Extract all of the layers from a pre-comp and empty them into the parent composition
Un-PreCompose allows you to select a pre-comp (nested composition) and extract all of its layers into the parent composition while maintaining each layers effects and other properties. You are given various options for maintaining or deleting properties from the pre-comp and the precomp itself.
The current version of Un-Precompose has been relatively unchanged for about 10 years. Although it still works in all versions of After Effects since CS5, you may notice interface issues in some newer versions of After Effects.
Updates are on the way.
- In the .zip file you downloaded, there are four folders, MAC32, MAC64, WIN32 and WIN64. The folders ending with 64 contain the 64 bit version for those running After Effects CS5 or higher. Open the folder that corresponds with your operating system and version of After Effects.
- Right click and copy the ‘BatchFrame’ folder. (If you already have another Batch Frame plug-in installed, open the folder and copy the plug-in itself)
Go to the After Effects Plug-Ins folder for your version of After Effects:
- Mac: ~/Applications/Adobe After Effects YOUR VERSION/Plug-Ins/
- Windows: C:/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe After Effects YOUR VERSION/Support Files/Plug-Ins
- Paste the ‘BatchFrame’ folder into the ‘Plug-Ins’ folder. (If the ‘BatchFrame’ folder exists, paste the plug-in into it)
- Start After Effects. After Effects must be started after the plug-in has been installed, otherwise it will not show up. If After Effects was open, just restart it. Un-PreCompose will show up at the bottom of the ‘Layer’ menu.
Once installed, Un-Precompose will show up at the bottom of the ‘Layer’ menu. If you do not have a pre-comp (nested composition) selected, Un-PreCompose will be greyed out and disabled.
To use Un-PreCompose, just select a pre-comp in the timeline panel, then go to
Layer > Un- PreCompose
Un-PreComposed Layer Prefix
This option will help you see which layers came from the pre-comp. Whatever you put into this textbox will be added to the beginning of each layer that is un-precomposed. If no prefix is desired, just leave the box empty.
Copy Pre-Comp attributes to layers
If you have key frames, effects, etc. applied to your pre-comp and want those attribute to be maintained, select
this option. Each layer inside will then receive the effects from its parent and will be made a child of a null
object that contains the transform attributes. The null object will have the name
Discard Pre-Comp Attributes
This option will get rid of any attributes that are applied to your pre-comp. Layers inside the pre-comp will maintain their current positions and attributes. You may notice a change in position if your precomp is a different resolution then its parent composition.
Delete Source After Un-PreComposing
If this option is selected, once the pre-comp has been un-precomposed, it will be deleted from the project. This option will not be available if the pre-comp is being used elsewhere in the project. This option will be disabled if the ‘Keep Pre-Comp in Composition’ option is selected.
Keep Pre-Comp in Composition
If this option is selected, the pre-comp will remain in the parent composition after the Un-PreCompose has taken place. The pre-comp will be turned off, but still be a part of the composition. This option will be disabled if the ‘Delete Source After Un-PreComposing’ option is checked.
Notes on ‘Copy Pre-Comp Attributes to Layers’
- Masks are not copied
For the moment, masks applied to your pre-comp will not be copied over to the extracted layers. This may change in the future, so keep a look out for any updates to the plug-in
- Particle Layers
If your pre-comp is a 3D layer that contains particle layers, you may get some issues on running the plug-in. Particle layers are usually meant to be applied to 2D layers, but if the parent comp is 3D, every layer inside will be changed to a 3D layer, so you might get some strange results.
- Creation of Controller Layer
For now, the, any transform attributes of the pre-comp are applied to the null object, which then becomes the parent of each extracted layer. If a layer already has a parent, that layer will not be affected.
- Parenting is maintained within the pre-comp, however if any layers are parented to the pre-comp, that connection will be broken.
- If layers inside your pre-comp contain expressions that use random numbers, you may notice a slight change due to random numbers being based on the layer’s index, which may be changed when running an Un-PreCompose.
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions or comments or would like to report a bug, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form.