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Free Compose

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

Author: Steven Twigg

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Quick Overview

Layer groups like Photoshop without breaking expressions, parenting, or cropping. Much like a pre-compose you can open in the same layer stack.

Latest new feature: ✅ Track Mattes!

Add a track matte to your group layer and refresh. Layers without an existing track matte will update to match the group. Some layers may require automatic precomposing.

Next planned update: Scalable, compact UI

What can I do with Free Compose?

✅ Group layers like Photoshop


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

✅ Expand/collapse 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 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.

After Effects 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018