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Bounding box beginner

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Tj Smith
Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 1:14:31 am

Not sure if I'm explaining this correctly but ill try and be thorough.

I am taking assets from a photoshop file 1080 x 1080, saving them as png, then importing to AE 1080 x 1080.

When I import, the position remains the same in after effects, which is good. This means they don't come in perfectly centered, and I don't have to redistribute them to where they need to be in the composition.

However, this means my bounding box is set to 1080 x 1080 regardless of where the png is positioned in space.



If I eyeball center the png, my bounding box is out of the borders of the composition.




What I would like to do is be able to reset the bounding box to the edge limits of the png so I can use "Center anchor point in layer content" thus allowing me to perfectly center the spiked circle in the middle of my comp so I don't get a off-center wobble when rotating.


Ideally ill build out the circular layers in a separate comp to make sure they are perfectly centered (so they can rotate correctly), then move them up for this final result. --->




Did I explain that well enough? Thanks in advance if you know the answer!


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Greg Gesch
Re: Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 1:46:02 am

Hi TJ. There is a tool called the Pan Behind tool, which is under the word 'Layer' at the top of your screen - next to the camera icon. Select it and then you can drag the Anchor Point from the middle of your image up to its correct position in the centre of the circle. This means that it will rotate from the centre of the circle. Don't confuse this with moving the Anchor Point under the Transform options, which will offset the image away from the anchor point. Look up the pan behind tool in help, it is useful to know about when rotating or scaling.


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Tj Smith
Re: Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 1:59:19 am

So I was looking through some videos before this and came across the Pan Behind Tool but...

With that tool, I'm basically just eyeballing the center and trying to place the anchor point in the middle? I can get it close, but not every layer is as easy as the circular spike example, and if im slightly off with my hand placed anchor point it will cause a wobble right?

Theoretically, if the bounding box was at the exact edges of the png, I could center it up exactly and easier with that tool then the basic align tools.


If that makes sense? The same concept in cinema 4d, I would just use magic center to find the exact center point, then use PSR to center it.


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Greg Gesch
Re: Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 3:29:36 am

Mmmmm, very hard to explain. If I read you correctly you want the bounding box's centre point to be in two different positions at the same time - you want the anchor point in the centre of the circle/image and at the same time for the bounding box to be centred in the composition so the image is off centre. As far as I know the centre of the bounding box is always going to be the centre of the bounding box. After Effects doesn't see the circle/image as a separate entity, it only sees the whole 1080 x 1080 shape.
You are right, if the bounding box is at the exact edges of the image it will be centered, but that means that the image must fill the 'canvas' with no space around it - and it will import into the centre of your composition, which is not where you want it.
I'll try to put my mind to an easy way of finding the exact centre of your circle/image but, no, there is no one click way of doing it - but I'm very happy to be contradicted by any of the clever people here.


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Greg Gesch
Re: Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 3:59:22 am

OK, one way to do it:
Go to 'View' at the top of your screen, toggle it open and select 'Show Rulers'.
Move your cursor over the rulers (it will turn into a double headed arrow). Click and drag a ruler to the very edge of your image, then do the same 3 more times so that you end up with a square or rectangle exactly enclosing your image.
Using your Pen tool create a shape layer by drawing a 1 pixel diagonal line (no fill), from just outside the corners of your square/rectangle. Draw another line going in the opposite direction - you now have a cross through your square/rectangle. Zoom in and make sure the lines are exactly crossing the rulers corners. (Don't try to create a vertex on the ruler lines, you'll drive yourself crazy. Try it and you'll see why.)
Then use the Pan Behind tool to move the centre point to the centre of the X.
That should do what you need?


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Tj Smith
Re: Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 4:33:40 am

Maybe I’m over explaining this, but appreciate the help!

I just want to be able to center the png. but bringing it in from photoshop (where it is not centered) creates a bounding box at 1080 x 1080 so when I hit center, it centers the box, not the image. If it clipped the bounding box to the actual png and left it in place with the anchor point centered, I could just use the center in comp.

My plan was to make a new comp with all these stacked circular layers, and have them rotate individually then pre comp. But the issue is getting the anchor point dead center of each individual later so there is no weird wobble or issues with scaling from 0-100.

I’ll re read your reply when I’m back at my computer and post more pics if I can’t figure it out.

Thanks again!


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Greg Gesch
Re: Bounding box beginner
on Aug 25, 2019 at 11:38:22 pm

Maybe a better idea to try first: Import the Photoshop PSD file into After Effects. 'Import As: Composition - Retain Layer Size' . Then open the composition and you can access the content as layers. That might work for you?


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