8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2008 10:28 AM by akribie

    Map layer to cylinder

    akribie Level 2
      The aim is to place a series of vertically-oriented videos around the circumference of a horizontal circular base and then rotate the whole lot past the viewer with the base tilted somewhat to give a perspective view. That bit is OK.

      But so far I've failed to find a way of bending back the vertical outer edges of the video layers to make the video frames follow the shape of the perimeter of the base circle. It is cylindrical distortion that I need, but none of the AE cylinder options seems to have the desired effect.

      Can someone please point me in the right direction?

      Thanks.
        • 1. Re: Map layer to cylinder
          bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
          Cannot be done in After Effects. No layer can be distorted in 3D space, all 3D layers are perfectly flat always. You can add more flat surfaces to the edge of your circle but you will never get a circular image.

          You need a 3d application or a 3d plug for AE like Zaxworks.

          bogiesan
          • 2. Re: Map layer to cylinder
            Level 1
            If I understand your problem correctly, and you want it to look something like this here's what I'd do.

            Create a comp that's 3 times as wide as it is high. Place all your video clips in this comp and use the align tools to distribute them evenly horizontally with a little space between clips. The video clips should be scaled so that they are slightly shorter than the comp.

            Now animate the video clips so they proceed from left to right across the comp. What you end up with is a wide comp with two or three video clips visible at a time and the clips move from left to right.

            Now make a new comp the size of your project. bring in your 3x wide comp and apply CC Cylinder to the layer. Adjust the position and lighting to suit and choose to render only the outside.

            You should have a series of video clips that appear to be rotating on a curved cylinder. You'll find a CS3 project http://www.hottek.net/samples/videoCylinder.zip%3Ehere%3C/a%3E.
            • 3. Re: Map layer to cylinder
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              To facilitate controlling the timing of the motion, use the Motion Tile effect applied to the pre-comp rather than animating the layers directly. unlike David suggested, you can still get some plugins that create actual "bendy" layers in 3D. Zaxwerks Layer Warp and an assortment of the Conoa 3D plugins will provide enough control to create convincing curvature and provide additional 3D perspective options.

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: Map layer to cylinder
                akribie Level 2
                Thanks for your suggestions and confirmation that I hadn't missed something when I couldn't get layers to bend in 3D space with the standard tools. Thanks, too for the example project.

                I'll see if the client will bear the cost of Zaxwerks 3D Warp. If not, the cylinder alternative looks promising.
                • 5. Re: Map layer to cylinder
                  Level 1
                  you might also want to check out Forge Freeform . It's a great layer warping tool.
                  • 6. Re: Map layer to cylinder
                    akribie Level 2
                    Thanks, Rick.
                    • 7. Re: Map layer to cylinder
                      bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
                      Myl > unlike David suggested, you can still get some plugins that create actual "bendy" layers in 3D. Zaxwerks Layer Warp and an assortment of the Conoa 3D plugins will provide enough control to create convincing curvature and provide additional 3D perspective options.

                      bogie > You need a 3d application or a 3d plug for AE like Zaxworks.

                      Knew that. Just spelled it wrong. Seems the OP was hoping to use the basic package, tho.

                      Gerard > Create a comp that's 3 times as wide as it is high. Place all your video clips in this comp and use the align tools to distribute them evenly horizontally with a little space between clips. The video clips should be scaled so that they are slightly shorter than the comp.

                      Aye, posted to oquickly. Very cool, completely forgot about precomposing that much stuff onto the cylinder and, yeah, I've even done that a couple of times.

                      bogiesan
                      • 8. Re: Map layer to cylinder
                        akribie Level 2
                        Thanks for mentioning Conoa. Easy Shapes seems to do what I'm looking for at a better price than the Zaxwerks solution.