As a relative newbie to After Effects, I'm wondering if there's a simpler way to accomplish what I'm trying to do:
I have a set of comps running at the same time, and I want to show only one at a time, swapping at different points in the timeline. Right now I'm using paired sets of keyframes one frame apart to adjust the opacity (0 one frame, 100 the next, while the comp I'm turning off goes from 100 to 0, etc), but that's quite time consuming to do repeatedly.
(There are other things placed in the timeline as well, that I want to keep visible independent of the one-at-a-time set.)
Is there a better way to do this?
By pair of comps do you mean you have two nested compositions in a timeline? That's what I think you mean. If you want to cut between the comps you can use animated opacity keyframes on the top comp or you could split the top comp by using Ctrl/Cmnd + Shift + D at each edit point in the top comp, then just delete the parts you don't want.
The best solution, if there are a lot of cuts, is to render both of the comps and take them into a NLE for editing. After Effects is a product that you use to create shots or short sequences, Premiere Pro, Vegas, Final Cut or even iMovie or Microsoft Movie maker are much better at editing.