After Effect’s Fill effect is a very useful effect. If you have never used you probably should look into it. It’s the simplest effect. It just applies a color onto a layer. Basic stuff.

The weird thing with this effect is that its opacity property acts the same as with the Transform effect. It just bypasses the layer’s opacity. I’ve thought long and hard about why the After Effects team could’ve made that decision and never got to any conclusion. This feels like a bug that was called a feature but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

CC Composite is the solution

Now, there is a somewhat simple, yet not evident, way to fix this. The magic of CC Composite, a lesser-known effect that allows to composite your initial layer in your layer’s effects stack.


How to use checkbox expressions in After Effects

Written on 15 September 2013, 01:42pm under Quick Tips

Tagged with: ,

You will often find yourself toggling the visibility of layers in After Effects. This can get really cumbersome and hazardous to click all those little eye icons in deeply nested compositions. Having a controller layer on top of everything with some checkbox expressions can really help organizing everything out.

Select the layer you’d want to toggle and add this expression in its opacity property.

(comp("the-comp-name").layer("the-layer-name").effect("the-checkbox-effect")("Checkbox") == 1 ? value : 0)

This layer will then show when the checkbox is checked. To invert the effect, just invert the value and the 0.

Heads up!

Most layers, when hidden, will not add time to renders and RAM Previews although sometimes, mostly when the hidden layer has expressions, it will still be processed when rendering.