4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2014 7:07 AM by kmogriff

    Keyframing breaks animation parented across different comps



      My fist post here so please excuse me if it is incorrectly formatted.

      I am having a problem linking Null Object Controllers to precomps in my character rigs.

      Here is my setup.

      I have a character that I controlling his eyelids to make blink. He eye lids are in a composition for his head. His head is in the master character composition.

      The Null object to control the position of the eye lids are in the master composition.

      I have parented the position values of the eyelids inside the HEAD PRECOMP to the Null object's position in the MASTER CHARACTER COMP.

      Everything works fine until I try to keyframe the Null object where the animation no longer shows. I can see the null object moving but his eyelids do not close.

      It seems to be random as well. It works for his hands slider which is the position of a null parented to the time remap of his hands pre comp.

      I have no idea why this is happening and suddenly breaks the animations of my characters.

      It is the same with trying to animate the position of his pupils as well.

      So strange.

      My workaround which is frustrating is to bring all of the assets in to the master character comp and use the same method to control the eyes and eyelids and it works when everything is in the same comp.

      Here is an example of the expression.

      comp("Professional Guy 1").layer("C_EYELIDS").transform.position

        • 1. Re: Keyframing breaks animation parented across different comps
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Without knowing anything specific about the structure of your comp(s) and the expressions involved nobody can say anything. Typical candidates for such failures are the absence of layer space transforms or enabling continuous rasterization... Eitehr way, you would have to provide screenshots and all that or even the project itself...



          • 2. Re: Keyframing breaks animation parented across different comps
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            As Mylenium said there are just too many variables in your question to come up with any suggestion other than making sure that your expressions tie one comp to another. For example a Effect Control position slider in the MainComp can be tied to a layer in SubComp by referencing the MainComp in the expression added to the SubComp.


            You can build a series of expressions that replicate parenting behavior. Those expressions would work across comps, but you cannot simply parent a layer in one comp to a layer in another. These expressions could as easily point to transform properties of the null layer. What makes them work is the value + operator.


            Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 7.35.19 AM.png

            A positioning expression that replicates the parenting behavior and allows key framing of both layers without having to re-position the child layer to correct alignment looks like this:


            ipw = comp("Comp 1").width/2;

            iph = comp("Comp 1"). height/2;

            ip = comp("Comp 1").layer("Null 1 controller").transform.position - [ipw, iph];

            np = value + ip

            • 3. Re: Keyframing breaks animation parented across different comps
              kmogriff Level 1

              Sorry about that everyone.  I really appreciate you responding though!


              I have attached three different character compositions to help in understanding the problem.


              The effect seems almost random.  It will work for a bit with one character and then not work at all anymore once all of the characters are in the same composition.

              Unfortunately I do not have the original file where it was breaking since that is at my work computer at the studio.  I hope this is enough!


              rigs.zip - Google Drive


              Thank you,



              • 4. Re: Keyframing breaks animation parented across different comps
                kmogriff Level 1

                Here is another example of what I am running in to from a different project:

                Master Scene with character in place:

                Master Scene Comp.png

                Master character composition where the controllers are:

                Character Comp.png

                Head Precomp where the eyelids and pupils are:

                Head Comp.png


                I keyframe the point controller but it does not move the eyelids or the pupils