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Chapter 4. Compositions > The Composition and Time Layout Windows

The Composition and Time Layout Windows

Every composition can be represented by the Composition window and the Time Layout window. Whenever you create or open a composition, its related Composition and Time Layout windows also open. These two windows furnish you with different ways of looking at a composition and manipulating the layers it contains. This section gives an overview of each window, emphasizing how they show layers along with their spatial and temporal relationships.

The Composition window

The Composition window (Figure 4.33) displays the visible layers of footage at the current frame of a composition. In the Composition window, you can visually preview a composition. It not only shows the layers as they are rendered within the visible frame, but also their placement outside the frame. The Composition window includes various controls for viewing layers of a composition (many of which are shared by the Footage and Layer windows) as well as controls for setting the current frame and resolution of the composition. You can move and scale layers directly in the Composition window, and see information such as their paths, keyframes, and tangents.

Figure 4.33. The Composition window.


The Time Layout window

The Time Layout window (Figure 4.34) graphically represents a composition as layers in a time line. A vertical line—called the time marker—corresponds to the current frame pictured in the Composition window. In the Time Layout window, each layer occupies a row, and they are stacked vertically. (Unlike the "tracks" of many non-linear editing programs, each row contains only one layer.) The layers that are higher in the stacking order of the Time Layout window appear in front of lower layers when viewed in the Composition window. The Time Layout window isn't merely an alternative view of the composition; it gives you precise control over virtually every attribute of each layer in a composition.

Figure 4.34. The Time Layout window.


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