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    Personally, I would just do that kind of a reveal using an animated mask (yes, you can add a mask to a shape layer), or a track matte.  Trim paths are only really useful for simple strokes. If you want to reverse the direction of a trim path, then you can simply change which property you animate (start vs end) or use the vertex you want to use as the first vertex then use the menu Layer>Mask >Set First Vertex. You can also add a trim path animator to each path in a shape layer. About five minutes with the User Guide (type trim paths in the Search Help field at the top right corner of AE) will give you details.

     

    This screenshot shows everything modified to create 3 stroked lines apply trim paths to the center line, then prepare to change the direction of the animation from left to right to right to left by changing the first vertex:

    Screenshot_2018-12-24 09.02.15_kWKhVl.png

    After the first vertex has been changed:

    Screenshot_2018-12-24 09.06.14_zGp0E2.png


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    That will not convert to a shape layer and retain the details of the photo. Just use the PSD in AE. There is no way to convert that clip art to a shape layer and retain any detail on the image. It will always convert to a solid.

     

    If you just want the black outline then you will need to reduce the AI file to a simple object (path) and you should remove all of the other layers.


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    That does help, thanks.

     

    For the first example of the document, that's right up the alley of Master Properties. You can have the fold be a layer on top of the document, then assign it's visibility to a checkbox via the Essential Graphics panel, name it "Doc fold" and then that shows up as a Master Property that can be turned on or off. The text can even have an animation on it and you can assign the Source Text property to the EGP to be able to change out the text elsewhere. To get this to work you do need to have another text layer. You would pickwhip the Master Property's Source Text to the secondary layer's Source Text.

     

    As for the second example, it depends how you rigged your characters. If it was something very complicated like DUIK, yeah, you're better off fully duplicating the comps, although DUIK does have an option to extract controllers via Master Properties it's currently very slow and somewhat experimental. However, if it's a much simpler rig, then consider making a master rig comp and trying to set up your hand and foot controls in the EGP so they show up as Master Properties.


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    A set of animation presets for this kind of thing are extremely useful. I have created over 200. It only takes a few minutes to set up many of my animations. This works extremely well if you use shape layers and in and out points with expressions. Then all you have to do is sequence the layers, put them in their hero position, and apply the animation presets. Basically, any move you make can be set up as an animation preset. Here's one of my favorites. It flys any layer at any scale in from the right, then it bounces to a stop then drops the layer off the screen just before the out point.

    Dropbox - flyInBounceDropOut.ffx

     

    You'll see what I mean if you apply that preset to a layer that contains a photo or some artwork.


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    Thank you davidarbor

    After watching the Master Properties tut it really seems like it can help in some of the cases (like the first example).

    However, it doesn't help if I need to duplicate a comp in order to replace a nested comp in it (like my second example, because my characters use DUIK indeed)

     

    So to make a long story short - any way to change a nested comp without duplicating the parent comp, while still having two versions of the parent comp (with the two different nested comps)?

     

    Rick Gerard - thank you for that. I'm familiar with presets, but as I described in the examples above - it doesn't really help in my case.

    Maybe you have a suggestion to my above question?


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    Thank you mr Rick


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    You can actually still use Master Properties in your second example. Think about it this way:

     

    As I understand, you want this:

     

    >Parent Comp 1

       >>Nested Comp A

     

    >Parent Comp 1

       >>Nested Comp B

     

     

    Currently, in order to achieve this you have to duplicate Parent Comp 1, but ideally you have the scenario I type out above, correct?

     

    If so, try this:

    Nested Comp X w/Master Properties

         >>Nested Comp A (Add Opacity to EGP)

         >>Nested Comp B (Add Opacity to EGP)

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------

     

    >Parent Comp 1

         >>Nested Comp X (Opacity A Master Prop = 100%  /  Opacity B Master Prop = 0%)

     

    >Parent Comp 1

         >>Nested Comp X (Opacity B Master Prop = 100%  /  Opacity A Master Prop = 0%)


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    Thank you David

    I thought about that option, it might work sometimes, but I have many scenarios where it won't work, for example -

    my characters can have multiple different faces, up to around 50

    Each face is in a different comp, so if I have a waving character and I want it to be sad or happy, I need to replace the face comp.

    Using your method, I would have to set 50 layers and add their opacity to Master Properties, and then scroll through 50 properties in the master comp in order to find the right face.

    Also, I'm not sure if having so many layers with 0% opacity won't slow down the project


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    If there are no expressions and the opacity is 0% then I don't believe the frames will be processed. That being said, I can see how that would be a pain. I think the best solution here is Duik Bassel's Connector feature. Connector - Duik Documentation

     

    You can easily put all 50 faces in a single comp, tie them to a slider, then control the slider to call up the faces. This is the same process for controlling phonemes for lip sync. You can then use that Slider as a Master Property. Scroll down to the bottom of the link and look at the head turn and phoneme sections.


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    GoPro Cineform 3 is a good alternative.

     

    Important note:  The file size of the resulting mov file will be much larger than the original mp4.


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    Thank you

    I tried working with EGP a little, and very quickly it seems quite useless for most of the cases.

    For example, it doesn't allow changing the timing of layers, it doesn't allow to easily change the position/scale of layers (although it's possible, it's not easy at all to work this way)

     

    Not sure if there's another way around it.

    What do you guys think?


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    I've been using Master Properties extensively since they were introduced. When the EGP was initially introduced I saw its potential, but it definitely didn't warrant a spot in my workspace. Now, with how far along Master Properties are (and there's definitely still more work to be done), it's permanently docked in my workspace behind my Project panel.

     

    You can select and add multiple properties to the EGP at once (make sure you have the correct comp open in the EGP first), and I find it quite easy to add position, scale, rotation, opacity, and many other properties. I have done extensive animation tweaks from a base comp using Master Properties. One of my favorite uses is for a long animation with multiple scenes and transitions. I used to have to copy layers outside of my scene, animate them so they line up seamlessly for a transition to the next scene, then move them back into their parent comp. Now I just expose certain parameters as Master Properties and this process is so much easier. I think it takes time to get used to Master Properties as they're a totally new way of working, but I think it's probably one of the strongest features to come to After Effects in the last ten years.

     

    Here is a screenshot of a project I'm working on now. All of those keyframes are exposed Master Properties. What do you feel is useless about the EGP? There are definitely some things you still need workarounds for, and there are parameters that aren't supported yet, but MPs have been getting more robust with each release this year.

     


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    Thank you David, I'm starting to get convinced!

    I can understand I'll have to get used to it and it probably provides almost every kind of control I'll need, but still can't think of a way to change the timing of layers.

    Do you have a solution to that specific problem?


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    Do you mean the overall speed of a pre-comp? If so, I just use Time Remapping, but I find that I don't have to do that nearly as much since I started using MPs. I just publish the necessary properties to change the timing of my child comp.


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    I mean let's say I have a parent comp with just 2 nested comps in it, for simplicity, and I simply want to change the timing that each comp starts ("in-point" and "out-point")

     

    And another quick question -

    Since I have hundreds of comps in my project, when trying to find the master comp in the EGP - I simply can't. Not only there are so many copms to scroll there, my needed comp doesn't even appear there.

    Any quick way of finding the current active comp in the EGP?

     


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    If you did this in Illustrator in hopes that you will be able to scale it up with no loss in AE, it won't work.  The image is still bitmapped, even though it is in Illustrator.


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    I see. Then you're getting into more complex things like using expressions based on markers to trigger the in/out point. It can be done, but it will definitely add complexity.

     

    Yup! That dropdown list isn't very helpful with many comps. Just right-click in the empty area of any timeline and choose "Open in Essential Graphics.


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    Ok, then I guess besides the in/out points it may help in some cases.

    I'll try and get used to it

     

    And thanks for the tip!

    Thank you all so much guys, you've been very helpful!


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    So, I had problems making a composition from replacing  premiere Pro into After effects because it said I did not have After effects installed when I was using it right next to Premiere Pro. So, I went directly into After effects and got the Premiere file from there. However, when I wanted to set the 3D Camera tracker, as I hit analyze it said “Unable to obtain Dynamic Link server”. Im guessing this problem is being caused because Premiere Pro and After effects can’t link with each other directly. Any help would be appreciated!


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    If your versions match and the versions are up to date Dynamic Link should work just fine. If you are running CC 2018 for AE and CC 2019 for PPro then you will get warning messages and failures.


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