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Adjusting multiple layer durations

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David Tippell
Adjusting multiple layer durations
on Jan 11, 2017 at 10:56:45 pm

I'm creating a kind of slideshow of still images, using effects and expressions for the transitions.

I've imported each still at a 5-second duration and sequenced the layers when bringing them into a new comp, so each is shown before transitioning to the next. Simple, right?

Now, what if I want to (and I do) extend the duration to, for example, 8 seconds?
Is there a way to apply this change to every layer and ripple the following layers down the timeline, just like a regular ripple edit, and at the same time extend the total comp duration, without having to go through each one-by-one?

I could of course just create this in Premiere, but I'm trying to keep the particular effects and transitions I've created in After Effects.

Thanks guys!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Adjusting multiple layer durations
on Jan 12, 2017 at 5:32:55 pm

If you used a simple dissolve (aka opacity change), this would be a no-brainer. But you animated your own transitions, requiring a different technique.

You'll have to save your custom transition as an Animation Preset for later use. Then make a new comp, add your layers, do that Auto Sequence Layers thing again, specify the amount of overlap, and apply the animation preset you made earlier for the transitions.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Blaise Douros
Re: Adjusting multiple layer durations
on Jan 13, 2017 at 6:40:23 pm

Precompose your comp that has all your photos and transitions in it, right-click the new pre-comp, and apply Time Stretch. Enter the new total duration. Render. Kaboom. Your render time will be slightly increased, but it will take you less time than rebuilding the whole comp.

Note that this only really works when you're dealing with keyframes and animations--AE is smart enough to tween the keyframes--but if you do this when there's actual video in the pre-comp, you'll end up with the usual framerate stutter issues that happen when you slow video down.


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David Tippell
Re: Adjusting multiple layer durations
on Jan 20, 2017 at 10:22:14 am

Thanks for the response. No video used here so frame rate is not an issue, just using pictures & graphics.

Wouldn't this also time stretch all effects applied? I'm looking for a way to adjust the duration while keeping everything else the same. If for example I wanted to apply a simple 1-second cross dissolve between two images, then I find the images need to be twice the duration, using your method would also give me a 2-second dissolve.

Of course I could go through each layer and adjust the effects, but that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. Or I could have applied an expression to control the effects all together... but I didn't think ahead and now I'd have to go through each effect again to do that.

I've actually finished this project now but it'll be good to find a solution for the future.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Adjusting multiple layer durations
on Jan 20, 2017 at 3:58:28 pm

if each layer is of the same effect length how about applying a freeze and time stretch per layer (you need to do math for the transition).
Then copy and paste on each layer.
Then time stretch the whole comp (if the math is correct).
Sounds like a bit much I know.
Ive had to deal with this in the past, and depending on how many layers you are working with, at times its best to start from scratch.


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