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Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?

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Dan North
Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 17, 2019 at 10:21:06 pm
Last Edited By Dan North on Dec 17, 2019 at 10:32:20 pm

I'm animating a ball that I made with cc sphere, meaning it's a 2D image basically. 
(to make it render faster, I animated the cc sphere out in a movie file and imported into the project)
I'm looking for a similar solution to  auto-orient face camera, but since I'm not animating the camera this doesn't seem to work
I'm spinning it around in 3D space in a horizontal circle - I'm using a null for this, since I want to the ball to get closer to the center over time.
It's basically a planet rotating (it's in the movie) that rotates around the sun
When I rotate the null, the image also turns revealing it's a flat image.
Since I'm not animating my camera but the image - is there a way to have the image always facing front?

Any direction would be much appreciated.

Cheers, Dan


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Greg Gesch
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 17, 2019 at 10:53:29 pm

Hi Dan, in a rough-up I've done it seems to work fine. Do you have a camera layer?


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Dan North
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 17, 2019 at 11:00:18 pm

Thanks a bunch for the quick reply Greg.

I have a camera layer and I use the null for rotation. The image rotates along with it and turns flat. Is yours facing the camera all the time when you rotate the null?
Do you use the auto-orient?
Hmm..wondering what I'm missing.


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Greg Gesch
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 18, 2019 at 1:11:48 am

Hi. Yes I have the image set to auto orient to camera, not the null. Yes it does continue to face the camera as it rotates.


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Dan North
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 18, 2019 at 6:32:38 am

Can you send me the comp Greg?
I’m using a .mov instead than an image, but That shouldn’t do much difference.
Best, Dan


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Greg Gesch
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 18, 2019 at 11:11:37 pm

Hi Dan, I tried but this site just gives an error message and won't upload it.

Two things:

Is there any other way to get it to you?

Or you might try doing what I did to create it:

New Comp
Add solid, scale it down and drag/position it to the centre left - make 3D
Add Null - make 3D
Pickwhip Solid to Null (parenting it)
Keyframe Null's Y rotation
Add Camera
Solid = Layer/Transform/Auto Orient/Orient towards camera.

I imagine this is what you have done in your real comp, but perhaps doing this simple version might show what is or is not happening?


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Dan North
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 24, 2019 at 9:20:00 am

Thank you so much Greg. I fixed it - the zoom was very high, so it acted a bit strange. Made a new comp with the planet and a cam and used that comp in my main comp so had better cam angle.
Thanks Richard!
Wish you all a merry Christmas,
Cheers, Dan


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Rotating an image in 3D space always facing camera?
on Dec 18, 2019 at 4:19:33 pm

Cc sphere is a 2 effect...although it looks like it has 3d perspective...its fake. What you want is the VC orb plugin...its free on videocopilot


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