What's your compositing workflow? Anybody using After Effects?

Hi people,

I’m brand new to Harmony and I’m curious about your compositing workflow. Anybody using After Effects? How do you usually handle your renderings from Harmony? Do you usually render out single layers with only special items/layers selected with alpha channels? Is there a way to render out only selected layers with a special module in the network without enabling/disabling the wanted layers in the timeline for each render layer manually?

I have yet only found descriptions how to render out multiple resolutions. Is there also a way to automatically render multiple files containing different layers of my animation? (Let’s say I want to basically render out the background and my character animations into different image sequences in order to composite them in After Effects…)


If you already read the user guide concerning render multiple resolutions the process is not very different. In that case, you’ll have different write modules connect to the same composite, because you want different versions - in terms of resolution, cropping, etc - of the same animation.

If you want to do simultaneous rendering of different layers you need to group them with their own composite and write modules.

The most simple multiple render scenario would be having all your character layers connected to composite A with write A, and the background connected to composite B with write B. You should be careful to name the output properly on the respective write modules to avoid accidental overwriting, for instance, changing “final-” respectively to “bg-” and “character-”.

You can make all possible combinations. You just need to assemble each output layer on a single composite. For instance, if you want just an arm separated from all the rest of the character, all the parts that make the arm should be connected to their composite/write.

When rendering, Harmony will render a frame for each write module that is active, so it’s the same if you want to render three different resolutions of the same composite or three different groups of layers each on their own composite.

Luis Canau

Concerning AE I’m relatively new to it, but I worked on a couple of times on layers output separately from Harmony. Naturally you can import it back if you need, for instance, to synch the effect with the animation or you can finalize it in AE if that’s more practical for what you intend to do.

Luis Canau

Thanks a lot, Luis!

Much appreciated!


well, I’m new to harmony, but I’ve been using AE for both character animation and comping for years now. I’ve use PNG sequences with alpha as well as SWFs for importing in AE. I must note that since upgrading to CS6, I’ve noticed my SWFs suddenly breaking…not sure how or why that is happening.

AE is pretty powerful, and you can do a ton of things with it that I dont think you can do in Harmony (image and color correction, multiple means of rendering and codecs, masks are very powerful, motion blur simulating camera lens focal lengths, etc). I dont foresee my giving up AE in my workflow anytime soon.

I use after effects to composite my harmony animations all the time. I think they work really well together. I usually render my harmony files as “animation” and check “keyframe - all” and I name each movie I render very carefully, so later if after compositing everything in after effects I decide theres something I want to change, I just render again on harmony and go “replace footage” on the AE library (or “reload footage” if you name it the same way in the same folder).
Hope that helps.