6 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2008 5:14 AM by A. Cobb

    Vector shapes+camera+effect

      This is the project setup, I have roughly 10 shape layers, each layer contains a group with 1 path and a fill inside, each layer has a transition effect on it which i use to fade them on and off, each layer has the 3d layer option checked on - I have a camera that is set to move alone the layers as they transition in and out.

      This is the problem, when the camera is off the transitions occur as they should and everything looks fine,(the camera motion is this: it starts zoomed in - it moves with the fading in of the layers- then it zooms out) as soon as I turn the camera on none of the transitions occur as they should, the layers do transition, they fade in from the base to the top but as the camera moves around parts that are already bein shown fade out again at the edges. The camera moves as it should but the effects don't look as they should.

      I know that this is because I'm using vectors, because i build the file with raster versions and it works fine, but I need it to be crisp when it renders full screen as its a logo I am animating.

      Any suggestions?
        • 1. Re: Vector shapes+camera+effect
          A. Cobb Level 3
          Here's what's most likely going on:

          On layers that are not continuously rasterized, effects are applied before the transforms, meaning the results of the effects get scaled, rotated, moved, etc. along with the layer.

          Any layer that is continuously rasterized, (which includes shape layers and text layers) has its effects applied
          i after
          the transforms. This means the layer is scaled, rotated, etc., and
          i then
          the effects are applied to the resulting image. The result is that, as far as effects are concerned, these layers are treated as if they have dimensions, orientation, etc. of the comp image itself.

          You can use expressions with layer space transforms to lock the effects' control points to the layer's local space ("toComp(value)" should work for most 2D controls, I think), and you can sometimes use expressions to get angle and scale controls to mimic the scale and orientation of 2D layers, but 3D transforms are generally a lot more difficult, and frequently impossible, to mimic.

          In a some cases, your only option is going to be to precompose the shape layers and apply the effects to the nested comp, which means you lose continuous rasterization (though you can make the nested comp as large as you like, within AE's memory constraints).

          For transition effects, you might consider applying the transition to a 3D solid that is parented to the shape layer and using the solid as a track matte. You will lose resolution on the transition, but maintain it on the shape layer itself.
          • 2. Re: Vector shapes+camera+effect
            Level 1
            woah - thanks alot - i understand tha basics of what u just said - had no idea it was that complex.
            I'm no expert in after effects yet - been using it for proably a month and a half so - the expressions, pre-comping and track matt - arent words i understand fully
            • 3. Re: Vector shapes+camera+effect
              David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
              Have a search in the online help richard. It should help you better understand what those are.. But basically...

              Precomp is the same if you created a new comp, and copied a layer into it. You have options to leave keyframe and effects on top of the precomp, or to move them inside along with the footage. A lot of times, you will need to use this if you are masking an image and applying an effect to it. I also use it very frequently when I have several image files that I want to timeremap (for doing lipsync).

              Track Matte is simlar to masks and keying. Basically, you can use another layer's alpha channel or luminance channel to cut out parts of the image.. Say you have a solid that's moving around screen, but you want the mask to stay in place. Well, rather than masking the solid (and counteranimating it to match the layer's animation), you could apply the mask to another layer on top of it in the timeline, and then use an alpha track matte to cut it out.

              Expressions.. allows you to link one parameter to another, via javascript. For instance, you could create a sine wave and apply it to a grandfather clock's arm to have it swing back and forth. Or you could create the hands of the clock, animate the hour hand, and let expressions animate the minute and second hands (hourhand.rot * 60), for example.
              • 4. Re: Vector shapes+camera+effect
                Level 1
                ok cool then - i understand that stuff a bit better now - i've been readin up - thanks for all you guys help
                • 5. Re: Vector shapes+camera+effect
                  Level 1
                  ok guys - after a lotta research i found that the transition effect that i applied to the vector shapes does not lock to the size of the vector but rather to the entire composition's - so if i move the vector it moves as though the vector is masking a solid with a transition applied to it - how do i get the transition to move with the vector shape itself?
                  • 6. Re: Vector shapes+camera+effect
                    A. Cobb Level 3
                    That's the result of the transforms are applied before the effects for shape layers. The simplest way is to precompose the shape layer, leaving attributes in the current comp. Make sure you leave the Collapse Transformations/Continuous Rasterization switch on the nested comp disabled. Using this method you will lose this feature, and scaling the layer up or moving it close to the camera, you will see degradation in the quality of the image.

                    But the way I would do it would be as I described earlier in the thread: apply the transition to a solid, rather than to the shape layer. Parent the solid to the shape layer, and apply the solid to the shape layer as a track matte. This will give you the best of both worlds; the solid will go where the shape layer goes, and will control the transparency of the shape layer, but the shape layer will otherwise still rasterize at the comp's native resolution.