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Image boundaries

A format defines a frame in pixels representing the boundaries of an image. While compositions in Autograph are considered infinite in size, if a composition has to produce an image to be saved to storage or reused in a project, an output size must be defined.


Format parameters can be found in:

  • The parameters that define the composition
  • The viewer, whose format may be temporarily overridden, for example when testing out the different versions of a responsive design template
  • Layers using a composition as a source, acting as a sub-composition. Here too, you can use a composition by setting a format other than the one defined when it was created.

Clipping according to the format

Since compositions have an infinite size in Autograph, the viewer is able to display their content with or without taking the format boundaries into account. The Clipping option, which can be found at the bottom of the viewer, is active by default and serves to crop the areas that are outside of the format. As a result, elements outside of the format are not visible. If, however, this option is disabled, you can view all of the elements that fill the composition, including those outside of the format, by zooming out.


You can better appreciate a layer’s field of entry during an animation by visualizing its off-screen trajectory. Don’t forget, however, that when the final images are produced, it is this frame area that will be used by default to define their size.

Rognage du visualiseur

Enabled and disabled clipping in the viewer

When using a composition as a layer source, what we often refer to as a sub-composition, the user has the option to crop the content outside of the format. If the crop is not in effect, then the sub-composition acts solely as a sort of layer group, allowing the artist to better organize their layer stack.

Format and Bounding Box

The format uses the coordinate system’s coordinates to position and extend itself on either side of it. As an example, a Full HD size format, representing an image of 1920×1080 pixels, will extend itself in this coordinate system from (-960,-540) to (960,540).

For more information on the 2D coordinate system Autograph uses, please refer to its dedicated page.

When clipping is disabled, the viewer also displays the Bounding Box of the composition content, represented by a dotted frame. This frame represents the “combined content” area of a set of layers. It is this area that tells Autograph which pixels to render.

The Format parameter, found in many generators and modifiers, displays a list of the most used formats; however, it is possible to add your own custom formats to this list.