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How do I set a property on a deeply nested composition?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2024 Apr 20, 2024

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I have a composition in After Effects named "Comp1." It contains a nested composition named "Comp2," which in turn includes another composition named "Comp3." Could you please explain how I can add a property to "Comp1" that sets a value in "Comp3"?

I have tried using various expressions and Essential Properties. Essential Properties allow me to change values from parent to child but only work one level deep. I thought, "That's fine, I'll just add an essential property to the parent and then add that property to its parent." However, this approach returns the error: "Essential Properties are not currently supported in the Essential Graphics panel." In other programs, I could simply write the code "this.parent.parent.propertyName," but this syntax is not available in After Effects.

I have consulted multiple AE certified professionals and every AI in existence, yet I still cannot find a solution. Does anyone have a suggestion for this problem?

Note: I do not want to identify the top-level object by its parent name. My goal is to have many copies of the top-level comp on my timeline so I can individually change the properties of the nested comps. The alternative approach would require creating a new nested comp for each one, which would defeat the purpose entirely.

TOPICS
Expressions , How to , Scripting

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2024 Apr 20, 2024

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Here is an example that might clear things up. 

 

https://youtu.be/0juIyy3x1h4

 

Comp0 holds 5 copies of Comp1. On each copy of Comp1, I would like to set a Source Text property. Comp2 has some additional layers and animations. Comp3 holds the text object and some other objects like mattes. 

 

I want to animate 5 letters, so I only want 5 copies of Comp1, one copy of Comp2, and one copy of Comp3. The only way that I can figure out how to do this is to make Comp1-A, Comp2-A, Comp3-A, Comp1-B, Comp2-B, Comp3-B, and down the line for every single letter. 

 

This seems like something that should be really simple andit seems like a million people would have asked this question before, but I can't find anything anywhere. I'm sure Adobe Animate can do this. It's especially perplexing because expressions are supposed to be based on JavaScript and I can certainly reference a parent property easily in JavaScript.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2024 Apr 20, 2024

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The Compositin/Flow Chart is the easiest way to find embedded layers and effects. Double clicking on any element in that flow chart will open that comp and select the proper layer.

 

If you have navigated to the appropriate nested composition, the Extended Graphics workspace (highly reccomended) will allow you to solo all supported properties and drag the appropriate ones to the Extended Graphics Panel so you can easily manipulate any property while viewing the result in the Main composition.

 

I hope this helps.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2024 Apr 20, 2024

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Thank you for your response Mr. Gerard, but I don't think we are understanding each other. I can easily create master properties with the Essential Graphics panel that show up on the parent. However, that parent is on a timeline with many other objects. See here: 

shaunroot_0-1713651479242.png

I need to see those Essential Properties on the parent of this composition. If I try to drag them into the Essential Graphics window I receive the error: "Essential Properties are not currently supported in the Essential Graphics panel."

 

As it is, I would need to create 26 comps for each letter that I want to animate and 26 more comps in which I set the properties for each letter. This just doesn't feel right. I simply need to set the values one level higher in the heirarchy. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 22, 2024 Apr 22, 2024

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Hi @shaunroot,

 

You can connect your Essential Properties to Expressions Controls via expressions then use the Expression Control in the Essential Graphics panel.

 

Cheers,

Theresa

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