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How To Make An AE Template for Multiple Text Comps

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Phill Mason
How To Make An AE Template for Multiple Text Comps
on Dec 20, 2013 at 9:26:30 pm

Hi there, this is my first post here in the forums and just wanted to say thank you to the amazing knowledge that's here. I've dropped in several times and leaned so much - thanks.

Q: I make apps and find myself making the same 3D text buttons over and over again in After Effects using the Element 3D plugin which is perfect. I would like to know if anyone knows or could point me towards a tutorial about how I can make one single comp that contains the font I've chosen and the Element variables and apply that to several other comps that have different text in each comp?

I find myself duplicating comp 1 and then changing the text from Game Over to Continue, this works okay, although it's a bit slow, but the problem comes when I've done this for 15-20 different buttons and I want to change the bevel, colour, or font I find myself going into each comp to do each one and this obviously wastes a lot of time.

For Example:
Comp 1 consists of:
1 x Text layer = Game Over
1 x Element 3D layer (with text layer set in the custom layers)
1 x Camera

Comp 2 consists of:
1 x Text layer = Start
1 x Element 3D layer (with text layer set in the custom layers)
1 x Camera

Comp 3 - different text
Comp 4 - different text
and so on for several comps

I could save loads of time per game and for future games production, If I could find a way to be able to change a master comp that all other comps refer to for the font and Element 3D parameters like bevel preset and materials etc, whilst having all the other comps with their respective texts intact.

Many thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

All the best

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George Goodman
Re: How To Make An AE Template for Multiple Text Comps
on Dec 21, 2013 at 1:03:08 am

If you want all of the button styles to be unique in a single project - then you're going to have to keep doing it the way you're doing it right now.

If you just want to be able to change the style of the button and have it globally affect each button, then there is a relatively simple way to do that. Just precompose the button layer and use that composition instead of unique layers as the button. Now when you update the button in the button composition - it will update all the buttons globally.

So the text thing is a little weird because you may have to reposition it and work with it as the words change. Because of this, it may just be easiest to open each individual button composition and do that. BUT, if you're making a template that you're going to use over and over, here is a way you could set it up so you only had to work in one comp (two if you're changing the button style).

-Create a comp called "Button"
-Create your button
-Precompose your button and call it "buttonStyle" (Later, any changes you make in "the buttonStyle" composition will globally affect the look of your buttons)
-Add a text layer on top of the button
-Duplicate the "Button" comp as many times as the number of buttons you want + 1
-Name the extra composition "MASTER"
-In the "MASTER" comp, add as many text layers as the number of buttons you have
-So you should have, for example, 15 button compositions, and 15 text layers in the master comp. Open each of the 15 button compositions and parent the source text property and the position property of their text to a unique text layer in the master comp. So, button 1 should have its source text and position property parented to text layer 1, and button 2 to text layer 2 and so on and so forth.
-Now turn the text layers in the master comp on 1 at a time and change their text and placement accordingly. This will update the text in each corresponding button composition. When you're done editing all of the text TURN ALL OF THE TEXT LAYERS IN THE MASTER COMP BACK ON. Since the source text is parented, if those layers are invisible when you go to render, the text layers in the button comps will be invisible as well. It will look terrible to have all of the layers on of course, but you aren't rendering the master comp, you're just using the 15 button comps.
-Be sure to save this template as it's own project file, this way you can just import the project file into any other project you want.

*Note, if you want to affect other transform properties such as opacity or rotation, you'll need to parent those as well in the same way as you did the position and source text.

"|_ (°_0) _|"



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Phill Mason
Re: How To Make An AE Template for Multiple Text Comps
on Dec 22, 2013 at 6:03:42 pm

Wow, George, thanks mate for the detailed response, I'm very grateful.
I appreciate how much time it takes to make such a response and it's very kind of you to do so, thanks.

I'm off to try this method now and see how it pans out. I simply don't know my way around AE too well yet and this could be a solution.
Thank you once again, this could save me loads of time.

Kind regards

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