April 2, 2011

ETLAT: Edit this, look at that

Chris and Trish Meyer posted another part in their series CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 18 – Nesting. The focus here is on how to efficiently navigate and edit a chain of nested comps, and looking under the hood a bit to help you trouble­shoot. Especially interesting is coverage of ETLAT or “Edit This, Look at That,” which is the result of locking a Panel then viewing or working in another Composition. ETLAT lets you preview changes downstream while working in a nested comp, and beyond. AE Help explains:

"If a Composition viewer is locked, the Timeline panel for another composition is active, and the Composition viewer for the active composition is not shown, then most commands that affect views and previews operate on the composition for which the viewer is shown. For example, pressing the spacebar can start a standard preview for the composition visible in a locked Composition viewer rather than the composition associated with the active Timeline panel."

CMG presented additional use cases for ETLAT. CS5 added several more several more features so that now "ETLAT behavior works for keyboard shortcuts for zooming, fitting, previewing, taking and viewing snapshots, showing channels, showing and hiding grids and guides, and showing the current frame on a video preview device."

One shortcut that may be handy is Shift+Esc to toggle between two compositions. There's more in AE Help and in Creating Motion Graphics.

Update: Chris Meyer covered CS 5.5 updates to ETLAT in video, as did Todd Kopriva, and later shared another example from After Effects Apprentice:

After Effects Apprentice 15: Final Project | by Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

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