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Difference between Linking and Sharing

The Link section describes how to connect one parameter to another, which can be done if they are the same type and dimension. With linking you have the concept of the driver and driven parameters, since one parameter controls the other and prevents it from being modified. The driver value or state overrides the driven one.

In order to dive deeper into the interaction between parameters, Autograph uses the concept of sharing instead of connecting, where parameters are both drivers and driven:

  • Linking establishes a unidirectional connection between the driver and the driven parameters.
  • Sharing sets the parameters to refer to a common intermediate value.

Note that in the case of linking, the connection goes in only one direction. In the case of sharing, it goes in both directions.

  • When linking: you can only modify the driver value, the driven one being controlled and therefore blocked
  • When sharing: whether you change the value of one parameter or the other, it will be updated on both sides.

Sharing is not limited to just two parameters, it is possible to share this value with hundreds of parameters across compositions, 3D scenes, you name it.


Remember, the only constraint is that in order to share parameters they must be the same type and the same dimension. You can't share Source Text with Position. It would not make sense. You can’t share a Position parameter that has 2 dimensions with a Rotation that has only one dimension. However, through Separated mode, you can split a 2D parameter into two 1D parameters. Then you can link either the X or Y Position value to the Rotation.

For more detail about splitting dimensions, please refer to the Managing dimensions section.

Everything can be shared

We talked about sharing a numerical value between several parameters; but, you can share absolutely everything in Autograph.

Here are some examples of what you can share:

  • All Modifier parameters: to completely synchronize a blur shared between different layers
  • A complete Modifiers group: to apply the same Modifiers on different layers and keep track of any changes in the group, including adding and removing Modifiers
  • A Path or a Paths group: to synchronize curves between different parameters
  • Partial or complete Transform: to apply the same perfectly-synchronized movement to several layers, if any change is made
  • A complete layer: you can even copy/paste a layer sharing all parameters, including Generators, the Source, Masks, Modifiers, Visibility... everything!

In this last case, you may wonder why you would want to make a complete copy of a layer that would overlap perfectly with its identical copy, no matter what changes are made. First, these two identical layers could be placed at different levels in the Stack to sandwich other layers.

Second, it's possible to locally unshare one or more parameters to override a value, Generator, Modifier, state, etc., only for a specific layer.

So you can synchronize thousands of parameters in a single Share Group used by hundreds of layers to locally take control of one of them, as described in the Local parameter override section.