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Syncing Multi Layer Position and Scale Animation

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David Bark
Syncing Multi Layer Position and Scale Animation
on Dec 31, 2009 at 4:49:16 am

I'm in the process of creating an intro for the footage I shot of my family's Christmas get-together.

I'm going to have a huge Christmas tree still image for the background. Like four times the size of the comp. Right now I''m using a dummy).

I'm creating comps to use as "bulb" layers. Inside each bulb is masked footage of member of my family. It's hard to explain.

Comp 1 consists of, from the bottom up:
- The masked footage
-A white, spherical shape layer that matches the bottom mask, with 19% opacity so it looks like glass. (A little, anyway.)
- Two decorative layers sized to match the top and bottom of the bulb, like frosting.
- A low opacity, masked black solid set to mode, with a curved white brush stroke that looks like a highlight on the side of the bulb.

Comp 2 has comp 1 as the bottom layer, spherized, and a little shape layer on top of this "Bulb" and a hook for hanging the bulb on the tree.

Now, Comp 3 is where it's all going to come together, if I can figure out how to sync the animation. This huge Christmas tree is the bottom layer, and I'm going to start on one bulb, slide to another bulb with different footage, slide down to another bulb with different footage, etc. No two bulbs, at this point, will be onscreen at the same time. That's no problem. I can animate all the positions simultaneously. What I'm finding though, is that when I try to scale everything down to create a zoom out effect so that all of the bulbs are onscreen at the same time, everything goes out of whack. In other words, I need to somehow anchor each bulb to its position on the tree.

I tried to take the comp with all the bulbs and tree at 100% scale (where most of the bulbs will be off screen, as will most of the tree) into yet another comp, thinking I'd have one huge comp and I could slide and scale at will, but when I drop comp 3 into comp 4, the only thing that comes in is whatever was in the window at the time, if that makes sense? If I move it or scale it, I get black along the edges.

I guess what I'm asking is, A) is there a way to anchor the bulbs to their respective positions on the tree. I mean, I can't set anchor points relative to the comp, I have to set them relative to the tree layer. Barring that can I B) import a comp into another comp so that all the elements that are hanging off the screen will be included, and I can just scale the whole thing down?

I really don't know if I've explained myself adequately. Just picture a camera tracking from one bulb to another on a Christmas tree, then zooming out so that all the bulbs and most of the tree are on scree.



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David Bark
Re: Syncing Multi Layer Position and Scale Animation
on Dec 31, 2009 at 4:59:12 am


Been reading After Effects Apprentice and just started Chapter 6: Parenting and Nesting. The first sentence makes me think I'm going to find an answer. (Hopefully)

David Bark
Lightshine Productions

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Syncing Multi Layer Position and Scale Animation
on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:08:44 am

"think I'm going to find an answer"

Yes. Yes you are.

Enjoy the POWER of parenting. The world is now yours.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Syncing Multi Layer Position and Scale Animation
on Dec 31, 2009 at 5:12:49 pm

Yeah, and wait until you get a load of the CC Sphere effect. The crucial things to remember: a spherical map is always twice as wide as it is high, and it's far easier to work in square pixels when making a nested comp to which you'll apply CC Sphere.

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

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