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How to loop after effects compositions

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Stephen ChauvetteHow to loop after effects compositions
by on Jan 22, 2011 at 9:27:45 am


I have a composition of the earth rotating. I am going to be using this as a portion of my background on my website.

1. How can I get a composition to loop over and over again?(infinite)

2. What would be the best way to convert the after effects file into an swf file that would give me the lowest file size possible and still have decent quality?

I am pretty new to after effects so if someone would not mind giving an explanation for a beginner that would be awesome. I would very much appreciate any help.

Thanks in advance,


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Joey ForemanRe: How to loop after effects compositions
by on Jan 22, 2011 at 2:43:16 pm

Well, you can't loop a composition but you can loop a footage file as many times as you want.
Render the composition, import it, then right click on the clip in the Project Panel and open the Interpret Footage dialog. That's where you set the loop.
Keep in mind, though, you want the loop to be seamless. One way to accomplish this is, rather than render the entire length of the comp, set the work area back one frame from the last.

You can also loop individual animation parameters of a layer such as rotation with an expression, and possibly parent several layers to a null which has a looped rotation.

Different ways to skin a cat.

I don't render SWF's at all so I'll let someone else take that up for you.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist

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Chris ThorpRe: How to loop after effects compositions
by on Feb 11, 2011 at 6:22:33 pm

I am new to After Effects and trying to get to grips with it. I am mainly interested in creating looping backgrounds for proshow. I think I may be confusing myself with the term looping. I was under the impression that a 10 second loop would continuously loop over a 10 second period and then automatically start again. Having following the Tutorial #1 It appear that the loop is the frequency it repeats during that 10 seconds. Is that correct. Using the loop number in After affects is there a way of making the loops automatically start again thereby indefinitely repeating. Appreciate your advise

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Joey ForemanRe: How to loop after effects compositions
by on Feb 11, 2011 at 7:23:16 pm

You have to understand that you're using AE to create a composition and then a rendered movie of a finite length.
Individual layers can be set to loop as many times as you want within the duration of a composition.
You'll still be outputting a movie of finite length.
Having that movie itself loop during playback outside of AE is a function of the end-use software media player app or hardware. For instance, you can set Quicktime Player to loop your clip. A hardware kiosk may also have that functionality. A web developer can code an embedded file to loop on a website as well.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist

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Todd KoprivaRe: How to loop after effects compositions
by on Jan 22, 2011 at 5:56:59 pm

If you're looking to loop a composition within a more complex animation within After Effects, then Joey's answers are what you need. But if you're looking to loop a movie on playback, you need to specify that within your player. Becuase you also asked about Flash formats, I'll assume that that is the context that you're working in. You need to specify that Flash Player loop the movie on playback, and you do that when you create the container in Flash.

You asked about exprot to SWF from After Effects. Why SWF? 99.9% of the time, FLV or F4V are the right formats to use for After Effects output for use in Flash. SWF is a vector format; After Effects works with pixels. You simply can't get most After Effects material out as vectors.

See this page for an overview of Flash output formats from After Effects.

Because you're new to After Effects, I very strongly recommend that you start here.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support

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