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When making a Gradient Ramp in After Effects is there a convenient way for it to be tied to the object its applied to. I'm sure with Expressions I could somehow Pickwhip it together and adjust the code, but is there any check box or something more efficient?

It's a bit tedious when I make a Gradient Ramp and then have to move the object the Gradient Ramp gets left behind. Thinking there must be a better way.

Here's a screencap to try and illustrate. I decided to switch the order so it will be Blue on top then Red. I changed the position of the bottom two bars but the Gradient got left behind. That's why they look flat.

enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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For a situation like this, your best approach is to pre-compose individual timelines consisting of just the bar, one for each color of bar in the final composition. You can use a ramp or a fill effect in the pre-comps, since you're rendering the effect only once.

Pre-comps are the equivalent of symbols in Ai, Fl or Edge Animate, or of Smart Objects in Photoshop.-- You can place multiple instances, and any change to the original updates all of them at once.

Add the pre-comps to your main timeline just the way you would any other object, and animate them in from off-screen.

The big advantages to this approach are improved rendering time and (just as with Smart Objects or Symbols) speed and efficiency updating the artwork when the client asks for tweaks.

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Asked for the answer on the After Effects forum of the Adobe website:

If using Gradient Ramp then the best way to achieve this is to Pre-Compose the Shape along with Gradient. Then place the Pre-Composed piece into your timeline instead and it will work as one.

Alternatively you can use Gradient Fill directly on the Shape Layer instead of using Gradient Ramp at all:

enter image description here

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In a situation like this, with multiple instances of essentially the same graphic, I'd use the ramp+precomp approach to improve render time for RAM preview and final output. –  Alan Gilbertson Jun 23 at 18:13
    
@AlanGilbertson I'm not experienced enough to know if Pre-Comp would actually work or not for my needs. The bars are all animated using keyframes on the Path, so I think the only choice would be Gradient Fill –  Ryan Jun 23 at 18:15

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