12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2010 11:58 AM by vco_se11

    3D layer order problems - please help!




      I am trying to build a 3D carousel but it seems that the layers are overlapping based on their order in the layer stack, rather than their positions in z-space. I have been through all of the documentation, and I'm completely confused. I have no 2D layers or adjustment layers or masks, and no layer styles. I have tried building the project different ways, but I'm having the same effect.


      What I want is to have three groups of still images, which all rotate around a central null object. To do this, I currently have three precomps, with a number of 3D layers, staggered in z-space. In the main comp, I moved the anchor point for all three of the precomps backwards, and rotated each one so they are evenly spaced in an orbit around the null object, to which I then parented them so I could rotate the group.


      Then I have a camera animated using a separate null object in the centre, which moves in an orbit around the carousel, stopping at each of the clusters. The problem is that as the camera moves, clusters which should be behind others based on the 3D space are overlapping in front of other clusters which are lower in the layer order.


      In the precomps, there is no box to turn on "collapse transformations" but in the main comp, I have tried with this switch on and off for all of the included precomp layers. I don't know if the problem is something to do with this switch?


      I am really stumped and I don't know how to fix this. Any advice that anyone can offer will be very gratefully received.


      Thanks so much in advance

        • 1. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          The precomposition layers must have their Collapse Transformations switch turned on, and the layers within those precompositions must be 3D layers. Is that the case?


          If you upload your project, I can have a look.

          • 2. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
            vco_se11 Level 1

            I am so grateful for your help! I have seen that you've tried to answer this kind of issue for other people, so I know I'm talking to the expert.


            Within the precomp clusters, the checkbox for collapsing the transformations is not availalble. To be honest I don't understand how the collapsing of transformations works -- it's like black magic to me.


            I'm just trying to figure out now how I can upload the file for you to examine ... I am putting the file here termporarily -- let me know if you get access okay:




            Obviously I haven't included all of the linked images that are in the different precomps, but I'm guessing you'll be able to see what I'm doing wrong even with the placeholders. Just let me know if you want me to upload something to a different place or in a different way.


            Thank you so so much - I really appreciate it

            • 3. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8



              See the sun-like icon in the bottom three layers? That's where I turned Collapse Transformations on for the precomposition layers.


              Collapsing transformations does roughly this: It exposes the transformations of the layers within a nested composition to the camera and other elements of the containing composition. In the case of 3D scenes like this, the result is that the 3D-ness of the contents of the nested compositions can be seen and interacted with.


              Read these pages carefully. They are dense, but understanding how this works is crucial to doing 3D work.

              "Render order and collapsing transformations"

              "3D layer interactions, render order, and collapsing transformations"

              • 4. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                vco_se11 Level 1



                Yes I see the collapse transformations box, and I have tried turning it on, but it's not fixing the problem. Or maybe I'll only see the fix in a render? With that box checked, scrubbing through the timeline, I still see objects that should be in the back overlapping objects that are in front in 3D space, but lower in the layer stack.


                I apologise if I'm being completely thick -- thanks again in advance

                • 5. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                  I think that it would really help if you started with a _much_ simpler project and built it up a piece at a time to do what you like, so that you could learn as you went.


                  It's really hard to help you with a complex project when 1) I'm not sure exactly what you're going for and 2) all of the layers are color-bar place-holders so telling which layer is where is very difficult.

                  • 6. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    You have layer styles applied to some of the pre-comps and naturally, they break renderiung order as is explained in teh links Todd provided. Get rid of them and everything will work as expexted. Add anotehr level of nesting and apply the layer styles to the result of the 3D comp in 2D, if need be, otherwise use conventional effects for your drop shadows etc.. Contrary to layer styles, effects work correctly with 3D.



                    • 7. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                      vco_se11 Level 1

                      That would certainly be ideal -- but I have a client specifying what they want and I need to provide a solution. I am uploading another much simpler version of what I'm trying to do and including the pictures.




                      Does this show what I mean? It's a much simpler composition and the 7 images are included in the zip file, so even if they unlink it should be easy to "find" them.


                      Note how the red and yellow squares look correct as the camera moves, but then when the blue squares should pass in front, they go behind the others. I hope you will spot my problem with this and be able to diagnose it for me. I'm sure I'm doing something quite basic wrong.


                      Thanks so much again

                      • 8. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                        vco_se11 Level 1

                        I don't think I actually have any layer styles applied -- unless I have missed them somehow... Can you tell me where you see them? I have also got the same problem in the much simpler version I just uploaded, which again doesn't have layer styles as far as I can tell! Of course, I would be thrilled to discover that it's something like that to fix it.


                        Thanks for your help -- I'm so grateful that you are offering your assistance

                        • 9. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                          Oh, Mylenium is right. I missed them the first time. There are layer styles on each of the Cluster precomposition layers---Drop Shadow, specifically. That's certainly a problem.

                          • 10. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                            vco_se11 Level 1

                            If it turns out to be something this easy, I'll be thrilled. But I can't see any layer styles in my document anywhere. I did try some earlier, so maybe I'm just missing them. But then also in the very simple version of the problem that i uploaded, I don't think there are any layer styles at all.


                            Many thanks

                            • 12. Re: 3D layer order problems - please help!
                              vco_se11 Level 1

                              Thank you both for your help -- I'm not exactly sure what caused or what fixed the problem, but I have reconstructed the scene being very careful not to add any layer styles or other 2D elements, and I have reorganised how I had my anchor points, and the scene seems to be working much better now.


                              I really appreciate the time you took to help me.