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Comps Affecting Precomps in Them?

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Dane CannonComps Affecting Precomps in Them?
by on Oct 22, 2010 at 5:38:59 pm

I've got a bunch of precomps within precomps within precomps within my main comp... you get the picture. Anyway, I know that it will need to be retimed with time remapping to match a to-be-recorded VO. Some of the precomps already have time remapped elements in them--when I do a more global time remap in the main comp, will it actually affect the originals within the precomps, or will it do the math to a render file that is generated when a precomp is put into a comp (like render files in FCP, I'm not sure if AE does that or not)?

I posted this originally in the basic forum, but methinks this is gonna get more traffic here, here's a link with maybe a better statement of my question...

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/202/887766#887766


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Dave LaRondeRe: Comps Affecting Precomps in Them?
by on Oct 22, 2010 at 6:27:20 pm

Y'know, you could sidestep this whole retiming precomps business, the results of which is a real crap shoot.

But who knows? Perhaps you enjoy playing fast & loose with your image quality. In which case, you can ignore the rest of this post.

Get your V/O IN HAND. Add it to the main comp. Work out the timings where the precomps have to go, including any transitions you need. Got the timings -- in points and out points -- for the precomps written down? Double-checked for accuracy? Good.

Make a new comp containing the V/O ONLY. Go to the time for the in point of the first precomp, and hit the b key. Go to the time for the out point of the first precomp, and hit the n key. You've now set the Work Area to the timings of the V/O. Now use the "Trim Comp To Work Area" command. Poof! Your V/O is now cut to the proper length, and you can add it to the first precomp, timing your animation to the audio. If there are nested comps in this precomp, you should move their layers into the precomp and blow off the nesting. Don't be afraid of the number of layers in a comp. I've used as many as 200 before, and many people have used many more layers than that.

Repeat this process for each of your first-level precomps -- the ones you see in the main comp.

You shouldn't have to do any retiming of your precomps, which is just bad AE practice: too many pitfalls. I don't recommend it.

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


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Dane CannonTime remapping in Comp, how does it affect the Precomp within the comp?
by on Oct 22, 2010 at 6:56:28 pm

Thanks Dave. Wish I had the actual VO (I have a temp one, our talent is flying in from LA in Nov.). Lots of the time remapping I've used is actually for effect (sped up blurry motion, btw -- I'm loving Re:Visions Motion Blur). Some of the time remapping will be to make it all fit perfect. It's approximate right now. I guess my question has more to do with how AE actually functions. Does AE work with render files like FCP does? Are there certain settings that are applied down through the precomp sub levels (like motion blur)? You said that image quality suffers, so that makes me think that AE isn't referencing the actual footage... So let me get this straight, retiming should always be done on the most specific level of composition possible for the best image quality?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Time remapping in Comp, how does it affect the Precomp within the comp?
by on Oct 22, 2010 at 7:19:40 pm

[Dane Cannon] "Are there certain settings that are applied down through the precomp sub levels (like motion blur)?"

Motion blur, if enabled throughout, goes right through to the top. It looks at the actual footage in your project window, no matter how deeply-embedded it is. Two reasons why AE is a RAM hog, and why rendering takes so long in some instances.

It sounds like you'd benefit from a little light reading:
http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=1316795&seqNum=3
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS064964FC-424C-4e5a-A5C3...



[Dane Cannon] "Wish I had the actual VO (I have a temp one, our talent is flying in from LA in Nov.)."

So you're working with a scratch track. No big deal. You're not going to be able to render anything permanent out until you get that V/O anyway. The procedure I outline in this thread takes that into account. How tough can it be to move keyframes around?



[Dane Cannon] "You said that image quality suffers, so that makes me think that AE isn't referencing the actual footage... "

Wrong! It is. And if this footage happens to have a FRAME RATE associated with it -- like video files and image sequences -- you're skating on thin ice. Your image quality can go to hell in a handbasket fast enough to make your head spin if you choose some off-the-wall retiming factor, which it sounds like you were prepared to do.




[Dane Cannon] "So let me get this straight, retiming should always be done on the most specific level of composition possible for the best image quality?"

If there's no footage with a frame rate involved, it isn't a big deal. If there is, it's a very big deal, and you shouldn't do it. You make the call.

But I say bite the bullet: animate to the scratch track, and when you get the real audio, adjust your animation and don't rely on hit-and-miss crutches like retiming.

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


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Dave LaRondeRe: Comps Affecting Precomps in Them?
by on Oct 22, 2010 at 7:00:28 pm

Oh, and should I also mention that audio that's compressed in any way is toxic to AE? Convert it to wav or aiff first.

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


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