I've made this character using shape layers, and I then Pre-Comp it so it can be one layer. However every time I would want to animate its arms and legs, I have to make a Mask, cut out the arm, and animate it.
I've recently discovered that if I use the Transform Effect, I can parent the scale, rotation, position to it and it'll work. I placed the "Transform Effect" into a Null Object, and have that as like the puppet master tool. The problem I'm having is, if I Precomp the layers without the Null Object,
it looses the connection.
I want to have a composition where my characters are one layer, and not several layers within a comp, but still I can animate the limbs in the comp. Is this possible, and if so, how? I'm just trying to better improve my workflow.
Thank you for your time, and sorry if I'm wording this wrong.
You can't have everything. What you want is mutually exclusive, given how AE works.
You could add some Expression Control Effects to your character and tie those to the layers inside the precomp with expressions.