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How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?

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Skylar WeeksHow do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 25, 2010 at 2:32:32 am

I have a master composition in AE and then some precomps as a part of it. In those pre comps I have different videos that I turn on an off so that they will show in the master composition/template. Is there a way to render the master comp so that I can turn various videos on/off in the precomps so that they will render in the render queue?.... There are like 10 different videos that all go in the same spot on the master comp, but I am having to turn them all on individually and render individually (time consuming)


I just want to turn a particular video on (in a precomp that is part of this template or "master" composition) send it to the render queue and then go back make a change to the precomp and then send the same composition (that has been modified) to the render queue so that I would get two different renders that use the same master composition. Does that make sense? Thank you!


-Skylar


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Todd KoprivaRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 25, 2010 at 5:01:26 am

What about duplicating the composition several times, making the changes in the duplicates, and sending all of those to the render queue?

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Skylar WeeksRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 25, 2010 at 5:58:26 am

That would work, but for my situation that wouldn't be ideal... you see I am using a MASTER comp. that has 2-3 precomps inside it. Those precomps called "drop 1 & 2 (respectively)" each have 20 different video clips within them. So, for example, I currently have to pick video clip #5 from Drop Spot precomp 1 and then go to Drop spot #2 and pick video clip #5 as well. Then i go back to the Master comp/template and those videos show up in the placement where I want them to be. I then have to render out those settings and clip picks at that time.

I have tried making a clip selection and then adding that "version" of the master comp to the render queue. I would then go back and choose another set of video clips from the precomps and then add what I thought would be a new master comp. "version". I have found that when I render the whole render queue... it renders all of the videos but it renders them all the same because at that point whatever settings/clips I have selected in the compositions... that is what it renders at that time....

I hope that this clarifies my issue. Thank you!

-Skylar


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Walter SoykaRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 25, 2010 at 3:10:47 pm

[Skylar Weeks] "That would work, but for my situation that wouldn't be ideal... you see I am using a MASTER comp. that has 2-3 precomps inside it. Those precomps called "drop 1 & 2 (respectively)" each have 20 different video clips within them. So, for example, I currently have to pick video clip #5 from Drop Spot precomp 1 and then go to Drop spot #2 and pick video clip #5 as well. Then i go back to the Master comp/template and those videos show up in the placement where I want them to be. I then have to render out those settings and clip picks at that time"

I have a few suggestions for versioning; for all of them, I'd suggest pre-rendering or high-quality proxying everything you can to improve render speeds.

First, a couple quick and dirty ideas:

There's a script called True Comp Duplicator which will not only duplicate a comp, but its entire dependency hierarchy as well. If you used it on your "MASTER" comp, it would create not only a "MASTER 2" comp, but a "Drop 3" (independent duplicate of Drop 1) comp and "Drop 4" (independent duplicate of Drop 2), etc.

Your second choice that I see is to create a separate project file for each variation. In each, give the MASTER comp a meaningful name, but include the word MASTER. You may have MASTER A, MASTER B, MASTER C, etc.

Don't worry about setting up the renders at this point; just get the MASTER comp looking right, name it appropriately, Save As, and repeat as necessary until you have one project file per variation.

Create a new project, and import each of those other projects. Use the renderNamedItems.jsx script (included with AE) to add all comps with the string "MASTER" in them to the render queue.

A cleaner and more elegant method, if you have the time and the will to re-engineer your comps and project structure: the CompsFromSpreadsheet script.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Skylar WeeksRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 25, 2010 at 3:22:49 pm

Thanks for the advice Walter. I am doing some promos for a local tv station. The reason there are so many different videos that need to be placed in the same project or Master comp is that my clients require multiple versions of different lengths. They want 20+ 5sec, 20-10sec, 10-20sec...etc. If I made multiple file versions of each different "version" it would quickly increase the amount of files that I would have to deal with. As I have it now I just wanted to be sure if there was a quicker way or if I was doing it the quickest for the way that I set things up...

Thanks for your help... please continue!



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Walter SoykaRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 25, 2010 at 3:43:34 pm

[Skylar Weeks] "Thanks for the advice Walter. I am doing some promos for a local tv station. The reason there are so many different videos that need to be placed in the same project or Master comp is that my clients require multiple versions of different lengths. They want 20+ 5sec, 20-10sec, 10-20sec...etc. If I made multiple file versions of each different "version" it would quickly increase the amount of files that I would have to deal with. As I have it now I just wanted to be sure if there was a quicker way or if I was doing it the quickest for the way that I set things up..."

I assumed this is what you were doing. The first two methods I described are quick and dirty, meant to get you to render as quickly as possible if you are under a deadline. I wouldn't suggest trying to actually maintain a project this way. When multiple versions are required, I maintain the template and re-render versions from scratch as required.

After Effects doesn't really support what you're looking to do natively (like a layer set in Photoshop); at some point, you have to duplicate the comp if you want to batch render.

The last option I mentioned, CompsFromSpreadsheet, is a script that will allow you to use a spreadsheet to control not only text inserts, but also what footage goes into a layer. You may need to flatten out your comp structure some (I don't remember off hand if it handles sub-comp hierarchies or not), but this is a great tool for quickly generating versioned comps from a template.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Steve RobertsRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 26, 2010 at 7:27:37 pm

Thanks for the tips, Walter. Good stuff.



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Walter SoykaRe: How do I render a master composition in a render queue and switch out different layers?
by on Jun 26, 2010 at 9:56:26 pm

[Steve Roberts] "Thanks for the tips, Walter. Good stuff. "

Thanks, Steve -- they are all hard-won and production-tested. I hope they're helpful!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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