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Why can't I see anything in my composition window?

New Here ,
Jun 27, 2011

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When I have created a composition, then for some reason I cannot see anything in my composition window. It is just BLACK.

When I first started following the instructions, from youtube, on how to create muzzle flashes, I could see my muzzleflash on top my chosen image in the

composition window. For some reason now it just shows black. Maybe I have changed some setting. I have tried to reinstall AE, but that did not help either.

HELP any advice?

PS Im a complete novice, so straight forward simple advice will be well received.

You switched your Composition panel to Wireframe view mode. Don't do that. See this page for information about view modes.

> So what I had done before writing on this forum was to try and follow the absolute first tutorial that Adobe provides. Exactly for the reason that I could learn it slowly and properly, as you point out. BUT what does one do when almost from the beginning you see that the guy doing the tutorial can see his picture of the faucet on his Composition Window and I cannot? It stopped me learning anymore

What tutorial are you talking about?

As I said, I very strongly recommend that you begin here to learn After Effects. Trust me.

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Why can't I see anything in my composition window?

New Here ,
Jun 27, 2011

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When I have created a composition, then for some reason I cannot see anything in my composition window. It is just BLACK.

When I first started following the instructions, from youtube, on how to create muzzle flashes, I could see my muzzleflash on top my chosen image in the

composition window. For some reason now it just shows black. Maybe I have changed some setting. I have tried to reinstall AE, but that did not help either.

HELP any advice?

PS Im a complete novice, so straight forward simple advice will be well received.

You switched your Composition panel to Wireframe view mode. Don't do that. See this page for information about view modes.

> So what I had done before writing on this forum was to try and follow the absolute first tutorial that Adobe provides. Exactly for the reason that I could learn it slowly and properly, as you point out. BUT what does one do when almost from the beginning you see that the guy doing the tutorial can see his picture of the faucet on his Composition Window and I cannot? It stopped me learning anymore

What tutorial are you talking about?

As I said, I very strongly recommend that you begin here to learn After Effects. Trust me.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 27, 2011

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Is your caps lock key on by any chance?

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Jun 27, 2011

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If you're new to After Effects, I very strongly recommend that you begin here to learn After Effects.

If you post a screenshot of your Composition panel and Timeline panel, we'll be more likely to be able to help you with this issue.

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2011

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First. Thanks a lot for answering .

Ok. I have checked my CapsLock and it makes no difference all.

I have also done a screendump as you requested. Hopes it helps.

I have also checked the site that you sent with your reply. It is really good and I totally agree that as a beginner you should NOT do over-complicated stuff.

So what I had done before writing on this forum was to try and follow the absolute first tutorial that Adobe provides. Exactly for the reason that I could learn it slowly and properly, as you point out. BUT what does one do when almost from the beginning you see that the guy doing the tutorial can see his picture of the faucet on his Composition Window and I cannot? It stopped me learning anymore. Frustration set in ...

I really hope I can get this resolved so that I can continue learning. I have also tried to re-install AE with no effect. Hmmmmm

Is there not a way to TOTALLY reset AE? Or is this not necessary? Looking much forward to your replies.

Picture 3.png

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Jun 28, 2011

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You switched your Composition panel to Wireframe view mode. Don't do that. See this page for information about view modes.

> So what I had done before writing on this forum was to try and follow the absolute first tutorial that Adobe provides. Exactly for the reason that I could learn it slowly and properly, as you point out. BUT what does one do when almost from the beginning you see that the guy doing the tutorial can see his picture of the faucet on his Composition Window and I cannot? It stopped me learning anymore

What tutorial are you talking about?

As I said, I very strongly recommend that you begin here to learn After Effects. Trust me.

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New Here ,
Jul 03, 2011

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Hi Todd

THANKS A LOT for your help. It is solved now because of you.

I started looking for the tutorial I had started on before, but oddly enough I couldn't find it on the Adobe website. Hmmmm Although I got it from there. I then realised that there are many tutorials.

But I will take your advice and look at the info. you sent. Thanks again!

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New Here ,
May 26, 2017

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What if my Composition looks like this?

I added the Comp, and this is what happens?

Please help me!

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LEGEND ,
May 27, 2017

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Why don't you try putting some footage in the comp?  It helps to have something to see.

Better yet, you really ought to go here;

Create your first project |

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New Here ,
May 27, 2017

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I've tried that many times before

I've used AE already but yesterday it was like that

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 30, 2017

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Set your zoom to "Up to 100%"

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2017

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Hey Dave,

I'm also having an issue where I can't see anything in the composition panel. I followed your suggestion and went to the Lynda tutorial, and did exactly what the guy was saying, but as soon as I clicked new composition and set the parameters and 'OK', things went awry. The guy on the tutorial says sth like, "As you can see we have a new compostion with nothing in it..." And yet he has a black square that I assume is the actual composition / screen size he's selected for his output -- I, on the other hand, have absolutely nothing. I then tried to create a solid shape, thinking maybe if I put that in the composition it would spring to life, but still nothing...any idea what might be going on? I have all the latest nVidia drivers, and have tried toggling Mercury / Cuda on and off to no avail.

Thanks for any assistance / direction you can provide.

Screen Shot 09-22-17 at 07.01 PM.PNG

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2018

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Replying to an old thread, but just in case some one else didn't catch this. I had the same situation happen and it was the composition's pixel width and height set to 4 pixels. I thought I was going crazy, but I figured it out. Hope this also helps!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2015

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Maybe a few years too late for your problem, buuut... here's what I did to solve this same issue, after trying everyone else's suggestions.

Look at where the playhead is. In my case it was way off somewhere on another part of the timeline, so the composition that I was trying to edit was not visible because it wasn't active at that particular point in the timeline. With the composition open, I just clicked on the Time Ruler at the top of the Timeline and voila, the composition appeared.

Dumb, maybe, but easy to do. And I doubt I would have found it in any tutorials.

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Explorer ,
Dec 27, 2015

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Thank You ben.bland!!  Your solution is what I needed !!

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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2016

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Thanks!

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Explorer ,
Dec 13, 2017

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You are a Saint

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2018

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Thanks! It's so stupid simple but I still couldn't figure it out.

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New Here ,
Dec 15, 2018

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ben.bland you are a genius. I've been stumped with this all week.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2020

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Ben, That is the answer. I can't tell you how often this sneaks up on me. Thanks!

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2020

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Thanks for this! I'm just going to include a few search queries I tried before I arrived at this answer in case some poor soul is similarly lost:

"fit comp in frame"
"frame all"

"zoom to fit"

I'd misdiagnosed this issue as being zoom related, turns out it was time related.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 06, 2016

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I'm having the same issue!!

After Effects.png

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2017

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Hey, I am also having trouble viewing pics and text I have in my composition. This is my first time using After Effects and I am following a tutorial on Youtube.

Can anyone help me to make the text and picture I imported visible?

Cheers,

Tuathla.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2017

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Choose the reset option on your character palette.

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