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Rotating a C Shape perfectly on center

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tim tippets
Rotating a C Shape perfectly on center
on Nov 26, 2015 at 7:08:28 pm

Hi all,

I've exhausted my search on Google and elsewhere. Apologies if I haven't been using the correct search terms out of ignorance. Here's the goal:

Import a broken circle into After Effects (like a "C" shape, only perfectly round), then rotate the circle perfectly on center. Thus far, when I import the broken circle and rotate it, it rotates slightly off axis from center.

Here's the process I've been using:

1. Create perfect circle in Adobe Illustrator (hold shift as I draw).
2. Remove fill, thicken outline to taste.
3. Align circle to vertical and horizontal center.
4. Export as png.
5. Import back into Illustrator.
6. Cut away sections I don't want in order to create the "C" shape.
7. I then select the remaining shape and create outlines.
8. Copy outlines.
9. Head to After Effects and create a new solid.
10. Paste outlines.

Although I see the outlines, when I rotate the shape, it turns slightly off axis with the center mark slightly biased to one side. Note, if I follow this same process but only import a circle, it rotates perfectly. Any idea what I'm doing wrong here?



Using Ai and Ae CC 2015
Mac Pro Retina with 512 SSD and 16G RAM
OS is Yosemite

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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Rotating a C Shape perfectly on center
on Nov 26, 2015 at 10:05:53 pm
Last Edited By Kalle Kannisto on Nov 26, 2015 at 10:08:55 pm

Several ways to fix that. The simplest would probably be to bring the circle into AE and cut off the part to make it a "C" with a subtract mask. Then the center point should stay in place without further attention, I'd assume.

Or then just use a copy with the full circle to align the center point. Guides or Title safe grid is helpful here.

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tim tippets
Re: Rotating a C Shape perfectly on center
on Nov 27, 2015 at 1:24:09 am

Thanks, Kalle.

In hindsight, I should have explained my total end game. Here's what's going on:

I've go a logo that has an open circle with an arrow on one end. Like so:

This version of the logo is missing the text in the middle, but I'm sure you get the idea. So I'd like to not only have the Ai logo for various uses, I'd also like to animate it in 3D. That's where the rub comes in because when I use 3D Element to extrude the logo, it sees any mask as part of the object, so things get crazy real fast. e.g., if I use a mask over the circle and arrow in After Effects it will become part of the object in 3D Element.

If I can import the circle and arrow into After Effects and have the circle portion perfectly centered, everything should work out really well. But I'm wondering if I'm somehow sending the object off center when I create an opening in the circle when in Ai? I wouldn't think it would work that way, but nothing else makes sense at this point. There's probably a really simple answer but my request is odd. That's probably why I can't find an answer on Google. Argh...

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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Rotating a C Shape perfectly on center
on Nov 27, 2015 at 7:51:34 am
Last Edited By Kalle Kannisto on Nov 27, 2015 at 7:52:10 am

Ok, then you will have the same issue when extruding it, Element will put the center point in the geometric center of the object. It doesn't care where your original center point is. You'll need to align the rotation point of the object in Element Scene setup to Element world origin. I'd do it by creating a sphere of slightly smaller radius than your object and using it to visually center the "C" arrow from front view in E3D Scene Setup. Then delete or hide the sphere.

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Thomas Brecheisen
Re: Rotating a C Shape perfectly on center
on Nov 27, 2015 at 6:58:56 am

It sounds like your anchor point is not centered on your "C" shape in AE. There is a tool in the toolbar to adjust the center point (called the pan behind tool). It will allow you to adjust the anchor point, which is used to "tack" the image to the comp, and where all transform adjustments work from. Add "anchor point" and "pan behind tool" to your search terms. Hope that helps.

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