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Auto orient null around path & loop composition

Explorer ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Hey guys,

 

I'm pretty new to AE, but followed a tutorial here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVYjp0fy7aA to make this sort of animation- except in mine, I do not have a car and rather just want the camera to go along this road (I'll later have it "stop" at certain points and parts of a timeline will appear). Please see the attached for what I have currently.

 

I want my null to always be facing the direction of the road so it looks more like the camera is moving along the road, not only staying in one direction. Compare my comp to the video at 15:23, I hope I am making sense of what I want. it's not rotating at all and I tried to follow his steps for auto orient the car in his video, which I did with my null (this was 4:20 in his tutorial which I tried to apply the auto orient leading him to successfully getting the car to turn along the path!)

 

Does anyone know what I could to achieve this? Is this something I need to apply to my null or my camera?

 

Also, another small issue, I'd like to be able to know how to loop my footage to keep going around the track and expand the length of the video. For example, my comp is set to 30 seconds now but because I don't know exactly how many "stops" and pieces of info for the timeline I want to insert, I'd like to have it keep moving around the road to have more time if I need. Please let me know if I can clarify anything!

 

Thanks a ton!

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LEGEND ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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That's a terrible "tutorial" (I'll never understand why people don't write scripts and just mumble on) and not relevant to your situation. To make a camera look ahead you just create a two-nide camera where the cam is targeting a Null. Then you simply copy & paste the motion with a temporal offset to both entities to create the illusion. For looping you would simply pre-compose the animation and use it multiple times or treat it with time-remapping. Anyway, you may want to look up a few tutorials and read the online help based on the keywords provided.

 

Mylenium 

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Explorer ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Thank you for your response. I'm wondering how he was able to make that effect work in the tutorial then if this is not how I should go about it? I have spent hours searching online and through these forums and haven't found anything helping my situation. I'll try redoing it with a 2 node camera to target the null. Do you recommend any specific tutorials or articles to do exactly this? 

 

Thanks again!

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Explorer ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Also, I did create a two-node camera targeting the null but am not sure what the next step would be to make it "turn" to face the path. Do you mean, copy and paste the position settings onto the camera from the null? More detail would be much appreciated!

 

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Explorer ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Sorry for the multiple messages- just wanted to update again since I got slightly closer to what I wanted by applying auto orient to the null before creating the camera, it is now following so the road is going in one direction and switched to the Null's point of view like I wanted, but the dimensions are all messed up. I needed to turn on 3D for all layers to make the camera follow but when I do it is all skewed. Could someone please help me go in the right direction here?

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Community Expert ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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I do not know if this old tutorial I threw together will help. 

One of the biggest problems with the tutorial you are trying to follow is that there is no explanation of how to fix the Camera Looking Straight down at the road problem you have when you have not rotated the "ground" to Horizontal by rotating it 90º in the Y axis. All paths that are copied and used as motion paths end up in the X, Y plane so you need to add a null and parent the moving layer to the null, then rotate the null to match the ground plane. Then releasing the Null will get the motion path set up on the X, Z plane and allow you to more accurately manipulate the camera. 

 

If you Rotate your Rode layer, copy the motion path to a null you use for the camera's parent, add another null to the comp as I did in the tutorial, Parent the rotate null to the camera null, rotate the rotate null, to line up the motion path, then shift + parent the Camera to the Null, you can have a one node or a two node camera that orients to the path. You can then position other nulls around the track and use their position to point the camera to signs you stand up on your road. A simple expression can switch the point of interest from one sign to another based on layer markers, or you can just set keyframes for Point of Interest when the camera gets to the point where it is looking at the sign by copy and paste the sign position.

 

If the camera ends up pointing straight down it will experience Gumbal lock and keep flipping upside downas the camera moves along the road.

 

I hope this helps. 

 

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Explorer ,
Jul 17, 2023 Jul 17, 2023

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Hi Rick,

 

Thank you for your detailed response and apologies for just now seeing this. I've watched your tutorial and am trying to apply that and the steps you've stated to my situation here- I'm playing around with rotating my graphics to "come at it with a different angle" as it seems we need to do in these situations but having a hard time getting anywhere. 

 

To be clear, I don't mind that my camera is pointing straight down at the road- all I was needing was the camera following the direction of the road, aka the road would always be pointing to one direction as if you are actually following the line! The camera appearing more parallel to the road or pointing more horizontally isn't a need for me. Could you give me any more direction on how to get this type of camera following?

 

Thank you again! 

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