I was looking at a tutorial
on using the displacement effect. I started experimenting on my own using the Bulge effect to animate the layer that is to be used as the displacement source. If you want to follow exactly what I was working with, it was number 4, the Expand Output composition.
I applied the bulge effecty to the Test Layer with the setting of Horizontal Radius 33; Vertical Radius 167, and a Bulge Height of 4. I animated the effect by setting keyframes for the Bulge Center. Then I duplicated the effect and changed the Horizontal Radius to 33 and the Vertical Radius to 167. What I ended up with was a + (Plus sign) looking shape that animated over the layer, which is what I wanted. I precomposed the layer and used it as the displacement map layer.
But then I wanted the rotate the Plus sign so that it would be like and "X" instead. but there is no way to adjust for that in the Bulge controlls. So I applied the Transform effect to the Test Layer to rotate it but I rotates the whole layer including the word Test, I got the X shape that I was looking for but I did not want to put the Test on a 45 degree slant.
Any suggestions on how to rotate the Bulge effect. I thought that it may have something to do with the Pin All Edges, I didnt see anything change with it on or off.
Unfortunately there is no intuitive way to do this. It's one more time where you will have to pre-compose. Rotatte the footage in teh pre-comp, apply the bulge on top of it using an adjustment layer. Put the pre-comp in teh main comp, then un-rotate it. I believe that will give you the kind of distortion I think you are looking for.