I know this topic has been covered, but I'm just wondering if maybe with AECS4 there is a way to bend an object in 3D? I know there are plugins but I don't have money to spend, unless there's a free one. Any ideas?
cc cylinder is the only bundled effect that can bend a layer in 3d.
you can some control over how much a layer wraps around the cylinder by using the grow bounds effect prior to the cc cylinder effect.
adding the transform effect after the grow bounds will allow you to rotate or skew the layer before it wraps it onto a cylinder... using both of these you can get some interesting effects -- animation of the cc cylinder rotation and position properties can then create a fairly believable falling/blowing sheet of paper, for example. but the basic effect will always be a flat layer wrapped around a cylinder -- like a label on a glass, or something to that effect.
How do you want to bend it?
If you put your image in a comp that's a lot larger than it is, then apply CC Cylinder to that comp you'll get a bend from it.
Or, instead of the larger comp, apply Grow Bounds before you apply CC Cylider.
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