feature was added. I also use Rhino3D and they are extremely responsive when it comes to scripts. I was getting junk often, so needed to select all the small parts to help speed up weeding through tiny pieces. A script was created that allowed me to select objects smaller than a specified bounding box. They have done that for many things, and have implemented a few of those scripts into their new software.

It's not that I expect there to be some sort of magic script. But if you don't ask if there is a better way, how are you to learn of better ways to do things?


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mathew fuller
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:52:34 pm

You should ask. You did ask.

Unfortunately the answer was most likely before you started your project not after. And frankly without diving deep into your project on my own machine, it's nearly impossible to answer your question because there are simply too many variables.

Look into using slider controls etc. on a null object, and expressions from multiple layers to use those controls, so you can control multiple layers with as few keyframes as possible. It also keeps your keyframes on one layer "The Null Object" instead of having keyframes all over the place.

For example it is quite possible using expressions to control the position of one layer, the scale of another, and the rotation of another with one slider control.


http://aenhancers.com/

Check out this forum. Lots to learn over here. It will get you going on understanding how to simplify your workflow with a few simple ideas. It's a rough start.... but once you get it... you get it.

Start in the "Expressions" Forums... not scripts. Expressions are used in comps. Scripts are separate files (.jsx) you run through the AE menu.

My Work:
http://www.morecompletefx.com


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mathew fuller
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:57:14 pm

Also go here for some more tutorials.

http://aeexpressions.blogspot.com/

My Work:
http://www.morecompletefx.com


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Andrew Lush
Re: best way to add/remove time where paused?
on Jan 22, 2015 at 12:16:00 am

Yes, a ripple edit script! Similarly to the way Reduce Project removes elements throughout the project based on the selected sequence, a ripple edit script would *add* or *subtract* a set amount of keyframes for all layers/pre-comps from a certain point in a top-level composition. Somebody write this... I will buy it!


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