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Problem with moving a pre-comp with Position

Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2020

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Hello everyone,

 

I am kinda new to Adobe After Effects and ran into a problem. I created a animation made out of 3 different frames. I combined them to create a loop with the lengt of my project (5seconds). I created a new Comp to insert the animation I made, like in a video tutorial I followed. Now I merged the different layers to make them all move to the right so it leaves the screen.

 

When I use [P] to change the position, normally there shows up a line so you can see where the object goes, but now it won't. Some how I can't make my fish move tot he right. 

 

Check my screen: https://i.gyazo.com/ff12b0aab1ecac4750247faeec3e8459.mp4

 

Can somebody please help me with what I doing wrong? I just don't see it 😞

 

- Maestro

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

Unfortunately that tutorial isn't very good. I would give it a D. It took almost 20 minutes to get to the part where the author started aligning the bird cycle and the workflow he used is terribly inefficient. If the original file was properly created and the center of each layer in the center of the bird then all you have to do is select all layers, press 'p' to reveal the position property of all layers, then drag a selection around all the position properties and right-click and reset.  You could also add a Null to the center of the comp, select all the bird layers, hold down the Shift key and then parent all of the bird layers to the null. Either one of those techniques would take about five seconds.

The workflow to sequence the layers is also incredibly inefficient. Select all layers, move the CTI to the start of the timeline (CTI - Current time indicator), Press Alt/Option + ] to set the duration of each layer to one frame, right-click or go to the Animation>Keyframe Assistant>Sequence Layers, then select the last layer and press 'o' then 'n' to set the work area to the outpoint of the last layer in the sequence then select the work area and right-click or use the Composition>Trim Comp to Work Area or use the Keyboard Shortcut Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + x

and your sequence is now complete, the bird should animating and you are ready to embed the comp in the main comp, time remap and loop. That whole operation should take you about 30 seconds. 

 

At about 27 minutes into the comp, the author completely fouls up the way to create a time remapping loop - and the problem goes back to the way he created the original image sequence. He eventually gets it done by doing something you should not ever do.

 

I'm not surprised that you are having problems. 

 

If your bird is not flapping its wings in the pre-comp then it isn't going to flap its wings when you nest the comp in the main comp. If it is flapping its wings in the pre-comp but isn't in the main comp then you fouled up time remapping and the expression. 

 

One more note: To make a time remapping loopOut() expression work the first and last frame must be identical. Typically you duplicate the first image in a cycle and put it at the end. If the image cycle contains 10 unique images you need to duplicate the first one and put it at the end to make the loop work properly.

 

So let me go over the workflow required to create a layer sequence that will properly loop.

 

  • Arrange the lined up layers in order with the starting image and the top and the ending image at the bottom of the timeline
  • Make sure that the top and bottom layers contain an identical image
  • Put the CTI at the first frame and press Ctrl/Cmnd + a to select all layers and then press Alt/Option +] to set the out point of all layers to the first frame
  • Use the Animation>Keyframe Assistant menu to Sequence all layers
  • Select the last layer and press 'o' to go to the last frame, then 'n' to set the work area to the last frame, then Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + x to set the comp length to the work area
  • Add the sequence comp to the Main comp
  • Select the nested Sequence comp and press Alt/Option + Ctrl/Cmnd + t to enable time remapping
  • Press k on the keyboard to jump to the last time remapping keyframe then Ctrl/Cmnd + Left Arrow to move back one frame
  • Use the new keyframe icon in the timeline (it looks like a diamond) to add a new Time Remapping keyframe one frame before the last frame
  • Press K again to move to the last Time Remapping keyframe then use the keyframe icon again to delete it
  • Hold down the Alt/Option key and click on the Time Remapping stopwatch to add an expression
  • Type loopOut() and click away from the layer to complete the expression
  • If needed, extend the out point of the Sequence Comp layer

That's it. It should take you less than 10 minutes to do it the first time. After that, you should be able to set up a layer sequence, trim the comp, nest the comp and loop the layer in about 2 minutes. If you followed those steps and your comp does not loop then we need screenshots showing the modified properties of both comps. Select the layers, press the U key twice and show us what you have done to the layers.

 

 

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Problem with moving a pre-comp with Position

Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2020

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Hello everyone,

 

I am kinda new to Adobe After Effects and ran into a problem. I created a animation made out of 3 different frames. I combined them to create a loop with the lengt of my project (5seconds). I created a new Comp to insert the animation I made, like in a video tutorial I followed. Now I merged the different layers to make them all move to the right so it leaves the screen.

 

When I use [P] to change the position, normally there shows up a line so you can see where the object goes, but now it won't. Some how I can't make my fish move tot he right. 

 

Check my screen: https://i.gyazo.com/ff12b0aab1ecac4750247faeec3e8459.mp4

 

Can somebody please help me with what I doing wrong? I just don't see it 😞

 

- Maestro

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

Unfortunately that tutorial isn't very good. I would give it a D. It took almost 20 minutes to get to the part where the author started aligning the bird cycle and the workflow he used is terribly inefficient. If the original file was properly created and the center of each layer in the center of the bird then all you have to do is select all layers, press 'p' to reveal the position property of all layers, then drag a selection around all the position properties and right-click and reset.  You could also add a Null to the center of the comp, select all the bird layers, hold down the Shift key and then parent all of the bird layers to the null. Either one of those techniques would take about five seconds.

The workflow to sequence the layers is also incredibly inefficient. Select all layers, move the CTI to the start of the timeline (CTI - Current time indicator), Press Alt/Option + ] to set the duration of each layer to one frame, right-click or go to the Animation>Keyframe Assistant>Sequence Layers, then select the last layer and press 'o' then 'n' to set the work area to the outpoint of the last layer in the sequence then select the work area and right-click or use the Composition>Trim Comp to Work Area or use the Keyboard Shortcut Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + x

and your sequence is now complete, the bird should animating and you are ready to embed the comp in the main comp, time remap and loop. That whole operation should take you about 30 seconds. 

 

At about 27 minutes into the comp, the author completely fouls up the way to create a time remapping loop - and the problem goes back to the way he created the original image sequence. He eventually gets it done by doing something you should not ever do.

 

I'm not surprised that you are having problems. 

 

If your bird is not flapping its wings in the pre-comp then it isn't going to flap its wings when you nest the comp in the main comp. If it is flapping its wings in the pre-comp but isn't in the main comp then you fouled up time remapping and the expression. 

 

One more note: To make a time remapping loopOut() expression work the first and last frame must be identical. Typically you duplicate the first image in a cycle and put it at the end. If the image cycle contains 10 unique images you need to duplicate the first one and put it at the end to make the loop work properly.

 

So let me go over the workflow required to create a layer sequence that will properly loop.

 

  • Arrange the lined up layers in order with the starting image and the top and the ending image at the bottom of the timeline
  • Make sure that the top and bottom layers contain an identical image
  • Put the CTI at the first frame and press Ctrl/Cmnd + a to select all layers and then press Alt/Option +] to set the out point of all layers to the first frame
  • Use the Animation>Keyframe Assistant menu to Sequence all layers
  • Select the last layer and press 'o' to go to the last frame, then 'n' to set the work area to the last frame, then Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + x to set the comp length to the work area
  • Add the sequence comp to the Main comp
  • Select the nested Sequence comp and press Alt/Option + Ctrl/Cmnd + t to enable time remapping
  • Press k on the keyboard to jump to the last time remapping keyframe then Ctrl/Cmnd + Left Arrow to move back one frame
  • Use the new keyframe icon in the timeline (it looks like a diamond) to add a new Time Remapping keyframe one frame before the last frame
  • Press K again to move to the last Time Remapping keyframe then use the keyframe icon again to delete it
  • Hold down the Alt/Option key and click on the Time Remapping stopwatch to add an expression
  • Type loopOut() and click away from the layer to complete the expression
  • If needed, extend the out point of the Sequence Comp layer

That's it. It should take you less than 10 minutes to do it the first time. After that, you should be able to set up a layer sequence, trim the comp, nest the comp and loop the layer in about 2 minutes. If you followed those steps and your comp does not loop then we need screenshots showing the modified properties of both comps. Select the layers, press the U key twice and show us what you have done to the layers.

 

 

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Apr 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 18, 2020

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Unfortunately all your screen capture movie shows me is that you have 1 keyframe in the Position property of the nested comp (pre-comp).  Only 1 keyframe means no motion. I don't see the pre-comp animating because the time is not changing, all you appear to be doing dragging the X position value. That looks perfectly normal. 

 

I have no idea what is going on in the pre-comp. I don't know what kind of motion is supposed to happen but if it is animated then you need to scrub through the timeline or preview the comp to see anything change.

 

It sounds like you need to spend some serious time with the User Guide. I don't know what tutorial you were following but there are more poor tutorials with inefficient workflows and poor explanations on YouTube than there are good ones. If you are having problems with a specific tutorial be sure and include a link so we can see whether or not you are getting good advice.

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Apr 18, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2020

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Dear Rick,

 

Thanks for your reply, I’ve followed the following tutorial: 

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxj-EXAhnqU

 

First I’ve created 3 images in Illustrator, after that I brought my Illustrator file into After Effects. I Made the different images (layers) show after each other with the framebar. So each image (layer) shows for around 2 frames.

 

To repeat this proces I have duplicaten those layers to extend the frame by frame animation till my animation ends.

 

When I’ve previewed it, everything works fine and the fish is swimming.

 

In order to make the fish move you can use [P] to position it and drag the A-axis. But since the animation are just 10 different layers that show after each other, you need to position all those layers seperate.

 

In order to position only one layers, I pre-composed the different layers. Just to combine them. But the problem is, when I click [P] to position the animation. It just doesnt give me a start keypoint and a end keypoint like it did two days ago. And I have  no idea what I did wrong since these are just basic steps. I checked the User Guide already but, just can’t find the issue.

 

Would love to hear from you,

 

Maestro

Basic looping frame-by-frame AE tutorial. -- George Street Shuffle by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativ...

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Apr 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 19, 2020

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Unfortunately that tutorial isn't very good. I would give it a D. It took almost 20 minutes to get to the part where the author started aligning the bird cycle and the workflow he used is terribly inefficient. If the original file was properly created and the center of each layer in the center of the bird then all you have to do is select all layers, press 'p' to reveal the position property of all layers, then drag a selection around all the position properties and right-click and reset.  You could also add a Null to the center of the comp, select all the bird layers, hold down the Shift key and then parent all of the bird layers to the null. Either one of those techniques would take about five seconds.

The workflow to sequence the layers is also incredibly inefficient. Select all layers, move the CTI to the start of the timeline (CTI - Current time indicator), Press Alt/Option + ] to set the duration of each layer to one frame, right-click or go to the Animation>Keyframe Assistant>Sequence Layers, then select the last layer and press 'o' then 'n' to set the work area to the outpoint of the last layer in the sequence then select the work area and right-click or use the Composition>Trim Comp to Work Area or use the Keyboard Shortcut Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + x

and your sequence is now complete, the bird should animating and you are ready to embed the comp in the main comp, time remap and loop. That whole operation should take you about 30 seconds. 

 

At about 27 minutes into the comp, the author completely fouls up the way to create a time remapping loop - and the problem goes back to the way he created the original image sequence. He eventually gets it done by doing something you should not ever do.

 

I'm not surprised that you are having problems. 

 

If your bird is not flapping its wings in the pre-comp then it isn't going to flap its wings when you nest the comp in the main comp. If it is flapping its wings in the pre-comp but isn't in the main comp then you fouled up time remapping and the expression. 

 

One more note: To make a time remapping loopOut() expression work the first and last frame must be identical. Typically you duplicate the first image in a cycle and put it at the end. If the image cycle contains 10 unique images you need to duplicate the first one and put it at the end to make the loop work properly.

 

So let me go over the workflow required to create a layer sequence that will properly loop.

 

  • Arrange the lined up layers in order with the starting image and the top and the ending image at the bottom of the timeline
  • Make sure that the top and bottom layers contain an identical image
  • Put the CTI at the first frame and press Ctrl/Cmnd + a to select all layers and then press Alt/Option +] to set the out point of all layers to the first frame
  • Use the Animation>Keyframe Assistant menu to Sequence all layers
  • Select the last layer and press 'o' to go to the last frame, then 'n' to set the work area to the last frame, then Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + x to set the comp length to the work area
  • Add the sequence comp to the Main comp
  • Select the nested Sequence comp and press Alt/Option + Ctrl/Cmnd + t to enable time remapping
  • Press k on the keyboard to jump to the last time remapping keyframe then Ctrl/Cmnd + Left Arrow to move back one frame
  • Use the new keyframe icon in the timeline (it looks like a diamond) to add a new Time Remapping keyframe one frame before the last frame
  • Press K again to move to the last Time Remapping keyframe then use the keyframe icon again to delete it
  • Hold down the Alt/Option key and click on the Time Remapping stopwatch to add an expression
  • Type loopOut() and click away from the layer to complete the expression
  • If needed, extend the out point of the Sequence Comp layer

That's it. It should take you less than 10 minutes to do it the first time. After that, you should be able to set up a layer sequence, trim the comp, nest the comp and loop the layer in about 2 minutes. If you followed those steps and your comp does not loop then we need screenshots showing the modified properties of both comps. Select the layers, press the U key twice and show us what you have done to the layers.

 

 

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Apr 19, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2020

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Wow thanks alot Rick!

 

I managed to get it to work, If I may ask you one more question.

 

My idea is to let the fish move to the right, and play the animation 3 times.

I can use the different keyframes to make them slower, but that way I also let the frames be slower.

How can I accomplish a animation like: (Go forward + Play animation) - Go forward - Go forward - (Go forward + Play aniatmion) - Go forward - Go forward - (Go forward + Play aniatmion) - Go forward - Go forward.

 

Is this the best to not loop the animation and use position and duplicat this into 3 layers so I can play them after each other or is there a trick to accomplish this? I would love to hear from you.

 

-Maarten

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Apr 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 19, 2020

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If you set up a loop you can Pre-compose that loop again and run Time Remapping again, then add and manipulate the keyframes to change the speed of the playback. It takes a little practice but viewing the angle of the Value graph in the Graph Editor while moving keyframes back and forth will give you an idea of how the playback is working. The flatter the line means slower, a steeper line means faster, if the line is horizontal playback stops and if the angle is down the movie is playing backward.

Screenshot_2020-03-30 14.10.24_lEe6rm.png

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2020

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Thanks again Rick! Will try it out tomorrow and let you know. Take care!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 23, 2020

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Thanks for everything! I accomplished all my goals.

Thank you for all the information. 

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