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Basic AE Operating Techniques

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Beryl Stajich
Basic AE Operating Techniques
on Oct 19, 2009 at 10:18:41 pm

I have a problem getting the rotation function to work correctly (turning an object/text in space around a set axis) when using the sphere and/or cylinder effects in AE 6.5. I can drill down to the place where I input the metrics in the control panel(s), but it never seems to work right (jerky) or the object will not rotate at all. My technique needs work.
Any tips?

Also two other tips are needed:
-Where can I download these effects: Fractal noise, lightsaber
-Will they work with AE 6.5?

Thanks much!

Beryl Stajich
bstajich@comcast.net


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Basic AE Operating Techniques
on Oct 20, 2009 at 6:47:48 pm

Before we proceed, first things first.

How much experience do you have with AE? Have you done anything with it before? If so, please describe.

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


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Beryl Stajich
Re: Basic AE Operating Techniques
on Oct 20, 2009 at 10:28:21 pm

I'm just geeting started w/AE 6.5. I've had the program a long time, but the learning curve always seemed to steep to get into it. Recently I've tuned into the tutorials on Creative Cow and other sites (Video CoPilot) and have been following the bouncing ball(s).

But it's tough to make any real headway when all the experts are using the 7.0 CS3/4 or higher interfaces and I have to stop and explore how to translate that into 6.5. Then, they use plug-ins and presets I don't have. Very frustrating.

So far I have done a few projects with sphere and other plug-ins and am learning my way arouns the timeline and how to navigate the effects control panel. But I am clearly having problems figuring out how to make it all gel.

Here is an example:
.I took a world map and made an earth's globe using the sphere plug-in.
.I added a starfield behind the earth.
.I transformed the earth by making it appear and grow in the composition.
.Then i made the earth rotate, but can not contol the speed or smoothness of the rotation.
.I then added text to the composition, and used the cylinder plug-in to wrap it around the earth. I used the outside render key and repositioned it behind the earth.
.Now I want to have it rotate out infront of the earth, but can not get the text to move at all.
.I've also used a precomp to add some highlights to the earth using expressions. But can not get the prcomp married back to the original comp. So I have a non-highlighted glove and a separte highlighted precomp. What a mess.

Does this give you some feel for where I am in terms of development time.

Beryl Stajich
bstajich@comcast.net


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Basic AE Operating Techniques
on Oct 21, 2009 at 7:47:42 pm

[Beryl Stajich] "Then i made the earth rotate, but can not contol the speed or smoothness of the rotation. "

I presume you know that pretty much any sphere effect is 2D. If you turn the layer into a 3D layer, you don't get a 3D sphere, just a 2D image of a sphere you can move in 3D space. It's like moving postcards around in 3D space on invisible popsicle sticks.

How are you looking at your animation to check smoothness? A RAM Preview? If yes, at what frame rate is the preview playing back? A rendered file? Hitting the space bar, which is useless?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Beryl Stajich] "...I then added text to the composition, and used the cylinder plug-in to wrap it around the earth. I used the outside render key and repositioned it behind the earth.
Now I want to have it rotate out infront of the earth, but can not get the text to move at all."


A cylinder effect is also a 2D effect. If you apply it to a text layer, you then have to animate one of the rotation properties in the effect. If you then want the text in front, you have to duplicate the layer, put it above the sphere layer, and set it to show the outside of the effect.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Beryl Stajich] "I've also used a precomp to add some highlights to the earth using expressions. But can not get the prcomp married back to the original comp. So I have a non-highlighted glove and a separte highlighted precomp. What a mess. "

That's why I fool with expressions as little as possible. I can't stand 'em. Besides, writing an expression for a layer in a different comp CAN be done, but I wouldn't want to do it.

Tell you what: just forget about expressions for a while. Learn the basics. Learn about the various kinds of keyframes, track mattes, adjustment layers, parenting, text animation and all that good stuff... and leave expressions for later.

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


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Beryl Stajich
Re: Basic AE Operating Techniques
on Oct 22, 2009 at 8:48:52 pm

OK, I'm more than willing to go back to basics. So, let's try this:

On rotating text from the rear of a globe to the front, using the cylinder effect--
.I already have the text in the correct position & invisible behind the globe.
.Now I want to slowly rotate it out to the front.
.The end effect would be similar to the Universal Studios Logo
Now tell me how to just that much!

On rotating the earth created in sphere:
.I'm not talking about previewing the effect ram or otherwise. I'm talking about playing the effect as a rendered avi movie--the spin is not consistent and jerky. I am using the Y-rotation to animate it in the sphere control panel, but do not understand the contol settings. Here is where I need the help.

Beryl Stajich
bstajich@comcast.net


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