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If you are in a 720x486 comp, select the layer & hit "P" (Position). There are 2 numbers - the first is for "X" (horizontal) and the second is for "Y" (vertical). Click the first number & type in 360. Click the second number & type 243. That puts your layer to the exact center on the comp.
There is no single shortcut. If the Anchor Point of the layer has not been moved then resetting the position by selecting Position in the timeline, right clicking and selecting reset will center the layer. If the Anchor Point has been moved you'll also need to reset the anchor point.
No matter what size the composition the default or reset Position is exactly at the center of the comp and the default Anchor Point is always at the exact center of a layer. The only time that the default anchor point may not be exactly at the physical center of a layer is when you've imported a Photoshop or Illustrator file as a comp. There you have the option of choosing to import with cropped layers, which puts the anchor point of each layer at the physical center of the content, or as a composition where the anchor point of each imported layer is at the center of the Photoshop (or Illustrator document without regard to the content of the layer.
I hope this is clear. Short answer - just reset position and your layer's anchor point will be at the exact center of the composition.
Kind of as I thought. No easy way as in the case of centering text or a circle after creating them in a layer.
I notice my anchor point of these examples is 0,0 . Isnt that Top Left and not the centre?
Text anchor points are tied to paragraph formatting and the first line. If the Paragraph is formatted as centered then the anchor point of 0,0 is in the center of the first line of type at the baseline. In this case resetting position centers the text horizontally in the comp. You have to set the horizontal centering by eye because text can be any height and the overall height depends on both the size and the font face.
Shape layers have two sets of transformations. If you look under the circle you've created you'll see a second set of transforms. Spin them down and reset position and your circle will snap to the center of the shape layer which should be at the comp center by default.
So, resetting position will work, you just have to dig down into all of the possible transitions.
Thanx Rick. Appreciate the insight.
Its kind of surprising and sometimes rather inconvenient that both PhotoShop and AEFX do not have a simpler "control" for this.
In some instances I have taken to using CorelDraw to create layers of text and objects (exported from CDR as .psd)that are aligned perfectly (and simply) when I open the layers in AEFX or Pshop.
Have you tried the "Align" panel?
- Jonas Hummelstrand
Is there an "Align Panel" when working with an object on a layer such as a circle or a text layer.
I will look for it but doubt that it exists.
Align and Distribute only works to align layers with other layers, unless I'm mistaken.