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Find position of grouped object, in relation to composition?

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Michael Wilson
Find position of grouped object, in relation to composition?
on May 2, 2016 at 6:17:05 pm

I'm trying to find the position of an ellipse object inside a shape layer, in relation to the composition.

Here's where i'm stuck:
- I created a shape that moves.
- I used repeater to multiply the action.
- I used a plugin called 'Shape Repeater Baker' to separate into multiple objects.
- I used a plugin called 'Explode Shape Layers' to separate those objects into separate layers.

This is where I run into problems. The position of those objects is in relation to the layer, and not the composition. That means that if I try to link something else, like a 'beam' to that object's position, it doesn't work, because if the object has a position of say (145,0.0), that's in relation to it's space inside the layer, and the layer doesn't move. So then if I try to link two of those moving shapes, after effects takes that position, (145,0.0) as a reference to the position on the composition, which is not the shapes actual position on the comp.

Here's a screen shot of it in action:



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Find position of grouped object, in relation to composition?
on May 2, 2016 at 8:20:41 pm

I think I'd do this:

I'd go to the layer that appears first. I'd delete the position keyframes on the layers above it, and parent them all to the first-appearing layer. Then I'd parent that first layer to a hull for positioning & scaling purposes.

But I wouldn't do it on my only copy! I'd duplicate the comp, and do it on the duplicate. Just in case it doesn't work right.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter Soyka
Re: Find position of grouped object, in relation to composition?
on May 3, 2016 at 10:23:47 am

You can use use the toComp() expression to transform those layer coordinates to comp space. For example:

thisComp.layer("Shape Layer 1").toComp(thisComp.layer("Shape Layer 1").content("Rectangle Path 1").position);

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Michael Wilson
Re: Find position of grouped object, in relation to composition?
on May 3, 2016 at 3:24:14 pm

Thanks for the reply!

Would you mind helping me out with where to put that expression? I tried adding it to the starting point of the beam, but I got an expression error.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Find position of grouped object, in relation to composition?
on May 3, 2016 at 3:33:47 pm

You need to update the expression with the names of your layers and your Shape groups. If you can post an expanded view of your timeline that shows the layers and shape hierarchy, I can show you exactly how to edit the expression to suit your project.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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