Extending the number of placeholders in an After Effects Project

Usually, extending the number of placeholders in an After Effects project can be time consuming and tedious. We’ve a got a little trick to make it faster and easier.

Keep reading and see how Remus managed to do it in just 3 steps.

Note: Don’t forget to watch the video tutorial, it’s only 5 minutes long and takes you step-by-step to the whole process of extending the number of placeholders in an AE project.

So let’s jump right into it and head over to the main comp.
This project has 5 video and text placeholders.
That means you can only add 5 images or videos.

So what happens if you decide to extend the number of placeholders? ⬇

Well, normally you would have to go through multiple tediuos and time comsuming steps.

You would need to duplicate the placeholders comps, the reflection comps, the rotation null layers – as you can see each comp is paranted to a spin null – and finally extend the duration of the main comp and position everything in 3D space and of course re-adjust the rotation keyframes.

Are you still with us? ⬇

Yes, we know, that’s a lot of work, but the good news is that there is a simple solution.
So let’s go ahead and see how it’s done.

    1. First we need to close the project and then we’ll bring it back to After Effects
      as an import.
    2. Right click, import-file and choose the AE project file.
    3. Next, we’ll import it once more. I’ll name the first folder “Part 01” and the 2nd one “Part 02”


What next? ⬇

Here’s the video tutorial:


Let’s take the first main comp and drag it onto the new comp button.

drag the main comp to the new comp button
We’ll extend the duration because we’ll have more placeholders, so we’ll choose

“Composition ➨ Composition Settings”

and extend the duration.

extend the duration in the composition settings

Next, we’ll also bring the second main comp into the timeline.

Keep reading, here comes the third big step ⬇

Now we just need to move around these layers a bit until we get a seamless animation.
Here’s where the last placeholder animation ends for the first comp, we’ll trim this here.

I’m pressing Alt+right bracket to trim the end


And here’s where the animation starts for the second comp. We’ll trim it here.

trim the beginning

Alt+left bracket to trim the beginning of the comp.

So let’s take a quick look. It looks great.
Now I’ll also add some photos real quick so you can see the actual results.
I have a few images already prepared. Just bare with me for a second.

So here it is. We have just doubled the number of placeholders.
We can now add 10 images instead of just 5.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tip tutorial and hopefully it will make your life
easier when editing after effects projects and templates.

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Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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