Aligning 3D objects

Participant ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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I have created a cube as you see in the attached image, and I need to copy it multiple times to combine them into a larger rectangle (something I will animate). But since there is not a way to align 3D objects, I'm having a hard time doing it manually. Is there a method to do this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Is the cube made from six Solid layers (one for each side of the cube)?  If so, you can parent them to a Null object (the Null should be at the center) and then make duplicates of that layer set (use Layer Color Labels to differenciate them).  Arranging the cubes will probably be easiset by doing it numerically, setting the Posiiton value of the corresponding Null objects.

 

Have you considered using Cinema4D Lite (included with After Effects) or Video Copilot Element 3D or Blender (free)?  Theer's a bit of a learnign curve for each one, but it's true 3D.

 

 

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Participant ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Thanks Warren. I've done something similar to that. I don't have time to learn Cinema4D for this purpose, but I'll put it on my to do list.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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The easy way is to use some math. Let's say you created six layers (solids, shapes, images, or even videos) that were all 400 X 400 pixels. Make the layers 3D. Press A to reveal the anchor point and set the Z value to 200 (half the layer width and height). Press R to show the rotation property and rotate the second layer 90º in X, the third layer 180º in X, the fourth 270º in X, the fifth 90º in Y, then the sixth 180º in Y. Now add a null to the timeline, make it 3D, and parent all 6 of your layers to the null. If you have not moved anything, you will have a new cube that is 400 X 400 X 400 right at the center of the comp. 

 

Select all seven layers, press Ctrl/Cmnd + D, then Ctrl/Cmnd + [ to move the copies above the original seven layers and repeat as many times as you need to. 

 

The last step is to select all null layers, press Ctrl/Cmnd + [ to move them all to the top of the layer stack, then parent all nulls to Null 1 (the original).  The position values for all the child nulls will be 0, 0, 0. You know that the cubes are 400 X 400 X 400. All you have to do is type in an even multiple of 400 into any position (x, y, or z)properties, and you can build your grid. You could even use a simple expression that added the layer width to one of the X, Y, or Z properties multiplied by the layer index. You could line up or stack as many layers as you want by simply copying and pasting, then changing the values. 

 

The only other option I know of that might be able to automate this process would be to go to AE Scripts and spend a few dollars for a 3D layer aligner. I would still build my cubes the same way. Offset the Anchor Point by half the width (the original X or Y anchor point value), rotate 5 of the six layers by a multiple of 90, then put a null at the center and make it the parent. 

 

I hope this helps.

 

One more suggestion.   The "Drag & Drop here..." area works, but it is a pain for the forum users to access the photos. Please do not use it to share images. You can use the toolbar, drag your pictures to the reply field, or even copy and paste the file directly in the reply field, then size them up so we can easily see them.

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Participant ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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Thanks Rick. Some great, details explanations there. I will have at it today...

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