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How to Duplicate Compositions in After Effects Correctly?

How do you copy a composition without changing original? How to duplicate independent composition? Solution: change content in one composition and it changes in another too. The most common wrong way to duplicate the composition.

In this tutorial we will learn how you can duplicate independent composition including the sub-compositions that are inside the main composition.

The wrong way to duplicate the composition⤵️

When you already have a ready-made composition and you want to duplicate it. t seems that the easiest way to press command + D and a copy will appear.

But in this case, if we replace the content in the placeholders, then it will be replaced in both compositions.
So, this method is not correct.

4 ways to duplicate a composition correctly with independent content

1. Save new composition as an .aep file

Create a new composition.

If you wanna to make your video special let`s add professionally designed templates from the TOP Hyper Project by EasyEdit Studio

Now import the content you’ll be using.
Go inside to the composition and add content to each placeholder.

To save this composition as an ae file go to File > Save > Save As > Select the path and write a name for new file.

Next go to File > Import > File > select the file that we`ve saved earlier.

Find the layer with the main composition and open it.
Go inside to the composition and change the content to another one. You can also replace content in other placeholders.

Content has changed, but on this composition it has remained the same.

2. Use a plugin to duplicate a composition

This is perhaps the easiest and fastest way. You can download this plugin True Comp Duplicator. You can download here
Right click on the main layer > Reveal > Reveal Layer Source in Project

Select the layer in the Project panel and launch the plugin.

Set the number of copies and click Duplicate Selected.

Click OK > close the plugin.
The layer is duplicated. We drag it to the Timeline, go inside and replace the placeholders with another content.

3. Duplicate the pre-comps and replace them manually

The third method is perhaps the longest and the most difficult, but it works.
Let’s create another one of the same composition.
Right click on the main layer – Reveal – Reveal Layer Source in Project.

Duplicate the layer you found > add it to the second composition > Go inside > find the path of the first placeholder.
Now duplicate this placeholder > name it Placeholder_01.1 > find its path as well.

❓❗️ How do you copy a composition without changing original?

As we can see, both placeholders have the same path, which means that if we replace the content in one, it will be also replaced in the another.
HOW TO FIX THIS: duplicate the layer that is linked to these placeholders in the Project panel > Give it another name > holding Alt drag it to the Placeholder_01.1 layer.
You can remove the first layer > Repeat this action with the rest of the placeholders > Then replace the content in the placeholders with another one.
As you can see here, you have replaced the content, but on the first composition it has remained the same.

4. Import another composition from EasyEdit Viewer

The fourth method is suitable for those who have EasyEdit Viewer installed. It`s totally free extension for After Effects and Premiere Pro users that help to work in these programs. Also you can find TOP animated templates inside.
In order to duplicate a composition, you do not need to use the previously listed methods, you just need to import one more composition to the Timeline. It is imported clean and independent.

Hope you will find this tutorial useful💙