11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2012 10:13 PM by Rick Gerard

    Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp

    fhxfhx Level 1

      Hi, I want to make a pre-comp with 2 mouse-pointer images, the one has the normal state, the other image has teh pressed pointer state. Now in a parent layer it'd be wonderful if I could use this pointer-pre-comp and when ever I want to show a pressed-pointer, I set a keyframe set (pree / unpress) to the pointer-pre-comp within the parent-pre-comp ... is such a thing doable ? Because rt now I'm animating out every single step.

       

      Regards,

      Frank

        • 1. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you know anything about expressions you could do it with a Slider Controll. Because the pointer and the over state are different sizes you'll have to change opacity of both layers. I'm calling your pointer comp "pointerComp" (this name doesn't matter) and attaching adding the expression slider to a null named PointerController (not important) in the mainComp i'm naming "Main Comp" (and that name matters a bunch). I also named the slider Opacity Slider by selecting it in the ECW and pressing return the same way you rename layers in the timeline.

           

          Here's the expression for the over layer's opacity:

           

          comp("Main Comp").layer("PointerController").effect("OpacitySlider")("Slider");
          

           

          for the second or normal layer we'll do something a little different. I'm going to subtract the value of the slide from 100 because opacity can only be in values from 0 to 100.

           

          The expression looks like this:

           

          100 - comp("Main Comp").layer("PointerController").effect("OpacitySlider")("Slider");
          

           

          The only typing I did to create these expressions was to type in the 100 -

          The rest was created entirely with the pickwhip by separating the two timelines and locking the null's Effect Controller window.

           

          The last part of the solution is set keyframes and animate the Opacity Slider between 0 and 100. You can set pairs of keyframes a couple of frames apart if you want a little fade, or you can set the keyframes to Hold Keyframes using Animation>Toggle Hold Keyframe or using the keyboard shortcut Alt/Option + Cmnd/Ctrl + H.

           

          Here's what the project looks like. It took longer to explain it than to do it.

           

          Screen Shot 2012-01-13 at 5.49.27 PM.png

          • 2. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
            fhxfhx Level 1

            Thx for How To, I replicated it, but the pointers are not showing ... it stays blank yet ...

             

            http://my.jetscreenshot.com/10418/20120114-mrdq-126kb.jpg

            • 3. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
              fhxfhx Level 1

              is there also a way to connect 2 sound files, one for click one for release, so they sound automatically when the slider is animated ?

              • 4. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                You could use an expression to convert audio to keyframes and have the sound drive the slider. Try a Google Search for Audio to Keyframes Tutorial After Effects.

                 

                Most of the time this is used to drive scale or position, but you can use the threshold values to drive anything, even your slider.

                 

                Did you figure out the other problem. If the opacity doesn't change as you move the slider then something's wrong with your setup. I can't tell from the screenshot if there are errors but everything looks OK.

                • 5. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                  fhxfhx Level 1

                  I was thinking the other way around, when I make the pointer to click, then this should trigger an audio sound that accompanies it ... so for a point and click experience that has everything in it.

                   

                  Regarding the missing pointers in the comp I checked if pictures are there and pre-comp layers are visible at that time ... don't know what I could check more ?

                  • 6. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                    fhxfhx Level 1

                    ... I created a new project from scratch and went cruically step by step, but it has the same result that the pointers arre not showing. I've uploaded the  test project.in case you want to have a look.

                    • 7. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Haven't looked at your project yet but I did take a very close look at your screenshot. Try taking the . out of the Comp name. That's probably breaking the expression. Your comp is named .EaseExp_02 or something like that. Expressions don't like punctuation in comp or layer names.

                       

                      If that doesn't work let me know and I'll download your comp and see where it's broken.

                      • 8. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You can't use an expression to adjust the timing of a layer. By the far the easiest way is to use markers or to use audio to keyframes. You can't go the other way with AE or Premiere.

                        • 9. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                          fhxfhx Level 1

                          thx for checking Rick, the test project is from scratch and has no dots in any naming as the screenshot does.

                          • 10. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                            fhxfhx Level 1

                            ok, so basically distributing the noise triggers the pointer to press ... also very good. I'll check into the AE noise triggering then.

                            • 11. Re: Toggle Layers Visibility Animation in Pre-Comp
                              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Your project works just fine except for one thing. You didn't nest the pointer comp inside the comp with the controller so there's nothing to see in that comp. Just put drag the pointer comp into your main comp.

                               

                              Screen Shot 2012-01-14 at 9.57.45 PM.png

                               

                              Right now there's nothing to see in that comp but the solid you've added the Expression Control Slider to. I couldn't see that problem in your screenshot because the top timeline was hidden below the keyframes. You can see the pointer comp in my screenshot. It's right at the bottom. The white solid brings up another point.

                               

                              It's more efficient to add slider controls to a null because nulls can hold keyframe info but don't render. You're going to want to put the pointer over some other footage anyway so the white solid is not needed in your project. You can fix that problem by simply turning off the visibility of the slider control layer. You could also use this layer as a background for your pointers, but a null is the preferred vehicle to carry effects controllers in this kind of project.

                               

                              You'll also need to bring in the background footage that you want to lay the pointer over. Put that footage at the bottom.

                               

                              Last point. Your Pointer images are way bigger than they need to be. They will look better if they are optimized to the size or approximately the size they will be when they are in your final comp. Right now, they are taller than the composition by about 200 pixels. I'm guessing that they will be used at about 5% scale. This will soften the images considerably. The rule of thumb is that an image needs to be at about 100% scale when it's at it's maximum size in the comp.

                               

                              Last point, really last point this time. I saw in your sample comp that you were not using hold keyframes. That's OK but it's going to take a lot more keyframing to achieve your effect. Four keyframes for each transition to the over state instead of one.

                               

                              Things to think about. Good luck with your project.