3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2010 7:57 AM by Dan Jacobsen

    Is it possible to nest AE layers?

    Dan Jacobsen Level 1

      Hi all,


      I've always wondered why you can't do this or it hasn't been brought in... but then maybe I'm really missing something.


      I would have thought it would be really useful to be able to nest layers. For instance, put layers 5 to 9 into a folder or 'superlayer' (TM) this could be opened up or minimised in a similar fashion to the folders in the project window.


      The time when I'd love to be able to do this is when I need to attach a single matte to multiple layers, but it could also be useful for effects.


      I realise the normal way to do this is to make a pre-comp but sometimes it's just so handy to be able to tweak things without having to change comps.


      Any thoughts?

        • 1. Re: Is it possible to nest AE layers?
          TimeRemapper Level 4

          I may be misunderstanding you, but I believe you're describing exactly what precomposing accomplishes.


          "Precomposing" refers to the action of grouping any number of layers together into an individual composition.

          "Nesting" refers to the action of droping a precomposition (or multiple precomps) inside a new composition.


          If you're hoping for some sort of "twirl-down" within the main timeline, that has been requested as a feature before, but it never hurts to request it again if you feel it would be very useful. You can (and it is often done for workflow) have 2 timelines (or more) open simultaneously. Just position them in your workspace by dragging them to the north/south/east/west of any current panel. You'll see a blue highlight engage, and when you release the button, it'll drop the new panel in place.


          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Is it possible to nest AE layers?
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            Steve's answer is almost identical to what I was going to say.


            Here's a link to more information about nesting and precomposing.


            One thing that makes working with nested compositions easier in After Effects CS4 is the ability to navigate through them using the Composition Mini-Flowchart and some new shortcuts, like Shift+Esc. See "Opening and navigating nested compositions".


            If you'd like to request a change or addition to these features, please use the feature-request form.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Is it possible to nest AE layers?
              Dan Jacobsen Level 1

              Thanks guys.


              Yes, I realise that's what Precomps achieve. Sometimes however, I personally find it useful not to have to many PreComps or levels of PreComps in a main composition. Also when I PreComp a bunch of layers thier relative in and out points aren't as immediately visable as they would be if a group of layers could be opened and closed in the main comp.


              Sorry, I'm probably not explaining myself . Imagine a function a bit like 'shy' but it would open and close a group of layers, and the group itself acting as if it was a PreComp I guess is what I'm trying to say.


              The idea of having 2 timelines visible is fantastic, and would help me out. Thanks for that.


              Currently if I need to tweak a PreComp but view the result in the Main Comp, I open 2 comp windows. Unfortunately when I go to the PreComp my feed to my broadcast monitor also changes.


              The 2 timeline idea should ease this. If I lock a single comp window.