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How to duplicate a composition in after effects and make it independent from the original

Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2013

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Hi, im trying to duplicate a composition in after effects and make it independent from the original but it seems to be imposible.. im working on CS5.

Can somebody help me PLEASE??

Thanks

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Rick Gerard | Adobe Community Professional

As Andrew said, select a comp in the Project Panel, not in the timeline, and press Ctrl/Cmnd + D. You'll get a new comp with a number or copy added to the name. This comp is completely independent of the original one but it contains all of the same footage.

If the comp you duplicated contains other comps nested in the timeline then these nested comps must also be duplicated and their duplicates used to replace the original nested compositions in the duplicate comp. The script referred to makes this easy. Most projects created by new users do not have a lot of nested comps so it's not usually a big deal to do this step by hand.

If you post a screenshot of the timeline for the comp you need duplicated or better yet the flow chart we can point out exactly what needs to be duplicated in the Project panel to give you an independent duplicate composition. Duplicating a composition nested in a timeline does not give you a unique copy.

One more thing. Any time you select layers in your timeline and Pre-compose them you create a new composition that is now nested in your original. It's a good practice to arrange all pre-comps in the Project Panel into a folder with a name that lets you know where these pre-comps go. This will make the job of duplicating main comps much easier.

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How to duplicate a composition in after effects and make it independent from the original

Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2013

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Hi, im trying to duplicate a composition in after effects and make it independent from the original but it seems to be imposible.. im working on CS5.

Can somebody help me PLEASE??

Thanks

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Rick Gerard | Adobe Community Professional

As Andrew said, select a comp in the Project Panel, not in the timeline, and press Ctrl/Cmnd + D. You'll get a new comp with a number or copy added to the name. This comp is completely independent of the original one but it contains all of the same footage.

If the comp you duplicated contains other comps nested in the timeline then these nested comps must also be duplicated and their duplicates used to replace the original nested compositions in the duplicate comp. The script referred to makes this easy. Most projects created by new users do not have a lot of nested comps so it's not usually a big deal to do this step by hand.

If you post a screenshot of the timeline for the comp you need duplicated or better yet the flow chart we can point out exactly what needs to be duplicated in the Project panel to give you an independent duplicate composition. Duplicating a composition nested in a timeline does not give you a unique copy.

One more thing. Any time you select layers in your timeline and Pre-compose them you create a new composition that is now nested in your original. It's a good practice to arrange all pre-comps in the Project Panel into a folder with a name that lets you know where these pre-comps go. This will make the job of duplicating main comps much easier.

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Apr 04, 2013 1
Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2013

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(I want to make it independent for change the items and effects...)

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Apr 04, 2013 0
Contributor ,
Apr 04, 2013

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Have you tried this script yet: http://aescripts.com/true-comp-duplicator/

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Apr 04, 2013 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2013

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What processing are you using to duplicate your composition? 

If you select a comp in the project window and then duplicate, you will create a duplicate comp that is independent of the first.  HOWEVER, if there are nested compositions within your comp, then these will remain true to their original source compositions.  You may need to duplicate and replace those precomps within your duplicate comp.  Or, as shown above, there's a script to automate the process.

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Apr 04, 2013 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2013

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Yeah, but i was trying not to spend money on it.. just for another way to do it

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Apr 04, 2013 0
Contributor ,
Apr 04, 2013

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If you look closer this script is "name your own price" so you could even enter 0$, download and try the script and if you like it and feel that the author really deserved it and feel like motivating him to spend some more time writing other useful scripts donate a fair amount later on.

If you don't feel like buying or trying you can do this the classic way and duplicate your comps and precomps and change the precomps inside to new comps with the new precomps by selecting your old precomp and alt-drag your new precomp over it. Sounds boring? It is

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Apr 04, 2013 0
LEGEND ,
Apr 04, 2013

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This is easy to do:  duplicate the nested composition in the project window and give it a new name.  Use the Replace Footage command to put the renamed comp into your main comp. 

You can now make changes to the renamed duplicate nested comp, and they will affect only those comps where it has been placed.

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Apr 04, 2013 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2013

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As Andrew said, select a comp in the Project Panel, not in the timeline, and press Ctrl/Cmnd + D. You'll get a new comp with a number or copy added to the name. This comp is completely independent of the original one but it contains all of the same footage.

If the comp you duplicated contains other comps nested in the timeline then these nested comps must also be duplicated and their duplicates used to replace the original nested compositions in the duplicate comp. The script referred to makes this easy. Most projects created by new users do not have a lot of nested comps so it's not usually a big deal to do this step by hand.

If you post a screenshot of the timeline for the comp you need duplicated or better yet the flow chart we can point out exactly what needs to be duplicated in the Project panel to give you an independent duplicate composition. Duplicating a composition nested in a timeline does not give you a unique copy.

One more thing. Any time you select layers in your timeline and Pre-compose them you create a new composition that is now nested in your original. It's a good practice to arrange all pre-comps in the Project Panel into a folder with a name that lets you know where these pre-comps go. This will make the job of duplicating main comps much easier.

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Apr 04, 2013 3
Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2015

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Rick - Thank you for posting the Ctrl/Cmnd + D key command. That saved me a ton of time!

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Mar 06, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2019

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this has probably changed, because i tried both ways and neither works anymore

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Mar 21, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2019

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I promise copying a composition in the project panel still works. The problem comes if the composition contains other compositions, you need to copy them too...

Often, this kind of task doesn't need to be done with making new compositions though. The new-ish feature of Master Properties in AE makes duplicating precomps obsolete for many cases. Especially when it comes to incorporating changes down the line. I've had projects in the past where Master Properties would have saved me HOURS of work doing all this duplication.

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Mar 21, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2019

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Can you tell me what you are trying to achieve by du-locating them and what steps you are trying that aren’t working? Please describe in as much detail the steps you have taken. Thanks

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Mar 22, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jul 22, 2020

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this is insanely too complicated and time consuming, how come they never thought EVERYBODY wants this to be done easily in just one step ?!

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Jul 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2020

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There is a script called True Comp Duplicator - aescripts.com that does this automatically. Somebody did think of it. 

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Jul 24, 2020 1
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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2020

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thx !

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Jul 27, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2020

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Depending on which property and the depth of the hierarchy of Comps you want to ammend, to create a different version, AE's Master Properties feature is one way to help you out.

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Jul 24, 2020 1