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circular path based animation driving me crazy, advice please

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Andrew Bailey
circular path based animation driving me crazy, advice please
on Jun 8, 2010 at 1:17:55 am

What I wish to do seems fairly simple, so I'm convinced I'm probably doing something wrong. I'm using After Effects CS3.

Basically we have a leaf like logo and we're animating roughly around a circle. It's on a path using auto orient so that, for example if it's at 9 o'clock on the circle its top will face right. If it's at 3 o'clock its top will face left. At it's starting position of 6 o'clock its top is facing up towards 12.

Keeping in mind that as it moves around the circle it's suppose to orient itself like I describes, the logo first moves counterclockwise to about 4:30, than clockwise back through 6 up to 7:30. Than goes counter clockwise again past 6, 3, until its upside down as 12.

I'm doing this by drawing a path from each stop (each stop being a keyframe) and using the beziers to give it a circular shape.

I'm having two issues. The first is that whenever the logo is moving clockwise it's flipped upside down. The simple solution I thought to this was to set rotation keyframes at the matching position keyframes to 180 degrees so that the logo's top is always facing towards the center of the circle. But this seems to be leading me to issue two, which is that I get small but noticeable jumps in rotation. When patience I'm slowly working out the kinks by tweaking the rotation adjustments and the path handles, but it's kind of messy and a pain...

Is there any easier way to do this?

Thanks.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: circular path based animation driving me crazy, advice please
on Jun 8, 2010 at 6:36:41 am

Why not link the leaf to a null, offset the leaf layer from the null and rotate the null - you'll get a perfect circle this way..

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania
http://www.ennstudio.ro


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Andrew Bailey
Re: circular path based animation driving me crazy, advice please
on Jun 8, 2010 at 5:51:07 pm

Awesome! Thank you. :)


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