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3D Scene: How do you make images positioned around a circle always face camera while orbiting???

Enthusiast ,
Jan 23, 2024 Jan 23, 2024

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Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 7.57.31 AM.pngI have a 3d scene in After Effects where 20 photos of people around a table are positioned with X rotation for each photo at 90º. I'm using an orbital null-parented 2 node camera. To animate the scene, I turn the Null's Z orientation to make it look like the camera is orbiting around the table. What I'd like is for the photos to always be facing the camera as I orbit around the table. But the problem is that the photos are not facing the camera as I orbit (see last pic). What setting do I need to adjust to make this happen? Thank you very much in advance for any help with this.  

 

Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 7.53.53 AM.png

Screenshot 2024-01-23 at 7.54.12 AM.png

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Engaged ,
Jan 23, 2024 Jan 23, 2024

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Have you tried using Auto-Orient -> Orient Towards Camera?

 

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Enthusiast ,
Jan 23, 2024 Jan 23, 2024

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Hi Airweb_AE. Yes I did and it actually makes the photos disappear. I just saw one of those After Effects "ferris wheel animation" tutorials on youtube and managed to accomplish what I wanted in a 2D setting. But I need to do it in 3D.      

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Engaged ,
Jan 23, 2024 Jan 23, 2024

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2024 Jan 23, 2024

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When you have your layers distributed around a circle, and the X rotation is set to - 90º and the rest of the rotation and orientation values are set to zer0, add a 3D Rotate Null to the bottom of the stack with the X rotation also set to -90º.  Parent all of the image layers to the Rotation Null and add this expression to the Y rotation of each layer:

thisComp.layer("Rotate Null").transform.zRotation

This will keep all the image layers square with the X-Y plane of the comp.

 

If you need to have the image layers always pointed toward the camera, you'll need an expression that looks at the camera. I am on an iPad right now and don't have access to the animation preset that I created to do that, and I don't want to give you a bad expression.

 

If you want to keep the layers vertical and pointed toward the camera, take a look at Dan Ebberts' MotionScript.com page.

 

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