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After Effects 3D shape positioning??

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Ashley EdwardsAfter Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 10:54:59 am

Hi guys, really need your help on this one!

I'm relatively newish to After Effects but not a complete novice. My question is this...

I'm trying to build a large Typography "scene/ set" within After Effects, which I then want to animate the camera around. Whilst adding new elements to the scene such as text or a square/ ellipse, I'll pan the camera over to the desired position, draw a new element in place, but then when I click the "enable 3D" button for the layer, the object disappears back to the original centre of the entire composition, which means I then have to parent the layer to the camera, reset the position, un-parent the layer to get the object back to where it was intended.

Is there a way to draw a shape layer/ text in its intended 3D position (on the active camera's focal plane) without having to go through the repositioning drill each time?

Many thanks guys!!


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Daniel WaldronRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 1:09:44 pm

I would use a Custom view to see your 3D scene, including your camera, then position your text or other assets. For a helpful camera control tool, you can check out the SureTarget plugin on Video Copilot.


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Ashley EdwardsRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 2:12:00 pm

Thanks for the reply Daniel, but I have the same problem using a custom cam.

I've attached a screen grab of the style of infographic I'm trying to create.



It's quite complex and I need to be able to build and add shape layers and text in position as I go along.
But every time I add a new element and convert the layer to 3D, the layer re-centers itself way back at the start of the composition.

Many Thanks.


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 2:53:36 pm

If you press Ctrl+Home (PC) or Cmd+Home (Mac), it will center the selected layer(s) in the active view.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Matt DavisRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:10:36 pm

Whether or not that answered Ashley's question, it was something that I didn't know before.

Thanks!


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Ashley EdwardsRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:23:23 pm
Last Edited By Ashley Edwards on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:42:44 pm

Walter.. that is absolutely brilliant!! Thank you SO much, that really has made my day! :)

One more related question... Once the selected layer is centred in the active view, is there a way to tell the layer to face the camera?
(Using "Transform - Auto-Orient" seems to make the layer permanently stick to the camera)

Thanks again!!!


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:17:28 pm

I had been meaning to write a script to make this easier for quite some time.

Here it is:

http://www.keenlive.com/renderbreak/2014/02/after-effects-script-center-lay...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Ashley EdwardsRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 26, 2014 at 10:19:02 am

Walter... Wow! That script is absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much, you've been such a great help. If you're ever in London UK give me a shout anytime, I definitely owe you a pint ;)

And thanks to Roland too, that's another really handy little shortcut...

You guys rock! :)


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: After Effects 3D shape positioning??
by on Feb 26, 2014 at 1:51:00 am

Another useful shortcut key is CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+\ - Look at Selected Layers (found in the View menu. This works well when you've placed a 3D layer in its place and want your camera re-positioned to view the layer, centered in the Comp Panel.

With CTRL+HOME, you move the selected layer(s) to the Comp Center, probably after you've moved/animated your camera. With CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+\, you move/animate the camera instead of the selected layer(s).

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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