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Rotating a 2D image in 3D space

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Eric BarkerRotating a 2D image in 3D space
by on Feb 17, 2011 at 3:00:05 am

I have an interesting dillema. I've got a 2D graphic of a turntable, but the graphic is already at a perspective (approximately 45 degrees). I have a flat vinyl record graphic that I went to set down on the turntable in 3D space. When I get close to the record, I want to tilt up as if looking down at it. Problem is, since the record is rotated in 3D space, but the turntable is not, as soon as I start tilting up, the turntable tilts differently than the record. I don't mind if there is some distortion on the sides of the turntable because by the time I tilt up, it will be so close that the sides will be off screen, but I'd like to be able to square up the face (which is now diamond shaped because it is at an angle).

How do I setup my layers in such a way that the turntable is a 3D layer that is already at the same angle as the record, but looks the same as it does, so that when I tilt up, it "squares up", sorry if this this hard to describe. I think I've seen it in tutorials before but I'm not sure.

Television Producer
KTVF-11 Fairbanks, Alaska

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Joey ForemanRe: Rotating a 2D image in 3D space
by on Feb 17, 2011 at 4:57:55 am

I would suggest applying the Transform effect to the turntable layer and attempting to Skew it into a square shape.
Then position and scale the record layer to fit.
Precomp the two, centering the Anchor Point if necessary, making the precomp 3d, then rotating and repositioning it to taste.

You can then animate the rotation of the record in the precomp.

Not sure how accurate the results will be without seeing the actual turntable image.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Rotating a 2D image in 3D space
by on Feb 17, 2011 at 7:21:00 pm

The most accurate way of doing this is to take the image of your turntable in PSD and distort and paint layers that can be used in AE to create a 3d box that will approximate the shape of it. You may just need 3 layers (front side and top) or you may want to get into details and build several boxes. Then you can play with the camera in 3d space at will.
Another way of doing this is to use Free Form and displace the image in 3d- it's kind of tricky to work out a displacement map if you're not used to it. This tutorial may help.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Darby EdelenRe: Rotating a 2D image in 3D space
by on Feb 19, 2011 at 4:32:28 am

Using the camera mapping technique in AE should allow you to do this. Your mileage may vary. It's a complicated technique that may give you headaches. Since Andrew Kramer is usually the most accessible way to explain these things, and I'm feeling lazy, here you go :)

This is most often used for landscape/environments, but you can easily modify it to work with any object (the more boxy the object, the better!).

Darby Edelen

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