Automatically tracking the animation in the master layer would be accomplished by an expression. For example, to tie the Drop Shadow distance to the master delete the keyframes on the copy then add an expression to Drop Shadow Distance by simply dragging the pickwhip to the same effect parameter in the master. Adjusting the timing so that it's relative to the in-point is a little more difficult. I'll have to think about that for a while. I can't give you the answer without a little experimentation.
The second part of your question is much easier. Manual adjustment of a range of keyframes is as simple as selecting the keyframes that you want to modify and holding down the Alt/Option (pc/mac) key while dragging the last keyframe.
You could also use an expression. You will only set 2 or 3 keyframes for a property you want to repeat and then use loopOut expression. For 2 keyframes, say 20% opacity to 100% opacity use: loopOut("pingpong"), for three keyframes, say 20% to 100% to 20% use loopOut("cycle"). You then adjust the timing by moving the keyframes.
Hope this helps.
As Rick already mentioned, making it a "master", would entail fiddling with valueAtTime() expressions and figuring out the temporal logic. That may not only be unecessarily tricky and convoluted, but would also impair performance. Why not simply save animation presets and re-apply them as needed?
Thanks for the reply. I have never done expressions before. Is it covered well in the help? Or I have access to lynda.com. I have been workign my way through the AE training there. Do you know of a course that gives a primer on this? THanks.
An animation preset sounds promising. Can you point me to e good resource for the basics on this? Thanks.
Just took a quick stop over to lynda.com. Looks like there are some courses there on animation timing and expressions. So I'll do a little home work and let you know how it goes. Knowing what you are looking for is often half the battle. Thanks.
> I have never done expressions before. Is it covered well in the help?
Yes. The basics are covered, as is the reference material and several examples---as well as many links to external tutorials and other resources:
> An animation preset sounds promising. Can you point me to e good resource for the basics on this?
Cool. I'll take a look. Thanks.