The structure of data driven videos can be dynamic and changeable. You do that by splitting your project into scenes. All the scenes together make up a scene library. In After effects, the scenes are represented as top level compositions. We call these compositions scene comps.
The following image shows an example scene comp:
A scene comp is built out of a combination of placeholder layers, static comps and helper layers.
- Placeholder layers: These layers are, as they are called, a placeholder for changing data. The content will change from render to render. This can be text, images, video, audio, or color. You are not limited to the number of, or the hierarchal location of placeholder layers, but they have to be in the top level of the scene comp—not precomped. Read more about them in their own section.
- Static comps: Static layers are all the layers that won't change from render to render. All static content has to be held in static comps.
- Helper layers: are cameras and nulls. These are optional and can be part of scene comps and static comps.
If a scene comp doesn't have placeholder layers, there are no rules as to how to setup that scene or comp. It can stay as it is.
More often than not a lot of the work is going to be done in the static comps. Here are some rules relating to static comps:
- There are no limitations to what you can do inside static comps. You can use any feature you have, including third party plugins and scripts.
- You're allowed up to three static comps in every scene comp. These represent the background, midground and foreground of your layer hierarchy, with placeholders inbetween where needed.
- You can also use static comps as track mattes. Keep in mind these will still be counted for your three static comp allowance.
- As adjustment layers, shape layers, and cinema 4D layer can't be used for placeholders, they can only be used inside static comps.
- Turn collapse off on static comps held in scene comps.
- The fewer static comps you have the faster your project will package and render.
Eventually the static comps will be rendered locally on your computer, and the dynamic content will be replaced with customer data later, and rendered in the cloud on Idomoo's render engine.
The scene comp is what's packaged in the end, therefore everything to do with the scene has to be held inside the scene comp, and not anywhere else.
You can hold the scene comps in a master comp. Though no changes done in this comp will have an effect on the final result, it is convenient to spread out the scenes in a way that you will be using them in the end, as can be seen in the following figure:
- Supported AE versions: AE CC 2015 through AE CC 2019
- Scene composition resolution: Any resolution up to 1920 x 1920
- Frame rate: any FPS up to 30
- Pixel aspect ratio: square pixels
- 8 or 16-bit color depth