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Forums Adobe After Effects Layers to new comps

  • Layers to new comps

  • Bob Woodhead

    January 14, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Let me outline my need then see if you think I’m approaching from the right method.

    Goal is to have hundreds of identical comps in a timeline with one image in each, laid out in 3D space. Camera will then fly over the comps. Problem is how to quickly replace “placeholder” images in the comps with new images.

    My thinking is to create hundreds of layers with an array script, then somehow select the duplicated layer comps and make them into new independent comps that I can then use the Multi Replace script to swap out the images in all those comps. My current problem is how to create new discreet comps after duplicating a single comp using an array script (which all reference the same parent comp).

    Ideas? Thanks!

  • Walter Soyka

    January 15, 2021 at 1:20 am

    They’re all still images, right?

    I’d put them all in one source comp, trim them all to a single frame in duration, and use Sequence Layers so each frame of the comp shows one of the images.

    Back in your main comp, I’d use however many copies of that source comp layer as I needed with time-remapping enabled and each layer referring to a different frame.

  • Brendon Murphy

    January 15, 2021 at 2:46 am

    If you want to automate everything, you could also create a script that:

    1. loops through files in a a folder named “Images”2. Creates a new comp for each one inside a folder named “precomps”

    3. places the file within the new comp

    4. adds the new comp to the main composition.

    5. Makes the layer (new comp) 3D and distributes it on the Z axis according to it’s layer index

  • Brendon Murphy

    January 15, 2021 at 3:06 am

    Oh, I may have actually misunderstood your post. If you are trying to make unique precomps when the main comp is duplicated, take a look at this:

  • Michael Szalapski

    January 15, 2021 at 5:02 am

    True Comp Duplicator is not needed anymore in many cases. The newish feature of Essential Properties (formerly Master Properties) is way more powerful. It lets you have x number of copies of a comp with whatever values you choose editable! But, if you want to change the color of the background or a shape (or whatever), you don’t have to go back through all the duplicated comps to fix it since they’re all just unique copies of the same comp.

    Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out, it’s super-powerful.

    Here’s the AE help page on it:

    Here are a couple of handy videos from


    School of Motion:


    Plus, you can export it as a mogrt file and actually do all of that editing in Premiere Pro!

    And, in beta, is the ability to swap out media:

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  • Bob Woodhead

    January 15, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for the ideas, I’m kicking around what ya’ll have suggested.

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