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Without compositions, an After Effects project is merely a list of footage items. Compositions describe how you arrange the footage items in space and in time. Here Peachpit author Antony Bolante shows you how to create and customize compositions.
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Creating Compositions

A composition contains layers of footage, and describes how you arrange them in space and time. This section explains how to create a composition; the following section describes how to choose specific settings that define a composition's spatial and temporal attributes.

To create a new composition:

  1. Do one of the following things: Choose Composition > New Composition (Figure 1).


    Press Command-n (Mac) or Ctrl-n (Windows).


    At the bottom of the Project window, click the Composition button (Figure 2).

    Figure 1

    Choose Composition > New Composition, or simply press Command-n (Mac) or Ctrl-n (Windows)...

    Figure 2

    ...or click the Composition button at the bottom of the Project window.

    A Composition Settings dialog box appears (Figure 3).

    Figure 3

    In the Composition Settings dialog box, enter the appropriate settings for the composition.

  2. In the Composition Settings dialog box, choose a name, frame size, pixel aspect ratio, frame rate, duration, and display resolution for the composition.

  3. Click OK to close the Composition Settings dialog box. A new composition appears in the Project window, and a related Composition window and Time Layout window open (Figure 4).

    Figure 4

    A composition appears in a Composition window, Time Layout window, and as an icon in the Project window.


• It's easy to forget to name the composition, or simply settle for the default name, Comp 1. Do yourself a favor and give the composition a descriptive name. This will help you stay organized as your project becomes more complex.

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