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can you elaborate, sphere just makes it look like a ball but doesn't give me any depth. it's still a thin flat image. im looking to see if i can make it more of a 3d character not just a flat image.
If you auto orient a CC Sphere layer to the camera or use expressions like in this CS 3 example then you can get a very convincing 3D sphere effect.
If you have a few bucks for a plug-in Conoa makes a great set of 3d plug-ins that will interact with AE's camera making it very easy and fast to fly the camera around your scene.
Another 3rd party plug-in that's very popular and gives you more control is Zaxwerks.
The AE project I posted lets you fly the camera around the sphere in a realistic manner using expressions. You could also add some more complex expressions to tie the lighting effect in CC sphere to a light in your comp.
I hope this helps.