I'm usually quite good at searching and finding solutions to my problems, but I'm pretty sure this time I don't know the correct terminology to find what I'm looking for.
I have video footage square on of somebody holding a map up at a 60 degree angle relative to the floor, like you would reading a newspaper. A bunch of pins appear and drop onto the map, briefly weighing it down to -15 degrees, before the map is straightened again to 60 degrees. Before being opened, the map was folded into squares, so the surface is un-even.
The main question is, how do I animate this so that the pins appear to get stuck to each surface at 90 degrees, and then move in 3d space relative to each surface along with the map?
I've tried tying all the pins to a null object and then mimicking the map's motion, but it looks fake because the null object is flat, and it becomes hard to handle when I re position the pins, as the panels each moves a little differently as the map is coming upright. I tried doing the same with a shape layer, and mesh warping the shape layer, but the pins do not seem to respect the shape of the surface.
Is there a term that describes what I'm trying to do? And do I perhaps need an expression to instruct each pin how to behave relative to the surface, and then how do I best manipulate a surface to mimic the map?
Any help, or pointing me in the right direction, is very much appreciated.
You'll need tracking of some sort. You could try 3D camera tracking if the surface doesn't warp much within the frame range of interest. if the plane is close enough to a flat surface, mocha AE planar tracking. Or then individual 2D point tracking for each pin.
Depending on what tools you have to your disposal, you could make 3D pins in Element 3D or Cinema4D Lite and attach them to the 3D camera tracked surface. If you can only get a 2D track, you should still be able to make it look ok by rotating the pins as the map rotates.