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Repeating layer in a circle

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Dana LazarRepeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 15, 2015 at 5:20:19 pm

I'm looking for an effect which can duplicate a video layer around the composition, in the shape of a circle or an ellipse.

The flower image here was created in Illustrator using a transform effect. Basically I'm trying to do something like that in AE. I'm sure it's possible with shape layers and repeaters, the thing is I'm using a video file here instead.

Found a script called Gridder which arranges layers in all sorts of grids, but I'm trying to solve the problem without multiple layers. It's just the same video every time so there's no need for a huge stack of layers. Maybe a certain kaleidoscope effect setting could do the trick?

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Kevin CampRe: Repeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 15, 2015 at 7:26:40 pm

you could ry using the echo effect. it takes instances of a layer in time and composites it back onto itself. you just need the layer to move to the positions that you need to make the design, then have echo composite those back onto itself...

to create the inner circle, add the transform effect. in that effect adjust the scale to make the footage the size that it needs to be, then animate the rotation to go from 0 to 360 over the number of frames that you need instances of (in the case of the inner circle, it would be 8 frames). and since we will be instancing the time to maintain the position, we'll need that rotation to loop. an easy way is to enable expressions (with rotation elected choose animation>add expressions) and type loopOut() in the expression field.

now add the echo effect, set the echo time to 1/[your comp's frame rate].. .so if you are working in 25 fps, type 1/25 in the field. and then set the number of echo to the number of instances in that circle (again, 8 for the inner circle).

to get the flowers to form the inner circle, in the transfer effect setting, start dragging the anchor point values to get the radius and positioning that you need.

if your echo time is positive (which is what i would do), you find that in the last 8 frames of the layer, the instance will remove one by one, so you'll want to make your com a little longer than needed, and set the work area to trim that off. if the echo time is negative, then use the work area to rime the front off.

you should be able to do the same for the outer circle on another layer -- you could do it on a single layer, but you'd need to animate the anchor point to set a new radius for the outer circle, and then change the rotation animation to do another 360 over 18 frames. you'd also need a loopOut() expression on the anchor point animation, and set the number of echoes to 26 (8+18)... it would be a little tricky, but doable.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Dana LazarRe: Repeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 15, 2015 at 8:44:44 pm

I considered the Echo effect, but the problem is that I don't want this to work for just one single static frame. These objects are supposed to be videos. In order for echo to work I need to animate a spin first, so won't the images be spinning around while they play?

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Joel SlabaughRe: Repeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:20:25 pm

Can you animate the video itself to spin in the opposite direction?

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Dana LazarRe: Repeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 15, 2015 at 11:32:47 pm

Rotating and then un-rotating is seriously a great idea. It definitely solves the rotation problem. Only it's still an Echo effect, meaning the video will still become echoed.

I'm including a rough draft of this one thing I'm trying to do: a huge circle of jumping characters (final result supposed to be bigger than this example). I need to have the whole circle jumping up at once. Adding Echo creates... well, an echo. First character starts jumping while last one has already made the jump...

Is there any way to reverse the echo?

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Dana LazarRe: Repeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 16, 2015 at 12:04:26 am

One thing I've found useful right now is adding an array of Mirror effects such as this.

Only it seems logical that if I arranged something like this on my own, piling 5 Mirror effects one on top of the other, surely there's some Kaleidoscope effect setting out there already set up like this? It seems so simple and useful.

At first I figured that's what CC Kaleida would be all about, but I just can't figure out how to use that effect exactly like this.

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Joel SlabaughRe: Repeating layer in a circle
by on Jun 16, 2015 at 2:03:23 am

I see. If the scaling isn't an issue i'd just setup a single circle as you've done, by "hand." You could do this through parenting and rotating by 360degrees/18videos and add each new video to the parent as you rotate it in increments. Once that is complete you could precompose them all, and then duplicate the layer as many times as you want and do a consecutive parenting on those new layers. Scale them all up at the same time and you've got a bunch of circles of videos expanding as far as you want. Check the continuously rasterize button to make them all as clean as possible.

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