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Forums Adobe After Effects Comp Layer Quandry/Picture-in-Picture Puzzle. Ideas?

  • Comp Layer Quandry/Picture-in-Picture Puzzle. Ideas?

  • Wylie Overstreet

    July 27, 2021 at 2:30 am

    Hello all,

    I’m having a hard time figuring out how best to order some GFX within a motion tracked shot to achieve the desired effect, and I’m sure there’s an easy way I’m not aware of that perhaps one of you knows. I’ve attached a still from the project as reference.

    The background footage, motion tracked camera layer, c4d scene, 3d elements/text w/ lights, are all in a Cinema 4d comp. This comp will be sped up significantly in the final export, and have ReelSmart Motion Blur added for polish.

    The Picture-in-Picture comp is Classic 3d containing a comp for the b-roll (currently within the PiP (w/ lights, and stroke–hence the Classic 3d), and a copy of the camera layer to match the C4d comp. The PiP moves along through the shot in 3d as well, much like the other 3d elements, and it should live behind the C4d elements, as they pass in front of it. Right now it doesn’t: you can see it eclipsing the text despite being further back in Z space.

    Now here’s my problem: the Cinema 4d comp will be sped up significantly, but the b-roll in the PIP should not be. It plays at a normal speed, unaffected by the time remap. I can’t seem to figure out how to make the PiP 3d comp live behind the C4d comp AND find a way to keep the PiP b-roll unaffected by the time remap (and, ideally, unaffected by RSMB).

    I’ve attached pics of my current comp order too. Thank you all so much for whatever guidance you can provide. I’m probably missing something obvious, I look forward to learning the depth of my ignorance.

  • Arthur Bourquin

    July 27, 2021 at 10:32 am


    For correct overlapping elements, try collapsing the layers than contain 3D (little “sun” next to the “shy guy”). But it will be broken by the adjustment layer inbetween… May be you can put RSMB on top of both?

    For time remapping, I know I stuck on this problem and didn’t find a solution… Except thoses you probably expect : a. making the desired animation in C4D or making the time remapping in C4D (little different than Ae). (Do you know you can have animated texture in C4D?)

  • Wylie Overstreet

    July 27, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you for your reply. I didn’t know you could have an animated texture in C4D, thanks for that tip. To be clear, are you suggesting making the PiP footage an animated texture in C4D then doing the time remap in C4D as well? Doesn’t that leave you with sped up PiP footage too?

    I also thought about somehow negating the time ramp by applying it’s exact opposite to the b-roll footage upstream in the b-roll comp. Probably a pain to get to work though given the non-linear nature of the ramp.

    I also thought about turning the PiP into a green screen and keying in the b-roll, but I worry that the 3d elements passing in front of it, especially with motion blur, would look bad.

    Thanks again for you help!

  • Walter Soyka

    July 27, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    Rather than trying to invert the time-remapping, you can use .valueAtTime() expressions to link a follower camera to the retimed comp’s camera.

    I’ve set this up in a sample project. Take a look and please feel free to come back with questions.

  • Wylie Overstreet

    July 27, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Walter, thank you! This is a fantastic solution to the time remap. I knew there was an elegant way around it, I’d totally spaced on the .valueAtTime() option.

    Alas I’m still struggling to figure out how to structure the project such that the PiP allows the c4d 3d text/elements to pass in front of it in z space *AND* get the time remap right. Any thoughts? Thank you again for your assistance, this is saving my hide!

  • Wylie Overstreet

    July 27, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Nevermind, I think I figured it out! Thank you again Walter, I so appreciate your help!

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