AE: Duplicate composition with it’s precomps

In this quick video we demonstrate a simple way of duplicating compositions that contain nested precomps, without the need for any 3rd party tools. If your project is very complicated, you can first save a temporary copy and use the “reduce project” command to eliminate all other comps besides the ones you need to duplicate before importing it to your main project.

Written version:

Let’s quickly create a composition hierarchy with several nested precomps. We’ll add a text layer, precompose it, make a copy of the precomp and add some effects. Now let’s precompose one more time and add some more effects. We have now a main composition with several nested precompositions. Now imagine we need to make alternative versions with some changes to the text. If we simply duplicate the output composition and open it up, then dig in to the nested precomps to change the text, we can see how also the original output composition gets the new text. That’s not what we want, so let’s undo that.

We could make duplicates also from the nested precomps and replace them one by one, but that’s a lot of work. Here’s one way of getting an independent copy of the entire hierarchy. Let’s first make sure the project is saved. Then simply import the project into itself, by going to file, import, file. Now we have a separate copy of the comp structure. Let’s add a folder for the old structure just to stay organized. If we open up the original text precomp and change the text, we can see how it changes only in the new version of the output composition.

If your project is more complicated, you can first save a temporary copy of it and use the project manager to reduce the project to only the compositions you need to duplicate and the import that file into your main project.

Thanks for watching and see you next time on!

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