So I am trying to make a small clip wherein I have a solid black layer masked on top of a video to give it a film bar. Now at one point I want to zoom into the video without zooming into the solid layer. You can see my screen below. I am pretty new to AE. Any idea how I can go about doing this?

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2 Answers 2


You can do this by selecting every layer except the solid (your letterbox) and precomping it. Then, you can switch into your precomp and do as much zooming as you like. If you then render the composition with your precomp plus the solid layer on top, your solid will be unaffected by the keyframing going on inside the precomp.

  • How do I zoom into into all those layers at once after pre comping it? I am sorry if this sounds too amateur.
    – ChaoS Adm
    Jun 25, 2020 at 11:58

I would make a black solid layer above all the others with your mask (as you have I think). Then make a Null layer. Parent all of the other layers to your Null layer.
See parenting tutorial here Then adjust the scale of the Null and all the other layers will follow it.

Alternatively you could pre-comp all your other layers, but you will lose resolution on them as they scale unless you do some other things...

  • Yeah this is what I did. Thanks!
    – ChaoS Adm
    Jul 7, 2020 at 12:20

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