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Freeform Pro and anchor point question

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Chris HartFreeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 10, 2012 at 11:20:47 pm

Hi all,

Making comps that have 2 sets of 8 layers, each with Freeform Pro applied.

I'm scaling up from one set, then scaling into the 2nd, simulating a camera zoom out and in. When the scale is at the largest (so, as if we're furthest from the layers), I want to switch a Freeformed layer's anchor point so that when the zoom in begins, the layer scales toward a 2nd point.

I can simulate the desired effect partly by keyframing the position of the layer in its precomp. That changes both the apparent position and anchor point in the main comp. So to counteract the change in position in the main comp, I keyframe the Freeform Pro x and y, so that there's no apparent motion when the anchor point switches.

This is well and good, but the problem is that I'm using a displacement map, and I can't figure out how to make the displacement map move in such a way that there's no "ripple" effect when the anchor point changes.

I've tried quite a few different ways to fix this. The Freeform Pro anchor point controls are mysterious: changing them doesn't alter the way the layer scales.

I know this is hard to imagine, let me know if anyone has any ideas.

Thanks guys!

Chris Hart
GeForce GTX260
Windows 7 Intel 4 core i7
920@2.67 GHz 9G of RAM

Extremism in the pursuit of good edges on the foreground object is no vice.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Freeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 11, 2012 at 6:53:46 am

Can you post a simple project file that exemplifies your issue?

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Chris HartRe: Freeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 11, 2012 at 4:41:01 pm

Hi Ted,

Attached is a project that shows the displacement layer shifting on the frames where the anchor point changes. There are a couple comps in the project, each a different attempt to stop the shifting, but each a failure.

Thanks so much for your attention!

Chris

Extremism in the pursuit of good edges on the foreground object is no vice.


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Chris HartRe: Freeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 11, 2012 at 7:11:39 pm

Hmmm...here is the link to the attachment:

4123_anchorpointproblem.aep.zip

Extremism in the pursuit of good edges on the foreground object is no vice.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Freeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 11, 2012 at 10:09:00 pm

One issue I see in your project is that you are trying to scale the displacement map as well- no need for that. The displacement map should remain unchanged in it's transformation properties. If you need to animate or affect the displacement, precomp the displacement map layer and do all that inside the precomp.
I am wondering why are you trying to simulate a dolly/travel shot ( I think this is what you mean by zoom) by animating scale, when you can actually move the camera in 3d space and create a true 3d dolly?
I get some weird results from your file that I am unable to replicate when I build the project from scratch - it may be connected with the expressions you use. The comp that has FF Pro on it appears sliced in 4 pieces with no displacement on ... is that what you get as well?

Describe the result you are trying to achieve and maybe I can recommend a different solution.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Chris HartRe: Freeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 14, 2012 at 4:02:55 pm

Hi Ted,

Thanks very much for taking the time to check out the comp. Yes, I am simulating a camera pan, because in the full project, we're simulating a complex zoom/pan over terrain, from several kilometers up to just a few dozen meters; to do the move over one layer would mean a 50000x50000 precomp, which crashes AE. So we're using the Andrew Kramer scale method, with multiple differently-scaled layers, in addition to some modest camera movements. But when the camera is at maximum "height", and I change the anchor point so the "zoom in" can scale to a different location from the "zoom out", the displacement mapping moves in a way I don't understand.

Yes, you are right about the scaling on the displacement layer. I agree that it doesn't seem the way to go, but in the file I sent u, just to demonstrate that I couldn't get it to work, on 2 of the 3 comps in the project , there is an expression moving the displacement map in conjunction with the precomp of the Freeformed layer. You're right, it doesn't fix the problem. But in the comp "anchor point problem 3" there is no expression or movmement on the displacement map, yet there's still an odd shift.

To clarify what I'm trying to achieve: in "anchor point problem 3", the frisbee-like object seems to move away from the camera, pause, and then zoom back towards the camera, but from a different angle. That angle change, which is meant to simulate the camera moving toward a different point on the frisbee, comes from the keyframed anchor point change in the precomp for the frisbee. On the frame when that anchor point change happens - frame 1;16 - the displacement layer doesn't follow the anchor point change, so the displacement on the frisbee shifts. I'd like to be able to change the anchor point in the precomp, and have the displacement stay locked to the frisbee, so it has consistent "terrain" during the whole camera move.

Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to think about this.

Chris

Extremism in the pursuit of good edges on the foreground object is no vice.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Freeform Pro and anchor point question
by on May 14, 2012 at 7:18:53 pm

I am not sure I understand your explanation entirely, but here's what I think:
Precompose each disk/object that you need displaced with FF Pro. Apply camera and lights in each precomp. Animate the objects rotation using FF Pro 3d controls OR camera controls keeping in mind how you want the final to look like. You can then animate the size and position of the precomp to fit the needs of your final zoom animation. This way if you need to animate the anchor point you will not get any weird results.
One thing you can do also if you run into limitations because you have to many FF Pro layers is to pre render the animations inside the precomps.
I hope this is clear. If you have questions, let me know.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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