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Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions Drop Down Menu Globally?

  • Drop Down Menu Globally?

  • Anthony White

    December 1, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Hey there, community! I am working on a project that has comps with drop down menus (at least 3 Comps respectively) that are linked to one main.

    Is it possible to update the drop down menu from the MAIN comp to effect the others globally? I wish not to go into each comp to additionally apply an update respectively if I can do so in the MAIN comp.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Anthony

    EDIT: I just figured out that if drop down menu cannot be updated globally, the other alternative would be to use a SLIDER control, since it only recognizes by index. This would eliminate having to update the drop down menu (+/-) in each comp.

  • Dan Ebberts

    December 1, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    I’m not sure this is what you mean, but couldn’t you just apply an expression like this to the Menu properties in the subcomps:

    comp("Main").layer("Controls").effect("Dropdown Menu Control")("Menu")
  • Anthony White

    December 2, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    Absolutely! This does work. But the problem is when there is an update in the MENU selection (say, an addition to), you have to go to every drop menu in every comp to update it. Updating it in the MAIN is not reflected in the others.

  • Dan Ebberts

    December 2, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Yes, so your idea of using a slider for all but the main dropdown is probably best.

  • Max Haller

    December 4, 2022 at 4:13 am

    Yes, it is possible to update a drop down menu in a main comp and have that update reflected in other linked comps. To do this, you can use an expression control effect to control the drop down menu in the main comp. This expression control effect can then be linked to the drop down menus in the other comps, so that when the drop down menu in the main comp is updated, the linked drop down menus in the other comps are also updated.

    Here is an example of how you can set this up:

    1. In the main comp, add an expression control effect to the layer that contains the drop down menu you want to control.

    2. In the main comp, open the Expression Editor and add the following expression to the expression control effect:

    // Set the default value of the drop down menu dropdownMenu = 1;
    // Update the drop down menu when the expression control effect is changed if (thisComp.layer("Expression Control").effect("Dropdown Menu")("Dropdown Menu") != dropdownMenu) { dropdownMenu = thisComp.layer("Expression Control").effect("Dropdown Menu")("Dropdown Menu"); }
    1. In the other comps, add the same expression control effect to the layers that contain the drop down menus you want to control.

    2. In the other comps, open the Expression Editor and add the following expression to the expression control effect:

    // Set the default value of the drop down menu 
    dropdownMenu = 1;
    // Update the drop down menu based on the value in the main comp
    if (thisComp.layer("Expression Control").effect("Dropdown Menu")("Dropdown Menu") != dropdownMenu) {
    dropdownMenu = thisComp.layer("Main Comp").layer("Expression Control").effect("Dropdown Menu")("Dropdown Menu");
    }

    With this setup, you can update the drop down menu in the main comp and have the changes reflected in the other comps. Let me know if you have any questions or if you need any additional help with this.

  • Anthony White

    December 6, 2022 at 12:04 am

    Hey Max,

    Thank you for the reply! This looks promising, but I am confused about which is which of the MAIN comp in your setup. There should be SECONDARY/THIRD Comp that connects back to the MAIN Comp.

    At any rate, I am attempting this now. Thanks again.

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