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Chapter 10. Expressions > Linking Animation Data

Linking Animation Data

It's good to start simple, but the bread and butter job of expressions is to link animation data when, for whatever reason, the other means of linking data will not do. Other linking methods all have their place, but have their limitations as well:

  • Parenting is a great way to link translation data between layers, but not if you want to exclude part of the data—for example, to include position but not rotation—or if you want to link translation data to properties, such as brushes and effects positions, that are tied to effects rather than the layer itself.

  • Pre-composing allows you to group layers, but not to link their actual data in more sophisticated ways.

  • Copying and pasting keyframes is possible and will even allow you to copy data from one property over to a completely different property, but the link is not “live.” If anything changes with the source, you have to recopy to the target, and you cannot easily scale or offset the result, nor go from a one-channel to a multiple-channel property or vice versa. Furthermore, this method has a high possibility of user error and is largely outmoded by the expressions pickwhip (Figure 10.3).

    Figure 10.3. The pickwhip in action: Set it by dragging from the pickwhip item to the target property.


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