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After Effects CS4 null or light on a path

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Ronald CarlsonAfter Effects CS4 null or light on a path
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 4:26:52 am

Using CS4. I have an elipse shape. I want to attach either a null or a light to the elipse and have it orbit around the elipse an X number of times. I eventually want the null or light to be used for trapcode particular. Is it possible to do this without the tedious process of creating a motion path? and is it possible to assign a value to have the light or null orbit a set number of times?


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Angie TaylorRe: After Effects CS4 null or light on a path
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 9:16:35 am

Hi there,

you can do this by setting up a chain of parented nulls. So, create a new null, make it 3D and make the 3D Ellipse it's parent so that it follows the ellipse. (make sure the Anchor Points and Positions match) Then parent the Light to the new Null so that it will also follow the same path. (making sure Anchor Points and Positions are OK again)

Now if you Rotate the Null on the Y axis the Light will also Rotate. Adjust the Z Anchor point value of the Light to move it further away from the Null to make it orbit at the desired distance. You can even animate this to make it get gradually closer or further from the Null and Ellipse.

Hope this helps. I've attached a project for reference.

cheers,

Angie

Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices

http://www.angietaylor.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Angie TaylorRe: #AfterEffects CS4 null or light on a path
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 9:24:36 am

Here's the After Effects project for reference.

3511_parentingorbit.aep.zip

Hi there,

you can do this by setting up a chain of parented nulls. So, create a new null, make it 3D and make the 3D Ellipse it's parent so that it follows the ellipse. (make sure the Anchor Points and Positions match) Then parent the Light to the new Null so that it will also follow the same path. (making sure Anchor Points and Positions are OK again)

Now if you Rotate the Null on the Y axis the Light will also Rotate. Adjust the Z Anchor point value of the Light to move it further away from the Null to make it orbit at the desired distance. You can even animate this to make it get gradually closer or further from the Null and Ellipse.

Hope this helps.

cheers,

Angie

Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices

http://www.angietaylor.co.uk
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angie-Taylor/118378194869002



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Ronald CarlsonRe: #AfterEffects CS4 null or light on a path
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 1:03:57 pm

Hey, thanx for the quick response. I think I got ahead of myself. This is what I was eventually looking for, for another project, but i'm stuck on the first part, specifcally shape layer 1. What I was trying to ask is how do you get the white elipse to attach to the dotted circle path that you created for it to revolve on? I also noticed the expression loopOut(type="cycle"), which would have been my next question. I see that the position of the shape layer is keyframed but i'm totally lost how to achieve this. Did you create the dotted circle with the pen tool? If so is it possible to create a circle with the shape tool and convert it? Thanx in advance.


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