In this tutorial you learn how to precompose a layer with Squash & Stretch and in which situations this is actually necessary. We also cover how the precompose & crop to content size function of Squash & Stretch ensures that the precomps always have the same size as the actual content.
Usually, when precomposing a text or shape layer, the resulting precomp has the same size as the composition. If you use the “precompose & crop to content size” function of Squash & Stretch instead, you will get a precomp that has exactly the size of the layer.
When precomposing image or video layers, Squash & Stretch precomposes them the to the size of the layer. Here we have an illustrator file where the image is actually much bigger than its visible content, as you can see from here the bounding box. If we would precompose it, the precomp would get this much to big. To avoid this, we can draw a mask exactly around the area that we want to leave in the precomp. If we now apply the “precompose & crop to content size” tool, the precomp has exactly the size we need.
For Squash & Stretch it is very important that layers have the correct size. Let’s apply this behavior both to the logo with wrong and with correct bounding box.
As you can see, the layer with the wrong bounding box moves very strange. This is because Squash & Stretch always animates the entire layer, as visualized here. So whenever the content of a layer is actually smaller than its bounding box, make sure to mask and then precompose it to get the correct size before applying a behavior.