You should make sure that you have Synchronize time of Related Events checked. That will make the CTI match in your main and Pre-comps.
The second thing you can do is to right click in the Composition window and select New>Viewer then drag the New Viewer into it's own section of your workspace so that you can see the Main comp and pre-comps at the same time. You can also separate the Timelines by dragging them around. You could also lock the Main comp in the composition window and then work in the Pre-comp's timeline. There's lots of ways to work comps, timelines, and the Effects Control Panel.
There's a good section in the help files called User Interface/Workspaces, Pannels and Viewer. Go through that and you'll figure it out.
Can you expand the contents of a precomposited layer
within the same timeline as the parent composite?
I am transitioning from combustion timelines to AE,
and I have found I miss this sort of timeline navigation
for manipulating keyframes within a precomposite without
switching timelines, or having multiple timelines open.
Here is an example from a combustion timeline
to help illustrate what I am trying to do.
joe bloe premiere wrote:
Forum's acting funky.
I agree; it takes forever once you click on a link. I don't think the squirrels got fed today.
But to answer your question: AE takes a different approach than Combustion. You can't open a nested comp layer to reveal the layers within, but you can use Rick's advice in conjunction with a feature called "Edit This, Look At That", aka ETLAT. You make a change in a nested comp's timeline, and see the results in a viewer for the main comp. Here's a link to the documentation:
Read carefully, and it should become clearer.
Thanks for confirming that I'm not missing something.
I'm familiar with ETLAT, and that is what I do shen the situation demands.