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How to duplicate a pre-comp and make it independent

Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2015

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I have tried to duplicate an effect and to make it independent but it keeps on making it the same.

 

from the top left box i have the Project screen with the composition A. i canot drill into the compostion A.

 

once i double click the composition A then the timeframe screen appears on the bottom. within there is many layers.

 

example layer 1 has effect with text and videos.  this is what i want to copy and duplicate to keep the effects but be able to change videos and texts.

 

I have tried all the ctrl + D and Ctrl C and V but to no avail.

 

Can someone help?

 

[Title updated by Mod.]

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

marikon96357335, If you duplicated a comp in the Project Panel then it is a unique copy of the original comp and any changes made to that comp cannot effect the original. If there is a nested comp (pre-comp) inside the original comp then you will also have to duplicate the nested comp. There is something wrong with your workflow. All comps in the Project panel are completely unique and have no relationship with other comps in the project unless there is a common nested comp in more than one comp. 

Check the flow chart and you will be able to see if there are any nested comps in your original. Find them and duplicate them.

If that fails we need to see a screenshot of your Project Panel and a flow chart of all the comps that are giving you problems.

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How to duplicate a pre-comp and make it independent

Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2015

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I have tried to duplicate an effect and to make it independent but it keeps on making it the same.

 

from the top left box i have the Project screen with the composition A. i canot drill into the compostion A.

 

once i double click the composition A then the timeframe screen appears on the bottom. within there is many layers.

 

example layer 1 has effect with text and videos.  this is what i want to copy and duplicate to keep the effects but be able to change videos and texts.

 

I have tried all the ctrl + D and Ctrl C and V but to no avail.

 

Can someone help?

 

[Title updated by Mod.]

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

marikon96357335, If you duplicated a comp in the Project Panel then it is a unique copy of the original comp and any changes made to that comp cannot effect the original. If there is a nested comp (pre-comp) inside the original comp then you will also have to duplicate the nested comp. There is something wrong with your workflow. All comps in the Project panel are completely unique and have no relationship with other comps in the project unless there is a common nested comp in more than one comp. 

Check the flow chart and you will be able to see if there are any nested comps in your original. Find them and duplicate them.

If that fails we need to see a screenshot of your Project Panel and a flow chart of all the comps that are giving you problems.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 25, 2015

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  1. Select the Pre-comp in your timeline
  2. Right click and choose Reveal in Project
  3. Click on the selected Pre-comp in the Project Panel and press Ctrl/Cmnd + D
  4. Rename the duplicated Pre-comp

There you go. 

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2015

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Hi Rick,

I have tried this already. after

  1. Click on the selected Pre-comp in the Project Panel and press Ctrl/Cmnd + D

i now get the precomp added to the project list name. i renamed it to something else (add 2 at the end)

i then make changes and add to the timeline of the original comp. The new changes have also changed the original layer.

The original layer has many effects and i want to reuse the effects and make changes to the pictures/video and text.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2015

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True Comp Duplicator v3 Demo - YouTube

i have similar problem to the video above. however i want to copy the layer on the main comp  within the timeline and reuse it whilst changing the pictures/texts. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 25, 2015

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marikon96357335, If you duplicated a comp in the Project Panel then it is a unique copy of the original comp and any changes made to that comp cannot effect the original. If there is a nested comp (pre-comp) inside the original comp then you will also have to duplicate the nested comp. There is something wrong with your workflow. All comps in the Project panel are completely unique and have no relationship with other comps in the project unless there is a common nested comp in more than one comp. 

Check the flow chart and you will be able to see if there are any nested comps in your original. Find them and duplicate them.

If that fails we need to see a screenshot of your Project Panel and a flow chart of all the comps that are giving you problems.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 25, 2015

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If you want to duplicate a layer in the comp and then change the footage you simply duplicate the layer, select the duplicate, then select the new footage in the Project Panel, hold down the Alt-Option key and drag the replacement footage to the timeline.

These are very basic tasks in AE. When you run into problems like this it's a good idea to type things like replace footage in the Search Help field at the top right corner of AE and follow some of the links.

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New Here ,
May 24, 2020

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I love you.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2016

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try saving the project and importing it back into the project. Then those comps are independent. Its stupid that Adobe doesn't have a better option, but there you go.

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 04, 2016

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Mariko: Do any of these solutions help you?

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2017

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Stefan Gruenwedel

Can You fix this in the coming versions?.. I hope so. @

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 04, 2017

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Please submit a feature request: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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New Here ,
Nov 14, 2017

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I'm new to AE and the whole comp vs precomp is very confusing. The fact that I can't make an independent duplication of a comp or a pre-comp is frustrating. I feel like I should have mastered a couple of computer programming languages before buying AE.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 14, 2017

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It is really very simple. Everything in the timeline except shape and text layers comes from the Project Panel. You cannot have anything but text layers and shape layers in a timeline unless that asset exists in the Project Panel. Duplicating something in the timeline does not duplicate that resource in the Project Panel, it just creates another copy of the asset in the timeline. If the asset in the timeline is a composition then duplicating the asset in the timeline just gives you another copy of the same asset in exactly the same way duplicating footage in the timeline gives you a copy of that footage. If you need a unique copy of a composition you have to duplicate it in the Project Panel. If you need different footage in your timeline you have to drag it into the timeline from the Project Panel using the replace footage workflow. The same technique is used for replacing a nested comp (pre-comp) in the timeline. You select the layer you want to replace in the Timeline, hold down the Alt/Option key and select the replacement asset in the Project Panel and drag it to the timeline.

Duplicating something in the timeline does not duplicate that resource in the Project Panel, it just creates another copy of the asset in the timeline. If the asset in the timeline is a composition then duplicating the asset in the timeline just gives you another copy of the same asset in exactly the same way duplicating footage in the timeline gives you a copy of that footage. If you need a unique copy of a composition you have to duplicate it in the Project Panel. If you need different footage in your timeline you have to drag it into the timeline from the Project Panel using the replace footage workflow. The same technique is used for replacing a nested comp (pre-comp) in the timeline. You select the layer you want to replace in the Timeline, hold down the Alt/Option key and select the replacement asset in the Project Panel and drag it to the timeline.

If you need a unique copy of a composition you have to duplicate it in the Project Panel. It is exactly the same f you need different footage in your timeline you have to drag it into the timeline from the Project Panel using the replace footage workflow. The same technique is used for replacing a nested comp (pre-comp) in the timeline. You select the layer you want to replace in the Timeline, hold down the Alt/Option key and select the replacement asset in the Project Panel and drag it to the timeline.

I hope this clears things up a bit.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2018

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So that means that if i have 500 layers and precomps, i have to duplicate them one by one ? I Don't understand that there is not a function called  "Duplicate composition and all it's content". That's crazy. I've been struggling for one hour to duplicate one composition and it's content, what the hell ?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 02, 2018

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If you have 10 or 100 comps in the Project Panel you can select all of them and press Ctrl/Cmnd + d to duplicate all of them at the same time. That part is easy. If you need to then replace each of those duplicated comps in master comps where they have been used you'll have to do that one comp at a time or invest in a script that does it automatically. If you have 500 comps to duplicate it would be worth it to spend a little money. True Comp Duplicator - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.comaescripts.com/true-comp-duplicator/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 02, 2018

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brunoc92303474  wrote

So that means that if i have 500 layers and precomps, i have to duplicate them one by one ? I Don't understand that there is not a function called  "Duplicate composition and all it's content". That's crazy. I've been struggling for one hour to duplicate one composition and it's content, what the hell ?

Keep in mind that, now that we have Master Properties in AE, you might not have to duplicate ANY comps in your project panel. It's a very powerful feature that saves a HUGE amount of time.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2018

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You saved me a lot of time, your option is the fastest. Can't understand either that there is not a better option for such a common thing.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2016

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or get this free (pay what you want) script:

True Comp Duplicator - aescripts + aeplugins - aescripts.com

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Explorer ,
Oct 30, 2018

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There is a new Script to do this, just as True Comp Duplicator but straight from the timeline:

True Layer Duplicator, It's 100% Free!

You just need to select a comp based layer from the timeline, press Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+D to duplicate a layer and it's inner hierarchy.

Cheers!

True-Layer-Duplicator.jpg

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Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2019

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Just tried this out and it works and is super easy to install and use (i'm an AE noob)

thank you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2019

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I will say, the new-ish functionality of Master Properties makes a lot of this obsolete in many cases. It's way more powerful to be able to change a few things, but keep the rest linked for ease of making changes on client feedback or whatnot. Master Properties are a massive time saver.

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New Here ,
Jun 11, 2019

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This is the successful answer. Thank you!Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 10.35.15 AM.png

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New Here ,
Jul 23, 2020

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Hi.

I don't know if i am late but i was having this same issue. Googled it and landed here.

I thought i had to die because this issue was so irritating. When i read answers here, as Rick_Gerard mentioned that duplicate you pre-comp in project panel instead of layers area, I listened him and did the same. It worked. 

1. Make duplicate of pre-comp in project panel

2. Drag that copied pre-comp down in the layer area.

3. Its done.

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