11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2009 8:14 PM by Stefan Hallberg

    Move one composition into another?

    Stefan Hallberg

      I have created a composition within a project for the sole purpose of making a transition Gradient Wipe effect.  How do I incorporate this composition in the main project?  I made a tree layer PSD file with a gradient wipe effect as a middle layer.  I imported the PSD files to a composition and applied the desired transition effect.  The composition appears at the bottom left work area as a separate tab.  The rest of the project is in a different tab.  The effects works as desired when played in this composition tab.  I have already a substantial timeline with a slide show and effects in the main project.  How do I move this composition to a specific place in the main timeline of the project that is in another composition?


      Any help and input is appreciated

        • 1. Re: Move one composition into another?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          You can simply drag&drop sub-compositions to other compositions from the project window like any other footage item.



          • 2. Re: Move one composition into another?
            Stefan Hallberg Level 1


            Thanks Mylenium for the fast response.

            From tutorials and reading I have done on After Effects, that is what I figured, that you could just drag and drop a composition from on to another.  However, I cannot make the transition work when I do so.  When playing the Gradient Wipe transition in it's own tab composition in the lower left window, it works fine.  When dragging and dropping the transition composition in to the main composition, it does not work at all.


            Here are the symptoms:

            When I drag and drop the transition composition (the film strip looking icon named composition in the "Type" column of the project window) into the main composition at the bottom left work window, it goes there in the proper place put I cannot see it in the time line. When selected It does not show, the selection squares / handles appear in the main window to indicate that it is selected but there is no visuals, it is as if it has zero transparency even though that is set to 100%.  It has no presence in the time line either and I cannot make any key frames, the "Add or remove key frame at current time" is not there.


            There is a folder in the main project window with the compositions name containing the tree PSD layers as individual files, Photoshop in the "Type" column.  Dragging this folder with its content into the main composition, I get three separate entries with layer one, the transition effect layer and the layer three with is the final image after the transition is executed.  Layer one shows in the main window, but the transition effect is not working and I cannot get it into the timeline window.  In order to get some key frames in the timeline, I did set a key frame to zero transparency before the first image in the transition sequence is to appear and then set another key frame to 100% shortly thereafter, but there is still nothing.  Just the selection handles and apparently zero transparency.


            I know there has to be simple solution to this but I cannot figure out why it is not working so any help is much appreciated.

            • 3. Re: Move one composition into another?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              I don't really understand you. If items are dropped into the comp window, they are inserted at the current time. If you drag&drop to the timeline, you can insert them at any point. The rest is really not clear, as I said. Maybe you simply added the comp out of view because you were zoomed out of the timeline? Make sure to get the full picture. Apart from that, specific reveal effects may require to use matte modes to get correct results....



              • 4. Re: Move one composition into another?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Here's where a screen shot of your composition would help. You could be dragging a composition in the time line that isn't as long as your existing composition. I've never seen a case where a composition didn't act like any other footage source.

                • 5. Re: Move one composition into another?
                  Stefan Hallberg Level 1


                  Agree, here are some screen shots.  I am sure there is a simple solution.  Even though I am an experienced multi-media producer, this is my first project in After Effects.



                  Main Window:  An overview of the project. As you can see, the main composition is called "North Rim Intro".  The folder "Intro" just contains the animated intro text elements and belongs to this main composition.  The composition with the transition that I am attempting to incorporate into the "North Rim Intro" main composition is "North Rim 12-13 Transition” There is also a folder with the same name and I don't know which to put into the main composition, the actual composition or the folder.


                  Transition Tab:  A screen shot to show the details of the transition tab with the IN and OUT key frames.


                  Main Window w Transition Composition Placed: To show how I just placed the transition composition by dragging it down to the assembly panel and you can se that the timeline is visible and it is placed in the current timeline.  In the main viewer window you can see the selection handles when this composition is selected but as if it had zero opacity.  Line 18 "North Rim 11.PSD" is open so that you can see where I am in the timeline.  The key frames their just fades the opacity to zero in order to make the newly placed "North Rim 12-13 Transition" composition visible below.



                  There are only three attachments allowed but I do have a QT movie of the transition effect that I can e-mail directly if you provide an e-mail address and if you think that it would help


                  I really appreciate everyone trying to help me and I am looking forward to a solution.



                  • 6. Re: Move one composition into another?
                    Stefan Hallberg Level 1


                    Please see my last post with the screen shots.  What is exactly the “matte modes” you are referring to and how do I implement this?  I am pretty sure that I am in the proper place of the time line but to make sure, I scrolled through the entire project but there is no sign of the composition anywhere in the timeline.  Furthermore, as you can se in the screen shot, I can see the selection handles in the main viewer but with zero opacity.



                    • 7. Re: Move one composition into another?
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Couple of things. First your transition composition only has footage in the first 5 seconds but it is much longer than that. With the CTI (current time indicator) anywhere past the 5 second mark you won't see anything from this composition. You should shorten the length of the first composition to the length of the footage.


                      Second, your transition is below all of the other layers so you wouldn't be able to see it. If you move it to the top of the stack it should be there. Solo the layer and you will see the transition effect.


                      I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to accomplish with the transition because I can't see what you've done with the other shots or how it relates to them, but in AE the top layer will always cover the ones underneath an will only blend with them through the use of blend modes or transparency.

                      • 8. Re: Move one composition into another?
                        Stefan Hallberg Level 1

                        Thanks Rick,


                        I did move the composition in question “North Rim 12-13 Transition” to the very top as you suggested, but no change in the behavior.  I also clicked the “Solo” button for this compositions so that all other layers where not visible, still no change. Since I am kind of fading layers in the time line as you would a traditional old fashion analog slideshow with projected slides just turning on and off light bulbs, I do need the others layers active so that i can see the effects.  Where the “North Rim 12-13 Transition” is located in the timeline, none of the layers above have any transparency = zero opacity and this has worked with all other layers as I am stacking and combining for various effects.


                        Attached is a very LowRez QT movie of the transition layer that I am trying to get to work.  This is just a simple "Vertical Wipe” transition and as soon as I can make it work and appear as desired, I can move on to other types of effects.


                        The trouble shooting continuos and all your patience and persistence is much appreciated.

                        • 9. Re: Move one composition into another?
                          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Did you shorten the length of your transition composition? It should not be any longer than the footage. According to your screen shot that's 5 seconds. I think it's just in the wrong place in the time line. I can't seem to open your movie file.

                          • 10. Re: Move one composition into another?
                            Stefan Hallberg Level 1


                            I did shorten the transition composition so that is seems to go the length of the composition.  Can you shorten it by just shrinking the blue bars in the timeline or do you need to go into the composition setting to change the duration?  I assume that the four groups of numbers in the “Duration” column represents hour; minutes;seconds;tenth of seconds. It now reads 0;03;59;28.


                            If I am in the wrong place in the timeline, how could this be corrected?  The place where the transition is now is exactly where it need to be in order to fit in the overall project flow.


                            Here is  a new screen shot of the entire project.


                            Thanks for all your help.

                            • 11. Re: Move one composition into another?
                              Stefan Hallberg Level 1

                              I could for the life of me not render the transition composition to an acceptable file size and format for this forum so here it is.  Extreme draft mode but you can see what I am visually trying to incorporate in my project.