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Stagger layers or keyframes

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Roger BurtonStagger layers or keyframes
by on Feb 15, 2012 at 7:59:27 am

Pretty basic really but please let me have your thoughts. I have some new projects, very simple a piece to camera and some added graphics and text, I'm going to have to hand these over to another designer at some point and I want them to be as tidy as possible so that he has no problems understanding how I built the project and can therefore find his way around easily ... here's my question:

When I import footage the length of the layer in the timeline is, well, the length of the footage but with text layers, stills and solids, lights etc the layer's 'physical' length can be any length ... I tend to make them the length of the comp and adjust there in and out points using their key frames, this makes the comps look 'tidy' but sometimes adjusting those in and out points are a little more difficult because those keyframes need 'revealing' - how do you chaps work please ?

(eg an alternative, if you have some stills that mix on do you put the transparency keyframes at the beginning of the layer and move the whole layer to the correct position in the comp's timeline or move the keyframes to that position) - sorry for the long boring question about such a simple problem ! Roger

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John CuevasRe: Stagger layers or keyframes
by on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:28:35 pm

Roger, I adjust my lights, stills, text to the length they need to be. If I have a 10 second comp and the text is only 3 seconds, starting at the 5:15 mark, then my text is adjusted to 3 seconds and placed at 5:15.

I believe, AE will work faster too, if it doesn't have to check on an asset that isn't spanning the duration of the composition---even at 0% opacity, if it's part of the composition I think AE has to calculate that on every frame rendered.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with the open and close bracket "[ ]" fuctions. Knowing these shortcuts will probably make your work a little faster.

[ = moves the head of the layer to the CTI
] = moves the tail of the layer to the CTI
shift + [ = Cuts the layer head to the CTI
shift + ] = Cuts the layer tail to the CTI

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"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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Roger BurtonRe: Stagger layers or keyframes
by on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:44:03 pm

That's so good of you John ... a good response that also makes a lot of sense.

I'll apply it ... Roger

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Dave LaRondeRe: Stagger layers or keyframes
by on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:46:12 pm

You can also annotate layers if necessary: highlight the layer you want to annotate, then hit the asterisk key on the numeric keypad. It makes a marker at the point in time where the CTI is located.

Double-click on that marker to add text: "This is a track matte", "Any new text layer starts here", "Eat at Joe's"... whatever makes sense.

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

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Roger BurtonRe: Stagger layers or keyframes
by on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:40:51 am

Good of you Mr LaRonde ...

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