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Handling hundreds of layers, positionated using expresions

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Diego MelladoHandling hundreds of layers, positionated using expresions
by on Dec 12, 2016 at 4:00:16 pm

Hi everybody!
First, thanks a lot for your support.
I have a composition with, approximately, 600 shape layers, each with a basic shape -a square- in it.
Its positions is set by an expression, which reads the x,y,z coord. from a external file.
Handling the composition is quite slow. Obviously, the amount of layers makes it difficult, but I wonder if there is anyway of making it lighter.

First, let's assume I can not have less layers or have all the shapes in only one layer.
Second, the position of the layers will not change during time, so setting it once -for example, when the project is open or wen the composition is open- would be enough, but each time it is open should, the expressions should be evaluated.

It is my understanding that using a fixed position instead of expressions -that are re-evaluated every frame- would make the composition lighter, but using the Expression to Keyframe option is not valid -or at least as I have tried- since it makes a keyframe for each frame, for the 600 layers, which freezes After Effects.

My goal is to handle the composition faster, not to set it faster. I mean: I don't mind if it takes 5minutes to open or generate the comp if once opened or created I can scroll, select and rearrange layers -its position in the layer list- easily Now, it takes 1minute (apporx.) to open the comp and but then 15sec each time I have to deal with a layer.

Maybe using scripts instead of expressions would be faster? Do you have any suggestion?
Probably, AE is not the best softwate for this project, but if I could make it work, it will make my life easier ☺

Thanks a lot for your help!
Diego


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Walter SoykaRe: Handling hundreds of layers, positionated using expresions
by on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:26:57 pm

[Diego Mellado] "It is my understanding that using a fixed position instead of expressions -that are re-evaluated every frame- would make the composition lighter, but using the Expression to Keyframe option is not valid -or at least as I have tried- since it makes a keyframe for each frame, for the 600 layers, which freezes After Effects.
"


What about setting the duration of the comp to be only a single frame, using Expression to Keyframes, then re-setting the duration to its longer original value?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Diego MelladoRe: Handling hundreds of layers, positionated using expresions
by on Dec 12, 2016 at 6:00:02 pm

Hi Walter,
Thanks a lot, that's a really good tip! But it has a problem: it is not iterative. If I want to change the position values in the txt file, I have to make a new comp, lasting 1 frame, convert the expressions to keayframe again and set the new duration of the comp.
To put it on a nutshell: the value of the keyframe will not update if the source value of the position changes.
Again, thanks a lot for the tip. I will use that approach in the meanwhile ☺

Best,
Diego


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