Can I control multiple instances of an effect across multiple layers with one master control?

New Here ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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Essentially, I'd like to apply the Roughen Edges effect to a number of layers, to turn this:

animationInAfterEffects_main_2020-01-31_20.17.32.png

into this, with rough edges like a pencil:

animationInAfterEffects_main_2020-01-31_20.20.36.png

Applying this with an adjustment layer, only roughens the edges of the composition, so my current solution is to apply a roughen edges to every layer.

 

I'm wondering if there's a better way where I can apply one master controller to several instances of the same effect, so should I come to modify the effect, I don't have to manually change them all.

 

Thankyou so much for any help!

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Contributor , Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

Yeah, pretty much this except you can't pickwhip the whole effect at once (as far as i know), you need to pickwhip settings (e.g Sharpness, Scale...) one by one. (just connecting the ones you change is enough) 

A small tip to make it faster. I suggest you create null, connect one layer to the null, then just copy/paste effect to other layers so you won't have to do this for every layer. 

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Contributor ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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I have a feeling that you already know that, but in case you don't; why don't you connect them to one null? 

You can apply the same effect to the null, then parent null's values to the layer's values. 

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New Here ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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Forgive me, I've been using After Effects for a while, but haven't really explored expressions or automation, I've mostly used it for motion graphics. The steps would be:

 

1. Create a null with the roughen edges effect applied

2. Add effect to all desired layers

3. Pickwhip the effects on each layer to the properties on the null layer

4. Adjusting the null layer properties would then affect all of them

 

Is that right?

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Contributor ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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Yeah, pretty much this except you can't pickwhip the whole effect at once (as far as i know), you need to pickwhip settings (e.g Sharpness, Scale...) one by one. (just connecting the ones you change is enough) 

A small tip to make it faster. I suggest you create null, connect one layer to the null, then just copy/paste effect to other layers so you won't have to do this for every layer. 

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New Here ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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Thankyou so much, that's perfect! I appreciate it.

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Contributor ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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You are welcome!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 31, 2020 Jan 31, 2020

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AE has TWO built in features to allow you to create a Master Effect/Property (this is different to Master Properties used in the Essential Graphics Panel). The Effect Menu contains these TWO features -

1) Copy With Property Links
2) Copy with Relative Property Links

Copy With Property Links - this is used when selecting and then copying an entire Effect or one of its properties or a single property, anywhere within the Timeline. You can paste what you copied to a layer (if you copied an entire Effect or a single property) in another comp.

Copy with Relative Property Links - this is used when selecting and then copying an entire Effect or one of its properties or a single property, anywhere within the Timeline. You can paste what you copied to a layer (if you copied an entire Effect or a single property) in the same comp.

You may want to create a Null Object/Layer to contain this Master Effect/Property to allow for easier reference when having to tweak the source/Master Effect/props.

Motion Graphics Brand Guidelines & Motion Graphics Responsive Design Toolkits

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Contributor ,
Feb 01, 2020 Feb 01, 2020

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I didn't know this, thanks for the tip:) 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 01, 2020 Feb 01, 2020

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There is another option that may help you achieve a pencil-drawn look. Nest your final animation in a new composition, Duplicate the layer twice, apply: Find Edges, Gaussian Blur, Extract, and Roughen edges to the top copy to create some pencil looking edges.

Screenshot_2020-02-01 08.57.48_oXHiNZ.png

Then set up a track matte and adjust the position of the second layer a couple of pixels to reveal the edges.

Screenshot_2020-02-01 08.59.35_2OpNkj.png

And you get this look:

Screenshot_2020-02-01 09.09.52_2KDtn0.png

I can think of a half dozen other ways to get the pencil-drawn look ranging from setting up an animation preset with the look you like applied to all of your layers with a single click, which is not very easy to adjust unless you link all of the properties you want to adjust to a controller layer on layer 1 with multiple Expression Control

Slidders, to several other effects including Auto Trace.

 

Hope this gives you some ideas.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2020 Feb 01, 2020

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This is a great way of achieving this look, thankyou!

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2020 Feb 01, 2020

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Having tried this, it works great apart from the direction that you offset the middle layer determines certain areas that don't overlap/have enough of a difference to roughen the edges. See the attached, the bottom left of the palm of the hand, and the still neat lines on the right of the pot.

 

A great technique, I'll experiment with different adjustments to the middle duplicate to see if I can alleviate these small errors!

 

Thanks again for the suggestion.Annotation 2020-02-01 181820.jpg

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2020 Feb 27, 2020

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Roland,

 

You're a marvel, a master, and a mench. Your comment here, has singe-handedly saved me from the darkest depths of my frustration. After hours of google searches, I'd nearly lost all hope. Doomed, I thought I was, to face the rest of my days working in after effects with nothing but bitter contempt for the lack of this feature. "It's so simple!" I shouted. "Why is everyone saying you must go one by one with each property?! What madness has overtaken Adobe, that they would allow such ludicrousy?!" Thank you, my friend. It would be my greatest honor to shake your hand and shed a single tear, knowing what angry abyss you've saved me from. 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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I am very new to AE and this topic is one I want to learn as quickly as possible. Would you or any other know of video tutorials for this topic? I am not sure what my search terms should be when looking for videos on this.

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Contributor ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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This one should be easy to understand 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 28, 2020 Feb 28, 2020

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You can do it easily using the Edit > Copy with property links. This way you can copy the effect in the "master layer" and paste it to any other layers, and as soon as you edit the effect in the "master layer" the other layers will update.

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