Layer order in AE is doing my head in.

Participant ,
Jul 09, 2022 Jul 09, 2022

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What is with the layer order in after effects? I find it really confusing to have them numbererd from highest to lowest. Its not logical at all in my opinion.  For example if I have one shape layer and i duplicate it AE puts number 2 on top of number 1. This is ok if you dont have many layers but if you have hundreds and then you have other layers pickwhipped to them it gets really disorderly and confusing fast.  Ive looked up how I can reorder but the only way seems to be to cut then paste. This does reorder them but if I have 50 layers and I duplicate them all they are at the above the other 50 in reverse. After I cut paste I still have to drag them down below the other 50.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 09, 2022 Jul 09, 2022

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If you "duplicate" a layer, it goes above the second layer. Now there are 2 layers. One that isn't a duplicate and one that is. It would make sense that the one that isn't a duplicate would come BEFORE the duplicate.

 

+ AE tends to make layers bottom up (1 at the bottom, 100 at the top). Most of the time layers are sequentially placed to fit like that.


~Jake

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 09, 2022 Jul 09, 2022

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You'll want to learn the key board shortcuts for duplicating, arranging, nudging, trimming, and extending Layers.  Once you have those down, you'll have no trouble duplicating 50 or more layers and sending them up and down the Layer Stack.  After Effects shares shortcuts for arranging Layers with Photoshop and Illustrator, but I find it helpful to switch over to the ones that are unique to After Effects.

 

In addition to the keyboard shortcuts for selecting layers, using Labels is very helpful.

 

It's also possible to naviagte time via Layer shortcuts.

 

Let's say we want to select Layer 45 to 94, duplicate them, and then arrange those toward the back of the Layer Stack such that they're in front of Layer 120.  Select Layer 45 then press shift down arrow to add Layer 94 to add Layers 46 through 94 to the selection.  Then press command D to duplicate.  Change the Label color and then press command option up arrow to send them up and into a continuous stack and then command option down arrow until they're arranged above Layer 120.  It's easier to practice this with a small number of layers selected, unless you happen to the Timline panel on a vertical display with a high resolution.

 

A quick way to find all of the keyboard shortcuts is to copy and paste them to a text editor form the Visual Keyboard Shortcut Editor.

 

Also, don't forget that we can Pre-Compose Layers (effectively the same as Grouping in Photoshop).

 

 

 

-Warren

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