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collapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order

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Bret Williamscollapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order
by on May 29, 2010 at 4:28:03 am

I'm stumped. I need a refresher on what breaks up 3D layers. For example, placing an adjustment layer or a 2D layer between 2 3D layers composites them above and below each other instead of any sort of z space interaction or intersection.

I'm doing an animated photo album. Basically just 3D layers turning like pages of a book. A hard paged book. The pages are precomps, and everything in the precomp is a 3D layer, but with z position 0. Every collapse transformation switch is set all down the line. So, in the main comp where all the precomps come together as pages of a book, the pages intersect just fine as long as that final collapse transformations switch is off. Turn it on, and it breaks the 3Dness of it all. Each layer is is the same correct postion, but they no longer respect their pages z postion. They simply display in front or behind depending on their layer order. As if they each had a adjustment layer between them. They don't intersect either. Turn off collapse transformations and all is well. Except the camera can't zoom in and retain the same quality of image. Which is what I want to achieve.

So, pretty confusing, perhaps. I've seen this sort of thing before and usually there's an effect that won't support retaining the image quality (like a cc page turn) because they're rendered at a particular point of the render stack regardless. Or I've got a 2D layer or adjustment layer somewhere. But I've scoured every layer and effect.


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Todd KoprivaRe: collapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order
by on May 29, 2010 at 5:08:23 am

See if this page helps:
"3D layer interactions, render order, and collapsed transformations"



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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Bret WilliamsRe: collapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order
by on May 29, 2010 at 5:18:16 am

I'm betting it's something from item number 3 in that 4 point bullet list. I've lost the one layer effect (a bevel) and I lost some track mattes. But I may have replace the track matte with a mask. But I use masks on everything to create shapes and 3D objects and this has never been an issue. I'll keep digging. At worst, I just have to go with the non collapsed version, which in 1080p just barely shows some softness on some really tight camera moves.


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Bret WilliamsRe: collapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order
by on May 29, 2010 at 5:30:42 pm

Well I did an interesting test. I delted the layer in question, and replaced it with the png file that was the heart of it. Turned that png layer into a 3D layer and as I suspected, it perfectly intersected the other layers. it wasn't breaking the 3Dness of the scene.

So.... I then precomposed the layer. Just a single png file with NO effects, masks, nothing. Just the layer that was working just fine. I precomposed it and it is still intersecting with other layers, etc. Good.

Then, I turned on the collapse transformations switch. Breaks it. This does not fit into ANY of the rules. Unless PNG files aren't supported in nested 3D collapse transformation layers. Didn't see that exception on the link. Makes no sense.

Using CS4 on the mac fwiw.


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Todd KoprivaRe: collapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order
by on May 31, 2010 at 4:59:51 pm

Weird. Would you mind uploading the project so that I can have a look?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Dave LaRondeRe: collapse transformations on 3D layer changes layer order
by on May 31, 2010 at 5:05:38 pm

A couple of 3D basics to reiterate:

Any -- repeat, ANY -- 2D layer amid 3D layers really screws things up. Proceed with caution.

When you precomp a 3D layer or layers, then turn on the Collapse Transformations switch, the precomp becomes a 3D OBJECT, with all layers occupying the same 3D space they did previously. These layers will now move in concert with any changes make to the precomp, and any lights or cameras in the precomp instantly become no good.

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


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