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AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems

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Matt TrubacAE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 4:29:46 pm

Hello, I am fairly new to After Effects, but am having trouble with a technique I'm sure I used successfully in CS5.5. I am trying to create a two sided card flip effect. The cards all start out on the same side with a company logo showing. Each card rotates in sequence revealing AE generated text on the opposite side.

Here is how I created this:

In Photoshop CS6 I created a 500x500 px square to represent my card. I wanted the card to look like a coupon so I used a stroke layer style with a custom pattern to create a dash along the inside edge of my square.

I have read that PS layer styles do not work with AE 3D, so I flattened my layers in PS to rasterize the layer style and saved as a PSD.

I then imported the PSD in to AE choosing to merge layers.

My next step was to build my first card flip and then duplicate and update the text on each version.

I dropped my PS coupon square into my AE comp. Scaled it down slightly to fit. I then copy a layer from my logo comp (that I want to include on the front of the card) and paste it into my working comp. I scale and position the logo layer to fit, and then apply a mask to the logo layer to prevent any spill outside the boundaries of the square created in photoshop.

I activate 3D on both the photoshop square and my logo layer. I position the logo layer to -0.1 on the z axis to bring it in front of the card. The photoshop card stays at z=0.

Then with the AE text tool I create my text for the back of the card. I position it over the card. Activate 3D on the text layer and send the text to 0.1 on the z axis so that it is pushed behind the photoshop card.

Next I rotate my text layer to 180 degrees on the y axis so that it starts out backward.

I then parent my logo layer and AE text layer to the photoshop square layer. I keyframe a 180 degree flip on the coupon card layer and all works as expected... the logo layer and text layer rotate with the coupon.

The problems start when I begin duplicating my 3 layers.

The first version always works. I have a problem though when the text will sometimes disappear for a frame or two as it rotates into place. Once the flip animation completes the text is visible, until the next card flips. As each additional card flips the text on previous cards (except card 1) disappears during the flip animation. For example, as Card 4 flips from the logo to text, the text on already flipped cards 2 and 3 will disappear until card 4 finishes its rotation. As card 5 flips the text on cards 2-4 disappears until card 5's rotation animation completes.

Does anyone have an idea of where I am going wrong?


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John CuevasRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 4:58:52 pm

Is there a reason you are not using the card wipe effect, that would be a lot easier?

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Matt TrubacRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 5:36:07 pm

Just wasn't familiar with it yet. I will look into it. Thanks.


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John CuevasRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 6:01:35 pm

You should check it out, if I understand correctly what you are trying to accomplish, Transition -> Card Wipe will do what you want almost automatically.

If you have any questions, come back.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Matt TrubacRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 6:32:04 pm

Card Wipe kind of does what I want.. but I have less control. If I'm looking at it right I'd have to create all of the card "sides" in photoshop. One graphic with the logo that would work as the back of each of the six flipping cards with Card Wipe..

Then a graphic for each unique text side. I lose the ability to light sweep the text as the card spins though if I bake the text into the graphics in photoshop.. don't I?

I am trying my original plan, but putting all of the elements for each card into a pre comp. So far, so good. Wish I knew what was causing the text to flicker during keyframe changes in my original method though.


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Sam FreemanRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 7:25:26 pm

It sounds like your layers are too close together and are crossing. Try increasing the z-depth of your front and back layers.

If you've got motion blur on one layer but not the others that can also cause a problem as that layers mathematical position data will 'blend' (not sure on the right term) across a range of z-depth and interfere with your other layers.

Also, check your parenting is working right... It's easy to move something, or not move something, by accident.


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Matt TrubacRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:03:25 pm

Thanks everyone for the help so far. I could get this to work fine if there was only one card flip in a comp. It was as soon as I started duplicating my first card flip to create alternate versions and changing the timing of the keyframes on those other version that I ran into issues.

My solution was to create a pre comp of the 3 layers that made up each card, do the animation in the pre comp, and then duplicate and modify the pre comp as needed. I then built my main composition from the 6 pre comps.

This was my end result: http://vimeo.com/truvision/review/47959190/437f589820

Other tips or an explanation of what might have been going on when I had everything in the same comp would be much appreciated. Thank you!


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:52:43 pm

[Matt Trubac] "My solution was to create a pre comp of the 3 layers that made up each card, do the animation in the pre comp, and then duplicate and modify the pre comp as needed. I then built my main composition from the 6 pre comps."

I use that particular solution a lot. It works just fine, and it's extremely straightforward.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kevin CampRe: AE CS6 Two Sided Card Flip Problems
by on Aug 21, 2012 at 9:49:06 pm

you could do each card as a single layer, that would keep manipulation of the cards simple.

here's a method i would try..

bring your card background into the main comp and hide it.

create a new solid that is the same size as the card background (500x500) and make it the color of the card face that you want and make it 3d. with that layer selected, double click the rectangular mask tool to make a mask the same size as the layer.

add the stroke effect, set it to use mask 1 and adjust the thickness and color as needed (this will become the dashed line).

to make it a dashed line, add the grid effect, set the color to the same color as the card face, set blending mode to normal, set the size from width slider and adjust width value to get the dashed line that you want.

add the basic text plugin (in obsolete), set the font and type in the first coupon text. after that you can set the size, color and stroke properties as needed.

add the light sweep effect.

to get the back of the card onto the back of that coupon layer, add compound arithmetic, setting the second source layer to the card back layer and then adding this little expression (from dan ebbert's motion script.com) to the blend with original property (and make sure the layer coupon layer is 3d):

if (toCompVec([0, 0, 1])[2] > 0 ) 100 else 0

now if you flip the card on the x or y axis, the face will change to either be the back or the face.

you can simply duplicate that coupon layer and change the text as needed.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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