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Shared Elements

Here you'll find how to share some elements (video layers, compositions etc.) in order to use the same content for multiple tasks, as it is done with pre-compositions in After Effects.

This feature of smode allow to do a lot of procedural effects and to rationalize your compositions. Here is an example in which the same composition is used as an image, a texture for a 3D model and a displacement mask :

 

Why sharing an element ?

Sharing an element, beyond being quite useful for composition in general, is also quite nice when it comes to performances. In a matter of fact, sharing an element and re-use it allow to the GPU to do less computation and less hard drive acces and VRAM use (and it become crucial when we are talking about video layers).

So if you want to put the same video stockshot everywhere in different parts of your composition, you'll need to share it before spreading it all around.

How to share a Layer (composition, video, image etc.)

To share an element : right click -> Share Element

This will result in transforming the current layer as a reference (02) and create it's source (01)

Now you can use Ctrl+drag and drop to create a new reference

If you want to import one of the reference : right click -> Import

This will result in transforming an instance into an independant layer :

If you shared only an image and you want to turn your source image or video into a composition, no problems, just select the source and turn it into a composition, either with right click -> Make Compo or Ctrl+Shift+C.

Now you can add any new media you want to to your shared composition

 

How to use it

Well, as in After Effects precompositions, your source will stay the same but every one if it's references can be modified in any kind of way. Inside the example composition you can find "Procedural Terrain Generation" (also in the tutorial part of the documentation) in which two shared compositions "color" and "Displace" are used in many places to set up the mountain texture and relief as well as the trees size and orientation.