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After Effects and cc sphere

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Frederick GuthrieAfter Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 7, 2012 at 4:21:32 pm

In relation to the cc sphere effect, I am seeking a way to apply this effect's rotation value to a 3D object, that I do not wish to view as a sphere. Is there any way to parent the rotation value to a 3D object? Is there any other solution?


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Erik WaluskaRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 7, 2012 at 9:36:22 pm

Just pickwhip the rotation of the 3D layer's x,y,z values to the corresponding values on the sphere effect's rotation properties.


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Frederick GuthrieRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 7, 2012 at 10:06:07 pm

I just tried. I attempted to pickwhip from the layer I'm wanting the effect to possess the rotation property, to the layer that has the property, but the pickwhip wouldn't permit the parent-child relationship.

I wonder if there is a specific effect, such as, cc sphere, that can be applied to a layer, for rotation, but wouldn't turn the object to a sphere?


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Erik WaluskaRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 12:22:37 am

Sorry, I should have explained that better. When I said "pickwhip" I meant by alt+clicking the property to add an expression and then dragging that pickwhip directly to the same property on the other layer. I think you might have tried dragging the parent pickwhip for the layer to one of the properties or something, which would not work. Check out this project file and notice that I added "*-1" to the x and y rotation expressions on the 3D text layer because it was rotating in the opposite direction of the sphere (not sure why the rotation is reversed).


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Frederick GuthrieRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 4:42:28 am

Just got the post. I'll try not say this too complicated, but are you saying once I create this rotation expression, a Pickwick will then appear and then to parent with the other layer? I opened the file but didn't see any pickwicked layers?


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Erik WaluskaRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 3:40:03 pm

Yes, correct. Read my previous post more carefully and do some research about expressions. When you alt-click a property stopwatch icon it opens an expression field and a pickwhip icon appears. I don't know what you mean by "I didn't see any pickwhipped layers". What were you expecting to see?


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Frederick GuthrieRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 6:25:35 pm

Honestly, I wasn't certain. Here is a brief synopsis of what I'm wanting to accomplish. My layers: 1. A Planet and 2. An Alien space craft. I constructed the planet from nothing but a background solid layer, with the applied cc sphere effect, which includes its own Rotation values of x,y and z. I've key framed the Rotation value for the planet to make 1 full rotation via out the length of the composition.

Now, I'm wanting to apply a 'similar' rotation value to the alien space craft. I'm wanting it to spin in the same way, giving it a 3d-like animated rotation.

The way I was trying to achieve this was to apply the cc sphere effect to the alien craft, but when I did this, it converted the craft object to a sphere, which is not what I wanted. I just wanted to use the rotation value of the cc sphere effect to 'spin' the object.

I'm going to attempt to write an expression for rotation here in a few minutes for the alien craft object. Sorry for being so wordy. I really appreciate your help on this.


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Erik WaluskaRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 7:03:18 pm

So are you trying to have the spaceship rotate around the planet like it's in orbit or is it just rotating in place near the planet? I'm assuming the ship is just a flat image, right? If so, it could only rotate on the Z axis without giving away the fact it's flat. If you want to make it orbit the planet you could just use a 3d null to rotate both the sphere and ship by linking the sphere's rotation to the null and then parenting the ship to the null.


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Frederick GuthrieRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 7:40:31 pm

I'm just seeking for the craft to rotate, in the same way as the planet rotates, when a rotation value is added via key frames, via the cc sphere effect. It seems, the cc sphere effect has a 'special' rotation that can only be accomplished when converting the desired object into a sphere. I'm just wanting the craft to maintain its original form, but appear as if its rotating.


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Erik WaluskaRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 10:10:52 pm

I think I finally understand what you want but there is nothing that will take a flat 2D image like that and make it into a 3D object with depth in AE -- or at least nothing I'm aware of. Photoshop extended might sort of work but you have to have a 3D model of the ship first, and I'm not sure if you could apply a UV texture. Check the photoshop tutorials here for more info. I would suggest you try Blender 3D. It's free and the new version is really powerful. There is a significant learning curve, but there are lots of tutorials to get you started. Good luck.


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Frederick GuthrieRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 10:27:04 pm

I'll try that. Thanks alot, Erik. I really appreciate the input.


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Benjamin AusmithRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 10, 2012 at 3:54:37 pm

I would think that having the spaceship auto-orient towards the camera could probably produce an effect that is desirable without the headache of learning Blender. It'd still be a flat plane, but if it's not rotating about the Y axis, it'll be a flat plane that faces the camera yet orbits using the 3D coordinates, but we won't know it's flat.

But Erik's right, there's no easy way to add an affect to make a 2D object into a full 3D object. I recommend going to the Google 3D warehouse, finding a spaceship someone else has made, downloading it, opening it in Google Sketchup, downloading the .obj exporter plugin for Sketchup, saving it as a .obj, opening it in Photoshop, saving it as a .psd, and then opening the psd in Photoshop. Straightforward, right? :)

Benjamin Ausmith
Post-Production Assistant
Monadnock Media, inc.


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Isaac BorjasRe: After Effects and cc sphere
by on Apr 9, 2012 at 1:43:51 am

i'm not sure what form the Spaceship have but you can Recreate one using the Shatter Effect and give the Spaceship a more 3D look (just need to tweak a little bit the setting to not make it shatter will keyframes are in place and inside the Shatter effect you can rotate the object/spaceship very easly just using the camera setting inside the effect..


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