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Baking null object and parent properties into a layer

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Chad RidgewayBaking null object and parent properties into a layer
by on Jun 26, 2012 at 1:52:26 pm

I have a character in After Effects who is split up into multiple layers (legs, arms, torso, head, etc).

I have the layers parented to each other as you'd expect for typical character animation (hand>forearm>shoulder>torso), and then I have null objects driving the overall animation (for example, left to right movement across the screen, etc).

Following so far?

What I need is a way to bake all those parented and null object properties directly into the character. So that, let's say, I deleted all the other layers and null objects, the head of the character would still move as if it were still parented to the other layers and null objects, but instead, is moving under it's own "power" (position, rotation, and scale).

Hopefully this isn't super confusing and hopefully there's a way to do it!

Thank you.


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Tim BentleyRe: Baking null object and parent properties into a layer
by on Jun 26, 2012 at 3:27:52 pm

Can you clarify which layers you might need to delete and why? Could you attach a screenshot? I don't think this is what you're asking, but you can still adjust a layer's properties independently once it's been parented.


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Chad RidgewayRe: Baking null object and parent properties into a layer
by on Jun 26, 2012 at 3:37:45 pm

The reason behind my bizarre question is that I'm dealing with exporting motion paths from After Effects into other software. So I need the various layers of the character to have it's movement baked into itself so it moves under it's own power without being influenced by anything else, so that the motion of each layer translates properly.

Basically, I want to be able to animate my characters properly (with parenting and null objects), and then before saving it out making it so the motion of each layer gets baked into it's own properties (position, rotation, and scale) so that it moves the way it's supposed to, just without being parented to anything.


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Tim BentleyRe: Baking null object and parent properties into a layer
by on Jun 26, 2012 at 3:54:27 pm

Ah, that makes more sense. If you mean that you want the exported motion path to contain all the information inherited from its parent as it translates to the layer's values (relative to the world space, not the parent), you'll need an expression - something like this:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/227/10093

I still don't know what baking into means, but maybe it's an American expression :-)


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