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Layer baseline

A layer is the basic element that allows you to populate a composition. It makes up one of the elements of the layer stack.


Glossary and content

The triangle on the left of the layer baseline provides access to the layer parameters described in the following sections. For now, we will focus on the contents of the main line of the layer.

  • Index: the number of the layer position in the stack, starting from the top and beginning with 001.

  • Color label: sets the color of the block in the Dope Sheet (right side of the Timeline). Clicking on this label allows you to choose another color.

  • Name: defines the name of the layer. Pressing the F2 key after selecting it allows you to rename it. Naming layers accordingly is key for optimal organization.

  • Quick source connection slot: represented by a disconnected, grayed-out plug by default, this slot allows you to choose the type of graphic source connected to the layer by clicking on it. This connector is a shortcut that allows you to quickly choose the layer source without having to unfold the Source parameter.

  • Blending mode and opacity: here again, you have quick access to two parameters that are also available when unfolding a layer. By clicking on the icon on the left of this controller, you can change the layer's blend mode. The right part is dedicated to the layer’s opacity. Note that this quick access controller does not allow you to animate these two parameters. To do so, you must unfold the layer in order to have access to the animation controllers. Also note that if an animation is added to one of these parameters, this "meta-controller" will be partially or completely grayed-out, in order to avoid adding animation keys by mistake, by handling the slider for example.

  • 2D/3D toggle: allows you to change a 2D layer into 3D mode and vice versa, adding a second Transform 3D parameter to the list. To learn more about Autograph’s 3D capabilities, see the dedicated section.

  • Visibility: represented by an eye, it allows the layer to be completely hidden, by visually excluding it from the render displayed in the Viewer. The layer always exists in the stack and can be used by other elements, through parenting or referencing by external sources (Layer Image for example). This parameter cannot be animated, but it can be used in correlation with the visibility keys.

  • Solo: allows you to only display the layer(s) that have this option enabled in the stack. This allows you to inspect one or more layers (usually temporarily) to better examine their contribution to the stack. It's possible to render a composition that only takes into account the layers defined in Solo mode.

  • Lock: prevents the layer from being selected, either in the stack or in the Viewer. In the Viewer, the click selection passes through the locked layers, as if they were not visually present. Since locked layers cannot be selected, they also cannot be moved.