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Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer

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Valentin Macke
Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jun 29, 2019 at 11:24:58 am



I have the primary (white, red & teal) text layer "A". Behind it I have the exact same layer, filled in black + directional blur for a background effect, layer "B". Now every time I want to change just a little detail about layer A (character size, tracking, Animators...), I need to delete layer B, duplicate A again and paste all the effects once again.
I've had this situation many times before and will probably encounter it many more times to come. Is there a way to create a duplicate of layer A, which is essentially layer A, but I can add effects on top of it?


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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jun 29, 2019 at 2:49:11 pm
Last Edited By Kalleheikki Kannisto on Jun 30, 2019 at 5:16:41 pm

Check out True Comp Duplicator from AEScripts.

Edit: Sorry, nevermind, misread that... dependent, not independent.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jun 29, 2019 at 7:49:24 pm

they are supposed to be dependent. how are you changing the parameters? make sure the right layer is selected in the timeline. the only time a duplicate is not unique is if you precompose and duplicate the precomp. this is not the case.

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Greg Gesch
Re: Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jun 30, 2019 at 2:23:56 am

To make it procedural:
Precompose your text layer A.
In your main comp have two layers of the text layer.
Change the lower layer to black and add your blur.
Now when you change the text in the precomposition your main comp will automatically update.


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jun 30, 2019 at 11:04:12 am

Just like Greg mentioned above - anytime you work with an asset, which might be re-used, you are putting a risk into redundant work cycles, if changes are required later in time.

Think about 3 different compositions, where you use a shape circle, in each of them, as a shape layer. Lets say at some point you decide to apply a stroke. What actions would have to be done? Going through all comps and doing it manually. If circle's pre-comp have been used from the beginning - it won't be an issue to apply such change only once.

With texts its even more prominent, because you can't link 'type properties' with expressions. So any time you plan re-using the text - precomp its original source and use pre-comp duplicates instead.

Again - this applies to every elements, not only type. Think ahead of time, and you won't need to stress out later, then project expands.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.
Boxer - Dynamic Text Boxes Template with a Live Preview


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Valentin Macke
Re: Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jun 30, 2019 at 2:34:51 pm

Makes sense, thank you. Pre-composing was the simple answer :)


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: Create dependent, editable duplicate of any layer
on Jul 1, 2019 at 3:06:07 pm

Valentin - yes, it would be the simple answer. For texts - its kind of the only path to take. However, sometimes it is not necessary, to pre-comp, simply because in order to apply the changes, you need to enter a different composition.

Alternatively, you duplicate a layer, and link its main properties which you are going to alter to the original asset. In such way, pre-composing is avoided, and in case you need to make changes - doing so on original layer will update the duplicates too.

Find out more:
After Effects Tutorials: motion design, expressions, scripting.
Boxer - Dynamic Text Boxes Template with a Live Preview


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