4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2013 7:32 AM by mr Emanuel

    multiply sometimes doesnt work

    mr Emanuel

      Hi there,

      Im working in  after effects cs6 at a little movie. Im making cars that move and im trying their shadows to move seperately.

      thes cars are all animated in their own composition and eventually added to a final composition where you see alot of cars on a highway.

      here's my question:

      each seperate car has its own shadowlayer which i imported from a seperate psd file.

      I multiply these shadow layers by using the ctrl button on my mac and choosing blending mode and then choosing multiply.

      this works fine most of the time when i have a look at the final comp (where all these cars come together) but sometimes it doesnt and the shadow remains a standard solid color. I compared the comps that work with the ones that don't and I really dont see any differences at all.


      It does however work when I add the shadow layer in the final comp.

      I tried saving first...or restarting. Might this be a bug maybe?


      Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 12.15.26.png

      In the comp

      Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 12.15.41.png

      in the final comp (not working)

      Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 12.15.57.png

      In the car comp

      Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 12.16.13.png

      In the final comp (this one works fine)

        • 1. Re: multiply sometimes doesnt work
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Thanks for the screenshots but your timeline would be more helpful. The shot that's all black gives us no idea of how you are using the layers or which layers are using multiply. My first guess is that you're using Ray-traced 3D for in the comp which does not directly support blend modes. Blend modes are nothing but math and as long as there's some room to make calculations the blend modes will show different color values unless you're setting up the comp using some procedure that overrides the rendering order or does not support the math.


          Please send a screenshot of the entire composition and the timeline ad a description of the layers so we can get some idea of how you are setting up the comp. If you are not using Ray-traced rendering in that comp there's something else going on that we can only guess at.

          • 2. Re: multiply sometimes doesnt work
            mr Emanuel Level 1

            Thank you for your reply, below i posted some shots of my timeline. in both carcomps the multiply function does not really show. aslong as it does in my final comp. I have no problem with that.

            Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 13.01.37.png

            this is the one thats not working.

            Just to be clear...the bottom layers is the shadow layer.

            the background colorwhite is not a layer

            Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 13.02.44.png

            this one works in the final comp. Obviuosly this one has more layers because im animating the wheels .Again the bottom layer is the multiply layer. both made multiply by selecting the layer and using the ctrl key.

            I dont know expressions (yet) so im keyframing by hand.

            and here the final comp with both the car comps opened in the timeline.

            hope this is clearer.



            thanx so much for your time.

            • 3. Re: multiply sometimes doesnt work
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              It sounds as is you want to stay in 2D, which is just fine. 


              If that is true, try bringing the background comp into the comps with the trucks.  The shadow layers should then work as you expect against the background layers.

              • 4. Re: multiply sometimes doesnt work
                mr Emanuel Level 1

                I just found out what it was!...

                apparently this little sunsymbol belonging to the non woking comp was not switched on in the final comp . I feel pretty stupid that this was it...but glad that it works.

                It needs to be 2d. this is the style that the client aproved. Indeed adding the background comp in my truckscomp wouldve made it work...I tried that...but it would have messed my system up. and as you know...im no expert in after effects yet


                thanx so much for your help!Schermafbeelding 2013-03-14 om 15.26.23.png