Using Pre-Compositions to Group Layers
in this lesson, we're going to learn about pre compositions which is basically a way to group multiple layers together. To see this in action. Go to your documents and go find the drone shot that's available in the downloadable project files. So that's under the video folder, Bring that into after effects and then let's drag that into a new composition. So now we have this composition that is just this drone shot. Then let me just trim it to this Area right around nine seconds when the drone is flying over the ocean or the hill and we're seeing the reveal of the ocean behind. So about eight seconds or so. And I'll go up to composition trim comp to work area. So now we have this 9 2nd clip. Ok, so that's ready. And the reason why I did that is because what if I create a title like this that has multiple layers, shape layers, a track matte layer, a text layer. And I want to be able to put all these layers onto another clip. Well, I could actually go in. I can select all of these layers b...
y clicking one of them and then shift clicking the top one or by control or command clicking the individual layers and copying them. Command C going to my new composition and pasting command V So now I have all these texts. But look what happens when I copied and paste them. The order is all off. So I need to move the track matte above Hello, the line above everything. And now it works. But if I want to move these things around, if I want to make everything smaller, say I want this text to just be a little smaller or maybe I want to add a drop shadow to everything instead of going in and right clicking, going to layer styles and drop shadow for each layer. There's an easier way to do this. Going to delete all of those. So I'll go back to my track matte and what I can do is pre compose this, select the layers you want to put in one group, right click and choose pre compose. Now it's going to pop up with a window that asks you to name your pre composition. I'll call this Hello title and then just click OK. What happened in this composition that we're working on the track matte is those three layers became one and you'll notice that the hello title became its separate composition in the project panel. I can open it up by double clicking it there or just double clicking this prick um player here in the timeline. So here we have those three layers that we pre comped, it doesn't include the background. Now, if I go to my drone shot, I can take this pre comp the Hello title, drag it into my project and see here we have the Hello text up here now. Hey, I can say oh well I want it all to be a little bit lower and smaller so I can move it down here where the hill is. So you can see it better. I can bring up the scale of this entire pre composition, scale it down and say, okay, maybe that's good, but let's try it up here. Oh, I actually like it up there but now I want to drop shadow. So here I can right click go to layer style, add a drop shadow and now we can see that there's the drop shadow applied to everything the line and the text. So I'll go in, I'll adjust the drop shadow. This is just sort of a more stylistic thing for me with drop shadows. I typically like to increase the spread and the size and decrease the opacity. So it's a little more subtle. I don't like those big hard drop shadows. So something like that is typically what I like. That might be a little too harsh, but you can change it according to whatever you prefer. So that's basically what a pre comp is. Well run into this issue or this strategy of using pre comps and future real world projects. So just keep that in mind. One other thing to note is that the keyboard shortcut for pre composing is command shift C or on a pc. Control shift C. And you can actually pre computer pre comps. So here I can take this drone shot and the Hello title and now I can command shift c. Pre comp it I'll call this drone with title. Okay so this is getting pretty meta but I have this drone with meta title and now I can change this pre comp so I can make it smaller. I can duplicate it. Command D can move it around, duplicated again, move it around. So now I have these three shots, three little screens because it's all in one pre comp. So I'm going to undo this. So we get back to this point here where we have the Hello title on the drone shot and in the next lesson, what I'm going to show you is how to easily and quickly reverse this animation without having to go back in and key frame all of the different individual layers.