Version 1.1.0


Version 1.1.0

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 pre-comp itself.

What's New?


Un-Precompose 1.1.0 is compatible with After Effects CC 2018 and newer


If you purchased Auto Crop through, you can use the aescripts + aeplugins manager app to take care of the installation


Copy UnPreCompose.aex into one of the following directories:

To install for a specific version of After Effects:

C:/Program Files/Adobe/After Effects VERSION/Support Files/Plug-ins

To install for all versions of After Effects, version CC 2018 and newer:

C:/Program Files/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/7.0/MediaCore


Copy UnPreCompose.plugin into one of the following directories:

To install for a specific version of After Effects:

~/Applications/After Effects VERSION/Plug-ins

To install for all versions of After Effects, version CC 2018 and newer:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/7.0/MediaCore

After the plugin file has been copied to the correct location, you will need to restart After Effects in order to load the plugin.


Once installed, Un-Precompose will show up towards 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 one or multiple pre-comps in the timeline panel, then go to Layer > Un-Precompose

The Un-Precompose menu item


The Un-Precompose interface


Un-Precomposed Layer Prefix

This option allows you to add a custom prefix to all of the extracted layers. The layer prefix will be separated from the extracted layer's name with an underscore (_). If you do not want to add a prefix, you can leave this text box empty and no text or underscore will be added.

If you are unprecomposing multiple precomps at once, the same layer prefix will be used for all precomps.

Copy Pre-Comp attributes to layers

This option will attempt to retain all transform properties, effects, and keyframes of the pre-comp.

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 (<your-comp-name> would be replaced with the actual name of the pre-comp you are extracting). If your pre-comp doesn't have any keyframes on transform properties, the null object will be removed automatically.

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 position and other attribute values, meaning their could be large shifts in position and appearance depending on how your project is set up.

Delete Source After Un-PreComposing

If this option is selected, once the pre-comp has been un-precomposed, in addition to the pre-comp layer being deleted from the composition, the source composition item will be deleted from the project. This option will be disabled if the ‘Keep Pre-Comp in Composition’ option is selected.

Note: If the pre-comp source is being used in other parts of your project, it will not be deleted and you will see an error. The Un-Precompose will, otherwise, complete normally.

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.

Prepend pre-comp name to extracted layers

In addition to any layer prefix, this will add the layer name of the precomp to each extracted layer. Unlike the layer prefix, if you are extracting multiple pre-comps at once, each pre-comp will only have its name assigned to its own layers. If both this option and the layer prefix are being used, the order will be <pre-comp name>_<layer prefix>_<layer name>

Attempt to correct layers with randomized expressions

Some expressions, like wiggle() are based on a random seed value. By default, this seed value is set to the index of the layer. When layers are extracted out of the precomp, their index will likely change, thus affecting the expression and their apparent position.

This option will attempt to counteract that change by adding a hardcoded random seed value to all transform expressions based on the initial layer index.

Notes on ‘Copy Pre-Comp Attributes to Layers’

Masks are not copied

Masks applied to your pre-comp will not be copied over to the extracted layers.

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

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.

General Notes

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions or comments or would like to report a bug, please open a support ticket on