Refresh Connections

Refreshes connections of Precomp Clones, Clones in Comp, Group Mattes, and Linked Adjustment Layers (Win: Ctrl+Alt+Q, Mac: macControl+Q).

To execute Refresh Connections, you need to have one of these layers selected:

  • a Precomp Clone, or one of its contained layers, or - if it's a Group Clone - new group layers, not yet contained in the clone

  • a Clone in Comp source layer - not the clone layer itself, though

  • a Group Matte layer, or layers contained in a group with a Group Matte (also: new group layers, net yet added to the Group Matte)

  • a Linked Adjustment Layer - not the Linked Layers, though (except for when it is a new group layer, not yet contained in a Group Linked Adjustment Layer)

If no layer is selected, connections of all Precomp Clones, Clones in Comp, Group Mattes and Linked Adjustment Layers will be refreshed. (Depending on the number of elements, this may take a bit.)

In case, something isn't refreshing correctly, you might want to try Quick Refresh Connections on that layer.

Please be aware that Refresh Connections is a different type of refresh than Refresh Layout. Read up here for more info on the difference between Refresh Layout and Refresh Connections.

Refreshing Precomp Clones

Because not all properties of clone layers can be linked to their source layers by expressions, you need to hit Refresh Connections to refresh non-linkable properties of Precomp Clones. These properties include:

  • Changed layer order

  • Changed 3D renderer

  • Added/deleted effects and masks

  • Effects and masks order

  • Changed non-linkable properties, like:

    • Certain dropdowns, sliders, or checkboxes on effects that can't be keyframed

    • Effects with a custom UI

    • A referenced layer on an effect's layer control

    • Mask modes, inverted state, motion blur, and roto bezier state

  • Added/deleted properties within shape and text layers

  • Added/changed/deleted parent

  • Layer switches:

    • Collapse transformation

    • Quality and sampling

    • Frame blending

    • Motion blur

    • Adjustment layer

    • 3D layer

  • Blending mode

  • Preserve transparency

  • Track matte state

  • In/out point

  • Start time

  • Stretch

Changes to certain properties on the dedicated Precomp Clone effects will need Refresh Connections as well to be applied. (This is also noted next to the property.)

Certain comp attributes unfortunately can't be updated by Refresh Connections, like Shadow Map Resolution of the Classic 3D renderer, or Render Quality of the Advanced 3D renderer. To change those, please go into the clone comp and change the properties yourself.

Refreshing Clones in Comp

On Clones in Comp, fewer attributes than Precomp Clone layers need refreshing. There is no need to refresh any changes on masks or effects anymore. However, changed layer switches, parents, blending modes and layer time properties still require refreshing.

Refreshing Group Mattes

Use Refresh Connections on Group Mattes always when:

  • Layers have been added/removed to/from the group

  • The matte layer has been changed within the dedicated Group Matte effect

Refreshing Linked Adjustment Layers

Use Refresh Connections on Linked Adjustment Layers every time effects have been added/deleted, the effects order has been changed, or non-linkable effect properties have been changed.

Quick Refresh Connections

Refreshes connections faster than the regular Refresh Connections (Win: Alt+F2, Mac: macControl+2).

Whereas the regular Refresh Connections will delete all clone layers within a clone comp and replace them with new clone layers, Quick Refresh Connections will match all attributes of the source and clone layer. In most cases this is faster, however, not all attributes can be read (and therefore be matched) via scripting. Not matchable properties include:

  • Effects with a layer control property. Whereas the referenced layer from the control can be read, its second dropdown Source / Masks / Effects & Masks cannot be accessed via scripting.

  • Effects with a custom interface. Only actual values, like numbers, colors, layer references, etc. can be matched by Workflower.

To combat this, when executing Quick Refresh Connections, the currently selected layers will be checked for whether they contain non-readable effects, and if they do, the layers will be cloned and replaced within the clone comp. (This, however, will take a bit longer than just matching the attributes.) Be aware that only the selected layers will potentially be cloned and replaced, not other layers in the same clone comp.

When no layer is selected, Quick Refresh Connections will refresh connections of all Precomp Clones, Clones in Comp, Linked Adjustment Layers, and Group Mattes within the current comp.

Currently, only Precomp Clones will be refreshed faster when using Quick Refresh Connections compared to regular Refresh Connections. In a future release, you will also be able to refresh Linked Adjustment Layers faster.

(Fixed in version 1.1 ->) As of now, Quick Refresh Connections does not refresh Layer Styles. Please use the regular Refresh Connections to refresh them for the time being.

Because of its drawbacks, Quick Refresh Connections is only recommended to users that are aware of its limitations.

The Quick Refresh Connections function, built into Refresh Layout, differs from the actual Quick Refresh Connections function. For more information, see its chapter in Refresh Layout.

Add / Remove Layer References

Adds and removes layer references to and from Precomp Clones, Matte Merge Layers, and Linked Adjustment Layers (Win: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I, Mac: no default shortcut).

Note for Mac users and when using Individual Scripts Mode on Windows: The default shortcut for this function has been removed in version 2.0. (If you still want to use a shortcut, please set it yourself in the shortcuts panel.)

Adding / Removing Layer References to / from Workflower Layers

First, select the layers that should be added or removed, and as the last layer, select the Precomp Clone, Matte Merge Layer, or Linked Adjustment Layer. Then hit Add / Remove Layer References.

Using this function, it's a lot faster to add multiple layers compared to just duplicating the dropdown effect on a Precomp Clone or Linked Adjustment Layer and then having to select the layers using the dropdown for each layer individually.

Be aware that, on Matte Merge Layers, the order in which layers have to be selected, is reversed using Add / Remove Layer References compared to the Merge Mattes function. If you execute Merge Mattes to add new matte layers, you need to select the Matte Merge Layer first, then the mattes.

Adding / Removing Layer References to / from regular Properties

As of version 2.0, when the first selected layer has properties selected that contain a layer control (e.g. Set Matte effect) AND only two layers in total are selected, the function sets the contained layer control to the second layer (regardless of whether it's a Precomp Clone, Matte Merge Layer, or Linked Adjustment Layer).

You may also select the layer control property directly in AE's timeline. This might be necessary when an effect contains multiple layer controls (as otherwise all layer controls within the effect would be set).

Links or unlinks properties of selected Precomp Clones and Linked Adjustment Layers (Win: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+0; Mac: no default shortcut).

When you're done working a Precomp Clone or Linked Adjustment Layer, execute Link / Unlink Properties to unlink all properties in order to work faster since expressions slow down your performance. When you want to come back to work on your Precomp Clone or Linked Adjustment Layer, execute Link / Unlink Properties again to link the properties.

To (un)link a Precomp Clone, you need to have the Precomp Clone or one of its contained layers selected to execute the function. To (un)link a Linked Adjustment Layer, you need to have the Linked Adjustment Layer selected (not one of the Linked Layers, though).

If no layer is selected and Link / Unlink Properties is executed, properties of all Precomp Clones and Linked Adjustment Layers in the current comp (or the entire project) can be linked/unlinked. This is useful when you, for example, want to render and all elements should be unlinked to get the maximum render performance. Link all properties again when you get back to working on the comp.

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