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ProAnimator FX - In motion. No 'True' 3d?

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chris gormlieProAnimator FX - In motion. No 'True' 3d?
by on Jul 12, 2009 at 12:22:49 pm

Hi, I am using a demo of proanimator fx with motion and am a wee bit stumpted.

My understanding from watching the demo vids, talking to a few folks etc, was that essentially PAfx could work as a way of importing 3d objects into Motion.

Ultimately I am looking for a way to import .obj files into 3d space in motion, and I found it pretty easy to do so, however, once back in motion the object appears to be on a 2d plane and any motion camera moves treat the PAfx layer as such.

While i understand i can animate the 3d object within PAfx, given the nature of the projects I will be working on, that would be impractical.

Am I flogging a dead horse here trying to make PAfx do something it can't, or am I missing something obvious in the workflow.


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Edward WuRe: ProAnimator FX - In motion. No 'True' 3d?
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 6:34:35 pm

Hi Chris,

The workflow of ProAnimator FX is to keep the ProAnimator FX layer as a 2D layer, but enable the option to "Use 3D Camera From Project". By enabling this option, when you are doing camera moves and animations, the ProAnimator FX objects will respond to all your camera moves. It will be as if your objects are projected onto the 2D plane, but still responding to all the 3D camera changes.

If you need your ProAnimator FX objects to interact directly (intersect, etc) with your Motion 3D Layer, you will need to apply the image as a Layer Map onto a plane created in ProAnimator FX. By having both objects within the ProAnimator FX 3D space, the objects can interact with each other realistically. Motion's 3D space works independently from the 3D space of ProAnimator FX, so if the 3D layer is not brought in to the ProAnimator 3D space, they will act independent of one another.

If you have further questions, please let me know.


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chris gormlieRe: ProAnimator FX - In motion. No 'True' 3d?
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:12:14 pm

Hi and thx for the reply.

I read about making the PAfx layer '2D' in the addendum doc, however this confused me further. In motion, a 2D layer in a 3D project in motion is not affected by any camera movement. This still for me at least seems to be true for my PAfx layer... with or without the 'use project camera' option enabled.

My intention with PAfx was to use it to import a small number of .obj models which then need to be placed on top of a large JPEG image that has been rotated 90 degrees along the x-axis. Motions camera would then be used to fly round this map with the models from PAfx keeping their relative positions.

Kind of like flying round a chess board.

One thing that confuses me is that I get satifactory '3D' results from motions camera if I work with text from PAfx, but primitives and imported models just stay flat 2d. I haven't tried any eps or vectors yet.

I am sure its bound to be something I am doing wrong, but for the life of me I cant work out what that is.

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Matt RhodesRe: ProAnimator FX - In motion. No 'True' 3d?
by on Jul 14, 2009 at 4:32:12 pm

Hi Chris.

Here are a few tips on how to set up a camera-tracked PAFx scene:
1. Create a 2D layer that fills the frame (yes, make sure it's 2D and not 3D).
2. Make it the top-most layer (unless you want other graphics in front of the PA 3D objects.
3. Apply the PA effect to that 2D layer.
4. In the PA effect Inspector (or in the PA effect HUD), find and select the "Use 3D Camera from Project" checkbox - this tells us to grab your project's camera values and use them in the PA scene.
5. Add other 3D planes, lights, etc. and animate your scene.

At this point, you should be able to animate the camera and see the PA objects orienting as if they're in the same scene as the other 3D Motion layers.

The PA object should look like they're in the 3D Motion scene, with a caveat:
- Since the PA objects are actually in a 2D Motion layer, they can't intersect with any 3D layers in the Motion project (but objects in a PA scene can intersect other objects in a PA scene)

Therefore, if things aren't working as expected, check the following:
- Make sure the Group containing the ProAnimator effect is 2D, not 3D.
- Make sure you've checked "Use 3D Camera from Project" in the ProAnimator Inspector.
- Make sure you added a camera to the project.

Let us know if you still have questions. If you can send us a project, we'd be happy to take a look.
Send files to:


Matt Rhodes
Zaxwerks, Inc.

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Jarek KomárekRe: ProAnimator FX - In motion. No 'True' 3d?
by on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:30:40 am

Matt, is there going to be a Motion 5 version of PA anytime soon?

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