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This is a bit messy so bear with me. I've built a node with a field collection 'field_meet_videos'. That field collection contains another field collection 'field_about_video'. The inner field collection has 3 fields (two text fields and an image field 'field_image'). This field collection is also used as multifield so it'll be used more than once (lets say 3 times for this example).

What I'm trying to do is just get a printed output of the image url (with imagecache style) on the node template (to use them as html element backgrounds).

<?php
  $content['field_meet_videos'][0]['entity']['field_collection_item'][34]['field_about_video'][0]['entity']['field_collection_item'][35]['field_image']
?>

This looks to contain enough that I could cobble together a url by sticking these variables into a url string but it feels like there must be a better way to access these variables.

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You can find a good example of how to decompose the field_collection with a foreach in drupal.org

https://www.drupal.org/node/1155752#comment-12170687

if (isset($node->field_gallery_images)) {
  $nodeField = field_get_items('node', $node, 'field_gallery_images');
  if (!empty($nodeField)) {
    foreach ($nodeField as $key => $item) {

      $field_collection_item = field_collection_item_load($item['value']);
      $item_wrapper = entity_metadata_wrapper('field_collection_item', $field_collection_item);

      print '<div class="yourCustomClass">';
      $field_image = $item_wrapper->field_gallery_image->value();

      print theme('image_style', array('style_name' => 'large', 'path' => $field_image['uri'])); 
      print '</div>';
  }
}

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