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A composition (or "comp" for short) is the container in which layers can be stacked to produce a composite image. With no composition, you cannot composite anything.

It's mainly defined by:

  • A format
  • A duration
  • A frame rate

Its coordinate system defines the origin (0,0) at the center of the composition. Although a format is associated with it, a composition is considered to have an infinite size in Autograph. A layer placed outside of the format will not necessarily be cropped when reusing this composition in another composition.

The duration is also just embedded information used, for example, by the Render Manager, to know when Autograph will have to stop rendering a video; but, a composition is considered to have an infinite duration too. If a layer starts to appear at 40 seconds in a composition that last 30 seconds, this layer will obviously not be visible when you render the composition; but, if you reuse this composition elsewhere and locally extend its duration, this layer can be retrieved.

In Autograph, nothing is destructive. Each blur added to an image, each transformation applied to a layer, can be removed or tweaked later.

If we go back to the hamburger example used in the description of a layer stack, you can imagine a composition as a box in which the hamburger is placed, and the format being the edges of the box, with the exception that food can pass through.

Compositions over time:

A comp is not only made to stack layers. You can also animate layer parameters over time. That’s why there is always a timeline associated with a composition. The stack on the left is made to manage layer stacking, the dope sheet on the right is to manage timing.


Please refer to this section to know more about the timeline.

Creating a new compositon

To add a new composition to your project, click on the corresponding icon at the top of the Project Panel.