View Full Version : Nested Compositions

06 June 2010, 10:02 PM
For the past 8 months, I've been working on a video that has a mixture of motion typography and animation. I am nearing the completion of the project, but I fear that I've made a fatal error.

I've noticed that in some segments, the text is fuzzier/blurrier than in others. Also, the sound is softer in some segments than others (even though the original track has uniform volume).

I've discovered that the text is fuzzier/blurrier and the sound is softer when they are in a nested composition. My video is full of them. Dozens, if not over a hundred, of them (it's 6-7 minutes long and has hundreds of component parts).

Do nested compositions dilute the quality of what they contain? If so, how do I fix it?

Nested compositions have really simplified my work, because there are many scenes where I animated a block of text, and then I precomposed it, and then animated the entire pre-composition in 3D space. "Collapsing transformations" or "Rasterize continuously" undoes these higher-level animations. However, when the text or sound is 4 or 5 nested compositions deep, the quality of the image/sound becomes intolerable.

Have I made a completely avoidable, amateur mistake?

06 June 2010, 05:52 PM
Depending on if you've scaled the comps up or not - you could pre-render those assets and put them on your timeline or replace the comps etc. That would solve fuzziness and sound issues but only if the comps aren't scaled up.

If you've scaled your comps up on the main timeline - then you're screwed. AfterEffects is interpolating the effects and scaling the type as a rastorized image within that comp - hence the fuzziness. I'm not sure why the sound would be affected though - I would make sure that the nested comps are exactly the same as far as audio specs (44hz vs. 48 hz).

I'm not sure how to advise you as I do not know what are in the smaller comps (Are they 3D layers? Do they carry overlay modes? Is there masking?). You could copy and paste the contents for each comp into the main timeline - depending on how they are used, and us a null object to parent them so that you can keep their relative scale but use the null to move or scale up/down.

If you posted your timelines for the nested comps as well as screen grabs of what they look like on the main timeline etc.

I hate nesting and avoid it mostly because nesting makes for very hairy edits later on and as you've found out can possibly create more work in the long run. While in some instances it's necessary - most of the time layer styles, expressions and other tools in AE CS3 and above make nesting unnecessary.

07 July 2010, 04:13 PM
you should be fine if you turn on continous rasterazation.
here are the circumstances.

let's say that i have a camera and am animating text that is coming from behind the camera. I animate the text moving and then once i'm done i want to add some more detail to the text (gradients and such).

ok.. so i precomp that text and and make sure the "leave all attributes" is checked. what happens is that the text gets precomped into a comp that has the same settings as the original, and all the animation is left in the main comp.

then all you gotta do is turn on the 3D switch for your text layer in the precomp and continuously rasterize the layer in your main comp. that's it.

In AE 3D world continuously rasterized precomped layers DO NOT WORK unless the precomped elements are turned to 3D layers.

Hope this helps

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07 July 2010, 04:13 PM
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