Working with Groups

With so many connections and nodes possible, the Timeline and Node views can quickly become crowded. Keep things organized by grouping your nodes.

You can create a simple group or a group with a Composite node. There are several advantages to using the Group Selection With Composite command over the simple Group Selection (which references both the Group layer in the Timeline view and the Group node in the Node view.

One of the advantages of using this command is that it groups all the selected elements into a neat node that has a nested composite. This means there is only one connection coming out of the Group node. With the simple Group node or command, the Group displays the same number of connections as elements in the group. Both grouping commands display the same structure in the Timeline view.

The Group Selection With Composite command should only be used before any work has been done in the Node view and is recommended for objects whose stacking order is of no consequence.

Using the Group Selection from Composite command on elements that have effects, have been tweaked in the Node view, or whose stacking order is of consequence, may cause the grouped elements to lose their properties once grouped in this way. In addition, though you may only select a few nodes to group, if there are other layers in the Timeline view that exist between the selected layers, they will automatically be grouped, even if not selected.

Once you create a group node, it is easy to enter into or exit from it.

Using the Move to Parent Group command allows you to move the selected node to the parent level, maintaining all connections. If the operation cannot maintain the connections between the nodes, you will be notified and the operation will be terminated.

To quickly access parameters for nodes that are grouped, you can use the Publish Attribute Mode feature to select your most common parameters to modify and make them appear in the group Layer Properties editor. This way, you can access them directly without having to enter the group every time.