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Animating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating

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mel ruizAnimating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating
by on Feb 6, 2014 at 8:09:15 pm

Here's what I'm trying to do:
make a disc move along a circular path.

So far, I have:
made a null object
made a elliptical (actually circular) mask path
moved the anchor point of path to bottom center of circle (because that's where the disc will start tracing path

When I copy the mask's path and paste it onto null's position, weirdness ensues.
I had the circle path exactly where i wanted it in composition. I had upper left corner of null in middle of my disc. everything seems correctly aligned.
BUT when i paste, the null object and circular path jump up and to the left in the composition.

Now, I'm just learning AE, so I may be doing something really silly. I'm so frustrated at this point, I need help.
Does this makes sense?

I'm thinking it's a null object problem. Meaning, I don't totally understand them. And where to put the anchor point (upper left corner, right?). Anyway, Please Help!
Anything appreciated.

THANKS!


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Declan SmithRe: Animating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating
by on Feb 6, 2014 at 9:25:13 pm

You might want to look at expressions to do achieve this. I provided an aep file for a similar requirement which you can download from here:

3942_orientobjectaroundcirclularpath.aep.zip

The description on the file should provide some help but basically there is one layer which acts as a path, the object you want to follow the path, and a controller object which allows you to change the start point and speed.

Declan Smith
http://www.madpanic.tv
After Effects CS6/ FCS3 / Canon XLH1 / Canon 7D / Reason / Cubase

"it's either binary or it's not"


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Sadaf TaherianRe: Animating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating
by on Nov 1, 2015 at 7:19:22 pm
Last Edited By Sadaf Taherian on Nov 1, 2015 at 7:20:22 pm

Thank you Declan Smith , It was really helpful.


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Joseph UrsoRe: Animating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating
by on Nov 4, 2014 at 6:23:28 pm

This answer is a little late but here is an easy way to animate an object in a perfect circle.

1. Make a null
2. Parent the object being rotated to the null
3. keyframe the null/rotation at 0 then 360
4. This will rotate the object in a perfect circle BUT the object being rotated will also rotate as it is going around the circle. If you want the object being rotated to keep the same orientation as it goes around the circle then
5. ALT/click the Rotation stopwatch, then pickwhip that Rotation to the Null Rotation. The following should show up in the Expressions box: thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.rotation Just add a minus sign - before this expression. That will subtract whatever rotation angle it is currently at and keep your rotating object pointing in the same direction as it goes around.

BTW, how far away, or close, the null is from the object being rotated will determine how big or small the circle is.

Hope that helps.


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Stacy ObakpolorRe: Animating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating
by on Mar 10, 2015 at 5:12:33 pm

I've been banging my head against a wall for the past few hours trying to figure it out. Thank you for the solution!!


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Joseph UrsoRe: Animating shape along circle -- null object and path not cooperating
by on Mar 10, 2015 at 7:17:22 pm

You're very welcome. After the hundreds up times I've had to look up "how-to's" online I'm happy to be able to help out someone else for a change!


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