I have a main timeline with smaller compositions on it. I pre-rendered one of the smaller compositions into a PNG sequence and now the smaller composition is updated on the main timeline as... well, a PNG sequence it looks like.

Why did this happen? How can I get it to go back to being a composition? (Using "Revert" and "Undo" are not options...) Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Well, truly, you got exactly what you asked for, even if that isn't what you wanted.

At this point, just throw away the pre-render and replace that section of the timeline with the original composition. Or pre-render again, with different settings. The original composition is still there.

However, there's a fundamental problem with your action of pre-rendering: when you pre-render a composition, you must do it using the same final output settings as your entire video. "Pre-render" means exactly that: you are rendering the same way you will render your final video, but you're doing it in advance to save render time while you're editing other stuff. Take a bit of time out and read the entire precomposing, nesting and pre-rendering page in the After Effects online help.

  • Thank you!! You're right that I didn't set this file up completely right... thank you so much for providing the extra reading material, its exactly what I was looking for on Google but couldn't find because I didn't know what I was trying to search for.
    – cass
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 23:00
  • I understand completely. Ae isn't the easiest bit of software to wrap the wits around; it's deep, complex, and has plenty of traps for the unwary. :) Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 1:00

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