15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2013 5:44 PM by CaroVideo

    How to duplicate a lower third?

    CaroVideo Level 1



      I've been struggling with this problem for three days now. I hope someone can help me.


      A client sent me an After Effects project file containing their composition for a lower third. I need to add this lower third to five interview clips in my Premiere Pro sequence.


      My problem is that I cannot work out how to duplicate the composition without losing something.


      This is what I've been doing.


      1. First I duplicate the composition five times and give each a new name. (Command D, on a Mac)

      2. I copy the Name, Title, and all the layers from the original composition and paste onto each new composition.


      The problem is that this does not create new compositions that can have different names and titles added. A change to one changes all of them.

      Or, if I also duplicate the Names and Titles in the composition, I lose some parts of the animation or other effects and basically have to remake the lower third each time.


      Surely I'm doing something wrong.


      I'm a complete beginner in After Effects. Obviously. Other it would not be taking three days to add lower thirds.

      Any help would be appreciated. I'm so sick of this project that I've decided not to go to bed tonight until their lower thirds are added.




        • 1. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
          BenjaminMarkus Level 4

          What do you mean by a lower third?  Can you please post some screenshots so we can better understand your situation? Please provide answers to the questions listed here: "FAQ: What information should I provide when asking a question on this forum?"

          • 2. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I'm not quite following what you're doing. I'm sure it makes sense to you because you can see what you're doing.


            In your project panel, you should be able to duplicate the lower third composition and then open each new comp and change the names inside of it.


            You absolutely cannot jump into After Effects and try to use it without getting some training in the basics. If you do, you will end up frustrated with simple tasks as you are now. I strongly suggest you start here as soon as you can.

            • 3. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
              CaroVideo Level 1

              I've been doing Lynda tutorials, but yes I would strongly agree that AE is something that you shouldn't jump into. Unfortunately, someone else negotiated this job, didn't read the specs and then said to me 'hey, the client has sent this lower third AE file, can you add it?Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 3.40.08 PM.png"


              I appreciate that its hard to follow what I am trying to do. I've attached a screen shot.  Looking at the picture, you can observe how it has Super, Name and Title. I have hit Command D to duplicate each of these, to create Super2, Name2, Title2.

              But when I try to change the name on Name2 from zzzzz to aaaaa (for example), it would also change Name.

              Likewise with Title and Title2.

              Does this make sense?

              I'm on CS6.

              I just need to use this as a template to add five titles to my sequence in Premiere Pro, which doesn't seem like it should be so hard.

              Thanks so much.

              - Carolyn

              • 4. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                Dave LaRonde Level 6

                My problem is that I cannot work out how to duplicate the composition without losing something.


                It sounds like you have something in the comp.  What is the "something" that happens to be missing?

                • 5. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                  CaroVideo Level 1

                  It so hard to explain this.


                  When I first open the client's AE project and duplicate the composition Super, it contains what I think are sub compositions Name and Title. These Name and Title comps are linked to Name and Title in any other duplicated Super comps, so a change to one means a change to all.


                  If I duplicate the original Name and Title and then drag them down to the new duplicated comp, weird changes happen. For example, this screenshot shows how  Name and Title have changed positions after being duplicated.

                  Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 4.22.28 PM.png

                  • 6. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                    CaroVideo Level 1

                    Maybe this is the wrong way to seek help - telling you what is going wrong. Can I trouble people to tell me how they would do this? What would your workflow be if a client sent a lower third AE project and asked you to use it in the video you just made.


                    What I've been doing.

                    1. Duplicate the composition called Super five times.

                    2. Duplicate the nested compositions called Name and Title five times.

                    3. Create five folders with each subjects name.

                    4. Rename each Super composition after each subject and place in appropriate folder

                    5. Rename each Name and Title and place in appropriate folder.

                    6. Click on each comp to bring it down to timeline.

                    7. Drag duplicate Name and Title into timeline.

                    8. Copy and paste masks and layers

                    9. Use dynamic link to bring my clips into AE and put them in appropriate folders

                    10. Add the video footage to each comp.

                    11. Change text in Name and Title.

                    12. Adjust position using X and Y axis as it has undoubtably been messed up.

                    That's as far as I've got. Moving ahead and praying that I don't encounter anything else.

                    • 7. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                      CaroVideo Level 1

                      Oh never mind people. I seem to be working it out. If anyone knows a quicker way of duplicating compositions and the compositions nested inside, I'd love to hear it.

                      • 8. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                        BenjaminMarkus Level 4

                        What was your final solution?

                        • 9. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                          CaroVideo Level 1

                          Understanding the difference between copying and duplicating. Knowing when nested comps are linked and when they aren't. Seeing that masks and layers must be copied separately and don't automatically follow a duplicate. And realizing that I must fix any goofiness numerically and by keyframing rather than dragging around using the arrow key. 

                          If anyone has a better workflow for adding lower thirds, feel free to share. It's taken the better part of 12 hours to work this out.

                          • 10. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                            CaroVideo Level 1

                            Ok. I'm stuck again. This time trying work out how to view keyframes in the time line. If you look at the photo, I've got keyframes showing for the shape layer, but not for the name and titles. How do I turn it on so I see keyframes. When I do a google search, it says hit the U key. That isn't working for me. Must be doing something wrong. Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 7.29.21 PM.png

                            • 11. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                              BenjaminMarkus Level 4

                              If the other keyframes aren't showing up than you haven't keyframed anything.  Pressing the U-key once with a layer selected will only reveal that layer's keyframes.  Deselect all layers and press the U-key to reveal all keyframed properties on all layers.

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                                BenjaminMarkus Level 4

                                Since the Transform menu is twirled down on both the Name and Title Compositions and I don't see any keyframes it looks to me like you might not have keyframed any of those properties yet.

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                                  CaroVideo Level 1

                                  But those properties undergo change over time. The names and titles slide in and then slide out. Surely the only way for them to move is through keyframes? If I double clip Name Tim and Title Tim1, it opens and I see keyframes and can edit them. Is it possible that they are nested and somehow behave differently?

                                  I've left work for the night despite saying I was going to stay there and finish. I'm going in early tomorrow and can post a photo of what I mean, if that helps.

                                  Thanks for your help. I know beginners are a pain. I'm really trying.

                                  - C

                                  • 14. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    You are making this too hard for yourself. When trying to figure out what comes from where in a composition you need to look at the flow chart. Your lower third is obviously a pre-comp. Inside that pre-comp there may also be text layers that are pre-composed.


                                    Here is a sample project flow chart. Yours may be slightly different.

                                    Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 10.45.14 PM.png

                                    The Master Comp contains a Lower Third Master Comp and a movie layer. You can see from the flow chart that the Lower Third Master contains two compositions. Name Placeholder and Title Text Placeholder. The Lower Third Master also contains two shape layers.


                                    To make an independent copy of the Lower third master you will have to duplicate the Third Master Comp in the project panel. Call the new one Lower Third Master 2. Then you will also have to duplicate the Name Placeholder and the Title Text Placeholder comps. Give them both new names then open up the Lower Third Master 2 composition and select the old Name Placeholder comp (layer) and Alt/Option (pc/mac) plus drag your renamed duplicate Name Placeholder 2 comp to the timeline. The original will be replaced with the duplicate. Now do the same with the Title Text Placeholder. As a last step open up both of the new Name and Title comps to reveal the text layers and type in new information.


                                    That's what it takes to duplicate a lower 1/3. It's really easy to figure out what you have to replace if you look at a flow chart. If you have a very complex composition with dozens of nested comps then there's a name your own price script that you can get that will do all of that for you. This should solve all of your problems. Duplicating a comp should never require changing keyframes or other manipulations. Everything will work if you find and duplicate all of the nested compositions.


                                    Your pre-comps for the text layers are probably where the keyframes are for those layers. You'll have to open those comps. Pressing the u key with any layer selected will reveal all keyframes for that layer. Pressing the u key twice will reveal all of the changes from default settings for every property of the layer. If it is a nested comp and you see no keyframes then you will have to look inside that comp.

                                    2 people found this helpful
                                    • 15. Re: How to duplicate a lower third?
                                      CaroVideo Level 1

                                      Thanks everyone. The job is done. Quite a steep learning curve, but totally worth it.