Free Compose

  • Compatibility After Effects
    Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below

Author: Steven Twigg

Subscribe for notifications
Subscribe for new version notifications Subscribe
Try Add to Wishlist

Quick Overview

Group messy layers without breaking expressions, parenting, or cropping. Much like a pre-compose you can open in the same layer stack.

Full features list in the GIFs seen below.

NEW! (December 27 2022)

You can now add a track matte to your group layer and layers inside will follow suite, unless they have a pre-existing track matte. On releasing a group, any layers with the same track matte as the group layer will have their matte removed.

What can I do with Free Compose?


Group any layers.

Select any layers and hit the 'Make Group' button. Hold alt if you don't want layers parented.


Show and hide layers or groups

Show all the layers, or hold alt to show only a group's nested group layers.


Move groups' layers easily in the timeline

Move all your groups' contained layers in the timeline just by moving the group.


Doesn't cut off layer content like pre composing does

Group things right in place, don't worry about whether they'll be cut off.


Add FX by groups

Simply add or remove effects from a group layer and control from there. Nested groups' effects are ordered accordingly.


Mask groups while keeping layers accessible

Easily mask a group's layers by adding a mask to the group layer. Masks can be set to calculate before or after any effect. Layers are easily moved inside the mask almost like a track matte.


Control Visibility & Audibility

Control the group layers' visibility and audibility with prior state remembered.


Time Stretch

Stretch the layers just by stretching the group.


Duplicate Groups

Duplicate groups with one simple click.


Nested groups parented at average positions

By default, groups are parented logically at the layers' average position. Change this at any time, even after animating.

Coming soon: solo groups button
After Effects 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018