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Duplicating nested compositions across a timeline using one layer.

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Dan SimonDuplicating nested compositions across a timeline using one layer.
by on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:13:52 pm

Hi,

Apologies if this is a topic already well covered - I'm new to AE.

I am trying to make a character blink. The 'blink' is a composition comprising two layers - half-closed eyelids, and fully closed eyelids.

I have nested this 10 frame composition in my main composition, which is the characters face.

I want to 1) determine when my character blinks and 2) achieve this effect on one timeline, rather than having to replicate layer after layer. I know there must be an expression for this.

The outcome would look like a movie file on Premiere Pro, where one segment of footage can be copied and replicated across a timeline.

Many thanks,

Dan


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George GoodmanRe: Duplicating nested compositions across a timeline using one layer.
by on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:54:03 pm

Hey Dan,

Here's the approach I use for blinking. It needs to be random because people don't usually blink at normal intervals.

I create a composition with to layers. One is the eyes open, and the other is the eyes closed. In the layer with the eyes open, put this expression in the opacity property:

if (wiggle(3,100) < 50) 0 else 100

In the layer with the eyes closed, put this expression in the opacity property:

on = 100.0;
off = 0.0;

a = thisComp.layer("Shape Layer 2").transform.opacity == 100;
b = thisComp.layer("Shape Layer 2").transform.opacity == 0;

if(a >= b) {
[off]
} else {
[on]
}

*Where it says "Shape Layer 2" - you'll need to change that to the name of the layer with the open eyes. EX "OpenEyes"

*If you want it to blink more rapidly, change the 3 in the wiggle value of the first expression to a larger number. Play with that value until you get it right.

Now you can just use this composition and make it as long as you want. It will randomly blink forever.


"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George


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Dan SimonRe: Duplicating nested compositions across a timeline using one layer.
by on Jan 24, 2014 at 9:32:42 pm

Hey thanks George.

Actually the effect has three layers - the nested composition with one layer half-shut eyelids, and another layer full-shut eyelids, on top of the master composition which is a face with open eyes. so nested composition goes on top of the open eyes.

Eyelids blink at random but I want to create this effect for myself, for example, where my character becomes nervous.

Thanks and look forward to hearing back.

Dan


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George GoodmanRe: Duplicating nested compositions across a timeline using one layer.
by on Jan 24, 2014 at 9:46:54 pm

Oh, whoops, sorry, missed that detail.

Why don't you use time remapping? As soon as you enable it, you can stretch the precomp out as far as you want. You will see that it has two keyframes in the time remap property. Those keyframes represent the very beginning of the animation and the very end. Place the composition where you want it to play the first time, then copy the last keyframe and paste it exactly 1 frame before you would like the animation to play again. Then move one frame forward and paste the first keyframe. You would essentially be telling it, hold the last frame of this precomp until this point, and then start over again. If need be, you could also animate the opacity so that this layer was invisible until the next time it plays.


"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George


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Dan SimonRe: Duplicating nested compositions across a timeline using one layer.
by on Jan 24, 2014 at 9:55:49 pm

George, thank you so much - that was the ticket. I'd tried the time remap, but didn't know to copy the keyframes. Thanks again.


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