When creating complex animations I often use pre-composition to stack them and further animate them separately.

I am now facing two fully animated pre-comps and I need to place pre-comp_1 inside pre-comp_2. Why? Cause pre-comp_2 is a phone that also has environment reflections on it and pre-comp_1 is the content that is shown on the screen, therefore I need to rearrange the layer order so the reflections are on top of pre-comp_1.

Is there a good way of doing this? Other than removing the reflections and stacking it on top of both pre-compositions?

enter image description here

gif: This is what I would like to achieve but obviously it's not working like that. I can't find a way to add pre-comp_1 under Reflection inside pre-comp_2 without loosing the animation I already have on the pre-comp

enter image description here

  • Why is it a problem that you have nested pre-compositions. After effects is by the way the only compositioning app where you would care because it likes to show you things a s a stack. If you were to view your process as a network you wouldn't care too much eiter – joojaa Oct 19 '16 at 13:12
  • @joojaa I care because there are times when I need to add a pre-composition as an item of another pre-composition. I have described exactly why I need to do this and I couldn't find anything that would let me do so. – Alin Oct 19 '16 at 13:19
  • Yes but i fail to see why placing comp inside comp inside comp iside a comp is a problem – joojaa Oct 19 '16 at 13:23
  • @joojaa The problem is that if I already have two comps created with animations inside, like in my print-screen, I am not able to add pre-comp_1 inside pre-comp_2. I can't find a way to add pre-comp_2 as a child of pre-comp_1. – Alin Oct 19 '16 at 13:26
  • Yes but there is no limit how many precomps or comps for that matter you can put inside precomps. the only limitation is that the comps can not become circular in nature. So if master comp includes precomp 2 and you want precomp 1 to be inside comp 2 open comp 2 and drag the comp 1 in place. The only limit is that they can not be circularily referenced. There is in issence no limitiation like you describe. But we can not debug this form your image since ist not showing what the precomps are like. – joojaa Oct 19 '16 at 13:30

You can't drag and drop between compositions but you can copy and paste an entire layer, and it will copy any animated keyframes along with it.

Take the following example. I have a main composition with two pre-comps. "Pre-comp 2" has animated position keyframes.

Select the "Pre-comp 2" layer (only the layer, no keryframes or anything) and copy.

enter image description here

Open "Pre-comp 1" and paste. See the position keyframes are copied with it.

enter image description here

Just remember to delete the original "Pre-comp 2" from the main composition.

  • Yeey!! Thanks, I still feel stupid though! :) – Alin Oct 19 '16 at 14:22
  • This is actually one of the hardest things to debug since the very fundamental first thing you should try has been missed. And its pretty hard to come up with the answer connect the power cable. ;) – joojaa Oct 19 '16 at 15:00

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