When you create a New Composition the comp always remembers the composition settings from the last comp you created. It's always been that way. If you want a composition to match the properties of your imported footage (video), then drag it to an empty Comp Panel, empty Timeline Panel (not empty timeline or empty composition) or drag the footage to the New Composition icon at the bottom of the Project Panel. If you drag a still to create a new comp, or import Photoshop or Illustrator as a comp then the composition will be the same length as your last composition.
The other option is to pay attention to the composition length when creating a new composition.
Right, I understand that, but it's happening in reverse order. I create 'composition 1' first, save it and close it. Then I start a new project entirely and create 'composition 2'. After I finish 'composition 2' and save it, 'composition 1' gets automatically cut down to the length of 'composition 2', even though they're entirely separate. I'm definitely making sure the initial composition length is correct, it trims it down on its own afterward.
I've never seen that. Are these compositions in the same project? There is no connection from one project to another project. One project cannot effect another.
I'd love to see a screen cast of what's going on. The only possible thing I can think of to try would be to delete your preferences.
You failed to mention your OS and AE version. Also, has anything changed recently?
I'm using Windows 7 64-bit, After Effects CS5.5
It seems the issue is actually worse than I thought, it's not just cutting down the time of earlier compositions, it's actually replacing them with the newer ones on its own. I created a new Windows user account to test it with default settings and it still did it. I took a video of it, but YouTube is undergoing maintenance at the moment so I won't be able to post it until a bit later.
This is very strange...
This sounds like a silly question, but you're certain you're not overwriting the original project file that you saved when you create the second project file, right?
Watch in HD/Fullscreen.
That's really weird. I've never seen that. What happens if you open up the original comps? Love to see that too.
Are your apps up to date?
I'm going to run the same test on my system right now.
When I try to open up Comp 1, for example, it will show that for a split second, then switch to Comp 2 and show that for a split second, and then it will just bring me straight to Comp 3. Half the time AE will crash when I do this.
Everything is up to date.
Let me slap my self on the forehead and say "D'oh" It's your workflow. You're using dynamic link in Premiere Pro. The proper workflow is to have all of the comps in the same AE project. In Premiere Pro you go to File>Dynamic Link>New After Effects Project. You create your comp size in Premiere Pro, not in AE, then AE opens up and you create your comp. When you want to create a new dynamic link you follow the same procedure.
Dynamic link can only look at one instance of AE at a time so it's looking at the last project for the comp info. It can't find comp 1 in project 1 because it's only looking at project 3. That explains the same comp showing up in all three locations. Fix the workflow and you'll fix the problem. In fact, I think that if you open up project 3 and import project 1 and project 2, then same project 3, then open up Premiere Pro your problem will be fixed.
Ah, okay, I've imported all three into one in AE, re-imported them into Premiere and reloaded and now it seems to be sticking. I won't really be able to test it fully until I apply it to my actual project.
That is weird, though. I've definitely loaded multiple separate AE projects done the same way and they're still working just fine. It's just the last few that I've been doing that have been giving me this problem.
Loading multiple AE projects is not the normal dynamic link workflow. I just ran a test on my system and it seemed to work with 3 AE projects from 3 different folders. It was way slower than I expected but it worked.
Has anything changed on your system? Are the apps all up to date? I'm not sure exactly what's going on with your system, but I can tell you that on my test, dynamic link worked with the test projects much faster if all comps were on a single AE project. If you've worked with multiple AE projects in the past I'd expect that something changed with Dynamic Link. I'd file a bug.
No, I haven't changed anything and everything is up to date.
Keeping everything in one project is working though and it's at least allowing me to continue with what I'm doing, so thank you very much for that.
After I'm done with what I'm working on I'm going to completely uninstall and reinstall everything and if it still isn't working, I'll file a bug. Thanks again!