Snapping in AE CS3

Compositing and Motion Graphics

Snapping in AE CS3

Postby Despondo on 08/1/2008, 6:07 pm

I am currently creating a long slideshow type project in AE CS3. Using the shift key to snap, I am sliding footage and comps around in a master comp. All comps have the same specs (DV 720x480 widescreen @30 fps) and are all whole seconds in length (i.e. 03:00 sec vs 03:04, etc.). Upon rendering, I have noticed gaps in the final movie where footage and comps were snapped. When I zoom in to the problem areas, I notice that some footage is off by half a frame or so. Also, if my comp is exactly 15 sec long, the end of the footage never seems to snap to 15 seconds..It ends up at 14:29 or so. Any ideas what is happening?
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby Andrew Kramer on 08/1/2008, 6:11 pm

Thanks for keeping a neat subject line.

Snapping in AE can be a bit awkward because of the things it snaps to. have you tried doing a sequence layer command? It allows you to overlap or line up layers perfectly plus there are a few other tips as well.

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/e ... lideshows/

Good Luck.
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby Despondo on 08/1/2008, 6:19 pm

Yes, I am using that feature quite a bit, thanks to your fine tutorial. :-) The problem occurs when I am bringing a title comp (exactly 5 seconds) into another comp (43 seconds exactly) and then try to "alt-end" to send the title comp to the end. It goes to 42:29 or so, and I have to manually move it another frame to fill in that last gap. It's really weird... I have also seen it happening in other places as well. If I load in the 5 second title comp, and then go to 5:00 (5 sec, no frames) and then try to snap to the end of the comp, sometimes I get a gap, or an overlap. Maybe a couple of screen caps would show you better? Thanks for your help and great tutorials! I have learned a lot.
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby galvanisedoil on 08/1/2008, 6:35 pm

Hey I've experienced this problem as well. What I realised is that when you create a new composition and set the duration to say 5seconds that doesn't mean that the last frame will be at 5:00. This is because the comp starts at frame 0. If the last comp of your frame is 4:24/4:29 (depending what frame rate) then the duration of you comp is 5 seconds. If you want the last frame of your comp to be 5:00 then you need to set the duration of your composition to 5:01.
Hope that helps
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby Despondo on 08/1/2008, 6:54 pm

galvanisedoil wrote:Hey I've experienced this problem as well. What I realised is that when you create a new composition and set the duration to say 5seconds that doesn't mean that the last frame will be at 5:00. This is because the comp starts at frame 0. If the last comp of your frame is 4:24/4:29 (depending what frame rate) then the duration of you comp is 5 seconds. If you want the last frame of your comp to be 5:00 then you need to set the duration of your composition to 5:01.
Hope that helps


hmm...That does make sense, but I think I found another oddity that could be causing the problem. I just did a test, so I wonder if you could try and see if it does the same for you.

1. Create a comp that is 0:00:04:00 at 30 fps.
2. Create another comp that is 0:00:05:00 at 30 fps.
3. Drag the second comp into the first comp at frame 0
4. Drag some jps, etc. from your project window into the first comp (I usually drag to the layers area instead of the timeline or comp window as it snaps to the 0 frame)
3. zoom to the end of the first comp and hit the "end" key.

Why does the Current Time Indicator only go to 0:00:03:29?? Why can't I get to 0:00:04:00??
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby rev_65 on 08/1/2008, 7:06 pm

Despondo wrote:Why does the Current Time Indicator only go to 0:00:03:29?? Why can't I get to 0:00:04:00??
Like already has been said... your comp IS 4:00 sec long, but when AE starts time at 0.00 then 1 sec is 0.00 to 0.29 (30 frames) thus 4:00 sec @ 30 FPS starting with 0.00 will end with 3.29. That's just the way it is. :)
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby JesseT on 08/1/2008, 7:10 pm

Its because of what galvanisedoil just said. The first frame in the time line is frame 0. So if you take your 03:29 and add the first frame, which is frame 0, you get 04:00. If your time indicator said 04:00 like you want it to, the actual length of your project would be 4:01. Its weird to think about but thats how it works.
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby galvanisedoil on 08/1/2008, 7:13 pm

Yeah this is the problem that I was pointing out. When you go create a new comp and set it to 4s that is setting the duration of the composition not the end frame. If you look just above the duration setting you can see that the start timecode is set a 0:00:00. So 4seconds from that is 3:29. When you drag your 5s comp and othe jpgs into your 4s comp it won't change your last frame.
To fix I would go to your first comps settings and either:
1. Change the duration to 4:01 then you last frame will be 4:00 or
2. Change your start timecode to 0:01. This will leave your comp with a duration of 4s but give you a first frame of 0:01 and a last frame at 4:00

Also note that if you were to render out your 4second composition and then play it in Quicktime, at the last frame it should register that your video is actual a full 4seconds
Hope that is helpful
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby Despondo on 08/1/2008, 7:13 pm

Okay, I think I finally get it! A good example is a comp that is one frame long. You can put a keyframe at 0, but not at 0:00:00:01 since there is only one frame! Thanks for getting my head clear on this!! :D

I was confused since I come from a 3DS Max world where the timeline behaves a bit differently...
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Re: Snapping in AE CS3

Postby galvanisedoil on 08/1/2008, 7:37 pm

awesome. Yeah it is a little bit of a head twister to start off with. Like I said in my first post this got me stumped for a while
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