Hi. I have a bunch of image sequences that I bring in from a 3D program. Each sequence may have a separate set of images for Shadow, Specular color, Ambient Color, Glow etc - so clip A could have several layers, each with identical length. The same would hold for each other clip.
Ideally, I would like to put all the Shadow, specular, ambient, and glow images of clip A into a precomp, and the same for clips B,C, D, and so on.
When I do this, however, the precomp suddenly occupies the whole timeline, and if I manually trim comp back to correct size, the precomp goes to beginning of the timeline and I have to mannually reposition it. This can quickly get tedious.
Is there a way to automate this process? Or something to use other than precomps that would essentially group the layers/lock them together so all the A clips function as one unit, and all the B clips as another?
Andrew Kramer (at Video Copilot.net) has a script to automatically trim compositions, but I can't figure out if there's a way to use it in this instance where I need to combine multiple layers first.
Thanks for any suggestions.
I'm not where I can look but there is a script that takes the in and out point of a bunch of layers in your Pre-comp, trims the pre-comp, then trims the pre-comp and keeps it in the right place.
I usually don't take the time to do this. Instead I set timeline markers for the in and out points of the pre-comp, then, if the comp starts getting really confusing, I'll just set an in and out point for the pre-comp rather than change the length of the pre-comp. This makes my ELAT (edit this look at that) workflow easier if I have to dive into the pre-comp to make changes.
Let me make another observation. From your description it sounds like you are trying to make too long a movie in AE. AE shines at making shots, and occasionally, making sequences. Even Pixar renders out shots and then moves those shots into a NLE to turn them into a sequence, then a scene, then a movie. When I do the kind of compositing you're doing I treat each rendered 3D shot with all of the render passes as a single composition. I render the result, and then edit the sequence in a NLE. Only on rare occasions will I do the editing of the sequence using a bunch of pre-comps as layers in AE.
Hope this helps.