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Using Write-on plugin in 3D space?

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Zac Waxman
Using Write-on plugin in 3D space?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 12:24:47 pm

Hi there,

I'm currently working on creating a plant growing in AE CS6, I have drawn the plant in Illustrator (CS6) and saved the file in its respective layers in order to animate within AE. The plant consists of 10 stems/branches/whatever you want to call them. There is the main stem which continues to grow throughout the animation with various stems/branches growing from that.

I have set everything up and everything is now animating. I have used the write on plugin to creating the growing effects of the stems and that all works fine. At the end of the branches there are flowers that grow simply using the scale tool with an inertia expression.

However for this animation I am required to zoom in and out of these flowers in order to show textual information on them and this is where I run into trouble. I have created one comp, with everything built inside of it from the stems to the petals of the flowers, there are no pre comps (which could be my downfall). I am trying to use a camera to move up the plant as it grows, as well as zoom in and out of the flowers as they grow, but I can't quite understand why the write on tool would be affected when the masks within that are on a layer that is 3D. Every time I move the camera it seems to alter the write on brush position and I'm a bit confused as what to do.

Would be very grateful for some help if possible or whether I need to start again and go about it a different way. Any advice would be appreciated and I hope I have explained myself clearly enough.


Zac Waxman

Junior Motion Graphics Designer

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Using Write-on plugin in 3D space?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 12:52:29 pm

Write-on and Masks in AE are 2D effects. It will be really nice, after more than 10 years of 3D layers, lights and cameras that AE's built-in effects supported a true 3D environment.

Now, on to your case - as far as I know (AFAIK), the use of the Write-on effect precludes the use of a mask. Perhaps you will be able to remove your mask (set its mode to None) and see if things work as expected.

Should that still not work, and without knowing the innards of your Timeline, I suggest that you read AE's internal literature, aka manual, on its rendering pipeline as this too may have an influence into your issue(s).


Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)

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chris brett
Re: Using Write-on plugin in 3D space?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 4:41:55 pm

Hi Zac

----------- I dont really know the answer as such but my guess is that it is something to do with the comp / no-comp issue.

---- my instinct is that if the plant anim was wrapped up in a single comp and the camera applied to that it should work ( ie the camera is outside the comp of the plant ) and if not I would try a few different versions of this before I gave up on it.

I say this because I had a few puzzling things in a recent comp where a camera was applied to a 'fake 3d 'animation and this fixed it ( I also used the method of pick-whipping the camera to a null object ).

If this did not work I would probably be looking at whether or not the camera was really needed ie can this be done by scaling/positioning in 3D space or even 2D space ? - although thats a bodge not an answer.....

----- also if you try the rearranging the comp configuration dont forget the little star type icon that tells comps how to behave inside other comps .... I'm not totally up on this but it does something like ' allow transfer of properties to work inside inside another comp' -- its the one that also allows vector artwork to scale and stay sharp ...

-------------- all the best -----chris --

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