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A composition (or "comp" for short) is the container in which layers can be stacked to produce a composite image. You cannot composite anything without a composition.

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 compositions have a set format, in Autograph they are considered to be infinite in size. If you place a layer outside of the composition format it will not necessarily be cropped when reusing this composition in another one.

Composition duration is also just embedded information used by the Render Manager for example, to determine when Autograph will have to stop rendering a video; but, a composition is considered to have an infinite duration as well. 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. Any blurs added to an image or any transformations 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 composition isn't just for stacking 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 for managing layer stacking and the Dope sheet on the right is for managing 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 composition icon at the top of the Project Panel.