Isolating an Object w/in an Isometric Array/Animation

Participant ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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Hi Adobe,

 

I've been requested by a client to create an isometric animation. I'm realtively brand new to this in any software, 2.5 or 3D. In either software I'm having a challenge on how to manipulate one of the objects out of the array/repeater/clone/matrix etc. 

 

Attached is an image of what I'm trying to create. I can fake rigid bodies in AE or build the object array in a 3D program, but I'm having 3 main conflicts.

 

1) Isolating the cube in the center to animate independently of the group/array/clone.

2) Coloring the sides on opposites with different colors using shape layers. 

3) The Shape Layer -> Repeater doesn't expand from the center, only from one side. 

 

I know this is a lot to throw into one thread, but if anybody as any pointers on what approach might make the most sense for this (or if I'm going at this all wrong), I'd really appreciate any feedback. Thanks for reading!

 

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Adobe Community Professional , Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

You may have actually answered your own question in your previous explorations: if you're using an array-based approach, like Shape Layer Repeaters, you won't have the necessary control over a single object in that array. They unfortunately just don't work that way. 

 

So, long story short, you'll need to make and move the copies manually. 

 

While this can indeed be built totally 2d (faking the perspective), I would probably approach this as a 3d build myself, even staying within After Effects.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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You may have actually answered your own question in your previous explorations: if you're using an array-based approach, like Shape Layer Repeaters, you won't have the necessary control over a single object in that array. They unfortunately just don't work that way. 

 

So, long story short, you'll need to make and move the copies manually. 

 

While this can indeed be built totally 2d (faking the perspective), I would probably approach this as a 3d build myself, even staying within After Effects. If you need some guidance on building and working with 3d objects, this should be a good primer: https://youtu.be/v22bsrFRjs0

 

If all the shapes are colored the same, like in your example, you should be able to create a single precomposition for your cube, and manipulate THOSE in the proper arrangement. (If they aren't colored the same, you can still use this same approach, taking advantage of a feature called Essential Properties.) Use round numbers for your cube sizes, to keep the math easy! 

 

While not strictly necessary, use of parenting (and probably some Null objects) or some basic slider expression controls would probably go a long way toward making this easier to work with. The video I linked above uses some of this in a different way, but hopefully that'll point you in the right direction in terms of thought process.

 

Let us know if you need more guidance on any of the above! 

 

---

 

Also, while not really relevant here, the Repeater can indeed expand from the center, if you also change the Offset property immediately below Copies.

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Participant ,
Jul 24, 2022 Jul 24, 2022

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Hi Kyle, 

 

Yeah, I ended up building it in C4D using a clone/grid and then applying a formula to single out the index of the object I wanted. Way cool. That's great to know about the Offset for shape layers though. One of my weaknesses with shape layers has been being able to manipulate them once I get them to repeat (e.g. interval length etc.). Thanks! 

 

 

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