After Effects Expression Question

Hello guys, i hope someone can help me with a problem that has driving me nuts for some time. I am just finishing a after effects template of a character with a lot of pre-comps and I want to be able to control the opacity of a layer in a pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-comp down in the hierarchy from my main final comp being able to ANIMATE it. The linking pickwhip method works to make a single change but it does not let me to animate, i guess due to diferent timing in the comps. Is there a way around it? How can I solve this? I just need this feature to finish my template. Thanks for any help in advance.

I guess I found the solution with Dan Ebberts expression:

C = comp(“parent comp”);
ctrl = C.layer(“controls”).effect(“Point Control”)(“Point”);
L = C.layer(;

But now the problem is that when I duplicate this on the time line it does not work for the duplicated comp due to the same name and different inPoint, unless I duplicate on the project window. I will try to use index number to specify more the timeoffset somehow…

You cannot duplicate pre-comps in the timeline and then have them behave differently in this way. For this you need to copy the whole pre-comp structure up to that point where the change should be made.

Think about it, the contents of the pre-comp are the same and point to the same control.

There is however a new feature called “Master Properties” since CC2018 I think. This lets you do what you want, google it and you will find some explanations.

edit: here is a tutorial: How to Use Master Properties in After Effects - YouTube