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Layers to sub-comp

Now you know that it's possible to place one composition inside of another, using it as a Source for a new layer; but, this requires anticipating that some layers must be grouped into a composition, before dragging this composition into another.

The need to group layers in a sub-comp can often become apparent during the stacking process. Let's imagine that our layer stack looks like:

  • Logo_Part003
  • Logo_Part002
  • Logo_Part001
  • Background_Part002
  • Background_Part001

It could be convenient to group the "Background" layers into a sub-comp to apply some _Modifiers onto it for example, and do the same in another sub-comp for all "Logo" layers.

This can be done by selecting a group of layers, then going to the Action menu at the top of the Timeline, represented by a wrench icon, and choosing Sub-Composition From Selection. A pop-up will appear to ask you the name of this new composition. After validating, the new composition will appear in the Project panel, and the selected layers will be replaced by this sub-comp.


After creating these two sub-comps, only two layers will be visible in the stack

  • Logo_SubComp
  • Background_Subcomp

These sub-comps now have specific options, described in this section.

Using a sub-comp as a simple group

The Action menu offers another way to gather layers in a sub-comp, called Layer Group From Selection. The process is exactly the same, but two composition options are automatically turned ON:

  • Pass Through Sub-Comp: the blending modes of all inner layers will be preserved as if they still were in the main composition. For more detail, please refer to this particular section.
  • Use Parent Comp Format: if some layers are positioned according to the composition format (using Composition info or Anchor to comp for instance) to create a responsive template, this behavior will still be evaluated according to the parent comp format.

The sub-comp then behaves as a simple group, with the purpose of both better organizing its layers and defining a group of graphic elements to replicate by using a "Layer Image" Generator for example.