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Image boundaries

A Format defines a frame in pixels representing the boundaries of an image. Although 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 Composition parameters
  • The Viewer, where the 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 initial one.

Clipping according to the Format

Since compositions have an infinite size in Autograph, the Viewer can display composition 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 get a better idea of a layer’s field of entry during an animation by visualizing its off-screen trajectory. Remember however, that when the final images are produced, it is this frame area that will be used by default to define their size.

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Clipping and disabled clipping in the Viewer

When using a composition as a layer Source (what we often refer to as a Sub-composition), you have the option to crop the content outside of the Format. If the crop is not in effect, then the Sub-composition just acts as a sort of layer group, which lets you better organize the layer stack.

Format and Bounding Box

The Format uses the coordinate system’s coordinates to position and extend itself on both sides. For 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 Autograph's 2D coordinate system, 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 commonly used Formats; however, you can add your own custom Formats to this list.