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Layer re-order based on z position

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Ben Coello
Layer re-order based on z position
on Apr 8, 2010 at 7:39:14 pm

Hey everyone,

I work with After Effects a bunch, and I've always got layers in 3d space and I'd usually like their layer order in the composition to more or less match their position. So the further away something is, the further down the layer will be ordered in the composition timeline window. Those of you who work with Adjustment layers and 3d will know why this is important. Adjustment layers don't care where a layer sits in 3d space, only the order in the timeline, so if your depth and timeline don't match, it causes situations where something that is further away is shown to be in front of something that is nearer. It looks weird.

Usually, I will manually go through the layers and re-order them by hand, but I work with lots of layers sometimes and this grows tedious. Does anyone know a way to re-order layers in the timeline so that it matches their position automatically? Maybe an expression?

Thanks in advance.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Layer re-order based on z position
on Apr 8, 2010 at 7:45:56 pm

[Ben Coello] "Does anyone know a way to re-order layers in the timeline so that it matches their position automatically?"

Yeah, do it right the first time. Failing that eventuality, you might find a script that will do the trick on something like aeenhancers, which is just a google away.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ben Coello
Re: Layer re-order based on z position
on Apr 8, 2010 at 8:05:13 pm

Thanks Dave,

I try and stay on top of it, but by the nature of what I do, I'm often duplicating layers then moving them, then tweaking them some more, and then I've got 100+ layers and after all that it's a real pain to go through and order them based on depth.

Anyway, I looked at AE Enhancers and was able to find this script, which I think does the job alright.

http://www.redefinery.com/ae/view.php?item=rd_KindaSorta


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Jon Draper
Re: Layer re-order based on z position
on Oct 31, 2014 at 11:54:59 am

thanks for posting the script you found. It worked a treat and positioned my 1000 3d buildings 9built using 5 solids) in the correct order based on their z position.

As for other comments here. It is obviously best to build it in the correct order as you but sometimes thats just not feasible or a project changes as clients change their minds.

i.e. my scene was initially 1000 flats spots growing on a map of Europe to show how the business has grown. The clients feedback 'someone in the office thinks it reminds them of a plague game they play on their phone, can we make the spots 3d buildings'... and so the pre-comped flat spots became pre-comped 3d buildings.. which caused the layers order z position issue.


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ben rollason
Re: Layer re-order based on z position
on Apr 8, 2010 at 7:48:20 pm

It would be a job for a script if anything, not an expression, but I don't know of one.

Can you not just avoid putting 2D layers in between 3D layers. This breaks the 3D space at that point. For the AE 3D space to work, all the 3D layers need to be directly on top of one another in the layer stack.

-Ben.


vfx.benrollason.com


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