13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2016 4:21 PM by karenf1

    Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5

    karenf1 Level 1

      I've watched five videos -from lynda to youtube & can't seem to make my loop work. I'm hoping someone can help me.

      I created a test - 3 Keyframe  - 2 second long composition "red box"- animation using a square / made from a shape layer. I used Position to make it move.

      I opt. clicked on Position stopwatch & inserted" loopOut("cycle") and as expected that text turned red to show the expression was applied.

      I created a 10 second composition - called it container - and put "red box" onto the timeline. But it doesn't loop.

      The composition "container" play "red box" for it's 2 seconds and is then blank for the remaining 8 seconds.

      My hope/goal/expectation was to see the 2 second "red box' play 5 x in the 10 second "container"

      Can anyone tell me what's wrong and how to get  "red box" to loop itself through the 10 second "container" composition?

      A Gazillion thanks!

        • 1. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The loopOut expression is just for that layer. If you want it to last longer, you will need to make the composition containing it longer.

          Now, you can loop the composition by making several copies of it or using the same loopOut expression on the Time Remapping property of the layer.

          • 2. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
            karenf1 Level 1

            Thanks Szalam! Maybe I'm still not getting it. But I went back to composition "redbox" left the expression as is and made the composition 8 seconds long. My expectation was that the 2 second movement would loop throughout the 8 seconds (4x) But still - it dies at 2 seconds. Any idea what I'm missing?

            • 3. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You have to make the layer inside the comp longer too.

              And in your main comp you have to make the precomp longer.

              • 4. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                karenf1 Level 1

                Thanks Szalam! Maybe I'm still not getting it. But I went back to composition "redbox" left the expression as is and made the composition 8 seconds long. My expectation was that the 2 second movement would loop throughout the 8 seconds (4x) But still - it dies at 2 seconds. Any idea what I'm missing?

                ______

                 

                OK- when I went to ''red box" and stretched the timeline (?) to the full 8 seconds the motion DOES loop!!!!!!!!

                Happy dance in double time!

                So you are saying I cannot put that into another composition and have it loop - I tried it and it didn't work?

                Is there any way you can explain how I could use the Time Remapping property (do you mean of the layer I put the "Red Box" composition into? - F.I. "container"?

                • 5. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                  karenf1 Level 1

                  Getting closer here. So - I have to manage the composition length and do the math in the pre comp (?) which is red box.

                  For something like a walk cycle - there's no "just loop forever"- as long as the parent comp plays? I think thou are telling me that I'll always have to do the math between the length of the pre comp layer and the comp it lives in?

                  Sad face! MAD face!!!!!!!

                  • 6. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    You don't have to do any math. Just make the walk cycle comp (and its contents) really, really long. Then it'll play as long as you need it to in any length of comp.

                     

                    Look up Time Remapping in the help files. You could place keyframes for the start and end of your animation and then apply the loopOut expression to the Time Remapping value and it'll work to do what you want.

                    • 7. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                      karenf1 Level 1

                      Cunning! I think(?) you are saying that if I just make a walk cycle several minutes - or gazillions of seconds long - then I drop that into compositions of any length that's shorter than that - my character will walk thru the whole composition. I can then control the length of THAT scene as I like. No penalty for the walk cycle not playing to it's full length within the parent comp? Other than any memory issues?

                      • 8. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                        Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        No penalty at all. No memory issues either. AE evaluates each frame on its own, so it's not going to take up more RAM or anything. You should be good to go.

                        • 9. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                          karenf1 Level 1

                          Szalam. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I find AE very tough to learn - Flash was a snap - but AE is such a complex program that it can even be hard to figure out which parts of it one NEEDS to know! For instance, I'm thinking: since you have given me a solution - do I really need to learn about time remappimng? Sure. If there were 10 days in the week and 80 hours in a day - but I think for now I'll use this wonderful & sufficient method. It will work perfectly! You really saved me from an abyss of frustration! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

                          • 10. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            You are very welcome.

                             

                            Yes, AE is fairly complex. You may eventually need to learn about Time Remapping. It's quite handy for some things, but if you never do those things, you'll never need to know about it. It's just a way to animate the time of video footage or precomps. Very handy for creating a freeze frame too.

                             

                            If you want to get a good, basic understanding of After Effects for free, I like Andrew Devis' tutorial series (part of which is linked here in this great list of resources). Even if it is a bit old, the basic principles for most things are the same. If you'd rather have a more "professional" and up to date training series. Lynda.com has a pretty good set on the basics. The videos alone are about 15 hours long if you count them all together - and that's not counting the time you take to play around with it yourself (which is an important part of learning!)

                            • 11. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                              karenf1 Level 1

                              Would you believe that I started trying to learn AE two years ago. I did the wonderful AE Guru series by Chris & Trish Meyers at Lynda.com. What was so damned frustrating was that I just want to do simple animations with my illustrations. So I slog PAINFULLY through the first 11 installments, learning all about what is really video editing - not what I wanted. TWO YEARS. So finally - installment 12 arrives. Shape layers! Giant forehead slap. I wish I'd known, all along that that's where I should have started. But even that has such snags. I just watched the Owen Lowery - cycle loop session at lynda - and no way no how did it make clear what you did. And that kind of experience has been a constant for me with this program. I think it's designed for masochists! Even now I wonder if I should have taken up ToonBoom Harmony. But then there's so much time already invested! So I thank you again for saving me from the agony I call trying to learn something simple, like looping, in AFTER EFFECTS!

                              • 12. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                The problem is that AE is quite powerful and you can do nearly anything in it, but you have to know the program well enough to build it yourself with the pieces, if that makes sense. Well, that and lots of things rely on one another. For example, you couldn't really start on shape layers if you didn't understand how to create a composition and what keyframes are first...

                                 

                                Eventually it all makes sense. Well, most of it!

                                • 13. Re: Create a Loop from a shape layer AE CS 5.5
                                  karenf1 Level 1

                                  Well said. You make great sense. Many thanks!