Groups vs Layer Comps

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Groups vs Layer Comps

Post by Jkoseattle » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:47 pm

If i'm not interested in exporting layers to third party software, what should I be using layer comps for? I'm reading about it, but I keep thinking that I can do everything they do using Groups. when do I want to use Groups vs Layers Comps?
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Re: Groups vs Layer Comps

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:00 pm

Layer Comps is a powerful feature in Moho and it generally has two uses.

The first is, it's a great system for breaking out a scene in layers for compositing. Use it to set up all the separate elements and combinations of elements so you can efficiently edit almost anything visual aspect of the scene as a post and save on costly re-renders. Using layer comps this way is not just for breaking out the obvious elements (background, midground, foreground, characters, etc.,) but it's also used to generate custom mattes, lighting elements, effects passes, special texture elements, to use in programs like AE, Fusion, Nuke, HitFilm, etc., in ways that a dedicated animation program like Moho isn't meant to handle. I highly recommend this approach; it's the normal workflow for the professional productions I work on, as well as in my personal projects. To make the most of rendering with Layer Comps, be sure to use Moho Exporter. After choosing your render settings inside the added project, just click on the Split By Layer Comp button. Then you can render all the 'split' scenes. (I usually remove my 'master' project from the queue because I normally only want the sub-layers for compositing. More about the 'master' layer below.)

The second use of Layer Comps is to manage your scene efficiently while your work on it. For example, if you have many layers for the environment (BG, FG, MG, many props like plants and trees, cars, buildings, furniture, clouds, etc.,) that can bog down processing power you might need to animate your characters. With a Layer Comp for the environment, you can easily disable all the related layers with a single click and re-enable them when your done animating the characters. Or, let's say you want to focus on animating a character's face and don't want to be distracted by everything else about the character. Make a Layer Comp for just the head features and you can hide and reveal the rest of the character with a click. As you might imagine, there's an infinite combination of ways to use the feature this way to make your scene more efficient to work with.

Tip #1: Before you start creating Layer Comps, do yourself a favor and create a 'Master' layer comp. This is a Layer Comp that reveals all the layers for the complete scene that you want to see in the final render. It makes it super convenient to switch back when your done working on a single layer comp, or if you some how mess up the visible state or all your layers and groups without using layer comps. Don't rely on the 'Show All Layers' option because that's not necessarily the same thing because this command reveals layers you may have intentionally hidden from the final render.

Tip #2: One flaw with Layer Comps is that your settings do not carry into other projects when you import or copy/paste them. Fortunately, Synthsin75 graciously came up with an Import Layer Comps script that does allow you to bring this data into another project. You can download it from here: ... ps#p184218

Hope this helps.
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