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How to recreate WP-Cumulus in AE:: Pt2

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Pat Bray
How to recreate WP-Cumulus in AE:: Pt2
on Jul 21, 2011 at 3:35:50 pm


I noticed this thread and the below expression to help create a WP-Cumulus:

for 'auto orient to camera' to work you need a camera in the comp, the layers that need to auto orient need to be 3d and you can't modify the rotation & orientation properties of those layers (they should be set to zero).

try making a new comp using the steps before so you can see how it works.

also, here's an expression to randomly position the text layers in a spherical manner:

r = 150; //radius of sphere in pixels
theta = random(0,Math.PI*2);
phi = random(0,Math.PI);
x = r*Math.cos(theta)*Math.sin(phi);
y = r*Math.sin(theta)*Math.sin(phi);
z = r*Math.cos(phi);

the position is calculated around the layer's current position, so parent it to a null first, then set the position value of the layer to 0,0,0 (this will be the position relative to the null, so the null will be the center). then paste the expression into the position expression field, you can set the radius (the 'r' value) as needed.

you can then either duplicate that text layer out and change the text for each layer, or you can do the same parenting/expression procedure for each text layer.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

I wondered if there was a way to expand on this so that you can keep the layers attached to the central null at equal distance from each other, or at least x amount of pixels away from each other so they dont cluster?
Any advice would be great,

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Kevin Camp
Re: How to recreate WP-Cumulus in AE:: Pt2
on Jul 21, 2011 at 10:24:51 pm

the math involved to do that is a bit beyond me... you'd definitely need to know how many layers you were going to use ahead of time to work that into the equation...

you could try posting in the ae expression forum. there are definitely better programming/math type guys over there.

there's also a script called create3dsphere found here:

it seems like it places the layers in a sphere based off their xyz position (rather than by offsetting the anchor point and rotating), so the auto-orient to camera should work. i've never used the script, but it seems like it might be an easy way to get what your after.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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